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

Dive into my Temu shopping experiment. I spent $100 for 18 gadgets. Did I save money compared to Amazon and/or regret my picks? Read on to find out.
Written by David Gewirtz, Senior Contributing Editor

Here's what I got for my $100 budget.

David Gewirtz/ZDNET

By now, we all know we can get inexpensive merchandise from Temu. But what about tech? Can we save money ordering some of the more generic tech devices from Temu? And what is the quality like?

Also: Is Temu legit? Everything to know before you place your first order

To find out, I gave myself a $100 budget. Temu provides free shipping once an order gets over $10, so I placed a single order, which came to a total of $99.77 and got free shipping. Here's a quick summary of everything I got for that amount, a total of 18 individual items:

  • Wireless mouse
  • Turtle-shaped wired mouse
  • USB 2.0 3-port mini hub
  • TWS wireless earbuds
  • Keyboard and mouse set
  • HD webcam
  • PCIe USB 3.0 card
  • Screwdriver pen toolkit
  • USB C SD card reader
  • USB tester
  • Electronic writing tablet
  • Rotating tablet stand
  • HDMI  capture interface
  • Handheld electronic game
  • 32GB  thumb drive
  • 32GB microSD card
  • 5-port USB charging hub
  • External CD/DVD drive

Temu functions as a marketplace for individual vendors, much like Amazon Marketplace. As such, product availability and price fluctuate constantly on Temu. A product available one week could be gone by the next. One troubling discovery I made when putting together this article was that the overall pricing from the day I placed my order to the day I completed writing the article went up about 13%. 

Also: I tried to return something to Temu. Here's what happened

For each item I describe below, I'm listing both the original price and the price four weeks later. I'm also listing equivalent Amazon products, which are products that are as close as possible to the products Temu sells. Stay tuned to the end of the article where I will show you how much this hundred dollar haul would have cost had it been purchased on Amazon.

And now, let's dig in.

1. Wireless mouse - $2.11

Spend so far - $2.11

David Gewirtz/ZDNET
  • What I paid: $2.11
  • Temu price 4 weeks later: $2.47
  • Amazon equivalent: $1.99 + $6.99 delivery

Package condition.

David Gewirtz/ZDNET

This Temu wireless mouse is a basic, bare-bones wireless mouse. It communicates to a computer using a USB 3 dongle. It's extremely light weight, and takes two AAA batteries. But it works and does its job.

Amazon does offer a number of very inexpensive mice, including those available for a penny. But they all include a shipping charge. The least expensive I found, including the shipping charge, was this one for a total of $8.98 (even if you have Prime, as I do). Temu does charge for shipping, but if your order exceeds ten bucks, it's free.

2. Turtle-shaped wired mouse - $3.39

Spend so far - $5.50

David Gewirtz/ZDNET
  • What I paid: $3.39
  • Temu price 4 weeks later: $3.97
  • Amazon equivalent: $12.99


David Gewirtz/ZDNET

This turtle-shaped wired mouse is a mouse, shaped like a turtle. There's not much more to say, except did I mention it's a mouse shaped like a turtle? It plugs into your computer over USB 3, doesn't require batteries, and is very green. And it does work.

Amazon offers a turtle-shaped wired mouse that clearly uses the same molds, for $12.99. There are also a number of vendors offering the same green mouse color and exactly the same mold, but in a wireless version, ranging from in price from $12.73 to $15.93.

3. USB 2.0 3-port mini hub - $3.98

Spend so far - $9.48

David Gewirtz/ZDNET
  • What I paid: $3.98
  • Temu price 4 weeks later: $3.98
  • Amazon equivalent: $5.12

Hub packaging

David Gewirtz/ZDNET

This USB hub/splitter is kind of a worthless purchase. The Temu site doesn't specify that this is for USB 2.0 devices, but it is. That said, it works fine with a mouse and does well as a charging connection if you only have one USB port.

It spins, and fits nicely on the side of the two laptops I tested it with. Durability is always a question, and I'm guessing if you spin the connector too many times, it'll stop working. Amazon has an equivalent device, but the Amazon listing says it's USB 2.0 right in the title.

