Is Temu Legit or Scam? 5 things to know about the Chinese cheap store

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Is Temu legit or scam?
  • Is Temu legit? The online shopping app Temu seems to be pretty much everywhere these days. Behind it is the Chinese company Pinduoduo Holdings.
  • Despite the hype, there is more than enough criticism of the online retailer, including poor working conditions and poor quality.
  • We explain five things you should know about the Chinese cheap store – for example, which customs fees may apply when shipping to Nigeria.

The Chinese online shopping app Temu seems to be almost ubiquitous at the moment. The app, which advertises itself with the slogan “Shop like a billionaire” and is known for bargain prices, has dominated the download charts of the app stores for weeks and is often compared to similarly cheap providers such as Shein, Wish or AliExpress.

But what’s behind the hype? And is Temu legit or scam?

We explain five things you should know about the Chinese cheap store.

What is Temu?

Temu is an online shop from the Chinese company PDD Holdings, which has also been available in Europe since April 2023. Similar to its competitor Alibaba, Temu is a marketplace. The provider does not sell its own products, but usually has them delivered directly by Chinese manufacturers – one of the reasons for the low prices.

In addition to these, a flood of online marketing and paid product presentations on social media has catapulted the trading platform’s app to number one in the download chart.

There is also criticism of the company. Pinduoduo, the first store of NASDAQ-listed parent company PDD, is said to have contained malware.

The product safety of the items can hardly be checked, according to the consumer advice center, many technical items do not have the CE mark. And with the often individual shipping by plane, the sustainability is questionable.

1) Is Temu legit or a scam?

Even if the items on offer and the sometimes absurdly low prices seem like a scam at first glance – the Temu website is genuine and not a scam.

Nevertheless, offers that sound too good to be true should make you suspicious. Often they are just that. Numerous reviews on Trustpilot also warn against this.

In addition, there is more than enough criticism of the online retailer there: it ranges from shipments not received and battered packages to wrongly delivered goods and problems with the return to the miserable quality of the items and unavailable customer service.

Since very different suppliers sell their products at Temu, you can be lucky or unlucky with your order. Even if an order goes smoothly, you may have problems with the next product.

Opinions about Temu are also divided on social media. Some users complain about the poor working conditions and poor quality.

2) Who or what is behind Temu?

The Chinese company Pinduoduo Holdings (PDD) is behind Temu. According to Forbes, it was founded by Hua Lin Cai and Zheng Huang in 2015 and now employs almost 13,000 people. PDD is currently listed on the US technology exchange NASDAQ at 107.12 billion dollars.

The group had already founded the Pinduoduo online marketplace before Temu. However, this was criticized – among other things because of malware in the app.

3) Why is Temu so cheap?

Unlike Amazon, for example, the online retailer does not sell its own products. Instead, the goods are sent directly from the producers in China. In most cases, these are no-name products. Direct shipping saves a lot of costs, but also has many disadvantages.

Temu has also been criticized for the fact that many of the products on offer are produced under conditions that are unfavorable for the workers and are poorly paid. This also has an impact on the low prices.

Another factor is the quality of the items offered. In many cases, this leaves a lot to be desired. A majority of Temu products appear to be extremely cheaply made and not designed for long-term use.

4) Does Temu ship to Nigeria?

Does Temu ship to Nigeria?

Yes, the online shop is currently shipping to Nigeria. While Temu has been available in the US since last year, the online marketplace has been available in some African countries since April this year.

In addition to Nigeria, Temu is available in South Africa, Ghana, Egypt, Kenya and Morocco, among others.

Shipping to European countries, such as the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Italy is also possible.

5) Do you have to pay customs fees at Temu?

If you buy something abroad, you may have to pay customs costs when importing it into Nigeria. Since goods ordered on Temu are shipped directly from China, the question of customs duties is also obvious here.

According to information from customs, however, these only apply if the material value of the goods exceeds $10 – this applies to most items at Temu.

When importing items worth more than $10 into Nigeria, a 5% VAT payment is required. Additionally, customs duty applies, the rate varying by the imported product’s category. Here are specific examples:

Customs Tax Rates Description
35% Dry food and supplements
20% Fashion
20% Health and beauty
20% Watches

It’s important to note that Nigeria does not have an official De Minimis customs duty threshold for imported goods.

As MarketsXplora previously reported, however, these costs appear to be covered by Temu or are therefore already included when ordering. You can find out more about which customs costs may apply and how returns work at Temu in the following article.

So before you give in to the lure of Temu’s low prices and huge selection, you should think twice.

Find out about the products, do not expect high quality, and consider that you may receive something completely different from what you ordered.

If you just want to test the online shop, it is advisable to first order a few small things for a little money. This will protect you from possible trouble.