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How To Start Your Kpop Collection

 

Image Credit: @mykpopla

 

As much as K-pop is all about the catchy music and awesome choreography it provides us, there's another thing that makes the K-pop stan life even more exciting, which is collecting K-pop merchandise!

 

Ateez at KCON | KCON USA

 

Fan culture has evolved tremendously for the past years. Before, fans can only see their faves from music videos and commercials, but now, we have the luxury of ultimate fan service with online and on-site activities such as live-streaming and fan meets. It is no doubt that the dedication of these fans also increases and even exceeds the limits of the internet with their K-pop merchandise collection. While some might think it's a waste of money, it's a beacon of joy for hardcore fans, and we're sure that you agree.

 

Image Credit: @ddaenqs 

 

From photo cards to dolls to image pickets, there are so many ways Kpop stans can show their love for their favorite groups. There are official goods that are produced by their respective companies which are available online and in particular shops. Of course, fans usually start their collection with their bias groups’ physical albums which generally include photo books and photo cards as well. These photo cards make collecting (and trading) more thrilling as some of these are rare and limited, and can come from concerts or other special events. Think of it as Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh! trading cards with your bias’ selfie on it! Even the concert experience is made more exciting with goods available during their solo concerts. They include shirts, cheering slogans, fans, and even power banks! One essential concert item is the group’s official lightstick as they make every event brighter, more colorful, and fun as you jam along with the hit songs!

 

Image Credit: glitternim on Etsy

 

Aside from official goods, fans also hoard fan goods. These fan goods are items made BY fans FOR fans and can be purchased from online marketplaces such as Etsy (here in the USA). Fansite goods are produced by the tireless fansite masters dedicated to their chosen idols. Additionally there are good that they usually release cheering bundles, an annual photobook, calendar, and season’s greetings to commemorate the year’s performances and events. Buying from these unnies (older sisters) will help them buy glamorous gifts for their chosen idols during special occasions or get them better camera equipment for their fansite.

 

Image Credit: @ipurplebtsshop  

 

Fan-made goods can be almost anything from keychains and phone cases to hoodies and jewelry! They are the easiest things to collect as they are comparably cheaper and readily available on the internet or in actual Kpop shops. So if you are a budding collector with a small budget, you may want to collect some fanmade trinkets to start. You can definitely find something whatever your budget is! Apparel and other wearables, be it from official shops or fan-made, are also essential especially as OOTDs for concerts or just your typical everyday wear. What better way to show support for your favorite group than literally wearing their logo and supporting a small business?

 

 kpop merch

Image Credit: @jiminandotherthings

 

There are endless possibilities for your K-Pop Merch collection! Although you should note that collecting fan goods is not necessary to be called a fan and must only be seen as a creative way to support your faves. This can also bring pride and identify you as a part of a particular fandom! Cool right? If you are curious about how to start your own, then keep on reading as we have the first steps in building your dream kpop collection listed below:

Decide how much you want to spend

Collecting Kpop merch mainly depends on your financial capacity. The physical albums and official goods can be expensive. You might also want to include the freight fees and taxes (especially when it’s shipped from South Korea) in your calculations. It is important not to go crazy and overspend especially if you don’t have the budget. It is totally fine to start small with the easiest things or get only a few of the valuable collectibles!

Ask yourself these questions

To begin, you must first ask yourself, “Which groups do you want to collect?” Since there are so many groups out there, both boy groups and girl groups, you might get overwhelmed with all the albums and cool merch available! Even if you are a multifandom, we suggest focusing on your ultimate bias groups to start with. Just pick one, or two if you can.
Then, ask again. Are you going to get everything? All members or only your bias? What are you collecting first? Albums and photocards? Make sure to get an idea of what you will collect. It’s quite difficult to decide but you really have to control your urge to splurge (Trust us, it’s hard!). You can make a list of the groups and things you would like to focus on and stick to it all throughout.

 

 1). Do your research

Aside from contemplating which group to collect and how much you would spend, take your time in researching about the items that you would like to get. Check its availability, how much it originally costs, and look for alternatives.
Pro-tip: You can start with the group’s latest releases first (before looking for rarer items) since it is more available and accessible. Build upon your faves before you run out of chances to get them!

2). Buy from trusted shops

K-pop merch is everywhere! You can find it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and other online Kpop shops. There are, as unlikely as it may seem, scammers out there as well. So be sure to check the reviews and the authenticity of the shop before placing an order.
Not sure where to start? Look for reviews or testimonials of satisfied customers. If you still aren't sure then please consider shopping with Kpop Exchange!

3). Find a place for storage and organize it!

Your collection would be of no use if you don’t display it! Allot a little corner in your room or even just a space in your bookshelf for your Kpop items. Make your collection pretty so you can showcase it to everyone else. You can even upload videos of your collection on Youtube, start your own K-pop blog or forum for updates on what you have gathered, or just show it off to your friends who come to visit!
Pro-tip: Utilize white bookshelves, you can definitely find some at Ikea, Target or Pottery Barn. Figure out in advance if you want the standard kind or the floating individual kind.

 

Kpop Merch 

Photo Credit: @taeluvspurple

 

Remember that everything starts small and you should feel no pressure in collecting your K-pop faves. Don’t overdo or spend beyond your budget. Take it slow, just enjoy the process and continue to support your idols. You can check out our shop here for some of your K-pop goodies to start with. What are you waiting for? Set small goals for yourself and start your collection today!

 

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