Although the purchasing of albums worldwide has declined due to the increased popularity of streaming websites, one industry that has not seen this is K-Pop. It seems as if more and more fans are buying physical albums from their favorite artists, and you can’t blame them!
Most Western albums contain a CD and a booklet filled with lyrics and messages from the artists. Yet, K-Pop fans are treated to a novel-length photobook full of fabulous images…
And the highly anticipated photocards…
There have been concerns raised about the sustainability of albums after many fans mass-purchasing for photocards and fansigns yet discarded the albums afterward.
More recently, fans have been raising their worries about the mass-purchasing of signed albums and then reselling them for extortionate prices. Any K-Pop fan will know how precious and rare signed albums are, as they can only be bought off limited websites or won through fansigns.
One of those websites that have that sells signed albums is Hello82. The company recently started shipping signed versions of ATEEZ‘s latest album, FEVER: Epilogue, to fans who were lucky enough to manage to buy the limited product.
When they arrived, fans rightly couldn’t hide their excitement at opening their albums signed by their favorite group.
Yet, one user gained attention online after raising concerns about a “fan” who had managed to mass purchase many of the signed albums and then sold them for $175 USD each, without shipping.
Although it might seem like an acceptable price looking at the popularity of ATEEZ, fans quickly pointed out that it was considerably more expensive than the original price when purchasing. The album cost $23.95 USD and came to less than $50 USD dollars altogether with shipping.
These signed albums were limited and sold out in seconds and were almost impossible for fans outsides of the US. Many pointed out that it was unfair of that person to buy so many albums, especially if they did it with the purpose of reselling it at almost three times the price.
They also pointed out that if the person had bought more in the hope of having all of the members but received duplicates, then the right thing to do was sell it at the original price.
Of course, it isn’t the first time that K-Pop fans have raised their concerns about this idea of reselling items at extortionate prices. With the rising popularity of buying photocards and the release of extremely rare products, fans have been selling K-Pop products for prices that seem crazy to those with no knowledge of the industry,
However, it has once again raised this idea of consumerism within K-Pop and the idea that although fans were angry about the increased prices, as long as fans continue to buy from these sellers, the vicious circle will never end.
Many believe that the only way to tackle this is for websites and K-Pop companies to put limitations and safeguards to ensure that mass-purchasing and “above the market” selling doesn’t happen.
You can read more about netizens’ concerns about mass purchasing albums below.