Being a K-wave fan, it’s almost inevitable for us to restrain ourselves from buying merch of our favorite stars, be it official or unofficial!
As a buyer, one of the most difficult things to do is to find a legit seller or supplier of merch especially the ones that are only available in South Korea. For someone who can’t afford directly buying it from there for now, a legit seller is a heaven-sent.
There are a lot of sellers online who offer their items with different terms and conditions – on hand, pre-order, reservations, with downpayment scheme, etc. But it’s really hard to entrust our hard-earned money on online transactions. So we have listed some of the important things to check if a Kpop/Kdrama merch seller is a legit or scam.
1. Check the profile of the seller
It’s a must that you know to whom you are transacting. If it’s an online shop, check when it was established and who is the owner. Knowing the identity of the owner will give you an idea if that person is really capable of fulfilling your orders. Use your oppa/unnie stalking skills, bes! If the seller is unknown or has an unclear identity, magtaka ka na bes.
2. Ask or check any proof of transaction
Check if an online shop has posted any proof of their previous transactions. If none, ask the seller to provide you. Be keen to details and see if the photo is edited or not as some sellers can easily fake it nowadays.
If the seller provides you with photos of receipts from a courier or payment center, check if the name and contact number on it match the seller’s details. You may also check its dates!
3. Read customer feedbacks
Always look for customer feedback. Reading through the customer feedback will tell you about their personal experiences with the seller so you can manage your expectations. Are they fast or slow? Are they rude or good? Just make sure that they are real customers or else, you might be easily fooled.
4. Read the seller’s terms and conditions
This is very important mga bes! Know if you are ordering an on-hand item or if it’s a pre-order or by reservation which means that the seller has to buy it once an order is confirmed.
If on-hand, ask for photos. Again, be keen on details as it’s easy to just grab photos online. If you can ask for specific sides or angles, or better yet, ask for a photo including the seller. This way, you’ll be sure that the item is really with the seller.
If for pre-order, we suggest that you only transact with known sellers because the risk to be scammed is higher with this one. A seller would normally require you to pay for your order first before purchasing it so be sure that you are only transacting with a legit one. Normally, the EDA (estimated date of arrival) is longer for pre-order.
A good and legit seller always diclaims important information like item’s availability, date of arrival, any delays, and other updates.
Be mindful also of those who accept “hulugan”. There are legit sellers who have a downpayment scheme and they will only deliver you the item once fully paid (i-fully paid naman natin bes). But there are also sellers who scam people into that “hulugan scheme”. If you don’t have enough money yet, then continue to save until you reach your goal.
5. If it is too good to be true then it is!
It’s a saying that also applies to buying merch. Bes, an offer that is too good to be true is very alarming. For example, a BTS Army Bomb version 3 usually ranges from Php2,400 to Php3,500 online (do your research online as well) but if a seller is selling it for only Php1,500 or less, then it’s questionable already. Remember, a seller sells and aims to gain a profit. If someone is selling an in-demand item lower than its actual or market price, then you must think twice or even thrice before falling into its trap.
If you have already found your trusted seller, then it’s good! Appreciate them once in a while because it’s not easy to be a committed seller nowadays, especially of items that have to be bought all the way from South Korea.
If you’ve been scammed before, then do not commit the same mistake! Be vigilant because it’s better to be sure than sorry. We must enjoy the fruits of our labor and put our hard-earned money wisely.