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Is Temu safe?

Temu is a popular online shopping app, but it's also drawing quite a bit of scrutiny.


Kahron Spearman


Posted on Oct 15, 2023   Updated on Nov 18, 2023, 3:17 pm CST

Is Temu safe?

In the age of digital commerce, the e-commerce platform Temu, with its promise of shopping “like a billionaire,” has been steadily climbing the charts. But as with any meteoric rise, the site is under intense scrutiny as a CBS News article explored in July 2023. Though it’s one of the top apps on both Apple and Google, the question remains.

Several sellers from established e-commerce giant Amazon have accused Temu of duplicating their entire storefronts. This has led to allegations of trademark infringement and unauthorized sales, drawing even more suspicion to the platform.

Let’s explore the question “is Temu safe?” here.

How are Temu customer reviews and what do those say?

As a one-stop shop mirroring Amazon, Temu lists many products, many at attractively low prices. However, many users have reported unsatisfactory experiences, ranging from incomplete deliveries to poor customer service. While some applaud the platform for its low prices and product range, others lament about damaged goods, missing orders, and seemingly unresponsive customer service.

Yet, Temu’s website mentions a “Purchase Protection Program,” designed to safeguard buyers against damaged, misrepresented, or undelivered items. Given the number of complaints about Temu, though, the effectiveness and reach of this program might not yet be fully validated.

Influence on social media: Real or staged?

TikTok has become a hub for sharing Temu experiences. While negative reviews abound, there are haul videos, often from users affiliated with Temu, showcasing purchased products. Some users genuinely applaud the platform, but others warn of product quality and durability.

In particular, allegations surrounding counterfeit Air Jordan sneakers have tarnished Temu’s reputation. While competitors like Shein removed the accused items, Temu continues to list similar products.

Reliability concerns and accreditation

As the CBS News article noted, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has graded Temu with a C-minus, citing numerous complaints since the company’s inception. Although labeled unreliable by many, the BBB stops short of designating Temu as a scam.

The lack of BBB accreditation could stem from Temu’s choice or mere inability to meet BBB’s standards. Given the rapid rise of “fast fashion” sites, the U.S.-China Economic Security Review Commission has also voiced concerns about Temu’s affiliations, product quality, and possible copyright infringements.

Allegations of Amazon ‘cloning’

Temu’s method of listing products from third-party sellers has led to claims of “cloning” Amazon storefronts. Several legal battles have emerged, with brands accusing Temu of unauthorized duplication and sales.

In a notable instance, Hicober, a trademarked brand, sued Temu for selling its products without consent. Temu defended by shifting the blame to third-party sellers.

Is Temu safe when it comes to data security?

Data security concerns involving Temu, reported on by the Daily Dot, have intensified due to the platform’s links with PDD Holdings, a China-based parent company, per Safe Wise. Numerous reports suggest potential banking or card details misuse, with unfamiliar charges appearing after making Temu transactions.

The app’s permissions, while consistent with many other platforms, could still be seen as invasive. Hence, for utmost privacy, caution is advised.

Rumors and controversies around Temu

Rapid growth often leads to controversy, and Temu is no exception. Rumors about data collection for China and intellectual property infringement lawsuits with Shein have further clouded the platform’s image.

The sister site of Temu, Pinduoduo, faced a suspension over malware, according to a September 2023 DW article, causing Temu to distance itself from the tainted platform.

Product quality and delivery

Despite the allure of low costs and timely shipping, quality and delivery remain points of contention. Temu might fit into the ‘buyer beware’ category, where product delivery and quality are unpredictable. However, they offer a unique selling proposition where late deliveries result in customer credits, ensuring an added layer of trust for timely arrivals.

So, considering all this, is Temu safe?

In an era where online shopping dominates, platforms like Temu rise with the promise of affordability and variety. However, with at least one shopper contending their PayPal account got hacked after using Temu, buyer discretion is absolutely essential. While the platform offers unique benefits, potential risks cannot be ignored.

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*First Published: Oct 15, 2023, 3:36 pm CDT