Temu’s return policy changes: What happened when I tried returning a bunch of items


Getting ready to return some items.

David Gewirtz/ZDNET

Let’s face it. Temu can be addictive. There are all those super-cheap bargain-basement items, with deals that seem too good to pass up. You click the button, give up your payment details, and a package of goodies arrives on your doorstep within a week or two.

Also: Temu vs. Amazon: Which shopping site is best for your buying needs?

What if some of the items you ordered aren’t what you expected, or just plain suck? It would be nice to return defective and incorrectly described products, wouldn’t it? That’s what we’re going to discuss in this article.

Temu’s old return policy

Last October, I wrote a similar article about returning an item to Temu. At the time, the e-commerce site had a policy where you could only get free return shipping for one return per order.


Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

Then, last month, I decided to see just how good Temu’s prices were for tech gear. I set out to find out how much gear I could get for $100 total. I bought 18 items, and came up 23 cents under my limit.

Also: How much tech can I get from Temu for $100 (and is it any good)?

To my great surprise, most of the items I bought were pretty good. There were six items in my haul, however, that I didn’t like, were fairly crappy, or were more limited than the site’s descriptions made them seem. Of the 18 items I bought, I chose to return the following:

  • Electronic writing tablet
  • HDMI capture interface
  • PCIe USB 3.0 card
  • TWS wireless earbuds
  • USB 2.0 3-port mini hub
  • Handheld electronic game

Temu’s new return rules

Interestingly enough, it appears that Temu’s one-return-per-order rule no longer exists. Now, the guidelines say, “You are eligible for ONE free return of one or multiple items for EVERY order!”


Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

I take that as meaning that while I could return six of the 18 items I purchased, I have to do that all at once. If I wanted to return three, and then later another three, I’d be out of luck (or possibly charged a shipping fee — Temu doesn’t specify and queries for clarification to the company have gone unanswered).

Also: This ultra-thin power bank I tested is a must-have travel gadget (and it’s surprisingly cheap)

As with my earlier return, the return form asked for product photos. Since I’d photographed every product for my article, I had a full range of studio shots for the form. I bet Temu has never had such high-quality photos on their return form before!


Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

There’s one more change to the rules. Back in October, Temu required returns to be shipped back in the same packaging as they had been shipped in. If you threw out the shipping bag, you were presumably out of luck (again, requests for clarification have gone unanswered).

That requirement no longer seems to be the case. Instead, you need to be sure to keep the bar codes from each item’s shipping packaging and be able to reattach those bar codes appropriately to each item you’re returning.


Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

I’m not sure what happens if you don’t have the barcode, but fortunately, I kept all my packaging materials and kept track of which barcodes were for which items. This was fairly easy for me, because I had taken studio shots of not only the products but their packaging for my article.


I kept the original packaging, so packing it back up was easy enough to do.

David Gewirtz/ZDNET

I recommend you take a quick picture of anything you buy from Temu with its original packaging, especially if you might want to make a return.

My Temu return timeline

Here’s the timeline for my return process:

  • May 9: Initiated the return. I then ignored the whole thing for almost two weeks.
  • May 22: I got a reminder from Temu to return the items. I packed them up and delivered them to our local UPS drop-off location.
  • May 23: I received notice that I was issued a refund of $37.83, but it could take five to 14 business days for the money to show up in my bank account.
  • May 24: The refund hit my bank account the next day.

Overall, the process was quick. It took just about two weeks for me to get around to doing my part, but I got a refund within two days of the return shipping.

Final thoughts

As long as you keep the packaging for whatever you buy and return the items within the generous 90-day return window, you should be good. This is now the second return I’ve run through Temu, and although the rules changed, both cases were easy and hassle-free.

Are you a Temu customer? What have your experiences been? Have you tried returning one or a bunch of items? Let us know in the comments below.

You can follow my day-to-day project updates on social media. Be sure to subscribe to my weekly update newsletter, and follow me on Twitter/X at @DavidGewirtz, on Facebook at, on Instagram at, and on YouTube at

Source link