What is Temu, and is it Legit?

5th January, 2024
What is Temu, and is it Legit? featured image
3min Read
Author: Hannah

Temu is an affordable online shop selling everything from air fryers to keyboards and fake trainers to BBQ tools. Based in Boston and owned by Pinduoduo, this online retailer has gained global popularity since launching in September 2022. This success is partly because of its relentless social media presence and shockingly low prices. Apple announced that Temu was the most downloaded free iPhone app in the UK in 2023, a testament to its recent rise to fame. 

Despite its triumph, the same questions remain on everyone’s lips. What is Temu, and is it a legitimate company? 

How does it work?

Temu stands out from the crowd with its special features, which have helped it become successful. 

1. Advertising

Rising inflation has forced many companies to slash marketing budgets in recent years, but not Temu. In February 2023, it reportedly paid $14m for two 30-second slots during the Super Bowl LVII.

It’s no coincidence that social media is inundated with orange logos and unusual products listed at unbelievable prices. It’s all part of the platform’s plan to grow its marketing and become bigger than Shein, Amazon, Wish, and other competitors.

2. Referral Schemes 

This online retailer has taken referral schemes to the next level. It gives users credit or free items to feature on their social media channels. 

Has anyone ever offered you a Temu discount code or Temu coupon code while scrolling Instagram or TikTok? If so, this is because they are part of Temu’s huge affiliate program. The affiliate program rewards members for promoting products, writing positive Temu reviews, and generating traffic to their websites. 

3. Gamification

The Temu shopping experience claims to allow customers to ‘shop like a billionaire.’ The app features bright colours, quirky animations, and playful mini-games to engage users and drive sales. While this interactive design has led some to wonder, is Temu real? It has proven an effective marketing strategy, particularly amongst Gen Z.  

Why is it so cheap?

The appeal of Temu is clear – it’s the cheapest retailer on the market. But how can it offer such a vast array of products at such discounted prices? 

The first reason is that they link customers to manufacturers who ship products directly from China. This eliminates the middlemen and means that they can offer free shipping. It also appears that the Chinese shopping app is willing to accept significant losses to become well-known worldwide and compete with giants like Amazon. 

Is it Legit?

Temu is somewhat mysterious and has yet to reveal its exact revenue figures. Reports of undelivered packages, unexpected charges, incorrect orders and unresponsive customer service have added to the controversy surrounding this commercial giant. 

So, is Temu legit? It’s a tough question to answer, and there are certainly red flags around how it manages customer data and where it sources its products. However, what is clear is that in less than two years, this company has become a global phenomenon. A feat that has been achieved almost entirely through its marketing efforts!