Luxury marketplaces leave customers feeling shortchanged
A man in his 40s recently purchased a belt for 85,000 won ($65.25) from an online marketplace. After receiving the item, he decided it wasn't for him and decided to return it. That was until he saw the return fee of 150,000 won.
Another customer bought a clutch bag for 1.8 million won from a different online shopping mall that specializes in designer bags. However, when she received the item she was concerned about its authenticity so took it to an appraiser who said it was a replica. The customer filed a report with the shopping mall, which promises “200 percent compensation if a bag is not genuine.” But the online marketplace replied that compensation can only be made if the valuation is done by appraisers it approves.
The demand for high-end goods has been on the increase, leading in turn to growth in luxury online marketplaces. But such platforms are facing criticism for imposing high return fees and even selling fake items.
Over the past three years, a total of 1,151 cases were reported to the hotline run by the Korea Consumer Agency (KCA), double the amount reported last year.
The top consumer complaint reported related to poor quality of products, which accounted for 33.2 percent of all issues. Restrictions on returns (28.1 percent), high return fees (10.8 percent) and delayed deliveries (6.1 percent) followed.
Sales of the four major domestic e-commerce malls that sell designer goods — Mustit, Balaan, OKmall and Trenbe — rose from 280.6 billion won in 2020 to 382.4 billion won in 2021.
According to the KCA, excluding OKmall, the three shopping platforms restricted refunds on accessories, as well as for customers who simply changed their minds. They were also found to have reduced their refund periods to less than seven days, which goes against the current law that states consumers must have at least seven days to make a return.
Some marketplaces also enforced return fees that were twice the cost of the original price of the item or refused to offer refunds on items that were damaged when they arrived to customers' homes.
According to a survey conducted on 700 consumers on improvements of these e-commerce malls, 36.1 percent said better systems were needed to authenticate items, 17.6 percent said return fees should be reasonable and 15.7 percent asked for quicker responses to consumer inquiries.
BY BAEK IL-HYUN [email@example.com]
- Is 'Extraordinary Attorney Woo' helping or hurting the autism community?
- President Yoon Suk-yeol calls Japan a 'partner' in Liberation Day speech
- The woman behind girl group NewJeans refuses to follow any formulas
- 120,000 new Covid-19 infections reported, critical cases above 500
- Webtoon version of 'Extraordinary Attorney Woo' to be released tonight on Naver Webtoon
- For international students, a part-time job at Starbucks is a bureaucratic nightmare
- Korea to experience more rain this week, but not as extreme
- Son Heung-min nominated for Ballon d'Or
- [WHY] When it comes to covering up, more is more for Korean beachgoers
- 'Woo' gets mixed reviews from people who know about autism