Olive Young Global Review: The Good & The Ugly

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The post will be sharing my review of the biggest Health and Beauty retailer in South Korea, Olive Young Global.

Before I go on to this review, here’s a little back story. I have acne-prone dry dehydrated skin. Two years ago, I discovered Korean Skincare and it literally transformed my life. My skin used to be so dehydrated and ashy that I also got bullied by it when I was young. Imagine my euphoria, when I discovered Korean Skincare which has a HEAVY emphasis on hydration. By trying a few brands, I quickly discovered holy grail products that leave my skin hydrated and glowing.

As a result of my love for Kbeauty, I started a blog to review my favourite products and recommend the best products based on my experience and the general understanding of skincare ingredients. At the moment, I have a Storage Tower that is filled with Korean Skincare products. I have enough products to last for an entire year. I buy products weekly from independent sellers on eBay and monthly from larger Korean retailers. This is how much I am invested in Korean Skincare.

Last year, I decided to go out of my safety net of eBay sellers and experiment with the bigger retailers that operate out of Asia. I wanted to experience them individually and share my findings with my readers.

So far, I’ve written about Jolse, StyleVana, YesStyle and Dokodemo all within the last quarter of 2020. Obviously, we are in a pandemic so I have plenty of time and extra cash to check out these retailers and share my experiences. The last retailer on my list was Olive Young Global which I was mad excited about.

I mean, I watch Korean YouTubers and I hear how they rave about Olive Young Global in their shopping vlogs. Of course, I eventually could not resist especially since I watch those videos regularly. So, I went ahead to place my order in November during the 11:11 sale.

Olive Young Global Review: The Good & The Ugly

The Good: First Impressions of Olive Young Global

The first time I clicked on the Olive Young Global website, there are a few things that immediately jumped at me:

The Product Selection

As a heavyweight in South Korea, Olive Young Global is one of the first retailers to stock products from new and emerging brands. Yes, you will probably still see a few Cosrx and Dear Klairs products but unlike other retailers, you’ll only the latest releases from those brands. Other times, you find a few bestselling products. The point is, you don’t go to Olive Young Global to stock up on your staple and holy grail products. No, you go there to check out the latest award-winning brands that are currently popular in South Korea. This is how I found out about the Round Lab brand.

Olive Young Global Review: The Good & The Ugly

Exclusive Bargains and Deals

Olive Young was the first website that I saw that sells products in special sets. No, it is not the typical starter sets which every other retailer sells. These are two in one product that is an absolute bargain. Imagine buying a 400ml Toner and it comes with an extra 200ml bottle for half the price of both. An absolute steal if you ask me. I actually believe that other retailers might buy from Olive Young, separate the set and sell them individually. It is entirely possible.

Unbeateable Sales

It is one thing to get a great bargain. It is yet another to get that bargain on sale. Unlike StyleVana and YesStyle, their sales make a lot of sense. It is not gimmicky or shady in any way. Depending on what membership level you are on, you also get coupons which you can actually use. It got to a point that I had to stop myself from checking their app because it got too tempting every single time.

$60 Free Shipping

One of the reasons why I didn’t hesitate to shop on Olive Young Global was their free shipping threshold. Unlike StyleKorean and Wishtrend which both have $150 thresholds, this was way affordable for me especially when it is converted to GBP.

Website Navigation

For someone that is very keen on the UI/UX of any e-commerce website, I actually enjoy navigating the Olive Young Global website. The products and brands are well categorized. Even the products for each sale are all categorized in one landing page which makes it so easy to shop all at once. It’s definitely an A+ for me.

The Ugly: Review of Olive Young Global

As you can tell from the title, I did not have a good experience with Olive Young. When I think about all the bad online shopping experiences I had in 2020, this one tops it.

Olive Young Global Review: The Good & The Ugly

Their Poor International Shipping & Shitty Refund Policy

As I mentioned earlier, when you spend $60, you get free shipping. While this is a laudable effort, it doesn’t extend to the actually shipping.

Here’s what happened:

I placed an order on the first week of November and it was processed and shipped out in about two to three days. Like others, I was sent the tracking number which I checked briefly and completely neglected. This is because I shop from Asia (South Korea, Japan, Thailand and China) all the time and my packages always get to me in two weeks. Tops five weeks if there is a delay. In the event that it doesn’t and gets lost, I typically get a full refund.

I’ll like to mention that during this period, I shopped from YesStyle and Dokodemo at almost the same time. This means that I had three separate packages in transit. So, YesStyle came first in two weeks followed by Dokodemo which I had to pay customs fees for. I didn’t mind that because it the package eventually got to me after clearing the custom fees.

You would not believe it….

After about six weeks, I went over to the Olive Young Global website to ask about the whereabouts of my package through the customer service form. In a twist of events, for reasons that I could not wrap my head around, my package was actually on its way BACK to Korea. Apparently, I did not pay customs fees so the package was returned. Which was really weird because the package never got to me AT ALL unlike my Dokodemo order the previous week.

Obviously, I would not back down. After a bit of back and forth, I was shown their return policy which states that they don’t reship or make refunds in situations like this. This actually made my blood boil. So I went over to other retailers to check their return policies, lo and behold, Olive Young was the exception. Every other company either offered a full refund or reshipped the package at no expense to the customer.

I thought that was downright ridiculous and disappointing particularly for a massive retailer like Olive Young. If it was a smaller indie brand, I would totally understand but a large corporation? That was really low. After threatening to expose them on the Asian communities on Facebook and Reddit like the Purito saga, they eventually bulged and decide to deduct the shipping fee and refund the rest.

I was slightly pacified until I found out that I would be left with crumbs. They literally just took the entire money under ‘shipping costs’ and refunded $18. I was livid. In the end, I gave them a piece of my mind and swore never to shop at Olive Young again.

In the end,

While I can’t stop you from shopping on Olive Young Global, I would say you should do so at your own discretion bearing in mind that you would not get a full refund if your package gets lost. Or the shipping company decided not to get to your home. To be honest, you are better off shopping at Jolse or StyleVana.

I believe Olive Young should have dealt with this situation with their Logistics Partner and not allow me to bear the burnt. This is such a smelly behaviour for a giant retailer and I hope they change their ways.

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