The weather was lovely and I was able to do a few activities. I had a date, nice dinners, and had the perfect kiwi martini at a bar. I also set out to do some shopping.
The problem was that I had trouble finding what I was looking for. Now, shopping in Korea is pretty good. I'm just a little picky. I wanted flat sandals, but most Korean women want heels. I wanted a large black purse, but wanted one within my budget. So I first hit the underground subway mall in Gangnam, then went to the Coex mall at Samseong station. I didn't find what I was looking for, but still found other things. It wasn't too bad.
On the other hand, I am satisfied now. That's because I found what I needed elsewhere -- on Gmarket.
|Gmarket's English homepage with the original Korean site|
If, say, you want to buy a new outfit, some new makeup, a new camera, or a new watch, you can come here and do it. It's a good place to shop because you can find just about anything you want. The prices are competitive with additional discounts abound. It's straight to the point, and more thorough than Amazon in my opinion. Products are displayed neatly, with plenty of detailed pictures and descriptions. There is a good, standard sizing system. I've never ordered something that was too big or too small. That's more difficult in America where every brand seems to have their own sizing guidelines. Here, I don't have to memorize which stores have clothes/shoes that run big or small.
And ... FAST shipping! Korea's pretty small, so you're not waiting for anything. You can receive your items as quickly as the next day. If not then, I've always received them two days later. No waiting for weeks for your items!
|I received this the next day|
You can browse categories or search. Sellers display what you're looking for, and when you click their link, you see lots of similar products on display. Then, it's pretty easy to select what you want and put it in your cart.
|Gmarket offers multiple payment methods|
Paying is easy. They have multiple payment methods. Unfortunately, most foreigners in Korea do not receive a local debit/credit card with a Visa or MasterCard logo. One option is to use your foreign credit/debit card. However, there's an easy way to avoid the fees. You can pay with your bank account. You tell Gmarket which bank you use, and they instantly generate a personal bank account number. Note the amount of your bill, go to any ATM, insert your card (or bank book) and select the option to make a transfer. Enter the account number Gmarket gave you, and send your payment. That's it! Gmarket then proceeds with the shipping process.
|Some things are still in Korean|
Another downside are the clothing sizes. Koreans tend to be very thin, and their sizes reflect that. If you try to buy dresses, you'll find that many are "free size." That means one-size-fits-all. I'm thin, so that's fantastic for me. But, if you're not slender like the local Korean women, then you're out of luck for a lot of clothing.
Many foreign teachers choose to have their items delivered to them at work. I usually have them ship larger items directly to my apartment, even if I'm not home. One of this biggest advantages of all is that Korean people tend not to mess with your stuff. That's not to say that Koreans never steal -- but it's usually not in this capacity. So, it's really unlikely that someone will swipe your packages. That means none of this or this!
Luckily for me, I received my new oven and rice cooker while writing this blog post.