Posted by: rbbadger | March 9, 2009

Pay shopping carts

One of the interesting facts of life about shopping at the big Wal-Mart like discount stores in Korea (a vast assortment of goods and much friendlier service) are the pay shopping carts.  To use one, you simply have to put a 100원 coin into the receptacle and push it in.  The shopping cart is then released and you are free to shop.  When you’re finished shopping, simply put your shopping cart back where it belongs and attatch its lock to the lock of the shopping cart ahead of you.  You will then get back your 100원. 

Pay shopping cart

Pay shopping cart



  1. Does that help keep people from abandoning their carts in the middle of the parking lot?

    • Yes they do. Also, we generally don’t have huge parking lots like you see in America. Rather, there are large underground parking structures. The last thing the stores want is a bunch of those rolling around inside the parking structures along with the cars. You don’t see shopping carts abandoned everywhere like you do in America.

      Another feature of shopping in Korea is the bag tax. Korean law mandates that if you don’t bring your own bags for shopping, then you must pay a small tax on each plastic shopping bag. A lot of Korean women have their own large bags that they carry with them when they go shopping.

      Another nice feature of Korean shopping centres is that if you have any bags or something you’d rather not carry around with you, there are lockers everywhere. Again, they only cost 100 won to use. And once you put the key back, you get your 100 won coin back. And some, like GS Mart in my city have playgrounds for the kids while the parents shop.

  2. That sounds like a really great idea! Reusable shopping bags and lockers!

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