Everyone is talking about the new Temu website/shopping app, especially after their Super Bowl commercial aired last weekend. I’ve been seeing app ads for awhile, and was wondering if this was a legitimate company, or some kind of “shipped from China, takes months for items to arrive, and the quality is poor” type of thing. I did some research, and the company is US-based and seems legitimate. So, I decided to make a small test purchase to evaluate them for myself.
When I got to their site on February 15, 2023, 3:40pm, I saw this:
I thought, “Wow, what a great opportunity to buy something small and see how it goes. Note that the top banner from the site, as well as the smaller green banner on the page, show “Free shipping on all orders” with a countdown clock showing 11 hours and change left in the promotion.
So I added an item to my cart and went to check out. Imagine my surprise when I was notified that I needed to buy more to meet the $10 minimum free shipping threshold! Assuming it was an error (I mean….see the HUGE BANNER saying “Free Shipping on all orders”….) I pulled up an online chat with customer service. I was told that, in fact, it’s too expensive for them to offer free shipping on small orders, and that there is a $10 minimum. That makes sense, and is actually a fairly LOW minimum amount for free shipping. My issue is that, if they KNOW this, and WON’T offer free shipping for orders under $10, WHY ON EARTH would they plaster their site with promises of free shipping on ALL orders? Why not just advertise free shipping on all orders over $10? That way, they’re still advertising a good deal, but they’re being honest and upfront.
I told the Temu chat agent that I’d be reviewing their site based on my experience as a would-be customer. After stating repeatedly that she was sorry I had a bad experience, but I had to meet the $10 minimum for free shipping, she finally said: “We have removed the amount restriction for placing an order. You can now try clicking on the ‘continue to checkout’ button on the page to complete your order.”
This was, in fact, done, and I was able to take advantage of the “free shipping on all orders” promotion. However, it took a great deal of back-and-forth with customer service to get Temu to honor the offer on their site. So I guess the takeaway is that, if you’re insistent enough, Temu will honor offers on their own website. I’m still very disappointed in the overall experience.
Anyway, here’s the picture from the Temu site of the item I was finally able to order; my order confirmation said it should arrive by February 28. When it does, I’ll share an actual photo for comparison purposes, along with my thoughts about the item quality.
Update: I checked the tracking through the Temu website on February 20, and saw the following:
So…despite the company having a US-based headquarters, it DOES appear that at least some of their items are shipped from overseas. I’ll update again when the item arrives, including any information about customs charges. Another red flag for me…if they’re shipping items from China, this should definitely be disclosed upfront.
Final Update: The item arrived on February 23, several days before the date estimated when I placed the order. However, it was shipped from Ontario, Canada (hence the airport/customs reference earlier). The back of the package was marked “made in China”. So, despite allegedly being a US company, it doesn’t seem that their warehouses/shipping facilities are actually in the US, at least based on this purchase. That said, they disclosed the estimated arrival date upfront, and the order arrived ahead of time.
Item quality: I was pleased with the item. The listing said “around 100”, and I counted exactly 100. While I didn’t compare each charm I received with the ones pictures, I can verify that quite a few are the same as shown. I didn’t notice any obvious duplicates, either. The charms ARE the size stated on the website, and seem to be of good quality. I purchased these for craft purposes. While definitely not fine jewelry, I think they’d also work for a charm bracelet. (Note: If you’re considering purchasing for a charm bracelet, the loops at the top of each charm are closed, so the bracelet links would have to open to attach them.)
Final thoughts: A mixed bag. The cons: Still no clear indication that, aside from a headquarters building, there’s anything US-based about Temu. The company did not want to honor the free shipping offer on their website. Shipping is slow, but disclosed upfront. The pros: The item arrived before the estimated date, and I was pleased with the quality, especially for the price.
Will I shop there again?: Possibly. If I’m bored and have time to browse, I might place a larger test order. If I’m in the market for something specific that I’m not in a hurry to get, I might price-check. If I do, I’ll share it here!