How Does Temu Work?

Temu is an e-commerce platform owned by the Chinese company PDD Holdings, founded in 2022. In just a few months it has become very popular thanks to extremely competitive prices on a wide range of products. Temu offers the possibility of purchasing electronics, home, fashion , accessories and much more at significantly lower costs than other e-commerce sites.

The key to Temu’s success lies in its combination of low pricescoupons , and special offers such as “diamonds” that users can redeem for additional discounts. In addition, the platform guarantees fast delivery times, valid customer service, and simple procedures for returns and refunds.

How does Temu work?

Temu is based on the dropshipping model: sellers are not necessarily manufacturers but resellers who sell items made by third parties. The goal is to sell a large variety of products at rock-bottom prices.

Users can earn “diamonds” and “coins” by playing mini-games on the app or inviting friends to sign up with their referral code. These virtual currencies are then converted into coupons that can be used to purchase products that are practically free.

Furthermore, the more an item sells out, the lower its price is to encourage new purchases . This creates a virtuous circle.

To pay you can use credit and debit cards, in addition to the bonuses earned on the platform itself.

How to use Temu?

Using this e-commerce platform is very intuitive. This store is conveniently available not only from mobile on dedicated apps for Android and iOS but also via a website for PC. We recommend using the app, because it is easier to accumulate coins and coupons.

After registering with your email address and password or logging in with an account, you can search for products that interest you. The homepage shows you the featured offers, popular items and all available product categories. There is also a search engine, where you can enter a term to find what you want in a targeted way.

Once you have chosen a product you can see all the details, such as description, price, customer feedback and shipping options . You can add it to your cart immediately or save the item to buy it later. Before checkout you must enter the delivery address. Then you can proceed to payment, choosing whether to use a coupon or a debit/credit card.

Is Temu safe?

Security is always a concern when shopping online, especially on new and lesser-known sites and apps like Temu. However, there are some elements that suggest that this platform is reliable :

  • Temu is owned by PDD Holdings, a large Chinese company listed on the stock exchange. It is therefore not an improvised shop but a marketplace with solid foundations;
  • payments are made through circuits such as Visa and Mastercard, so transactions are protected and the card data does not directly touch Temu;
  • the app uses SSL encryption toprotect personal information entered by users;
  • To date, there have been no reports of widespread fraud, data theft, or other serious security issues.

A common concern when using lesser-known apps is whether they collect sensitive data or track users’ activities without their knowledge. As for Temu, the platform asks for standard permissions to function, such as access to the camera, microphone, and location. This is normal for an e-commerce site, where the camera is used to scan codes or acquire documents, for example.

The privacy policy then explains that Temu collects only the data necessary to provide the service, such as email, username and payment and shipping details entered voluntarily by users. This information is stored on protected servers and not sold or shared with third parties.

Therefore, no evident critical issues emerge regarding the management of personal data. Temu seems to follow best practices and not use the information collected to profile users or sell them to advertisers.

What are the delivery times for Temu and do you pay customs?

Temu takes on average 1-3 days to process and ship your order . Standard delivery of products takes 5-14 days and is free. Alternatively, you can choose express shipping (which costs about €6.90) in which case times are reduced to 3-8 days.

You can track the status of your order from dispatch to delivery. If there are any delivery issues, you can file a claim within 90 days of purchase for a refund.

In general, Temu manages to avoid having European customers pay customs duties by often using warehouses in the territories of the Union. By shipping from these, Temu manages to reduce delivery times and avoid the problem of duties.

How do returns and refunds work on Temu?

In case of defective items or items that do not meet your expectations, the store allows you to easily make returns and refunds within 90 days of purchase.

Simply access the “ Your Orders ” section , select the “ Return/More Help ” option and follow the wizard. After printing the return label, simply send the product back complete with all the original accessories to obtain a refund.

The first return for each order is free, while subsequent returns cost €4 .

As for the reimbursement methods, you can opt for a Temu credit or for a real cash credit. In the first case it takes just a few minutes, in the second it can take from 5 to 30 days depending on the bank.

Why are the prices on Temu so low?

The rock-bottom prices practiced by Temu are the result of various strategies implemented by the company:

  • Dropshipping: not being manufacturers, Temu and its sellers are able to contain warehouse and inventory management costs
  • High volumes: large quantities of products ordered from suppliers allow for better prices
  • Coupons and discounts: user incentives (obtainable for example with the “diamonds” mechanism) further lower prices
  • Lower labor costs in China: Chinese suppliers, as is well known, can afford lower prices thanks to reduced wages and taxes
  • Minimum Margin: Temu and his sellers aim to earn money through high quantities rather than through the margin on each individual item.

Differences between Temu and AliExpress

Without too many turns of phrase, Temu’s main competitor is definitely AliExpress ; the two apps are very similar and often the prices are almost the same .

In fact, we always recommend that you check the things you intend to buy on AliExpress too , since it has an overlapping service, in terms of delivery times and protection, but even more choice. The greater choice can allow you to make good deals. AliExpress, in fact, has a number of sellers and products about 10 times higher than those present on Temu, demonstrating a longer activity on the market.

At the same time, however, Temu is rapidly catching up , with rapid growth since its launch in 2022. Finally, while Temu sells almost exclusively everyday items, AliExpress also includes professional or industrial products .

An important difference between Temu and AliExpress is the methods for obtaining discounts. While AliExpress relies almost exclusively on generic coupons or promo codes, Temu has a more sophisticated system based on “diamonds” and virtual coins that users can earn by inviting friends and doing other activities. These internal currencies then allow you to purchase at almost zero prices.

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