[OP-ED] KPOP Photo Card Trading 101

Krysta Pae , March 17, 2017, 11:03 a.m.


Have you ever gotten a kpop album and wondered why there was a picture of your bias randomly stuck in the middle? What’s the purpose of it being there? We certainly aren’t complaining about the extra bit of merch, but it’s a bit confusing when you get your first album. Well, the random picture is actually called a photocard, and it’s much more than just a photo of an idol.


Photocards can be used for a lot of things. Some people use them as decoration, others enjoy just looking at them, and there’s a whole community within the kpop fandom that trade photocards as a hobby. There are fans that collect just their biases, and some people go to lengths to collect every single member from every single album that their favorite group produces.

When trading photocards, some people decide to only trade cards within the respective albums (a SNSD Sooyoung Hoot card for Hyoyeon’s Hoot card, for example) and there is also thing called cross trading.


Cross trading is when you trade photocards from different albums, like a BTS card for a SHINee card. If you only want to collect a certain group, but you like collecting albums for other groups, cross trading might be a good option for you.

There are forums, tumblr pages, and instagram hashtags specified just for photocard trading. There are hundreds of people in the photocard trading community who trade and collect as a passion and hobby.

People have mass collections of photocards; you never know who might be a collector! Choice Music LA recently had a photocard trading event and many more people participated than expected. You can see a recap of the event in the video below!

Is the photocard trading community something you can see yourself getting into in the future?

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