• Best Pick: Gmarket!

    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.

    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)

    Etude House Darling Cream

    Etude House Oblique Shadow Brush

    Etude House Missing U Hand Cream

    Etude House Missing U Bee Happy Hand Cream

    Holika Holika Red Clay Egg Soap 

    Holika Holika Medi-Medi Magnesium Pack

    Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask

    It’s Skin Power 10 Formula Effector 

    Ja Saeng Su Hi Collagen Essence Mask

    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)

    Tonymoly Gold Black Sugar Mask

    Tonymoly Pocket Bunny Moist Mist

    This review is part of the “My Best & Worst Picks” ongoing series.

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    • UM von Suomi

      Hiya, have you got any idea how does the Korean online shop http://www.yesstyle.com/en/home.html works globally? Seems really similar to the Gmarket except most items have good English description, some even have “how to use” details. There seems to be quite a lot cosmetic brands available, international shipping and most impressively, they offer free standard shipping on all orders over 35€! It has more japanese and korean cosmetic brands than what strawberry.net is carrying atm.

      Love your site! The first place I ever heard of japanese skincare routine or got such a good information about interesting but hardly nowhere to be found products that I´m very keen to try out. Many thanks!

      • http://www.ratzillacosme.com/ Ratzilla

        YesStyle isn’t Korean — it’s Chinese and it operates like most businesss (they’re the one selling the products and store their products in warehouses). Gmarket is like Rakuten and eBay — they’re made of countless individual stores. You can’t compare the two. The prices are YesStyle are very marked up though.

        Strawberrynet is just like BonjourHK and Sasa. It buys older and/or discontinued products to resell — hence the odd assortmment.

    • Vicky

      Hi, could you please share some facial masks you use? I really like your post and I really want a great facial mask. I have tried Innisfree and it is great! Do you have any moisturizing masks to share? Thanks!

      • http://www.ratzillacosme.com/ Ratzilla

        I use sheet masks about 3x a week. I’m not a big fan of Korean sheet masks (at least I didn’t like any of the ones that I’ve tried), but I do love Taiwanese and Japanese ones.

        Taiwanese sheet masks are good if your skin is not sensitive (most are fragranced and ladened with extracts). I really like all the FaceQ and My Scheming masks that I’ve tried. My Beauty Diary ones are all right.

        For Japanese ones, Minon Amino Moist Skin Mask is excellent for nourishing and soothing dry, sensitive skin. Hadabisei Moisturising Facial 3D Mask (Super Moisturising) and Hadabisei Wrinkle Care 3D Mask are both nice for moisturising drier skin. Clear Turn White Mask (Vit. C) and Mentholatum MelanoCC are quite good for brightening skin.

    • http://easttowestskincare.wordpress.com/ Pedro


      I’ll buy the Etude Darling Cream from Gmarket. Do you know if there is any information in English on the package? I want to buy many Etude’s cosmetics in general, but isn’t easy finding the ingredients.


      • http://ratzillacosme.com Ratzilla

        Etude House’s packaging is actually bilingual, Korean and English, including the ingredient lists. Its website doesn’t provide ingredients but since the brand is so popular, you can easily find photos of the ingredients portion if you do an image search using the product name. For example, the Darling Cream’s ingredients.

        • http://easttowestskincare.wordpress.com/ Pedro

          Just two more questions:

          Is the link http://english.gmarket.co.kr/challenge/neo_goods/goods.asp?goodscode=202762139 an official store?

          If I’m in the English Gmarket, how can I know if the store is official or not?

          • http://ratzillacosme.com Ratzilla

            Yes, that’s the one. High end brands won’t have official shops there (just like you wouldn’t find Chanel running an online shop on Amazon). You can tell by the seller’s name/logo as it will be the same as the brand.

    • Jen

      Can you review Coogi BB cream?

    • Yvonne

      Can you please review some of the skincare products and the BB cream?

    • http://easttowestskincare.wordpress.com/ Pedro

      I like Korean cosmetics, but I usually prefer Japanese brands. Personally I think Korean cosmetics usually are strongly scented and contain a lot of unnecessary plant extracts.

      • http://ratzillacosme.com Ratzilla

        I do prefer Japanese brands overall as well, simply because I’m more familiar with them and I do not know any Korean. As for strong fragrance and unnecessary plant extracts in Korean cosmetics, it depends on what you’re looking at as this too is true for many Japanese brands as well. I think Korean does better face masks and packaging…. and, its prices are a lot more attractive.