What is Temu? This shopping app might scam users, here’s how


2 October 2023 - 10:26

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What is the Temu app? Why are people afraid it might be a scam? Some of these claims on this new shopping site might be substantiated.

What is Temu? This shopping app might scam users, here's how

Temu is a China-based shopping platform that has recently boomed in popularity. Its slogan - "Shop like a billionaire" - has now gone viral. In many ways, Temu is similar to other e-commerce platforms like Wish or Aliexpress, but its claims of safety breaches could make it a dangerous app to shop from.

Let’s see in detail what it is, how it works, and all the other most important information.

What is Temu

Temu is an e-commerce platform owned by the Chinese company PDD Holdings. Born in 2022, Temu - whose name is an acronym that stands for team up price down - has quickly climbed the rankings of the most downloaded apps of both Apple and Google Play stores, since it allows users to make purchases at very competitive prices thanks, for example, to the coupons and discounts that it makes available.

Many things have been said about it: there are those who complain about the poor quality of the products and also those who have raised doubts regarding the ethical aspects of the prices. What everyone seems to agree on - for the moment - are the delivery times, which are quick and punctual, and the assistance, which is equally good.

The products that can be purchased come from China and are very varied: electronics, household products, clothes, accessories, gadgets, and so on.

Their main feature is the price: in fact, it very often happens that the cost of the products available is significantly lower than the market average.

By way of example, on Temu it is possible to find smartwatch under 30 dollars, while on other platforms the price for this type of product is significantly higher.

How does Temu work

Temu is a platform based on dropshipping, meaning that those who sell on it are not necessarily a manufacturer, but can also be a reseller who put products made by others on the market.

Temu’s strong point is the ability to sell extremely varied goods at extremely competitive prices. The rapid diffusion of the platform is also due to a combination of strategies and marketing moves that the company has chosen to make, such as those linked to diamonds and coins.

These can be obtained in multiple ways, such as through minigames occasionally available on the platform, and can be used to obtain coupons.

Among those available, the simplest and most profitable method is to invite friends to sign up, in order to obtain diamonds. These items have no inherent value but can be exchanged for coupons to facilitate "free" purchases.

Inviting new users is necessary to obtain diamonds. The code to use for invitations changes every 24 hours.

Furthermore, Temu’s strategy is based on increasingly lowering the prices of the most successful products. In fact, the more people buy a certain object, the more its cost decreases, becoming even more potentially attractive.

To pay on the app, you can use vouchers or major credit/debit cards.

Temu’s delivery times

Regarding product deliveries, Temu has specific policies in this regard. Order processing, as stated on the site, takes approximately 1 to 3 days. Once the order has been processed correctly, the time to receive the products may vary depending on the shipping method you have selected: standard shipping (which is free), takes from 5 to 14 days ; the express one, on the other hand, costs 6.90 euros, but only requires from 3 to 8 days to receive your order.

This can be tracked from the time of receipt to delivery directly on the platform. If there are any problems with delivery, you can send a report within 90 days of making your purchase.

How Temu return procedure works

If the products purchased on Temu do not meet your needs, they can be returned following a very simple procedure listed in detail on the company website.

To be returned, products must have been purchased within the previous 90 days at most, must be accompanied by the complete set with which they were sold, and - if they are clothes - must not have been worn. There are also some products that are included in the "non-returnable" list, such as freebies, however they are a minority.

Furthermore, as stated on the site, it is not possible to make changes on purchases. If you select a product and want to replace it later, you must first return it and then proceed with another order.

To make a return, simply login to your Temu account, go to the "Your orders" section, select "Return/More help" and follow the instructions.

After printing the return request, you can download the label from the site to apply to the box of the product you intend to return and send it. The first return for each order is free, while the cost for subsequent returns is 4.00 euros. The label can be found in the “Returns” section on the platform. To ensure that the return is successful, it is necessary to send the relevant package within 14 days from the moment the request was made.

How Temu refunds work

Once you have sent a product purchased on Temu to make a return, it is time to understand how you intend to receive your credit. This can be provided in two ways: through Temu credit, i.e. in the form of vouchers that can be spent on the platform, or through actual money, which can also be spent elsewhere.

For the first option, only a few minutes are needed, while in the second case, it can take from 5 to 30 days, depending on the credit institution you rely on. It is also necessary to keep in mind that before obtaining the credit connected to the return, Temu requires the time necessary to carry out checks relating to the package that has been sent.

Is Temu safe?

Until a few days ago, Temu looked like the usually innocent e-commerce app, selling low-quality gadgets and products for cheap prices.

However, a recent report by Grizzly Research showed that Temu collects users’ data without their explicit permission, using software normally related to malware or spyware.

Following this research, the Swiss IT security company Joe Security LLC found that indeed Temu’s code was "malicious".

The app is now considered a national security threat and should be used with caution. A good solution if you want to keep shopping on Temu without being spied on would be downloading the app on an old phone, possibly disconnected from every social network and maybe using a public Wi-Fi network instead of the one in your home.

Original article published on Money.it Italy 2023-09-12 17:00:00. Original title: Cos’è Temu? Come funziona, conviene comprare?


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