It’s not always fun in the K-pop buy-and-sell communities. Here’s why.

Manila, Philippines – Although it can get overwhelming at times, being a K-pop stan collector is fun. Non-collectors might not understand the joy a photo card brings or the excitement of securing certain wares. But stan collectors, despite their different reasons for collecting, can agree that they have found their happiness in this hobby.

With the power of social media, the culture of collecting has evolved a lot in recent years. For one thing, the need for real-life encounters has diminished, and finding the merchandise you want can now be done through various online buying and selling communities (BNS) like Facebook Marketplace, Facebook Groups, or Twitter.

Although collecting communities are generally welcoming and supportive, there are still instances where some members have unfortunate experiences buying, trading, or selling their wares. Here are a few:

Cancel Culture

Like most buying and selling communities, stan BNS has not been immune to rampant cases of fraudulent sellers and fake buyers. And while most seem worthy sons of exposition, there are stan collectors who have unfortunately faced the wrath of fellow collectors for unworthy reasons.

“You would do [have] Thought that nullifies culture [was] only applicable to famous celebrities, but you will pretty much be exposed to it when you are active in BNS. And the scary thing is, it’s not the idols that get canceled, it’s your fellow collectors,” Joyce, a 23-year-old merchandise collector, told Rappler.

Angiela, a 19-year-old collector, agreed. “With the size of the BNS community, issues like these spread quite quickly. And it’s sad how cases like these are still treated like “teas” – screenshots passed from one group of collectors to another. Sometimes there [are] even dedicated Twitter spaces just to recap what happened.

Usually, they said, collectors are canceled if they have different opinions or practices than the community is used to. Commodity pricing, for example, has always been a sensitive topic at BNS, especially if a seller chooses to sell by auction.

Angiela said: “We have seen this happen many times. A backlash often occurs when a seller considers selling an in-demand photo card through auctions, for example. Personally, I’m not a fan of auctions, and I have to admit, I find it interesting sometimes, especially when auctions explode. But, while these auctions are happening, there will always be harsh comments: attacking the seller for choosing the auction in the first place and for unorganized mechanisms, and judging the bidders for condoning this practice. »

Even things as insignificant as not including gifts in your packages or not having aesthetically pleasing packaging can, apparently, get you canceled. “The first time I saw someone go crazy over the lack of aesthetic appeal of their packaging, I was so confused. When did Stan BNS get so picky?” says Joyce.

“I would have understood if they were complaining because the merchandise was damaged. But no. It arrived safely and was even properly packaged. They’re just disappointed that it’s not packaged nicely, or in the same way as TikTok’s popular packaging videos. It’s weird,” she continued.

Angiela said that was also her reaction when she came across someone’s message complaining that her package had arrived with no gifts. “They even demanded that the seller give them a full refund. For example, what did they pay for – the gifts or the actual official merchandise? »

While the BNS community often sides with the sellers in these cases, Joyce and Angiela said it always negatively affects the seller, with the seller often expressing disbelief.

Misuse of private information

More than nullifying the culture, it’s how private details are easily shared within the community that Joyce and Angiela say is of most concern. Transactions within the BNS community always require an exchange of private information, especially when goods are paid for and shipped. Unfortunately, it’s not always that we’re 100% sure that the person we’re dealing with has good intentions.

“Recently, someone was accused of ordering thousands [of pesos] value of goods [from] several shops. [The order was done using her private] details, but she wasn’t really the one doing the transaction,” Joyce explained.

She added that the victim had no idea who was doing it, why or how they found out about his private details. Fortunately for the victim, some stores contacted her to confirm her orders, which is how she discovered the problem.

“Imagine if they didn’t know about it?” She’ll have to end up paying for the items she didn’t order in the first place. I can’t imagine how stressful it was for the victim. It also caused disruption to several stores as they were just trying to make a living,” Joyce continued.

Angiela also shared another recent incident in which a member of a BNS group, whose tweet went viral for asking someone’s opinion on goods packaging practices, received leak threats. of his private information.

“Victim’s original viral tweet was harmless. It was just a question,” she said. “Then suddenly she was threatened with being sued for cyberbullying. They said the victim’s address and school details were taken from a fellow collector.

“It was like a chilling revelation for the community,” Joyce recalls. “Most BNS accounts remembered each other, asking those they transacted with to keep their details private. And it’s sad because things like this should not be a reminder, but already as an innate practice in the community.

“I can’t even imagine how scary it was to be in their shoes. Imagine, someone you don’t know personally pretending they will find you. I’ve seen victims like these flee the BNS community or stop collecting in general out of fear and anxiety, and it’s heartbreaking. This hobby is supposed to be fun,” she added.

What is even sadder, they said, is that it is really difficult to prevent these cases from happening again. “It is difficult to regulate guidelines in the community, especially [since] victims are usually attacked by anonymous accounts, so it’s hard to track them,” Angiela said.

As someone with years of collecting experience, what they can only advise is for BNS members to be extremely careful and suspicious when trading. “Of course, every collector has a different background or practices, but it won’t hurt us to double-check our transactions,” they added.

While at present the additional responsibility lies with collectors, they still hope that in the near future, the stan buy and sell community will be a safe place for everyone. –

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