Saturday, September 24, 2011

Gmarket Haul + a useful tip for ordering from Gmarket

According to my order history, this is my fourth independent order from Gmarket. I say "independent" because I've ordered with other people via surveys on previous occasions, paying additional service fees but saving on shipping costs. Two or three years ago I may never have dreamed of making an individual order myself from Gmarket, but over the years Gmarket has done a fantastic job making the site a lot more user friendly for non-Koreans- and for my last few orders I've found it too easy to navigate around and eventually check out. 

The total amount payable for the items came to 139 000W or ~132USD, where the shipping was 31 160W for 2.06KG via EMS. As I live all the way down in Australia that's a pretty good deal for me, as Aussies often have to cop hefty shipping fees from popular American-based sites such as Karmaloop or Forever21.

price: 24 700Won ~ 24USD
When you go to the store's link (above, in the name) the base price is listed at the top, which is 19 000W. These shorts have about an extra 5 000W on top.

size: Free size (listed as 44-66)

I fell in love with the colour of these mustard yellow shorts! I really wanted a pair of paper bag style shorts in a unique colour I didn't already have. The colour is fantastic for autumn or winter which I've just exited- but it would still look lovely with stockings in spring for the cooler days.
The size was free size (listed as fitting 44-66) because of the stretchy waistband, and the shorts fit me perfectly. A little ironing work to be done first and they're ready for wear!

price: 24 900W ~ 24USD
size: S

This isn't a skirt, these are culottes- shorts that look like skirts! It was hard to resist the temptation of getting the blue version of these and prance around like a wannabe Sailormoon character, shouting daft things like "moon prism power makeup!" (although blue skirt would be Sailor Mercury, my least favourite character of the gang during my childhood), but I really needed a colour besides blue! I didn't regret my decision however as the ombre brown colour of these culottes is beautiful in real life. The buttons are also gorgeous!
I was a bit surprised that the material was a bit thin, since the stock photos make the culottes seem a bit thick and stiff. That's not a flaw though, just something I wasn't expecting.

price: 9 000W ~ 9USD
size: M

I ordered a size up to M, since these I could gather from the pictures that these shorts had practically no stretch at all. My experience with a similar looking pair of shorts from Zipia in size S, which also had no stretch, told me it was wiser to size up in that case. However, woe is me because these are now a little loose. These are really just the regular trials and tribulations of ordering clothes online- even if you've diligently studied the measurements provided and comparing them to your own clothes, they still might not fit perfectly. I would've preferred a slightly smaller size so that the shorts don't flare out so much, but the looseness isn't a massive issue and might be useful for tucking in heavier materials, such as a knit jumper. The quality of the shorts are perfectly fine, and like with the other shorts, the material is quite thin.

price: 20 800W ~ 20USD
size: S

I'm sorry these pictures aren't very clear, since my house was getting quite dark at the time and the shorts are black. Using flash also changed the appearance of the shorts quite a bit and didn't provide a very accurate picture, so I avoided that. I'm not too sure if these shorts look true to the stock picture, because the bow seems thicker and less droopy there. I also find the material a little too thin and not the best quality. A little ironing however may make it look at least a little more expensive. Truth be told, I probably would not have spent the amount I did on these shorts if I had tried them on in real life.

price: 23 900W ~ 23USD
size: M

Finally, the material of these shorts was actually quite thick and sturdy! These shorts are just lovely, mostly because of the non-flimsy quality of the material and the cute but simple scalloped design. I took off my stockings to model these since these shorts a bit shorter, and you could see that unattractive sheer top part of stockings signalling to you that whatever you're wearing over the top is indecently short (well indecently short a few decades ago perhaps). I will definitely be wearing these out a lot as they are so versatile.

price: 31 800W ~ 30USD
size: S

I usually hate jeans because of how unflattering, expensive and uncomfortable they tend to be in my experience, but I just LOVED this pair of jeans I purchased from Gmarket in a previous haul! They fit perfectly and were actually pretty flattering, and so I remembered the brand "Darimi" so I could purchase more from that brand on Gmarket in the future. It took me a while to find Darimi on the site since it wasn't actually in the title description, so I had no luck typing "Darimi" in English or Korean in the search bar. I eventually found it by clicking on various shops. The link is here, because I highly, highly recommend the jeans from this store. 

Not much else to say except that these jeans were as perfect as my last order from this store in Gmarket! The colour is a fantastic light dusty grey-blue, which I find a lot more versatile (I've always found it easier to pair clothes with grey rather than blue jeans). The material also has a decent amount of stretch and is soft to touch- almost like jeggings.


price: 29 800W ~ 28USD
size: S

To be honest I did expect a lighter colour in real life, because now it's very similar to another pair of jeans I have. However apart from the colour, the quality and fit are once again perfect. I still prefer the previous jeans from the haul though (above) because the material here is a little more stiff and uncomfortable. Nonetheless it still deserves 5/5!

I've provided all the links to the items above, but note that they don't link to the actual item directly but rather to the particular store. The whole ordering process on Gmarket works so that you scroll down various items in the shop on the same page, and to order you select it from a drop-down menu. However personally I find that this is the point where Gmarket might be losing its international customers and anyone who simply doesn't have much time to waste on the internet shopping.

