Friday, December 21, 2018

Korea 2018 | Toys & Stationery @ Changsin-Dong Wholesale Market {동대문 문구완구거리}, Dongdaemun Seoul

Where to find the biggest selection of wholesale toys in Seoul? Well, right here in Changsin-dong Toy & Stationery Wholesale Market at Dongdaemun!!

It really sells more than just toys and has over 100+ shops selling a wide variety of items targeted towards kids and their indulgent parents haha. You can easily spend 2-3 hours here browing through the shops selling all sorts of toys, model kits, obento supplies, stationery, party props, shoes, gloves, hair accessories, toiletries, bags etc.

Best thing is, this market is really accessible and just about 10-15 mins walk from the fashion shopping hub of Dongdaemun where Doota, Good Morning City, Lotte Fitin etc. are located. Not some far-out, ulu area that's nowhere near civilisation!! heh

I prefer shopping here to Tai Yuen Toy Street Market in Hong Kong.

Mainly because the streets are wider, it is much less crowded {even on a Friday morning that we went}, and the shopkeepers seem less pushy and loud. Most of the time, they would leave you alone to do your own browsing and not keep watching you with a hawk-eye... which can be quite uncomfortable, right???  

Unfortunately like many wholesale markets, the items are not usually clearly marked with the prices. So, if you wish to know, you'd have to ask the shopkeepers how much something cost each time. Most of the shopkeepers understand a simple "how much", but don't expect them to be fluent in English.

To answer, they would usually whip out their calculator or write on a piece of paper to show you.

For your reference, a pen or stickers costs about 700won {S$0.85}, a pair of socks or a notebook about 1,000won {S$1.20}, a set of made-in-Korea cute erasers about 3,500won {S$4.25}, "Lego" head cup about 2,000won {S$2.45} and we got a new pair of gloves for Lil Pumpkin at 4,000won {S$4.85} but I reckon we could have gotten it cheaper at other shops there..

After getting a rough gauge of a few items, I usually don't bother asking for the individual prices anymore as I know that no matter what, it will still be cheaper than what I can find at shops outside Changsin-dong wholesale market. 

A lot of the shops at the market would sell the same items and maybe at different prices, but the price difference will not be too big a deal. If I find a shop with a few things we like there, I usually just get all of them from the same shop instead of comparing prices between the stores.

Oh, the good thing is that they allow you to buy in small numbers too, even 1 unit. But of course, the more you purchase, the better price or discount you will get.

Unlike Nandaemun or even at the Dongdaemun outlet shops where you know they charge "tourist prices", I wouldn't expect to bargain much here because honestly the items are already quite cheap, and the shopkeepers are rather adamant that it's already "wholesale price" and can't go any lower.

There really is a ton of hidden treasure to be found, if you only have the patience and time to sieve through everything!!

I expected Lil Pumpkin to go crazy here and even brought the large Ikea bag for our shopping... was also prepared to go back to our hotel {Ibis Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun} to leave our purchases there if we bought too many stuff as what we did the last time we came haha.

However, for this trip, Lil Pumpkin didn't find any toys that she liked and bought just a few adorable notebooks, erasers, pens etc. for herself and some friends. I showed massive restraint this round too and only got a few pair of socks and cute "Lego" head cups. Did not buy any obento boxes or character plates at all!!! #yayme

The last few times we came, there was a shop that sold lots of Hello Kitty products at the end of the street. The shop is still there, but unfortunately it does not stock much Hello Kitty items anymore... maybe it isn't so "trendy" in Korea at the moment. #sobs

Do note that like Tai Yuen Toy Street Market, this stretch of road is not sheltered so do bring along your own raincoats, caps and umbrellas {according to the seasons} as need be.

There are no cafes or restaurants here {although some shops sell snacks}, so do fill your belly and bring ample drinking water before you come.

5 year-old Lil Pumpkin during our last trip in 2013. Some things never change...

P.S. Pop by {and follow hehe!} my Instagram and FB page for more of our trip updates and pictures. I documented it on-the-go on my IG Story Highlights - look for Korea #1 and Korea #2 folders.

Changsin-Dong Toy & Stationery Market {동대문 문구완구거리}
36, Jong-ro 52-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul {서울특별시 종로구 종로52길 36 (창신동)}
Nearest MTR station: Dongdaemun, Exit 4 or Dongmyo, Exit 6
Open daily, 10am - 6pm

Other Korea travel posts:


An Apel a Day said...

I think Isaak and I would spend tons of time there! How fun! I'd buy extras to hand to teachers as part of their holiday gifts.

indah nuria said...

I will go crazy coming to this place! My daughter and I have a soft spot for cute stationaries and this will be a perfect place to shop for them! Thanks for the tips, Ai