While browsing shops and convenience stores in South Korea, you’ve probably noticed signs on some items saying 1+1, 2+1, or another combination of two numbers.
1+1, 2+1, or another combination of two numbers on items is a way of discounting items and goods in South Korea. Instead of putting a percentage discount on items and goods, stores and shops sometimes give a discount in the form of an additional unit of the item or a good for free if you purchase a specific amount.
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For example, if an item is labeled as 2+1, you can buy two of them and get an extra one for free, which equals a 33% discount on all three. The first number is the amount that you need to purchase to get the second number in additional units for free.
These 1+1, 2+1, etc.-type discounts can either apply to one specific product or a category of products.
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What is 1+1, 2+1, etc., in stores in South Korea?
When you’re in South Korea, you have to visit the many exciting shops and, of course, the convenience stores.
In convenience stores and some regular shops, you’ll encounter signs on some items saying 1+1, 2+1, or another combination of two numbers.
These 1+1, 2+1, etc. signs are discount signs that tell you how many of a specific item you need to purchase to get an extra for free.
If a sign says 1+1, for example, you get one extra for free when you buy one. This equates to a 50% discount on the two items.
Technically, stores could offer any combination of the two numbers as a discount, but I have never personally seen any X+2 or higher or any Y+1 where Y is higher than 4.
1+1, 2+1, etc. discounts can apply to either one specific item or to a category of items, where you can pick any within the category and get the discount.
If you can’t read Korean, look at the sign with the discount on it for logos, pictures, and colors.
As you can see in the image above, the discount labels have either pictures of the products or their logo on them when the discount is across a category of similar products and are color-coordinated.
Stores also sometimes use percentages for displaying discounts. This is usually done in grocery stores and department shops with products that cost a bit more.
If you have missed a 1+1 deal, etc., when you bring your items to check out at the counter, the employee will usually inform you that a specific item has a deal and that you can pick an additional one for free.
That’s what the discounts 1+1, 2+1, etc. mean in stores in South Korea!
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