Direct Overseas Purchases Reach Record of 1 Trillion Won

kpopluv, Sept. 14, 2015, 8:10 a.m.

The number of direct overseas purchases has been increasing every year, and for the first time last year, reached 1 trillion won. The trend continues as the number of people directly buying their holiday gifts for Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) from overseas websites is increasing.

According to Gmarket, an online shopping mall, sales of foreign products over the past two weeks (August 26 to September 8) showed a 30 percent increase compared to the holiday season before Chuseok last year (August 7 to August 20).

The items that showed the biggest increases in sales over the past two weeks were hand and foot care products, which jumped almost eight times compared to last year, and showed a 95 percent increase compared to last month. Of note, gift sets from foreign brands were popular. Hair products and cosmetics also showed a sharp increase.

Interior goods were also popular as special holiday gifts, increasing the sales of direct overseas purchases 183 percent compared to last year, and 16 percent compared to the previous month. Sales of aroma candles (50 percent) and diffusers (38 percent) also soared.

As well, the demand for kitchen goods is also growing as Chuseok approaches. Airtight containers (331 percent increase), coffee goods (175 percent increase) and cutting tools (150 percent increase) are some products that showed growth in sales.

However, as buying direct overseas has settled as a new consumption pattern, consumer complaints are also increasing. According to the Korea Consumer Agency, 3,412 complaints regarding overseas purchases were filed during the first half of this year. The numbers were 2.7 times higher compared to the number of complaints last year.

As the number of individuals who purchase goods directly overseas increases, measures should be taken to protect consumers from fraud and inconvenience.

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