Looking for the best places to go shopping in Seoul? Head over to Dongdaemun, one of the prime shopping areas located in the heart of the city. You can find from huge shopping malls, retail and wholesale shops to night bazaar at what Koreans refer to as “Dongdaemun Market“.Best-known for stylish and well-made clothes, great bargains and a unique scene of night market stalls that appear at night and then vanish by day, Dongdaemun Market truly offers tourists and travelers one of best shopping experiences in the city.
If you are shopping at Dongdaemun Market for the first time, here are the one and only insider tips for you should know before you go.
1. Cash ONLY
All shopping experts and second-timers to Dongdaemun Market know that the vendors prefer payment in cash and they will give you a good bargain if you tell them you will pay in cash.
If you don’t have cash on you, just go to a nearby ATM and prepare cash in advance. You will be able to find ATMs in almost every big shopping malls (normally on the ground floor), convenience stores and on the streets as well.
2. Retail or Wholesale?
Basically, in Dongdaemun Market, there are two types of stores: retail (for ordinary shoppers) and wholesale (for retailers or wholesale buyers). The market only had wholesale stores selling clothes and accessories to retailers at first. But as big shopping malls sprung up and the market expanded, shoppers other than retailers started to enjoy shopping at Dongdaemun Market as well.
Nowadays, even ordinary shoppers stop by wholesale stores to buy clothes in bulk at wholesale prices.
A. Retail stores
The best-known shopping malls with retail stores are Doota or Migliore. If you are an ordinary shopper (not wholesale buyers) and want to buy your clothes in pieces, go ahead and enjoy shopping at these malls!
B. Wholesale stores
Wholesale stores don’t sell clothes in pieces. However, the price is much cheaper compared to retail stores. If you want to buy clothes in bulk for your group, try visiting the wholesale stores.Many of the popular wholesale stores are situated around Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) such as Dongdaemun Fashion Town, New Pyeonghwa Market, Designer Club, U:US and more.
C. Day or Night
Usually, retail stores are open during day time and wholesale stores are open during night time. This is because retailers sell clothes to customers and wholesalers sell clothes to retailers.
- Doota (Retail) Opening Hours
– Sun to Thu : 10:30 ~ 24:00/ Fri & Sat : 10:30 ~ (next day) 5:00
- Migliore (Retail) Opening Hours
– 11:00 ~ (next day) 5:00/ closed on Mon
- Pyeonghwa market (Wholesale & Retail) opening hours
– 21:00 ~ (next day) 18:00
- U:US (Wholesale) opening hours
– 20:00 ~ (next day) 6:00/ closed on Sat
- Designer Club (Wholesale) opening hours
– 20:00 ~ (next day) 8:00
3. How to bargain
Now, if you are reading this, you’re very lucky. 😉 The vendors at Dongdaemun Market are known for being notorious of charging higher price than the fixed price to the customers. They will take even more advantage of you especially if you are a foreigner. Don’t let them win the game and just say straight forward for a lower price.
Enjoy your shopping and travel! Visit Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, Trazy.com, if you want to find the latest, trendiest and newest things to do in South Korea. 🙂
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