Tips and Tricks for Buying K-POP Concert Merch
Tips and Tricks for Buying K-POP Concert Merch
Happy 2019, guys!
It’s already been a solid week since the fireworks burst for the New Year and already so many things have happened. In order to prepare myself for the upcoming year – and the slew of concerts it will bring – I’ve been earning some extra cash by helping my friends out with buying concert merchandise. I figured it’d be easy money – go to the venue, wait in line, and buy things on behalf of my friends.
Oh, lord, I was wrong.
Now everyone has different reasons for wanting to buy concert merchandise. Most of the time, it’s for our own selves – there’s something so victorious about finally getting your hands on that official lightstick. Or maybe you’re doing it for a friend as you’re the lucky one who will be in Seoul when her bias is having a concert and can you please, please get her the slogan towel she saw on the announcement page? Maybe you want to earn some extra cash yourself. Hey – there is nothing wrong with charging a few extra bucks for your hard work, right?
But whatever your reasons, it’s utterly pointless if you get to the front only to realize that everything you want is gone. K-pop companies are especially notorious for under stocking (some more than others) so if you’re picking up more than a few items for yourself and others – emphasis on the “others” – here are a few tips to help you get your hands on all the goods – and avoid the dreaded SOLD OUT sign.
- Do your research
This is especially important if it’s your first time buying merchandise for a concert: it’s a simple yet difficult task to do, and it’s best to know what you’ll be up against so you won’t be caught off-guard.
Before you go on a spree, look up the information on the merchandise beforehand. When does it open? Where does it open? Are pre-orders allowed? Is there pick-up available at the venue if you do? Is anyone on Twitter offering to buy on behalf of the international fans? How much are the goods? How many is each person allowed to buy?
The last one is especially important as this will determine not only how many you’ll be able to buy (this how many friends you’d be able to help) but also how quickly the items are bound to sell out. If the item you want has a rather high limit, you might want to think about going early. If the item you want has a low limit, then maybe you can get away with going just a few hours before.
But it’s not just about knowing the merchandise.
- Know your idols
You also need to know just how popular your group is. There could be a vast difference between the popularity of your group and the popularity of your friend’s. Don’t just take her word for it when she says “Oh, I just walked in and got what I wanted.” Depending on how famous and popular the group is, it could mean going as early as the night before or even days before the event starts. For the BTS concert in August, some people went ahead and waited for almost a whole week before the day of the actual concert just so they’d be the first in line. For the Day6 Fanmeeting that my friend was running a group order for, we went the day before and ended up being on the first in line.
Now don’t go thinking you automatically have to go out and buying a campout kit. There’s another important thing to consider before you decide how much you have to go all out…
- Know the fans
In order to have the most optimal plan for getting all the goods you want, you have to scope out the competition. That means knowing how other fans in the fandom behave and predicting which items may be the first to go.
If you’ve been in the fandom long enough, you may begin to notice the patterns. it only took a few concerts for me to realize that Cassiopeia really likes clothes and blankets – either of the two were bound to sell within the first two hours. I also quickly learned that the Japanese and Chinese fans are hardcore and will most definitely camp out overnight and will definitely buy each and every one of those items. So if you want that T-shirt, you better get their early.
For Day6, on the other hand, my friend predicted that the items that were member-specific – as in the item came in forms individualized to a specific member in the group – would be the first to go, especially the ones of the more popular members. And she was right. One of the first items to go were the individualized keychains: if we hadn’t camped out the day before, half of her customers would’ve gotten none of the items they wanted because they had specifically asked for JB keychains. That’s a lot of refunds and broken hearts we were able to avoid because of my friend’s insight.
Now no one is saying you have to go all Sherlock Holmes to find out but investing a few minutes into asking around can’t hurt. Just ask yourself this: how much do you really want those photocards? If the answer is So Freakin’ Much, then you’re going to need to be prepared.
Speaking of being prepared…
- Check the weather
…especially if you’re going in the dead of winter or in the heat of summer. Korean weather is rarely forgiving during those times of the year so you really need to know what to expect if you’re going to be camping out. Check the weather predictions on your phone and take note of any temperature changes or predictions of precipitation. Nothing sucks more than to go there only to get soaking wet because you don’t have an umbrella when it suddenly rains.
Which brings me to my next point…
- Be over-prepared
Weather app says only 20% of rain? Bring the umbrella. Weather feels warmer today? You better take that scarf before your mom makes you! You never know what is going to happen while you’re waiting – usually outdoors – and putting yourself at the mercy of Mother Nature. It’s not just the weather you should be prepared for either. Always bring extra cash when going, and not just the exact amount you plan to use at the concert. What if you decide you want to buy more? What if someone in front of you offers to buy a merch you didn’t think you’d be able to buy? Getting out of line to get something you realize you need is never fun, especially when you’ve been waiting all night just so you can be in the front.
But no matter how well-prepared you are, there’s still the chance that you might fail. In which case…
- It’s okay to fail.
It’s important to remember that your whole life does not revolve around a few pieces of merchandise, no matter how pretty they might be. A lot of the fans who do end up buying the items usually end up getting rid of them or reselling them after a while anyways, because most of the time, its utterly useless stuff. In fact, if you’re the patient type, just give it a couple of months – I guarantee there will be someone selling theirs at a cheaper price. You can just buy it then: if you still want it, that is.