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 .
so will inform on No-BS., up-to-date status of where to buy masks AND how much is the going-rate TO-DAY !
[ 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