Okay, finally decided to do up this blog post to explain how I shop on G-Market whilst in Korea. It was a pretty complicated process and it took me a week or two to sort things out, but things are all right for now.
So what problems did I face?
Basically the first time I bought some items off Gmarket Korea whilst in Seoul, I could pay with my debit card, no problem. The second time, however, I got a message that said my card has been declined. Initially I thought, "OMG YOU MEAN I EXCEEDED MY SPENDING LIMIT?!" so I tried other cards, but none worked. Which was very odd, because it had worked before.
So I sent an inquiry to Gmarket asking why it worked the previous time and not now.
Sounded okay to me. They wanted me to use the domestic payment methods (like bank transfer or domestic credit card) because I was located in Korea. But problem was, I didn't have a domestic bank account! Didn't want to make one cos' I'm only going to be here for about 4 months and I didn't have a lot of money to deposit and withdraw in the first place.
EDIT: Apparently, apart from foreign credit/debit cards, they don't accept Paypal now too, if you're located in Korea. (Read this: http://english.gmarket.co.kr/challenge/neo_bbs/engnotice_view.asp?SeqNo=30&stype=N)
So I embarked on another question spree and asked them what other ways I could pay for my purchases, since I couldn't use my credit card/debit card and that I didn't have a domestic card. So they replied saying I could do Cash Deposit.
Sounded a bit complicated from then on. How was I supposed to know which account to deposit to? And depositing money at a Korean bank? What if they didn't speak English? Or what if my Korean wasn't good enough to tell them what I wanted to do. Nonetheless, Gmarket Global was very quick in replying to my enquiries and I figured it out, so here it is:
Step 1: You need to find out the bank account number to deposit money to.
Click on My Gmarket. (This step is pretty self-explanatory.)
Click on G Account.And then click Create Your Cyber Account. As you can see, you can create Cyber Accounts with mutiple banks. Gmarket allows you to have bank accounts with up to 5 banks. I use Shinhan the most, followed by Nonghyup. And I accidentally clicked on Kookmin the previous time. (Click for bigger version.)
Once you click that, you SHOULD see a number appearing. That is your account number. Write it down and bring it with you to the bank.
Step 2: Deposit cash into your Gmarket Cyber Account. You don't need to have a bank account with the bank to deposit money. Just fill in a slip of paper that says 입금-something (it means deposit), with your name, amount and the bank account number, and bring it to the staff. The staff will ask you a couple of questions, you can explain that it is for Gmarket, they usually understand.
Step 3: Once you're done, you will received a receipt confirming your deposit. I always keep this just in case. And it is important to make sure you remember what you wrote your name down as. You don't need to write your full name. Because you will need this to reconfirm your deposit on the website later.
Step 4: Go back onto Gmarket's website and confirm your deposit. Follow the above-mentioned steps to get to the Deposit into Cyber Account page and you will notice that there is now a deposit waiting for you to click confirm.
Oh just a tip, Shinhan charged me an additional 1000 KRW (S$1.20) for depositing more than 100,000 KRW this time. So my advice would be to deposit in batches of 100,000 KRW if you want to avoid paying such charges.
Click on 입금확인
-something. (I was using the Korean version because the English site didn't accept my confirmation properly. But I think they fixed it because my friend was able to use it later on.) Once you click on that, they will tell you to key in your password and your deposit name. (Remember to key in the EXACT name as you wrote down at the bank.) (Click for bigger version.
All this money will go to your GCash Balance, and then once you've done all these steps, just confirm that you have the correct amount, and begin shopping!
602's my room number. Cos' all the packages come under different courier companies, so they will just drop it off at the management office downstairs. Occasionally they will drop me a message to tell me they left it there. Sometimes they call me and I'll go, "뭐라고요? 다시...?" which vaguely means, "What? (Please say it) again?" because I'm bad at phone conversations in Korean. Fact.
My new purchases! 2 denim shorts, 1 pair of shoes & 3 outerwear.
That said, I don't think I'll have enough money to buy more Gmarket towards the end of my trip. Just calculated my expenditure and I'm really going to have to save a lot this month for my Busan trip. Furthermore, it's an additional step for me because I always have to withdraw money from the Global ATM (exchange rate not very good & got extra S$5 charge everytime I withdraw) to deposit into my Gmarket account as I don't have a Korean bank account. So I tend to lose a bit of money due to the exchange rate.
But that said, Gmarket is really very efficient in Korea. I usually get my items within 2-3 days (Fastest was like, not even 2 days. The seller dispatched my item within 3 hours of receiving payment. SO EFFICIENT!) and they even deliver on Saturdays! How efficient! EMS Korea's very quick too. And cheap. So I think I might continue to order when I'm back in Singapore. (By then I would be using a Singapore address, so I would be able to use my credit/debit cards again, phew.)
Moral of the story: If you're going to be in Korea for a longer period of time, just go ahead and make a Korean domestic card if you expect yourself to shop a lot on Gmarket. Because I'm not sure if they're going to be accepting foreign credit cards if you have a Korean address anytime soon. Definitely makes things easier. (Jeannie I don't know if you buy a lot on Gmarket, but you should consider!)