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Where to Buy K-Pop Albums Online: The Best Stores Reviewed!

I feel like it’s that age old dilemma. As the global popularity of kpop has grown over the years, more and more online vendors have sprung up to satiate our needs. It can sometimes be confusing picking which store to go for. What’s the cheapest option? Which gives you the quickest shipping? I won’t be able to definitively answer any of these questions, since those things vary depending on a number of issues, but I can give you my experience as someone who buys a lot of kpop online.

K-Pop Collection 01

The picture above is part of my kpop collection, and so far I’ve had pretty good luck with my online purchases. But, I remember what it was like at the beginning, when I had no clue which vendors to trust or whether I was being ripped off or not.

Before I go on, I live in the United States (Washington state, to be more precise), so shipping and currency factors are all dependent on that.

Best Overall Option

CATCHOP-CD

I didn’t find out about this store until more recently, but I’ve been extremely satisfied with price, shipping time and wonderfully protective packaging ever since. They seem to be a smaller store, so they may not have everything you’re looking for, but they do carry all the new releases a day or two after they come out. It’s where I buy the bulk of my new release albums. For me, the price plus shipping has consistently been the best of any of the Korea-based shops, and shipping time has been pretty fast. I do wish they offered a preorder option, and tracking with the cheapest shipping, but those are small quibbles for a store that has been reliable and cost-effective every time I’ve used them. They also use an insane amount of bubble wrap to ably protect your precious cds!

Bonus! If you create an account using this link, you’ll  receive 5% off your first order.

Best Hidden Secret

DEEP DISCOUNT

This is a hidden secret mostly for U.S. shoppers, because of the awesome free shipping on orders over $25. Shipping cost is the bane of international kpop buyers, so a free option is a godsend. Deep Discount isn’t a kpop store, but it carries many, many kpop albums. You’re likely to find most older releases, as well as many new ones, for bargain prices. Better yet, if you check back often, the site offers 10-15% off promo codes sitewide every month or two. Truth be told, I order most of my albums this way if they’re available on the site. Shipping is 3-10 days within the U.S. (usually closer to 10), unless the item is on backorder, which many of the newer ones are. The only downsides is that sometimes packaging isn’t all that great/protective, and I’m not sure if the sales count for Korean charts. Still, for the budget, U.S.-based kpop fan, this is a great option.

Other Options

YESASIA

Yes Asia was the first store I ordered from. I was lured in by their free shipping, although there is a minimum order of $39 for that to kick in (and like a lot of online merchants, they’re experts at making things cost just a couple cents less than that minimum!). Because of this, it’s not a good option for single albums, but if you’re buying in bulk it can sometimes be the cheapest way to go. They ship from China, and I’ve had good luck with fast delivery here on the west coast. Their free shipping includes tracking as well, which is a nice bonus. The packaging can sometimes be on the lazy side — I’ve had a few albums slightly dented because of this. But, good deals can usually be found on their sale section, and albums are often a bit cheaper during presale. From what I’ve seen in comparison to other retailers, prices are really hit and miss.

K-POP MART / K-POP TOWN

I kind of bunch these two together because they function in pretty much the same way (although one gives you freebies with each order… I think it’s Mart?). Prices look really cheap at the outset, but shipping is expensive. I’ve ordered from both and been satisfied, though I find that sometimes it takes them forever to actually ship something. In fact, my latest order from K-Pop Town took over a week from ordering to shipment! Add shipping time onto that and you could be waiting awhile for your order. I like that you get voucher money each time you place orders, which can be used for future purchases, but even with that there are usually cheaper, faster options available.

MUSIC PLAZA

I visit their brick-and-mortar store every time I’m in L.A., but I don’t think many people realize that they have an online presence as well! They’re usually a bit on the pricey side, though I’ve scored some great deals through their ebay site. The nice thing is that, since they’re U.S. based, shipping within the United States (especially the west coast) is very quick. I received a free fan when I ordered with them, which was kind of a fun surprise. Plus, it’s nice to support local(ish) kpop stores.

