Sunday, March 24, 2013

101: Introduction to Korean online shopping malls

Ah Korea, how I miss thee...
Myeong-dong Shopping District, Jung-gu, Seoul - 11.01.24
So if you clicked on this post in desperation because you've just seen a pretty blouse on GMarket, or a cute skirt on CherryKoko or the latest shiny Super Junior CD and it's just one of those things you have to have, you know? Well, you've come to the right place, hopefully I can help you with that.

Shopping on some of Korea's many online shopping malls can be daunting and confusing. Yep, I would know. I'm not Korean, I don't speak nor read Korean and we all know online translators are ... Questionable ... (Haha, if you've got the time, google "Translate fails" xp)

So, let my failures and experiences help you!
I've compiled a list of some tips and tricks I've learnt while shopping on some of the more popular Korean sites.


(Note: I've only listed websites I've actually purchased from - it would be unfair to rank a website I've never dealt with, right? Also, some Korean websites actually require a Korean SSN ( for example, Asmama T_T) and I've no experience with that. This page will also continue updating as I continue to explore the world of online shopping malls :D)


1. GMarket
Click here for my GMarket tips and tricks.
Click here for my hauls (oh dear...)


Quick facts:

What do they sell?
Everything from beauty products and clothing to groceries and electronics!
Price range?
Varies with the product - $ for beauty products to $$$ for expensive electronics
Shipping? Via EMS, as per weight

Pros:

- Generally good quality items
- RRP or cheaper
- Wide selection of items
- Extremely fast shipping times
- Safe and secure packaging

Cons:

- Expensive shipping rates
- As with all online shopping, you really can't touch an item, know the true quality, material or manufacturing. I've generally had good experiences, but be wary that sometimes, the item won't turn out exactly the way you see it on your screen. Sellers are fantastic at pretty camera angles, lighting and Photoshop.

Overall rating:
8/10
You really sell your soul to this site when you place your first order, it's a bit too addictive! Marks docked for the shipping cost and occasional annoying seller cancelling your item after two weeks wait ==.

2. Cherrykoko


Quick facts:

What do they sell? Clothing and accessories.

Price range? Retail prices, so unless it's on sale, a typical blouse is about 25,000W.

Shipping? Via EMS, as per weight

Pros:

- English website available
- Very good quality clothing
- Cute, up to date, trendy styles (website updated frequently)
- Safe and secure packaging
- Fast shipping times

Cons:

- Extended handling time
- Expensive shipping

Overall rating:
8.5/10
I have been repurchasing from this website, despite the higher than usual prices and the very long handling times. The quality is crazy awesome and the styles are just too cute! Marks docked for handling process, but really I have nothing bad to say about this site.

3. 2fb

Quick facts: 

What do they sell? Clothing and accessories.
Price range? RRP but still pretty cheap, it was about 16,000W for a blouse or cardigan
Shipping? Via EMS, set at $20USD for less than $100USD purchase, $10USD for $100 to $200USD and free shipping for any amount over that.

Pros:

- Excellent customer service team - seriously, the only CS team that has responded promptly to my emails in consistently impeccable English. They've even called me once to respond to a query I had.
- Fast handling times
- English website available
- Shipping costs are quite cheap

Cons:

- Quality is ok... I wouldn't say bad, but I wouldn't say the best either. You get what you pay for and I'd put 2fb's quality with high street chain stores: Forever 21/H&M/ Dotti (if you're Australian!)

Overall rating:
5/10
I haven't repurchased from this website, simply because I wasn't happy with the quality. Prices were okay, but I think I'll blow my pennies on something that will last more than one wash...

So, that's it for now, I'll continue to update this page as I discover more and more online shops




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