have been letting-go of this BLog after moving onto GeonDae (the most concentrated shopping complex in GangBuk – North of the Han River so called as is the rear entrance of Konkuk University – spelling discrepancy comes from the school using old spelling from Korean War while the area from Post-Seoul Olympics new spelling more close to actual pronounciation) here updating mask-availability as subscribers of this BLog would have the time AND energy from roaming itaewon streets, to go hunting for disposable safety mask – getting rare and then popping-up again depending on government implementation on Wuhan Corona Virus containment strategy .
[ Before-and-After ]
we knew it was happening by the end of Christmas 2019, and felt it coming by Chinese Lunar NEW Years end of January 2020 . soon-after KF94 mask prices starting rising from around W1000 a-piece . over the course of February the price rose steadily onto W5000+ which every-day Koreans can no-way afford and this is when the government began kicking-in the last Week of the Month . they blocked massive exports to China and began tax-investigation (which is a scary tactic in a country where everyone tries to go around it) into manufacturers who held more than 150% of products at their warehouse to limit availability for higher price . but seeing not much improvement and Presidential popularity at-stake, the administration announced a strict rule by the first Week of March where citizen can purchase mere TWO masks per-week through their medical records at drugstores .
[ Current Price of KF94 Masks ]
- W800 ~ 1500 at drugstores, super-marts and Post Office
- W1500 at manufacturers’ own websites announcing selling time per-day in advance but goes out-of-sale in a matter of minutes
- W3000 ~ 4000 in MyeongDong at the heart of the Capital of SEOUL where middle-men brokers are dumping (not quite cheap though) stock intended for export-to-China but now block from government intervention . here vendors include make-up stores as well as even shoe stores which have boxed stacked-up in front of the store .
- W3000 ~ 4000 also at used forums On-Line where people normally trade and sell old items .
- W4500+ On-Line Stores called Shopping Mall in Korea are now the most expensive place to purchase masks, still hard-to-get except the kind with additional filters as they cost more onto W30000 ~70000 mark .
still, two related issues common around the Globe :
- a bulk of filters used to produce these masks are made-in China, thus shortage at-hand, but local Korean manufacturers are increasing production so should be some-what over-come..
- some developed countries are out-of-stock on toilet papers from rumours that they utilize the same paper-based products, but is not the case (yet) in South Korea
– itaewon BLog, Last Update March 6 Friday night 2020
( May 18 Monday ) how’d humen art thou vain, or what-ever in the age of Capitalism over the invisible hand where price comes-and-goes unbelieveable quite beaucoup as times swing-around and consumers eager to pay for it . as the Korean Peninsula was smogged regularly from sand-dust rising from Mongolian Desert simply dubbed as Chinese dust here, citizens were accustomed to wearing simple masks called dust masks coming in 50 in a pack, a bluish tone came in the form of dental masks almost the same quality .
then there are Korean Standard KF80 and KF94 masks numbered for their high-density filters of which the latter was sought as Corona Virus broke-out from Wuhan China over 2020 Chinese Lunar NEW Years . KF94 was also the standard South Korean government procured to distribute, with controlled price-intact as they weren’t taking chances to be bombed by the media there-after . they were simply out-of-stock on all Official outlets including manufacturer’s own and popular On-Line stores, only to be sold at over W4000 each at the height of Covid-19 in South Korea around February onto March .
however as Summer came early when temperature rose by end-of-March KF94 prices began fading over used-items re-seller forums down to W2000 and now even W1000 where last year they were W800 each . then the Empire Stroke-back, as consumers now sought normal dust-masks and blue-tone dental masks usually sold in a packet of 50 in a box . they were normally W15000 for 50 pieces but now going W20000 and up, with the godly-revered Yuhan-Kimberly (YangHaeng and Kimberly-Clark) brand sold at over W50000 now gulp //