EBAY

I’ve used ebay here and there, and it can be a good option for single purchases, but it’s very hit and miss.

Stores I haven’t Used (but might be good?)

KTOWN4U

This seems to be a preferred option for many people, but I’ve never used it simply because every time I add orders to a cart, they end up being more expensive than other retailers. Plus, I just find their website clunky and not very professional looking. But it seems to be some kpop buyers’ go-to store, so they must be doing something right.

K-Pop Collection 03

K-Pop Collection 02

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44 thoughts on “Where to Buy K-Pop Albums Online: The Best Stores Reviewed!

  1. Hey! I was planning on buying some albums on Deep Discount, but then I saw there were a ton of bad reviews on yelp about them! How was your experience and should I trust them?

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    • First off, sorry about the late reply! My experience has been universally good. The only drawbacks I’ve found is that backordered cds can take up to a month to arrive, and the packaging isn’t always all that protective, resulting in a few nicks and bumps here and there. I’ve never had an album fail to arrive, though, and they send a return label for exchanges/returns. I recommend them highly, with those slight reservations. And I’ve placed A LOT of orders from them!

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  2. Hi! I wanted to buy a few albums on CATCHOPCD, but there wasn’t a option to choose the currency, so I was afraid that the currency might be in USD and would be more expensive in my country, Singapore. Please let me know whether I am able to change the currency to SGD or what currency it is! Thank you 🙂

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    • Have you tried adding items to you cart and then creating an account in Singapore? The prices default to U.S. dollars, but I’m not sure if the currency would change if you logged in as a customer from Singapore. But even if it doesn’t change, at least your shipping charges will be less than they are for us in the States!

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  3. hi 🙂 i just wanted to say that there is also another website callled koreanmall.com and they have a lot of cheap albums and you get free shipping when you spend $49. ive ordered from there and they have great service

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    • I’ll have to give koreanmall a try. Their prices, coupled with the free shipping, seem too good to be true. Doesn’t look like they have as many different items available as other online shops, but I’d be curious to hear others’ experience buying from them.

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      • I’ve ordered twice from koreanmall and have been very happy both times. The first time I ordered a bunch of things together so it took quite a while because they send everything together so in case one item isn’t in stock, the other items are delayed. But I wasn’t in any hurry so I didn’t mind. Also, I participated in an event and got a BTS signed album (yay) and although the shipping over 49$ is free, it isn’t as slow as I expected it would be considering the shipping time of other online stores aren’t that much faster so yeah (I usually always chose the cheapest shipping option with tracking), koreanmall is the go to store for me, taking all things into account (availability, price, shipping, always have events).

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    • Stay away from Koreanmall. they mess up your orders and dont refund you except in K money and who wants to use k money to shop at the same site that let them down? I thought they were good but they didnt send me an entire order so I would stress on it. STAY AWAY from that site. Also they dont offer free shipping anymore. Their mistakes were tolerable for the free shipping but now its not worth it

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  4. Catchopcd has recently added one more express shipping option,
    and for bigger packages over 40 it’s even cheaper than regular airmail.
    A downfall is this option is only available for USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand right now.

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  5. Hey! Just stumbled upon your blog post and I’m not sure if you have ever purchased from KTOWN4U but I can attest to it =) The company actually ship stuff pretty fast (except if it’s pre-order which may take some time until pre-order period ends + a few more days then the item price would usually go down after the pre-order period). I had some BIGBANG10 x Dazed magazines and Vogue Korea mag shipped to the Philippines and I must say the shop’s very professional. All the items came to me in pristine condition with some photocards & poster as freebies. They also have several shipping options available, EMS is expensive but it’s still the way to go since can be tracked.

