You may have heard about a new app topping the charts in the App Store. Temu, based out of China, is a combination fast fashion/plastic junk online retailer. The gimmick is free shipping and incredibly low prices — and the downside is vast and multifaceted.

According to a person in my network, China has little regard for intellectual property registered elsewhere in the world. He represents clients who are trying to keep their trade secrets from getting stolen — and their businesses duplicated — in China. So it was no surprise to see that Temu is accused of stealing product descriptions straight off of Amazon. 

Amplifying worries about intellectual property theft, the sellers on Temu are conspicuously not brand names. In fact, Temu seems to gobble up counterfeit merchandise that has been banned elsewhere for trademark infringement, like Air Jordan knockoffs for $50.

Temu is also accused of straight-up thievery for its practice of secretly increasing the price of merchandise once it’s in your cart. In terms of shipping, the old saying “you get what you pay for” gets repeated a lot in the comments. Many, many people talk about never receiving shipments. Temu offers refunds* if you pay to join a club, and even then the refund is not for the full price of the item. 

From my point of view, Temu is just another app that makes a Faustian bargain with its users: questionable ethics for insanely low prices. Common street wisdom says that anything you order from Temu will be in a landfill within 60 days. So getting what you pay for isn’t just for shipping. 

On the bright side, maybe SHEIN and Temu will destroy each other in the dozens of lawsuits they have filed against each other! I would never put myself through some of the things I’ve read about on Temu.

If you need help finding an ethical website from which to order that thing you need, contact us.