While it's not exactly misrepresentation, I consider the Temu listing misleading, and call this purchase a disappointment, even for less than four bucks.

4. TWS wireless earbuds - $2.98

Spend so far - $12.46

David Gewirtz/ZDNET
  • What I paid: $2.98
  • Temu price 4 weeks later: $2.97
  • Amazon equivalent: $7.99


David Gewirtz/ZDNET

For three bucks, I mean, okay. These wireless earbuds work. They don't suck (mostly). Sound quality is surprisingly good, as long as you're not looking for pounding bass. Bluetooth connectivity works, but only under about five feet. Whenever I got about five feet away from my computer or phone, they dropped the connection. They charge using a micro USB connection, but do not include a cable.

Amazon has a fairly large offering of super cheap earbuds, but they all have shipping between $6.99 and $10.99. I found a fairly nice set for $7.99 with free Prime shipping. These are actually a step up from the Temu buds, with a case that provides charging data.

Also: The best budget earbuds of 2024

The bottom line on the $3 Temu set is this: if you're using it with your phone, which you keep with you, they're really not bad. If you intend to be any distance at all from the Bluetooth connection, they'll drop or annoy you with a constantly intermittent connection. But hey, for $3 and tolerably good sound quality, what's to complain about?

5. Wireless keyboard and mouse set - $5.26

Spend so far - $17.72

David Gewirtz/ZDNET
  • What I paid: $5.26
  • Temu price 4 weeks later: $8.35
  • Amazon equivalent: $20.97

Keyboard and mouse packaging

David Gewirtz/ZDNET

For a little over five bucks, this wireless keyboard and mouse is a pretty nice set. I am a fan of thin, lightweight, chicklet keyboards, but some people dislike them intensely. This is a very lightweight keyboard that connects over bluetooth, as does the mouse. The mouse uses disposable batteries, while the keyboard charges over USB.

The price variances are interesting here. Four weeks later, the keyboard went up measurably in price. It comes in three other colors: baby blue, black, and white. Each of them is more expensive than the rather (to me) ugly pink. But for five bucks, pink is fine. The exact same product appears to be on Amazon, and there it's priced at over $20. I'm not sure this set is worth $20, but it's actually quite nice for what it cost. Bluetooth works, but it is very range-limited, 3 or 4 feet at best.

6. HD webcam - $6.56

Spend so far - $24.28

David Gewirtz/ZDNET
  • What I paid: $6.56
  • Temu price 4 weeks later: $6.55
  • Amazon equivalent: $5.99 + $6.99 delivery

Webcam packaging

David Gewirtz/ZDNET

This little webcam is a happy little purchase. To be clear, it's no Logitech, but the image quality for a 1080p camera isn't bad, it's responsive, and it worked right out of the box. It has a folding grip for the top of a monitor, and, as a very nice little plus, you can rotate the camera itself on a ball joint to aim it just right.

The only thing really missing is a 1/4"-20 mount on the bottom to mount it to a tripod or other photo-related grip gear. To be fair, many webcams I've used over the years have also lacked that mount.

Also: The best webcams for streaming

Amazon has what appears to be the exact same webcam for 57 cents less -- except you also have to pay $6.99 shipping. The Amazon product is not Prime eligible.

7. PCIe USB 3.0 expansion card - $8.79

Spend so far - $33.07

David Gewirtz/ZDNET
  • What I paid: $8.79
  • Temu price 4 weeks later: $8.79
  • Amazon equivalent: $21.79

USB card packaging

David Gewirtz/ZDNET

If you want to add more USB ports to your PC build, this card will certainly get you there. Unlike most of the other items in this article, I didn't personally test this board. My PC is humming perfectly and I don't want to open it up. But the reviews on Temu are quite positive, as long as you follow this one guideline: "Hook it up to a 15-pin SATA power cable for it to work."

