I’ve been in Korea for awhile now and one of the best things I love about living here are the online shopping options and speedy shipping for most of them.
The only problem is that many of them don’t accept foreign credit cards, or they don’t have an English option to help you navigate the site.
After trying out a few options, Hyo told me she bought something from this online shopping mall called 11STREET. Of course, she uses the Korean version, but many people don’t know that they ship internationally, and that they have options for English (as well as Chinese) to help you navigate the site better.
Hyo has started to use it more frequently, and I usually just let her buy most of the things since she’s used it longer than I have. However, I decided to take a look at the global version of the site and what they offer.
Right on the homepage, you can see everything is in English. And it all works! One annoying thing that I’ve found with lots of Korean sites that feature an English version is that the English version operates completely different than the Korean version.
The same features aren’t offered, the navigation is all off, and it seems like they just threw something together to appease English speakers.
Not sure why they can’t just translate the same options and leave the layout the same as the Korean one, but I digress. Here, you will find the same menu as the Korean version and in the top left hand corner, you can see options for changing the language. Choices are in English, Chinese, and Korean.
Right off the bat, you will also see options for changing the currency to your preferred one as well as an option to choose where to ship to. Shipping times vary according to region and international shipping fees vary as well depending on import taxes and whatnot.
You can check all of this once you add items to your cart and calculate everything.
Good news for expats in Korea! Free shipping is available and it’s pretty quick too. They also accept foreign credit cards which is great since many expats have a bank account back in their home country and may not want to pay using their Korean card for whatever reason.
Another one of my pet peeves about many other Korean sites is they only accept cards issued in Korea. I was able to get around this because of Hyo, but lots of my friends had their options limited because of this.
On the right, you will see a notice for coupons and special offers. They offer lots of special deals and sales every week and during the month so keep an eye out, and you could save some money! For example, right now they are running a promotion called Fashion Week where you can get up to 50% off on some items.
Last but not least, you will probably want to add the app as well. By using the app, you get access to more benefits and discounts. They have an app for iOS as well as Android that is easy to use and navigate.
So go ahead and give them a try! I like 11STREET ten times better than Gmarket which is what I have used in the past. Check out their global website and also check out their promo page to see all the current coupons and deals on different items.Remember that romanization is only a tool! Try not to depend on it too much and try learning the Korean alphabet and how to pronounce the letters properly to have an easier time learning Korean.