Tired of looking at whatever that thing is? Sell itWhatever your opinion of Seoul Mayor Lee Myung-bak, there’s no denying that the city has seen some visible changes during his tenure. The historic Samil overpass was torn down. The reclamation of Cheonggye Stream began. The bus system was overhauled. And last year, 630,000 people attended a series of flea markets on the riverfront.
On March 19, the city government and the nonprofit charity organization called Beautiful Store will bring the “Seoul Beautiful Flea Market” back to the Ttukseom neighborhood for a second season. It was held on an irregular basis last year, but this year it’s got a firm schedule: the first and third Saturday of every month through August, and then every Saturday in September and October. Hours are noon to 4 p.m.
Beautiful Store, which deals in second-hand goods to raise money for the poor (and hires the needy), made 34 million won ($34,000) from the Seoul Beautiful Flea Market last year.
It’s anyone’s guess whether this will become a major attraction like Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park flea market, which has been a lure for tourists and locals alike since the 1980s. But it got off to a good start last year.
Anyone, foreigners included, can come to the flea market not just to buy other people’s stuff, but to sell their own. Individuals can reserve one of the 720 stalls at the eight-square-kilometer (three-square-mile) site ahead of time, or can try their luck on a first-come, first-serve basis. You’re probably well advised to make a reservation, unless you want to risk having to turn around and haul that bag of clothes or kimchi refrigerator with the broken handle right back home again. (Actually, there’s even a free, on-site repair service for individuals who bring in appliances that aren’t quite operational.)
Dealers in second-hand furniture and appliances will be peddling their wares as well. There’ll be face painting for kids, and an auction of celebrity-related items each time the flea market is held. (On March 19, the auction is scheduled to start at 1:40 p.m.)
Vendors are invited to donate 10 percent of their proceeds to Beautiful Store, but that’s strictly voluntary.
by Chun Su-jin
The venue can be reached from Ttukseom Station on subway line No. 7, exit No. 2 or 3. For information or to reserve a stall, call (02) 732-9998 or go to www.flea1004.com (Korean only).