If you are interested in more eco-friendly shopping habits, thrifting or even selling off some of the clothes you no longer wear, this is the article for you. In Korea, there are several online and offline ways of buying and selling secondhand. Without further ado, let’s take a look at how to buy and sell secondhand in Korea.
By far the most popular buy and sell platform in Korea. Don’t let the name fool you, this isn’t an organic vegetable store. The name, ‘dang-geun‘ (‘carrot’) market, is clever wordplay in Korean. It derives from “dang-sin geun-cheo-eui“, which means “nearby to you”.
The app is very easy to use, especially as there is an English language option. However, it is worth noting that you will need basic Korean skills in order to communicate with sellers and buyers. Simply create your account, set your location, and start scrolling, or posting your own.
Find something you like? Favourite it or send a message to the seller. If you’re unsure of how to start a message, why not use one of the cute emoticons? There is one with the Karrot market bunny saying “안녕하세요!” (an-nyeong-ha-se-yo). Moreover, you can rely on Papago for translations, or check out Sekki Deul on Youtube, for some useful Karrot Market phrases.
- 올리신 물건 구매 가능 한가요? – Is this item still available?
- 몇시에 어디에서 만날 수 있을까요? – Where/What time can we meet?
- 계좌번호 알려주세요. – Please let me know your bank transfer details.
- _____에서 만날 수 있을까요? – Are you able to meet at _____ (e.g. Seoul Station, 7-Eleven)
Bunjang (Lightning Marketplace)
Another popular app in the second-hand market is ‘번개장터’ (‘beon-gae-jang-teo’), which means ‘lightning marketplace’ in Korea. Similar to Karrot market, the name was shortened to ‘bunjang’. In 2020, the resell app soared past even Karrot Market on the Google Play Store rankings, clinching 1st place.
Bunjang launched in 2011, just ahead of the boom in green consumerism and all-round popularity of secondhand markets. During the pandemic, the app facilitated a means of convenient and safe personal transactions. Additionally, you can shop via the app or online!
Find everything from fashion to electronics, all over the country. You can pay securely through Bunjang regardless of your location. However, the app itself is in Korean, so not as foreigner-friendly as other methods.
Facebook Expat Groups
While Facebook Marketplace is not available in Korea, there are several buy/sell Facebook groups for expats. Similar to Facebook Marketplace listings, expats advertise their items in the groups, along with their location. Furthermore, sometimes people may even give away items for free!
Join general country-wide buy/sell groups or ones designated by region e.g. Seoul, Busan. If you identify as a woman, there are several groups exclusively for women that you can join. Make sure to read the rules of the groups before joining and note the condition of the items you sell or are interested in.