Those who know me will know that I spend quite a fair amount of time browsing online stores and… buying things. I spend so much time searching online because a) I like pretty things, b) I need to know what’s new and trending in cosmetics for my job, and c) I need keep everything on RatzillaCosme at up-to-date as possible. (Last 2 reasons are blatantly just excuses.)
My (beauty) shopping obsession for the past few months: Gmarket (and Gmarket Japan). They are a South Korean online shopping portal with worldwide shipping. You can buy nearly everything there, with many directly from the manufacturers themselves. All under one convenient roof! Its prices are insanely low and there are lots of coupons available to sweeten the deal.
Granted, Gmarket is not easy to use for English speakers even in their English site — its product listings are still in Korean and its build-in translation tool is spotty at best — and, its shipping system is over complicated. In fact, I dare say shipping is Gmarket’s main downfall as it is EMS shipping only based on estimated weight. I personally prefer Gmarket Japan as it is much more user-friendly with various shipping options to choose from, but it’s Japan-only.
The only international shipping method currently available on Gmarket is via EMS. It charges according to weight by 0.5kg increments only. It actually works out much cheaper per item, the more things you buy as the difference is only a few dollars once you hit the 2 kg mark. For e.g., 2kg is 30,600 Won but double the weight (4kg) is only 39,000 Won! If you want more bang for your bucks, avoid buying anything heavy!
I’ve ordered from both a few times now and my list is always a mixed bag of products. Some things that are available only in Korea, some things that are available exclusively to Gmarket, and some things that are available all over the place but will be much cheaper from Gmarket.
In addition to having no markups, purchasing Korean cosmetics from Gmarket often end up being much cheaper than buying in store in Korea due to many special deals that can be found. On top of that, you can also use discount coupons if the regular price is over 10,000 Won! Gift with purchase are offered by most brands and the gifts get more generous the more items you order.
Check Ciramisu’s Gmarket beauty post for links to most cosmetics brands with official Gmarket shops.
Keep in mind that Korea’s climate is a lot drier than Japan and Taiwan so Korean cosmetics tend to be more moisturizing and emollient compared to Japanese’s. If you’re very acne-prone or have very oily skin, you might find their face products (foundations, BB creams, moisturizers, etc.) problematic in general.
My beauty shopping list… minus the duds:
I tried to find Gmarket international’s equivalents for products that I purchased from Gmarket Japan so links provided may not be the actual listings that I personally bought from.
Coogi Flowertox 3action Super BB Cream SPF22/PA++ (Buy 1 Get 1 Free)
Dodo 3W Clinic Powder Crystal Creator Bright (Buy 1 Get 2 Free)
Marmonde Triple Multi Foam Cleansing (Buy 1 Get 1 Free)
Nana’s Cherry Yogurt Tint/Nana’s Berry Yogurt Tint (Buy 1 Get 1 Free)
This review is part of the “My Best & Worst Picks” ongoing series.