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Is Temu a scam?

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  • 3 min read

Temu is an online marketplace that connects customers with millions of sellers, manufacturers and brands worldwide. The company was founded in Boston, Massachusetts, in 2022 by PDD Holdings Inc, the parent company. PDD Holdings Inc also owns and operates Pinduoduo, another agricultural e-commerce giant in China.

With its first major appearance in the Super Bowl ad, the Temu app suddenly saw massive downloads. The advertisement showcased the rather peculiar inventory of the online marketplace, with items like wigs and cheap dresses on display. The public reaction was astounding, and within a few months, Temu became the most downloaded free app in the United States, surpassing TikTok and YouTube.

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Visiting the Temu website

One cursory look at the website will tell you that Temu is Amazon on steroids. You can select from a wide variety of orders — from wigs to home appliances to electronics.

The look and feel of the website aren’t that of a multi-billion dollar company but like an online thrift shopping centre. This might be one of the many reasons why there is fear regarding the authenticity of the app and the website.

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So, is Temu a scam?

Temu’s parent company PDD Holdings Inc, is a legitimate company listed in NASDAQ with a market cap of about 115 billion dollars. Apart from owning Temu, PDD Holdings Inc also runs Pinduoduo in China.

So, by the looks of it, one can say that Temu is not a scam and is definitely a legit marketplace.

However, customers have complained about not receiving the order or having problems with the refund procedure. Users have also complained about receiving damaged packages and less-than-average customer service responses from the company.

Temu currently has an A- rating on the Better Business Bureau website with an average customer rating of 2.1 out of 5 stars.

If you leave aside the very peculiar pyramid-like marketing scheme of the website and the delivery disorders, people have actually appreciated the store. These disorders might be resolved soon as soon as the company stabilises.

“Temu has a BBB customer rating of 2.1, higher than Amazon’s (1.18), Etsy’s (1.11), Ebay’s (1.07), Walmart’s (1.09), and Target’s (1.18). Temu also has a 100% business response rate and an A- rating,” a PR rep of Temu told Candid.Technology.

For context, although BBB was established in 1912 and is considered to be a valid yardstick to measure customers’ trust in companies, over the last decade numerous reports emerged of companies getting a better rating when paying for BBB membership. Moreover, according to BBB, the rating doesn’t guarantee a “business’s reliability or performance” and people shouldn’t look at the ratings individually to judge a business.

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Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: