Online Shopping in South Korea
Shopping from the comfort of your own home is not a 21st century thing for Koreans. Back in the 1990’s, when satellite TV spread all over the country, home shopping became popular. That, along with excellent service from KoreaPost makes South Korea a heaven for lazy shoppers. Online shopping, though, makes everything better!You can buy anything and everything through online shopping – except for medicine. It is advised that you also buy fresh groceries from markets instead on online. Online they are usually sold in bulk quantities. Tip: If the price seems just too good it’s because the items have small defects and cannot be sold in stores.
Where To Shop
The websites offer the payment system and the space, everything else is the duty of the seller. The first two offer their services in English, while the latter is only available in Korean.
There is a plethora of items from all imaginable categories. From groceries to furniture to makeup and home & garden supplies. If you can think of it, they have it.
You were probably just as surprised as I was when you saw that LG makes toothbrushes in Korea. And I’m not talking about some fancy electric model but about a regular ol’ toothbrush. Big companies have a finger in every pie in Korea. Thus, they also dabble in internet shopping websites.
Among the biggest are CS Club, CJ Mall, LG E-Shop, Samsung Mall, H Mall, Shinsegae, Lotte I-Mall and Lotte. These websites sometimes offer same-day delivery, long insurance periods on selected products, percentages off when using certain banks and mileage points.
Government subsidiaries and telecommunications companies also run online shopping websites, the most popular being 11 Street, KT Mall, NSE Shop and the Korea Post Office website which sells traditional products. 11St is available in English and about as popular as Gmarket.
Tip! If shopping from home wasn’t convenient enough, you can also shop on the go! 11 Street and Gmarket both have Android apps. Moreover, Coupang is very popular in Korea. You can find so many deals and next-day delivery on most!
While the websites above do sell groceries, it’s better if you go at one of the following websites if you are looking for convenience. Moreover, you will not have to pay the delivery of individual or small group of items. Korean supermarts charge approximately 4.000 KRW for delivery. Depending on the website you might not have to pay for the delivery granted you spend a given amount of money. If you live in the vicinity of their stores, some supermarts offer same-day delivery.
Homeplus has a wide variety of imported products and delivers daily within three time slots. Your items can be delivered in plastic bags or cardboard boxes.
E-mart is a Korean chain spread in every corner of the country. They do not offer same-day delivery, but they do offer next-day delivery. The products will be delivered in cardboard boxes.
Lotte Mart is another famous supermarket chain popular in Korea and Japan alike. You have to order a minimum of 12 hours before delivery. They offer four delivery time slots and deliver in plastic bags.
Returning items is an easy task. All you have to do is post them through KoreaPost or your local convenience store. They will pick up big items from your house. Just seal the and hand them to the delivery worker.