There are over 40 used car dealers in the dedicated complex in Sinwol-dong in Yangcheon in western Seoul, but only one in this male world of cheap suits and aggressive patter is run and staffed entirely by women. It looks more like a caf rather than a garage, decorated with pink and white wallpaper, dolls, magazines, and an espresso machine.
Owner Oh Young-a (31) says, “We get an average of 100 calls a day and sometimes up to 150”. She already has 10 years’ experience in a field that seldom attracts women.
“Who says women don’t know about cars? It’s hard in the beginning, but customers like us because we are friendlier and have more attention to details than male dealers”, she says.
While she was preparing for university to study design, she worked as a part-timer in a second-hand car dealership. “It was fun. I loved cars and I loved meeting new people. It suited me perfectly because I’m very sociable”.
She hates hearing things like, “She sells cars with her looks”, or “She’s a woman so she wouldn’t know about cars”.
So she got a car appraisal license and is currently studying for a mechanic’s license. Four years ago she started her own blog, wanting to break the prejudice that used cars and the people who deal in them can’t be trusted.
Her blog explains the entire process, from inquiries to finding a suitable car and delivering it to the customer.
Her efforts have paid off with excellent reviews. “The best way is to win customers’ trust. We go through list of used cars across the country until we find a suitable match. We take pictures and videos of even the smallest dent to communicate with customers as best as we can”, she says.