Temu South Africa

Temu in South Africa – Another ‘Wish’ Clone or a Legit Store?

If you have been on social media in the past few weeks you have likely noticed Temu ads spammed at you in all directions. The company has been aggressively entering the South African market with its “Shop Like a Billionaire” marketing campaign. After seeing the same T-shirt advertised for R26, I decided to give them a go so you don’t have to risk your hard-earned cash on the store without knowing whether or not they are legit.

South Africans are no doubt a bit sceptical regarding these “cheap” online stores given how badly everyone was burnt by Wish. The store also entered the local market with cheap products, low shipping costs and seemed too good to be true. Sadly, it was.

Wish wasn’t great. Not only were the products the lowest form of garbage quality but deliveries never arrived and some residents are still sitting with outstanding orders.

Temu, on the other hand, promises quick delivery and the website seems to cater to products which might cost a fraction of the price, but offer decent quality. What attracted me to Temu was the plethora of geek merchandise available. I know Shien is fairly popular in South Africa but I have yet to shop there. Temu, however, has an incredible lineup of gaming/geek merchandise and could be dangerous for someone like me.

I also recently picked up the PlayStation Portal and while the device is now available in SA, there is hardly any after-sale support for the product. So I was looking for a case, cover and screen protector. I could pay R500 on Takealot for it or R330 on Temu with two included screen protectors. I needed something to justify this shopping spree.

Disclaimer – This article is not associated with Temu in any way nor did the company influence any of the opinions in this post. All products were purchased by myself.

Temu in South Africa – The Buying Experience

So I started my shopping journey on 4 March. I loaded the Temu website and created an account. What started with the search for PlayStation Portal cases slowly led down a rabbit hole into other products. An HDMI cable, for example. These cables aren’t cheap and if they are, they are likely nonsense so I paid R158 for a 3-meter 8K HDMI cable.

Temu South Africa

I then stumbled upon a Nintendo Switch OLED case which would reskin my current console into The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom console edition. Can’t say no to that. I also spotted some cute Elden Ring and Dark Souls stickers at R44 for a pack of 50.

I also grabbed a PlayStation Portal silicone grip cover and carry case which included two screen protectors all for R330. I wanted to see how well Temu shipped its posters because the website is littered with some impressive artwork. Some are paper which will likely not arrive in one piece but I ordered a Canvas The Lord of the Rings poster for R104. It was 50cm by 70cm. Lastly, I grab a set of Joy-Con silicone grips covers to turn my yellow pair into the Splatoon colours.

Temu South Africa

The general shopping experience on the site was quite enjoyable. The website makes sure to tailor your suggestions to the products you seem to enjoy. The more I looked at gaming and tech stuff, the more was suggested to me. In a way, this is quite dangerous because you don’t stop spotting cool things.

Temu seems to favour that instant satisfaction of “cool things to have” because most of the stuff I saw, I didn’t need but they were nice to have. The platform also shies away from copyright content by not mentioning any names of brands across most of the products. So it makes it a bit difficult to find game franchises.

I did enjoy the fact that products have reviews from users on the website. Sure, some of these reviews might be suspect but some include photos and videos of the actual products. So you can see what you’re getting and can’t be fooled by another “Wish” scenario.

A note on the shopping tactics, don’t believe the store’s rubbish claims of “Almost Sold Out” slapped everywhere. It is just a ploy to get you to order products you likely don’t need. Almost every product shows “almost sold out” on it so you hastily buy stuff thinking you’re going to miss out on them.

Temu also supports Apple Pay so I added everything to my cart, filled in some account details and my address, and paid for it. It was as easy as you would expect an online shop to go.

Temu South Africa

I also downloaded the Temu app to track the order from my phone. However, I need to warn you that Temu spams you with notifications all damn day. At least four our five pop up throughout the day with annoying “Friend, here’s a prize for you”. I ended up disabling notifications the next day because Temu isn’t my friend and I saw right through the cheap “fortune wheel spins” the app tries to get you to enter.

But the app is to track whatever you need. It also tracks the local shipment and delivery once it enters SA.

Temu in South Africa – The Waiting Game

Temu originally said the product would arrive between 11 and 20 March. That would give it just over two weeks to get here. In fact, the next day, on 5 March it was shipped. I got hopeful that perhaps it would actually arrive earlier. Imagine that?

My parcel arrived in South Africa on 10 March and I had to pay R104 customs fees (my total order was R1105). I did get a bit excited when the customs mail came through. It meant the parcel was here and perhaps it would arrive in the next day or so.

Sadly, I had no idea that Buffalo was likely the worst courier company under the sun. Temu has partnered with a courier company that is worse than the South African Post Office when it comes to service.

