I wanted to address G-Market today in a post since I get many, many, many e-mails asking me about it, have I ever used it, what’s it like, how do I use it, etc….
Instead of the hassle of going through 200 or more e-mails on the topic I thought a post would be appropriate in answering the questions I get daily about it.
I’ve been collecting Korean Cosmetics for about a two years, possibly a year and a half, unsure exactly when I started. I get asked daily where I get my Korean makeup and the answer is I have a friend who lives in Seoul (the largest city and capital of South Korean) who ships me over random items that I ask her to purchase for me.
I have not seen anyone else aside from E-bay and Gmarket who sell Korean Cosmetics. I haven’t really seen many stores in Manhattan either that carry Korean makeup but maybe I am looking in the wrong locations. If I do come across a shop that carry the lines they are normally very out of date items.
If you live within a heavily populated Asian community you my be lucky enough to have a few Japanese, Korean, Chinese specialty shops that carry cosmetics from abroad.
If you’re unfamiliar with Gmarket allow me to briefly explain.
Gmarket is much like E-bay however instead of bidding on items you are purchasing them out right for buy it now prices. All items are priced extremely low and as close to retail as anything I’ve seen on the Internet and many popular brands I’ve discussed at Musings such as Etude House, Banila Co, VOV, etc…can be located at retail prices on Gmarket.
Even though Gmarket prices are amazing I have some rants about the service which is why I do not recommend using it unless you have a ton of cash to spare.
I’ve tried Gmarket twice and have noticed a few problems with the service and they are as follows:
Virtually no Customer Service at all.
During my first order I had some confusion of whether the funds I sent over actually went through so I decided to shoot over an inquiry about my order. This was 3 months ago and still they have not replied. Lucky enough the order arrived safely but having my money hang out in limbo while no one replies stinks.
No English speaking reps or members.
I don’t believe anyone that works for Gmarket or anyone who is a registered member that is selling speaks in English. I’ve successfully contacted a seller when asking a question only to receive a reply in Korean. This wasn’t a problem as I had someone translate it for me however if you’re virtually clueless about the Korean language this can be frustrating. This leads me to believe that the reps that work at Gmarket, run Gmarket, Etc…do not speak English either. Although Gmarket has a English sub-site I don’t believe anyone technically speaks English.
Shipping Prices are obscene at first glance!
Now shipping via Gmarket is fairly reasonable however as you add items into your cart from other sellers or even one particular seller the price goes up and up and up and up! This figure is a set estimate and you’ll later receive a credit on the shipping amount however it’s ridiculous having to set out $40, $60, or more dollars when you have 8-10 items in your cart! As mentioned you do get a credit however that credit is not put back into your Paypal account it’s set as G-Cash for spending on Gmarket. If you so choose you can transfer it back to Paypal but it won’t be worth it as they deduct a considerable amount in fees to do this!
Shipping, Paypal, and Other Woes….
Gmarket ships fairly quickly however the interface on Gmarket has a huge learning curve and I don’t think, after using it twice so far for orders, I even understand how it works! Figuring out where my money is, where my order is, when it shipped, how to track it, etc…is like brain surgery! The site isn’t user friendly in my opinion! Now when paying via Paypal can be quite a bit of a nail biting experience as waiting for the funds to go through, etc…makes me slightly nervous as my Paypal sits in limbo for 2-3 days. On top of this waiting for your credit back, for shipping, takes a fair few days. I just get a tad bit nervous when my money is sitting around and not doing anything!
All in all I currently avoid Gmarket like the plague and do all my Korean Cosmetics via CP purchases from my friend. If I can’t get items from her I tend to look around E-bay and see what pops up cheap! I don’t recommend using Gmarket if you get antsy about your money the way I do. I also don’t recommend it because of the silly estimated shipping fee problem!
The Muse suggests asking around MUA or on Asian based Forums for a CP. Be friendly, make a friend, and I’m positive they’ll be happy to help you get what you need from Korea! Don’t forget to offer to return the favor!
Hope this answers all your questions about Gmarket!
If you have further questions, ask away in comment field!