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Me, Myself, Maranda

Fat Girl Life & Style Blog

REVIEW: First Temu Shopping Experience

This Temu shopping review post is not sponsored. I’m not paid by, nor affiliated with, the Temu app or company in any way, although the Temu direct links MAY facilitate referral rewards for me. This is my honest opinion based on personal experience.

What Is Temu?

Temu app logo in orange color.

I’ll be sharing my first impression and Temu shopping review today, but since it’s a relatively new site / app, allow me to introduce it to you first. (If you’re already familiar with it, please feel free to skip ahead to the next section.)

Temu was launched in September, 2022. Essentially, Temu is another online marketplace supplied by made-in-China goods that ship conveniently direct-to-consumer.

Temu seems built very similar to Shein. You’ll find some of the same products in both places. That’s actually what first caught my eye. (If you’re familiar with Wish or AliExpress, then Temu should ring the same bells.)

According to Temu, it’s “an online marketplace offering quality merchandise from the world’s top suppliers and brands to consumers at wholesale prices anytime, anywhere, and in any quantity.” Temu is a member of PDD Holdings (Nasdaq: PDD), facilitating a global supply and logistics chain.

Temu’s mantra is “Team Up, Price Down!”

Temu First Impressions

I stumbled on Temu in the app store around its time of launch. When I saw that it used the same interface and graphics as Shein, I decided to take advantage of the “new user special” (30% off first order, plus free shipping), mainly to see if it was, in fact, the same or better than Shein itself.

Many products are similar (if not exactly the same) as those I’ve seen on Shein, especially with regard to jewelry, enamel pins, makeup / beauty accessories, and some clothing. Temu, however, seems to have a much wider range of household goods, hobby equipment, and general merchandise. But, unlike Shein, Temu is not centered around clothing.

Screenshot of a welcome page for Temu online featuring a prominent banner with the title "New User Gift", followed by a line of random products (showing heavy discounts) below.
“New User Gift” area, with hundreds of heavily-discounted products to choose from.

For the first order, it also offered me a one-time-only deal of up to 90% off an item from a special “New User Gift” category (sample screenshot of this above). There were hundreds of items to choose from in this special section, but one item caught my eye: a camera tripod for my DSLR at $1.49. (Basically the only item I saw that I actually need at the moment.)

I gave myself a $10 spend limit for this trial run.

Ended up with 14 items in my cart (more details below).

I spent a grand total of $9.82.

First Temu Order: Shipping

First thing’s first: let’s talk about Temu’s shipping. I know a lot of folks are weary of ordering from these import marketplaces because everything ships from overseas. Yes, that means you should expect a longer time in transit. This is not Amazon Prime.

My order processed on November 4th, and arrived on November 14th. Ten days is entirely reasonable, almost impressive, in my opinion. UPS delivered the package. Full tracking history shows that it was delayed by one day due to UPS’s fault, even.

To help instill buyer confidence, Temu also offers a $5 credit if your order is received late*. Considering that Temu doesn’t have much control over transit times once the products leave warehouses, I’d say that’s pretty generous. (*Temu’s definition of “late” is arriving after the transit / delivery estimate that Temu sets when you place your order.)

So shipping is good… but packaging is bad. My order arrived in rough shape. With no more coverage than a thin plastic mailing bag, it showed some rips and appeared to have been re-taped at some point in its journey.

A camera tripod, laying on its side, shows a handle piece broken off.
My poor New User Gift tripod arrived broken.

Nothing was missing, thankfully… but the tripod was damaged.

Wouldn’t you know, the one thing I was most excited about – especially for a buck fiddy – was broken. Sad face.

(Yes, it shipped inside a box, but the box had been smashed on one side.)

Time to test Temu’s refund policy and customer service!

I immediately logged in, navigated to the order page, and submitted a claim of “damaged” along with this photo. I chose the option for Temu “credit” (with immediate refund).

(Alternatively, you can choose to have the refund sent back to your original payment method; this process takes 3-5 business days.)

I received an email confirmation that my account had been credited the amount of the tripod shortly after. Safe to say, Temu backs its return / refund policy and is speedy with processing.

However… I’m bummed there’s no option for them to ship me another one. I used my one-time-only “New User Gift” promo on a decent tripod that I actually needed… and ended up with $1.13 Temu credit instead, no option to re-do. That’s not nice.

