Last Updated on August 4, 2023 by Eden
Buying k-pop albums is a great way to show your support for your favorite groups or artists. And you might jump at the chance to buy a signed album if it comes along.
Signed kpop albums can have the signature of one member or an entire group. Girl groups, boy groups and solo artists can offer signed kpop albums to fans any time they’re planning a new release.
But where do you buy signed albums? And is it worth if you have to spend extra money to get them?
Today, we’ll break down everything you need to know about buying signed albums from kpop groups.
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Table of Contents
Signed Albums vs. Unsigned Albums: What’s the Difference?
A signed kpop album isn’t that different from an unsigned album as far as what you’re getting goes. The contents of the album are the same, in terms of what comes with it.
The inclusions can depend on the type of kpop albums you’re buying, but you’ll typically get:
- A photo card (or multiple photocards)
- A photo booklet
- A booklet with the tracklist and album credits
- A CD of the album
The difference is that a signed album will have one or more signatures located somewhere on it.
For albums that are signed by the entire group, the signatures are usually on the front. But if you’re getting a kpop album that’s signed by just one member, the signatures may be on the front or the inside.
These Ateez albums, for example, were signed by Hongjoong and Jongho. The signatures are right on the front of the album.
But when I purchased signed copies of TXT’s “Temptation” album, the signatures were inside on a separate piece of paper.
It’s usually up to the company to decide where the signatures will go when you’re buying signed albums that are getting shipped to you.
If you’re getting albums signed at a fansign event, then you might be able to ask the idols to sign them in a specific spot. Otherwise, they may just use a Sharpie to sign the front.
Are Signed Kpop Albums Legit?
When you’re buying signed kpop merch, there’s always a question about whether it’s really authentic or not. And the reality is that there are plenty of scammers out there who are only interested in scamming kpop fans out of their money.
I can tell you from experience that if you’re buying signed kpop albums from legitimate sites then you can trust that what you’re getting is the real deal. I’ve purchased signed Ateez albums and signed TXT albums, with no issues either time.
Now, what if you’re buying signed albums from someone through Instagram or Twitter?
In that case, you need to know how to spot a scam. Some clues that you might be working with a scammer include:
- Refusal to send you photos of the albums or the signatures
- Photos that are blurry or don’t show you much detail about the album or signatures
- Pressure to send payment right away
- Reluctance to answer any of your questions about the albums
- Ghosting you when you try to ask questions
Any of those can be a sign that the person you’re dealing with isn’t legit.
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Where to Buy Signed Kpop Albums
If you’re interested in adding some signed albums to your collection, you’ll need to know where you can buy them. Here are 10 of the best platforms for purchasing kpop albums.
1. MWave Shop
The MWave Shop is owned and operated by Mnet. If you’re not familiar with Mnet, it’s the network that hosts M Countdown, one of the top kpop charts shows in South Korea.
MWave usually has a decent selection of signed kpop albums and you can also find signed KCON merch here. You’ll mostly see albums from smaller groups or artists, or new groups that are making their debut.
You can check in regularly to see what artists are offering signed albums and how much they’re going for. Price-wise, you’ll pay more for a signed album here than you will an unsigned album, that’s usually the norm.
2. Hello82 Shop
Hello82 is an online music store that also has a physical location in Los Angeles. Along with signed kpop albums, you can buy official merch here, including lightsticks and special box sets.
I’ve bought signed Ateez albums from Hello82 twice and they’ve always arrived in great condition. And album purchases made here count toward the Billboard charts in the United States.
Hello82 works with a lot of top artists to offer signed albums, including:
- The New Six
- Xdinary Heroes
You usually won’t see signed albums from huge groups like BTS, Blackpink or Red Velvet here, but the selection is still worth a look. And Hello82 also participates in fan call events, which you may want to check out if you’d like to try and win a chance to chat with your bias.
My only issue with Hello82 is that it takes forever for pre-orders to ship once the album is released. So if you’re expecting your orders to ship right away, you might be disappointed.
KpopStoreInUSA is an Atlanta-based kpop shop that sells all kinds of merch, including signed albums. I’ve visited this shop numerous times on trips to Atlanta to see TXT, Ateez and Seventeen and I’m always impressed by their selection.
If you don’t live in the Atlanta area, you can shop their signed albums online. They have albums from a lot of different artists but stock is limited so you’ll need to be quick to get the ones that you want.
You can also try searching for a local kpop store near you that sells signed albums.
Bunjang is an e-commerce platform based in South Kora that’s sort of like eBay with a little Craigslist mixed in.
You can find lots of kpop merch here in good condition, including albums, though it can sometimes be hard to find signed versions. And you’ll need a Korean phone number and bank account to buy albums from most sellers.
