This is actually my third time to order at Gmarket. First experience was when I bought Korean Grammar in Use: Beginning and Intermediate. It was a fun experience because I received the parcel without any hassles. For the second time, 세상에 너를 소리쳐! and Korean Class III | ‘세상에 너를 소리쳐!’와 한국어 수업 III, I only bought one item, and it experienced a slight delay. It was not so much, but since I’m dead excited about the book, I was contacting various departments regarding my order. I was expecting it on a Friday, but it arrived nonetheless just the following Monday. I’m b*tching so much when it failed to arrive that Friday, lol.
Meetup Turned Shopping
Pardon my shameless selfie (but please bear with me for now, lol). I was just actually going to meet my Elementary 1 best friends for no reason at all aside from the fact that that particular coffee shop is the most convenient place for us to meet. That time, me and 김재신 had to wait for hours and spent the entire time doing things by ourselves. I was studying Intermediate 1 then, he was listening to Juniel or I don’t know, lol. He wanted to order two Korean Grammar in Use books as well, since it’s actually a staple book. Everyone studying Korean should have those lol. He wanted to get the Advanced as well, but I insisted for him not to get one yet since the book is already *obviously* advanced and it’s not a very practical book to buy in our levels at least. I suggested getting a Level 4 book instead, but he ended up just getting the first two books of the Korean Grammar in Use series. As for me, I was looking at getting the NEW 가나다 Ganada Korean for Foreigners Intermediate 1 since I used 재미있는 한국어 3 as my Level 3 supplement, and I just wanted to pick up from where I left off at 가나다 Korean Elementary 2. I also wanted to get 재미있는 4, same reason why I wanted to get the Intermediate 1 of 가나다. We both don’t have credit cards, but I offer my prepaid card since we can use it to shop online. Unfortunately, our bank accounts don’t have so much so I can’t reload the prepaid card and buy through it. Payday’s still a bit far away.
By the time Eliza nuna arrived, we just talked about pretty small things and smoothly reverted to the sudden book shopping plan. We really had zero plans to shop that night (though I was planning to get the same books I ordered even way before, just to continue studying by myself). Since Eliza nuna owns a credit card, we asked her as well if she wants to buy a book, and said that she was looking for a certain travel book by 고현정 (Ko Hyun-Jung) and I told her excitedly that it would be impossible for Gmarket not to have that book. So then I checked it for her. By that time I already added four books in the cart, the two Korean Grammar in Use books, my 가나다 Intermediate 1, and 재미있는 한국어 3. I proceeded to add her book as well, and said that she wants to order another textbook. Any Korean textbook, as long as we could share it. I convinced her to get the 가나다 Intermediate 2, so I can just lend her the Intermediate 1, and I can borrow the Intermediate 2 when I need it. When Alyne nuna arrived, we asked her if she wants to get a book, too. Originally she asked Ross nuna to buy CDs and books for herself, but episodes in life happen. Ross nuna failed to take the items home due to over baggage. It was a sad experience for the both of them, so this time, Alyne nuna asked to get the book one more time since she failed to receive the first one. As usual, it’s the Korean Grammar in Use book again. On my first Gmarket order, I ordered the Beginning book for her so this time, she got the Intermediate. All in all we ordered 7 books, and by far this is my biggest Gmarket purchase so far.
Purchasing Through Gmarket
It was heaps easier now since it was faux-bilingual before. Some parts of the site appear in full Korean, and sometimes, it’s in English. I even remember signing up in full Korean before, with all those Korean fields that you have to figure out to be able to supply your correct details. Now, they’ve gone global and it’s easier to navigate the site now.
To be able to buy things, though, you should still, in a sense, know how to read 한글 or understand a bit particularly when buying Korean items. Some items don’t display its English equivalents. Even the merchant’s name, or color variations (when buying clothes or gadgets or whatnots), they sometimes appear in full Korean, and since some would be part of a drop-down list, it might be hard to copy-paste them to Google Translate so you should know at least how to type or input Korean texts as well.
Check as well, sometimes, prices vary since delivery’s either Free, or Free on Condition. But since’s delivery would be international (I suppose), just check the airplane icon just above the item. Some items are not eligible for Worldwide Shipping, but it’s just a matter of looking for the same item being sold by another shop. For books, I highly recommend 인터넷교보문고 (Kyobo, major bookstore in Korea), 반디엔루니스 (Bandi and Luni’s) and 인터파크도서몰 (Interpark). 비에이쇼핑 is good as well, though the first three I mentioned are major bookstores in Korea including the third one which is just present online.
