One Nation, Under the Chaebol



by Third Bass

Aweek ago a friend passed on an intriguing post from the Global Voices website about a new piece of proposed legislation seeking to strike back at Korean consumers taking their business overseas. It appears that,  in order to skirt the significant markups on consumer electronics, younger consumers are increasingly utilizing overseas internet retailers such as Amazon, and this is creating quite a bit of consternation among the denizens of Korea Inc. For those that reside in the ROK, the atmospheric prices―relative to those in the U.S. at least―of computers, smartphones, speakers, autos, clothing, etc., is hardly shocking news. However, those unacquainted with shopping in Korea may be puzzled to learn that even Samsung, LG and Hyundai products sell at prices often two to three times greater than those charged in the U.S. market. In fact, one disgruntled Korean consumer cited in the story points to a Korean brand TV selling for roughly $5,900 in Korea and $1,550 in the U.S. This difference is stark. 

The Cost of Groceries and Toiletries in Korea

Before I came to Korea to teach, I was like anybody else in my situation.  I read every imaginable article and blog, and watched ALL the videos on YouTube.  One of the big topics I often wondered about was how much groceries and toiletries would cost.  Well, it's been one full year that I've been teaching in Korea and I have a good idea of what and where to buy the things I like and need.  It differs for everyone, but for my needs I have certain shopping habits now based on availability, price, convenience, etc.
Here's a list of prices for some of the items I buy and what may be interesting to you.  They are based on the two main stores I shop for groceries and toiletries at - HomePlus and Costco.  HomePlus is one of the major chain retail stores in Korea.  It's very similar to target, but on a smaller scale.


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