Buying an album is one of many ways to support your favorite kpop groups or artists. That is why every new comeback, entertainment companies also offer signed albums to help increase album sales because who doesn’t want a signed album from their faves? But how to buy signed kpop albums? How can you tell if a signed kpop album is real? And how much does a signed kpop album cost? This article will explain everything you need to know about buying signed kpop albums.
There are 2 ways to get signed kpop albums:
1. Fan Sign Events
Regardless if it is an online or offline event, this is a very sure way to get a legit signed album because the artist will be signing it in front of you. However, this is also the most difficult way because it can get costly.
Getting into fan sign events is through a raffle when you buy the group or artist’s latest album. One album is one raffle entry. I heard some people bought at least 300 albums to win! And an album in 2023 costs around $20-30 + shipping. That is why you often see online the same people winning at these events, some of them are group order organizers.
2. Retail signed albums
It is getting common now for Kpop entertainment companies to release a limited amount of signed albums during the first day of the pre-order period. This is the easiest way and less expensive. But you will need fast internet and hands like with concert ticketing sales because they sell out really fast.
Retail signed kpop albums are usually one member autograph per album. Some are a bit smudgy because artists sign them in bulk (which is understandable). Sometimes they’re signed postcards you will find inside the album rather than an autograph on the album cover.
Where to buy signed Kpop albums?
If you want to add some signed Kpop albums to your collection, below are the stores where you can buy signed albums:
If this one sounds familiar, it’s because the MWave Shop is owned and operated by Mnet, the network that hosts M Countdown, one of the top kpop chart shows in South Korea.
Besides signed albums, you can also find other signed merch in the MWave shop like the KCON merch. However, you’ll mostly see albums from smaller groups or artists, or new groups that are making their debut (they used to release signed Stray Kids albums). Price-wise, the signed albums are a little pricier than regular unsigned albums.
Hello82 is based in Los Angeles but it is also available online. Along with signed kpop albums, you can buy official merch here, including lightsticks and special box sets.
They have a great selection of artists like Ateez, NMIXX, P1Harmony, StayC, Xdinary Heroes, Xikers, and more. The album purchases made here count toward the Billboard charts in the United States.
The downside is they only offer shipping to the United States and sometimes Europe. If you’re from Asia like the Philippines, you will need a forwarder. (Using forwarders to buy kpop merch will be discussed in a different article.) But the prices of signed albums here are the same as the regular unsigned ones.
3. Artists’ Official US Store
On the day an artist releases a new album, they drop a link in their Instagram and Twitter accounts that will redirect you to a page listing everything where you can listen to and buy their latest album. In there, the top link is usually the store where you can buy exclusive signed copies of their album.
The albums here are hand-signed, not printed and so they are limited. Some are signed on the covers, others in photocards or postcards. But you need a fast internet connection and fast hands. You have to know the exact date and time the preorder of the new album will drop because that’s the time they will release these signed albums too. They don’t have promotions, so you have to stay tuned to Instagram and Twitter announcements to know the schedule. Lastly, they only ship to the US which is why you will need a forwarder too if you live in the Philippines.
Price-wise, they are exactly the same as the regular unsigned albums, which is why many fans are buying here.
Official Artist US Stores that sell signed albums:
Hallyusuperstore started on eBay in 2017 and was really popular among Kpop fans outside of South Korea. But in 2011, they were suspended from eBay for unknown reasons and so they created their own platform.
They have a great selection of signed albums from boy groups, girl groups, and soloists. However, the prices are on the higher side. And unlike the shops mentioned above, their products are not retail signed albums. They’re mostly promotional (signed albums distributed to producers, press, or radio/TV/broadcasting shows) or fans selling their signed albums from events.
5. The Jelly House
The Jelly House is based in Singapore and specializes in official, rare, and out-of-print music collectibles. They sell not just signed kpop albums but also Jpop and Western artists. I noticed they sell both promotional and retail signed albums. Besides that, they also have signed polaroids. But expect the prices to be high. They ship worldwide too.
