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Yukinari

"Overall Price" equality of the venders prices

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Ok i have kept quiet about this one since last year but, seeing it so much more this year, i've had enough! i'm calling out those vender's who price gouge the mess out of us con goers! there are a lot of very fair and honest vender's who just want an honest dollar but then ther are those who just want to see how much they can scam out of us! how does it not rise an eyebrow that a vendor can be allowed to sell a $30 dollar jacket for $80 bucks?? or and art book for $600 and $1,000?? or very common old games that are not rare that you can find in game stop for $10 to $15 bucks use and $20 bucks new, can sell for a full $60 bucks?? ill tell you why and this story starts to add up and make logical sense when you think about it and read on. Otakon is not checking if there vender's are price gouging or being honest and i don't want to hear anything about the tax because it's not THAT high! :blink:

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How can Otakon dictate vendor pricing? Many vendors charge the same price for products. All the office supply stores are going to sell the same printers, at the same prices. Same thing with the big box stores and their electronics. Auto parts, sneakers, etc. The list goes on. If people don't buy their products then the vendors need to adjust pricing accordingly. However, if they are getting sales, then I doubt there will be pricing changes. If you can find it on-line cheaper; you are well within your rights to purchase items that way. Otakon cannot be held responsible for what someone charges for a product. The vendor may need to raise prices to recoup their losses for space rental, travel, staff, transport costs, hotel room rentals, etc.

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High prices in the con or not, I got one thing to say about this....I know where you can get some Ice cold water for nice and cheap.

Sorry, had to mention it :blink:

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the reason, as i remember years ago, that the reason they do this is to guarantee they made the cost of the booth and trip back even if they don't sell anything else as posted on another topic its called the "Hail Marry" deal

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Every vendor I bought from was priced well and super friendly, even on Sunday. If a vendor is obviously priced ridiculously ($1k artbook for example) don't buy from them. And if you have the money to be spending this much in the dealers' room, surely you can get yourself a smartphone or something and look up prices?

I just don't see how Otakon can control something like this with so many dealers and so many things.

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You do have to realize, it's a convention. It's literally a cram packed box of thousands of people who are quite obsessed with the subject. OF COURSE they're going to charge more. The same reason sports arenas charge more for jerseys and shirts, and why concerts charge more for CDs and shirts. These people are here for this specifically and are going to be more willing to pay more for it from there. It's up to the consumer to be cautious and notice a poor price when you see it. Yeah I can find that DVD box set I want on Amazon for half the price, so I WILL. Otakon can't regulate pricing for vendors, they'd never get any to actually sign up for booths. Just suck it up and buy it somewhere else.

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How can Otakon dictate vendor pricing? Many vendors charge the same price for products. All the office supply stores are going to sell the same printers, at the same prices. Same thing with the big box stores and their electronics. Auto parts, sneakers, etc. The list goes on. If people don't buy their products then the vendors need to adjust pricing accordingly. However, if they are getting sales, then I doubt there will be pricing changes. If you can find it on-line cheaper; you are well within your rights to purchase items that way. Otakon cannot be held responsible for what someone charges for a product. The vendor may need to raise prices to recoup their losses for space rental, travel, staff, transport costs, hotel room rentals, etc.

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I mean, it is a free market. People can charge whatever they want and you can simply choose not to buy it. That is totally your perogative and their loss.

If they choose to gouge prices we can vote with our wallets, that's all we should have to do. I don't buy video games at Otakon because they are too darn expensive. I generally only buy things I can't find anywhere else cheaper.

