Temu shopping app and ultra low prices

Category: Marketplaces
Temu shopping app and ultra low prices Temu to allow UK & US retailers on marketplace Temu records revenue of £27bn in 2023

Temu is a shopping app marketplace that’s been downloaded millions of times, first launched in the US, has made it’s way to the UK, and it’s making waves in the ecommerce world with their ‘Shop like a billionaire’ tag line. The question that remains unanswered is will it’s influence be positive and become a marketplace for Western brands and retailers, or is it simply a distraction?

You can hardly avoid Temu ads and it’s all over TikTok, mainly drawing attention for it’s ultra low prices. It’s trying to compete with the likes of Amazon, but all the products are cheap and most appear to ship from China. This means you won’t be receiving your purchases next day, but will likely be waiting a week or more for them to arrive.

You’ll also quickly discover that the products are mainly from the lower end of the ecommerce spectrum. With ultra low prices, you’ll also discover ‘Open sale Limited Time Offers” touting everything from ankle socks reduced from £1.49 to 39p and things you never knew you needed (and really don’t need but now you want one) such as a Cute Animal Toothpaste Tube Squeezer reduced from £1.49 to just 58p.

If the product prices weren’t enough to tempt you, add in the standard free delivery on all orders and you start to wonder who is footing the bill. Take out VAT, and at these prices there’s not even enough left to pay for half a second class stamp, let alone manufacturing and material costs.

The only conclusion it’s possible to draw is that someone is buying market share (and by all accounts very successfully – I have friends who have succumbed to the allure of that must have gadget they didn’t know they wanted but purchased anyway.

What you won’t find on Temu, at least not yet, is higher priced branded goods from names that you recognise. If it’s not cheap, lightweight and easy to ship, and especially sold at unbelievably low prices, it’s not on Temu. So if you look for a DeWalt drill, you’ll find some cheap drill bits but you won’t find any DeWalt products but you’ll find plenty of unbranded drill bits, accessories and paraphernalia, like perhaps a wall mounted Power Tool Organizer reduced from £19.99 to £10.48.

Perhaps it’s best not to visit Temu with a shopping list in mind, but to use it as a discovery engine and you’ll end up buying the stuff you really didn’t want, much of which probably turns out to be great for what it is, but how long you’ll want to keep it and use it is up to you to decide once it arrives. At least you’ll have fun shopping which is what Temu is all about and it won’t cost you a fortune to get your ecommerce fix.

There is one company that’s not buying the Temu story though and doesn’t trust it’s prices and deep investment pockets to buy market share, and that’s Amazon. Amazon have excluded Temu from their price comparison engine, used to ensure offers from sellers displayed to consumers are competitive and reducing visibility for offers the marketplace considers too far from the market norm.

Amazon say that they don’t compare or match prices from marketplace which are questionable, and especially not from marketplaces which may display counterfeit goods. Temu have a policy that sellers offers which infringe copyright are not allowed, and indeed we struggled and gave up attempting to find a single product on the marketplace which is from a recognisable brand. What you will find is a deluge of products from Chinese manufacturers and their army of pseudo brand resellers all listing the same products under different labels on behalf of parent factories.

Temu isn’t going away and their investment must be eyewatering to support their opening deals and free postage offers. It remains to be seen how long the ultra low pricing can last and how much market share they want to buy before they decide it’s time to turn a profit.

6 Responses

  1. Its another Wish that will fall from grace sooner or later, its got a few billion to burn on Ad spend, cheap rubbish in my opinion, only going to get so far

    1. This is all over the place right now.

      The Chinese firms need to move stock and if they cannot do it on eBay/Amazon they will just go it alone they need to keep shifting.
      They know countries like the UK are in the economic toilet and consumers are skint and people will be looking for cheap. I looked at a lot of the kids toys same stuff as you get on Amazon and places like B&M I had a good research to see if anything was worth shifting.

      I actually bought something on it it was crazy prices. Pair of trainers ( resold on Vinted) , some shelves, storage units , t shirts and hoodies for the kids. Came to £10 with shipping and because it was late they gave me £5 back. The communication and tracking was all there and everything was as described.

      Where they money is made I do not know but how UK merchants are meant to compete is beyond me.
      Shein is another App that is cheaper than chips.

      1. Yeah i think to many UK sellers still think the cats still in the bag on this, the cats totally out the bag and wandering around doing what it wants.

        I told my kids for years dont shop on shein, dont get cheapo chinese spyware firms.

        But about 4 days ago, we needed some travel bags and I just get them from Shein or Temu if there cheaper.

        This is one for the government to sort out or dont. I dont really have skin selling game anymore, because you’d had have had you head buried in the sand the last 10 years to not see what was coming.

  2. Amazon exposed 10,000s of UK sellers to the onslaught of Chinese saying, so saying they don’t price match and blah blah is a bit rich.

    UK consumers should feel no guilt using this platform vs Amazon

    1. I feel like this platform advertises a LOT without disclosing it.
      Temu is a load of sh*te, just like Wish is and any other marketplace predominantly Chinese.

      Amazon is a bit of hit and miss, if you do a bit of research you should be okay. Returning is easy and stress free in case things go south.


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