Exploring Korean Online Shopping Sites

Seoul, among many other destinations, is sometimes introduced as one of the best shopping cities in the world. There are in fact so many famous shopping districts in Seoul such as Myeong-dong(명동), Dongdae-mun(동대문), Sinsa-dong(신사동) and the list goes on. Once you take a step into any shopping malls in Seoul, trendy clothes, cheap groceries, luxurious bags and so many goods attract your eyes as much as you cannot help but buy something. However, the real charm of shopping in Korea exists on online in accordance with Korea’s another name, the world’s number one ‘internet powerhouse’. G-market(지마켓), Auction(옥션), Interpark(인터파크), and the 11st Street(11번가) are four of the most famous and biggest online shopping malls of Korea. As soon as you get to know how to shop in those online shopping centers, you are HOOKED.


Shopping Online, the Best Choice!

Online shopping malls are like a treasure house. You can find anything you want to buy by few clicks and enters on the internet. You must be familiar with an idea of online shopping and might have an experience of buying at global electronic commerce companies as Amazon, Alibaba or Ebay. They provide almost every kind of goods from low-end to high-end products and deliver them right in front of your front door after the payment. In Korean online shopping malls, it works just the same way. You search for the goods you need, you pay, and they deliver. One significance of Korean online shopping malls is that they are characterized for fast delivery. From buying online to receiving goods offline, it usually takes only maximum three days. Further, the price online is much cheaper and the quality is as good as offline shop products. Also, comparing prices on the internet is much easier, so you would be able to buy products at the lowest price possible. So why not try online shopping in Korea right now?


Source: 11st. Auction, Gmarket, Interpark


How to Register and Make a Payment

Lucky for you, on the internet, language barrier would not separate you from your love of shopping. Most of the famous Korean shopping sites provide English registration for foreigners. How convenient! All you need for the registration is your email address. Digital addresses below are the registration page for each of the shopping malls.

Gmarket(지마켓): https://gmemberssl.gmarket.co.kr/Registration/MemberRegistration

11st Street(11번가): https://english.11st.co.kr/en/register/memberRegistInfoFormEng.tmall

Interpark(인터파크): https://www.globalinterpark.com/member/memberjoinclause.do?_method=initial

If you have finished registering on shopping sites, you then might wonder how to pay online. Although payment methods are different from sites to sites, mostly Visa, Master Card, and Union Pay are acceptable. Even if you do not own any credit cards, you can still pay by wire transfer with your Korean bank accounts. Shinhan Bank, which Hanyang University students mostly utilize, is also available for wire transfer. Thus, no worries for the payment.


Payment Page on Gmarket, Source: Gmarket

How to Use a Website in English

Sometimes, websites do not provide English service. But do not get disappointed. There is always a way-out. The best way-out here is to make use of one of Google’s best invention – Google Chrome Translator. It seems like a miracle when every single word on the webpage turns into the language you can understand from the language you have absolutely no idea of. More miraculous thing is that you can perform this miracle so easily and so quickly with only few finger moves.

The first step is to get into any Korean website via Chrome. I took an example website as Auction, one of the popular Korean shopping sites. You will see Korean letters floating around the page just as usual. 1
The second step is to click on the translator icon near the address bar. Then the small pop-up will come up as you can see in the example. Click on to the option(옵션). 2
The third step is to choose English or any other language you prefer. Then check on the “Always Translate (항상 번역)”. That is all! After you press the “Done (완료)” button, you are just around the corner of Chrome Translator’s miracle. 3
Ta-da! You see no Korean anymore on the site. What a miracle! (However, only the text can be translated through the translator not the image, so there still might be Korean words if there are image format words on the site.) 4

When you have to search in Korean, you can use online dictionary such as Naver’s English to Korean Dictionary: http://endic.naver.com/?sLn=en


What to Buy: Recommendationsexample

As the shopping sites provide every kind of products, it would not be difficult to find whatever you need to buy there. However, if you want to get recommendations about what to buy, I can help. The most recommendable product to buy online is cosmetics. It is much cheaper on the internet, especially for Korean brand cosmetics such as VDL, Innisfree, or Etude. Snacks are cheaper on the web too. So many Korean snacks such as Choco-Pie(초코파이), Homerun Ball(홈런볼) and Honey Butter Chip(허니버터칩) are all available online. Thus if you have any plan to buy a large amount of refreshments for your own good or for gift, buying online would save you a lot of money.


Article by Ahran from Korea, a Junior in Business Administration

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