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How can Otakon dictate vendor pricing? Many vendors charge the same price for products. All the office supply stores are going to sell the same printers, at the same prices. Same thing with the big box stores and their electronics. Auto parts, sneakers, etc. The list goes on. If people don't buy their products then the vendors need to adjust pricing accordingly. However, if they are getting sales, then I doubt there will be pricing changes. If you can find it on-line cheaper; you are well within your rights to purchase items that way. Otakon cannot be held responsible for what someone charges for a product. The vendor may need to raise prices to recoup their losses for space rental, travel, staff, transport costs, hotel room rentals, etc.

of corse Otacon cannot dictate prices but i know Otakon can check to see if vender's are price gouging and l about items being "last print" or "rare" just to make twice ore three times what it really costs. why is it that buying these over prices items directly from there 1st parties is 2 times as cheaper than some of the vender's at otakon?? now let me ask you this 1: do you think there prices are fair? 2: do you think its fair for vender's to price gouge us and lie about there justification of over pricing an item just to make up for there loses? 3: would you allow someone to sell items at your con and lie about how much a item REALLY cost and also allow them to lie about there reason to over price an item? if you answered no to the fallowing then, congratulations, your a reasonable human being and you feel like i and many of the con goers do. i mean can you really justifye there actions if you were on the buyers side of the table?

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You do have to realize, it's a convention. It's literally a cram packed box of thousands of people who are quite obsessed with the subject. OF COURSE they're going to charge more. The same reason sports arenas charge more for jerseys and shirts, and why concerts charge more for CDs and shirts. These people are here for this specifically and are going to be more willing to pay more for it from there. It's up to the consumer to be cautious and notice a poor price when you see it. Yeah I can find that DVD box set I want on Amazon for half the price, so I WILL. Otakon can't regulate pricing for vendors, they'd never get any to actually sign up for booths. Just suck it up and buy it somewhere else.

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First of all, Otakon does not set dealer's prices or check to make sure that they're all priced fairly. We provide a space for them to sell their things and that's it. If a dealer has something priced higher than you want to pay for it you have, basically, 2 options. First, you can try to talk them down to a price that you think is reasonable. Some dealers will negotiate but a lot won't - the worst that they can do if you try is say that their price is firm. Option #2 is to simply not buy it. Price and stock levels are adjusted based on what is selling, and if something isn't selling then that's a clue to the dealer that it's priced too high. If you can find it cheaper then but it some other place.

As for policing price gouging, it isn't something that we've done in the past and I don't think that the dealer's contract has anything in it that forces the dealers to price in any certain way. I don't think it's very likely that something like that will be added it the future either, since it would take too much time for the dealers room staff to check the pricing of each item that every dealer had. Theoretically it's possible, but it's extremely impractical.

Plus, dealers may charge a little over the going rate since they have to pay for their table(s), hotel, food, gas, etc. Many dealers do conventions in addition to having a regular store - and a lot of ebay sellers don't have either so they can afford to sell for cheaper.

The bottom line is pretty simple though: if you see a price that you don't like, don't pay it. I've walked away from all kinds of deals (anime stuff, guitars, cars, whatever you can think of) because the price wasn't right. The dealer sets the price at what they think people will pay and if it's more than you'll pay then don't pay it.

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Agreed. There was a vendor selling bodyline, which is pretty much walmart to lolitas, and the dresses were around $100. Now to me and other Lolitas/fans of lolita, most of us we know that one dress from bodyline normally ranges from $25-$60 without shipping (which I believe is $20-30 now that they got rid of DHL D:) and you can probably get for even less on the eglsalescomm. But to the normal person who just wants a Lolita dress, this is going to be a steal compared to the $198 Rakuen fashion dresses and $200+ Btssb/Aatp/brand name dresses at the booths around the con.

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When it comes to the Dealer's Room, I'll walk around four or five times checking & comparing prices before I buy anything. Plus I carry a little notebook & pen to make note of where & for how much something is that I like. If one vendor has a Sailor Moon book for $30, another for $20 & another for $15, well of course I buy from the vendor with the cheapest price. If I can't find what I want for the price I'm willing to pay, then I don't buy it, simple as that.

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This is why I try to make a list of things that I want to look for before the convention. I will check this list with sites like Right Stuf, HLJ, etc. to see what they want for the items. Once I get to Otakon, I'll see which vendors have these items and check the prices at the booths against the prices I found on the web sites. If I can get an item at Otakon cheaper than I can from the site (plus shipping), then I will buy it there. If not, then I'll just wait and order it online. Most of the time, I end up buying things at Otakon that I wasn't initially looking for, or that I didn't know existed, more than things that were on my initial list. I think that's the primary benefit of the dealer's room: you can find new things that you wouldn't initially have thought about.

