Yongsan Electronic Market ♥ 용산전자
If you are in Seoul and looking for some kind of electronic gadget, game, part, accessory, etc for your home, office, car, or just for fun~ chances are Yongsan Electronics Market 용산전자 has come up in conversation! Yongsan was once one of the best places to find everything under the sun, stores began migrating to this area in the late 80′s and by around 1995 it was booming with stores and people~ that is till online shopping took over. Now it is a shell of its former self in terms of size, but if you are looking for a large selection of something, custom-made computers, or unique rare random finds it is still a very interesting place to visit and dig around.
At Yongsan I always find something here I never knew existed~ it’s like a treasure hunt sometimes. Check out this pink Hello Kitty GPS I spotted last visit! I had no idea they made these, let alone imported them to Korea~ awesome! This is why I like coming here.
The area itself is really HUGE, but personally we only ever hit up the pink buildings so those are the areas I will be focusing on in photos today. Many of the other buildings are offices, empty/dying, or misc shops for business stuff like LED lights, signs, etc.
At Yongsan Electronics Market you can find things like~
Misc things like memory cards, chords, chips, wires, extension chords, blank cds, cleaners
Custom built desktop PCs or parts for building your own in any color with lots of cool goodies
Keyboards, mouses, webcams, mics, cooling fans, speakers.
DVDs (mostly bootleg)
Digital Cameras, Video Cameras, DSLR
Video Games + systems new, retro, and even classic Japanese finds
Home electronics like rice cookers, steamers, fans, heaters, etc
TVs, speakers/ home entertainment systems
and is the best place to find unique random stuff like colored digital cameras, rainbow lit keyboard, etc if you do not care how efficient something is and are just looking for cuteness or cool colors… something I am often guilty of. Something random, old, or obscure will be found here if it is in Korea.
Please note, if you are looking for the latest model of a Samsumg laptop chances are it will NOT be the cheapest here at all. If you are looking for a custom built PC with LED lights in a fancy tower you will get a fabulous deal. Make sense? Its a good area for geeks lol.
Its like a yard sale maze in many buildings~ that is what I love about it though.
random cuteness always appears here even though the area itself is kinda grungy! haha
A cute pink Seal mouse with flippers you can click on ~ <3
They also have plenty of junk you dont want, but you know you need.
Some shops speak a bit of English, others speak none~ it varies like many areas, but since it is close to the US Military base they are used to dealing with Foreigners and will do the best they can to make it work.
You can haggle at most of the stores here, the more like a proper department store it looks like the less likely they will be to do it though. Just like with clothing, if the price is posted it usually means they are firm, however many of the smaller guys will be open to bargaining if you are buying a few things or if what you want is really old. You MUST pay with cash to haggle here, and often if you just mention “cash” they will knock it down a few bucks without any fuss.
Plenty of parts for your projects or repairs, even ready to go motherboards for sale.
Crazy cheap keyboards, mouses, headphones, replacement fans, and extension chords outside one of the small old shops on the corner.
Cellphone cases, blank CDs, Laptop accessories, etc. Back in the day you used to be able to get really cute blank cds and mini disks with characters on them from vendors outside like this, but sadly those days are gone! I used to get Hello Kitty blank CDs here for burning back in 2003.
Seonin plaza building 21 (선인 플라자) is stuffed with computer shops,customs, repairs, parts, and accessories.
If you need a custom built computer, your current one modified, or deals on parts this is a great place to stop by if you know what you are looking for. We had a vendor in here build Nara’s previous animating PC for a few hundred less compared to what he paid in the USA, and I had my laptop crammed with additional RAM for an extremely fair price.
The halls inside are narrow and often fairly busy depending on the day.
Inside they also have a few licensed stores, but they are significantly quieter since the prices are just “ok”
Laptop shopping in Yongsan
Since I travel a bit I purchased a laptop here in Korea at Yongsan Electronics Market, but I made the mistake of thinking that since I was in Asia I would be able to buy one a bit cheaper. Many of the nice laptops will cost the same in Korea as America, if not a bit more because you can shop around online and take advantage of sales back home. If you need just a cheap one for whatever and don’t mind buying used you can score a good deal on older basic ones, but if you are like me and need to run multiple programs like Adobe with large files you should just buy one at home BEFORE you move to Korea.
