What is Temu?
Temu is an international e-commerce marketplace that gives both sellers and manufacturers the opportunity to sell directly to consumers.
Although Temu was only launched in 2022, it quickly rose to become one of the world’s top marketplaces, rivalling Amazon and Walmart. By April 2023, the Temu app had been downloaded over 10 million times across 100 countries.
Temu is headquartered in the US and owned by parent company PDD Holdings. Temu’s sister company, Pinduoduo, is based in China and uses its large network of local manufacturers to sell directly to consumers across the globe too.
Why are Temu prices so low?
Temu products are sold at market-beating prices because the company partners with manufacturers that produce quickly and adapt products to customer feedback making innovation and change happen quickly.
They do this by:
Temu holds weekly auctions with its suppliers to encourage a bidding war where orders are won at the lowest price.
As they’re a part of PDD Holdings, Temu has access to their extensive network. This lets the Chinese manufacturers and suppliers send goods directly to customers once orders are made on Temu’s website or app.
Customers’ orders are packed in Temu’s signature orange packaging and collected by courier J&T Express. The distinct uniform wrapping keeps costs low.
Temu is likely to be exempt from paying most export taxes in China as the Chinese government has adopted a zero tax rate policy on the majority of exports.
It’s also likely that they are able to save on tax costs by shipping small, low value parcels – worth roughly $30 on average – directly to consumers. For example, in the UK, the majority of Temu’s parcels would fall below the £135 import duty threshold, and in Australia, the $1000 AUD import tax threshold is very often never met.
5.Free shipping and returns
One of Temu’s USPs is its policy of free shipping and returns. Even though it can take up to 20 days for an order to arrive, it’s ultimately still free for customers. Both Temu and J&T absorb the cost of delivery, which Haitong Securities estimated it costs Temu roughly $9 USD per parcel by having this policy in place.
Additionally, when it comes to returns, it is often the sellers in China who absorb the losses when customers send orders back.
Temu has made unique efforts in its marketing and advertising campaigns, particularly on social media. By the end of 2023, Temu is expected to have spent around $1.4bn USD on advertising on various social media platforms.
The company also uses various affiliate marketing strategies including partnering with social media influencers. Together, with extensive promotion on TikTok and YouTube, the company managed to attract their ideal audience: younger customers who are less likely to pay large amounts of money for their products.
Alongside this, Temu often attracts new and returning customers through its flash sales and limited time discounts when products first launch.
Does Temu offer dropshipping?
Before answering this question, it’s important to give a reminder of what dropshipping is.
Dropshipping is a way of selling products online without needing to keep them in stock. When an order is received, the seller sends it to another company who ships the product straight to the customer. The seller is a middleman between the customer and the company with the product.
Officially, Temu states in its support center article that it does not support dropshipping. As a seller, you can order goods directly from Temu’s platform and distribute it to your customers, but there’s no official mechanism for Temu to send goods directly to your consumers.
The challenges of dropshipping with Temu
Even if you do decide to go ahead with trying to dropship with Temu, another challenge is that all goods will be shipped in Temu’s recognisable bright orange packaging and not your own. This could result in your customers simply going to Temu directly to purchase the item or any others in the future, and it’ll most likely give your store a bad reputation.
Can you dropship with Temu?
Taking all the above into consideration, it's crucial to note that there are significant challenges to dropshipping with Temu, since it’s not supported on their platform. But if you’re interested in using a platform that does support dropshipping, check our guide on how to set up your dropshipping business with AliExpress.
Getting paid like a local for dropshippers
As a dropshipper, you’ll want to make sure that you’re able to manage all your sales income from different sites and marketplaces – and in multiple different currencies – in one place, in a cost-effective and efficient way. Here’s how we can help.
Meet the World Account: a business account designed for trading in multiple countries. The World Account allows you to open 10+ local currency accounts and connect to 100+ leading marketplaces and online payment gateways, including Amazon, AliExpress, Shopify and PayPal.
You’ll be able to set up local currency accounts with us in minutes – without having to set up and manage several foreign bank accounts. This means you’ll have a hassle-free way to receive your dropshipping sales income in your customers’ local currencies for free. You’ll pay zero transaction or currency exchange fees on funds that you receive, so you can keep more of your hard-earned profits.
The best part? It’s completely free to open an account, and there are no ongoing account management fees, too.
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