There are a lot of similar USB expansion cards available on Amazon, and many of them are starting to mix USB 3.0 and USB C. But I did find one that looks very similar to the unit on Temu, with some minor component differences. Amazon will ship the board for free, but at $21.79 as of the time of writing, it still clocks in at more than twice the price.

8. Screwdriver pen toolkit - $1.69

Spend so far - $34.76

David Gewirtz/ZDNET
  • What I paid: $1.69
  • Temu price 4 weeks later: $1.98
  • Amazon equivalent: $7.99

Screwdriver packaging

David Gewirtz/ZDNET

This thing qualifies as a must-buy. It's a little tiny screwdriver set for under two bucks. All the screw heads fit inside the body of the screwdriver. The body of the screwdriver is fairly well-machined, as are the screw heads. My only complaint is that the chuck (or bit holder) isn't terribly robust. It does hold the bits in use, but it is likely to break at some point.

But let me reiterate: this is under two dollars. For that price, you can buy four of them, put one in your glove compartment, one in a kitchen junk drawer, one in your toolkit, and one in your office desk. You'll always have a tiny screwdriver around when you need one.

Also: The best electric screwdrivers

The Amazon equivalent, which looks to be the exact same item, is $7.99 with Prime shipping. I mentioned you can get four of these sets from Temu because the Temu price is less than a quarter that of the Amazon price.

9. USB C SD card reader - $1.35

Spend so far - $36.11

David Gewirtz/ZDNET
  • What I paid: $1.35
  • Temu price 4 weeks later: $1.83
  • Amazon equivalent: $12.99


David Gewirtz/ZDNET

This little gadget sports an SD card slot, Micro SD card slot, and USB 3.0 port, and connects to your computer over USB C. I tried this with all three media types and it worked. However, I'm fairly sure it's not using the full performance capacity of the USB 3.0 or USB C interface. I used a USB 3.0 thumb drive that's quite fast plugged directly into my Mac Studio, but when transferring through this interface, it was fairly sluggish. On the other hand, what do you expect for $1.35?

Amazon has an equivalent device in white. Temu also offers a white version, which turns out to be twenty cents or so less than the black version. It was more expensive when I placed my order last month.

10. USB tester - $4.98

Spend so far - $41.09

David Gewirtz/ZDNET
  • What I paid: $4.98
  • Temu price 4 weeks later: $4.98
  • Amazon equivalent: $6.59


David Gewirtz/ZDNET

This little USB charging tester could not be easier to use. You plug it into a source of power (I'm using my laptop here), and then plug in the device you want to charge. The device reports voltage and current, as well as accumulated current and total running time. This can help you determine if the USB power brick or port is providing enough juice for the device you're trying to use. There's also a reset button, which clears the cumulative data on the device.

Amazon offers a seemingly identical device with a different color plastic shell. Amazon's price is only about a dollar and a half more than the Temu price, and it's available for free shipping via Prime. This is another product that does what it says it will do, no more and no less.

11. Don't buy this tablet - $13.16

Spend so far - $54.25

David Gewirtz/ZDNET
  • What I paid: $13.16
  • Temu price 4 weeks later: $15.48
  • Amazon equivalent: $20.69

The packaging is the best part of this thing.

David Gewirtz/ZDNET

I am personally offended this product even exists. It's the single most expensive thing I bought in this Temu haul. It's like an Etch A Sketch gone horribly, horribly wrong. It's a digital tablet with no output. You write on it, and you erase what you write. That is all. You write on it. You can't save what you write. You can't upload it to your computer or phone. You can't create more than one screen's worth of writing. You can't change the brightness or contrast of the annoyingly dim screen.

The erase feature doesn't work all that well and leaves residue from all the other times you wrote on it. On top of all that, the battery is nearly impossible to remove. The tablet is glued into its case, which is styled to look like one of the original iPad cases. But it's not an iPad. It's an iSuck.

Also: The best tablets of 2024

Amazon shockingly sells the same model, normally listed at an insane-for-this-garbage $28.99, discounted on the day I looked to $20.69. If you want to know how little the sellers themselves even care about it, take a look at the Amazon link. The clip art image they use of a computer in the scene (remember, this doesn't work with a computer) says "Mockup." I think it should say "Mockery."

