How Is Temu Different From Amazon and Wish?

An In-Depth Comparison

Temu has been one of the most talked-about e-commerce marketplaces in recent memory thanks to the Superbowl Ad they aired.

Temu (pronounced tee-moo) is a huge e-commerce company in China (similar to TaoBao for those familiar with Chinese e-commerce giants) with over 900 million users that came to the shores of North America in late 2022. Essentially though, Temu is a marketplace where Chinese-based suppliers sell goods directly to consumers which sounds an awful lot like and even In this article, we'll take a look at how Temu is different (and isn't different) from Wish, Aliexpress, and Amazon.

What Exactly Is Temu?

Temu wants you to believe that they're a Boston-based company founded in 2022. Let's be real here though—TEMU is 100% a Chinese-based company with a US-based entity.

Temu started becoming a household name in the US after it aired its Superbowl ad in 2023. In 2024, the company did the same thing, causing the number of searches about what Temu to increase.

The tagline is “Shop like a billionaire without being one” or, in other words, quality goods at affordable prices, which is the slogan of every other low-end mass retailer on the planet.

But how is Temu able to offer such cheap prices? By allowing Chinese vendors to sell directly to customers.

Temu vs. vs. Amazon

Let's start off by giving a high-level overview of the differences between Temu,, and Amazon in the table below.

Free ShippingYes over $20 (currently promotional)NoYes over $35 (or free with Prime)
Shipping LocationMostly ChinaMostly ChinaMostly USA
Percentage Chinese Vendors95%+95%+60%+
Shipping Time~7 to 20 business days+~7 to 20 business days+~1 to 5 business days
Who ShipsSellerSellerMostly fulfilled by Amazon (FBA)
Returns Window90 days30 days30 days
Free Returns?Yes – free return shippingNo – buyer pays for return shippingNo – buyer pays for return shipping
HeadquartersChinaUSA (San Francisco)USA (Seattle)
Year Entered U.S.202220131994
Marketplace or RetailerMarketplaceMarketplaceMarketplace & Retailer

How Is Temu Different from

Let's start by discussing the differences between Temu and as they are fairly similar.

Many people will be familiar with—a company that offers low prices by (you guessed it) allowing Chinese vendors to sell directly to consumers. Both Temu and are marketplaces. What does that mean? A marketplace is where other sellers sell their goods and the actual company (e.g., or Temu) doesn't sell any goods themselves. eBay is 100% a marketplace while Amazon is a hybrid of these two (more on this later).

While both Temu and Wish cater to Chinese sellers, one of the bigger differences between and Temu is the origin of each company. was founded by former Google engineers with backing from many American VCs (including Jerry Yang) and is headquartered in San Francisco. In comparison, Temu is a purely Chinese company for all intents and purposes.

Country of origin aside, and Temu both allow Chinese vendors to sell directly to American and Canadian consumers. Both offer free shipping and extremely low prices. However, where Temu separates itself from is in shipping and returns.

Temu currently offers free shipping (meaning vendors bake it into the item price) while bills separately for it.'s free shipping is currently advertised as a limited promotion, but it will remain to be seen if it becomes permanent and a part of their business model.

Temu also offers free returns for 90 days while only offers it for 30 days, and the buyer must pay for return shipping. 

It's also worth noting the overall look and feel of Temu versus Wish. Temu feels very much like a traditional Chinese e-commerce marketplace. See the comparison below between Temu and (the largest e-commerce company in China).

taobao vs temu
Temu feels very much like other Chinese e-commerce websites like TaoBao.

Contrast this with, which has a more simple and more minimalistic design and, arguably, more familiar, to American consumers. As an e-commerce entrepreneur, I can say that's products have been Amazonified and eBay-ified: products on white backgrounds without a lot of marketing gimmicks (i.e., overselling). 

How Is Temu Different From Amazon?

While it's hard to see many differences between Wish and Temu, the differences between Temu and Amazon are a bit starker. However, there are still a lot of similarities.

The thing that most people will think is the biggest difference actually isn't that different at all: the number of Chinese sellers. Most people think of Amazon as being an American company with mostly American sellers but, in fact, Amazon is made up of nearly 65% China or Hong Kong-based sellers.

top amazon sellers by country
China and Hong Kong-based sellers make up nearly 65% of all sellers on Amazon.

The three biggest differences between Temu and Amazon are 1) the fact that they're both marketplaces, 2) shipping times, and 3) prices.

Temu and Wish are both purely marketplaces, meaning they don't actually sell any of their products. Amazon, on the other hand, is both a marketplace and a retailer, meaning they resell other products (as well as their own private label brands). What this means is that you are very unlikely to find big household names like Apple or Nike on Temu or Wish (and if you do, they're likely counterfeit) whereas Amazon does resell these items.

The other big difference between Temu and Amazon is fulfillment and how items are shipped. While most items from Temu (and Wish for that matter) are shipped from China and with relatively slow methods, items from Amazon are mostly shipped from the United States via Amazon's FBA program with shipping speeds being significantly faster.

