Merchandise or what KPOP fans call “merch” is an important element in the success of the KPOP industry. Aside from attending concerts, fans love to buy and collect “merch” to show their support to their idols. But with the Korean wave spreading across continents, acquiring official idol merchandises come with challenges for international fans.
The process of ordering and shipping merch can be complicated to some. And there are also extra fees and charges for the handling and delivery of items. That is why fans find the most efficient and, at the same time, less expensive way of purchasing merchandise, specifically, albums. This is probably the reason why fans thought of doing group orders.
What is a Group Order?
A group order (GO) in KPOP is a merch-buying activity where fans add their personal orders to a shared online cart or basket at the same time. you can say that it is similar to wholesale buying to save shipping and import costs. And KPOP fans had been doing this for the same purpose and more.
It is organized by a group order manager (GOM) who handles the buying of merchandise from the online store, collecting payment, packaging, and shipping of the items locally. They don’t earn anything from it. Sometimes, they even had to spend their own money for the supplies and materials needed. Add to that is their extra time and hard work just to accomplish everyone’s orders.
Benefits of Joining Group Orders
Joining a group order has a lot of advantages. First, everyone has to share the shipping fee, so it is cheaper compared to when you are purchasing an item alone. Bulk buying may also be subjected to discounts and promos depending on the online store. So, that’s an additional reduced cost. Another thing is that group order managers will do the difficult work of buying and shipping for you, especially if you are not familiar with online shopping and international shipping procedures. And lastly, you can enjoy being involved with a community of fans as you wait for your orders.
But! The best attraction of a group order is the photocard pooling. This is one of the main reasons why fans join GOs. Nowadays, collecting photocards from albums has become a trend and a good investment too, as they increase value as time goes by. With group order photocard pooling, there is a high chance that you can get your top 3 idol group biases’ card. It is a fun and exciting activity for all the participants involved.
There are just a few cons to group orders, but they can be solved right away. The first one is the issue of trust. Scammers flock to social media platforms nowadays, so some people may find it hard to trust a group order manager. but if you do your research about the manager well, you can lessen the doubts that you have. Another one is the possibility of irresponsible handling of the merchandise. You wouldn’t want that for your KPOP merch collection, so it would be good if you check reviews and past GO activities of the manager. Do not think twice about doing these steps before signing up for a GO as they are a normal behavior of a wise online consumer.
How to be a Manager and Organize a Group Order?
Group order managers are also fans who just took the initiative to do the hard work for his or her fellow fans. For sure, it is time-consuming and most of the time, stressful. But for them, it is still a fulfilling task to do. To avoid unnecessary burdens, GOMs must have a step-by-step process to follow to lessen the stress of handling a group order. This GO guide is an example:
Step 1. Establish your presence on social media.
Usually, GOMs are KPOP fans who are active on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. They already have a stable following, so gathering participants for a group order won’t be difficult. Having a solid online presence, people will also trust you easily with their orders and hard-earned money.
Step 2. Post a Group Order announcement.
Once you’ve decided to start a GO, you should announce it on your chosen social media platform. Include the start date, the item you’ll be ordering, the price, and what city or region is included in the group. You should also prepare an FAQ post for more details like the guidelines on how to join, rules, and the breakdown of all expenses. Pricing should include the base price of the item, international shipping fee from South Korea to the GOM, and domestic shipping fee from the GOM to the buyer.
Step 3. Record everything about the orders.
To record the orders, create an order form for the participants. With this, you can easily input the information on a Google or Microsoft spreadsheet. For KPOP album orders, you should include the name of the buyer or their social media username, number of albums to buy, album version (if applicable), top 3 idol group members for photocard pooling, and an indication if they are already paid or not.
Step 4. Purchase the items from an online store.
But before anything else, you should double-check all the order forms to avoid mistakes in purchasing. Make sure to double-check that everyone has paid for their orders and also, recount the number of albums and their versions that you had to put in the cart. You can buy from trusted KPOP online stores like KPOPTOWN, Ktown4u, Cokodive, Gmarket, and Yesasia.
Step 5. Prepare for the arrival of the items and local shipping.
Please remember that KPOP merchandise is a precious item for fans. As much as possible, they have to receive it in stellar condition. They trusted you to bring their items carefully, so make sure that they are wrapped properly. Use at least 2 or 3 layers of bubble wraps and put a “fragile” sticker in mailing bags to protect the items. And for your peace of mind, choose a reliable local shipping service.
Step 6. Ship the items to everyone.
GO participants usually get anxious and excited during this time, so it would be good if you provide them a local shipping receipt with a tracking number. With this, they can track the items themselves. And here, your work is done!
As an additional tip, you can create a group chat or open a communication line for all the participants. They tend to ask and repeat a lot of questions during the process, so kindly and politely reply to them. It can be a daunting task, but these people are entrusting you with their money. A lot of them are students who save that money carefully, so it is better if you always keep their peace of mind about the order.
How to Use Delivered KR’s Buying and Shipping Service in Handling Group Orders?
DELIVERED KOREA is a trusted shipping company that already provided services to a lot of KPOP fans and group order managers. If you want to handle a group order, you can use our buying and shipping services for your convenience. But before that, sign up for an account on Delivered Korea’s website to fully maximize the use of our services. From your account, you can choose to use one of two of our services.
If you already know your way around purchasing KPOP items from Korean online stores, you can just use Delivered Korea’s shipping service. You will be the one to buy merchandise directly from Gmarket, KPOPTOWN, Ktown4u, Weverse, YG Select, or SMTOWN Store. Then, they will provide a Korean address where you will ship the items from the KPOP online store. After that, fill out the “My Incoming Order Form”. And once they received the items in their Korean warehouse, they will ship them to your country or region.
Make use of the all-inclusive personal shopping, consolidating, and worldwide shipping services of Delivered Korea through “We Buy and Ship”. From your account, fill up the “New Order” form under the “We Buy Orders” option. Just input your orders and they will buy and ship them for you, which is a very convenient option as a group order manager. No worries as they can buy from any Korean online store.
Benefits of Delivered Korea’s GOM shipping service:
1) Save money by using consolidating merchandise
You can save a lot of shipping costs by using our consolidation service. Delivered Korea will combine all the packages you ordered from different shopping sites. Because group managers can ship multiple products all in one box at the same time rather than sending multiple small shipments separately, they can pay bulk rates and save shipping costs.
2) Manage your orders and shipment in our intuitive dashboard
You can request different packaging services such as consolidation and repackaging in our dashboard system, which is designed for easy navigation and simple requests for your wanted packaging services. Just click the package you want to consolidate and submit the order! You are all set.
For more information How can I request an optional packing service? | Delivered Korea
3) Protect from potential damage by using double protection packaging service
If your packages are heavy then you can use our durable plastic corrugated box service. If you worry about any damage, you can use our extra bubble wrapping service in our dashboard. Just simply click the extra packaging service and you are all set.
For more information How can I request an optional packing service? | Delivered Korea
If you aspire to be a group order manager, you will surely have a lot of people relying on you. So, getting the proper buying and shipping services will help you avoid negative feedback from the customers. Everything that you do and decide on will affect the success of your GO.
Following all these guidelines about handling a GO, it is comforting to know that there are now easier ways to get your hands on your favorite KPOP merchandise. They were not as accessible as before. But with convenient services like what Delivered Korea provides, KPOP fans can receive them faster at a less expensive and less stressful process.