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Gmarket Corporation
Industry Internet
Founded 2000
Headquarters Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea
Key people
Young Bae Ku, Founder & CEO
Products Online auction business model, shopping mall, electronic commerce
Parent eBay Inc.
Website www.gmarket.co.kr

Gmarket is a Korean online auction and shopping mall website, where people from all around the world buy and sell goods and services.


Gmarket was founded in 1999 by Young Bae Ku as "AuctionWeb" & "ShoppingMall", part of a larger personal site. Originally, the site belonged to Online Market Group, a consulting firm. Young Bae had tried to register the domain name "GreenMarket" but found it already taken, so he shortened it to his second choice, "gmarket.co.kr". Gmarket is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. He has served as Gmarket's president and CEO (T.K.S.) since 2000.

Acquisition by eBay[edit]

In June 2009, eBay acquired Gmarket for the USD equivalent of approximately $1.2 billion. This subsidiary is now known as eBay Korea Co., Ltd. Young Bae remains as the CEO of Gmarket and headed expansion plans into Japan and Singapore.[1]

Items and services[edit]

Collectibles, appliances, computers, furniture, equipment, vehicles, and other miscellaneous items are listed, bought, and sold. Some items are rare and valuable, while many others are products that would have been discarded if not for the thousands of eager bidders, proving that if one has a big enough market, one will find someone willing to buy anything. It is fair to say that Gmarket has revolutionized the collectibles market by bringing together buyers and sellers internationally in a huge, never-ending "yard sale" and auction. Large international companies, such as LG and Samsung sell their newest products and offer services using competitive auctions and fixed-priced storefronts. Regional searches of the database make shipping slightly more rapid or cheaper. Software developers can create applications that integrate with the marketplace through the Gmarket Service by joining the developers program. There are thousands of members in the Gmarket Developers Program, comprising a broad range companies creating software applications to support Gmarket buyers and sellers as well as Gmarket Affiliate Systems.

There has also been controversy regarding items put up for bid that violate ethical standards. In late 2001, a man offered one of his kidneys for auction on Gmarket, attempting to profit from the potentially lucrative market for transplantable human organs. On other occasions, people and even entire towns have been listed, often as a joke. Within a short time period, the company removes auctions that violate its terms of service agreement. The company's policy is to not pre-approve transactions. Gmarket is also an easy place for unscrupulous sellers to market counterfeit and credit merchandise, which can be difficult for novice buyers to distinguish without careful study of the auction description.

Gmarket also has a large portion of its site available in English, including account, promotion, search and browsing options. While the item descriptions remain in the original Korean, it has proven popular with English speaking expats in Korea as well as overseas customers interested in the products often unavailable in their own country.

Profit and Transactions[edit]

Gmarket generates revenue from sellers, who pay a fee based on the selling price of each item and a fee based on the starting price, and from advertising. In 2005 it was announced that Gmarket would increase fees it charges to Gmarket Store sellers, which caused considerable enough controversy. The president of Gmarket then emailed all Gmarket users with news that other fees would be decreased. Gmarket does not handle the goods, nor does it transact the buyer-seller payments, except through its subsidiary shopping mall credit. Instead, much like newspaper want-ads, sellers rely on the buyers' good faith to make payment, and buyers rely on the sellers' good faith to actually deliver the goods intact. To encourage fidelity, Gmarket maintains, rates, and publicly displays the post-transaction feedback from all users, whether they buy or sell. The buyer is encouraged to examine the sellers' feedback profile before bidding to rate their trustworthiness. Sellers with high ratings generally have more bids and garner higher bids. However, it is possible for sellers to make their feedback private and just leave the numbered rating (number of positive, negative, and neutral feedback with a positive feedback percentage), which means that bidders and sellers cannot see the comments other users have left. Gmarket also has a significant affiliate program, and affiliates can place live Gmarket Shopping product images and links on their web sites.

Public Offering[edit]

An initial public offering of 9,119,565 American Depositary Shares was made on NASDAQ on June 29, 2006. The shares were approved for quotation under the symbol GMKT. The initial price at the time was 15.25 USD. [1] The purchase by eBay Inc. has removed these shares from the market.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ eBay Inc. "eBay and Gmarket Joint Venture". eBay. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 

External links[edit]