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i found an Advent Children Yuffie wall scroll, asked how much it was and found out it was $40, asked a different vendor who had the exact same wall scroll, $35

nope

im one of the few fans of Yuffie, but there's no way im spending that much on a wall scroll im most likely not even going to be able to hang in my room (assuming im unable to convince my dad to let me drive a nail in the wall)

meanwhile, one of my friends found a Gurren Lagann wall scroll for $16

guess i didnt look hard enough :\

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i found an Advent Children Yuffie wall scroll, asked how much it was and found out it was $40, asked a different vendor who had the exact same wall scroll, $35

nope

im one of the few fans of Yuffie, but there's no way im spending that much on a wall scroll im most likely not even going to be able to hang in my room (assuming im unable to convince my dad to let me drive a nail in the wall)

meanwhile, one of my friends found a Gurren Lagann wall scroll for $16

guess i didnt look hard enough :\

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I collect figures... I normally don't do wall scrolls, DVDs, Artbooks and most of the time the prices are around what I find on ebay or a bit more. I did see a few figures selling for over 200 dollars and I just walked away from it. You just have to know what you are buying. Nobody is twisting your arm or putting a gun up to your head to buy the stuff. Some of it is a bit more but with a lot of stuff that comes from China and are bootleg I do know that the stuff I'm buying is going to be legit. Mostly because I'm seeing what I'm buying.

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I will say that as far as the overpriced video games go, I noticed a booth that had several of the rarer SNES/N64 games for a lot of money (Ogre Battle 64 for I think around $60 or more, Super Mario RPG for around $120, etc) and I can vouch that those are pretty standard prices. Back when our Gamestop still even carried N64/SNES games, there were always a select few that were very popular and very hard to come by that were sold for much higher prices. They're good games and as they get older and harder to come by people who want to play them again will pay more to find a working copy. It's also not too far from the original retail price anyway - cartridges used to be expensive as sin.

Anyway, as others have said, if something is so horrendously overpriced, it isn't going to sell and/or you don't have to buy it. I was in the dealer's room Sunday near closing and there were still plenty of overpriced/expensive things sitting unsold. If there's something you see that you want at one booth but you think "Holy carps, $50 for a stuffed animal is kind of ridiculous," check around to see if other booths are selling the same item - several places had the XL Mameshiba plushies, but they were all priced differently with the highest and lowest being about a $15 difference. I shopped around, got the lowest priced ones, and haven't found a better deal for them online yet so I'm happy.

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This is why I love Sci-Fi continuum. I always clean them out of manga and DVDs - bought all of Freedom this year for $15 :) I laugh at that since I remember Freedom being over $100 under Bandai Visual...........

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This is why I love Sci-Fi continuum. I always clean them out of manga and DVDs - bought all of Freedom this year for $15 :) I laugh at that since I remember Freedom being over $100 under Bandai Visual...........

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I honestly don't even understand why people go into the dealer rooms expecting to find bargains any more. There's no way the average dealer can compete with internet sales. About the only thing you can reasonably expect to be able to get a good deal on are manga and occasionally DVDs. Everything else is going to be MSRP or higher due to the dealer's overhead and the dealer trying to turn a profit. If you managed to find something cheaper, then you got lucky. There's honestly no reason to expect anything more than a handful of items to be priced below what you see for them online.

I only purchase a modicum of things from the dealer room any more; the rare item that I can't find anywhere else or something I didn't know existed and the price is around the same as what I can find for it online, for instance. Anybody with a bank account can get a better deal online, either through a debit card or a PayPal account. And if you don't have a bank account, you can still put money on pre-paid debit cards and use them just like a credit card.

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I honestly don't even understand why people go into the dealer rooms expecting to find bargains any more. There's no way the average dealer can compete with internet sales. About the only thing you can reasonably expect to be able to get a good deal on are manga and occasionally DVDs. Everything else is going to be MSRP or higher due to the dealer's overhead and the dealer trying to turn a profit. If you managed to find something cheaper, then you got lucky. There's honestly no reason to expect anything more than a handful of items to be priced below what you see for them online.

