Is Temu safe?

Is Temu safe?

If you shop online and enjoy a good bargain, you’ve probably heard of Temu.

Temu is a popular online shopping app in the U.S. and other countries, such as the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Temu provides a wide range of goods sent straight from Chinese factories and warehouses at highly discounted prices.

But, at such low prices, it’s natural to worry if Temu is authentic and safe. As with anything that appears too good to be true, you should exercise caution before disclosing your credit card information. In this blog, we will look at what Temu is and, most importantly, how safe it is to use.

Who owns Temu?

What is Temu, and who owns it?

Temu is an online shopping platform that is accessible through both the Temu website and a mobile app. The company is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, and is based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Chinese millionaire Colin Huang formed PDD Holdings, which owns the company.

Temu is an e-commerce marketplace like any other, except that all products come directly from China, and the prices are meager. It attracts users to its platform with competitive social media advertising, referral offers, and continuous clearance specials.

Temu also allows customers to earn “credits” that may be redeemed against future purchases, as well as free gifts. If you’ve signed up for Temu, go to the “Games” section to discover available offers.

Temu has grown in popularity due to its extremely low costs and effective marketing tactics. It has over 100 million users in the United States and is the most popular shopping app in the U.K.

How does Temu work? 

Temu functions similarly to any other retail website in terms of user experience. You explore categories or search for a specific product, then add it to your cart and checkout. Temu sells a wide variety of goods, so you can buy anything from accessories to clothing and electronics to furnishings.

Temu, on the other hand, is different from other similar merchants. Customers are connected with manufacturers rather than brands, and products are shipped straight from Chinese warehouses and factories to customers all over the world. One of the reasons Temu’s pricing is so low is because of this. The main drawback is that obtaining precise information about who you’re buying from can be challenging.

As mentioned, Temu claims to have launched in Boston. Still, it is owned by PDD Holdings, which relocated its formal offices from China to Ireland in order to continue doing business even if U.S. scrutiny of China-based apps continues. Temu’s low costs and direct delivery of purchased items allow it to avoid tariffs, saving it a lot of money. 

Why is Temu so cheap?

Why is Temu so cheap?

Temu’s incredibly low costs can be a tempting and affordable solution for budget-conscious customers. But how and why does Temu sell everything so cheaply? Here are a few explanations:

Low manufacturing costs 

Temu loses approximately $30 per order since it attempts to dominate the U.S. market by offering even cheaper pricing. According to China Merchants Securities, Temu’s cost-cutting measures cost the corporation between $588 and $954 million per year.

Temu also forces its manufacturers to drop their prices even further to suit discount-seeking buyers, leaving the manufacturers with little to no profit in return. Temu’s manufacturers can create and obtain materials to quickly provide Temu with trendy items, allowing Temu to market in-demand products. Although some manufacturers would want to offer their items at higher rates to earn a profit, Temu takes the final decision and regularly lowers pricing.

Dupes and knockoffs

Dupes and knockoffs 

It seems almost every electronic product on Temu is a counterfeit or “dupe” of a genuine, brand-name product. The majority of things sold on Temu are unbranded and mass-produced in China. 

Temu has “dupes” of numerous popular products, like Stanley insulated tumblers and Apple AirPods Max headphones, selling for much less than the real deal.

Temu claims to have direct access to suppliers, eradicating the need for a middleman between buyers and sellers. This business approach is the sole reason Temu acknowledges how it maintains its pricing low. However, a combination of low-cost products transported and created at little to no cost may be a more logical explanation.

The de minimis exception

Another explanation could be that Temu uses the de minimis exception to send items directly to U.S. clients at a low cost. U.S. Customs does not investigate or tax shipments with a de minimis value of $800 or less.

Along with avoiding U.S. Customs due to its low costs, Temu almost always avoids U.K. import duty, which is only levied on orders of £135 or more.

Is Temu a scam?

Is Temu a scam? – A note on investigations and allegations against Temu

Temu is a legit online retailer, and most products purchased will be mailed to you. However, several consumers have stated that the items they received never arrived, were damaged, or did not match the description via the Better Business Bureau. For example, certain products may be much smaller than promised or break easily due to poor manufacturing quality. 

