Is Temu a Scam or Legit? What to Know Before You Buy

Is Temu a Scam or Legit? What to Know Before You Buy

Key Takeaways

  • Temu is a legitimate marketplace owned and run by PDD Holdings. The company offers low prices since they (mostly) ship the products directly from China.
  • On Trustpilot, Temu has a 3.3-star rating. Some users have complained about late deliveries, items arriving broken or missing, and delays in getting refunds.
  • To shop safely on Temu, buy from sellers with excellent reviews, use temporary virtual cards, and use a VPN when you shop.


Since its launch in September 2022, Temu has gained rapid popularity in the US. However, users have expressed concerns about the legitimacy of the company for several reasons. We’ll cover why the company is viewed skeptically and how to shop securely on the platform if you really want to.

What Is Temu, and Why Is It So Cheap?

Temu is an online marketplace offering a decent range of products, including clothing, accessories, home essentials, and electronics, all at incredibly budget-friendly prices. The company’s manufacturing operations in China make these low prices possible through low labor costs and efficient large-scale production.

The company leverages the De Minimis Tax exemption law to minimize tax expenses, which enables it to offer products at discounted prices. Also, it has adapted a long-term strategy, which involves enduring initial losses to capture a large market share. This approach aims to achieve profitability as the company expands its operations on a broader scale.

What Do Customers Say About Temu?

Despite its popularity, Temu has an average rating of 3.3 stars on Trustpilot, and 33% of all ratings are 1-star. This indicates a large number of dissatisfied customers.

Temu ratings on Trustpilot.


After looking at what unhappy customers had to say, we found several complaints about their shopping experiences on the platform:

  • Late delivery of orders, with instances where items were marked as delivered but did not arrive.
  • Receiving used or broken items, or items were missing from the order.
  • Products delivered were different from what was advertised on the platform.
  • Customers received unbranded products instead of the branded ones they expected.
  • Reports of suspicious credit card charges after shopping on Temu.
  • Delays in receiving refunds, with prolonged wait times for customer support responses.

Nevertheless, it’s worth mentioning that representatives from Temu actively engage with each negative review on Trustpilot, offering solutions to the issues raised. This demonstrates the company’s dedication to addressing customer concerns and indicates its sincerity in maintaining positive customer relationships.

Is Temu Legitimate and Safe to Shop On?

The short answer is yes, Temu is legit. The marketplace is owned and operated by PDD Holdings, which was initially registered in the Cayman Islands before relocating its incorporation to Dublin in 2023. Since 2022, the company has been legally operating in the United States. Therefore, it is safe to conclude that the platform itself is legitimate.

However, there are valid concerns that may lead to skepticism. At the time of writing, the platform doesn’t have accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which signifies that a business meets rigorous standards for customer care, complies with local and federal regulations, and is trustworthy.

In March 2023, Google suspended an app called Pinduoduo, owned by Temu’s parent company. The suspension occurred due to the discovery of malware in the app, which enabled it to circumvent user security permissions, access private messages, alter settings, and view data from other apps. Google suggested users avoid using the app to keep their devices safe.


Moreover, most sellers on the platform are third-party, and many operate from outside the United States. The delivered products lacking proper quality control, and some sellers dishonestly label non-branded items as branded. Also, there’s doubt about the authenticity of reviews, as they might be manipulated to boost the listing’s ranking, making it harder to trust the platform.

Despite legitimate concerns, 47 percent of Temu’s customers still rate it five stars. So, you can find good deals at much lower prices if you shop carefully. Which leads to the important question: how can you shop safely?

How to Shop Safely on Temu

By following basic safety measures, you can avoid scams while shopping on Temu. First, avoid using your official email address to create an account; instead, use a dummy email. Likewise, don’t connect your credit card or bank account directly to the platform. Instead, transfer funds to a virtual card and use that for your purchases.

Before making a purchase, carefully evaluate sellers on Temu. Review recent feedback, especially the 1-star reviews, to understand unsatisfied customers’ experiences. Opt to buy from sellers with the highest number of reviews and top ratings who have been active on the platform for several years. Avoid falling for limited-time discounts offered by untrustworthy sellers.

Hands holding credit card and using laptop to shop online.

Only items bearing a blue checkmark are branded, while those without may be non-branded items from third-party sellers. Be cautious not to overpay for non-branded items. Also, minimize sharing personal information beyond what is necessary, and consider using a VPN connection while shopping on the platform for added security.

If you don’t receive the product, it differs from the advertised description, or it arrives damaged, you can use Temu’s Purchase Protection Program for a full refund. In cases of delayed delivery, Temu issues a $5 credit for standard shipping or a $13 credit for express shipping to your account.

Is Temu Worth It?

Temu’s standard shipping typically takes 4 to 14 days, while express shipping usually takes 3 to 7 days. Also, considering user complaints about delayed shipping, Temu may not be the best option if you need to purchase something urgently, especially for special occasions like birthday gifts or Christmas presents.

If you’re not in a rush and can tolerate some delivery delays, Temu might be a good option for budget-friendly shopping. You should avoid high-value items, like electronics, to minimize your risk if a seller is fraudulent.

Also, it could be worthwhile to compare the prices of items on Temu with those on other specialized marketplaces, such as Shein for garments or Target for household goods and electronics. If the price differences aren’t huge, you can confidently purchase from the platform you trust the most.


Temu is a legitimate marketplace, but there are valid reasons to approach it skeptically. Follow the safety tips mentioned above when shopping on the platform. If you get duped, use Temu’s refund policy to get a refund on your purchase. Additionally, consider exploring alternatives to Temu if you find better value elsewhere.


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Written by Politixia


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