*This post was originally posted last February 15, 2016 and was updated last February 27, 2017.
Frankly speaking, Seoul has replaced Paris as the city where in-the-know girls look to see what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next in beauty. Back in 2011 Marie Claire reported that Korean skin care is about 12 years ahead of other countries like the US and France in terms of technology. That’s why for the past decade Seoul has been a buzzed-about secret among beauty diehards. But now the secret is out and they’re expanding. Korean beauty products are more accessible these days especially in the Philippines, and thanks to Althea Korea it’ll be much more accessible.
What is Althea Korea? What do they offer that others don’t, and is it really worth buying from them? They are new in the Philippines so I’m sure a lot of Filipinas have questions about their service, so here’s the five things you should know about Althea Korea:
1. Althea Korea is a company that just recently received funding from a Silicon Valley venture capital firm called 500 Startups. The amount was undisclosed, but it is enough to give Althea a confidence to push outwards Korea to the Southeast Asian Market. Currently they are in Singapore and Malaysia, and today, they just launched in the Philippines.
2. They do not just offer the trendiest and hard-to-find products from internationally well known Korean brands like Laneige, Innisfree, Tony Molly, Skinfood, Clio, 3CE, Nature Republic, Etude House, and Banila Co (to name a few), they also offer items from little-known brands like Piolang, B&Soap, and W-Lab that you should definitely add on your next haul.
3. Their products are 100% authentic and ships directly from Seoul, South Korea. Recently Tony Molly and Etude House filed a lawsuit against a well-known online shop in the Philippines for selling fake products. In Althea, Filipinas will no longer have to worry if they are buying fake products.
4. Althea offers free shipping on orders over Php999 and above. It takes at 10 days to arrive and has a 30-Day unconditional returns and refund. They have local partners so your orders will not be hold in customs, nor you have to pay customs duty. For more details, read the FAQ below.
5. Althea Korea promises that they will offer products om lowest possible price.
I was lucky to be one of their Beta Shoppers, meaning I was able to shop on their Philippine website on ph.althea.kr before the official launching today. And here’s what I got:
1. Etude House AC Clinic Daily Toner (Php460) // 2. Laneige Water Sleeping Mask (Php980) // 3. Clio Tinted Tattoo Kill Brow (Php750) // 4. Peri’s Tint Marker (Php340) // 5. Black Pack Cleanser (Php560) // 6. Missha Red Ginseng Sheet Mask (Free)
I must say, without bias that 1) these are amazing products. 2) The shipping was fast (only 1 week) despite arriving straight from Korea to my doorstep. And 3) the products are authentic and actually cheaper than those offered by local stores. For example, the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask cost more than Php1000, in some even Php2000 but I only got it for Php980 for the same 70mL size.
I will tell all about my hauls in separate product reviews coming in a few days so watch out for it and follow me on Bloglovin so you won’t miss it.
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ: What is the Althea Philippines Discount Coupon, and how much discount will I get?
ANSWER: Every new sign up to Althea Philippines gets Php150 credits that they could use to shop, but you can also get Php200 Althea discount coupon when you sign up using this link. And you can get another Php150 credit when you register to their newsletter.
FAQ: Are my Althea orders will be held in the customs? And do I have to pay customs duty tax?
A: No and no. Althea partnered with a South Korean shipping company that partnered with Philippine’s LBC shipping company. So your orders will not be held in the local postal offices’ customs which are notoriously slow and corrupt. And this also means you don’t have to pay a pricey customs duty tax.
FAQ: What if my orders didn’t reach Php999, how much is their shipping fee?
A: Althea’s regular shipping fee cost Php260. So if your order didn’t reach Php999, I recommend contacting your friends. Asked them if there are items they’ve been wanting to buy in Althea so you all take advantage of the free shipping.
FAQ: What are the payment methods available?
A: Althea accepts credit card and PayPal, but if you don’t have those they partnered with DragonPay which has 4 payments methods: 1) OTC non-bank, 2) ATM/OTC, 3) Online Banking, and 4) “Cash On Delivery” for the Philippines residents. They had problems with it so they discontinued it before but as of August 17, 2017, they announced that is it back!
FAQ: I don’t have a bank account, how do I buy in Althea?
A: Most people who asked me these questions are students who don’t have bank accounts. So if you’re a student or someone without a bank account, I recommend choosing “Cash-on-Delivery” or paying thru DragonPay and choose OTC Non-Bank. OTC means “over-the-counter” so you don’t need a bank account. Just go to one of the banks listed in DragonPay that will be sent to your email address after you ordered. In the bank, get a deposit slip. Asked the guard if you don’t know what it is. Fill it up with the details sent to you by DragonPay and pay at the counter. That easy!
If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to ask below by leaving a comment. Or send me a direct message on my Instagram.