During the winter, I kept on seeing Kim Hyun Joong’s face in an ad called “Coupang“. I often see it on buses so that I became curious and decided to find out about it. The search led me to Daum’s Social Commerce page. Since March, I’ve been a constant fan of Korean social commerce sites. It has become a habit to check their offers at midnight before I go to bed. If not, I make it a point to see them early in the morning.
There are a lot of social commerce sites now operating in Korea, but I only regularly visit four of them: T-mon, Groupon, Coupang and WeMakePrice. The products they offer vary from restaurant discounts, hotels and tour discounts, beauty services, cosmetic products, household goods, toys and other electronic products.
It’s at midnight that the companies post their offers for the day, from Mondays to Fridays. They don’t offer new things on the weekends and on holidays.
REGISTRATION. These social commerce sites are mainly in Korean, since their market are Koreans. I use my Korean name and ID number to be a member. Only T-mon and Groupon allows registration by foreigners in Korea. So if you’re a resident here, you can use your ARC number on registration. You must know how to register in Korean though.
PURCHASING. It’s so easy to purchase from social commerce sites. It’s necessary to understand the terms and conditions of the offers though. Most of the times, the offer is straightforward. If you’re going to purchase restaurant, tour, hotel, beauty services discount, be aware of the usage date.
If you can’t use the discount on the validity date, it’s gone and you can’t get a refund of your purchase. You can use a credit card to buy any of the services of these social commerce sites. They will send you the coupon through your cellphone. This is the coupon that you’ll need to show when using the service you purchase.
For example, I bought a Mister Donut discount from Groupon last month. It includes espresso crush (4,500 won) and a donut (1,300 won). The discounted total is 3,800 won. To use it, I went to the Mister Donut shop located near us and showed them the SMS on my phone. That’s it!
I’ve purchased several household goods online. In June, I bought a steam mop for half it’s regular price. The brand is Haan, which is the top brand for steam mop in Korea. Yesterday, I saw the Playstation 3 offered at We Make Price. They only had 3,000 units at 50% the regular price. Unfortunately, it went so fast that by the time I visited the site it’s all sold out!
The discount is not instant. There is a minimum number that must be reached for the discount to be valid. One time, I saw a tour to Manila for 199,000 won (airfare and hotel included, tax excluded) but it didn’t reach the quota for the discount. That was way back in March when social commerce was not as popular as it is now.
I haven’t had any problem so far in buying from these social commerce sites. It’s dangerous that this has become a habit though. There was one whole week last month that I bought something everyday. I had to control myself!