After putting the items in your shopping cart, the shipping fee will be calculated with the item, depending on your country. Assuming I will buy EPIK HIGH’s album, and just that album alone, I would have to pay 19300 KRW for the item, and an additional 19040 KRW for the shipping which we can say, is almost the same price as the item itself. It’s ridiculous I know, but they ship the items through EMS. If you buy somewhere else, there are shipping methods, like Standard Shipping which will take a months, or less than a month if you’re lucky, there’s a Standard Shipping with Tracking which gives you a peace of mind at least, and by far the most expensive, EMS (Express Mail Service), which will enable you to receive a parcel within a week, or even less when sent to you directly. In my Gmarket experience, it would always arrive between 7 to 10 days (including weekends). Usually, when I order on a Wednesday, I will receive it next Thursday, something within those lines.
It’s good if you order an item from one seller, so your items wouldn’t have to be consolidated. As for me, I tend to buy from different sellers just to see how they package the items, and how long it takes for them to send the items to the Gmarket warehouse where they will be consolidated and weighed for shipping quotes.
And that what’s good (or bad) about Gmarket, the accuracy of the shipping price. If you plan to buy at Gmarket just once, you might hate the idea that they charge you an approximate shipping fee, and once your items have been consolidated in the warehouse they will quote you another price. If you paid less, then you would have to input your payment method again to be able to settle the shipping fee, WHICH, if you fail to settle, your items will get delayed for shipment. If ever you paid more (which happens to me all the time), it will just be credited to your amount for future use. It’s good because it makes you feel like you’re paying less for your next purchases. And what’s good about Gmarket, too, is that shops may offer book cash and other discounts with your purchase, so the next time you order, you can apply those coupons to minimize your total.
After the purchase, you will receive a confirmation, and then comes the hard part. Waiting. Don’t worry, it won’t take long, since it will be shipped through EMS.
You can access what’s shown in the picture by clicking the button above, My Gmarket > Shopping List. Currently, Gmarket displays your delivery status next to the items you purchased. As for my own, it’s already completed so it displays ‘Delivery Completed‘. I can only remember seeing five statuses. If there were others, it may just be quick statuses that won’t take long to process, or it might include a status in which you have to pay for the additional shipping. ‘On Domestic Delivery‘ means that the seller already sent your items to the warehouse and is already on its way. ‘Domestic Delivered‘ will appear once your items has reached Gmarket and is being processed for worldwide delivery. Alternatively, if you click on that ‘Order Details’ link, it will show you ‘Tracking’ buttons for each item. Since they may be from different sellers, it’s quite possible that some items will arrive sooner than the others. Beware though, it’s usually in full Korean so it might just be complicating if you check it. It will be on ‘Waiting for Worldwide Shipping‘ by the time they consolidated your orders and sent your items for worldwide shipping. When your package has been processed for worldwide shipping, ‘Tracking’ buttons will appear next to your items, but if you click each of those it will only link you to the EMS track and trace website.
By this time, your status should be ‘On Worldwide Delivery‘. It will get transferred from some part of Korea, to Incheon or whichever airport, and it will be delivered to your country. Looking at the picture, the item reached Philippines on the 12th, and just the day after, I received my item. It will then change to ‘Delivery Completed‘, or ‘Delivery Failed‘ if no one is available to receive your item. When your package reaches your country, you can alternatively search for the EM************KR (EMS) number through your local EMS tracking website. That way, you’ll know where the item is, locally.
After receiving the items, you would have to click certain buttons next to the items on your shopping list, acknowledging that you already received them. You can choose to write a short review, too, to be able to earn Gstamps (that I still don’t understand).
Anyway, this has been long. And this is just a basic overview of how I order through Gmarket. It’s very hassle-free, convenient, and 100% safe. Beware though, I only ordered books, and usually books don’t get charged by your local customs. If you try to buy items like shoes or clothes, makeup items or gadgets, or just about any items exceeding 100 USD in total, you might get taxed. REAL BAD. So you should buy moderately, and just enjoy shopping. Buy with friends to be able to maximize shipping prices.
As for returns, refunds, exchange, or any other questions regarding shipments, payments and other stuff, it’s good to visit the website, since I’ve said earlier that it’s good to navigate their site now, compared before.
We’re such happy customers lol. I delivered some books to them just the following day, and will deliver the other books when we meet again. Happy shopping.