|REVIEW| Things You Should Know Before Buying From Althea.kr

althea malaysia review
Task: find that random strand of hair.

(Posting earlier because I'm flying off to Perth this Saturday and I seriously need to start packing soon!)

PLEASE READ THE UPDATE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST.

FIRST TIME EVER
I finally made my first purchase from Althea Malaysia this February (and I'm only writing my thoughts now LOL)! I've had my eyes on the Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream (watch my awkward First Impression Review!) since ages ago but didn't make up my mind until Althea offers this perfect discount on it. By that time I still hadn't used up my The Body Shop Moisture White™ Shiso 2 in 1 Brightening Eye Cream which I've had for at least three years. Whaaat? That's like forever! The The Body Shop eye cream only has 15ml! Yet I managed to keep it for three years which I'm sure is way past its expiry date, woo (no I wasn't trying to save money).

p.s. I was having this dilemma of whether to add a 'the' in front The Body Shop. Grammatically, I think I should (so I did, it was not a typo), but it just looks really weird, what do you think?

althea korea malaysia
I spent RM162.00 in total for the four items inside.

UNBOXING ALTHEA
I originally wasn't planning to write a review on this. So I didn't take a picture of it when I first received the box. I had even thrown away the packaging of one of the products after writing a review on it! You'll know which one if you're read one of my previous posts. ;) But, because the box is too pretty, I kept it (luckily I did) and am now using it to keep all the samples I received with purchase!

p.s. I actually put the items back into their own packaging and then into the box for this post LOL

BEAUTIFULLY & CAREFULLY WRAPPED
[Descriptions only, no pictures LOL] The products were protected by a layer of bubble wrap which I ripped away the moment I opened the box. I'm always very eager ('rude' put nicely) with my beauty boxes I don't know how this box survived this nicely without being torn apart. Inside they also put shredded papers to help absorb shock (confetti party time!). 

I WAS BUYING FOR THE SALE
I made this purchase mainly because Althea was having a Buy-One-Free-One (BOFO) sale. It is if you buy two items and above, you can get the cheapest item for free! What a deal it was! From my close (really close) observation, they actually have this sale every month for different items. If you're ready to get some discounts, all you have to do is either subscribe to their website for a notification in your email or keep yourself posted with their iPhone or Android app. That's how you know the code to those BOFO sales (or just read those auto-sliding banners on Althea.kr)! 

althea korea review
The Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence is my current favourite as a morning essence.

HERMO DOESN'T HAVE THESE
Unlike Hermo, Althea ships everything directly from Korea. Hence its takes much longer to deliver the products. Instead of 1-3 days, it can take as long as 15 days and as short as 10 days. To me, this is no biggie as I always buy much earlier than I need (told you, too eager). And Althea carries many products that Hermo doesn't, so I have nothing to complain about! Like this Mizon Snail Repair Eyecream and the 24/7 In -N-Out Conditioning Mist Duo, they are nowhere to be found on Hermo. Even Benton was out of stock at that moment on Hermo. Luckily I had Althea!

p.s. In spite of that, I'm still a die hard Hermo fan. Look at all the COSRX products I bought from Hermo which cannot be found on Althea!

tips on buying from althea


USER INTERFACE (EASY TO BROWSE OR NOT)
Okay, I've been dying to complain about this. Althea website, why are you so hard to use?! First of all, the website doesn't roll out all products while you scroll. Instead you will have to click on that little bar with an arrow at the bottom (shown above) to load 12 products each time. It can get pretty annoying if the product you want to look for is at the very bottom and you have problem identifying the name of the item (or else you can just use the search bar at the top). But sometimes I really just want to scroll, too lazy to type and I'm thinking maybe I can discover some special products along the way!.

Also, it is not easy to browse through brands because you have to keep scrolling until the name appears (shown below). It would be much better if there is a list of alphabets which can help me skip right to the brands I want! It only has a list of brands arranged alphabetically (after clicking on 'BRANDS' in the menu bar, it will be on the left of your laptop screen) which you have to scroll to look for the one you want (or try CTRL + F or Cmd + F, then type in the name, again, I'm too lazy to type wooo). I personally prefer the presentation of Hermo's website because it is just so much more convenient to navigate (less typing required too) and the colour is just a lot more appealing LOL. #purelove

tips on buying from althea

GIMME FREE SHIPPING!
Hermo has buy two free shipping. But to qualify for free shipping on Althea, you will have to buy above RM99. So I tried my best! I got the Snail Bee High Content Essence from Benton for free because it was the cheaper between itself and the Conditioning Mist Duo. Note: only items under Sharing is Caring is eligible for the BOFO sale. Hence the RM80 Share Care discount below. That left me with RM19 to go. Instead of getting something just about that price but I didn't really want, I splurged on the Snail Repair Eye Cream from Mizon which is RM78. 😇

althea delivery review
And there was no GST! Either it's included, or it's simply not applicable, the price you see on the front is the price you pay. This is much better compared to Hermo, which shows you one price and add GST at the end which inflates the price to something less appealing. #smh

I almost forgot to mention about the free gift! They also included a free It's My Magic Sponge which happens to be my first makeup sponge. 😓

althea free gift sample

LEAD TIME
Let's see how long Althea took to send me my order. I placed my order on the 24th of March at 10am. They sent me an automated email to confirm my order immediately after payment had been made.
althea delivery review
The page shown on Althea after I've placed my order. Ignore the "SHIPPED" because I took this screenshot just yesterday hahah.

althea malaysia delivery review
Order confirmation email I received immediately after paying.