Buffalo took their sweet time with this shipment. It went from that airport and sat at the Buffalo warehouse from 11 March until 16 March when a driver supposedly picked up the parcel for delivery. Given that Buffalo doesn’t deliver on Sundays, I suspected it would be Monday, 18 March. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

The courier let me know that on Tuesday morning, they returned the parcel because they didn’t “have time” to deliver it on Monday and would only send it out on Wednesday. Anyway, it finally arrived on 20 March. But it was a mission. You can’t contact Buffalo, they don’t update their tracking properly and the emails get returned.

So while Temu managed to get the parcel here on 10 March, Buffalo took an entire 10 days to get their act together and deliver it. I don’t find it a coincidence that the package was delivered on the very last day Temu stated it would arrive on the original order. I think Buffalo are playing games here.

Temu in South Africa – Product Reviews

The Temu products are okay. There are some hits and misses from the list I ordered. I detail them below:

Zclive 8K 3-meter HDMI Cable

Temu in South Africa

The cable is of great quality. Called a “Deluxe Cable” on the packet, I measured the length and it is exactly 3.05m. However, it doesn’t have the support it advertises. I plugged it into my RTX 4080 on my PC, changed my TV over to 4K120Hz and the screen kept flickering. Usually a sign of poor signal bandwidth. This is likely an HDMI 2.0 cable and not an HDM 2.1 cable…. Oh well.

The Legend of Zelda Switch OLED Shell

The product is good. It is a plastic shell which clips onto the Nintendo Switch. It fits it quite nicely. There are a few wonky plastic joints that stick out subtly here and there. The back print isn’t the sharpest but a distance, it looks like a limited edition Switch…. in a way.

Dark Souls Sticker Set – 50 Piece

Temu in South Africa

These were super cheap so I expected low quality here. However, they are actually quite nice. The print quality is okay and they are highly detailed. They include stickers from Elden Ring, Dark Souls and even Bloodborne. I have no complaints.

PS Portal Silicone Shell

This is likely the best buy from the entire bunch. This silicone cover is of great quality and fits the PlayStation Portal snugly. It even took a bit of effort to stretch over the device to install it. I am happy with it. The back rubber nubs help with grip and the cover closes up the annoying side lights on it too.

PS Portal Carry Case

This product is also good. It came with two screen protectors. Installing it on the device was simple and there were no defects in the sealant. The top of the case isn’t as “hard” as I hoped. It bends in slightly and you can even click in the triggers if you press it down hard enough. But the product protects the unit. It has a flap that sits on the screen and a tie which lays underneath it to easily lift the unit when you want to take it out.

Lord of the Rings Poster

Temu in South Africa

The poster is okay. The quality of the canvas is good but the overall print clarity isn’t the best. The objects aren’t sharp and you can see the image and DPI wasn’t the highest when it went to print. However, from a distance, it looks okay.

Silicone Joy-Con Grips.

Temu in South Africa

These are also okay and what I expected. They fit onto the Joy-Cons nicely and serve their purpose. The silicone is quite thick and should last a while even if you’re playing physical games.

Temu in South Africa – The Verdict

Would I recommend Temu? For some products, yes but not for everything. If something looks too good to be true, like an HDMI cable for R150, it is likely nonsense. I also think the store is for those who don’t mind long shipping times. It would annoy me, I won’t lie. I am a snob with these things and the horrible experience with Buffalo would honestly make me think twice about shopping at Temu unless I really want something bad.

However, the platform has some great stuff. Almost everything I ordered, delivered on the product promise and I essentially picked up cool items I could not find in SA. I only hope that Temu finds a new courier service because it would mean faster, hassle-free delivery. If that was the case, I could see myself ordering from the store weekly. But I am not dealing with Buffalo intentionally delaying deliveries to the very last minute.

Is Temu another Wish clone? Not at all. The store sells genuinely good products. What you see is what you get and the products don’t go to the post office. Sure, Buffalo is a far cry from reliable but at least they arrived.

Marco is the owner and founder of GLITCHED. South Africa’s largest gaming and pop culture website. GLITCHED quickly established itself with tech and gaming enthusiasts with on-point opinions, quick coverage of breaking events and unbiased reviews across its website, social platforms, and YouTube channel.


  • Andre Petersen 22 March 2024

    I have found the same as you with ordering from Temu. I have ordered many, many times from Wish. Wish delivered via the SA Post Office. After many failures they made an arrangement with SAPO and things did improve. I learnt to avoid anything Tech related or where the description could be very incorrect. I got small tools, electrical things and gadgets.

  • Peter Gillion 25 March 2024

    I placed 3 orders with Temu at different times during February/March. The first and third order were both delivered. Upon queries on the middle order it was paid into a Temu Woodstock bank account of which Temu had no knowledge. On my bank statement it says Temu Woodstock Western Cape ZA but I am unable to get any info from the bank. Looking at the total loss thus far it was the order of just R288.00, R70 to renew my bank card because this company has my CVV and can keep taking money from me, costs involved of getting to the bank and bank and all the numerous phonecalls involved. The only good advice I got out of all of this is that I should order straight from the app and beware of all the emails coming in as anybody can send emails. Once this is sorted out I may just carry on doing business once again

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