Gmarket – Korean Online Shopping Paradise
When you think of online shopping the obvious names that come to mind are Amazon, eBay, Play.com usually. But if you are living in South Korea than these big names are not easily available, so where can you go??? Well the answer to people like us is Gmarket, It is similar to eBay (minus the auctioning) or Amazon Marketplace. Gmarket is one of those things I happen to have a love/hate relationship with. I love it, my bank account hates it…
If you’re new to Gmarket, it’s the largest online shopping website in South Korea with virtually everything and anything you could ever wish for. It’s the Korean version of eBay, Gmarket has everything from Korean road shop beauty products, to stationery, to clothes, to jewelry and yeah even food. Yep, it means practically everything and anything you want, as long as it is LEGAL. Many international companies and high end luxury products are also listed on the site like Urban Decay, MAC, Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Michael Kors.
But what if I don’t read/speak Korean language??? That is not a major issue as Gmarket is partly in English and there are some parts which are not translatable via their software nor the google translator. But it is easy to navigate and you can also use foreign credit card (all safe) and write your address in English without any hassle or extra fees. However, you need to check the delivery fees applicable on some items even when shipping domestically. Basically you need to pay delivery fees for items which are less expensive.
(Daily Deals & Offers)
- Most sellers sell lots of similar products/items, so if you have spare time, look around! You might find another seller selling the same item at a fraction of the price.
- Coupons!!!! Click on the coupon box. Gives out only small discounts but hey every little bit counts when shopping.
- Make sure you double check your styles, sizes and colors before adding them to cart. More often you might land on the size which does not fit you or product you didn’t wish for.
- Extra selection are small add-ons items which you can choose to purchase. They are generally complimentary to other products on the listing, for example, when I bought my NIKON DLSR (yeah, I got my brand new DSLR from Gmarket) many items like the bag, tripod, memory card were also available for purchase. They also came at reasonably discounted prices even though I bought from the same seller and also got free delivery included in the deal.
- Most importantly, Provide as much extra information to seller about anything like size, color or packaging as you can.
(Monthly Coupons and G-Mileage points)
The amazing thing about Gmarket is the shipping and handling. No more waffling about with ten different boxes being sent to your home, Instead you get only one large box or small (depends on your purchase) and you will get your package within 3 days from the date it is shipped. Sometimes you can get your order just two days after completing your purchase online. (EMS tracking)
The not so amazing thing about Gmarket is the delivery fee (as mentioned above). Some sellers will charge a domestic fee, which is basic 2,500KRW, but being an international order the charges can shoot up to 10,000KRW. But really, comparing to the exorbitant charges of eBay and local shops, I’m willing to pay the shipping cost.
Just a heads up, Gmarket works best on Internet Explorer (IE), because everyone in Korea uses that. I find that it doesn’t really matter, I use Chrome and it works just fine :)