13 Amazing Things You Can Do at a 7-Eleven

This post was last updated on June 29th, 2014

13 amazing things you can do at 7-Eleven

Before we came to Taiwan, I couldn’t even remember the last time I had seen a 7-Eleven. Even if I had grown up with a 7-Eleven around the corner, I don’t think I would have thought twice about it. Unless I happened to be craving a Slurpee.

But now, I have about thirty-five 7-Elevens around the corner. You might think I’m exaggerating, and…well, I am. But only slightly. 7-Elevens are seriously everywhere in Taiwan, with nearly 5,000 stores in a country the size of North Carolina. That ranks Taiwan as having one of the highest densities of 7-Elevens in the world.

7 Eleven Taiwan

Not only are 7-Elevens convenient for their location, but also for the fact that you can do almost anything there. Don’t believe me? Read on.

 

13 Amazing Things You Never Knew You Could Do at a 7-Eleven

 

1.    Get your dry cleaning done

Haven’t tried this one firsthand yet, but for around US$3 you can drop off your dry cleaning at 7-Eleven and they’ll take care of it for you.

 

2.    Pay bills and tickets

Electricity. Water. Insurance. Pesky speeding tickets from when your motorcycle was caught on camera. Just take ‘em in, scan the barcode, and pay up.

 

3.    Call a taxi

Once we saw a family of foreigners walking in the middle of a busy Taipei intersection, beer cans in hand, frantically waving their arms above their heads, all the while screaming for a taxi. I was embarrassed for them. No need to act like you’re in the middle of a crisis—next time you need a lift just ask the attendant at the nearest 7-Eleven to call one for you.

 

4.    Recharge your cell phone minutes

Most cell phones in Taiwan are pay-as-you-go. Which means, inevitably, I’m quite bad about keeping my cell stocked up with minutes. (Even if it takes about five seconds to purchase more, and my friends at the 7-Eleven will do all the work for me.) Oh well.

 

5.    Renew your driver’s license

If you’re a foreigner, your license expires annually. We didn’t realize this, so when Dan tried to rent a scooter in Taitung, we were quite surprised to be rejected because the expiration date had passed. Our Taiwanese friend just told us he could renew it at the 7—now we just need to give it a try. Anyone have experience with this one?

 

6.    Send packages

You can only send them from 7-Eleven to 7-Eleven, but it still beats the lines at the post office. Not to mention 7-Elevens probably dominate post offices by, like, twenty-to-one.

 

7.    Buy tickets to shows and games

There’s an ATM-like machine in every 7-Eleven store. It’s called the ibon. This is your source for any kind of ‘ticket’ you need. We knew this before, but then forgot, and went all the way to Taipei to purchase Cirque du Soleil tickets last year. (We couldn’t navigate the Chinese website…) It was a bit embarrassing when we arrived at the venue and they just pointed us to the adjacent 7-Eleven to purchase the tickets.

 7 Eleven ibon

8.    Buy meals, beverages, clothing, stationary…

This ones a bit obvious, but of course it had to be on the list. Snacks, full on meals, coffee, and alcohol can all be found. As well as about fifty different kinds of tea. And fresh produce. And underwear. Depending on the store, the selection can be quite encompassing.

 

9.    Have said meals prepared for you

Not only can you buy meals, whoever is working will microwave and prepare them for you. Unfortunately we still don’t have a microwave (something we probably should have bought right away) and we’ve actually brought in Thanksgiving leftovers for them to microwave for us. I don’t know if this is normally frowned upon or not, but the staff sure got a laugh out of it.

 

10. Redeem Taiwan Receipt Lottery winnings

On every receipt in Taiwan there is a number. And every two months, a select few of those numbers are chosen as the lottery winners. Earnings can range from NT$200 to NT$10 million. As long as you’re only slightly lucky and the winning is NT$200 (which is the most we’ve ever one) the 7-Eleven will redeem it for you.

 

11. Use Wi-Fi

There’s free Wi-Fi, but you do have to sign up for it.

 

12. Use an ATM (which can also wire money)

This is also a staple of most convenient stores, but the ATMs here are especially handy. Not only can you withdraw money, you can use them to send money to other bank accounts. Most hotels require you to wire a small deposit in order to hold your reservation, so you might actually find yourself using this feature more often than you would expect.

 

13. Print, fax, and copy

I don’t really have anything to say about this one. Pretty explanatory I guess?

 

On top of all that, there’s an awesome sticker reward system. With any purchase, you get a bunch of really annoying small stickers that seem to pop up absolutely everywhere around your apartment. In return for organizing them in your sticker book, you can redeem the stickers for super adorable Hello Kitty trinkets and other ‘cute’ collectibles. Or ice cream, which is what Dan tends to hoard them for.

7 Eleven Collectables

Pretty amazing, right? And I still bet we missed a whole bunch of great things 7-Elevens can do. By all means, if you can add to our list, please do.

 

What do you use 7-Elevens for? 

 

Interested in learning more about all Taiwan has to offer? Download our free eBook, 101 Tips to Living in Taiwan, for an all inclusive guide to life in Taiwan.

 

30 Comments

  1. Haha, this is great. There are 7 Elevens everywhere here in San Diego, but I rarely go to them. I hear they are the most convenient places to rent Redbox movies, though!

