We tested Temu with surprising results

MyBroadband recently tested Temu after its launch in South Africa and was surprised with fast free shipping and a pleasant overall customer experience.

Temu is an online marketplace for items directly from China, similar to Wish and Shein.

It offers free shipping using Buffalo Express, the same courier used by Shein. However, Temu provides a range of products similar to Wish.

We ordered a 128GB flash drive with a USB-C port and 10m USB-C charging cable for a low combined price of R251, which included free shipping.

Our expectations were low, as we have had previous experience with flash storage from Wish, but the 128GB drive seemed more reasonable and had good overall reviews.

We also bought similar products from Aliexpress on the same day that were still in transit by the time we received our Temu order.

We also ordered some separate home products from Temu and were pleasantly surprised to see they were combined when shipping, reducing admin when they arrived in South Africa.

We received a call and an email from Buffalo Logistics five days after the initial order to pay VAT and duties on the combined order.

The total due was right around 15% for VAT, as expected on the total combined order amount.

Our products arrived 13 days after the initial order in one combined shipping bag, but we suspect it could have been quicker if it was delivered to a home address instead of an office.

According to the Buffalo Express website tracking, a delivery attempt was made three days before the actual final delivery, but to a closed office on a Saturday.

The package was then handed to Fastway couriers, who handled the final delivery during the week.

The products

The 10m charging cable is exactly what was expected, and while we struggled to get the claimed 6A from it, that is only mentioned in the picture and never actually stated in the ad.

We managed to draw over 5A through the cable using a USB load, and it charges a phone without issue.

The cable is also a little over 10m long.

This cable would be great if you needed to power an IP camera or something in a remote location using USB power.

It would also work well for keeping a VR headset charged while using it while still retaining some free movement.

The flash drive seems equally good at first glance, but unfortunately, our suspicions of fake capacity were well founded.

A quick test with Validrive shows that the drive only has an actual capacity of 32GB.

The USB-C functionality works great on a Samsung S22+, but the risk of data corruption is high if you accidentally try to use more than 32GB due to the fake capacity.

The refund process

We immediately tried to get a refund from Temu and were once again pleasantly surprised.

The refund page asked to upload at least one picture to show why the product is defective and write a comment.

We added a screenshot of the Validrive result and explained why it makes the drive useless.

We were immediately offered a refund using our original payment method, which was confirmed within minutes.

Based on our experience with international shops and the notes from Temu, this refund may take a week or two to be processed by our bank.

Our overall shopping experience was great so far, even though we had to refund a product.

Our ordered items arrived quickly compared to other Chinese shopping experiences.

The home products we ordered separately were all exactly as described, but do make sure to read descriptions and reviews to ensure you get what you expect.

Even if you get a faulty or fake product, the refund process seems easy and convenient, placing less risk on the consumer.

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We tested Temu with surprising results