Great Ways to Find Deals at Comic Con!

Posted by Jose On October - 23 - 2010

Going to comic conventions is a great way to meet your favorite writer or artist. There are so many great announcements to hear first and so many panels to visit. But, one of my favorite aspects of a convention is the crazy amount of deals you can get on comics, trades, apparel and so on. If you’re willing to be patient and willing to walk around A LOT, then you may want to pay attention.

The first thing you should note about shopping at conventions is that there’s more than one place to find something. For example, say you have your eye set on an Absolute edition of Crisis on Infinite Earths. You’ve just arrived to the convention, and on the third table you’ve walked by, you see the vendor has a copy on their table with a yellow post-it note marked $80; not bad for a hardcover collection that retails for $99.00. Do you buy it? NO! What’s the matter with you?! You never buy the book you want at the first table!

A standard convention rule is to walk around a bit and scope out the other tables to see if they have said item for cheaper. You were gonna walk around the convention anyways, so you might as well put those feet to work for a good cause. What you find at the first table for $80 could be at another table nearby for anywhere from $60-70. Much like other forms of pricing, you have to look around and find the price you’re most comfortable paying. If you don’t mind plunking down $80 for that book, then I say go for it. However, if you see it for much cheaper later on in the day at another table, you can’t really blame anyone but yourself.

Let’s go from expensive hardcover collections to single issues. Let say, for the sake of argument you’re looking for a copy of Justice League of America # 193…in fact, let’s just drop the “for the sake of argument”, because this happened to me at a con just last year. It was my sincere hope to find that issue because I wanted the 14-page insert that gave us the first appearance of the All-Star Squadron. After walking around from table to table, I finally found a copy that a vendor was willing to part with for $6.75. A little steep, but I was comfortable paying that price. Sadly, I only had a twenty, and the vendor didn’t want to give me that much change. After trying unsuccessfully to get him to maybe lower the price, I asked him to hold it for me while I made change. I went through some fifty-cent bins to look for cheap comics to pick up to make change and sure enough, I found a copy of Justice League of America # 193! It was in better shape and had the insert! And that’s the lesson, folks. Whether you can or can’t find it at one booth, try another; they might not always have that prized find in the fifty-cent bins, but play the odds because you might get lucky and be rewarded for your hunt.

Lastly, there is one rule that benefits from both methods mentioned above… if you plan on attending the convention every day it’s open, then wait until the last day to buy that prized item! It’s a well known fact that most vendors/exhibitors/sellers have a lot of stuff to bring to conventions in the hopes of making a profit, but most of them don’t want to carry a lot back on the ride home. If they’re feeling the crunch of making a sale or feeling particularly lazy, they will often slash prices! They may go 30% off, 50% off or the ever-rare 75% off, but those deals are there to be taken advantage of! Their loss is your gain! If you’ve been looking from table to table for that Absolute Edition of Crisis on Infinite Earths or scouring the bins for that copy of Justice League of America # 193, chances are your patience might have paid off if you waited until the last day. You may have gotten that hardcover collection for $50 or that single issue marked down to 25 cents, but either way you’ve just gotten a great score for a great price.

Of course, these methods do have their drawbacks. Maybe while going from table to table, you might not find any deals at all and when you return to the table where you first saw that hardcover, it’s been snatched up by someone else. Or maybe you’ve combed through bin after bin only to find severely damaged copies of your prize, or an issue minus the insert you were buying the issue for in the first place and you have to return to the greedy vendor with your tail between your legs and cough up more so he doesn’t have to give you that much change back. Or maybe you wait until the last day for those random deals only to find there are none and you end up paying through the nose for what you wanted in the first place. Much like everything else in life, that’s a risk you have to take when buying something at a convention.

So, in short, never buy it at the first table you see; shop around! If you look elsewhere, there’s a good chance you may find it cheaper and better somewhere else. And, if you’re patient enough, you might get a great last day-deal! But most of all have fun! That’s what this hobby is all about.

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Thoughts on Cinema is dedicated to film reviews. An uncompromising opinion on the intellectual, artistic, and entertainment value to the consumer. With rising ticket prices, we dedicate ourselves to present to you content regarding what you should or should not be viewing. -Ronald H. Pollock Founder and Editor in Chief

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