[Ian] Shops Seoul, South Korea

We don’t get a chance to shop some of the cooler electronic component shops here in the States, much less hop on a plane and experience the Hacker’s Disneyland that are the Asian markets. So we’re glad to live vicariously through Hackaday alum [Ian Lesnet’s] adventures. This time around he’s combed through Seoul, South Korea’s electronics markets. That link will take you to the roundup of about a dozen posts he published during his recent trip.

The image above is a screenshot from one of the videos he made of the experience. After the break you can watch him put on the tour-guide hat. We think he did a great job of explaining the experience and showing off what the market is like without letting the video drag on. The shops mostly offer a window display with all of the components they sell. To make a purchase you just window shop, then go inside and they will pull out an order for you from bulk bags stored on floor-to-ceiling shelves. [Ian] also makes a stop at the local Hackerspace where they show off some of their 3D printer builds.

This is not the first time he’s given us a tour like this, go check out his Akihabara trip if you missed it before. He’s also planning to meet up with the Seeed Studio folks to tour the shops in Shenzhen next month.


12 thoughts on “[Ian] Shops Seoul, South Korea

    1. Oh, I’m sure I’ll use that in my next project. And this is just the right size for that Altoids tin I’ve been saving. Ohhh, that’a great deal on LED displays! Uh-huh, you can never have too many microcontrollers. Oh yeah, I’m almost out of pin headers….

  1. Some enterprising travel company needs to come up with Maker vacation packages to these places. I’d love to go but don’t speak the languages and that would probably be an issue. A group trip would also be a great way to network and perhaps meet with other hackerspaces, etc.

    1. I’ve been to many places like this in Seoul, including Yongsan Market. The selection is tremendous, but prices are pretty much the same as the US, and that’s even with a local bartering for you.

      It is a fantastic place to window shop, though, and the scale of the place is mind-boggling. It’s about 5 city blocks of small 10’x10′ shops stacked 6 floors above ground, plus two floors underground. If it uses electricity in any capacity, you can find it there.

  2. Everyone interested has heard about these huge amazing markets. Rarely is there anything close in the English speaking world (or elsewhere for that matter). It feels like there’s a firewall between cultures merely because we do not go to the same sites.

    How are these markets sustainable? How do they stay in business? Surely they have to sell a great deal of equipment. What do the people over there do with it? What do our far east hacker brethren make?

    1. well, take china for instance. Taobao is the ebay of china. Most of these shops will have some sort of an online presence – only problem is they dont ship internationally unless you use a third party.

      When im in China- I get my wife to get me all the electronic goodies of TaoBao. Also – you have to take into account $1 USD = $6 RMB, the average monthly salary in China is approx $2000 RMB.

      I also took a broken A300 toshiba laptop over to get it fixed at one of the local computermarkets. The cost to repair the board and get a replacement one was about the same price – so I chose to get it repaired $600 RMB they charged me. Rarely you would get anything fixed at board level here these days as the labour cost will will more likely tip you into getting a new unit with warranty.

      1. Yes that is rather sad. I made a few rent payments on fixing laptops for college students some years ago. That dried up when people stopped repairing and started replacing. I was cheap at about fifty bucks plus any necessary parts.

  3. I shopped at the Yangsan train station’s electronic market while I was stationed in South Korea. I drooled just a little bit every time I came in, and cried on the way out. The Korean market truly is a splendor in geek overload.

  4. I love these type of articles! I really hope to visit one of these magical markets one day. I guess it all goes back to Gremlins for me and that trinket shop. Amazing to see all of the goodies we miss out on :) Thanks!

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