Oddly enough, this thing has a ton of positive reviews on both Temu and Amazon. It's still terrible. Don't buy it.

12. Rotating tablet stand - $10.98

Spend so far - $65.23

David Gewirtz/ZDNET
  • What I paid: $10.98
  • Temu price 4 weeks later: $13.49
  • Amazon equivalent: $26.99


David Gewirtz/ZDNET

As bad as that bizarre writing tablet was is as good as this tablet stand is. This is every bit a top-tier quality tablet stand. It's made of strong metal (probably some aluminum alloy), is nice and firm when it opens, and has a nice rotating base. As long as you angle it a bit, it supports full-sized tablets like the iPad Pro. And it folds down easily, so you can carry it with you. I like it a lot.

Amazon appears to sell the same model, for roughly twice the price (although there's a 40% off coupon right now). This is where Temu shines. Sure, you can get the Amazon unit in one day with Prime, but if you're willing to wait a week and a half or so, you can get away with paying half, or as I did, less than half the price.

13. HDMI to USB 2.0 video capture interface - $5.98

Spend so far - $71.21

David Gewirtz/ZDNET
  • What I paid: $5.98
  • Temu price 4 weeks later: $5.98
  • Amazon equivalent: $8.99


David Gewirtz/ZDNET

This is an HDMI video capture interface, useful for bringing in content from a DSLR camera, a DVD player, or a gaming console. The device itself does not come with any video software, but it works well enough with OBS. When I connected my camera, I didn't see any apparent frame loss, but that's not saying much when you're just bringing in room video or a talking head. Essentially, if you're not all that demanding, the USB 2.0 interface is good enough.

What's not good enough is the matching Amazon offering. While the title of the product on Amazon says it's an "HD 1080P USB Capture Card," the body copy says it "captures 4K@60Hz video input at full speed, no lag, no delay." No. No, it doesn't. There is no way you're capturing 4K video over USB 2.0 without dropping at least 75% of the frames.

Points to Temu for not claiming it's any more than it is, and a finger wag at Amazon for claiming it can do something that the physics of the universe make impossible.

14. Handheld electronic game - $2.94

Spend so far - $74.15

David Gewirtz/ZDNET
  • What I paid: $2.94
  • Temu price 4 weeks later: $3.81
  • Amazon equivalent: $15.80


David Gewirtz/ZDNET

Temu promotes this as a "Handheld Switch Game." Now, quite obviously, this isn't a Switch console, but for under $3, nobody expects it to be. I can definitely see the reasoning though. Grandpa asks Junior what he wants as a gift, and Junior says "A Nintendo Switch." Grandpa goes to Temu, types in Switch, sees this thing and thinks, "Hmm, three bucks. Let's get Junior this. After all, the little tyke never calls or writes anyway." SEO, FTW.

And, you know what? It's worth every one of its 294 pennies. It comes with "26" games -- most of which are variations of each other. But somewhere in there (game J) there's a credible Tetris clone that's fairly fun to play. This is a novelty that's not terribly novel, especially since all our smartphones are physically bigger, have gorgeous backlit color screens (this isn't backlit), and you can download and play all the Candy Crush you want. But hey, it's a product.

As for the Amazon version of the product, at least it doesn't claim it's a Switch. On the other hand, it promotes the product as suitable to wean kids away from their phones, and to "exercise the elderly's reaction speed and memory, delaying the aging speed of the brain." You can't make this stuff up.

15. 32GB USB 3.0 and USB C thumb drive - $2.54

Spend so far - $76.69

David Gewirtz/ZDNET
  • What I paid: $2.54
  • Temu price 4 weeks later: $3.98
  • Amazon equivalent: $7.87


David Gewirtz/ZDNET

Here we have a basic 32GB thumb drive. What I quite like about it is that it comes with both a USB 3.0 port and a USB C port, so it can be used on some of my laptops that have only USB C ports, as well as my machines equipped with USB 3.0. Beyond that, there's nothing to write home about. Transfer speed is adequate, but it's certainly not maxing out the bandwidth that USB C provides. But it works, it passes basic storage tests, and what else can you ask for something that's under $3?

