SEOUL, Korea, Dec 02 (Korea Bizwire) – In an economy where more people are out of work and even people with jobs are reluctant to open their wallets, stores selling used goods are doing well at the expense of those dealing new goods. For example, the computer vendors in Yongsan report that more customers are asking for used computers and the number of stores dealing exclusively with used computers and peripherals has increased to seven recently from none a few years ago.
Used books are also selling briskly. At Aladin, the used bookseller in Seoul’s Gangnam, in which perfectly good-looking books can be bought at half the price of new books, more than 100 customers can be seen in a typical weekday afternoon. Thanks to its popularity, Aladin has opened eight more locations in Seoul since last year in addition to the online bookstore.
An Aladin official said, “Our sales growth rate in 2012 was 34 percent following an average growth rate of 19 percent for about 10 years since the early 2000s. This year will see the growth rate to reach the 40-percent level.”
The mini-boom in used goods is not just restricted to computers and books. Moms with small children put up used baby clothes, toys, strollers, and even baby bottles for sale on online flea market sites. Even some vendors are doing brisk business selling secondhand brand clothing items. Near Seolleung Station in Gangnam, a bus comes every five days to sell famous brand clothes at such low prices that it has regular customers.