It is quite standard the way you can buy things, you can go to an actual place and buy something or you can buy something online and have it delivered to you. So, there aren’t many surprises in this post, but I do mention some facts that may help you when you do decide to buy flowers in Korea.
Here are all the ways you can buy flowers in Korea and some pros and cons for each method. I will share the most difficult ways to purchase first and finish with the easiest method.
1. Buying fresh flowers directly from importers
Pro: You can choose from a wide variety of products.
Con: It is very difficult. To be honest, we at Flower Gift Korea don’t even know how to buy directly from importers yet. Also, they only sell in big bulks, so you’ll have to order at least a couple hundred or a thousand at a time of one single flower type. And the flowers are not cut (pruned), they have all the thorns, leaves, etc.
Most of the imported flowers can be found at the Express Bus Terminal flower market, as the merchants there purchase international flowers from various importers.
2. Buying fresh flowers from farmers in Korea (or at the auction)
Pro: You can ensure that merchants/resellers don’t overcharge you. (This is no easy task though)
Con: They usually only sell through the flower auction at the Yangjae flower market or directly to consumers that regularly purchase large orders. Also, at the auction, you can’t even inspect each flower because they come in large boxes, each filled with hundreds of flowers. And there are a lot of people at the auctions competing to purchase the best quality flowers. Also, none of the flowers are prepared.
Here is a shot I took when I was at the Yangjae Flower Auction Center:
*If you look carefully, you can see the auctioneer in the booth, flowers on rolling carts, and people making electronic bids. Boxes are rolled out and are bought within a matter of seconds.
3. Buying fresh flowers from a merchant at one of the various flower markets
Pro: You can usually see the quality of each flower that you are going to purchase. But, a lot of the merchants get angry when you actually touch their flowers…
Con: You have to cut the flowers yourself, you are at the mercy of the merchants, and it can get really crowded. Also, some of the merchants aren’t very friendly. And some hide bad quality flowers in the middle of a bunch. And just try asking for a refund…let me know if you actually receive it.
*An important thing to know is that the merchants get their flowers from farmers at the auction or directly from them. More often than not, they will purchase the flowers at the auction. The auctions start at 12:00am (midnight), so it’s not easy to take part in one, and you have to buy a single flower type by the hundreds.
Here is a shot of one of the flower markets in Korea:
*If you look carefully, you can see two merchants near the middle, a potential buyer on the right, and the various flowers available for purchase on the left.
4. Buying fresh flowers from a florist (shop)
Pro: You can see the quality of the flowers that they have on hand. They are usually very kind and can sometimes fulfill your request on the spot, most of the time.
Con: They may not have the flowers you want on hand, they may not be able to fulfill your request, and it obviously cost more than buying flowers directly at a flower market.
5. Purchasing flowers from an online florist
Pro: It is convenient to make a purchase.
Con: They may not send you a good quality product, they are usually not actual florists, and they often provide bad customer service.
These are the 5 ways you can buy flowers in Korea. Each way has pros and cons. It is up to you to decide which method suits you. It is obviously ideal to check the quality of all of the flowers you purchase before they are sent to your loved one, but sometimes you are too busy to do so. Find a method that best suits you.