Four days later, i.e. on the 28th of March, I received another email from Althea to inform me my order had been shipped. I was so happy it was finally coming!

althea delivery review
Clicking on the hyperlinked tracking number at the bottom brought me to this screen below, where my parcel's whereabouts are clearly listed out for me to see. I'm a serious parcel stalker so I'm really nervous about where my parcels are. I always want to make sure I'll be there to get the parcels when they are on the way being delivered to me. #isthisyoutoo #cerealparcelstalker #imeanserial
All in all, I'm pretty happy with the tracking system the delivery companies (Korean and Malaysian) are using!

althea malaysia delivery review
Yet I still missed this one! Had I was available to receive the parcel on 1 April (Saturday) the Althea box only takes 5 days to get to me. Althea promised 10 to 15 days, which of course includes the processing period, yet they delivered within 9 days! That was highly efficient in my opinion!  

p.s. If you're wondering why I put (Korean and Malaysian) above, it's because my Althea box is delivered by Rincos from Korea to Malaysia (the Korean part), then by Skynet from Airport to me (the Malaysian part).

ARE ALTHEA PRODUCTS REAL?
Needless to say, all my products are authentic. After reading and comparing reviews around the internet (which is pretty intense), I can conclude that none of my products from Althea are fake. Even if you happen to detect a fake one (highly unlikely in my opinion LOL) the Althea Authentic Guarantee will get you a 200% refund of your purchase value once confirmed! I must say I'm really impressed with this one! 200% is a lot so I believe Althea puts in a lot of effort in making sure the products they send out are 100% genuine.

althea return policy

PRICES CHEAP OR NOT?
Best price policy? Only on certain products. I'm comparing this to my favourite Hermo and I see that their prices often differ and one product could be cheaper on Hermo while another could be cheaper on Althea. One example would be the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, which is RM82 on Hermo (IT USED TO BE ONLY RM79 WHAIIII) but only RM77 on Althea. Although you will need to watch out for the GST in Hermo and compare the shipping fee if you're not meeting the free shipping fee requirements on either.

If you are going to spend way below RM99, Hermo is of course the smarter option because the shipping will only be RM6.80 or free (if you buy two items and above). The same thing will cost you extra RM18 on Althea for shipping, unless you want to exceed the RM99 limit by buying more.

Use the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask above as an example, let's say you only want to buy that mask.
Hermo - RM86.92 (GST inclusive) + RM6.80 (shipping) = RM93.72
Althea - RM77.00 (no GST) + RM18.00 (shipping) = RM95.00

Obviously it is slightly cheaper to buy from Hermo. Not to mention you'll get it in 1-3 days' time! But I recommend you to 'accumulate' the products you want to buy and get them all at once. Then it may become more worthwhile to purchase from Althea. It's always better to save on that shipping fee and spend it on somewhere useful! Always do some comparisons before you place an order because those extra gestures can potentially save you some cash to splurge on your next beauty haul!

UPDATE
Now both has the same buy two free shipping policy.

althea return policy
The products I bought.

AFTER SALE SERVICE
Honestly, this is my favourite part about Althea. Why? Because if you're unhappy with ANY of your products for ANY reason*, you can always return to Althea within 30 days (vs 14 days on Hermo). YES! You can return them if you don't like them*! Of course there are rules that you need to adhere to, so please check out this page for more information. Or, you can send your enquiries to the customer care specialists at Althea at help@althea.kr who are on standby from 9am to 6pm.

*Terms & conditions apply

That's it! My thoughts on Althea and things I think you should know before you make the buying decision! Is there anything that you'd want to know and I've missed out? Leave a comment below to ask me, I'll make sure I reply! Don't be shy!

By the way, you can get RM20 off your first purchase from Althea by signing up using this link: https://www.talkable.com/x/wnCNUp. Only available if it's your first purchase though. :)

Also, to save more money, you can use Shopback when buying from Althea (save 7% for every purchase). Just sign up using my link: https://www.shopback.my/referred-signup-bonus?raf=OxeI66 and you'll be rewarded with RM5 immediately, followed by RM5 when you make your first purchase through Shopback. That's RM10 in total. It works in the form of cash back which you can cash out to your bank account. You'll can learn more on their website here.

