ETA: If you are looking for someone to purchase the tickets for you in Korea for a small fee, please contact me via private message on facebook. I can’t guarantee anything and tickets are first come first served (Gmarket has a buying limit).
Please consider that my inbox gets flooded with requests and I can’t answer everyone after I’ve reached my buying limit. Please don’t take it personally! [On hiatus from ticket buying until February 2015]
If you’re a non-Korean speaking person trying to book concert tickets on Gmarket, South Korea’s very popular online shopping mall, you are in for some trouble and headache. Although Gmarket offers an English version of their website, website sales of concert tickets are often totally in Korean. Worse yet, many things are embedded in graphics so you can’t even google translate in an attempt to understand what to do! I ran into this problem recently, and I can tell you first hand it was a really stressful experience because I wasn’t prepared.
This can be very tough and stressful, especially since tickets go on sale at specific times and tend to sell out within minutes for the more popular acts. International fans definitely have to be prepared to grab their ticket on time. Before buying your ticket, there are several things you should prepare to make sure you’re ready. These are VERY important. You don’t want to lose any time fumbling around when the clock starts ticking!
- You need to access the Gmarket site on Internet Explorer (IE). This is extremely important! Gmarket will not function properly in other browsers. MAC users are unfortunately out of luck unless you install special software to run windows applications.
- Disable your pop-up blocker.
- Create a Gmarket account on their global site. The form is simple and easy.
- Familiarize yourself with the ticket page until you feel comfortable with what everything is.
- Try to access the internet somewhere that is stable and has a fast connection. South Korea has one of the fastest internet connections in the world, so you need to be fast when tickets are very popular.
- A few minutes prior to tickets launching, log into your account. Have all of your address and payment information ready.
- Stay calm. Stressing yourself out won’t help and may cause simple mistakes.
I can’t stress enough that you need Internet Explorer (IE) for this. You can browse the Gmarket website fine in all browsers, but you will not be able to create an account or purchase tickets with anything other than IE.
For the purposes of this visual guide, I took screencaps of purchasing a ticket for G-DRAGON 2013 1st World Tour [ONE OF A KIND] THE FINAL.
The first page that you land on will look like this. There are three steps to complete here, which I highlighted in the screencap. The first box is for the date of the event you want to go to. After you select the date, you must select the time in the box below it. After both selections are made, click the big blue button next to it to select your seats. A pop-up will come up for this, so ensure your pop-up blocker is off!
If you run into trouble with this step, there are several things that could be wrong. For the big blue button to bring up the seat selection tool, both time and date boxes must have a selection. If you are not logged in, it will prompt you to log-in but it won’t take you to the log-in page. If you are sure you have logged in and both the date and time box are filled in correctly, refresh the page.
Unfortunately, if you try to fill in the date box and a pop-up comes up, that means the tickets have been sold out. 🙁
Now onto the fun part! Picking your seats is really easy. They provide a diagram of the seating where the concert will be held, and you choose the area of seating you want in the box on the left. If a pop-up comes up when you click a section, the section was sold out. When I tried to buy the 99,000won tickets here, they were all sold out. Tickets had only been on sale for 5 minutes!
Click on the section you want to show seating options for and it will appear in the box to the right. Seats are color-coded by cost/status. Click on the seats you want (you can click as many as you want). The seats will blink and show up in the box on the lower right. Click the big blue button to confirm your selection. If you click on a seat and a pop-up appears, someone has already selected that seat.
After clicking submit, the box will close and you will be back at the main page that you started on.
The original page will have changed a little to reflect the seats that you have chosen and your total cost. Go ahead and click on the big button with the won sign to start the payment process! A small pop-up will appear on your screen.
This box is basically asking you to acknowledge and agree to pay the Gmarket fee for purchasing the tickets. Tick the checkbox and press the blue button to head to the checkout page. You can breathe easy, your tickets are reserved at this point and you won’t lose them for being slow.
