Monday, April 20, 2015

Mega Haul from Korea Depart!

 So my order from Korea Depart finally came in on 4/17/2015.
Order was placed March 7, 2015. It took a really, really long time for the order to arrive.

They canceled one of my items without asking me because with bubble wrap and the samples, it went over the weight limit. They canceled my Etude House Moonlight in Spoon Blending Cream in Green Tea. I was a bit upset they did not ask me what item I would have prefer taken out from the order. I would have rather they taken out that same cream in royal jelly and kept the green tea one. It appears they removed an item of the cheapest and lightest weight needed to meet the weight requirement.

Here is what I ordered and the prices.

Items finally arrive I was so excited!

The picture below is the baggie of samples they gave me. The mask is going into the gift set along with the rest of the masks I have been purchasing for my friend. I will keep all the pearl essence masks and 2 of the black caviar masks for myself. Since she doesn't need or want any tone correct products.

Samples were:
- Demal wine Collagen Essence Mask
- Pure Block Natural Sun Cream
- It's Skin Prestige Bebe Lotion D' Escargot
- Nature republic Bee Venom Emulsion
- Nature republic Bee Venom Toner

Is ordering from Korea Depart a good deal?

 Korea Depart has some of the cheapest prices for Korean beauty products. Of course, this depends on the specific item(s). For me the main reason I placed this order was to get those 2 tea tree essences and tea tree cream.

The tea tree essence is completely SOLD OUT on Memebox at $40 a bottle! I paid 18.80 per bottle in comparison, the Tea tree cream cost me 22.38. The cheapest place that I have found the LeeJiHam Tea Tree Essence is on ebay from blueprint21 for currently $27.49 (free shipping), I do remember seeing it at a sale price at $25.99 a few weeks ago.

My total shipping was $17.21. However, if I only opted to buy 2 bottles of essence my shipping would be $12.39.

$18.80 + $12.39 = $49.99 for both bottles of essence (which is cheaper than buying from ebay and membox). I didn't list amazon because the same bottle of essence is going for a ridiculous $50 each.

The cheapest I can find the LJH Tea tree Cream is $31.99 on Amazon. It claims the price was $65.16 ea and now is on sale for $31.99. The upside to this is that it is prime so you can get the item in 2 days. However, you will still be paying $9.61 extra over the Korea Depart price.

So if you are ordering items like this, where even with shipping included, you are getting a good deal, go for it. You can also fill the extra weight with other goodies. Some of the prices on Korea Depart is incredibly low especially when they are trying to sell out a line that has been discontinued. I am talking about stuff as cheap as 12 cents bottles of nail polish.

Just be warned the stuff takes a long time to arrive. So if you need things in a jiffy, this is not the place to go to.

What you need to know before ordering from Korea Depart:

Customs: If you live in the USA like I do, be happy because of the Korea Free Trade Agreement. The agreement went into effect March 15, 2012. I believe it is set to expire in 2016, but don't quote me on that. Usually the agreement is renewed when it expires. This agreement basically means we can get Korean products free of duty and the merchandise processing fee! Which I must tell you is fantastic. I read horror stories about girls living in Europe who had to pay a $20 dollar fee to claim a Memebox worth $30. So rest assured, you don't have to pay additional fees to receive the item you purchase.

However, your beauty items can still be turned away if it includes some ingredient not approved by the FDA or conforming with USA safety standards. There was also another incident where a whole pallet of Memeboxes was rejected at customs, because apparently, one of the beauty items contained an ingredient not approved by the FDA.

If you live elsewhere, check your customs policy before ordering. Korea Depart openly states on their site that they will not mark the box as a lower value than what you actually paid. I know other sellers including Memebox will mark down an order for customs if it helps the buyer avoid custom fees. Strangely enough, Korea Depart does mark the package as a gift instead of merchandise though.

Shipping: Shipping can get very pricey, very fast depending on what you order. Korea Depart charges shipping by weight if shipped to USA. Some other countries have cheaper flat rate shipping. On the bright side all the items they sell have the item's estimated weight next to it to help you plan your purchases. Just be warned, do not do as I do and fill your purchase to the allotted weight limit as they do not include packaging and sample weight in the total. As a result, they may cancel items that you really want from the order in order to qualify the parcel for the shipping limit you paid for.

Free Samples: You cannot pick your free samples. I think they give you samples base on what you order. I didn't get any makeup samples like my friends did, but they ordered make up. I pretty much got only skin care items, which I really like. I do wish they gave me more samples as opposed to large ones, yet at the same time, when it comes to skincare items larger samples are better than many small samples. Unless you have an immediate reaction (rash, breakouts) you really cannot tell if a product is working immediately or upon one of a few applications. Also, my order weight was full so they probably couldn't fit in anything else and still keep it under the appropriate weight limit.