If you don’t live in the Republic of Korea, you might need to look elsewhere to buy signed albums.
Allthatsales is a proxy buying service that international fans can use to buy signed kpop albums and other merch from Korean stores. For example, one of the stores you can buy from through Allthatsales is Bunjang.
In exchange, you’ll pay a buying service fee to the proxy site.
Buying via proxy isn’t always ideal, since you’re relying on someone else to get your signed albums for you. And the buyer fee makes your order more expensive.
But you might consider it if you’re trying to get a specific signed album and have hit a wall everywhere else.
6. The Jelly House
The Jelly House is a Singapore-based company that sells kpop and jpop collectibles, including signed albums.
In terms of the pros, The Jelly House ships internationally so you don’t need to live in Singapore or South Korea to shop here. And they have a pretty good selection of merch.
The downside is that some of the prices for signed albums and other signed merch are pretty steep. So you might want to shop around a little to see what other sites have to offer.
Hallyusuperstore originally started out selling kpop merch on eBay before shifting to its own website.
This site is great because there are so many signed albums to choose from. Their selection is top tier, with signed albums from boy groups, girl groups and soloists.
That being said, their prices are on the higher side. But it’s not unusual to pay a higher price for autographed kpop albums from bigger-name idols or groups.
eBay is a less obvious choice for buying signed kpop albums but it’s worth a look, especially if you’re trying to track down a hard-to-find album.
If you’re considering buying signed albums on eBay, read the reviews and seller ratings first. There are lots of scammers here and eBay isn’t always great about weeding them out.
And if you don plan to go through with a purchase, make sure that it’s backed by eBay’s money-back guarantee. In case the seller (or the album) turns out to be a fake, you can get your money back.
Etsy is another place you might not think of for buying kpop albums but you can definitely find them here.
Technically, Etsy is supposed to be a marketplace for selling handmade items or vintage goods. But that doesn’t stop people from listing kpop albums and other merch for sale.
Just like with eBay, you’ll want to check out the seller’s reviews to make sure they’re legit. And in case they turn out to be phony, Etsy does offer plenty of seller protections to help you get your money back.
Mercari is a Japanese e-commerce company and online marketplace.
People can come to Mercari to sell things they no longer need or want, including signed kpop albums.
I’ve never purchased anything from Mercari but I know other kpop fans who have and it’s a legitimate site. You just have to be careful to choose trusted sellers to buy from.
How to Tell If a Signed Kpop Album Is Authentic
Regardless of where you’re buying signed albums from, it’s important to know how to tell if what you’re getting is the real thing. Here are a few things to look for when buying signed albums to verify their authenticity.
- KOMCA sticker: KOMCA is short for Korean Music Copyright Association and authentic signed albums (or unsigned ones) should have a KOMCA sticker somewhere on them, usually on the back. The sticker details are designed to make them very difficult to duplicate or forge, but there are always untrustworthy people who will try to do it. The latest version of the sticker is supposed to have a reflective surface with a musical note in it so you can tell that it’s real.
- Company name: Some signed albums may include a sticker with the company name or contact information listed on it, along with wording that specifies that the album is not for sale or resale. Whether you have this sticker or not usually depends on where you buy the album.
- Signature: Last but not least, you’ll want to inspect the signature itself. If you’ve never purchased a signed kpop album before, this part can be tricky. But if you have multiple albums signed by the same person or group, it can be easier to tell if the signature matches. If you’re searching Google for images of the artist’s signature, make sure you’re checking trusted sources since signatures can be easy to fake.
Is Buying Signed Kpop Albums Worth It?
The answer to this question really depends on you and how much you’re willing to spend to have an album that’s signed by your faves.
Signed albums will almost always cost more than unsigned albums, even though you get the same great packaging and inclusions. It’s the signature that adds to the cost.
If you’re a new kpop fan who’s just getting your album collection started, or you don’t have a lot of money to spend, then you may want to hold off on buying signed albums. On the other hand, if you have money to spare and you wouldn’t consider your collection complete without having at least one signed album then it could make sense to buy them.
But if you’re just going to park your albums on the shelf, paying extra for a signature may not be worth it.
And here’s one more tip: you may have to be fast to get what you want. The bigger the group, the faster any signed copies of new releases will sell out.
Final thoughts on buying signed kpop albums
Signed albums are great to have but you don’t need them to be a kpop fan. And you might want to spend your money on something else, like kpop concert tickets or a hi touch experience. And remember that there are lots of ways to show your support for your favorite groups, whether it’s buying albums, voting to help them get music show wins or just streaming your favorite songs on YouTube and Spotify.
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