In the past few years the shopping portal Coupang (쿠팡) has become one of the biggest new companies in Korea and has made it’s founder into a billionaire. The best comparison from the US or UK is Amazon.com. Amazon hasn’t been able to break into the Korean market and a key reason is due to Coupang controlling much of the market.

But what is coupang and what are the positives and negatives of shopping via this website/app? Here is our experience;

What is Coupang?

Coupang is a Korean online shopping hub very similar to Amazon.com.

They basically sell everything you could want or need, from household products and food to electronics and holidays.

Pictures below are some of the popular food/household items at the moment; water, rice and baby wipes are at the top. The types of products you don’t want to carry home from the local homeplus or lotte mart.

All images are via coupang.com

Our Experience Shopping via Coupang

Before we start here are a few key facts; we speak Korean and live in Korea. However let look at this from a more overall point of view, and maybe a more average expat one as well.

Positives

* Excellent price points, similar or cheaper than other online retailers.
* Next Day delivery is offered on many of their products, if shipped by them. They also offer before 7am shipping on certain products as well. All included in the price.
* They deliver seven days a week.
* Once setup the app is easy to use.
* You can collect Coupang Cash, which is like cashback of around 2%.
* You can link payments directly to your bank account.
* You receive a message when your delivery has arrived, plus a picture of where the package is (pictured below).
* It’s possible to search the app in English (it’s not perfect, but it’s something).

Negatives

* It’s all in Korean, no English service is currently available.
* Setup can be a little tricky.
* Despite the name there aren’t many coupons available on coupang.
* The coupang shipped products are often listed first, and can be a little more expensive. So research.
* No international shipping, so Korea only at the moment.

Overall

It’s excellent. It’s easy to use (if you understand Korean), the prices are great and delivery times are faster than other options. You could say it’s a little too easy, meaning that you’re using coupang over more local options.

So if you’re living in Korea give Coupang a go. We’d suggest using the app.

Finally

Any thoughts, comments or questions feel free to comment below or message me via Twitter.

Tim
tim@modernseoul.org
@tpbarnes86

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