The items listed in the drop-down menu aren't in the exact order as they appear on the page, so you have to read what the item's name is and then search through the menu for it (which could be a very extensive list with purely Korean names and no item codes such as SK01). The item names are often contained in picture format with the product pictures, so there's no text for you to do a simple "Google translate" of the whole page.

For these reasons, my number one tip for any non-Koreans wishing to order from Gmarket, is to sit down for an hour or so and just learn to read the Korean characters. Hangul (Korean alphabet) is not hard to learn (not like Chinese characters where every individual one means a word, but more like Japanese Katakana or Hiragana). You just need to learn the characters for the consonants and vowels, and the sounds and appearance that certain combinations (which make the syllables) of those consonants and vowels make. If you do that, you'll find it a lot a easier to memorise the item name and look for it in the drop-down menu- rather than memorise the way the characters look and look for the item that way- which I personally find to be a very impractical method when there are only a limited amount of characters in the Korean alphabet and phrases will end up looking very similar to each other.

To illustrate, with an example of the culottes I bought in this haul:

It's at least helpful that the item name has a "B" so as to distinguish it from the other items with "A", "C" etc but there are still quite a number of items containing "B" and furthermore they are all scattered throughout the list. However IF you can read Korean, you can see that the item name reads "B_hirring (or "hilling" since "l"s and "r"s are similar) chima baji". That makes absolutely no sense to me but it doesn't matter since I'm not looking for an English translation in the drop-down menu, but rather a phrase that says the same thing.

It's much easier this way because I can easily scan the list for a phrase containing  "hi ring" at the beginning-  힐링. I then found a phrase that said 힐링치마바지, which I read to be something like "hirring chima baji", so I knew I found the right item in the menu.

(After having ordered the items I was then able to actually grab hold of the text version of the item name from the order transaction list. Putting it through Google translate, I found out what it actually read was "healing culottes"- "hirring" for "healing" and "chima baji" must mean culottes in English!)

Being able to read Korean also helps in ordering the right colour. What's really convenient is that the names for colours used on Gmarket often sound like what they are in English, so that "buraek" means "black", and "buru" means "blue" (like in Japanese Katakana!) However that will only be useful if you could read the Korean characters in the first place.

to illustrate again, with the same screenshot of the same culottes:

The Korean text I've highlighted on the upper right hand corner provides the various colours available.

However, the colours listed (블랙, 블루, 카멜) aren't actually in order according to how they are displayed on the page. The colours listed at the top in English are black, blue and camel, whereas at the bottom the order is obviously black, camel and blue. Therefore even if you had found the exact same phrase in the drop-down menu purely by sight and without any knowledge of Korean characters, you would be stuck on choosing the right colour.
(Although if you actually clicked on the picture of the item on the Gmarket website, a more detailed page will pop-up, containing the individual colours with their Korean names underneath- but not every shop on Gmarket will have this information).

In conclusion, it really does help in ordering from Gmarket if you could read Korean. I only started learning it in about my second order and I found that it really does speed up the process. It doesn't take long (only about an hour or two), and for that small sacrifice of your time you could save money on service fees and inconvenience for not being able to order whenever you want.

I hope that tip was useful!

So now am I on my way to making numerous future purchases from Gmarket? I'd like to give my tired, red eyes a break from all that scrolling and image-flashing, but I've already dumped a few items in my shopping cart for a new order and I'm ready to make more financial damage in the next few days :(


  1. I absolutely love Gmarket! Not too sure how many 'independent' orders I've made from them in the past few years but I've always been really happy with what I've received. Just astounds me that I have been able to get some really great pieces at such cheap prices (even with shipping). I actually havent made any orders from them this year though (ironic because I started studying Korean this year) so i had to maake do with writing down the item names and trying to look for it in the drop down menu. I think, even now when I can read and understand more Korean, I have trouble because I'm not used to reading different fonts yet. In the example you gave, I totally did not realise that 'ba/바' was a 'b' (biup) and thought it might have just be 'a/아'. What a fail.

  2. If you don't mind me asking, how tall are you? Of course there are measurements but I find it easier to gauge the length of jeans on a person. Thanks in advance :)

  3. @ Sarah:
    I'm 169cm, or 5'6-5'7. No problem, I also find it easier dealing with heights of people rather than the measurements of the actual clothes! :)

  4. I'm 5'5" so the jeans should def work on me then.
    Thanks so much!

  5. Absolutely beautiful haul! I found this through the September Top Bloggers (congradulations!). Can I ask are you Korean by any chance, because you seem to know your way around hangul. I love the jeans that you've chosen, the first one was really pretty~

  6. ^
    thankyou very much! xD
    No I am not Korean, but like Japanese hiragana and katakana, the characters are pretty easy to read if you just learn the alphabet. If I had been trying to navigate my way through a site similar to Gmarket but in Chinese, then that would be a completely different story! :P
    thanks, it's a big bonus that they're super comfy too!

  7. Hello! I just discovered your blog and I am in LOVE with your style. I know this is an older post, but I was wondering what size you ordered the jeans in? Thanks in advance ^^

    1. Hi there! :)

      thankyou! I ordered size S for both pairs of jeans :)

  8. Hi! I love those scallop shorts and am going to try to buy something similar from the same vendor. Would you mind letting me know what your waist measurement is and what size you purchased? Thanks for the wonderful blog entry!

  9. how tall are you and how much do you weigh? :3 because i also wanna order jeans from gmarket! thanks~~~~


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