Reporter Column
Reporter Column
  • Reporter Yun Seok-chan
  • 승인 2016.02.19 18:05
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Why Does It Cost More in Korea?
It is truly amazing how a small nation virtually devoid of any kind of natural resources achieved such a dramatic breakthrough in diverse facets including economy, technology, industry, and so on. Now, Korea is a nation whose economy is fueled by major conglomerates such as Samsung and LG.
People in other nations may expect products from such companies to be more affordable in terms of price in Korea simply because they are Korean companies. However, this is not true at all. In fact, many items sold by these companies are more expensive in Korea than in other countries like the United States. Hence, people in Korea actually started importing Samsung and LG products from the States. Especially around Black Friday, which is undoubtedly the biggest sale period in the U.S., the price discounted far outweighs the money it costs to ship a product from the States to Korea. For example, a 65 inch UHD television by LG costs approximately 5 million KRW in Korea. It does cost a lot to ship bulky and expensive products like televisions. Still, even if we take the shipping fee and tax into consideration, it cost a little less than 2.5 million KRW to get the same product shipped from the States. This is the why people do not mind waiting a few more days until the product arrives at their homes.
Still, we need to take this absurd phenomenon seriously. One of the factors that determine the price of commodities in a country is how wealthy the country is. No one can argue that Korea is more affluent than the United States. Then what would be the reason companies set high prices on items sold in their own country? Should this be considered deceitful for customers in Korea? Foreign countries are no exceptions. For instance, a furniture company named IKEA is renowned for its cost-effective products. Late in 2015, IKEA opened a huge off-line store in Korea, as well as its online website. Once again, the prices of several products in Korea were higher than those in other nations like Japan and the United States.
 People coined the term “Hell Chosun Patch” to call the phenomenon in which items from foreign countries become more expensive the moment they land in Korea. Hell Chosun Patch is rampant in Korea because even if products are more expensive, there are plenty of people who will still buy them either because they do not know they are more expensive or because they think they have no choice other than buying them. Sadly, the only way to deal with this problem now seems to be to make ourselves wiser customers. We first have to be aware that we are unfairly treated and be prepared to justly ask for what we deserve.