What Is Temu?

For as long as I can remember, my favorite toy store had been a haven of joy and wonder. The store survived Amazon's expansion, but it went bankrupt in competition with Temu merchants.

I have heard many people complain that local businesses often struggle to keep up with the ever-expanding reach of e-commerce platforms. Rising rent prices, increased competition, and changing consumer preferences have forced many small retailers to close their doors permanently.

The closure also aroused my interest in Temu. It's an online marketplace the stuff sold there is unbelievably cheap. It offers free shipping on most products, and it is easy to setup an account. Thus, I decided to try it and buy some products.

Due to the low prices, I do not have a high expectation on things I bought. The overall experience is good. Keep in mind that the rule "higher price mean better quality" still applies here. I bought some Rubik's Cubes, the cheapest of which is from an unknown brand and is difficult to turn; another GAN Rubik's Cube is very smooth; of course, its price is only slightly cheaper than Amazon. Though I have not encountered this, but some reviews indicate Temu, like other marketplaces, sells counterfeit products.

Then how is the experience of selling things on Temu? I asked some of my Chinese friends and they told me that being a merchant on Temu was not a pleasant experience. Temu requires merchants to set product prices lower than other e-commerce platforms. In addition, Temu asks merchants to send items to Temu's warehouse in the United States by themselves (Temu said the shipping fee is now paid by them). Furthermore, If there is a problem with a product, the merchant will face a fine of five times the product price. Even if there is no problem with a product, if the score of this product is lower than 4.2, it will be removed from the marketplace. Their conclusion is that Temu is only suitable for large manufacturers; small businesses will operate at a loss.

As a consumer, some of these policies are beneficial to me, but I also hope small local businesses can benefit from Temu.