Seoul Shopping Tips by jburron Top 5 Page for this destination

Seoul Shopping: 178 reviews and 319 photos

Other Shopping Info: Knock-Offs Abound Other Shopping Info Review

There are many areas where you can get knock-offs in Seoul. Most notable for fashion articles are Dongdaemun Dongdaemun Stadium Station, Line 2,4,5) and Namdaemun (Heohyeong Station, Line 4) as well as Myoungdong (Myoungdong Station, Line 4).

Tech items can be found at Technomart (in Guui-Dong at Gangbyeon Station, Line 2) and Yongsan Electronics Mart (Yongsan Station, Line 1).

Of course, there are also travelling sellers who operate out of trucks, cars or road-side 'shops'. This is where some real bargains are...but buyer beware, there is little chance of finding them again, let alone a refund.

What to buy: One of the most blatent examples I saw was right in Yongsan Electronics Mart. The movie Troy had just come out in North America and had not even come to Korea. I enquired about it and the seller said, "it'll be here next week...same price, 7,000 won" (USD 6) for the DVD.

What to pay: Prices vary, a lot. I looked at the new LV ladies wallets in Myoung-Dong and got 3 prices from 3 vendors within 3 blocks of each other: 45,000 won (USD 40), 50,000 and 65,000. It pays to shop around, buy multiples to get a discount, note any real or imagined flaws and, above all else, wait, wait, wait for the seller to lower their price. Use the pregnant pause to your advantage, it's usually good for a 2% - 10% extra discount.

Other Contact: Good copyright article in link.

Theme: Other

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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The gate is a bit of an attratction, too. - Seoul

The gate is a bit of an attratction, too.

Namdaemun Shijang/Market: Another Great Gate Namdaemun (Great South Gate) Review

Nam (³²) is South, Dae (´ë) is great, mun (¹®) is gate: Great South Gate. Just get there and start walking. The market is bordered by massive streets but if you walk in and out of the blocks of stalls and shops you can find some little gems.

If you get a hankering for a real LV bag just go across the street to Shinsege Department Store (near the Bank of Korea building) but better bring a high-limit credit card.

What to buy: Not as organized as Dongdaemun, this market is mostly outdoor with many, many sellers of bags/attaches/purses/luggage and about anything else one could need. Some good knock-offs here as well, but not in the shops...got to go to the more mobile sellers in the street for the best goods. For instance, LV belt (vinyl, but nice looking) 15,000 - 1,000 discount if buying 2 (see: What to Pay).

Also: TONS of clothing, some of which is fake, others are just low-priced.

What to pay: Bargain everywhere. Never pay full price, always 10%-20% should come off. Never take your wallet out until you have the price firm. Never get too excited about an item. Always show flaws or make up some option or color you would prefer (one that they cannot give, thus should give you a discount for not having it). Always buy 2 or more items...should get a 20% discount at least for that. If you get 30%-35% off consider yourself a local.

Address: Hoehyeon (Namdaemun) on Line 4.

Directions: Taxi as well would know how to get there, but subway is best...just get above ground and ask anyone where Namdaemun market is.

Theme: Discount Store

Website: http://hometownyeouido.blogspot.com/2004/11/lunchtime-near-namdaemoon.html

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 11, 2008
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My favorite exit at Dongdaemoon Station...Exit 14 - Seoul

My favorite exit at Dongdaemoon Station...Exit 14

Dongdaemun: Go to the Gates! Dongdaemun (Great East Gate) Review

Dong means East, Dae means big, Mun/Moon means gate--so you've got a Great East Gate. Dongdaynum has department-type stores (Hello apm and Galleria are big ones) that are more like indoor bazaars. Each of the 9-10 floors are made up of about 80 sellers of basically whatever you like (mostly clothes). There are other buildings housing home furnishings and other specialty shops (nice thing, they are all concentrated in one place, making shopping easier).

Outside there are many others hawking accessories, socks, toiletries (cheapest razors in Seoul, 1,000 won for 10...yes, less than US$0.10 each!), toys and food.

What to buy: Everything is here.

What to pay: Bargain everywhere. Never pay full price, always 10%-20% should come off. Never take your wallet out until you have the price firm. Never get too excited about an item. Always show flaws or make up some option or color you would prefer (one that they cannot give, thus should give you a discount for not having it). Always buy 2 or more items...should get a 20% discount at least for that. If you get 30%-35% off consider yourself a local.

Address: Dongdaemoon Staduim Station (Lines 2,5,4) Exit #14

Directions: Just get out at #14 (the busiest exit) and continue walking down the street. Hello apm and Galleria will appear on your left in a bit. Also check out the ji-ha-ba-do (street underpass/underground arcade) for more deals.

Theme: Discount Store

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jul 11, 2005
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My Bud Minaz and His Tailor. - Seoul

My Bud Minaz and His Tailor.

Many, many to choose from.: Buying a Custom Suit (In Itaewon) Itaewon Review

If you're a Westerner and you walk down Itaewon Street (the main drag) especially the south (Seoul Pub) side of the street from Itaewon Station (line 6) toward Yongsan Garrison (U.S. Army base) you'll probably be approached by 5-15 older, shorter Korean gents looking to hook you up with a good custom rag. They have a number of lines: best quality, best price, best service, best whatever. I think they are, more or less, all the same. They act as agents for mills (usually in Dongdaemoon) that actually make the suit. (Of course, they ALL have the inside track to the best quality, price, service...)

Here's the deal. A suit will probably run you 200 USD (they always price in USD, no matter where you're from).You pick the fabric, style and such and it'll be ready for a fitting in 2-3 days (or maybe a week, dependiing...), then a final fitting a day or so later and you're done. All you need to do after that is call the dude from anywhere in the world and you can have a suit made and sent to you (but some get a fitting on a lay-over through Seoul, I imagine).

