Things to consider before buying K-pop merch

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 8) - As the coronavirus crisis forced us to stay home, K-pop has become a cure for the pandemic blues for many.

Regardless of age, many have become instant fans of BTS, Blackpink, Twice, EXO, Red Velvet, Mamamoo, and other K-pop groups and artists. Others have also invested on K-pop merchandise.

If you are considering to start your own K-pop collection - from albums to photocards - here are some things you might want to consider.

Start saving

Be updated about your favorite group or singer's comeback releases. Even before an official announcement is made about their upcoming album, it would be better to start saving and set a budget for that.

Albums usually cost around ₱600 to ₱1,500 - depending if it's a single release, a mini or full album. The price also depends on the version of the album. There are albums that come with photobooks while some were released on vinyl or cassette tapes, which usually cost more than the usual CD version.

If your group makes a comeback twice a year, you can also start saving for their second album.

READ: Escaping through K-pop

Pre-ordering is cheaper

If you already have enough budget, then you can pre-order albums or any other merchandise. Pre-order prices are cheaper than store prices. It also usually comes with perks, like photocard sets, postcards, or posters.

Check for legit sellers and compare prices

You can check out K-pop merchandise stores on social media and online shopping websites.

When looking at online stores, always check customer feedback and ratings. Also check if the shop posts an update on orders and deliveries.

READ: The price of being a K-pop fan

If it's your first time to buy K-pop merchandise, you can ask friends or fellow fans if they can recommend a store for you.

Whether you're pre-ordering or buying on-hand items, it's better to browse through online shops first and compare prices. Also consider the shipping fee. It would be better to look for shops near your area for cheaper delivery rates.

Regardless of age, many have become instant fans of BTS, Blackpink, Twice, EXO, Red Velvet, Mamamoo, and other K-pop groups and artists. Others have also invested on K-pop merchandise.

'Tingi' items are available

K-pop albums are like treasure boxes. Aside from the CD, you also get photocards, postcards, stickers, photobooks, and posters.

But if a complete album set is out of your budget, or you just want a specific item, some online sellers are offering album inclusions individually.

Not owning any merchandise doesn't make you less of a fan

Before buying anything, always ask yourself these questions:

"Do I need it?"

"Do I like it?"

If you do and you have the budget, go for it. Otherwise, it's fine.

Remember, being a K-pop fan is not measured by how many albums or merchandise you have. Having little or none does not make you less of a fan.