For building custom-made epic desktops this place is great though, you have an amazing selection of almost everything you need and lots of cool add-ons like green glowing fans or see-through towers. Nara’s last computer built in Yongsan lasted for almost 10 years, so they definitely do a great job putting a machine together.
If you are looking for something extremely heavy-duty for gaming or work this is also one of the best places to come and have your computer built (or gather supplies)! Last time we visited one of the custom shops they had something like a $10,000.00 computer being made for a pro gamer here along with a few celebrities….even though most of the shops look like junkyards. Many places here just build heavy-duty computers all day, so they are really good at what they do for an extremely reasonable price. Nara and I both have had our PCs for work built in the states and again here in Korea, Yongsan wins hands down~ easier, faster, and they don’t nickle and dime you for the little stuff. Plus, if you are going to build a crazy computer you should make it look as awesome as possible. Come on, don’t be boring!
This computer tower was amazing, you could buy blocks and make your own designs on it!
Cooling Fans with NEON Lights to Trick out your desktop.
Down the road (across from the large subway terminal center) is another small cluster of buildings that houses a DVD shop, cellphones, camera, gps, mp3, and the game mall which takes up the bottom floor.
You can find a nice selection of digital cameras in on the 2nd floor here, as well as several other buildings throughout the area~ Did you know Nikon made a pink waterproof camera? well there ya go!
You can get a lot of really nice professional grade gear here, but the prices can be a bit inflated and the sellers can be a little snakey if you hesitate.. I suppose it’s to be expected given how expensive these products are. For DSLR cameras new and used in Korea we recommend the Namdaemun Camera Market instead, the shops specialize in those sorts of things and they are a bit more trust-worthy. Still though, its fun to look and compare prices while you are here~ we scoped out some video camera gear and mics.
The bottom area of the 게임 전문 상가 (Game Specialty Area) building is home to the Game Center! A nice building of video game shops side by side.
The video game area is a shell of what it used to be in the 90′s and early 2000′s~ but honestly you really do not need 35 people selling the same things, 15 are plenty. Games for all systems can be purchased here new or used, the language varies though so always check. Some games sold are localized in Korean only, others have an English option, and some are the actual English release.
Most sellers sell newly released games both brand new and used, although the prices can still be a bit high.
This market also has a lot of imported Japanese games, mainly older titles for Super Nintendo, Sega, handheld systems, and PlayStation ~ all for pretty fair prices. Back in the day you used to be able to get your systems modified to play imports here or make them region free, but I think those shops may have vanished now so I cant say for sure anymore! Occasionally you can find a special Japanese release color of systems here as well, which is great for me since I of course require pink everything.
Honestly, the main draw for me at this market is the vintage games~ some of the sellers have piles of things you never thought you would ever see again outside of the internet.
I love those Chinese bootleg games that have 20 games on one cartridge haha. We bought one for our Gameboy SP back in the day and it had almost 200 retro Nintendo + Atari games which was great for long flights. Ahh and I see Lion King for the Sega, I loved that game *_*
Since this is Asia you will find a larger selection of Playstation games, but dont worry~ since this is next to an American Military base Yongsan actually does carry a lot of Xbox titles as well, just not as much as playstation.
Old Korean game guides~
The video game building used to be home to several anime figure/toy vendors, but now just one or two are usually lurking around in the back.
Outside of the markets you will be able to spot several green kiosks/mini buildings/huts set up to sell DVDs and Blurays. Most of them are selling bootlegs which is kind of ignored here in Korea to a certain extent in many areas since proper DVD stores are rare and official releases can be quite expensive. The sellers here will have flipbooks with all the titles they have so just pick what you want and they will run off to go retrieve it from storage someplace and snap them into cases for you.
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Generally they sell Korean movies, American, and some Japanese (mostly animated movies) as well as popular TV shows from these countries~ prices are usually just 2000 won per DVD and boxed seasons are charged per DVD in the set. If you buy around 5 they will usually throw in one for free and put them in plastic cases with printed covers. If you get a bum copy that is bad quality or does not play you can exchange them usually, this is much easier if you are a regular customer.
I am not condoning buying bootlegs btw, just informing the curious!