I only purchase a modicum of things from the dealer room any more; the rare item that I can't find anywhere else or something I didn't know existed and the price is around the same as what I can find for it online, for instance. Anybody with a bank account can get a better deal online, either through a debit card or a PayPal account. And if you don't have a bank account, you can still put money on pre-paid debit cards and use them just like a credit card.

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Agreed!. I think everyone on this thread should be forced to watch Spice and Wolf so they can understand basic Econ 101. :)

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i don't quite understand why some people go into the dealer room complaining about the dealer prices sometimes. otakon is an expensive con to get a dealer room table at, and the fact the dealers do need to make a profit there too. the vendors were over all fair pried for the most part. there will always be some vendors that are vastly over priced, the solution for that is don't shop at their booth and go to a more reasonable priced booth. i am guessing that the more expensive dealers had a higher cost for their suppliers. if anything sometimes if you buy more stuff some dealers will if you buy more stuff can give you a break on price, but it varied on the dealer. if you want to come in and buy just one thing and want a discount on it, it prolly won't happen.

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When it comes to the Dealer's Room, I'll walk around four or five times checking & comparing prices before I buy anything. Plus I carry a little notebook & pen to make note of where & for how much something is that I like. If one vendor has a Sailor Moon book for $30, another for $20 & another for $15, well of course I buy from the vendor with the cheapest price. If I can't find what I want for the price I'm willing to pay, then I don't buy it, simple as that.

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I saw someone trying to sell Mario is Missing, for like, $20. Maybe even more, I can't really remember.

I laughed.

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To those mentioning the Lolita items, I saw Secret Shop socks going for like $12/pair and the Dot Chiffon Lucky pack dress ALONE (from the recent summer Meta) for like $300?! RIDICULOUS. Granted these items were from a consignment sort of thing. To any Lolita who actively shops online, we simple know how much things of such brands (such as Bodyline) run. I'm concerned about those who find out about Lolita at cons and decide they want something Lolita there and get ripped-off!

And of course dealers would take advantage of a con!! Such a huge market for their wares instead of a stationary shop front or online venue. People are more prone to decide whether to buy things or not by being able to examine said item in the real.

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The Dealers Room is all about making deals and buying your favorite goodies. After enough talking I get the price to go down on some items, sometimes anyway. It doesn't always work, but chances are asking if the price can go down or if you saw it at another booth for cheaper, it might go down.

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i found an Advent Children Yuffie wall scroll, asked how much it was and found out it was $40, asked a different vendor who had the exact same wall scroll, $35

nope

im one of the few fans of Yuffie, but there's no way im spending that much on a wall scroll im most likely not even going to be able to hang in my room (assuming im unable to convince my dad to let me drive a nail in the wall)

meanwhile, one of my friends found a Gurren Lagann wall scroll for $16

guess i didnt look hard enough :\

A $40.00 wall scroll? I've been to otakon for 8 years now and have never seen prices THAT high. I was chatting with a vendor and he mentioned that it's hard to pack up your wares, travel to a con, rent a booth, repack everything and then travel back to your store, while still trying to compete with internet prices.

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High prices? Yes. That was a constant throughout the floor.

An unwillingness to negotiate or move on prices for buying multiple things? That was where I drew the line. I bought one book and a handful of trading figures. I was willing to spend some cash, but there wasn't really any point to it. I know what a Revoltech figure costs. I know what a PVC figure costs. Price there weren't even competitive for the most part.

Looking back, I don't remember seeing many pvc figures move at all.

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I tend to grab bag a lot. Most of the stuff I saw was generally boring and same-y across the board. So I bought all grab bags this year except a deck of Haruhi Playing cards. All of my grab bags generously paid for themselves with only 1-2 items. I know this strategy won't always work for everyone but if you don't think things are well priced, try a grab bag. I actually got got a pretty big Marshall D Teach figure that I'll probably sell at some point. That thing usually goes for ~$20, and that's all I paid for the bag. Finally, like other's have said, you have self control on some level. If a dealer's price gouging then walk away. They'll lower the prices or not return when they can't sell.

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I've never really understood "Grab Bags," I'm always weary of paying money for something I can't see. What is usually in them?

