What are Pre-Order Benefits, in short POB, all about?

by Helen Bosch
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K-Pop Blog > Overview > K-Pop Guide

It's almost as if K-pop fans have their own language. If you're new to the K-pop scene, you're always coming across foreign terms that you have to figure out. One of them is "POB." This frequently used abbreviation stands for "Pre-Order Benefit." So quite simply, it's a benefit you get when you pre-order. But we'll explain it to you in a little more detail here, so you can really understand what POB's are all about in the K-Pop scene:

  • What do Pre-Order Benefits look like for K-Pop albums?
  • How do I know if an album contains POB's?
  • Apart from K-Pop albums, are there any other products in Korea with POB's?
  • What are store exclusive POB's and Fansign POB's?
  • What do Korean stars' agencies get out of offering Pre-Order Benefits?

Pre-Order Benefits are mostly talked about in connection with K-Pop albums.

Monsta X Album Preview - Pre-Order Benefit

As you probably know, the popular albums consist not only of a photo book, but also include a number of extras such as photo cards, bookmarks and stickers.

If you pre-order an album, in many cases you even get additional extras: Pre Order Benefits! These benefits can be anything that is normally included in the albums - photo cards, bookmarks, stickers, postcards, posters, or anything else - but they are often especially coveted because they are only available for a certain time and are no longer produced after that.

It is not uncommon for collectors in particular to pay high prices afterwards to get their hands on the limited benefits.

Whether an album contains POB's or not is usually stated in the listing of the contents in online stores.

Nowadays there are often some, but not always. Also the number is different. Sometimes there is "only" a photo card in addition, sometimes also a poster or even whole photo card sets!

Everyone who has ever bought an album knows that there are usually different motifs in the extras - the different band members - and it is left to coincidence which one the buyer gets. This is no different with the POB's. That's why they are traded just like the regular extras.

Pre-Order Benefits are not only for K-Pop albums,

but also for DVDs - for example concert recordings - or magazines. Sometimes they are even included with Korean skin care products or even drinks promoted by Korean stars! The value of pre-order benefits depends on the products they are part of. The more expensive the product, the more owners can later charge for the POB's should they decide to sell them.

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Store exclusive POB's or fansign POB's are also talked about particularly often:

Photo: Kep1er Doublast Yujin Photocard - Nolae PC -with Nolae Sticker

Store exclusive POB's are , as the name suggests, pre-order benefits that you can only get at certain online stores. Especially Korean stores often work together with the agencies that produce the albums and can thus offer exclusive extras for pre-orders. Since the POB's are different at each store, fans often think twice about where to order their albums. In the end, quite a few people buy the album from different stores, so multiple times, in order not to miss any of the exclusive extras.

Fansign POB’s are especially in demand, because fans only get those if they manage to get a spot in a Fansign event. At Fansigns, fans meet their stars in person and can have albums and other fan merchandise signed. International fans in particular often take part in online fansigns, which consist of a one- to three-minute video call with the stars. Who gets into the fansign is chosen at random and depends on how many albums a fan has pre-ordered from stores offering the event. The more, the higher the chance of getting a spot. Especially with the in-person events, lucky participants often get an exclusive extra. Of course, these are especially valuable among K-pop fans because they are harder to get.

What do Korean stars' agencies get out of offering Pre-Order Benefits?

chungha with music show trophy

The pre-order benefits are meant to encourage fans to order the albums as early as possible because they won't play a role in the charts afterwards.

After all, in South Korea, album sales figures play a major role in the charts. The music shows, whose trophies are highly coveted by Korean stars and are often considered a measure of an album's success, also refer to the number of units sold. That's why many agencies regularly offer POB's and will likely continue to do so.

So in the end, Pre-Order Benefits are a small reward for fans who pre-order products: A nice addition to any collection!

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