Find out how to store protected on Temu, the recent buying app that might be a fad

In case you are a sentient being in the US, your eyeballs have most likely been blasted with commercials for Temu.

The buying app, a chaotic on-line flea market of Willy Wonka’s fever goals, is closing in on eBay because the third hottest buying website in the US behind Amazon and Walmart, based on knowledge offered to analysis agency eMarketer by Comscore.

Temu grew in style at the least partly by changing into one of many greatest consumers of advertisements on Fb apps and Google. Temu has additionally purchased dear TV commercials through the previous two Tremendous Bowl video games, together with a number of advertisements this 12 months with an earworm jingle.

The massive questions on Temu: Can an organization promote its manner into your coronary heart? And may America’s love for Temu final?

Fast solutions: Sure and perhaps no.

“I feel it’s a fad,” mentioned Sucharita Kodali, a retail and e-commerce principal analyst with the analysis agency Forrester.

Now we have a behavior of falling onerous for buying novelties — whether or not it’s a costume that sells like scorching desserts out of nowhere or retailers similar to Zara, Poshmark or Want. However lots of our buying infatuations are temporary.

There may be most likely not a lot hurt when you’re gaga for Temu and it turns into a has-been. Simply watch out to not stake an excessive amount of of your cash or your livelihood on a scorching buying app which may not final.

And hold studying for recommendation if you wish to store safely on Temu. Like many spots for getting on-line, you don’t have a lot details about the product sellers on Temu. That heightens the danger that purchases might be disappointing or hurt you.

What’s our take care of buying fads?

E-commerce crushes that cool off are a persistent phenomenon.

We had been infatuated within the early 2010s with websites similar to Groupon that featured short-lived reductions. These websites have principally pale. Then we fell onerous for month-to-month deliveries of merchandise in a field similar to clothes, pet merchandise or razors. The mania died down, too.

Then Want turned the recent bargain-basement buying app.

Want is fairly just like Temu. Each promote a seize bag of sometimes low-cost and sometimes random stuff immediately from distributors which are principally in China.

(Temu is predicated in Boston however owned by a Chinese language firm, PDD. The corporate additionally operates a preferred e-commerce app in China known as Pinduoduo.)

Want, like Temu, for some time blitzed Fb and Google with advertisements pitching oddball merchandise similar to meat socks. The technique labored on you, till it didn’t. Want has lapsed into irrelevance.

In 2023, Temu spent extra money promoting on-line in the US than all however three different giant corporations: Amazon, client merchandise large Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo, based on estimates by Sensor Tower and Pathmatics that analysis agency eMarketer shared with me.

(Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Publish.)

Temu’s promoting blitz might work. TikTok was among the many greatest advertisers on-line for some time, too. And TikTok has remained in style.

Temu additionally has caught on not solely due to its heavy promoting.

The app additionally sells all the pieces you may think, together with backyard gnomes and faux eyelashes. Its casino-style advertising and marketing consists of restricted time gross sales that create a way of urgency. If you happen to rating a deal, Temu desires to unfold the information to your mates.

Juozas Kaziukenas, founding father of the e-commerce analysis agency Market Pulse, says past Temu’s advertising and marketing savvy, it has benefits that Want didn’t.

Temu can harness PDD’s observe file in wrangling giant numbers of Chinese language distributors and making certain orders arrive effectively at your door, he mentioned.

“Fads come and go, however the want for worth doesn’t,” Temu mentioned. The corporate mentioned it believes its experience will “carry a brand new degree of effectivity and value financial savings.”

Find out how to store safely on Temu

Now that many on-line outlets, together with Amazon, Walmart, TikTok Store, Temu and Shein, promote you merchandise that come immediately from factories or distributors that you simply don’t know something about, high quality management is trickier than it’s with the restricted choices in bodily shops.

That places the onus on you to attempt to keep away from shopping for merchandise which are poorly made.

Learn my colleague Heather Kelly’s recommendation on avoiding scams or different undesirable outcomes if you purchase on-line. Most of this recommendation applies to all on-line buying.

Once you’re shopping for on Temu, you could need to see if the identical product or vendor is on Amazon, Etsy or Shopify. You are attempting to get a way if individuals are complaining about being misled or ripped off. Not all merchandise you discover on Temu shall be bought different locations.

One reader advised me final 12 months that she had a ruler helpful when she shopped from Temu. The true measurement of merchandise could be deceptive in pictures, she mentioned, however product dimensions could also be included in Temu’s on-line listings.

If you happen to peek at these, you may keep away from shopping for a canine mattress that seems to be thimble-size.

If you happen to’re shopping for an inexpensive ceiling-fan duster on Temu and it seems to be junk, it’s not a giant deal. However do watch out with or keep away from shopping for merchandise on Temu that go into your physique or in your pores and skin.

With out understanding a lot concerning the reliability of the sellers, merchandise similar to faux eyelashes, nutritional vitamins or pores and skin cream might harm you.

Temu mentioned that it has particular high quality management to vet merchandise in your physique. Temu additionally mentioned individuals ought to analysis substances and seek the advice of opinions earlier than shopping for merchandise.

Additionally in your security, be cautious of shopping for merchandise from Temu if they’re toys or different merchandise meant for kids, in the event that they’re powered by a chargeable battery, or in the event that they’re protecting gear like a motorbike helmet.

Temu’s talent is making cut price looking really feel like a sugar-high treasure hunt. So have enjoyable on the market. Simply be cautious. And don’t get in so deep with Temu that you simply’ll be left within the lurch if it winds up being a fad.

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