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One factor to consider is that the Yen to Dollar rate is AWFUL right now, and that means any honest-to-goodness imported products are going to be much higher. When I was there in 2002, you got about 117y per dollar. Now you get about 80y per dollar.

Case in point: Proper licensed Ghibli plushie bought in Tokyo: 3200 yen when I bought it in 2002 worked out to about $27. That same item today? $40, due to the exchange rates. Dealers are just as affected by that as we are. Pretty sure there are higher transportation costs and increased fees, so the cost of importing goods is higher as well. Quite a few of the dealers aren't buying at wholesale rates, either, because they are buying special items rather than bulk.

So that's probably why the $15-$20 legit wall scrolls of 2006 are now $25+.

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I've never really understood "Grab Bags," I'm always weary of paying money for something I can't see. What is usually in them?

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If you're still looking for that Yuffie wallscroll, my friends at OtakuFuel have it for less than $20 before shipping:

http://www.otakufuel.com/catalog/final-fan...roll-19830.html

There's also a Vincent and an Aeris:

http://www.otakufuel.com/catalog/final-fan...roll-19829.html

http://www.otakufuel.com/catalog/final-fan...roll-18053.html

Indeed, the internet is your friend.

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If the price is too high, just move on to another vendor. If the price is so high that nobody buys it, they'll have to eat the additional cost of taking it home. The space occupied by that item at home is space that can't be used by faster selling items as well.

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A few of those dealers are indeed gouging, but it's not what it appears with most of them.

900 per booth to start.

Many bigger stands are 3+ booths. That's 2700 or more dollars just to be there.

Now factor in hotel for employees.

Travel costs to reach Otakon.

The cost of the stock brought.

Paying the employees.

And or course the cost of fixtures such as shelving ect. I assure you if you don't bring your own tables and shelving, Hargrove, the official otakon contractor will rent you a table for $ 230 rather than ABC Rental doing it for $ 25.50 and tax.

Electric for your booth, Plumbing... enjoy paying more dealer.

By the time the dealer is done paying to be at Otakon, the starting deficit is pretty significant.

I know, I was a dealer this year... local to baltimore, avoiding a chunk of these costs, and still spent all of friday and part of Saturday just getting out of debt. I cannot imagine how hard it is for someone who uses the Contractor, travels cross country, and rents multiple booths.

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I saw a few booths with anime, but I couldn't find Black Butler DVD's so I was bummed.

I was tempted to get the entire Le Chevalier D'eon box series for 20$ - but money is tight and I've heard that the anime is good but the ending sucked. Wish I had time to go online while at otakon...I bring my laptop but never have the time to use the wifi at the hotel...

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High prices? Yes. That was a constant throughout the floor.

An unwillingness to negotiate or move on prices for buying multiple things? That was where I drew the line.

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Basic Economics Here People. I looked around on Friday at stuff gauging the selection and prices. In my experience I have always found that buying at cons is less expensive and better sometimes as you can negotiate the price where as with the internet its fixed and then shipping is involved and sometimes your item is destroyed in shipping. I have always liked shopping in person, better experience vendor to dealer, especially if someone smiles and legit offers assistance in finding something. I have always paid A LOT lower at Con for stuff then what it would have retailed for in addition to either tax or shipping or both. Bottom line shop around, know what the stuff retails for prior, and weigh what you want to spend. Remember the economy still sucks for everyone right now.

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To shed a little light on the wallscroll issue:

Regular wallscrolls were still $12-16-ish wherever I looked. The only ones $30-40 were the silver* Final Fantasy wallscrolls. I love wallscrolls, and I can tell you that the quality is definitely different (and better, in my opinion) for the Final Fantasy wallscrolls. Add that to the fact that they came in protective cardboard tubing (not stuffed in boxes and handled by thousands of people) and the added cost of them getting the wallscrolls in stock in general (It is Final Fantasy) as opposed to the regular anime wallscrolls and that's generally where the high price comes from.

