Question the pricing of Korean companies

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Question the pricing of Korean companies

I read your June 23 article on price gouging by Ikea with interest. While I have no particular allegiance to their brand and don’t particularly care for their products, I have to wonder why you continue to make an issue about the pricing system of this particular company and do not seem to raise any issues about inequities in pricing by Korean companies.

From my perspective, Ikea products are of rather low quality and are not known for longevity. Korean craftspeople and artisans generally produce goods of better quality. In fact, last year I purchased a Korean made chair for 750,000 won ($676) from the furniture market in Ahyeon-dong, which is far better than any chair I’ve ever purchased from Ikea.

However, a bit over a year ago, I was researching the purchase of a tablet PC and decided to buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition. In Korea at the Auction website, the price was 710,000 won, which was considerably cheaper than buying it at a store.

However, I ended up purchasing the tablet for $459 in the United States when I visited instead. My experience has been that Korean companies price their products at the level of imports to Korea in order to be competitive, but it makes no sense to charge $250 more for an item of electronics in the country in which the product is manufactured over and above the price of an imported product.

Your continual hyping on the price gouging of Ikea is dishonest. You should at the very least question the pricing of Korean companies in Korea as well.

I for one would be quite happy if the prices of Korean-made products would drop to a more affordable level in Korea so that I wouldn’t have to buy them abroad instead.

by Bill Ashline Resident in Seoul

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