Buying albums from your favorite Kpop group or idol is almost a must for a dedicated fan, but since you are here you are most likely new to Kpop or just haven’t been bothered with buying albums until now, and I will tell you all the things I know as a Kpop collector and a Kpop fan for almost a decade. It’s important to know every country is different in terms of shipping, taxes & etc, and what might be a cheaper option for me might not be the same for you, but I promise this post will still help you a lot if you are new to buying Kpop albums.
The main ways to buy Kpop albums are to buy albums from a retail store or second-hand from other Kpop fans, though there are many different stores and marketplaces to choose from.
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If you want to buy new albums then online retail stores are the best way to do exactly that. Korean stores are the most common ones which are located in Korea and deliver internationally, but there might also be local Kpop stores in your country or your area. Every store offers different shipping options, bundle discount & etc., and it’s up to you to choose the stores that fit you the most.
If you are going to buy only one or two albums at a time then a local Kpop store might be more beneficial to you since you save a lot on shipping cost, and if you are going to buy a few or more albums then a Korean store will overall be better.
These are sites that I have used and they are a pretty safe bet when starting out, but there are many more to choose from.
For people who don’t care if the albums are totally new and want to save some money while buying albums, then buying second-hand is perfect for you, and it helps the environment by reducing material waste and it might reduce your CO2 footprint since it’s more local.
The only downside with buying second-hand is that you are not directly supporting the idols/groups since they do not get a cut of the sale like when buying from a retail store.
Ebay or any marketplaces is a great place to find rare albums that are no longer being sold in retail stores, but you should also be wary of scalpers that are selling rare albums for outrageous prices and scammers. Facebook has special groups where Kpop fans are looking to sell and buy Kpop albums, photocard, merch & etc. On Instagram and Twitter you can search on tags like #kpopalbumsale #btsalbumsale #twicewts.
WTS – Want To Sell
WTT – Want To Trade
LTB – Looking To Buy
It’s important to know that buying second-hand definitely doesn’t make you less of a fan!!
When an artist is having a debut or comeback there will be a few weeks of promotion. Before the release of the album there will be pre-order events and during the promotion there will also be video call fansign events, and these events are usually runned by specific stores.
During these events they will sell the album the artist’s promoting and it usually comes with different types of benefits, the most common benefit is photocards that are unique to that event. You also have the chance to have a video call with your favorite artist when buying albums during video call fansign events.
Mwave sells signed albums for a short period during promotions, but there are only a few artists that do signed albums with Mwave.
If you are lucky enough there might be an actual physical store near you that you can check out, and if you are even more lucky they might have a clearance sale or they have some rare albums.