There are still good shopping items to attract you even though shopping in Korea is not as cheap as you would expect. I’d like to pick up glasses as one of shopping items having good quality with cheaper price than EU country. A friend of mine from France said that buying glasses was one of the best recommendation as the fast progress.
I would like to recommend you to visit Optician’s at Namdaemun Market, especially if you want to get some glasses with special lenses for high myopia, far-sightedness (hyperopia), astigmatic or a combination of any of these. The stores in Namdaemun Market offers various goods at wholesale price. It is still affordable but I always try to get discounts for paying in cash. I went to the optician’s with one of my family member who wants to get some new glasses last weekend. She needed new glasses for multifocal lens, but it was quite expensive in her town shop. So we decided to visit the opticians in ‘Namdaemun Market’, which store is that my family frequently purchases the glasses from.
Then now I start to tell the process of me buying glasses.
This is the South Gate of Seoul. Nam means South. It is Korea’s National Treasure Number 1 and actual name is Sungnyemun.
Namdaemun Market is just across the road. (You can see the sign of Namdaemun Market in blue circle)
Fast and Free Eye Exam
It usually doesn’t charge for an eye exam. Most opticians have an eye exam room or a machine set up. It is good to test your eyes getting an up to current eye sight. It doesn’t kind of a full eye exam like it does by eye doctor, but it checks your eyes quickly to make sure what type of the glasses suits you.
There are five opticians and one of them is specially in charge of examining the eyes. He checked the prescription she, my family member, brought and after examined her eyesight again at her request. Sometimes he could adjust the prescription for customer. *(In my case, I have different eyesight from the other side. The glasses having equally sight can make me dizzy so it needs to be adjusted for my eye condition)
Various Designs and Prices
The display stand is filled with a variety of frames. You might need a help to choose a frame from opticians among crazy amounts of styles. Another optician helped her find the right size and style of glasses to match. After picking out some nice frame she really like, he adjusted her new glasses to fit her face considering her habit of wearing glasses.
She chose nice looking frame at 100,000 won. Her multifocal lenses costed 160,000 won. There was lower price lens but she wanted to choose higher quality than she used. The lens price depends on performance level or brands (imported/domestic).
They have frames at all prices from $ 10 to $ 1000, but the cheaper is still pretty. For me, I prefer a lightweight frame with half rimless with basic lens for poor eyesight and the total price of mine was 90,000 won.
If you need glasses for multifocal lens like her, then the price would go up to $200. If you happen to buy more than 2, of course you could try and get them to discount.
The process goes so fast
It usually produces finished eyeglasses just an hour after you choosing the frame and lens. When you get your glasses after a few hours, they adjust your new glasses to fit your face.
I am just short sighted, so it took only half an hour to get my new glasses after examination. If you are far-sighted or astigmatic, it might take a few days to get your new glasses with prescription lenses. (It took an hour when my mom chose domestic (made in Korea) multifocal lens) You can get your new glasses by visiting otherwise they send it carriage paid.
If you are busy to visit Namdaemun Market, you can find easily many glasses shops nearby. When you want to see more design, go to Optical Superstores having a lot to choose from downtown. Whatever you buy your new glasses in town or not, market research to see what prices are like is always needed for smart shopper.
Famous Optical Stores
Namdaemun Market and Myeong-dong : A majority of Korea’s optical stores are concentrated there. There is a ton of glasses shops with professional opticians speaking in English.