The wine mask is $4.52 for a pack of 10 on Korea Depart and about $8-9 for a pack of 10 on Amazon. Overall the samples for the rest of the products, the skin care items when full size only come to about $20-30 ea. I heard about people getting samples of really high end Korean products such as Prestige. I would even like to try Laniege as that is available for purchase now in Targets. I was a bit disappointed with the samples I received, but I shouldn't complain since its free and I am grateful. It is just my expectations were raised when I saw what my friends received with their orders from Korea, but I just realize they didn't place their orders with Korea Depart. It was Tester Korea. Time to give that site a try. If their prices are comparable to Korea Depart, wouldn't hurt to place some orders.

Sales: Korea Depart has amazing sales. To see if things are really a bargain it is suggested you do your own research. Keep in mind the weight of the items and calculate in the shipping to see if you are getting a cheaper deal than you would from another site or seller.

To find the cheapest items with the largest on sale %:
1. click on cosmetic located under the Korea Depart logo located at top of page left hand side.
2. click on the word outlet located  in the bar to the left.
3. You can also sort the items by price and you will see beauty products for pennies on the dollar. Problem is most of the items are usually sold out. I would have loved to try that 69 cents toner.

I also recommend looking at the Korea Cosmetics Best Selling Items, which is available as soon as you click on the cosmetic button. This basically gives you a good idea of what products are really popular and generally I find when a lot of people are buying out a product, that the product is usually something worth trying.

Lastly, to find out what special brand sales and events they are having, when you enter the Korea Depart page click on events in the upper right side of the page. This will take you to their calendar which lists all the planned sales for different brands and events coming up. If you have a favorite brand this is definitely the place to keep an eye on. Korea Depart does sales on certain brands only a limited time period. Some of the sales are crazy and I've seen them go up to 75%.

The only problem I have with taking advantage of these sales is that I usually take a long time to plan my orders since I am trying to fill all the weight because of the expensive shipping and by then the really good deals are sold out. Also, that I have to buy bulk items and do massive research because most of the time it is not worth it to purchase only one item due to shipping.

Points: I love points but the ones on this site are pretty tedious to use.
How to get points: You can get points by purchasing products, writing review, or logging into the site.
- You get 0.06 points per log in every 24 hours
- 0.12 points per review you write ( I am unsure if you had to purchase the item and review it to get the points, if not I am pretty sure they will get tons of fake reviews).
- You also get 0.01  point for every dollar spent (unfortunately does not include shipping costs).

Basically if you buy 100 dollars worth of good you get 1 point...

If you log in everyday for an entire year you will accumulate 21.9 points. Which means $21.90 of cosmetics for free (if you pay your own shipping)!

How to spend points: 1 point is = to 1 dollar. You cannot use points to pay for a partial order or for shipping costs. You must have enough points to cover the entire cost of the order before you can spend your points. Points are valid from one year since the last order date.

I am not sure if that means I can keep my points as long as I want so long as I place an order before my year is up and the year renews. That policy is pretty damn good compared to most place with set time limit expiration.

The problem with this point system is:
1. you will always spend money on shipping
2. Because of shipping costs for those of us who live far from Korea, we will have to accumulate a pretty substantial amount of points since placing small orders it not worth the shipping.

I just really hate the fact you cannot use points on part of the order. Some of these rules are basically just to keep people from spending points they otherwise could well have. When you force people to apply the points only to whole purchase orders and not be able to apply point toward shipping, you are basically making it almost impossible for people with high shipping costs to place orders, because the orders have to be large enough to justify the expensive shipping costs. Basically the further we live form Korea, the more we are disadvantage in the point system. The areas really near Korea has a $5 to free shipping zone.

I will have a review for you on the Tea Tree products (which I currently LOVE) and on the Green wine mask to finally settle the question. Should I buy the red or green wine mask.

Hope this information was helpful.


  1. I am not from the US. Nonetheless this was very helpful :)

  2. Hello, I had also ordered something from koreadepart in December and I am concerned because I have never ordered something from another country. (I live in the US as well!) Is it normal for it to take a month for it to ship from Korea to the US? Also, were you able to track the order completely until it had arrived? The last thing on the tracking order website had said it had departed from the outward office of exchange. SORRY I'm bombarding you with questions. It is just my first time. Hopefully you can get back to me! Sorry again!

  3. Hey Unknown,

    Sorry for the delay reply. Was super busy with work. Typically items coming in from Korea can take 4-6 weeks in my experience. There is no tracking after it departs since it switches carriers from Korean to US carrier. After the carrier switches there is usually a status update.

  4. hi, just one concern. are they authentic products? cuz they do have cheapest price which it makes it look not real.thx

    1. They are authentic. Items in Korea are cheaper than in US. Korea Depart sells authentic product, but the shipping gets really expensive really fast.

  5. I'm struggling to make a decision to buy an eyeshadow palette from them or not. my biggest concern is if it's authentic. I don't want to end up ordering fake bad quality brands ):

  6. Please don't order from Korea Depart. They sell your out of stock products, then refund you whatever not available. I order three items, one is out of stock. I would have cancelled the entire order if they had checked with me before shipping the partial order, I would have canceled the order so that I don't have to pay for expensive shipping. The remaining 2 products total cost is cheaper than the shipping cost. That's bad business practice.