Korean DVDs will come with English subtitles 90% of the time, Japanese movies are usually only subtitled in Korean, and American movies will have Korean subtitles. Kids movies can be subbed or dubbed depending on the release, so its best to check before you buy. If you are homesick for English TV or movies this is a good way to get caught up with what you missed~
In that same area you can also find some vendors selling Korean Street food, usually on sticks. Grease-bombs of deliciousness! Most of the food available to eat in this area is just fast junkfood on sticks, burgers, ramyun, hotdogs, etc so if you want a proper sit-down lunch it is best to eat before or after.
Around the DVD guys is one of the smaller PC accessory buildings that is now home to mostly misc stuff like mouses, plugs, keyboards, etc.
Stacks of things you may need or not realize you needed
This is the building also has a decent paper vendor for printers~
printer cartridge refills~ these can save you so much money, just bring in your empty ones and they will load them up with more ink! Usually it is about 70% cheaper vs buying a new “official” cartridge and works just as well.
This small and semi empty building is also home to epic old PC man, he has been here FOREVER. He sells lots of old PC games from the 90′s to today, although the main draw is honestly all the old nostalgic games he has and old Japanese ones. I swear he has been sitting on some of this inventory for over 15 years…
He is overpriced and hardly haggles, but he does have the best selection for old and random anime games and always has! I found lots of old Sailor Moon games that I never even knew existed, princess makers, old K-pop themed games, dating sims, etc. which amuse me to no end.
New games vary, but older ones will set you back about 10,000 won or so.
The larger buildings are home to even more shops as well as some scattered licensed dealers and repair shops for certain brands.
A lot of these buildings are kind of dead nowadays since they had a hard time competing with the internet and the sheer amount of other stores originally crammed in these malls. You can find more of the usual cameras, tvs, laptops, as well as home-related things like steamers, fans, rice cookers, etc inside but I do not find it very impressive in terms of selection or price so I never really stop by. Still though, if you are in the area and shopping for a particular home item sometimes it is nice to swing by to see models or compare prices.
The back streets are mainly for businesses selling lighting, surveillance equipment, LED signs, etc. and continues on to form areas for home supplies/building and textiles.
Last visit I dug around the vintage PC guys booth and found some really cute retro games!! I grabbed an old school Sailor Moon game, Princess Maker, and two really old Korean games for 하니 Run Hany (I visited the park dedicated to her over the summer~ remember?? ) and the classic character Dooly!
I need to download something to play these since my system is too new now ~_~ trying to figure out what works best, it was not as easy as I had assumed loll. I will try and feature them soon because I am really curious to play!
Directions to Yongsan Electronics Market 용산전자
The area of Yongsan Electronic Market is a large cluster of several buildings, but once you arrive in the general area it is very easy to walk around them all since they are very close together.
You can get to Yongsan two different ways, Line#1 (Dark Blue) to Yongsan Station OR Line#3 (Light Blue) to Sinyongsan Station. We prefer Line #3 because it is closer for us personally, but you do have to walk a little bit while line#1 spits you out right in a terminal/ shopping building (although the shopping in that building is really meh and empty).
For Shinyongsan Station you are going to take Exit #5 and follow the crusty quiet path towards the bridge, through it, and continue on the path as it goes uphill along the road~ eventually it will end right in front of building #22 (the one that is great for computer parts). It is an easy and peaceful walk nowadays~ in the past the tunnel was filled with software bootleggers selling disks though!
For Yongsan Station you are going to want to follow the signs for the malls to Exit#3 and continue down a high covered walkway which will end right around the Video Game building.
The major stores in Yongsan are open around 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and are closed the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month.
Najin |Seonin|Wonhyo/Terminal Shopping Center- Closed first and third Sundays
Electronic Land |Space 9 Shopping Center- Closed first and third Tuesdays
♥ Handy Korean ♥
Yongsan Nerds – 용팔이 (slang, not nice so don’t call someone it directly lol)
Electronics – 전자제품
Where can I buy _______? – ______ 어디서 살 수 있어요?
Digital Camera – 디카
Computer | Laptop – 컴퓨터 | 노트북
Does this have English language (general term) – 영어 버전 있어요?
English Subtitles – 영어 자막
How much is this? – 이거 얼마예요?