Why Is Temu So Cheap? [All You Need To Know]

why is temu so cheap

Temu is a relatively new online shopping platform that has quickly gained popularity due to its incredibly low prices. It offers a wide range of products, mostly shipped directly from China.

Launched in July 2022 by the Chinese e-commerce giant PDD Holdings, it has quickly become one of the most downloaded shopping apps in the world.

If you have ever shop at Temu, then you most have stumbled upon Temu website, the mobile app with mind-bogglingly cheap products, ranging from AirPods lookalikes to trendy clothing at rock-bottom prices. Is it hard not to be tempted, but with such unbelievable deals, the question lingers: why is Temu so cheap?

This guide sets the stage for an exploration into the fascinating  factors behind Temu's low prices. Buckle up, as we go into details:

Why Is Temu So Cheap?

Temu's extremely low prices have certainly raised eyebrows, and there are several factors contributing to this:

1. Cost-Cutting Measures:

  • Direct sourcing: Temu connects buyers directly with Chinese manufacturers, eliminating middlemen and their markups. This model can significantly reduce costs compared to traditional retail chains.
  • Lower production costs: Manufacturing in China often comes with lower labor and material costs compared to Western countries, contributing to cheaper product prices.
  • "De minimis" loophole: Many Temu orders fall under the $800 value threshold, exempting them from US customs inspection and import duties, further reducing costs.

2. Aggressive Pricing Strategy:

  • Loss leader: Temu, backed by the massive PDD Holdings, might be willing to operate at a loss initially to gain market share and attract customers with unbeatable prices.
  • Promotional discounts: Temu frequently offers significant discounts and coupons, further driving down perceived prices.

3. Potential Concerns:

  • Quality: Lower prices often involve compromises in quality. Research well and read reviews before buying, as some items might have shorter lifespans or not meet expectations.
  • Knockoffs: Be aware that some Temu products might resemble popular brands without authorization, raising concerns about intellectual property infringement and potentially lower quality standards.
  • Ethical considerations: Temu's sourcing practices and potential use of forced labor raise ethical concerns for some consumers.

4. Other Considerations:

  • Shipping: While prices seem low, consider potential delays and longer shipping times from China.
  • Quality: Be mindful that lower prices might indicate lower quality materials or construction. Research and read reviews before buying.

Ultimately, while Temu's prices are tempting, it's crucial to weigh the potential benefits against drawbacks like quality, shipping time, and ethical considerations before making a purchase.

Is Temu Ethical?

The question of whether Temu is ethical is complex and there is no easy answer. While it offers incredibly low prices on a wide range of products, concerns exist regarding its ethical practices.

Below are some arguments regarding Temu's ethical practices and unethical practices. These might help you make your own option:

1. Arguments For Temu's Ethical Practices:

  • Increased Access to Affordable Goods: Temu's low prices make basic necessities and a wider range of products more accessible to low-income individuals and developing countries. This, proponents argue, promotes economic inclusion and improves living standards.
  • Emerging Platform with Room for Improvement: As a relatively new platform, Temu argues it has the opportunity to adapt and improve its ethical practices based on feedback and evolving standards. They might point to recent sustainability initiatives or partnerships as evidence of progress.
  • Individual Choice and Responsibility: Ultimately, consumers have the freedom to choose whether or not to support Temu based on their individual values and priorities. This emphasizes personal responsibility and empowers individuals to contribute to ethical change through their purchase decisions.
  • Limited Control over Supply Chain: Some may argue that Temu, as a marketplace connecting buyers and sellers, has limited control over the ethical practices of individual manufacturers. The onus, they might say, falls on those producers to uphold ethical standards.

2. Arguments Against Temu's Ethicality:

  • Potential for sourcing from unethical suppliers: A US Congressional report expressed concerns about Temu's links to forced labor, particularly in the Xinjiang region of China. Temu doesn't have a transparent policy against sourcing from there.
  • Fast fashion model: Temu heavily leans on the fast fashion model, known for its environmental and ethical issues, including low-quality clothing, high worker exploitation, and excessive waste.
  • Lack of transparency: Temu lacks transparency about its supply chain and labor practices, making it difficult to assess its ethical commitment.
  • Product safety concerns: Some customer reviews raise concerns about product safety and quality, which could pose risks to users.

It's crucial to do your own research and weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks before making a purchase on Temu. 

Temu Reviews: A Mixed Bag of Experiences

Temu, the app known for its incredibly low prices on a wide range of products, has received a mix of positive and negative reviews. While some users talk about amazing deals and unique finds, others express concerns about quality, shipping times, and customer service.

Here's a breakdown of what users are saying:

Positive Temu Reviews:

  • Unbeatable prices: Many users highlight the incredibly low prices, finding items significantly cheaper than traditional retailers.
  • Unique product selection: Some appreciate the wide variety of products, including trendy and hard-to-find items.
  • Fun and engaging app: Some users find the app user-friendly and enjoy the gamified shopping experience.

Negative Temu Reviews:

  • Quality concerns: A recurring complaint is the inconsistent quality of products, with some items falling apart quickly or not matching their descriptions.
  • Long shipping times: Shipping times from China can be lengthy, and delays are sometimes reported.
  • Customer service issues: Some users struggle to resolve issues with orders or receive unhelpful responses from customer service.
  • Ethical concerns: Some express concerns about potential unethical practices in the supply chain, like forced labor or environmental damage.

Where To Find Temu Reviews:

Trustpilot: Temu has a C rating on Trustpilot with over 13,000 reviews. While many negative reviews highlight quality and customer service issues, some positive reviews praise the unique products and low prices.

Better Business Bureau (BBB): Temu has a low rating (1.5 stars) on the BBB with several complaints about undelivered packages, incorrect orders, and unresponsive customer service.

App Store & Google Play: Temu has mixed reviews on app stores, with some users loving the app's design and functionality while others mention concerns about quality and shipping times.

Social media: Platforms like TikTok often showcase positive experiences with Temu, highlighting exciting finds and successful purchases. However, concerns about quality and potential scams are also present in comment sections.

Do not be moved by just an individual's experiences because it can vary greatly. It's crucial to read multiple reviews from different sources before making a purchase. Consider factors like your budget, priorities, and tolerance for risk when deciding whether Temu is right for you.

Conclusion On "Why Is Temu So Cheap"

Temu is a relatively new online shopping platform that has quickly gained popularity due to its incredibly low prices. It offers a wide range of products, mostly shipped directly from China.

There's no simple answer to "why is Temu so cheap?". The answer lies in a mix of business strategies, sometimes at the expense of quality and ethical considerations.

Weigh the pros and cons carefully. Research product quality, read reviews, and understand the return policy before making a purchase. Be conscious of potential ethical concerns and shipping times.