Recycle stores sell nearly new goods at prices that many find irresistibleKoreans used to think of recycled goods as low-quality products sold in ugly old shops. Not anymore. Recycled goods, from nearly-new television sets to clothing to office chairs, are sold in huge stores that have clean interiors and look more like department stores ― except much cheaper.
Bargain hunters are flocking to recycling shops all over Seoul so they can buy and sell used items.
Recycle City is one of the country’s largest second-hand franchise stores with seven branches in Seoul, including the Yeoksam, Seokchon, Munjeong and Seongnae branches. “We have over 100 customers a day and receive a one-ton truckload of goods everyday,” said Myung Gi-chul, director of the Recycle City’s Yeoksam branch.
These recycled items tend to be in good condition because of the company’s policy. They do not handle products that are more than five years old and customers receive a one-year guarantee. Every product is sanitized and can typically be bought at half the original price.
To sell used products, customers can register on the company’s Web site to check the appraised value of a product by filling out a form and uploading some pictures. For furniture and electronic goods, the company usually buys at 40 percent to 60 percent of the original retail value. The Recycle City’s Yeoksam store has become popular among foreigners and it has more than 10 foreign customers a week. Electronic goods, such as refrigerators cost 650,000 won to 850,000 won; 29-inch television sets are 120,000 to 230,000 won; computer equipment starts at 150,000 won.
The Recycle City’s Yeoksam branch is located at 662-9 Gangnam-gu, Yeoksamdong, southern Seoul. The store is open everyday from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The nearest subway station is Yeoksam, Line No. 2, exit 8. It is located between the Renaissance hotel and KT Yeondong branch. For a detailed map or more information, call 02-523-8425 or visit the store’s Web site, www.rety.co.kr.
There are other recycle centers in most other districts of Seoul which offer similar bargains. The “Zungo” company owns six branches, including the ones in Gwanak, Mapo, Yeongdeunpo districts. The Mapo branch is located near Sinchon Station, line No. 2, exit 7. Electronic goods, kitchen ware, furniture and office supplies are available. The store is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. on weekends. For more information regarding Zungo and other vendors see www. zungo.co.kr, or www. ewillmart.co.kr. or call 713-7289.
by Chough Eun-young