By Yoon Ja-young
Online secondhand markets were typically places to buy and sell small, miscellaneous items, but they are expanding quickly in terms of the range of products. An increasing number of people in the country are putting luxurious goods and even gold bars up for sale and such transactions are raising suspicion of attempting to avoid taxes.
According to Rep. Park Hong-keun of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, luxury watches and gold bars were traded on the secondhand marketplace application, Danggeun Market. There were a number of Rolex watches, priced between 56 million won ($48,000) and 93.5 million won, as well as a 30 million won gold bar up for sale.
Recently, a Danggeun Market user in Seocho District, southern Seoul, made headlines after she was found to have posted around 13 billion won ($11.13 million) worth of luxury goods for sale on the app. Among the items she uploaded for sale was a Rolex GMT Master 2 watch with a 165 million won price tag, two Piaget watches costing 89.99 million won and 82 million won, respectively, and a Rolex Day Date with a 48 million won price tag. A 6.55 million won Van Cleef bracelet and a 17 million won Sapphire ring were also among the items on her list and the app showed that many of the items she put up for sale were sold as they were priced "reasonably low" according to those who purchased her goods.
|Rolex watches traded on Danggeun Market|
However, trading of luxury goods through online secondhand markets involves risks. According to Yonhap News, police are searching for a man who reportedly ran away with a 9 million won Omega watch. He told the seller, whom he met through Danggeun Market, that he would like to try the watch on before purchasing it, but ran away after snatching the certificate of authenticity.
Rep. Park pointed out that the trading of luxury goods on secondhand marketplace platforms involves loopholes in taxation. People selling goods or services should report and pay value-added taxes, but they are not regulated even if they continue selling luxury goods through the platform.
"While people selling goods at other online platforms are subject to taxes, there is no taxation in platforms where secondhand items are traded. There is a possibility for the marketplace to be used for money laundering," the lawmaker noted.