Next to physically walking up and down Myeong-dong to spend all your pocket money in beauty hauling, e-shopping is the best way to experience a wealth of Korean cosmetics in one place. That’s why I was thrilled when I found out that online beauty retailer, Althea Korea, is opening their site for the Philippine market. What’s more, I was able to experience building my own haul there first-hand when I was tapped to be one of their beta testers before the official launch date this coming February 15. Want to know how it went? Read more to get the details on my shopping experience.
Let’s talk about the site itself. Althea appeals to my no-nonsense shopping preference with a site that keeps it fairly simple on the layout. No distracting graphics or videos that cause the site to load slower. The focus is mainly on straightforward product shots, prices, and discount announcements. It is also mobile friendly, so I was able to browse with ease using my phone.
There are two major things that made the shopping session fun and easy: First, Althea carries popular Korean brands that still don’t have widespread availability locally. Think Innisfree, The Saem, 3 Concept Eyes, etc. Second, shoppers are well-informed pre-purchase as the site features comprehensive product info. I like to look at ingredients, country of origin, and/or instructions. Further information can be found when you scroll down each product’s designated page.
After creating my shopping cart, I proceeded to checkout. The process is fairly quick and easy. Once shipping details are given and the order is placed, the site redirects to PayPal, the only payment method accepted at the moment. Then a confirmation e-mail is sent with a summary of the order. Another e-mail arrives with a tracking number when the package has shipped out. All you have to do is wait.
As with most online sellers based abroad, the main concern of the customer is the direct-to-doorstep delivery of goods through the shipping service. I read up on the Terms & Conditions of Althea, and saw that there could be the possibility of paying import duties/taxes. The prospect of hauling ass to the post office made me a little nervous, so I obsessively tracked the package daily. I noticed that it was stuck for three days with an ‘Under Customs Clearance’ status. I freaked out and e-mailed customer care, but they assured me that I just had to wait it out. Six days after placing my order, my package arrived straight to my doorstep!
As for the haul post? I’m sharing that tomorrow! Stay tuned to see the goodies I got.
*Note: The site is still in beta test mode, so there could be updates and improvements by the launch date.
**Beta Testers were treated to a shopping spree on Althea. I was not paid or otherwise compensated for this review. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own.**