Sunday, March 24, 2013

101: GMarket Tips and Tricks


Ah, GMarket.

GMarket is one of those things I happen to have a love/hate relationship with. I love it, my bank account hates it...

If you're new to GMarket, it's a large online shopping mall with virtually everything and anything you could ever want. Korea's version of Ebay, GMarket has everything, from Korean roadshop beauty products, to clothes, to stationery and even food. Yep, I meant it when I said everything and anything. This is awesome for those of us Aussies - most of this stuff isn't available locally or, if it is, at an extortionate prices...

Some products work on a bidding system, but most are just purchase on hand. Most of the website is in English, so it really shouldn't be a problem. GMarket deals with most of the sellers, so you don't have to worry about miscommunication and with any refund/cancellation issues, everything will be handled by GMarket themselves.

Just a heads up, GMarket works best on Internet Explorer (IE), because everyone in Korea uses that. I find that it doesn't really matter, I use Chrome and it works just fine :)

Alright, let's start!

These days, GMarket has implemented their English website and really, it's all pretty straight forward.

Generally what you see once you click the listing.


- Double check your styles, colours and sizes before you add them to your cart! More often than not, I haven't and then ended up with an item which I wasn't actually planning on buying xp
- Most sellers actually sell a lot of similar items, so if you've got the time, shop around! You might find another seller selling the same item for a fraction of the price.
- Extra selections are small add-ons which you can choose to purchase. They generally complement the other products in the listing, for example, eye and makeup remover on a makeup listing or a silver polishing cloth on a jewellery listing. They're generally good value! Most of the products are just a few 1,000W extra.
- Click the coupon box! Gives you small discounts here and there. May not be a lot, but every little bit counts :)

Check your selections! Avoid surprise items :)
Some useful phrases:
Now I can't read, write or speak Korean. How did I get by on GMarket? Well, generally, all you really need is knowledge of colours. Over time, I guess I managed to remember most of the Korean names for each colour, but if you're just starting out, I recommend this basic list:

I've taken this from the lovely Karisa at ciramisu (Thank you!!!), her whole very detailed list is here:

    Beige - 베이지
    Black - 블랙/ 검정
    Blue - 불루/ 소라
    Brown - 브라운
    Camel - 카멜
    Coral - 코랄
    Cream - 크림
    Chocolate - 초콜릿
    Gold - 골드
    Green - 그린/ 연두
    Grey - 그레이/ 회
    Ivory - 아이버리
    Mint - 민트
    Mocha - 모카
    Navy - 네이비
    Nude - 누드
    Orange - 오렌지
    Pink - 핑크
    Purple - 퍼플
    Purple (plum) - 자주
    Purple (pastel) - 보라
    Red - 레드
    Scarlet - 스칼렛
    Silver - 실버
    Sky - 스카이
    Turquoise/Blue-green - 청록
    Violet - 바이올렛
    White - 화이트
    Wine - 와인
    Yellow -옐로우/ 노란

and some more of my own:
Mustard (like a deep yellow) - 머스타드
Khaki (not your typical khaki! Sometimes it's a dark green, sometimes it's a tan colour, really depends on the seller/listing!) - 카키

Checking out~ One step closer to new, shiny toys :)
- Make the most of the memo to the seller! You get 100 characters to basically tell the seller to minimise packaging and minimise shipping cost, but generally keep it short and sweet - most sellers may not read English fluently. I like to say "Please put all items into one small package. Thanks!"

The awesome thing about GMarket is the shipping and handling. Basically, all your purchases get sent to the GMarket warehouse and then packaged for overseas shipping. So no waffling about with twenty different boxes being sent to your house, you get one large box (or small box depending on your purchases) filled with everything. GMarket ships via EMS so you should get your package within five days from shipping. Domestic shipping to the GMarket warehouse is also relatively quick, with most sellers posting your items within two days of your purchase and the items arriving at the GMarket warehouse within a week. So overall, I'd say one to two weeks of overall shipping handling time.

The not-so-awesome thing about GMarket is also the shipping. The cost, I mean. Some sellers will charge a domestic delivery fee, which is generally 2,500W. Unfortunately, being an international order, we don't have the option of payment on delivery, which is apparently cheaper, but only marginally.
The really defining cost is the EMS shipping. I guess it's all in the name really, "Express Mail Service", but it's charged by weight and all those small Etude House lip products you've bought suddenly look a whole lot more expensive.

But really, comparing to the exorbitant charges of ebay sellers and local shops, I'm willing to pay the EMS shipping cost. Also, combine with friends and the shipping is definitely cheaper - the first kilogram is the most expensive.    

So there you go! Just a few tips I can give from my experience shopping on GMarket. Let me know about your experiences with GMarket, any tips and tricks to share with me?


  1. may i ask ^^why cant i sign up to gmarket?

  2. ciao steph
    i really appriciated this post as i'm new on gmarket and it's my fist time with the overseas shipping to italy!!!
    yes..i feel like marco polo right now ;)
    listen my concern is on the quantity of items you can order by stock
    i mean - since i don't have a megashop and i would like to start with a little investment - how can i order a human stock???? let's say 30 items or less?

  3. can we purchase more than 30 items each time?