Discussion · opinion

Christmas Shopping Guide For That Asian Pop Fan in Your Life!

For future references, since it’s very unlikely to ship by Christmas or to get to you in time, unless your in to giving Christmas gifts in January or your friend has a January birthday.

Anyhow, this list is for us, for friends and gift exchanges of all kinds. 

I realized one of the reasons my friends and family think it’s so hard to shop for me is that my interests in Asian media seem so hard to reach.

A lot of them also forget that I like anime and video games too, or that I’m in American fandoms (I REALLY love Sailor Moon, Ninja Turtles, Super Mario, Pokemon, which are super accessible by the way) of said Asian stuff, or maybe not even Asian stuff.

That and I am a self sufficient spoiled brat: ie, I buy my own shit. I buy it because everyone complains about how hard I am to shop for. So I shop for myself, which is no different this year because sometime in January I will once again be having a mass unboxing of Christmas gifts from me, to me.

However, this post *technically* isn’t about me. It’s about US. or YOU. Are you shopping for that Asian pop fan in your life? I’ve got a few shops for your to choose from, as well as some you might not have thought of. I think I made a similar list a few years ago, but this is updated and, in a sense, better.

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The first place you’re gonna want to look is Amazon. You think that might be a weird (or obvious) place to look, but you can buy new albums, used/like new albums, fan made merchandise, etc on Amazon. That  and if you’re a Prime member 2 day shipping isn’t too bad.

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The next stop is eBay and you’re probably side-eyeing me right now, but this is actually where I’ve been buying all my Namie Amuro albums. I’ve also bought my Jolin Tsai albums from eBay. They also came in pristine condition, as well as several K-Pop albums.

I think except for one of Namie’s last singles I’ve bought her stuff exclusively on eBay and even though it takes FOREVER, I’ve never been disappointed.

I’ve also bought cosmetics on eBay as well as K-Pop albums. This is for the patient people though. The reason I buy Namie’s albums on eBay is because I buy the Taiwanese releases. They are LOADS cheaper than the Japanese releases and you get the same product.

I bought her final album recently and only spent roughly $27 on a $60 album package of the 3-disc (CD+DVD) set. Oh, and free shipping.

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The next shop is YesAsia. They have products from Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, and China. At this particular time they are having a huge sale (*this is not a promotion, just an observation of their website banner). They do have free shipping, but it takes forever. So if you’re patient you can get free shipping on a lot of stuff.

This is where I bought my Namie single and FAKY album, but they also sell clothes, accessories, albums, posters, seasons greetings, movies, drama sets, makeup, skincare, just, a lot. They sell a lot of stuff.

I’ve never personally had a bad experience with them either, so take a chance. I’ve bought from YesAsia at least twice, and one other time was for my SS301 albums.

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Gmarket is another shop to look into. They do have a US online store, but I used the Korean one, and it was very hectic to me because of my limited Korean. This is where I got the debut album of 1TYM. Think of it as the Korean Amazon. They sell *pretty much* anything you can  think of, and it’s based in Korea so if your friend is into Korean stuff you can’t go wrong.

I do warn you though, if you’re going to shop on Korean sites, a lot of them are bogged down by ads/pop up ads. So I hope you’re a patient person.

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RoseRoseShop is a cosmetic/health&beauty online shop that has great deals, and are also currently having a sale. I’ve bought from them before and received a free pair of earrings with my order (like no joke, surprise, me!)

They sell a multitude of brands and they have a currency converting widget. Since I’m in the US it tells me how much won goes into so many USD. I just thought that was an interesting thing to point out.

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Eopenmarket is another cosmetic/health&beauty online shop that I use. Like the last shop I mentioned, they sell a multitude of brands.

The thing about online Korean cosmetic shops as well is that they give you free samples to try.

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Choice Music LA is a music shop located in the Koreatown Galleria on the second floor. They have a great Instagram account and whoever makes the hashtags is my meme dealing heart’s hero. The staff is super nice and they have a nice selection of products. They also have an online shop and ship nationwide.

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Music Plaza is located in the Koreatown Plaza down the way from the Galleria, and it’s on the first floor. It’s a little bigger than the previous shop, but they also carry a few American artists in there. They also have an Instagram (not as awesome of hashtags, but they are nice) and an online shop that ships nationwide as well.

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The next shop I’m going to share with you is actually a shopping app/website, and it’s RedBubble. This is where I bought my KARD shirt and stickers for my first concert, and they also have other fan-made goods. The packaging I got was super cute and the pricing wasn’t too bad.

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I used this app/shop a LOT this year for Christmas, and it’s Etsy. I bought a multitude of things, from different shops and they all came in a timely manner (no matter what I’ve said, because I’m super impatient), and the shop owners that I contacted were all super sweet and some even dropped some extra goodies in there that I gave to my recipients (ie, bookmark, a couple candies).

I’ve bought fan-made pins, candles, sweaters, grab bags, soaps, jewelry, chapstick, it’s all nice. The shipping wasn’t too bad, especially since the shops I used were within the US.

Also, if you think the prices are a bit high, just remember that these are all handmade things. Not in a factory, someone sits and home and makes this all by hand for you.

There’s also nothing like supporting local artists/businesses.

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The last shop I am going to mention is an online shop I frequent, and it’s specific to Korean goods. They mostly sell albums/posters/merchandise, but they also sell Korean snacks, clothes, beauty products, and DVDs.

KTOWN4U has been my go-to shop since 2016 a little after I visited their booth at KCON LA. I’ve never had a bad shopping experience, their prices are damn near the best if not the best, and shipping isn’t too bad either.

They take a lot of care into packaging your product and making sure it gets to you undamaged. Their customer service department communicates with you in a timely manner (according to my personal experiences, just want to clarify that).

And I would also like to point out that I’m actually not sponsored by them. I pay for everything I review. Everything is a 100% honest review of the products and I spent my hard earned money on all of it.

 

So, that’s it for now. Those are my go-to shops for Asian media/beauty products. I hope this helps you or someone near you in the future as you pan your gift-giving.

Happy shopping, and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

-Karen

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