Shopping on Temu from South Africa

by | May 27, 2024

OK so let’s start off by addressing the elephant in the room, as there are lots of mixed perceptions when it comes to Shein and now most recently Temu. I’ve heard the rumours and allegations against the brand – forced labor, privacy concerns, and exploitation.

Ethics and Public Perceptions

In all the research I’ve done, what I can see is that Temu fiercely denies these allegations and there is little to no proof backing up these claims, other than speculation around ‘that’s the only way they can make their prices that cheap’. This can quickly turn into ‘hearsay’ or into an ‘anti-Chinese’ conversation, which I have also seen doing the rounds on social media these past few months.

There are also very real concerns that Temu’s aggressive marketing strategy is taking up the bulk of paid advertising space, it’s increasing the price of digital marketing and their low prices make it impossible for local South African entrepreneurs to compete.

When it comes to ‘fast fashion’ there are also concerns around waste and clutter. I can see how easy it can be to buy the nice things you see on your feed, as opposed to things you may actually need, even in this economy. I think, each person should read up on the company, do their research, and let that inform their decision-making process.

I had a look online and didn’t see anything I needed, so I didn’t place an order. My hubby however saw a few things that he wanted and he therefore placed an order and it went like this;

Our Temu experience

  • 7 April at 21h34 we placed an order
  • 8 April at 11h58 our order was being packed
    • At 22h07 the order was awaiting shipment
    • At 23h11 the order was shipped
  • 9 April at 04h05the order was picked up in the Temu warehouse
    • 23h34 package arrived at the airport and was awaiting a flight
  • 10 April 12h27 flight departure
  • 11 April at 20h45 package arrived at the airport
  • 12 April 11h16 Customs clearance completed
  • 12 April 17h09 customs VAT is now payable
  • 13 April 17h20 taxes paid
  • 14 April 15h45 Buffalo airport warehouse received
    • 16h44 Package  in transit
  • 18 April 05h44 package dispatched
  • 22 April at 14h19 the package was delivered to our door.

So from ordering to the date we received the package was a total of 15 days.

Temu took 4 days to get the package to SA, it took 3 days for customs and taxes, the big delay was with Buffalo dispatching the package to us, this took 8 days.

The goods

Everything ordered was a hit or a miss. I recommend looking at the photos before you place an order, reading the reviews, and reading the product descriptions carefully.

This is what we ordered:

iPhone screen protectors x2 R16

Nothing wrong with these, I’ve since dropped my phone a few times and it hasn’t shattered / splintered or anything like that. I would say it is the same quality as purchasing a screen protector from a shop at the local mall. I would re-purchase.

5 pairs of men’s white secret socks R65

Socks are socks, these aren’t extra thin / anything like that. They’re regular socks and I would re-purchase.

A little toy car for kids R53

This little car was a bit smaller than I expected, but it drives, it goes over bumps and my little girl loves it. I would re-purchase this, this was a good buy for the price.

Hair clippers R48

Hubby says he was a bit disappointed in these, it’s plastic and doesn’t really work very well. You can’t shave a beard with these. I wouldn’t re-purchase.

Personally, this is kind of what I expected (for R48) I didn’t expect a metal handle, I knew this was going to be plastic when it arrived, but hubby is an online shopping virgin, so this process is trial and error for him.

Wireless charging pad for iPhone R58

It works well and it does charge the phone, but it’s definitely not fast charging. So it’s fine if you are happy to leave your phone to charge on the pad while you work / overnight, but for fast charging rather use your iPhone charger

Mens Sunglasses R116

Very nice, happy with how these look. They’re solid and steady, not sure if they protect your eyes, but they look nice.

Men’s baseball cap R45

Looks like the pic, happy with it. I thought the badge was embroidered on, it’s actually a print, but I’m happy with it.

10 piece mini brush to clean iPhone R9

Nothing wrong with these.

Men’s woven knit sneakers R179

I’m happy with how these look, they look exactly like the pictures. I just put the flash on to show that the sides are reflective at night, but in reality these shoes really do look like the pics.

Hubby says they’re comfortable and fit well. I don’t expect these to last for long, but they’re great for now.

Down jacket repair kit R45

Hubby was impressed with these, they fixed his down jacket. He would repurchase. The tape looks better in person than it does in this image, it’s not as noticeable in person.

50 piece non-stick air fryer linersx2 R21 each

No issues here

Magnetic phone case R83

This looks more plastic than I expected. I wouldn’t re-purchase.

Total of R775, free shipping and R108.12 in customs

Payment Options

There were a variety of payment options including Apple and Google Pay. Payment was quick and easy. There was consistent and concise communications from Temu via email and text.

While hubby may have ordered a few extra ‘nice to haves’ and not needs, overall he was very happy with his purchase and he would order from them again. I’m sure you can find all of these items in SA, but not at the price paid for most of them.

The only issue with Temu is that you cannot return items if you are unhappy, so weigh that into your decision-making process. Read the product descriptions well before purchasing, including sizing and look at reference images where possible.

What was your experience like ordering with Temu?

You might also enjoy:

>>Unboxing Joy: My Shein Haul for Mila’s First Birthday Extravaganza!

>>An honest review: My SHEIN experience

I’m just a girl who loves new beauty products, alternating between being a blonde and a brunette, travel tips, parenting hacks, eating out, and having fun!

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I’m just a girl who loves new beauty products, alternating between being a blonde and a brunette, travel tips, parenting hacks, eating out, and having fun!


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