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Temu vs. AliExpress: A Head-To-Head Review of Two Hot Shopping Apps

Man using tablet with shopping cart icon

AliExpress and Temu are two of the most popular e-commerce platforms in town. While AliExpress has been a fan favorite for over a decade—facilitating over 150 million users in more than 230 countries—Temu is the new contender on the market. 

Temu announced its presence in a Super Bowl ad in early 2023 with two spots costing an estimated US$ 14 million, and the platform is already making big waves in the e-commerce industry. In December 2022, it was the most downloaded app on Apple and Google, and by January, it had been installed 19 million times. But even though these stats are impressive, sellers still need to consider which app is right for them. 

Read on for an in-depth review of these two popular shopping apps that will consider everything from a platform overview to product quality, range, shipping, and more!

Table of Contents
A brief overview of Temu and AliExpress
Key areas of comparison: Temu vs. AliExpress
Quick summary: AliExpress vs. Temu
Conclusion: Which is better?

A brief overview of Temu and AliExpress

Temu is owned and operated by the Chinese-based and Cayman Islands registered company PDD Holdings, which also owns Pinduoduo, a well-known online commerce platform in China. 

Temu allows China-based vendors to sell and ship directly to customers without relying on warehouses in the destination country. Within a year, Temu gained an impressive 1 million users. The platform is famous for marketing strategies that emphasize discounts and freebies, and it sells products at lower prices than Amazon.

AliExpress, on the other hand, is owned by the Chinese company Alibaba. Alibaba launched AliExpress in 2010 to facilitate individual consumers to purchase goods without worrying about minimum order quantity. 

AliExpress has become a leading B2C e-commerce platform, and sellers are typically small to medium businesses. The platform is famous for offering millions of products at affordable prices. On top of this, it is a top hub for dropshippers due to offering the freedom to choose various products at competitive prices with secure buyer protection and without the need to worry about inventory.

Key areas of comparison: Temu vs. AliExpress

User interface: App and website design

Navigating Temu

Temu has a mobile app for Android and Apple users.

The Temu app has the following mobile app specifications:

  • Rating: 4.2 
  • Reviews: 819 K
  • App space: 24 MB
  • Downloads: 50 million

Temu’s website has modern aesthetics, featuring a contemporary color palette and a sleek, intuitive interface.

Buyers can explore websites in two languages:

  • English
  • Spanish

Temu has filters and search bar options. App users can also use the image search option. The home page is loaded with deals, offers, and sales.

Temu’s website is user-friendly. Visitors can quickly locate products and access essential features without encountering unnecessary distractions.

On clicking the image of the product, the buyer can quickly view the photo, see the price, add the item to cart, and review stars and ratings. The app also displays the remaining stock quantity and the number of products sold.

Navigating AliExpress

AliExpress has both a website and an app. Their app is also available for Apple and Android users.

The AliExpress mobile app has the following specifications:

  • Rating: 4.6 
  • Reviews: 14.5 million 
  • Users: 500 million

The AliExpress website layout is minimal, having vibrant aesthetics.

AliExpress website layout is minimal

The website is easy to navigate, and customers can quickly find products due to multiple sorting features.

The website shows 13 main categories on the left side of the website that are further divided into multiple sub-categories.

website is easy to navigate

Categories and product listings are neatly organized, allowing users to browse a wide range of products efficiently.

When consumers click on the image, they can add it to their wish list and see the price, shipping details (free or paid), items sold, rating stars, and review numbers. It also has uncultured sections for promotions on the homepage.

Consumers can view the AliExpress site in the following 16 languages:

  1. Russian
  2. Portuguese
  3. Spanish
  4. French
  5. German
  6. Italian
  7. Dutch
  8. Turkish
  9. Japanese
  10. Korean
  11. Thai
  12. Vietnamese
  13. Arabic
  14. Hebrew
  15. Polish
  16. English 

Product range and quality

Product variety and quality on Temu

Temu provides many items, including clothes, beauty products, shoes, electronics, and small home appliances. With 29 main product categories and 250 subcategories, Temu focuses on providing a unique and carefully curated collection. 

