Dongdaemun Market 101

By Lynn Lee

Dongdaemun is the wholesale district of Seoul. Looking for some fabric? DIY accessories? Or even some blankets? Dongdaemun Shopping Complex has it all. Conveniently located at Dongdaemun station (right next to J.W. Marriott), there are multiple buildings dedicated to selling different types of products. The only problem: it’s so big that it’s easy to get lost and tired after just a few hours there. Here are a couple of tips to help you make the most out of your time at the market!

  • Have a Plan

Not just schedule-wise, but also budget-wise. Make sure that you know exactly which building you need to go to first, and work out how you will travel around the shopping complex most time-efficiently. Also, know what you need to buy. If you show up without a plan, you may end up buying much more or much less than you need. Finally, set a cap on how much you are going to spend. Not only will this help you not go overboard when you step foot in the market (it’s quite hectic!), but it will also come to your aid when you are bargaining (more on this later).

  • Look Around

Much like any other market, the vendors at Dongdaemun Shopping Complex generally all sell the same things. If you’re not in a hurry, make sure to look around to see where you can get the best deal! Most likely, something you want from one vendor will also be available at the one right next door, perhaps at a lower price or better quality. Whatever you are looking for, there will definitely be a perfect option for you—if you can find it.

  • Bargain!

Dongdaemun Shopping Complex is a market, which means that there are no fixed prices! If you are only making a large purchase, the vendor will likely be sympathetic and be receptive to your bargaining. If you’ve already planned out the maximum that you are willing to spend at the market, make sure to stick to that limit and make the most out of the money that you’ve allocated yourself. However, if you’re making a smaller purchase, keep in mind that these vendors do rely on their products for a living. Saving money might be important, but so is supporting our local community.

With these three tips in mind, have a great time exploring the Dongdaemun Shopping Complex and the various other wholesale markets in the area. Do you have any other tips for shopping at markets? Feel free to let us know!

Written by Lynn Lee

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