The conspiracy theorist in me is wondering if all the “New User Gift” items are actually factory seconds or pre-damaged / salvage items, and the tripod was already trash before it shipped… But I’m going to squelch that nasty thought and give them the benefit of the doubt on this.

First Temu Order: Products

Aside from the transit damage to the tripod, let’s talk about the quality of Temu products.

Let me get this part out of the way: you get what you pay for. Do I need to say that louder? YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. I am not expecting high-dollar quality on uber-cheap items that ship directly from warehouses in China. I just like to shop online, and I like to get mail, and I like shiny, frivolous things, and I’m a cheapskate.

In fact, sometimes I feel guilty for supporting fast fashion and this type of merchandise that fosters less-than-desirable manufacturing processes, possible worker exploitation, global warming… Yeah, I get it. But that’s a conversation for another day.

Keeping in mind that you get what you pay for, I’ll say that I was quite satisfied with the quality of items received. (If you’re familiar with Shein, you’ll be expecting about the same type and quality of goods.)

Stock photo of tripod product from Temu.
Credit: Temu

Three-legged SLR Cellphone Digital Camera Light Stand – regular price $34.99, today’s price $17.87 (I paid $1.49 plus 30% discount, plus tax, $1.13 total)

My review: aside from arriving damaged from poor packaging, the quality was on-par with cheaper tripods I’ve previously owned. The components are not the sturdiest, but it would certainly get the job done (if it doesn’t arrive broken like mine) on relatively flat surfaces. I’d say it’s worth $15 to $20.

Stock photo of enamel pin with designer's digital toolbox from Temu.
Credit: Temu

Various assortment of enamel pins (because I have a “collecting” problem) – each regularly priced between $1.49 to $2.99 and offered “on sale” for 49 cents to 89 cents.

My review: very good quality for the “sale” pricing. Hell, these are worth the “regular” prices, for that matter. Vibrant colors, durable metal (no plastic).

My favorite of the bunch is the retro Photoshop look of the Design Toolbar Enamel Pin, shown here, which I’d never seen before. I paid $0.89.

Stock image of transparent scrapbook stickers from Temu.
Credit: Temu

30pcs Transparent Jar Scrapbooking Stickers – regular price $2.99, I paid “on sale” $1.30

My review: great material, great price. I’ll be trying these in my Happy Planner to “laminate” small mementos to a page (think: feathers, grains of sand, fall leaves). Fun way to preserve tiny, flat things. One complaint: the packaging was split open and I had to collect all 30 loose pieces.

Stock image of four makeup sponges in clear plastic case from Temu.

Soft Beauty Egg Sponge Powder Puff Air CushionI paid $0.91 (not sure if that’s regular price)

My review: phenomenal price for four makeup sponges. Quality seems great. I appreciate the plastic case they came in (for easy drying) as well.

Not pictured: two packages of small stickers (115 pieces total; each set cost about a dollar) and a fishnet lingerie set ($1.87 and worth every damn penny).

Final Thoughts on Temu

If you’re familiar and friendly with Shein, Wish, or AliExpress, you may want to give Temu a try. Or, at the very least, keep it on your radar for price comparisons. Watch for special promotions and Lightning Deals (flash sales) whenever free shipping is offered. Take advantage of “new user” opportunities including welcome bonuses and, of course, the “New User Gift”. Cross your fingers that you have better luck with that than I did.

If you dislike the disposable world of fast fashion, don’t trust Chinese imports, or can’t wait a couple weeks for an order to arrive, keep scrolling. Temu is not for you.

Personally, I’m planning to give it another try as we approach the holidays specifically for cat beds, cat toys, and pet stocking stuffers. I will most certainly order more enamel pins for myself. And I can never turn down a good deal on stickers, washi tape, and planner supplies!

But, I’m still having fun with Shein as well. It’ll be interesting to see how these two apps develop – whether as “competition” or as a merger – down the road.

If you haven’t downloaded the app yet, please consider using this link to do so. Follow the instructions to activate the code.

Although the referral bonuses seem to change from time to time, we’ll both benefit!

What about you? Have you ordered from Temu? Please share your experience – the good, the bad, or the literal ugly – in the comments below.