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Understanding the Inside World of K-Pop Online Selling

Understanding the Inside World of K-Pop Online Selling

For several years, since my earliest days in high school, I have been collecting merchandise of my favorite idol groups. Whether those officials from CNA or unofficials from Divisoria, you bet I have them cherished in my collection “altar.” I bet you are wondering how the heck my minor self was able to purchase and maintain an expensive hobby. Well, I have one answer for you: K-Pop online selling.

Korean pop music is not for everyone, and I respect that. But did you also know that the world of K-Pop BNS is not for every single fan out there? Now, that’s a whole different story!

Coming from the point of view of a K-Pop fan slash online seller, here are my important realizations. Eventually making me come to the conclusion that this is not just “online selling.”

Know your fandom

Why would I attempt to sell a group’s merchandise that I am unfamiliar with? Entering this K-Pop side made me realize that buying and selling is more than being familiar with a certain idol. Factors include the constant shift in demand that heavily relies on the artist’s fandom, which is a huge risk. Today, you might earn thousands from selling the group’s album, but who knows what happens the next day? They might also be the reason for your bankruptcy without your knowledge because you haven’t kept up with the fans.

One fun tip I learned from this when doing online selling: if you can’t beat them (competitors), join them (fandom). So I believe K-Pop selling is more enjoyable if you stan the artists themselves!

Recognize their “names”

Yes, you heard me say names! But it is not the name that you are thinking of— because I am talking about the idols’ photocard names. It might be a silly trend, but K-Pop fans are fond of giving quirky titles to their photocards. It’s amusing to have nicknames for those pieces of paper like *insert idol name* poke cheek, manliligaw, sakristan, bonakid, etc. And for some reason, this causes photocards to increase in demand, probably because of the humor added to their name.

Build a friendly persona

An online business owner has professionalism as a common trait, but it works slightly differently in a K-Pop setting. Seven years and counting, I realized that most fans are more at ease when K-Pop sellers use a friendlier approach. You can add emojis, maintain approachability, adapt to the stan twt behavior, or converse on topics related to their idols. Instead of purely maintaining a serious image that can be interpreted as intimidating. Of course, professionalism is always included, but keep in mind that mixing it with a friendlier background keeps them engaged.

This is solely not an investment

Merchandise collecting has high possibilities that you’ll gather a huge sum once you resell all of them in the end. But what happened to collecting stuff for the sake of joy and entertainment? Some K-Pop fans think of their collections as pure investments— and I think that is the root of the problem. Once they opened an online business to sell their stocked merch, and did not gain their expected profit, they’re disappointed. Before fans invest in collecting, answer the question first, “Will this make me happy without expecting something big in return?”

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Choose hobby over profit

If you are a fan, selling K-Pop merchandise should be viewed more as a hobby than a business. In the first place, your target consumers are younger fans who are mostly students who only rely on limited allowance. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it is expected that the majority of them will not spend enormously.

This is the saddest thing that I have realized, and it took me years before I accepted defeat. No matter how rare it is, some selling goods are close to being priced at half of their original price. To ease my dismay, I just think of K-Pop selling as another hobby to kill time. And also because collecting K-Pop merchandise genuinely makes me happy—earning pennies is just a bonus.

More than that

To understand the inside world of K-Pop online selling, you gotta understand first how it works. It could be a business, it could be happiness, it could really depend on your choices. So make sure you know your priorities and set what you think is best for your K-Pop lifestyle!

If you’re also a K-Pop collector and would like to explore the world of online selling, I hope this helps. Keep in mind these two mottos: spend wisely and happy collecting!

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