South Koreans are finding that shopping online outside the country can save money for them even after paying international shipping, insurance, import duties and waiting for a longer time to get merchandize delivered. Some are reporting that they can save over $600 on a television set buying online and abroad. Most of the items like lipstick may cost nine times higher in South Korea compared to overseas prices while wine and climbing boots may cost more than four times. Tires on the other hand cost almost three times the online price. This is why e-commerce in South Korea rose more than 47 percent in 2013, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
South Korean market especially for large retail items such as televisions are controlled by few family run conglomerates where they can manipulates prices. They control distribution of goods as well. New businesses that help Korean customers shop online for overseas products coming from the United States, Germany, China, and Japan are flourishing. They provide much needed help to facilitate processing of orders and provide for the safety of goods delivered. Their success is opening eyes of e-commerce behemoths such as Amazon.com and it plans to open a site soon.