CHERISH Li tells you how you can get a taste of the cheap bargains we all love about Asia without having to leave your bedroom.
It’s getting ever easier to blow your credit card limit without leaving the couch. These days, all you need to do is click and tap.
So shopaholics, we hate to make your addiction any worse..but here are our picks of Asia’s best online shopping sites!
Gmarket is a Korean shopping website that brings buyers and sellers worldwide together for a huge, never-ending “yea sale” and auction.
Gmarket maintains, rates and publicly displays the post-transaction feedback so, like Ebay, the buyer is able to look at the seller’s feedback before buying or giving their ratings.
Gmarket is in Korean and English. Signing up and looking for particular items is easy and all the retail prices are in Korean Won and US dollars. It’s not a perfect translation though as some small details like the size and colours can still be in Korean.
Gmarket sells everything from cosmetics to clothes, food and even furniture. When you search for the stuff you want, often there will be multiple sellers of each item. Some will be cheaper than others.
Gmarket ships worldwide with EMS – meaning it’s fast but slightly more expensive. All major credit cards are accepted and you get an email after you’ve paid, so you can track your packages in your Gmarket account.
Similar to Ebay, Taobao is the largest online shopping store in China. We’ve given this one a mention because despite the low price, the quality of the stuff on Taobao is really good.
The site might be a bit confusing if you don’t read Chinese, but you can always run the product titles through Google Translator. Or even better, ask the seller to confirm that what you see is what you’ll get.
Like Gmarket, make sure you check the seller’s feedback ratings so you get a sense of how the seller is regarded. Since Taobao doesn’t do worldwide shipping, you’ll need to ask a Taobao agent (or buyer) if they can ship it specially to you.
Official website: www.taobao.com
Example of a Tabao Agent: www.taobaospree.com/shipping.htm
Rakuten is one of Japan’s major internet retailers for everything from food to fashion, holidays to e-books.
The global version of Rakuten is entirely in English and very well organised with a clear interface, so it’s easy for customers to look for what they want.
The site is famous for its fairly cheap designer duds from brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermes.
It also offers free shipping worldwide on some occasions. All major credit cards are accepted. Individual sellers might also accept other payment methods like bank transfer and PayPal.
Official website: www.global.rakuten.com/en/
YesStyle was the first online retailer to globally distribute a wide range of Asian lifestyle and fashion products. It has a huge range of high quality Asian fashion from Seoul, Tokyo, Hongkong, Shanghai and Taipei.
As well as unique outfits that faithfully reflect the trends of every season, the site also provides a platform for designers across Asia to connect with overseas customers. The product listings are detailed and clear, and YesStyle has free shipping for purchases of more than AU$150.
All sorts of international credit cards are acceptable and the site guarantees the online transaction will be secure. All the transactions, regardless of shipping destination, will be changed in Australian dollars only.
Official website: www.yesstyle.com.au/en
Sammydress is a leading Chinese online wholesale supplier of wedding dresses, shoes, wigs, men’s clothing, toys and much more. It promises the latest fashion styles and trends at the lowest wholesale price with global shipping.
The site is user-friendly and easy to navigate. It’s completely in English, so you don’t have to worry if you can’t read Chinese. The most attractive thing about this site is that it has free shipping worldwide using Hongkong Post or China Post.
Payment methods are varied. Credit card, PayPal, T/T, money orders and Western Union are all accepted. The shipping might be a little slow though as it can take 15-30 business days for your items to arrive in Australia
Official website: www.sammydress.com/