Words and shots by Grace Sun
A strange phenomenon exists here in Korea every second female is tottering around in platform heels sporting a Louis Vuitton or Chanel bag. Can they really afford it, you ask? Sure, many of the affluent Apgujeong Ajumas can but for the rest of us that leaves only the fake bag dealers scattered along the streets in the Dongdaemun & Myeongdong areas, right? WRONG! Leave your Lotte and Shinsegae cards at home, ladies, Seoul offers a plethora of other options to quench your designer fetish.
Second-Hand Bag Stores
Stocking anything from this season’s it bags to decade-old vintage styles, these little treasure houses offer used and new designer bags, accessories, clothing and shoes at prices that won’t send you into cardiac arrest.
10 asked Jay Hong from Yeouido’s J-Lux Store why people would sell their brand new bags: Women often buy something in the department store and then later regret their purchase. Some celebrities receive these gifts and sell them for cash instead, while other people buy on credit and then pawn off their bags just so they can get some cash. In Korea, second- hand purchases are very common, which explains why every department store has a second-hand shop across the road.
And indeed this is true. Take a walk around the area across from the Galleria Department Store in Apgujeong, and you will find enough of these shops to tickle your bag fancy. Jay buys at around 50% of the RRP, depending on the quality and brand of your item, or you can choose to leave your item at the shop until it sells, when she will take 15% of the sale price. The most popular brands are Chanel and LV, as they never go on sale in the department stores or at the outlets. What a great way to sell or trade in your old designer bags for something new!
Designer Outlet Stores
A joint venture by Shinsegae and the Chelsea Premium Outlet Group in the US, check out Yeoju Premium Outlets, located 60km from Seoul and easily accessible by car or bus from the East Seoul or Express Bus Terminals. Open 10am-8pm. English website and directions: www.premiumoutlets.co.kr/eng
For those in Busan, visit the Lotte Premium Outlets in Gimhae. Shuttle bus leaves from Busan Lotte Hotel every hour. Open 11am-9pm.
English website: http://gimhae.lotteoutlets.com/English
Feelway – a Korean ebay for designer products. Get a Korean friend to help you navigate through the site and another trusty friend to watch your credit card limit! www.feelway.com
Gugus – the largest chain of second hand shops in Korea. Check out their items and their online store. www.gugus.co.kr
10′s Second Hand Store Picks
The owner Jay speaks perfect English, so you will have no problems communicating. Located on Level 1 of the Lotte Castle Empire building in Yeouido. Walk straight from Exit 6 and you will see it across the road, next to Kraze Burger. j-lux.co.kr, 02-782-6860
A little store on the street parallel to Apgujeong’s Rodeo Street. Walk down a couple of blocks past M.A.C and Banana Republic and you will see it on a corner to your right. paulsdoing.com, 02-3442-2279