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When I first arrived to Korea, I needed a converter plug for my Apple Powerbook. I asked around. I was given an apologetic look and an explanation that there weren’t many Apple stores in Korea.
I was told there was one store in Seoul called Frisbee. Whuh?
How can there not be tons of Apple stores in Korea?
Well, maybe you should ask it’s Korean competitors Samsung and LG…
The fact is there were more stores than I was led to believe… they just weren’t exactly Apple stores. They were resellers.
Are there Apple stores in Korea ?
Although PCs are still the preferred computer in Korea, it’s really iPhone that gave Korea a reason to open the doors to Apple.
Korea has two certified Apple Reseller stores. Prices at both stores are competitive to Apple prices, so you won’t be getting it any cheaper than the U.S., unless the Korean won is high.
Frisbee is my preferred Apple reseller store. Frisbee is the most accessible with locations in Seoul, Daegu, Busan and Daejeon. It also looks and feels like a regular Apple store and they have customer service in English . If they have a product out of stock, you can order it from Apple through their site and the store will let you know when it arrives. There is a trick to ordering Apple products however, so keep reading.
a# is a store I discovered when I visited CoEx Mall in Seoul. It doesn’t seem as convincing of an Apple store as Frisbee, as they aren’t dedicated primarily to Apple products, nor do they mimic it’s floor plan. But they stock Apple computers, gadgets and accessories.
How do you order Apple products in Korea?
This is where it gets tricky.
I needed a USB to ethernet converter for my new Macbook Air. Frisbee didn’t carry it at any of their locations and Apple online doesn’t ship to Korea.
Option 1: The only way to order your product online from Apple via the Frisbee site is you need a Korean credit card.
How you do pay without a Korean credit card?
Most expats don’t have a Korean credit card. Getting them can be as challenging as getting a Korean phone. But the interesting thing about the Korean community is that there’s trust in the community. .. And a flexibility with foreigners.
Option 2: If you can’t get a Korean credit card, then ask a Korean person to make the purchase for you.
Simple and hard as that.
In my case, I was in the Myeongdong Frisbee in Seoul. I didn’t have a Korean credit card nor did I know someone who could lend me theirs, so the sale boy let me place my order using his card and I would reimburse him on the spot with cash.
Updated note: It used to be difficult to get a Korean credit card but these days, KEB (the bank of expats) issues credit cards if you hold a working visa and contract.