Temu has over 11 million small businesses and suppliers, so buyers can easily find handmade items or entirely manufactured ones.

buyers can easily find handmade items or entirely manufactured ones

Temu’s unique selling point is lower prices, which affect the quality of the products.

The most common way to check the quality of products on online platforms is to read reviews under product listings. 

Temu quality

As Temu is new, it has fewer reviews on products, which can make it hard for buyers to check the quality of the product.

Product variety and quality on AliExpress

AliExpress has a wide range of products due to housing many sellers and being an established marketplace. This means that buyers can find almost any product on AliExpress.

Nonetheless, buyers should read reviews and ratings before buying products.

reviews and ratings

AliExpress offers millions of products in 30 niches, such as food, home, and consumer electronics.

The quality of products at AliExpress depends upon sellers. This means that AliExpress has a range of products from cheap to high-quality.

reasonably priced for their quality

That said, the products tend to be reasonably priced for their quality because they come directly from the manufacturer.

Pricing comparisons

Examining Temu’s pricing structure

Temu’s main marketing strategy is offering the lowest prices, which attracts buyers to purchase products from Temu.

In just one year, they made a name in the industry for providing products at the most affordable price in the market.

Their deals are the cherry on the top. Temu will provide the price difference if the list price of the item purchased is reduced within 30 days of the purchase.

They offer deals regularly. Temu connects buyers directly with Chinese sellers and manufacturers; no third party is involved. This also influences the pricing structure.

Here is a price comparison:

Category: Women’s jeans

Price (lowest to highest): US$ 8 to US$ 111

However, it’s Temu’s strategy to show every product at a sales rate. This means these US$ 111 jeans are available at US$ 27 on sale.

Lowest price jeans:

Temu lower price jeans

Highest price jeans:

Temu jeans highest

Examining AliExpress’s pricing structure

AliExpress has a competitive price due to having millions of sellers. This means buyers have multiple pricing ranges from low to high.

AliExpress charges between 5% to 8% on each sale to sellers, and some sellers sell products at a high rate for this reason.

AliExpress aims to directly connect sellers and buyers so buyers can directly negotiate prices with sellers.

And AliExpress also rolls out offers to attract buyers.

Here is a price comparison:

Category: Women’s jeans

Price (lowest to highest): US$ 8 to US$ 1440

Lowest price jeans:

ae lowest jeans price

Highest price jeans:

ae highest price jeans

Refund and return procedures

Refund and return on Temu

Temu offers returns and refunds for almost all items within 90 days of purchase. The few exceptions are for:

  • Clothing items that are worn, washed, damaged, with tags, packaging, or hygiene stickers removed, or in an incomplete set
  • Items that are labeled as non-returnable
  • Free gifts

In addition, the first return for every order is free. 

They process the refund within three working days after receiving the package.

Temu return

Refund and return on AliExpress

AliExpress offers customers a “Free Return Service,” where buyers get an extra 15 days to return an item, which is free.

Depending on the customer’s payment method, getting a refund takes 3-20 working days.

AliExpress provides 90 days of buyer protection. It starts when the seller ships your order and lasts up to 90 days.

It’s applicable if:

  • The customer has not received the order by the end of the buyer protection period
  • The item you received is not as described
  • The customer starts a dispute and provides evidence to support the claim

AliExpress also offers a two-year warranty for most of the products for EU countries. Buyers can manually add the warranty or automatically add it while purchasing.

ae refund

Customer support and assistance

Customer service on Temu

Temu provides customer service as a chatbot on the homepage.

Other options include: 

  • Contact the seller
  • Customer service 
  • Email
Temu customer support

Customer service on AliExpress

Buyers can use a chatbot for help.

The helpline is available 24/7.

The customer service team speaks English, Russian, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

But if they need to contact the seller, they can easily contact the seller.

ae support

Delivery and shipping

Delivery timing and tracking: Temu

Temu ships products to a few countries:      

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Cyprus
  • The Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

Temu offers two shipping options:

  1. Standard shipping 
  2. Express shipping

Standard shipping

In standard shipping, buyers receive their goods for free, which takes 8 to 25 days.