The top of the checkout page will look something like this. It will list your tickets and their cost. The exclamation mark may seem scary, but it’s nothing to worry about. Your order is fine. 🙂
Now this part is pretty tough if you don’t know Korean. The basic things that need to be filled out are the address and phone numbers. If you aren’t in Korea, you are going to need an address to send your tickets to. If you have a Korean friend who can receive the tickets for you, that would be the best option if they are OK with you having their address and phone numbers. If you choose this route, they will get order updates via text message and you can track your order and know exactly when it’s getting shipped. Otherwise, you can use the address for Gmarket’s corporate address instead:
34F, Gangnam Finance Center, 737 Yuksam Dong, Gangnam Gu, Seoul, Korea 135-984
If you choose this route, make sure you provide your actual phone numbers in the boxes above. The tickets will not actually be sent to Gmarket’s corporate office; you have to print out your e-voucher after payment and exchange it for a hard copy at the concert itself. In the box below the telephone numbers, you should also include your passport number. These will be used to identify you as the owner of the tickets during the concert and allow you to get them without any issues.
To enter your address, you will click the grey button that was circled in the previous screencap. Thankfully, there is an English tab that you can select to enter the address in English. Just follow the directions and input any remaining information from the address in the blank box at the bottom. After you confirm, it will fill out the boxes on the confirmation page for you.
After you filled all of those boxes, it’s time for the actual payment. For G-dragon’s ticket sales, foreign credit cards aren’t an option for payment! It’s listed as an option where I’ve highlighted it in the screencap, but it wasn’t available to click on. That was an absolute bummer. To purchase you would need a Korean credit card. Thankfully, my Korean friend came to the rescue and helped me out.
After you do fill out your payment information though, you will receive your e-voucher. If you had your tickets delivered to a friend, you’re good. Otherwise, print this voucher and keep it to retrieve your tickets at the concert itself. Be proud of yourself that you did it and start getting excited for the concert! 😉
I had such a hard time figuring this out, so I hope this helps someone out there!
Q: Have you ever purchased tickets from Gmarket before? Any tips or tricks that I missed that you could share?
Even MORE tips from the lovely Rukai~
1. Internet Explorer 9
Yes, it’s an amusing paradox that one of the top countries in the world regarding internet usage still demands IE for its top market site to be functional. Firefox came close but like you said, the “seat selection” pop up doesn’t work, even if you turn off Pop-up blocker. Windows came in with IE 10 installed now and THAT DOES NOT WORK properly on Gmarket. You have to downgrade it to 9 or less to get the “seat selection” part to light up!
2. Internet speed (and FAST!)
I’m in Australia, and regrettably we don’t have the fastest internet speed. That means losing out when fighting for seats so if this can’t be changed, it can’t be helped, but a stable connection is definitely a plus.
3. Seat selection (Perseverance! F5 + Enter combo chain)
Boy oh boy, it was absolute murder fighting for seats on your sparkling IE 9 browser, and my only advice is to be there about 2 minutes before hand, refreshing it regularly until the start time and BOOM, rush in, refresh like mad. F5 and Enter should be your two best friends, and learn to master it quickly. Don’t be disheartened if a Korean dialogue pops up (probably saying that seats are all filled). F5 AND ENTER. Seats will continue to be dropped due to payment not finishing in time and it’s fair go for 30 minutes. There will be seats emptying up. This is where fast internet is good, since I can see the seats but when I click on the line, that seat is already snatched up. But I managed to grab 2 seats for SHINee SMTown in the end, after 30 minutes of it being on public sale. Which brings me to the )&*%)%&!)&#_!^*!^$ last point
4. Korean credit card (and all other illusion otherwise)
Sorry folks, without a Korean credit card the purchase won’t go through. Yes there is an option for foreigner’s card, it just happens to be grayed out so no luck there. If you managed to smuggle one in, that’s awesome! If not then I’m sorry. People would usually sell tickets on Twitter after the official sale if you know where to look, or have the Twitter of the more influential members of the fandom. This was not a problem with Interpark, and I’ve secured 2 tickets for 2AM concerts through Interpark without a hitch but Gmarket is another story altogether.
So lastly, if you really want to grab a ticket to a more popular band then I’d suggest having a shopping service in Korea to do it for you, I think it’s safer that way. SHINee was popular but I snatched 2 tickets so everyone has a fair go, so long as you have a Korean credit card.