Friday, December 14, 2018

[Guide] How To Buy from Lotte Duty Free Online Korea?

I'm finally writing this guide because so many friends have been asking me about it since my Instagram stories haul. It's hard for me to explain one by one so I'm directing you guys here.

Every single thing I bought from the Lotte Duty Free online is so worth it. There is not one thing I bought where I ended up finding a cheaper price elsewhere. Really.

So here we go.
It may seem complicated at first, but it's really simple and I assure you, the money you end up saving is worth the effort reading through this post. 
I sold a handbag and earned RM240 at one go because I bought it from duty free store and sold it to someone online. Lol. I also sold some small make up items and earned quite an amount of cash. There's this website that cater to travelers who are willing to help people get stuff from other country, and they cannot cancel their order once they placed it so you are safe. I will leave this guide for another day. 

Lotte should pay me, I just realize how long this post is going to be. Hahaha

Some tips before we start, these will make sense later once you go through all:

*Start buying 60 days before your departure date from Korea as flight info needed when check out*

*You can always cancel your purchases if you change your mind

*You can still go to Korea stores, research, compare then only purchase online (but you will miss out time sale). For some products, you can still order as long as 3 hours before your departure time.

*My tip is if something is not on time sale, don't buy first. If it's not on time sale until you are in Korea, then fine, just pay the duty free discounted price for it.

*They did not ask for my printed receipt. All you need is handover your passport and they give you all your purchases. I made 20+ separate orders, nothing was packed wrongly. Perfect.

*International brands may not be super cheap, please compare. But for korean brands, 100% cheaper.

*Please control yourself from over buying if you are travelling alone. All these will be hand carried. Most airlines (MAS, SIA etc) allow extra Duty Free plastic bag on board on top of your hand carry bag and laptop bag. 

1. Register an account on , app store, play store

2. Collect $1000 USD daily mileage (cash) reward points. See below Reward points $1000 Purple box? Click and then Click Download. Showing app for simplicity but same concept on website.

Keep an eye out for 1+1 events. I got Innisfree Sunscreen RM20 for 2 because of such events.

3. Start shopping!
3a. Visit Time Sale section during Malaysia time 5pm - 11pm everyday, different brands are on sale every night. 

Click into the Night time sale purple box below (only can see this in app not on PC) and they will list all the brands on sale. Limited time only so you must check out during that time or else you will miss it.
For some brands, they repeat often. But for some, not really. 

What I do is that I add everything I want to cart first, and when certain brand on sale, I will select from my cart and check out directly on my PC. Saves time.

3b. Visit Today's Deals section everyday - see the photo below on the left. Laneige cushion for $16.80 only before applying the $1000 rewards. Using this example, go to step 4.

For example, Michael Kors is on time sale today so everything MK has 30% off during this time.
So after discount, this smart watch is around $193 USD. Did not check official retail price but Amazon US selling for $295 USD. lol


4. Check out (during your first check out, you have to input flight details)
 Paypal and International Credit Card accepted.


5. Double check if all the reward points are being applied. They automatically apply all vouchers for you. (see the $4.88 below? that will offset your $1000 you collect everyday - you will not finish using it unless you buy a lot of expensive stuff. then again, they give you $1000 to offset purchases everyday so why worry) Hence, this laneige BB cushion went from $24 (duty free price at airport) to $16.80 (online deal price) then to $11.92. 
And that's the price you pay. 

All these extra discounts and rewards can only be found online. Not in the physical duty free store in Korea nor in the airports.

How the $4.88 is calculated? See the Reward points usage rate? 29%? 
If you take $16.8 x 29% = $4.872 ~ $4.88
Use this as your guide to know how much the checkout price will be.

6. Collect your purchases from the airport (after passing immigration) before you board your departing flight. 

It took us 10 mins max to collect but spent another 10 mins tearing off the duty free plastic bags/bubble wrap and putting them into our hand carry. 
However, if you purchase liquid >100ml, make sure you are not transiting in a foreign country because all of these will be in your hand carry.

I would still ask you to go to the airport earlier. Allocate 30-45 minutes bandwidth to collect.
Your collection point will be assigned near your departure gate and the guide will be shown after you check out. Don't worry! Super easy!

