SEOUL, Jul. 4 (Korea Bizwire) — Cheaper prices are behind the increasing popularity of direct purchases of foreign merchandise from overseas vendors, according to a survey conducted by the Korea Consumer Agency that queried 1,000 adults over 20 years of age about their shopping habits.
Among the respondents, 78.1 percent (multiple answers allowed) said that they shopped for overseas purchases directly because the products were priced lower than in South Korea.
When asked about their perception of the price differences, 27.7 percent of respondents said that overall, goods purchased overseas were cheaper than the same goods sold domestically.
The perceived difference between prices overseas and in South Korea for infant and baby products was largest at 31.8 percent, followed by health supplements (29.7 percent), clothing (28.3 percent), and fashion accessories (28 percent).
The most frequently purchased types of products from overseas vendors (multiple answers allowed) included clothing (40.7 percent), health supplements (38.9 percent), and bags, wallets and accessories (34.8 percent).
Of the respondents, 82.5 percent (multiple answers allowed) said they made purchases from the U.S., followed by Japan (31.2 percent), and China (21.3 percent).
Amazon was the website of choice (multiple answers allowed) for 71.4 percent of consumers, followed by eBay (37 percent), and iHerb (22.4 percent).
Respondents revealed that cheaper prices (62.4 percent), fast and safe delivery (43.2 percent), and product variety (29 percent) were some of the top reasons for selecting an overseas shopping website.
At 56.4 percent, the majority of respondents said that in addition to products, they had purchased overseas services.
Of the number of people who had used foreign services, 84.9 percent booked rooms at overseas hotels. The leading websites were hotels.com (23.6 percent), Expedia (14.6 percent), and Agoda (12.9 percent), in that order.
In addition, 30 percent of respondents said that they purchased overseas products based on ads posted on social media websites.
Of those surveyed, 55.9 percent experienced dissatisfaction or had problems with their purchases, with 53.8 percent stating that their complaints were related to delivery (multiple answers allowed), followed by problems with merchandise (24.9 percent), and difficulty returning or exchanging items.
Kevin Lee (email@example.com)