Online Shopping in South Korea for Foreigners

Online shopping in South Korea for foreigners is both easy and difficult. 

If you shop at an international website like Gmarket Global or ASOS, it's easy because you can use PayPal or your regular Visa/Mastercard credit card.

If you shop at a Korean website, you need a Korean bank account or credit card which involves like a million steps to make payment and it's just a big headache for foreigners who are not so good in the Korean language. Unless you have a Korean friend to help you, it's really a lot of trouble in my opinion.

Let me share my experience in details:

Gmarket Global

I LOVE Gmarket. I've been using it even when I was in Singapore because the 'Global' website is exactly what it is for - international shoppers. Shipping is not that expensive and it's rather fast when it is delivered to Singapore.

In South Korea, I had problems using the Global website because they probably detected that my IP address is a Korean address so I was always directed to the KR site and being the KR site, I can only pay with a Korean credit card etc.

Then I found another way on how to use it and pay with PayPal. Since I have both my KR and SG phones, I downloaded the Gmarket app on both of them from KR and SG app store respectively. I log in using the same account on both apps (I found out the database is the same).

I would shop using the KR app first, add it to cart, apply the applicable coupons and then check out using my SG app and pay using PayPal.

Just note that the Global app discounts are not applicable because your shipping address is in KR.


ASOS is the same everywhere. Standard payment with PayPal or major credit cards. Not to mention, free shipping to South Korea!

Zara, KR

I shopped online once, and I don't think I will do it again. Not only you need to have a KR bank account or credit card, the check-out process involved downloading a third party application for payment verification. Even though I understand it's for security, the process was just too troublesome for me.

Nonetheless, besides the payment method, online shopping here is really great and I want to share some local sites that I've been browsing and shopping on:

단골언니 Dangolunni
SHOES! They have some really nice designs and the quality is pretty good for the price. I have about 3 to 4 pairs from here and it's my go-to for all kinds of shoes, especially the heeled loafers (pictured below).

인디브랜드 Indibrand

Minimalist, simple everyday wear. They have pretty nice basics too. I once found a straw bag here for half the price it was selling at Stylenanda.

MAKMAKS via Gmarket Global

I have gotten a few outerwears and a pair of linen shorts from here. Sometimes there are good deals, otherwise you can always use the monthly Gmarket 5% or 10% discount. Quality is good and variety changes depending on the season. Right now, I am still eyeing on one of its linen jackets which I know I can still wear when I go back to Singapore...

UPTOWNHOLIC via Gmarket Global

The price range here is a bit on the steep side but quality is good. They also have a physical store at Sinsadong but I have never stepped in there.

소녀나라 Sonyunara

The name means something like world of teen girls (I apologise for the literal and bad translation) so this is definitely for younger women but if you have some time to browse slowly, you can definitely find something you like that is nice and affordable.

OMG as I am doing up this post, I realised that 66girls now have an English page for international customers and they accept PayPal and Visa/Mastercard! I'm not sure if the English site allows you to ship within Korea, please let me know if you do! I would say their product offerings is for more women in their 20s to 30s with some pretty versatile pieces for work and everyday wear.

In terms of delivery...
No one does it better than the South Koreans. Not just food deliveries but online shopping as well. There are so many times when my orders get delivered within 2 working days, such as ordering on a Friday night and having it delivered at my door step by Monday morning. I felt so spoilt that when my ASOS order took 2 weeks (well, shorter than the expected 3 weeks) to come, I felt a little upset. But I still love you ASOS!

1 comment:

Osohave said...

Awesome post for Online Shoping its very helpful for us and know more about it so visit website
global online shopping store in Singapore