All in all, Temu is a legit website, but be wary of flash deals that promise additional discounts. Temu’s website has been gamified – Pop-ups with wheels to spin for discounts, tickets to collect, and countdown clocks make it appear as if time is running out on offers, but they’re designed to entice customers to buy. As mentioned, Temu sellers frequently steal designs to avoid paying for developing their own intellectual property. 

The issue of forced labor is even more concerning. Temu has been recorded as using cotton from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where China has imprisoned Uyghurs in camps. This ongoing investigation into compliance with U.S. labor laws highlights the high risk that ordering products from Temu could come with a risk. According to a report on Temu by the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, Temu may be using forced labor from imprisoned Uyghurs. However, Temu denies these allegations. 

What are Temu's return policies?

What are Temu’s return policies?

Should you decide to buy anything on Temu, you should exercise the old ‘buyer beware’ principle, as your return rights may vary. However, like many other online retailers, Temy has a built-in return policy.

On Temu’s website, there is a 90-day return period following the date of purchase, which exceeds your consumer rights. Once you tell Temu of your intention to return the package, you have another 14 days to do so. 

Returning an item is done through your account on the app or website. You provide the reason for the return and the refund method you want to use: Temu credits or refunds via your original payment method.

Allegedly, Temu rarely requests merchandise returns. The cost of processing returned items is not worth it, given the cheap product costs.

Temu claims that refunds can take five to fourteen business days. This is not in accordance with the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 in the U.K., which require refunds to be made to customers within 14 days total. Refund policies vary by state in the U.S., so it’s worth checking what applies to you.

Does Temu sell your data?

Does Temu sell your data?  

Temu should be a safe place to buy from because it has the following security features:

  • HTTPS security on the Temu website 
  • Secure payment methods such as Google Pay, Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal
  • The Temu Purchase Protection Program gives a full refund if your purchase is not delivered, is not as advertised, or arrives damaged.

Temu, like other businesses, collects consumer data. As a result, you’ll need to carefully review its data and privacy policies to ensure that you agree with how it handles your information.

Companies in the United Kingdom are mandated under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) to be transparent about the data they collect and process. The information collected must be relevant and limited to what is required for processing.

However, the justifications for collecting information, such as a company’s ‘legitimate interests,’ are frequently expansive. While everything should be mentioned in a privacy policy, the fact is that when you click ‘accept’ unless you meticulously examine the fine print, you have little to no idea what will happen next with your data.

Temu’s Google Play Store entry encloses a list of specific data the company may need access to. Some of the elements on that list are there for a reason, such as crash logs and app diagnostics, for example, and most of it is similar to the data obtained by any other online shop.

As a quick overview, the Temu app can access your name, home address, email, phone number, payment information, and purchase information. Keep in mind most users will consent to these data-gathering techniques because they are required to run the app and make purchases.

While nothing is inherently unusual about any of the data collected here, you should be aware that it is held by a Chinese corporation with a history of alleged privacy violations.

Is it safe to use a credit card with Temu?

Is it safe to use a credit card with Temu?

Regarding concerns about using a credit card with Temu, the Temu website employs industry-standard security features, including HTTPS across all pages and TLS and SSL encryption methods when processing transactions.

As previously indicated, Temu’s transactional system will likely be as safe as Amazon, eBay, or any other online marketplace.

Conclusion – Should I shop with Temu?

Trustpilot user reviews are polarized. Of the 12,000+ reviews, 45% are five-star, while 34% are one-star. Many of the five-star reviewers include their referral codes in their reviews; keep in mind that they want to drive customers to Temu to earn credits from their recommendations. 

If you value money above all else, Temu may be for you – at least for low-cost or fun items. Don’t shop there based on too enthusiastic reviews or social media influencers – they make money by directing you to the app. 

It’s best to be aware of products that require safety, such as car seats and electrical items. Watch out for things that claim to be authentic; the price is a dead giveaway that they aren’t.

If the allegations surrounding Temu don’t sit well with you, or you’re worried about the security of your information, it may be safer to avoid shopping on Temu at all.

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