1+1, 2+1, and the Joys of Shopping in Korea

1+1, 2+1, and the Joys of Shopping in Korea - The Daebak Company

Throughout South Korea, convenience stores live up to their name, with locations available any time of day in virtually every corner of big cities. On a hot day, you might rush in with the hopes of just grabbing a bottle of water, but the odds are that you will leave with double the product for the same price. The reason? The culture (and clever marketing tactic) of 1+1 sales in South Korea.

Often called "BOGO" or "Buy One, Get One" in the West, 1+1 is most commonly seen for food items. However, this concept can be extended to face masks, cosmetics, and even SNEAKERS. A friend and I both wanted the same pair of tennis shoes, so we just split the cost. A spinoff of this concept is 2+1, which is understandably very popular with retailers. This means you buy two items at full price and receive one extra at no additional charge. Make sure to check the label to ensure that the promotion is still on, as 1+1/2+1 offers are often available only on an on/off basis! Furthermore, make sure the flavor or variety that you want is offered, as usually the promotion is offered across flavors, but sometimes you might have to settle for one type of item.

Myself and my friend in our new 1+1 Shoopen sneakers!

This extends to all major convenience stores such as GS25, 7/11, Mini Stop, and CU. Sometimes marts that operate as local grocery stores will even offer items sold as a 1+1.

If you plan to get more than just a drink or quick snack, it is smart to always have a reusable shopping bag with you. At some stores, you will be charged per each plastic bag that you require. While the fee is typically only about 100 won (about USD 0.10), it's nice to help the environment as often as possible by reducing the demand for single-use plastics. Be aware that if you go into a Korean convenience store to buy an iced coffee for the first time, you could easily leave with three!


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