The fish market apologized for ‘changing’… When I came home, I saw another ‘cut off leg’
On the 16th at 2:00 pm, the traditional fish market in Soraepo-gu, Incheon. It was a hot sunny day, but customers who came to buy seafood such as salted fish, fish, and blue crabs were looking around the store. Two days ago, merchants at Sorae Pogu bowed in front of media cameras, promising to “end up against soliciting, mix-and-sell, dumping (adding water to increase weight), and gouging.” It was an apology for being hit by public opinion when an article saying, “I bought a live blue crab at Soraepogu, but when I got home, it turned out to be a crab with a broken leg.” Merchants walked around the market holding pickets that read “recovering customer trust,” and said, “We will continue to educate so that there will be no more unsavory incidents.” But how much has it changed?
◇ Apology and soliciting behavior that is still
the same When I visited the fish market in Soraepogu two days after bowing and apologizing, it was difficult to feel the change that the merchants pledged. As soon as they entered the market, merchants shouting “Come here, sister” and “I’ll give it to you cheaply, buy it here” continued. They said, “If you go to another store, the prices are all the same,” and “I will weigh it for you, so buy it here.”
In traditional markets, solicitation to attract customers can be tolerated to some extent. However, the price initially called and the price finally offered by the merchants were different. He said that female crabs cost 35,000 won and male crabs 20,000 won per 1kg, and if they went to another store, they would pay 30,000 won and 18,000~19,000 won, respectively. It wasn’t a ‘surcharge of generosity’, but as a consumer, I was confused because I couldn’t tell which price was real.I bought 2 kg of male crab directly from a store that charges 18,000 won for 1 kg of male crab while holding up a large, sturdy bow crab. Holding two baskets on top of each other, he said, “I’ll pick out a good one,” and stirred the tank to put a few of them in, then showed the scale number marked 2.31kg. There was no time to check if the numbers on the scale had stopped. The merchant said, “I will give you an ice box as a service,” and put the crab in a box and tied it with a string and handed it over. He couldn’t confirm which crab he bought. When I got home and opened the box, four out of five crabs were legless. It had only one claw leg, and the leg that should have been attached to the body was missing. It was similar to the picture posted by the author who said he had been replaced with crabs.
In 2012 alone, Soraepogu in Incheon was a representative tourist destination in the metropolitan area, visited by 8.45 million people, more than Everland and Lotte World안전놀이터. However, as the notoriety of gouging increased, the number of visitors decreased, and merchants held midnight competitions in 2013, 2020, last year and this year to eradicate gouging and exchange. The negative image of Soraepogu is not improving as the same situation is repeated in the midnight competition held several times over the past 10 years.
◇ Overpriced local festivals
This situation is not unique to Sorae Pogu. A similar problem is repeated at local festivals. Yeongyang-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do, posted a public apology after a merchant sold a bag of traditional snacks for 70,000 won at a local festival visited by TV program performers. Since then, each local government has promised to crack down on festival foods. However, at the ‘Environmental Love Festival’ held on the 11th in Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, a case of overcharge was raised, saying that poor pig barbecue was sold for 40,000 won and soju in a bottled water was sold for 5,000 won. The Gangneung Dano Festival, which was held from the 18th, advertised that the menu prices were unified at 12,000 won for 2 pieces of potato pancakes and 6,000 won for Danoju. ‘ is on sale.
The reason why there is a controversy over price gouging and dissatisfaction with products in traditional markets and local festivals is that the information provided to customers is insufficient or inaccurate. If the type, weight, and price of the product being sold are not clearly marked, consumers have no choice but to check the product after paying for it. Han Sang-rin, a professor of business administration at Hanyang University, said, “Local governments are cracking down on price marking whenever something similar happens, but they can’t control the greed of merchants who regard tourists as ‘travelers’ who come and go only once.” Nowadays, it is also a way to promote ethical sales by merchants by promoting ‘good shops’ or ‘merchants’.”