8 Nov 2017

Haul Review: My Experience Shopping from Gmarket

It's always been a dilemma shopping from Gmarket. On one hand, you get tonnes of free gifts for just one item you bought at below-the-market price. But on the other hand, you are many times prone to custom inspection than other places like Althea, Qoo10, Testerkorea and so on. Not to mention the skyrocketing shipping fee you had to pay buying from Gmarket.

I used to be a crazy fan of Gmarket. I bought tonnes of stuffs from the site, especially during the time when it charged only KRW 5,000 flat shipping rate for all orders in April and May 2016. It was not until when I ran into a bad custom encounter that trimmed my desire to shop from the site anymore.

In this review, I'm gonna talk about:

  • my general Gmarket shopping experience
  • some of my favourite and trustable Gmarket sellers
  • some of the things I bought from Gmarket
  • shipping and custom clearance

Shopping from Gmarket is like riding on a roller coaster. You get to experience that ups and downs thorough the journey. My heart pumps hard when the items finally arrived at the warehouse waiting for weighing (you don't know how heavy the things will turn out) and when it went through custom inspection. Normally custom will inspect parcels that are bigger in size for security purpose. They will release your items if they believe those are under RM 500 bracket and are for non-commercial use. However, custom might be a bit stringent during holiday season so it is best avoid shopping online during those times.

Placing Order

It's quite easy shopping from Gmarket. You just go their website and register an account using your email address. Add anything you want to purchase into the cart, select payment method and there you go. I don't want to go into too much details about how to place an order at Gmarket. You can find this information in many other places, and even at Gmarket shopping guide. You can also live chat Gmarket customer service representative if you have any questions.

Favourite Seller

I only buy beauty and health products from Gmarket. I bought some grocery and snacks too, but I found that those tend to deteriorate during the shipping process and is more likely to get into trouble with the custom so I prefer buying them locally from K-market or at Ampang Korean village.

Among the sellers I bought are Amore Pacific (Mamonde, Primera, Lirikos, Laneige, Sulwhasoo, Ryo, Mise en Scene etc.), AK Plaza (The History of Whoo, Belif etc.), Mediheal, Etude House Official, Innisfree Official, Missha Official, The Face Shop Official, LG Living (Guierang) and so on. Gmarket also sells miniatures and samples but those are only available on weekends and they normally charge domestic shipping fee of KRW 2,500 and above. I only shop from official sellers because they are much more reliable and often provide a lot of free gifts.

Things I bought from Gmarket

Shipping Process

Shipping is normally fast for Gmarket. They normally take 1 week from the date you placed order until the items arrived at your house. These include the time sellers take to ship to Gmarket Warehouse, packaging, and custom clearance. However, these might take up to 2 weeks if there is holidays, delayed custom clearance, and delayed domestic shipping in Korea. I live in Klang Valley so Pos Laju is really fast but you may experience delayed domestic shipping in Malaysia you stay in more distant areas.

The timeline is as below:

Day 0 - order placed
Day 1 - sellers preparing for shipment
Day 2 - domestic delivery (Korea)
Day 3 - packaging and weighing at Gmarket warehouse / departed from Export Office Korea
Day 4~5 - international delivery / arrival at Import Office Malaysia
Day 6 - custom clearance (it may take up to 4 days if the items are sent for checking at the Pharmacy Department)
Day 7~8 - Pos Laju

Custom Clearance

About 5~10% chances your Gmarket parcels might get detained by the Custom where you are required to go to KLIA to clear the parcels. This happens mostly when Custom suspects there are high-value products in your parcels. I was hauled up to the Custom twice, once when I bought 8 bottles of Secret Key Essences, and the other one when I received two parcels from Gmarket.

So lesson learned. Do not separate your orders because once Custom spot it, they will definitely detain it and take it as one order. Place your order only after the last one was cleared by the Custom, or use a separate recipient name and/or address to minimize detention.

Of course, the safest option is to buy below <RM 500 (inclusive of shipping fee) or buy at smaller volume. Gmarket likes to ship in huge box because they just dump everything into one gigantic box. You'll still get two boxes even if you order same item from the same brand if you shop from official website like Amore Pacific or AK Plaza. Smaller brands like Mediheal, Innisfree, The Face Shop and so on may pack your stuffs into one box but bigger brands that provide loads of free gifts tend to ship each item in a single box. You will end up with a super gigantic box when it arrived at your doorstep. 

Here are some of my experience and thoughts shopping from Gmarket. I hope you learn something from it! You are welcome to leave any of your comments or questions below if you have any doubts about shopping from Gmarket. That's all for today. I hope my post is helpful for you guys and happy shopping!

[Disclaimer] Product is bought with my own money. All copyright of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.
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