There are Amazon thumb drives that cost less than this one, but none of them are Prime-eligible. As such, while you may spend a buck on the drive, you're being asked to spend eight dollars on shipping. This drive seems functionally equivalent and echos all of the physical design notes, so it's my guess they are the same basic device.

16. Kodak brand 32GB microSD card - $4.98

Spend so far - $81.67

David Gewirtz/ZDNET
  • What I paid: $4.98
  • Temu price 4 weeks later: $6.29
  • Amazon equivalent: $9.99
David Gewirtz/ZDNET

This is a Kodak-branded microSD card. Kodak, once the towering sovereign of film photography, now licenses its name to many manufacturers. So exactly who makes this card is something of a mystery. That said, it worked in my camera and in the drone to record video, so it's good enough.

Interestingly, the Temu variant is a UHS-1 U3 card, which is spec'd to transfer data at 30 MB/s. The more expensive Amazon variant is actually a UHS-1 U1, which is only spec'd for data transfer at 10 MB/s.

17. 5-port USB charging hub - $7.62

Spend so far - $89.29

David Gewirtz/ZDNET
  • What I paid: $7.62
  • Temu price 4 weeks later: $8.48
  • Amazon equivalent: $10.75 (used)


David Gewirtz/ZDNET

This little 25W USB charging hub does a nice job of charging up multiple devices. It's extremely lightweight, so you need to hold it with one hand when unplugging or plugging anything in. It's not a rapid charger, having taken almost 3 hours to fully charge my iPad from completely out of juice. That said, I like the form factor, it comes with a power cord, and you can't beat the price.

Amazon does offer an identical unit but it's only available in a used model. As you might imagine, Amazon does offer plenty of USB charging hubs, generally ranging from ten dollars and up.

18. External CD/DVD drive - $10.48

Spend so far - $99.77

David Gewirtz/ZDNET
  • What I paid: $10.48
  • Temu price 4 weeks later: $10.03
  • Amazon equivalent: $19.99


David Gewirtz/ZDNET

All that brings us to our last item in our giant Temu haul, an external CD/DVD player. As it turns out, this is also a burner, although since I didn't have any DVD-RW blanks, I didn't test that part of its functionality. As a DVD player, what can I say? It loaded commercial DVDs and played them back. What else do you want for under eleven bucks? The Temu player came with both a USB cable to connect to a computer as well as a USB cable for power (although I found no need for the second cable).

Also: How to play old DVDs on your modern Apple M-series Mac

I have to say that the drive from Temu looks almost identical to the $19.99 Gotega drive I bought last year from Amazon. I've been very happy with that drive. We've purchased a number of old science fiction TV series that aren't available via streaming, and it's been fun to watch them using the DVD player. It was something of a no-brainer to get the retro player at twenty bucks, but for slightly over ten dollars, it's clearly an easy win.

How much I saved on Temu

Overall, I was somewhat pleased with the general quality of the items Temu sent me. None of them could be considered top-tier items, but there were only two that I'd consider terrible: the USB 2.0 switch that wasn't marketed as USB 2.0, and the bizarre writing tablet that didn't do anything right. Otherwise, everything worked fairly well. 

I mean, a wireless mouse for $2? A keyboard and mouse set for under $6? There's not much to complain about there.

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

I spent $99.77 for the entire haul. Had I placed that same order today, it would have cost me $113.37. Temu's prices went up by 13%. Even so, that's nothing compared to the $239.46 that it would have cost to order the same items on Amazon. Temu is quite literally less than half the price. And most of the gear performs as advertised.

What do you think? Will this change your mind about Temu? Have you ordered from Temu before? What do you think? Did you get what you expected? Were the deals good? How was the quality? 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 Facebook.com/DavidGewirtz, on Instagram at Instagram.com/DavidGewirtz, and on YouTube at YouTube.com/DavidGewirtzTV.

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