Sunday, February 01, 2015

bargain hunter

I could learn a lot about saving money from my buddy Tom. The man is thrifty, to put it politely—the way a paranoid Scotsman is "thrifty." A couple examples, just from a Kakao exchange today:

1. I had only a vague notion that I wanted to buy a used refrigerator for my move. With almost no clue as to how much a used fridge might cost (the last such fridge I'd bought was way back in, oh, 2002 or thereabouts; times and prices change), I thought that a decent-sized fridge/freezer combination might set me back a couple hundred thousand, given that an equivalently sized new fridge would probably cost around a million won. I was right on that latter score, but Tom found a deal for a fridge/freezer that would cost only W70,000—via Seoul Craigslist. And the seller lives just up the street from me.

2. I had thought about buying a new bed locally, in Ilsan, on the day I moved in, but Tom said we should look at beds via an app called We-Mae-Peu, which is short for the Konglish "We Make Price" (wi mae-i-keu peu-rah-i-seu). I had told Tom that I'd found a bed for a fairly reasonable W300,000; Tom found a deal—with free delivery—via WMP for around W160,000, or almost half the price of what I'd been looking at, proving that W300,000 isn't reasonable at all.

WMP doesn't work like Amazon: the site doesn't debit your bank account or credit card when you order. Instead, you have 24 hours to pay for the order you've placed. As Tom notes, if you fail to pay, then your stuff simply isn't delivered: there are no other consequences.

This gets me thinking that I might want to order my other furniture & appliances via this app—including a microwave.

A list of costs:

Microwave: anywhere from W62,000 to W165,000 (free delivery)
Bed: W158,000 (free delivery)
Bed linens set: W30,000 (free delivery)
Nightstand: W21,000 (free delivery)
Fridge: W70,000 (pick up from local seller)

Table: W40,000 (already purchased)
Bookshelves: W40,000 for 2 small ones —WMP and the Eulji district are selling these for similar prices, so I'm going to buy my bookshelves from the same incomprehensibly Daegu-accented guy who's selling me my table

All told, the above comes out to a little less than W500,000, not including the yongdal (trucking) fee, which is terrific. Now I just need to develop Tom's shopping instincts...


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