Tracking is available in standard shipping.

Express shipping

It’s a tailor-made shipping method. The Temu team will give an estimated shipping time after confirming the orders. 

It’s faster than standard shipping. They charge US$ 12.90 for orders below US$ 129.

Temu often offers free shipping as a deal. Free standard shipping on all orders until September 6th at 11:59:59 pm PDT. Customers can track their order in Express shipping.

It provides free express shipping on orders over US$ 129.

It gives a US$ 5 credit (standard shipping) or a US$ 13 credit (express shipping) for late delivery.

Temu offers almost free shipping and takes 30 days to deliver the package.

Temu shipping

Delivery timing and tracking: AliExpress

AliExpress ships products to 230 countries worldwide.

In AliExpress, shipping methods are set by the seller.

Products are delivered from China as most sellers are from China.

AliExpress shipping time depends upon the destination. 

AliExpress shipping

AliExpress has 14 shipping methods.

Standard shipping takes 15 to  45 days to deliver the package. It’s almost free. But often, the seller charges US$ 1 to US$ 3. While AliExpress premium shipping takes 7 to 15 days.

Here are the different shipping tracking and delivery details:

NameTracking?Received in
AliExpress Standard ShippingYes15-20 days
AliExpress Saver ShippingYes30 days (15-20 days if the order is combined)
AliExpress Premium ShippingYes39 days
Cainiao Standard for Special GoodsYes43-68 days
Cainiao Super Economy for Special GoodsNo30-50 days
Cainiao Super Economy GlobalNo30-60 days (if combined, 30 days)
Cainiao Warehouse Standard ShippingYes3 days if it’s in stock in your country7 days if in any other European warehouse
Cainiao Expedited EconomyNo30-50 days (if the order is combined, 15-20 days)
China Post Air ParcelYes52 days
Turkey PostYes7-30 days
Seller’s Shipping MethodNoDepends on the courier company chosen by the seller
FedExYes24 days
DHLYes21 days
e-EMSYes45 days

Payment methods

Temu payment channels

Temu accepts major credit/debit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, JCB, Diners Club, and Maestro.

Besides credit cards, it also accepts: 

  • Temu Credit
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Cash App Pay
  • Buy Now and pay later services, including Klarna, Afterpay, and Affirm.
payment  temu

AliExpress payment channels

AliExpress has the following payment methods:

  • AliPay AliExpress
  • PayPal
  • Credit Card
  • Debit Card 
  • Qiwi Wallet Alipay
  • Webmoney
  • Doku
  • Boleto
  • Mercado Pago
  • Giropau

It also accepts bank transfers on orders above US$ 20:

  • Conversion to currencies from 51 countries
  • Support for 38 local payment channels for secure payment and transaction
ae payment

Quick summary: AliExpress vs. Temu

Marketplace typeB2CB2C
Users5.3 million users150 million users
Countries 23 countries230+ countries
Product categories29 main product categories and 250 subcategories13 main and multiple sub categories for 100 million products
Marketing strategyNumber of deals and salesOffering products at all prices
Atotranslation2 languages16 languages
Product qualityLowLow to high
Shipping and deliversFast shipping and two shipping channelsSlow shipping and multiple shipping channels
Shipping costFree on standard shippingDepends upon seller
Returns and refund90 days90 days
Buyer protectionYesYes
Customer supportYesYes

Conclusion: Which is better?

After comparing AliExpress and Temu, there are some key takeaways. Temu, though new in town, has made a name with its deals and fast shipping, ideal for customers less concerned about quality. Meanwhile, AliExpress, a well-known industry name, offers various products at various price points, with robust customer support and secure payment channels. 

Temu and AliExpress both have their respective strengths and weaknesses, so customers should invest according to their preferences. That said, this guide has aimed to make it clear to businesses which platform they should be aiming at to source products that will help their business thrive. 

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