Extra Benefits:
Visit their monthly benefits page to check in for candy (which can be converted to reward points - but not necessary, I never finish using the free 1K USD reward they give everyday)

Without further ado, let me show you some examples and some purchases I actually gotten in November.
I was lucky because there was an Autumn Sale going on so most of the brands I wanted had 30-40% discounts all month, but for some I had to check everyday for time sale (eg: Laneige), worth the effort!

Item 1: Dr Jart+ Ultra Jet Porecting Solution Bubbling Charcoal Sheet Mask

Firstly, on Sephora US it's 9USD/piece, on Sephora Malaysia it's RM20 per piece (5USD).

I got it 50 pieces for 67USD (1 piece at 1.34 USD) only!!
Cheaper than those crappy brand masks.
In Korea, at Olive Young you can get this for 4000 krw/pc. For simple calculation, it's 4USD. Sometimes they do 1+1 for Dr. Jart meaning buy one free one. 
But not always. Even then, it's still cheaper to get it from duty free. 
One warning though, 50 masks are heavy. We have 4 of us travelling together so it's easy to carry.
We kept all our hand carry trolley bags empty for the sake of this.

Item 2: 

The purchase I'm most proud of. Fila went on a night time sale one day and I just had to buy it. $35USD only! We all know how much they are selling in Singapore and Malaysia. Crazy is the correct word for it.

It retails at 69,000 krw or 79,000 krw in Korea, which means I got it at half price basically.
And compare it against JD sports RM409.....

Item 3: Etude House Lipstick
Less than RM20 for one lipstick at Etude house. nuff said. Not the best purchase yet. Keep scrolling

I'm just gonna dump everything below because it's endless.
I'm choosing couple of famous products that you really should be targeting because they are good and cheap.

 One of the best brands to buy from Lotte is Etude House.
Etude House stocks all the latest make up and skincare on their online website immediately.
Or even BEFORE physical store release. The recent cafe series were released on duty free even before their physical store. And with time sale 30% off as well.
Anyway, I got this peach palette for $10.58 USD only.

 If you have acne prone skin, I highly recommend this tea tree mask.
Wayyyy cheaper than Olive Young, because it's 3+1. 
Whenever you see buy x free x, just get it on time sale. It's mad worth.
$23 for 40 pieces of mask.

Even when Olive Young on half price sale now, 10k krw for 10 pieces of mask. It's still $1 each. lol

Buy 3 free 2. I actually sold 2 and earned some money.
This is good. Dupe for Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair. Made my skin super soft.
Retail price is at $ 34 USD per bottle.
We got it for $10 USD per bottle. Score.

3CE Maison Kitsune Velvet Lip Tint for 6USD. 
We all know how overpriced these are at Sephora. lol.

Another best buy. 8USD for Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask.
When you think about it in grams, you realize it costs the same as normal lip balm at Watsons. lol.

3 full size Innisfree Vivid Cotton Ink for 11 USD. Less than 4USD each.

The famous Osulloc Green Tea spread also got.
If I remember correctly, this wasn't bought on time sale. But still cheaper than their physical store.


Now that you are somewhat familiar with Lotte.
There's another one called Shilla Duty Free. Same concept and works exactly the same.
Their reward points is lesser around $200-$300 per day.
And their reward points deduction has no decimal place. It actually makes a difference.
I check time sale on both apps so I actually got this Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum set on Shilla.
Innisfree is always on time sale in Shilla but occasionally only on Lotte.

 3 bottles of Innisfree Seed Serum at $32 USD.
I think cheapest you can get even from Althea, Hermo is RM75-RM80 each?
This 3 set is duty free exclusive. If you buy single bottle from the site, still cheaper. 
But since my whole family uses this, why not?

However, if you want to save the hassle, just get it from Lotte (pic above). It's still cheaper than buying from physical stores in Korea. Even after refunding for tax.
10% off as you see above is normal discount. On time sale, it will be 30%.

This is how Shilla looks like.
Go explore if you are interested.
And thank you for reading this blog post. 
Hope you enjoy shopping and please don't waste your hard earn money when you can get them for cheaper. lol.

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