Holiday gift sets cheaper online

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Holiday gift sets cheaper online

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The price of Lunar New Year gift sets can vary widely - as much as 56 percent higher - depending on where you do your shopping, according to a study reported by a local consumer group yesterday.

The cheapest place to find gift sets was at online shopping malls like 11Street, G-Market and Auction, whereas bricks-and-mortar stores were more expensive.

The Korea Consumer Agency looked at 25 Lunar New Year holiday gift sets sold on Jan. 16 and 17 on three retail channels - nine department stores, 24 large discount stores and three online markets.

According to the agency, identical gift sets sold at discount stores and department stores were an average of 6.4 percent more expensive at department stores. But they were about 15.2 percent cheaper at online retailers.

“The same gifts sets were cheapest at online shopping malls,” said an official from the agency. “Items sold at department stores were in general more expensive than at large discount stores, but there were a few that cost more at large discount stores.”

Dongwon Food & Beverage’s Richam set, for example, costs an average of 32,500 won, or $29.94, at department stores, but is available online for 20,900 won, or 35.7 percent cheaper.

A canola oil gift set costs 13,000 won at department stores, which is 46.1 percent more than the 8,900 won charged by online markets.

A bottle of 18-year-old Chivas Regal whiskey cost 126,000 won at discount stores, but 17.9 percent more, or 148,571 won, at department stores.

Alcoholic drinks are not allowed to be sold online.

“Consumers should compare prices before purchasing gift sets,” the official said.


BY LEE EUN-JOO [angie@joongang.co.kr]

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