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    • Hi Nicole,

      You can pay by credit card or Paypal in Ktown4u. I usually pay mine by credit card coz it’s easier and doesn’t have any additional fees. I’m from the Philippines too 🙂

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  6. I’m from Canada and I have to say after doing some quick calculations and everything that comes with it when switching it to CND currency – shipping included – and KTOWN4U is cheaper than Kpopmart, KPOPTOWN, and Yesasia. The products I purchased from them has arrived in pristine conditions with plenty of bubble wraps. The different shipping option is a plus (although EMS is not cheap it is the best way to go) and once you make an account you get emails with links to shop deals.
    I do admit the site is hard to navigate if you don’t know how to search for things, but to me that’s the only downside of it all.

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  7. This is really useful thank you for putting it together!! I checked out catchop and the prices seem too good to be true! When it says album is it just the cd itself or does it come with the photobook? I’m guessing it must but I just wanted to check with someone who has bought from there before 🙂

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    • It’s the full album with photobook, just as you’d order anywhere else. But like any online k-pop shop, it’s the shipping costs that are pretty expensive, and they don’t get added on until you go to your cart. The nice thing is that their fast DHL shipping is actually a real bargain in certain territories (the U.S. being one of them) compared to other shops online.

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    • Stay away from Koreanmall. they mess up your orders and dont refund you except in K money and who wants to use k money to shop at the same site that let them down? I thought they were good but they didnt send me an entire order so I would stress on it. STAY AWAY from that site

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  8. Hi, I checked out catchop and I noticed that they only put CD in the info. I’m sure it comes with a photobook and a CD but does it also come with photocards?

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  9. Pingback: The Top 10 Most Viewed Posts on THE BIAS LIST in 2016 | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

    • I’ve ordered from koreanmall and they were really good. Sadly they’ve removed their free shipping option. If you’re willing to pay the shipping then they’re alright. Packaging isn’t great but all my packages came undamaged.

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      • Stay away from Koreanmall. they mess up your orders and dont refund you except in K money and who wants to use k money to shop at the same site that let them down? I thought they were good but they didnt send me an entire order so I would stress on it. STAY AWAY from that site

        Like

  10. Thank you so much for this information. Living in Washington state, I am most thankful for the information from someo e in the same state as I!!!

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  11. I ordered alopt of yesasia and koreanmall. I love yesasia even if its a trifle expensive but for the free shipping its amazing. Catchhopcd and deep discount isn’t supported in my country and all the other stores like ktown4u, kpoplus, kpoptown etc require paypal even if you’re using a credit card to verify. Paypal isnt supported in my country so thats a miss, same for ebay and the shipping prices are outrageous. Yesasia suits me most so far . I ordered thrice from koreanmall. The first two times were too good to be true but on my third order my tracking said my parcel got sent back before it even left Korea and koreanmall had the audacity to tell me that since I didnt claim it got sent back. They told me to have a nice day when I didnt even receive 100$ worth of goods at all. Im still bombarding them with messages but Im worried. So I suggest staying away from koreanmall at all costs. Plus their free shipping has ended and they make alot of mistakes in ordered. Once they sent me a wrong poster and some people actually had items missing with no compensation. So its back to yesasia for me. If any of you any sites which dont require paypal or paypal verification for credit cards let me know.

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  12. Hey I’m from Malaysia. Is that okay to buy anything from CatchCD and Deep discount? And one more, why the prices at music plaza is too high? Btw thankyou for sharing this 🙂

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  13. Hi! I checked out catchopcd and the prices are too good to be true! I almost ordered some CDs (a lot actually) but then I realized they don’t specify the CDs came with their posters so I’m worried they don’t include them… I mean, I know not every old CD includes posters, but not even the new releases specifies they come with them so, I would like to know

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    • Catchopcd doesn’t send freebies along with the cds, if that’s what you mean. Anything included in the actual packaging (photo cards, inserts, etc) is of course included since the albums are sealed, but they don’t throw in extra posters or goodies like a few other shops do. Hope that helps!

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