Women as Group Order Managers in the K-pop Fandom

Thumbnail courtesy of Mal.

Group orders are a very popular way of purchasing K-pop merchandise online. Group order accounts are managed by fans, catered for their fellow fans. For Women’s Month, we specifically talked to women group order managers (GOM) to share their experience in this type of business.

@sekaigos

Owner:
My name is Brianna but everyone calls me Bri!

Country:
Chicago, Illinois.

Reason for starting a group order account:
I started doing group orders because I wanted to help my friends with shipping costs from Korea and Japan. Over time, I started ordering for people outside of my friend group, then came [my account] sekaigos.

K-pop groups for which I do group orders:
EXO and selective SHINee.

Motivation in being a GOM:
My joiners. Some of them have been ordering with me back when I was doing photocard claims on Depop and Instagram before I created my group order account. I appreciate all of my joiners because of the respect and motivation I get from them. If it wasn’t for them, I would not be still here helping.

Problems or issues encountered while being a GOM:
I haven’t had major issues with any orders until recently with an online K-pop store ktown4u. In the end, I was able to receive a partial refund from them so I can refund those that joined my order.

Future plans as a GOM:
My plans are to continue to support EXO and SHINee while helping people get things from overseas at a cheaper shipping price. Although I do enjoy working as a GOM, I do not plan on turning this into a business since I consider this to be a hobby. 

Encouraging words for other women small business owners:
If anyone plans on becoming a group order manager, the first two things to master are organization and transparency. Joiners expect their managers to know how to handle money, organize properly, and keep them in the loop on orders. You will need to have great time management and be able to stay on top of all your orders while dealing with real-life responsibilities, such as work, school, and home life. Know your limits and try not to get overwhelmed. I started off doing photocard claims before moving to bigger orders once I found my balance between GOM life and real life. 

When you first start as a GOM, try not to compare your orders to others because above all else, remember that every GOM works differently. Do what works best for you and not necessarily what you’ve seen work best for someone else. You can observe and join other GOMs’ group orders to see how they manage their orders; look for their time management, money management, organization, and transparency.

@Sijeunimall

Owner:
Francine

Country:
Cavite, Philippines

Reason for starting a group order account:
When I started to realize that I am gaining profit from it.

K-pop groups for which I do group orders:
NCT! But I cater to all other K-pop groups.

Motivation in being a GOM:
My stress in life motivates me to do this more often. This account [@Sijeunimall] became my stress reliever.

Problems or issues encountered while being a GOM:
Rude buyers. Well, you really can’t avoid those people but the best thing to do in that situation is to stay calm and not add fuel to the fire.

Future plans as a GOM:
Well, for now, I am still dreaming about [expanding] but I do not have any plans of expanding as of now. Maybe in the future. 

Encouraging words for other women small business owners:
Please think twice when entering this kind of business. It’s not all about having fun packing and talking to buyers.  You also have to deal with a lot of stress. The best way for a business to grow is if the business owner is good, not only in business but also in how you interact with your customers.

This article originally appeared in our Women’s Issue, be sure to read it here!

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