6. Reselling Sites
You will definitely find a lot of signed kpop albums on reselling platforms but it is also the riskiest place to get one and they’re the priciest too. You have to be vigilant, do your research, read reviews, and don’t be shy to ask people on Reddit for legit checks before placing an order. Below are the popular platforms:
DISCLAIMER: I do not assume responsibility for any loss that may incur during interactions with any of the sellers and/or platforms listed below.
eBay – Obviously, this tops the list. Sellers like handdollmaking, kpopwave, and B & J for Kpop (formerly mojasajo) are very popular among global Kpop fans. In my observation, they get their stocks from promotional albums and the stores I mentioned above. TAKE NOTE: Never ever buy signed kpop albums from Mainland China even Hong Kong, because there’s a very high chance they’re fake.
Mercari – This is like Japan’s eBay. And since many kpop groups have a lot of promotions in Japan it’s easy to find many signed merch on this platform. Of course, they are very expensive and they don’t ship internationally. So you will need a forwarder or avail shopping services like Oshare or Buyee.
Bunjang – This is where you will find kpop gems, the most hard-to-find Kpop merch. It’s because this is based in South Korea. I haven’t personally shopped here yet but some kpop stores in the Philippines buy some of their products here. I know one seller who shops signed albums here, it’s kore.s7n.
Shopee – This is the most popular shopping app in Southeast Asia. There are sellers here based in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Korea, Japan, and China. Most signed kpop albums I see here are from Hello82, MWave, and artists’ official stores I mentioned above.
Below are the trusted Shopee Signed Album Resellers:
Aling Chulien – Probably the most popular kpop shop in Shopee Philippines so expect their latest drops especially from popular groups sell out fast. But for signed albums, I notice they sell those from new and smaller groups.
Vanity Alley – I’ve only seen them sell Blackpink signed albums because they mostly sell those by Western artists like Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, and more.
Everything Seoul PH – So far they sell a limited number of signed albums mostly from Seventeen and Enhypen US stores.
BONUS TIP: More shops in Shopee sell signed kpop albums while some collectors are also selling their signed album dupes and extras due to buying in bulk. Just go to search and type “signed **artist/group name**”. Before checking out, you can chat with the seller for proof. But NEVER EVER buy from Mainland China sellers, all signed kpop merch listings from them are 100% fake.
How can you tell if a signed album is real?
If you bought or will buy from reselling platforms, and the signed albums are not from Mwave, Hello82, or artists’ official sites, here are a few things to look for when buying signed Kpop albums to verify their authenticity:
1. KOMCA STICKERS: For promotional albums, they usually havethis sticker. KOMCA is short for Korean Music Copyright Association and authentic promotional signed albums (or unsigned ones) should have a KOMCA sticker somewhere on them, usually on the back. Read this post to identify authentic KOMCA stickers. However, for some retail signed albums from US official shops, I noticed they don’t have KOMCA stickers.
2. Company Number: 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.
another indicator is that some companies put phone numbers on the back of the albums its not extremely common but it is there pic.twitter.com/OyHDz78fNM
3. Signature: For group-signed albums, different pen pressures are a good way of seeing if the album is signed by different persons instead of one person (i.e. forged or manager-signed). Compare multiple albums, ideally ones from trusted sources, to ensure that the signatures match the era of the artist(s). Some groups like Stray Kids changed the order of their signatures. Before I.N. signed first on the upper left, but during the Maxident era, Chan signed first. While in BTS, J-Hope and Jungkook slightly changed their signatures during the Map of The Soul era. And Suga changed his signature to Agust D for his solo album.
But do not simply Google for signed album pictures as the authenticity of the albums that appear in Google image search results may not be guaranteed, as most of them are from China. Go to Twitter or Reddit, many people there share their authentic signed albums (with lots of watermarks).
Also, take note that artists’ digital/printed signatures for album reproduction are slightly different from hand-signed signatures. And they don’t put dedication upon request especially in another language unless it’s from a fan sign event.
A couple of years ago, a photo of a Jungkook-signed Butter album went viral on Twitter Philippines because it has a dedication written in Filipino language and a signature with very obviously stressed edges which indicates it is fake. The seller at first insisted it was authentic and said they knew a staff in HYBE who could ask the BTS members to sign albums with dedication (most scammers say they know someone from the company). Eventually, the seller deactivated their Twitter account since more and more people sending proof it was fake. That tweet above is the only one I can find now.
Final thoughts on buying signed Kpop albums
Owning a signed kpop album can be fun for people who find collecting a hobby. But it is not a requirement to prove that you’re a legit fan. There are many ways to show support to your favorite artist. It can be streaming, voting, attending a concert or fan meeting. Only buy if you want to, you want to be a collector.