What It's Like to Have Your Own Online K-Pop Merch Shop

What It's Like to Have Your Own Online K-Pop Merch Shop

Almira Blancada

Posted at March 11, 2020

We live in an era where we can find and buy anything you need online, and that includes K-pop merchandise! From Twitter to Facebook, there's a ton of K-pop merch shops that are well trusted by the fans when it comes to buying a piece for their collection. But while we have an outside view of what these sellers do, we don't know how they operate their business. 

So for a behind-the-scenes look, we talked to the 21-year-old Audrey, who currently owns one of the most popular merch shops on Twitter named "ERI SHOPPE." Despite having a tough competition online, there's a lot of people who trust her shop because of its quality service and fast transaction. But according to Audrey, it was not easy to get where she is right now.

Her inspiration to sell K-pop merch started when she needed to think of a way to earn additional allowance when she was a third-year college student at the University of Santo Tomas. "I used to be a wise spender, but most of the time, my budget would be limited to buy the things that I want, such as going to concerts. And I remember during that time, the pre-order for EXO's Winter Album 2017 was ongoing. So it was then that I thought to myself, it wouldn't hurt to try since I'm a sucker for new experiences. And at that moment, little did I know, taking that one step would change my whole life, and it did, for the better."

While it may seem like having any sort of online shop is quite easy to handle, Audrey gives a lot of effort and time to this business, and her typical routine goes: "First off, I check my website and then I confirm orders. Next is I check payments, answer concerns and inquiries, pack and ship orders, then update tracking numbers. It's a never-ending routine since I needed to be hands-on with the customer service."

In terms of strategies to make her business work, Audrey shares, "You need to know who your target market is. It's difficult to start from the very bottom if you haven't done any research, such as which social media platforms could attract potential buyers. I think that being a K-pop fan plays an important role in handling a merchandise shop. Some people knew me as an avid K-pop fan way before I started to sell, so the foundation of trust has been sort of established and as days go by, it grew and grew up to now."

What makes ERI SHOPPE certainly stand out from the rest is the fact that they have trusted suppliers from South Korea who have been accommodating their orders since the beginning. "Nowadays, a lot of fake suppliers have scammed many people, especially within the K-pop community. That's why before you start to open your shop, you need to be cautious and find legit, trusted suppliers."

But it's being able to earn money as a fan that makes her enjoy having this kind of business. "There were times when suppliers give free items to us, so that's a plus for our customers, too! We also get to earn additional income every time we open group orders. Overall, it's all about the experience, how I was able to get out of my shell, think outside the box, and take risks." 

Just like any career, there are challenges as well. "Based on my own experience, one of the disadvantages I have encountered was the storage of the items and the stress it gave my team. There are times wherein we need to empty a room to keep the merchandise safe and secured."

As someone who started from the very bottom, Audrey has experienced all the possible pros and cons of handling a K-pop shop. "There would be times when people would doubt your capabilities and call you a scammer. You should know how to play your own game and prove that their assumptions about you are wrong. There would also be times when it could exhaust you both physically, mentally, and emotionally, but that should not stop you from enjoying this kind of career."

If you've been feeling the urge to open your very own merch shop, then this is the sign you've waiting for! Fighting!

Banner from @peachshooky

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