Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Tips on Buying KPop Merch Online

Being a KPop fan, specifically a BTS one, is not easy on the wallet if you easily get tempted by the merchandise that comes out to promote the group. Now that they are taking time apart to do solo projects (and enlist in the military), there is more merch being promoted and sold because promotions are now individually done and not as a group.

Based on my experiences with buying BTS merch, I have learned a thing or two about buying these items online. Here are some lessons I have learned that could be useful for first-time buyers: 

Read Reviews

The first time I bought one was when I bought an Army Bomb for my niece sometime back in 2018 or 2019. I bought it online from a seller on Lazada who assured me that it was an original from Korea. It was a bit expensive, so I had to check the reviews of people who have bought from this seller. Thankfully, everyone was thanking the seller for making these items available on Lazada and vouched for the items being originals from Weverse, the official store for BTS merch. As for the price, I saw that it was only slightly higher than the cost of the item from Weverse, which I suppose would not be surprising since there are shipping costs to consider (more about that later). Luckily for me, the item was the real deal, and my niece was very happy about it.

Local Online Resellers are Your Friends, Just Look for the Legit Ones

Many online resellers out there sell BTS merch as purchased from Weverse, including items endorsed by BTS that can only be bought in Korea. The trick here is finding the legit resellers. I know some people who have been scammed by stores selling supposedly hard-to-find items or items that have already been sold out on Weverse. They paid the person and then that seller disappears once payment has been made. It would be best to ask around with those who have made purchases online to know which online stores or resellers they go to for their merch. I made my list of recommendations on our off-season episode of the Fandesals Podcast, you can watch the video embedded at the end of this post. 

Start Small

If you find online sellers recommended by other friends or family (or this post), it would be best to start small. Make a small purchase just to see how the seller manages the entire process. You get to see the payment options, how fast they reply to inquiries, the delivery service that they use, their system of taking orders and updating you on your purchase status, etc. Once you are satisfied with how the seller does its business, it would be safe to order higher-ticket items from them. This is how I started with a couple of stores and have stuck with them since then. There is a risk involved with buying from online resellers, so it is best to make sure you are dealing with someone who is legitimately doing business and not just some scammer wanting to make the easy cash. 

Learn the Art of Patience

When buying online, be it on Weverse or with online resellers, the art of patience is very important. Resellers will be the ones who will buy the items you need in Korea, and it will take some time for them to ship them to the country compared to when you purchase them from Weverse. BUT, given the price difference, good things come to those who wait!

Weverse is Pricey but Efficient

Weverse is still the best place to buy items if you want to get them right away. Shipping from Weverse happens on the day that the items are marked for release on the store and get to you in around a week or so via DHL. Sometimes it gets to you even faster, and it feels like you were just buying something locally. The only catch is the price: the Weverse shipping fee is practically the same as the item shipped. So, if you buy an item worth P1,500.00, expect the shipping fee to be just as much. The more items you add, the cost of that item will be the additional shipping cost as well. If you want to collect the credits from Weverse that can be used for future purchases, then by all means buy from Weverse. If you have the money and don’t want to wait to get the item, go ahead. But if you are on a budget and you are willing to wait, online resellers are your best bet. 

Be Practical

Buying BTS merch is fun, but it is an expensive habit to have. If you have the budget, then lucky you! Go buy all the merch you want! But if you are like me with bills to pay and people to support, you must learn to pick and choose which items you want. Learn to prioritize. I’m sure that BTS wouldn’t want their fans to go broke for them so just choose wisely. It’ll help you stay on a budget and save a bit. That way you’ll have enough money in 2025 when everyone is back together again!

Hopefully, someone out there will find these lessons/tips I have shared useful when it comes to purchasing BTS merchandise online. For the resellers I mentioned, here is the Fandesals Podcast episode on the topic. Happy shopping everyone!


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