    Reply
    • Thanks Rachel! Redbox movies are definitely something that not only the 7s but all of Taiwan is missing :-)

      Reply
    • Great question! You can definitely get something that is Slurpee-like. I never do, so I don’t know how authentic they taste, but they have the same frozen flavored drink machines as the US. Thanks for the comment!

      Reply
    • Yes you can ans is the same thing as in the US, nevertheless is only available between March and November I think, people barely drink cold stuff then. Sometimes they may have 1 flavor only in cold season.

      Reply
    • Thanks Kindra! Asia definitely knows how to work its convenient stores. I think Japan is where the headquarters are, so I can imagine they are everywhere there too!

      Reply
      • According to Wikipedia, they are headquartered in Irving, TX

        Reply
  2. I don’t understand why there aren’t any 7 Eleven in Europe. We discovered them while traveling in SEA and it’s truly unbelievable how many things you can do there as you pointed out.
    Franca recently posted…LOCATE CAVEY – VientianeMy Profile

    Reply
    • They really are amazing. I’m surprised they haven’t found a market in Europe too!

      Reply
    • In the Netherlands we have supermarkets where we can do the same things as in a 7/11. They are normally located just outside the centre and tend to be bigger.

      Reply
  3. Nice post! Have you been to Jakarta before? There is a 7 11 which basically becomes a bar at night as the beer is cheap and they have seats outside do you just sit and drink!

    Reply
    • Love it! We’ve been to Jakarta, but we didn’t stay for too long because our timing coincided with some flooding. There are a few places like that here as well though that turn into makeshift bars, depending upon your budget for the evening :-)

      Reply
  4. 7-11s are magic! I love exploring all the whacky new packaged foods in each country, and of course, getting my SIM card and cell phone minutes topped up. The one in Jakarta sounds awesome.

    Reply
    • 7-11s are definitely good when it comes to tailoring their products to the local area! I really don’t know what I would do without being able to top up my minutes at the 7. Although I’ll admit, I’m coming up on about 4 weeks with a balance of 0 :-p

      Reply
  5. The manager of our apartment complex gives us rent invoices that we can pay at the 7. As an English teacher, it is convenient to pick up Hi-Chews, Mentos, or those popular orange crackers for the kids as treats. Oh, and microwave popcorn, yummm!

    Reply
    • We always take our bills to the 7-Eleven. Just scan the barcode and pay at the register and it’s done. Super simple! My students went nuts for Hi-Chews as well and for good reason. They are delicious! :-)

      Reply
  6. Nice article , was looking for some article for 7-11 in Taiwan for my friends to tell them how convenient and luxary the 7-11 is in Taiwan.
    The service is always good and yes having them microwave ur leftover is just something they would do as a favor without extra charge and with smiles on their faces. They do have slurpee , they call it “Slur-bin.” Bin mean ice in Manderin. It is not as sweet as the ones I tried in North America which I find the slurped could be too sweet here in the 7-11 in North America. And their hot food section is good, you get sishi, onigini( the triangle sushin) lunch box( bento box),hot soup noodles, cold noodles,sandwiches, burgers, salad and much more. They also have hot, fresh brewed expreso , something like from Starbucks , like green tea latte …. Etc, not just an americano from the coffee machine. and their hot dog is good, it’s more like German or polish sausages. They also have some fancy desserts too. If you run out of time but need to put up a party right quick , you basically get everything from them! And as for shipping parcels and stuff, you are not only able to ship them from store to store, you can have them mailed it to any addresses in Taiwan. It costs a bit more than shopping by local post office but it’s usually shipped before 3 or 4 pm at the day and delivered next day in your choice of the time of the day! Enjoy the convenience and friendliness and the comfortness from a 7-11 in Taiwan today :D

    Reply
    • We were shocked at how much 7-11 has to offer compared to back in the USA. They really do have it all :-)

      Reply
  7. Forgot to mention they have a spaghetti and different types of Italian food , I love their spaghetti!!! It is really YUMMY!!! :P

    Reply
  8. Great article! One thing I think wasn’t mentioned is that you can order from catalogs and online shopping sites and have the goods delivered to a 7-11.

    When I was last in Taiwan, I used the IBON machines A LOT – unfortunately they are only in Chinese but if you ask for help the first time you can memorize the buttons for next time!

    It is worth mentioning that as well as a seemingly endless amount of 7-11’s, there is also Family Mart, Hi-Life and OK Mart which do similar services. :D All these stores are open 24 hours so you can buy hot coffee at 4 in the morning if that’s what you fancy!

    Reply
    • Thanks for commenting Sue! Taiwan takes the term “convenience store” to a whole new level :-p We LOVE it!

      Reply
    • I used to have to use the IBONs to buy tickets back to the mainland when I was serving in the Army out on Kinmen Island.

      Reply
  9. i like to know if taiwans 7-11 sells greek yogurt???

    Reply
    • If only! Casey would have bought out the whole store if they did :-p

      Reply
  10. I am so glad I found this post, we have been in Taiwan for a few days, and couldn’t figure out what all these little stickers were for. Starting a sticker book now…

    Reply
  11. I lived in Taiwan for a few years. It was really fun to see the different convenient stores. I loved seeing the battle between 7 and Family Mart. The best thing in my opinion was the copy and fax machine. It was really cheap too.

    Reply
  12. Having a cup of coffee here also great too. It’s not really good as in coffee shop but much more convenient.

    Reply
  13. Haha, this is great. Love this article!

    Reply
  14. This is great, i love this article!

    Reply

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