Amazon.com in Korea? Unlikely, Here's Why (Update 1)

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Need to find the fair price of ANYTHING?  Look no further.
It isn't perfect competition, but it is as close as the average consumer can get.  Anytime that I am going to buy anything other than food, I always go to www.amazon.com.  Always.  Why is that?

Comparison shopping done easily
The choices in the U.S. are dizzying.  Dozens of sites for virtually every item.  However, Amazon.com has put together a site which is consolidates other online stores which have partnered with Amazon.  None of this matters to an American consumer: shipping is often free, and a very competitive price can be found on virtually anything that you need to buy.  Shipping?  Free if the purchase is above a certain amount.

Why oh why nawayo.co.kr and gmarket.co.kr Aren't Even Close
Besides being highly annoying from a visual standpoint, Korean shopping sites are inconvenient at best.  If you are not convinced, look here. Once you get beyond the annoyance factor, there are still reasons why these sites and individual online sellers do not succeed in Korea.  First, fads burst onto the scene and recede into obscurity with blinding speed.  Remember the LG Chocolate?  Neither does anyone else in Korea.  That makes it very risky for online sellers to retain inventory.  Second, it is very difficult to level the playing field against the largest Korean companies.  In other words, small niche companies find it very difficult to evolve into viable entities in Korea.  As a result, the offerings at nawayo.co.kr and gmarket.co.kr are simply the same items from virtually every seller.  Third, import taxes remain a barrier.  The Seoul Gyopo Guide has strongly supported the passage of the KORUS FTA because the effect on everyday Koreans is higher inflation, and fewer choices that result.  Korean retailers also have fewer choices because they cannot afford the risks of carrying more-expensive items.  Those retailers are correct to be afraid, since the FTA should bring down the selling prices after FTA passage.  Those especially at risk are the large department stores that currently carry U.S. brands.  Depending upon the price of shipping, it may actually be cheaper to purchase certain items on Amazon.com and have them shipped to Korea.

Conclusion
Perhaps the Seoul Gyopo Guide should give Korean shopping websites a break.  It isn't necessarily the sellers' fault that they have limited access to high quality inventory.  What other way is there to get the attention of the potential buyers for identical products?  Until Korea enjoys a truly competitive marketplace, an all-encompassing website like Amazon.com may be an impossible dream.



www.seoulgyopoguide.com www.twitter.com/thelostseoul


kpower
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Joined: 08/30/2011
Amazon.com in Korea? I created Amazon & others in Korean :)

Hi, I am sorry to hear that.  After I read this comment, I decided to take the challenge and build Amazon site in Korean language with little help from Google.  Their translation is not perfect Korean when you use long sentences but for short sentences, they are about 70% accurate and getting better due to their hugh resources of manpower and money.  MSN & YHOO translations are totally off when I tried it with only about 15% accuracy. 

Now I have partnership with Amazon.com (largest data of price comparing site), 40 years old largest discount golf shops like Golfsmith.com to display all their products in my site in Korean.  You can also view and visit other popular sites like CNBC business news (business news seem to be weak in Korea compare to the US because of not enough information), Craigslist.org in Korean language which is huge in the US for the classifieds ads, ebay, Youtube videos and even this website translated in Korean language. 

I also added full features of free classifieds ad and coupons information to provide free advertising alternatives for Koreans.  From 2KoreaClassifieds.com Enjoy ;)

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