How to mail things home from Korea

Last Updated on June 20, 2021 by Christine Kaaloa

Shipping from Korea, mailing from korea, korean post, how to mail things home from korea,
Shipping things home from Korea


So when the Korean computer repair shop couldn’t revive my Mac Airbook this past month, I didn’t know what to do with it. Now that it was deemed waste, I didn’t feel like packing dead weight onward in my travels.

It was time to do what I do, …whenever my traveling is weighed down with too many souvenirs… I mail it home!

Is mailing things from Korea cheaper and easier than doing it anywhere else?

Living in Korea, I have shipped off boxes from Korea before, to know that mailing things from Korea is one of the least expensive countries in Asia to ship from.

Do you know that a medium-sized box mailed from New York City to my home in U.S./Hawaii has cost me roughly $40-50?! … that was three years ago and I shipped it under the cheapest shipping option, which also took months to arrive! Shipping things from South Korea via the local Korea Post office- that exact shipping size–  now, cost me roughly $20, while taking 1/2 as long to get to me!

In fact, when I originally moved my life back home from Korea, a year’s worth of living was shipped back in four or five boxes. The sum total of my move, didn’t even tally $100. Other expats in Korea will share similar stories. The cost of shipping from South Korea via Korea Post is shockingly low to what we’re used to spending in our own county.

It made me think of two things:

  • Aren’t all American states supposed to have shipping discounts for each other?!
  • I love Korea Post!
IMG 7813
mailing things from koreaKorea Post (Daegu, Shinmae-dong branch)

Mailing things home from Korea is cheap and easy.

If I’m shipping souvenirs from Korea, I don’t worry about packing my box  FULL.

Although the U.S. Postal Service, is our best and cheapest alternative in the U.S.,  shipping costs aren’t cheap.

Mailing boxes anywhere outside the mainland U.S., I often paid a lot.  Do you know a DVD mailed off to Germany from New York cost me roughly $15 (… or was it was more?).  A padded envelope to Delhi (mailed from Hawaii) with a light-weight box of Hawaiian Macadamia nut candies cost me $24 (and that was after I alleviated it of extra weight)! Ouch. It got to the point where, the idea of “Shipping” anything outside of the mainland U.S. , equated tossing things out to lighten the load!

But as I stood before the Korea Post postal clerk, listening to her tell me how I could alleviate my shipping expenses by cutting my box down to fit my laptop, …my mind began to calculate a different alternative…

If I was going to ship my laptop home and it wasn’t going to hurt my wallet, then… why not pack in as much as I can!!!

You could say, Korea Post inspired me to open my floodgates of souvenir shopping in Korea! (check out my list of things to buy)


IMG 938
Korea Post sells shipping boxes of varying sizes

How easy is shipping things from South Korea?

When I finally brought my box to the post office, packed and stuffed to the rim with souvenirs and clothes, it only got better…



The kind postal clerk sized my box and unrolled a huge wad of bubble wrap and asked me if I’d like to use it for my laptop.

How much does it cost?   Free charge.


The look I probably gave her response.
Mailing things from Korea is confusingly simple. 


Stunned, it took me all of 15 seconds to register that I wasn’t back in the U.S. where every incremental piece of an item isn’t weighed, measured and charged a price.

Do you sell packing tape here?

The postal clerk smiled and pointed me to a table, where people were packing their boxes and taping them up for mailing.  Scissors, different sized rolls of packing tape and markers… it reminded me of a kindergarten arts-and-crafts table.

All of it… free charge. I was in postal heaven!

IMG 9391
Mailing things from Korea: Table with packing tape, scissors and markers for use
IMG 9389
Filling out the International Shipping Form


I went to the kisok of mailing forms to fill out an International Mailing Form. It was written in both, Korean and English.

I reached for a pen but instead,… in the holder contained pair of reading glasses!  Low and behold, the holder offered community reading glasses, in the case you had difficulty seeing what you were filling out. Wow!

Free reading glasses to use if you need them.
Korea Post has free reading glasses to use if you need them.


Okay, that part kinda blew my mind…

While I didn’t need reading glasses, packing tools are things I generally have to bring with me to the post office or buy. It’s a huge pain and it’s these little things which add to your increased expense.

If you’re a tourist shipping souvenirs home, the fact you can literally come “empty-handed”makes shipping stuff from Korea ideal.

At Korea Post almost everything is provided for you.

Free . of.  charge.

How to find the shipping rate from South Korea to U.S.?

Like most places, shipping is priced by weight and how quickly you would like your stuff to arrive. So if you fill your box with rocks, you’ll obviously pay more than I did. But I’ve mailed boxes of full of clothes from the United States (state to state) and it was roughly within the same price range as shipping from South Korea to the U.S..

