Are you a fellow thrift store lover? Are you having a hard time finding one? Below are our picks for the best thrift stores in South Korea!
If you’re a fan on the vintage styles then head down to Hongdae! On the street parallel to the busking street (right off exit 8 and 9) there are 4 vintage stores. Two in a basement, two on the second floor. While they don’t have fancy sings you will spot them by the quirky clothes they exhibit.
The prices for these stores are quite high but you can find some really good items. Some are even DIYed so you know you’re buying a piece that was well-loved!
In these stores you can find clothes as well as shoes and accessories. They have a lot of knick-knacks laying around which they might be selling too.
All four stores have a changing room and they will let you try on as many items as you want. The staff speaks some English and they will let you browse for ages without giving you sideways glances. It’s also okay to go there just to window shop but remember that it’s nice to support your local community!
You might spot thrift stores in subway stations. If your stop is not particularly fancy and there’s a lot of empty store space a middle-aged lady will open one sooner or later. I’ve mostly seen these stores in stations such as Suyu and Isu which are somewhat on the periphery or just a little out of the way.
The Salvation Army Store have multiple locations across South Korea, most in Seoul. They are the most popular thrift stores among ex-pats. You can find the online here and here. You can donate to Salvation Army in all its locations. The items should be gently used and clean. They accept clothing, shoes, appliances, books and toiletries.
- Hyehwa, Line 4
- Ahyeon, Line 2
- Seodaemun, Line 5
- Aeogae, Line 5
- Changdong, Line 4
- Jungdong, Line 1
- Sookmyung Women’s University, Line 4
- Sangwangsimni, Line 2
- Hongje, Line 3
- World Cup Stadium, Line 6
- Gwangheungchang, Line 6
- Mia, Line 4
Find directions and maps for all the locations on the Salvation Army website here (in English!).
Beautiful Store is the closest equivalent to Goodwill. The clothes are either new or very gently worn and they are priced between 3.000 KRW to 15.000 KRW for winter coats. You can also find all kinds of knick-knacks as well as some tableware and appliances. Beautiful store has many locations, especially around Seoul. Find the online here. If you do decide to go over please bring something to carry your shopping in. Additionally, if you have paper bags at home do donate them to Beautiful Store thrift stores.
Anguk21, Bukchon-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea02-736-0660
Ansangojan138, Yongsin-ro, Sangrok-gu, Ansan-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea031-414-3530
Anyang68, Deokcheon-ro 48beon-gil, Manan-gu, Anyang-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea031-466-2262
Namyangju522, Gyeongchun-ro, Namyangju-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea031-555-6004
Pocheon151, Jungang-ro, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea031-535-7799
Samseongyo327, Changgyeonggung-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, Korea02-3672-8001
Seocho35, Seocho-daero 56-gil, Seocho-gu, Seoul, Korea02-594-7854
Yangjae34, Nambusunhwan-ro 351-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea02-3462-3747
There are more locations than the ones above, find them all on a map of South Korea here (in Korean!).
Vin Prime is a franchise of second hands stores. You should expect to pay around 5.000 KRW for items on same, 10.000 KRW for cheap items (shirts,sweaters,cardigans) /20.000 KRW (jackets, pants) for no-brand items and upward of 50.000 KRW for designer pieces. And they do have designer pieces. From old Burberry and Aquascutum trenchcoats to Yves Saint Laurent and, Givenchy and Marni dresses. If you’re a fan of the Japanese Lolita style you will be happy to find a bunch of Liz Lisa items for a third of the price. Find the online here and on Facebook here.
The clothes are imported from Japan and they are good quality. I’ve yet to find items with defects or stains. They do have a strong naphthalene smell so you won’t want to skimp on the clothing softener! Although imported from Japan you will find many European brands.
We really recommend Vin Prime if you find it hard to shop in Korea either because of the sizes or if you are displeased with the quality. If you’re one who doesn’t want to dress like the masses you should definitely check this franchise too. When one sale their items are flying off the rack! You can score a Ralph Lauren jacket for 20.000 KRW and vintage but in pristine condition Givenchy dress for 70.000 KRW.
Their biggest location is the one in Sadang (tricky to find since it’s in the subway towards the blue line) followed by the one at Express Bus Terminal. These thrift stores are very popular among the locals!
- Gangnam Station
- Gangnam Yeoksam Station
- Seolleung Station
- Express Bus Terminal Station
- Sadang Station
- Apgujeong Station
- Yangjae Station
- Garden Five Station
- Bundang Atap Station
- Gasan Digital Complex Station
- Gunja Station
- Sindaebang Samgeori Station
- Janghanpyeong Station
- Mapo Station
- Namhan Fortress Station
This is the order you will find them on their website here. Click the tab corresponding to the store you’d like to visit and they provide you with map directions on their page.
If you’re in the market for second hand books you should head down to Aladin. The store is located in Gangnam, Sinchon and other five locations but they also have a website. Find them online here. Aladin sells both new and used books in English and Korean alike. Actually, you will find books in French, German and Russian too. You never know what you’re going to get. Not all their books are up on their website so you ca find treasures by going to one of their seven locations. On the other hand, if you are looking for something specific you should look it up on their website first. You can also sell them your used books as long as they’re not falling apart. However, don’t expect to get too much for them.
The Salvation Army Store also sells used books in English and Korean. Their Hyehwa location has the largest selection. The price ranges between 1.000 KRW to 5.000 KRW. Most are 1.000 and that is very cheap! The selection is not that great unless you’re into thriller and Sophie Kinsella-type chick-lit but if you’re lucky you can find some gems.