!!IMPORTANT UPDATE!!
I forgot to mention that Althea only refunds in reward points, NOT MONEY. Which means, you don't get back your money and will be forced to purchase from them AGAIN. It is in their terms and conditions and I personally think this is very unfair to us customers. Let's look at my recent bad experience with them:

Usually when a product becomes unavailable, they will list it as 'out of stock' on their website and that prevents us from buying the product. I honestly do not understand their definition for 'out of stock'. Because from my understanding, if Althea does not have the product in its inventories, it should be identified as out of stock until they can confirm that they are able to restock it. But that's apparently not how Althea does business. 


Before they can confirm that they will be able to source a product, they allow their customers to make an order and pay. In the event that they are unable to perform the sales as the product is unavailable, they refund without giving the customers a choice to immediately replace it with another item. That's fine, but they ONLY refund in REWARD POINTS. Like, what? You cannot sell us what we ordered, but you want to keep our money still?


Yes, we understand you want to ensure the products you sell to your customers are the freshest and you don't keep a large inventory (this is what the PR told me). But if you know you are going to run out of a certain product and you still want to have the items listed on your catalogues, as least take the effort to check with your suppliers to ensure you are actually still able to source the products. 


Just a piece of advice from a customer who used to love buying from you: this is not really very sustainable way of doing business and you are eventually going to drive your customers away, at least Hermo refunds in cash. I know one customer doesn't mean a lot to you, but I am going to stop buying from Althea until something changes. As for you, my dear readers, feel free to buy from them but do make sure you do your research properly before you do so!


You may want to read about this disclaimer from 9 Complex on the Guerisson products sold in Althea.

Read my other website reviews:

Thoughts After Buying From Hermo
Things You Should Know Before Buying From Melmel

Thank you for reading, see you in the next post!

This review is not a sponsored post and it is strictly based on my personal opinion of the website. To get more information, please refer to Althea's website for more details.
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18 comments

  1. Great post
    http://wooho11.blogspot.com/ - i invite <3 follow me-will respond with

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks pretty! And I have been loving your outfit for some time now! x

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  2. May i know how to pay ? Can i use bank in with cash deposit machine ?

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    1. From what I found out from Althea, can pay by PayPal, Credit Card, Molpay (Visa, Master Card, Maybank2u, MEPS, FPX, etc). You can Facebook message Althea to ask them if cash deposit is possible. :)

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    2. Ok,Thank you��

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  3. Have you tried style korean?

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    Replies
    1. Hello! I haven't haha. Mainly because it's all in USD and the exchange rate is simple too high nowadays. But I may, maybe soon if the exchange rate isn't too bad 😂, because I've run out of some staple products lately haha

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  4. Thanks for sharing great Althea review, i know Althea product are great i m using last 3 year! thank to Althea make my healthy skin!

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  5. TERRIBLE customer service! No wonder they've turned off their reviews! STAY AWAY!

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  6. Do you know if refund in "points" it's their only type of refund? Im waiting for a refund of a purchase that went back to them and I'm still waiting for them to reply to my last two messages :(

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    Replies
    1. Hi Von Mango! So so sorry for the late reply! Yes it is. It is stated in their T&C that they only refund in reward points. :( has Althea get back to you?

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  7. Excuse me, may I know how was your payment status been showing at that time? Because my payment status keeps showing me "Awaiting payment". Although I choose MolPay Cash, there's no anything else like code for me to pay. I'm not that sure how to use it, it's my first time to use it.

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    Replies
    1. Hi there! Did anything pop up after you’ve chosen place order? If not then you can check the awaiting payment screen to see if there is any button next to it for you click on? If nothing works, just leave it and place another order, make sure you don’t click away from the payment popup when it pops up. The old order will cancel itself a day or two after. Let me know if you manage to pay! :)

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  8. O dear, I wished I could have read your this post first ...I have just made orders from Althea, both Guerisson 9complex cream and essence this morning. I went to read the 9complex disclaimer as you mentioned . So, does that mean that I have ordered fake products since Althea is not their authorized seller ? Should I cancel my purchase ? I'm new to Althea.... Thanks and have a nice day!

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    Replies
    1. Hello there! It's not authorised but it also doesn't mean it's fake. Since Althea has the authenticity guarantee where they will repay in double if any of the products is found to be fake, just make sure you double check the products you have received when they arrive. You can use this app I recommended in my Guerisson post to do the checking. Hope everything turns out well!

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  9. Hey there! Thank you for your great review. Really appreciate it! :)
    Now I'm stuck at the checkout verification request page after I clicked the checkout button. I can't seem to get the code sent to my mobile number. I don't know what is the right way to enter the phone number after selecting the country code. I've tried different ways though it's so frustrating!

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Hello! Thank you for taking the time to read this post and for leaving a comment too! You have just made my day! <3
Make sure to check back as all comments are read and replied to with much appreciation. :D