It's a pretty good service, but you should also know that when I buy off the rack (not in a department store, mine you, but the same stuff about a season behind) I get a good fit and it costs me about 300USD for 2 sets of a suit and extra suitpants. So, there are even better deals outside of Itaewon (where I find foreigners get fleeced a bit). But if you want convenience (English, USD) it's a good spot to shop.

Theme: Men's Clothes

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jan 3, 2005
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If you want to give him a call, here's his #. - Seoul

If you want to give him a call, here's his #.

Dae-won-sa: Banding = Pant Hemming in Korea Other Shopping Info Review

I got a pair of pants also and wanted them altered before I left. The guy said in the basement of a nearby building there was 밴딩/banding (Konglish for hemming, I gathered correctly). I thought I'd have to search the place to find one...but, in true Korean fashion, there were 7-8 down there. I just approached the one that was least busy and he got at it. The price was 4,000 won (3.60USD) and done in about 5 minutes. The guy I bought the pants from said it was 2,000 won but I wanted a cuff on it and was not energized to fight this guy for a couple of bucks (it costs 5,000 won for the dude to come to my apartment so what the heck).

What to buy: Here's a tip in negotiating: if you need alterations (basically all dress pants and suits) then ask them to discount the price of the item you're buying. It works A LOT. This guy (begrudgingly) gave me 1,000 won off the pants (a whopping 14,000 won total price) so even when they don't want to they usually do.

What to pay: 2,000 won for a normal hem, 4,000 for a cuff on your pants.

Directions: It's under one of the buildings, basically no signage (definately not in English). Ask the sellers where you can get 'banding' done.

Phone: 02-757-3512

Theme: Men's Clothes

Website: http://hometownyeouido.blogspot.com/2004/11/last-24-hours-or-so.html

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Dec 23, 2004
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This is the profile of a 52" plasma! - Seoul

This is the profile of a 52" plasma!

Lotte Depart...et al: Unreal Electronics Electronics Review

Unlike Yongsan Electronics Market, Lotte Depart(ment Stores, they shorten the name here) and other higher end retailers have some pretty cool wares. There is no haggling here, but for browsing it's more like what us Westerns are used to back home. (And you can check out the quality and prices first before comparing at the discount places.)

Of couse Korea, being Korea, operates at 120V, not 110V, so whatever you buy here will need a converter if you bring it home (presumably to a 110V country)...and even then I have heard of some troubles--but could be wrong on this, I'm no electronics specialist.

Directions: The Main Lotte Depart is in Myoungdong (Euljiro-ip-gu, Line 1) and Jamshil next to Lotte World, Jamshil subway station, Line 2). Another is Hyundai Depart (one at Agpujung station, Line 3).

Theme: Computers and Electronics

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 3, 2004
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No Fixed Location: Travelling Bazaars Other Shopping Info Review

Not a shop, but basically a bazaar consisting of men's and women's dress and casual wear, shoes (usually Nike or Asics is a title brand) and kitchen/misc items that makes its way around Seoul throughout the year. Usually it opens at a particular location on a Thursday and packs up on the following Monday (after 10-11 days).

Finding one can be tough. There are usually signs in the area a week or so before the sale noting the time, location and main brands. If you don't understand Korean/Hangul just tear a sign down and show a friend.

What to buy: The deals are great, in most cases, but you have to know your quality and prices. I got a 675,000 won (USD 580) cashmere/wool overcoat for 150,000...that was nice. You can get shirts for 20,000-30,000; ties for 5,000 (poly) to 10,000 (silk) and suits that retail for 300,000 for cheap (I paid 350,000 for 2 suits with 2 extra pants each). Remember to haggle here. There is a 10-30% discount off their first price...and 60-80% off the retail price. (Best to bring a local or speak $$Korean to get the best deals.)

Directions: Usually in Jung-no area, Yeouido area...others.

Theme: Other

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Apr 19, 2004
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Typical Saturday in Myoungdong - Seoul

Typical Saturday in Myoungdong

Myoungdong: Not pronounced My-young-dong Myeongdong Review

The name gets a snicker sometimes when you first hear/read it, but it's not to be missed. Go on a weekend or holiday and especially in the warmer months (starting in late May)...this is when thousands of Korean students and young people head there for a day of eating (lots of restaurants, including Western ones), drinking (lots of hofs, too), shopping (many stores) and coffee drinking (rumored largest Starbucks in the world is right here!).

Like Namdaemun it stretches for quite a few blocks, turn around if you start to get into areas with fewer than 100 people on the street (you're outside of the Myoungdong).

What to buy: Pretty much anything that a young person would want. Real and fake clothes (2 Adidas stores with 20-foot Beckham posters within a block of each other), accessories, tourist stuff. There are bazzar-department stores (like in Dongdaemun), chain fashion and other stores (like in the West) and street sellers (see What to Pay)

What to pay: Bargain everywhere. Never pay full price, always 10%-20% should come off. Never take your wallet out until you have the price firm. Never get too excited about an item. Always show flaws or make up some option or color you would prefer (one that they cannot give, thus should give you a discount for not having it). Always buy 2 or more items...should get a 20% discount at least for that. If you get 30%-35% off consider yourself a local.

Not likely to get a discount in the Western/Chain stores, but worth a try.

Address: Myoungdong Subway (Line 4) or any taxi

Directions: Once off the subway go above ground (try to get out by one of the north exits, near Galleria). Then stroll into Myoungdong.

Theme: Discount Store

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Mar 22, 2004
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jburron

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