If you’ve been a big fan of anything growing up—or even now—you wouldn’t be new to the many things a group, show or book would release aside from its main platform or medium.As a member of multiple fandoms, I can relate to the feeling of wanting to buy everything related to the fandom you are part of.
Buying all the manga volumes of “Fairytail,” all the albums in Seventeen’s discography, “Haikyuu!!” Nendoroids—I’ve tried to do these things and have succeeded a bit.
There are many things to choose from when it comes to supporting shows, books or groups you love. K-pop groups, for example, have multiple versions of their albums and have photobook volumes, as well.
For shows or anime, there could be light novels and the manga they are based on, plus the guides, DVDs. and illustration books. So how do you start collecting? How much money will you have to put into your fandom?
I can help you with the first part but the second part will be all up to you.
When collecting merch (merchandise) you have to think of at least these three things:
“How much is it in this shop?”
“Is there another option I can buy it from?”
“Would I be really happy to have this?”
Research, research, research
These are the three things I always think of when I buy merch and often, even other things I’d like to buy.
When buying something, you should always think about where to buy it and how much it would cost. Just like with academics, you should try researching about the product you would like to buy. If there is an official seller, you could try to look at their website first.
An example would be Good Smile Company which manufactures collectible figures, with its most popular figures being the Nendoroid collection. Good Smile Company is based in Japan but there are resellers in the Philippines. With quarantine still in effect in most places in the Philippines and stores making their products available on the internet, searching online is easier than ever.
Shopping sites like Shopee and Lazada are now home to official resellers. Look up specific figures and characters to find the official shops. Beware of bootleg items, though. The shops that sell these usually have prices that are way too low or way too high. When buying anything online, always check for reviews and shop ratings.
Find a legitimate seller who has better prices or better deals. Once you’ve figured out which are the legitimate shops, compare prices online. If you’ve found the best option for the product you’re buying, then you’re almost set!
But before you add to cart, think about whether or not this is something you will be happy to own.
An example for me would be my K-pop album collection. Even if I’m not as big of a stan of a lot of groups anymore, I still enjoy having the merch and enjoy playing the songs on my CD player and drawing the photos from the photobooks. As long as what you’re buying will bring you joy, I say go for it and start your collection.
Some other things to note when starting a collection would be where you would keep them. You could be putting them in boxes or shelves or protective sleeves.
My last tip would be to spend wisely and know which merch to prioritize. For instance, if something is available only for a limited time, and there’s something else you’d like that’s available all year round, go for the limited item first.
I hope you enjoy collecting as much as I do! —CONTRIBUTED INQ
The author is an 18-year-old student from Quezon City.