When I fill out the form, I tick “Surface air”…  cheapest shipping… aka slowest delivery time.  Duh.  The delivery could take one to three months. If you’re not in a rush; I definitely recommend this option. The speedier the shipping option you choose, the rate will be higher.

The postal clerk weighed my box and tallied my bill.  “That’ll be 24,000 won ,” she said. (That’s somewhere around $22USD.) I pulled out my wallet.  Oh, by all means!  Yes, let me pay! Please.

How to find the online shipping rate from South Korea :

First, visit the Korea Post (English website):   Click on the Guidance for International Mail.  It shows Country by Price Indexes, as well as by shipping method: Letter/Postcard, EMS, Small package, International Parcel, etc… Voila! It is as simple as that.  To find out how long shipping from Korea to your destination will take, click on Delivery Standard.

What are your experiences with mailing things from South Korea?

Note: Please do not ask about costs for shipping things from wherever you are. I am not the Korean Postal service. That is something you will have to ask them.

Shipping from Korea, mailing from korea, korean post, how to mail things home from korea,
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  • Calamity Jane
    March 4, 2020 5:30 pm

    Hi Christine, I am looking to ship from Korea to Canada. In the past (not even that long ago!) EMS via Korea ePost used to have a pricing chart on their website but this seems to have disappeared. In fact a lot of their info has! Would you happen to know where I can find this so that I can look up the weights myself rather than asking you, as though you’re a company rep? 😉 Thanks so much!

    • I went to post two packages to my friends and I figured out they have no shipments to BC due to VOVID-19s situation

  • Hello! Maybe you can help me; I hope. I mailed something from the US to South Korea and it still has not arrived. I mailed it Dec. 19th via First Class International. Last scan shows it departing the US to South Korea and then nothing after. Do you have an email for customs in South Korea so I can see if the package is sitting there waiting for fees to be paid; the item was $208.00 usd? The contact I found online and emailed, directed to me somewhere else and I have not heard back from them yet? My customer is beginning to get a little antsy and I do not want to reimburse them quite yet. Especially, if all they need to do is pay for the customs and pick up their package. Any help or guidance would be much appreciated!

    Thank you in advance.

  • How would you go about sending a parcel without a return address.

  • Francois Herholdt
    October 13, 2019 8:42 pm

    I have a box of roughly 85cm by 65cm weighing about 45kg can I ship that size box back home to South Africa. If yes what would it cost me.

  • i have some stuff to sent to korea and it my first time sending my partner a gifts it only a jacket how much would it cost and what should i do

  • Since I am leaving Korea after being here for some 14 years, there are many items to ship. As of yet, I don’t know the baggage regulations on a trip from Incheon to the U.S. So, I am trying to reduce the amount of checked and carry-on luggage. Today’s trip to the post office was pleasant enough and relatively inexpensive. For about 6.5kg, it cost about $35. However, please note that this amount only provides for “surface mail.” They said it would take about 3 months. Thank you so much for your excellent piece on this topic!

  • Is there a company such as where you can order an item in Korea using an address provided to then be shipped internationally? I am desperate to purchase a Naver Labs AKI kids’ smart watch for my austisic daughter aa it is one of the most reliable tracking wearable, unfortunately only available in Korea through KTshop who do not ship international ?

  • Nancy Okano-Scheer
    October 10, 2018 7:05 pm

    Thank you so much for the info! My daughter and I are thinking of going to Korea next year. I dont want to bring any “check” luggage. So I was hoping to ship home stuff if we go crazy shopping. We from Kauai. Mahalo

    • @Nancy: The only drawback is it may take a few months (mine took around four) to arrive. But it is much cheaper and worth it if you have time I’d even say shipping my moving boxes from Korea to Oahu was cheaper than shipping my moving boxes from Oahu and/from the mainland U.S.

  • How about boxes, do they offer those too, or do I need to purchase them somewhere else?

  • does the parcels gets stopped at customs and did you have to pay extra charge to customs to release it?

    • Me personally, no. But it has been stopped for other foreigners who were getting mail packages sent to Korea. Don’t know the exact situation but it was assumed they did random searches.

  • Good to know that it’s so cheap..but how much did your package weight?? How much is that for 25’000 Won??

  • Can the staffs there speak a little bit of English?

  • Is there a limit on quantities of each item that can be shipped? Like, if I want to ship 20 packages of saimin from Korea, can I ship all in one box? I only ask because i know shipping from hawaii to japan they have a restriction on how much we can ship at each box. Mahalo!

  • Thanks for the article… just leaving a comment to admonish all the commenters who are asking you postal rates. Seriously, would you expect a travel blog, who doesn’t even live in South Korea, to be an expert on your weirdly specific requests (rolled up paintings? Ryan dolls? I don’t even know what those are.) Or to have the time/energy/inclination to do your research for you? Read the last line, people.

  • I would like to ship from Korea to Florida, us… who can help mr, pls !

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