Wholesale Clothing Markets (Clothing Shopping Mall)
When it comes to buying clothes in Korea, the wholesale clothing markets concentrated in Dongdaemun are becoming Korea's leading shopping centers. Thousands of small shops set in modern facilities open until daybreak attracting many fashionable night shoppers. So when you shop at Dongdaemun, keep the following in mind:
Wear comfortable shoes! To browse the thousands of little shops in Dongdaemun, you will need to preserve your feet. High-heels and other uncomfortable shoes are not recommended. Want to find a better bargain for your clothes? A pair of comfy shoes is a must.
Does a certain shop have clothes you fancy? Then jot down the store number (each one has its own permit number). There are tons of little clothing shops in what appears to be a labyrinth. Finding the same store can be a tough task.
Bargaining was a traditional practice in Dongdaemun, but lately this has been practically eliminated because prices are more reasonable. Haggling with the shop owner may get you a discount of up to 5 %. This is even for Korean shoppers as well.
Traditional markets are where you can experience customary Korean shopping culture. At these markets, you will only find one-story buildings and small handcarts full of interesting goods. When you shop at one of these traditional markets, it is a good idea to shop at a comfortable pace, eating snacks at a street cart, and absorbing the culture. It is advisable to carry Korean currency because it is likely that these shops will not accept foreign currency. Gyeongdong Market, Gwangjang Market and Namdaemun Market are most popular in Seoul
Korean department stores usually have sales in each of the four seasons. Generally, each department store has a two-week long sale period in January, April, July and October. It is a good idea to check out the advertisements and details of these sales on the Internet. You can also contact the KNTO Korea Travel Phone +82-2-1330 to learn the exact date for the sale periods. However, be prepared to battle the crowd in the department stores during these sale seasons.
Large Discount Marts
These marts offer a similar variety of goods as department stores in Korea, but at discounted prices. One difference is that these marts typically don’t carry luxury brands of clothing. Some of the largest discount marts in Korea include E-mart, Homever (formly Carrefour), Lotte Mart, and Kim's Club. Most marts have lockers by the entrance to store your personal items, such as a large purse, while you shop. Carts and hand-carry baskets are also available near the entrance. A refundable 100 won coin must be deposited at some places when you use a locker or a cart. Large discount marts tend to get rather crowded on the weekdays between 5 and 9 p.m., as well as on the weekends. It is recommended to avoid these peak times.
Major foreign credit cards (VISA, MASTER, etc.) are accepted at department stores, large discount marts, sizable book stores, restaurants and other major establishments. Smaller establishments and local markets typically deal in cash or domestic cards.
Refunds and exchanges are usually possible at department stores and large marts. Of course the item purchased should be in its original condition and the receipt should be presented at the time of refund/exchange. Exchanges may be possible at smaller markets, but refunds will be difficult.