So I am in Myeongdong at least once a week doing a Seoul city tour. While I’m there I am always checking out the great street food, the rates on the US dollar as well as the prices of sangpumgwon (상품권). That’s pronounced Sahng-Poom-Guwon. Memorize that word because it will give you an automatic discount when buying stuff in Myeongdong. You don’t need to register for anything and it’s completely legal. It’s one of the great secrets of Myeongdong that really doesn’t need to be one anymore.
So the sangpumgwon are these gift certificates that you can actually buy and sell from kiosks in Myeongdong like this one.
These are real gift certificates issued by the respective company sold at a discount. People pass them up these kiosks without ever knowing they are being sold there because none of them bother to write it in English (nor in Chinese for that matter). But all you have to do is go to one and say that magic word. They will then present you with these gift certificates and you just tell them what kind you want.
There are 2 kinds: One for Lotte and the other for Kumkang Shoes.
They will then present you with a calculator and type in a price that they will sell them to you at. So if they type in 75,000 then that means they will sell you a 100,000KRW gift certificate for 75,000KRW. You can immediately use that at the store as 100,000KRW and even get change back should you not use that whole amount.
The best deals are on shoes from Land Rover and Kumkang Shoe Store (70-80,000KRW), but you can also get immediate discounts on any Lotte Dept Store (90-97,000KRW). Lotte rates are not as great, but I always buy something from there anyway whether its from Lotte Department Store or Lotte Mart. The price depends on the supply and demand as these things are bought and sold everyday. The stores are right next door so it’s convenient if you know you are definitely going to buy something.
Got it? Good. If not, you can always hire a great KoreanTourGuide to show you how its done as well as provide you a great Seoul city tour. Feel free to book a KoreanTourGuide today.