If you like a good bargain, supporting charity, or you are just looking for something different, look no further than downtown Jochiwon.
Jochiwon has at least three thrift shops you can browse through. (You can find their specific locations on the map to the right.)
1. 동대문 – Located in the 시장, or Jochiwon Market, this shop has mostly clothing, but you can find a few shoes and some handbags as well. There are no fitting rooms, and as with any thrift shop, you will need to look thoroughly to find the item you are looking for. The racks are packed to the max. They have both women’s and men’s clothing, but women’s clothing is the majority.
They do not take donations from individuals. You can negotiate the price of items. Open every day 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
2. 원홍상회- Also located in the 시장, not to far from the first shop, this thrift store is a bit smaller than the first and also packed with clothing. This shop has nearly all women’s clothing and takes a little more effort to find what you are looking for. They do sell women’s Hanbok (Korean traditional clothing), and they have shoes and handbags as well.
They do not take donations from individuals. You can negotiate the price of items. Open every day 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
3. 행복한나눔- Located just on the opposite side of the tracks from Ook-ill Apartments near the boxing gym, this shop has clothes, shoes, books, knickknacks, and anything else you might find in a thrift shop. They even have a small café and sell fair-trade coffee by the bag. They also sell furniture.
Some companies donate items to this shop, so you may happen to find something brand-new for a very cheap price. Most of the items are already priced reasonably, so the price on the tag is the price you will pay.
If you are looking to support a charity, this shop is part of a larger corporation in Korea which accepts donations, monetary or goods, and donates part of their proceeds to different charitable causes. The shop is open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There are some things you need to keep in mind when visiting these thrift shops:
- You will need to know your Korean size; as there are no fitting rooms, you can’t try things on.
- Bring cash; none of these shops take cards.
- You can find some new items if you look hard enough or at the right time.
- Inspect items thoroughly before purchasing; most of the items have been used before and could have stains or be in poor condition.