In terms of returns, Temu has a slightly better return policy by allowing 90-day returns with free return shipping. Amazon offers 30-day returns, and buyers pay for return shipping unless an item/order has a problem (or unless customers lie about an item being defective, which a large percentage do).

Pricing is the biggest difference between Temu and Amazon. Temu and Wish are comparably cheaper for everyday household items. We looked up the prices for a dryer cleaner on the three sites. It's $2.78, $4, and $6.90 for Temu, Wish, and Amazon, respectively.

Amazon generally has the highest prices for commodity household items, but customers get the items much quicker.

The lower prices on Temu and Wish come at a price though. And that price difference is evident on shipping times. Amazon is typically weeks quicker than both Temu and Wish. 


Temu is currently taking North America by storm and has consistently been one of the most downloaded apps in the App Store. The differences between Temu and Wish are fairly negligible with Temu currently offering, on average, lower prices than Wish. It remains to be seen if this will continue in the long term.

The differences between Temu and Amazon are more drastic. Amazon is typically higher priced on commodity items but has quicker shipping and a wider selection of big brands.

Do you think Temu is here to stay? Or do you think it will fizzle out eventually? Let me know in the comments section below.

Dave Bryant

Dave Bryant has been importing from China for over 10 years and has started numerous product brands. He sold his multi-million dollar ecommerce business in 2016 and create another 7-figure business within 18 months. He's also a former Amazon warehouse employee of one week.

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  1. Good article. Straight forward. Well written and informative. Thank you.

  2. I am absolutely hooked on temu! So pleasantly surprised at the quality of everything I’ve ordered that I’m hooked. Great article, thanks!!

  3. Great article. The funny thing about Wish and Temu is that by the time you get your order, you’ve made 20 other orders and forgotten that you even wanted said item.

  4. I placed a small order with Temu and was pleasantly surprised at quality and shipping time. Would order again.

  5. It appears to be a Wish clone with really cheap merchandize tgat takes forever to arrive. Used Wish once…that cured me. Not interested in trying Temu.

  6. I have used Wish in the past, but found everything I ordered only had a short shelf life. Within weeks almost everything broke in some form or another. With that in mind, I won’t be trying Temu, it sounds like more Chinese made crap that doesn’t last, and I am tired of being a part of the ‘throw it away’ society.

    1. I agree 100%
      You know the saying…..” you get what you pay for “
      Cheaper is not always better!

    2. Facts!

      I won’t be trying Temu. Didn’t know about Wish. Temu pops up as an ad. Quite annoying. Anything from china I don’t want ever. too many issues from when I did use products from china.

      1. betcha bottom dollar that you have at least 3 products made in china that you didn’t know…i won’t judge the made in china in general. yes, some of them are low quality but not all.

  7. I’m addicted to Temu- I love some of the funny little gadgets I can get without having to spend an arm and a leg and they brighten up my day. For bigger, heavier items Amazon is still the go to but for cute and household items Temu is great. Another piece of it is how quickly they refund you if you change your mind and that you can trust and have a wide variety of payment options even Amazon doesn’t have- I love that.

    1. Used AliExpress for the most gadgets an electrical components on our planet, Temu is very good for a fraction of them and currently cheaper.

  8. I think Temu vs. Wish show a big difference. Temu sends things SO much more quickly. I see the same items on Amazon as Temu has for much lower prices. Temu seems to have the chance to put a big dent in Amazon’s massive stranglehold on the way we shop now which seems positive. Temu products look like many high end items I have purchased elsewhere, perhaps private labeled, and I have received clothing that although not branded is marked 100 percent linen, cotton etc. The natural fabric is superior.
    I have recently ordered a pair of shoes to compare to another pair bought on Amazon for @ $90.00. Temu has them for around $14.00. I really think they are identical sans label. As long as there are no human rights violations involved here I will continue to use Temu.

  9. I figured Temu and Wish were about the same. Its not worth it. I ordered instant camera film from Wish once. After weeks, it came with no expiration dates stamped on the boxes. I realized ALL the film was expired from my blurry pictures. All I could do was throw the film and pictures away. Buying from unregulated countries for cheap isn’t worth it. I recall their being a restriction on some toys from China because of their lead content. They were probably practically giving those toys away.

  10. I like TEMU very much, which one is a little high on shipping prices? and slow and shipping.

  11. I’ve bought from Wish and found it was the worst site ever.
    I’ve just received my first order from Temu, it only took a week and was pleasantly surprised, the tops were sized right and good quality and free to return if needed. Will definitely try again.

  12. I watered several small items from Temu and because I didn’t have the correct USPS postal format. After my physical address USPS returned to Temu. No sign of my package anywhere of course it was paid for. I have tried so many options on the Temu website app and there’s no way you can talk to anyone and even relay the issue. I’ve typed some comments but like I said, I would never buy it from them again, not necessarily their fault but it takes so long for communication. My package is in the wind.

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