I, for one, got a Lightning wallscroll for $29 and a Durarara!! wallscroll for $15. Yea, the Lightning one was high on my price range, but I really wanted it so I got it for the lowest asking price I saw in the dealer's room after going through every booth first. If the price is too high, don't buy it. It's really not that hard a concept. Go back on Sunday and the prices are usually cheaper across the board. Friday ends up being my scouting day, and Sunday right before I leave is when I'll buy things I wanted to hold out for a lower price on. Dealers end up much more willing to haggle on Sunday, as well (not that I have, to be honest). I've seen it happen plenty, though. It doesn't take much to ask the dealer if they'll go lower on the price.

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Basic Economics Here People. I looked around on Friday at stuff gauging the selection and prices. In my experience I have always found that buying at cons is less expensive and better sometimes as you can negotiate the price where as with the internet its fixed and then shipping is involved and sometimes your item is destroyed in shipping. I have always liked shopping in person, better experience vendor to dealer, especially if someone smiles and legit offers assistance in finding something. I have always paid A LOT lower at Con for stuff then what it would have retailed for in addition to either tax or shipping or both. Bottom line shop around, know what the stuff retails for prior, and weigh what you want to spend. Remember the economy still sucks for everyone right now.

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Prices did seem to be higher this year, but with the economy as it is and the exchange rate, some of that can't be helped. This is why before hand I made a list of the things I wanted to watch for and their prices online. There were a few things I couldn't find online and I made note of that too. When I browsed the DR this year, I remember finding two figures I bought last year that I paid $20 each for and they were $30-$35 this year. Then again, last year they were usually $25 at a booth. I just happened to find them for $20 in one of my searches.

There was an artbook I saw that I had recently bought selling for $50 in DR. I'd gotten it for around $40 after the Y!J auction and the shopping service fees. However, I know that artbook is rare to get in general, and if I hadn't recently bought it, I would have bought it for that price. It was one of those things that were on my must have list, and I came to the Dealer's Room prepared to pay a price for those few things should I find them. I think one of my best buys was my Crayon Shin-chan volume 10. You can't get that online for retail or below, and I was happy to see it being sold there. Now if only I could get volume 11, I'd be good.

In the end, I came home with a good bit of spending money left because I knew there were better deals on a few things I wanted online. Therefore, I turned around and immediately purchased some of those items. I think it gave for a good balance in the end.

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A few of those dealers are indeed gouging, but it's not what it appears with most of them.

900 per booth to start.

Many bigger stands are 3+ booths. That's 2700 or more dollars just to be there.

Now factor in hotel for employees.

Travel costs to reach Otakon.

The cost of the stock brought.

Paying the employees.

And or course the cost of fixtures such as shelving ect. I assure you if you don't bring your own tables and shelving, Hargrove, the official otakon contractor will rent you a table for $ 230 rather than ABC Rental doing it for $ 25.50 and tax.

Electric for your booth, Plumbing... enjoy paying more dealer.

By the time the dealer is done paying to be at Otakon, the starting deficit is pretty significant.

I know, I was a dealer this year... local to baltimore, avoiding a chunk of these costs, and still spent all of friday and part of Saturday just getting out of debt. I cannot imagine how hard it is for someone who uses the Contractor, travels cross country, and rents multiple booths.

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I've been in the dealer's room over the years, in capacity as a buyer, and as a staffer. I've spent 5 digits of cash on things. Almost all of the prices I've seen I would consider fair/normal. There's only a few things I've seen where my reaction was "yeah, ok, like that'll sell." All of the anime I've bought at con was cheaper than buying from stores and legit online retailers.

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Most of the points I was going to make have already been covered, but I'll add this; the benefits of an online store is that all of the products are safely held in a warehouse or some similar structure for smaller companies. They don't have to worry about things like random customers stealing products. However, in cases like open stores they have to worry about theft and such so they have to raise their prices slightly sometimes to compensate for that. That's why stores who have both online and open stores have things like 'Online Only' sales on products. As far as buying on EBay goes.. well, you can't expect vendors to match an EBay price. If you want the EBay price then buy on EBay. Simple as that.

Also, on the $1,000 dollar Sailormoon artbook; The artbook in question was the Infinity artbook which saw a very limited press. In fact, from what I hear it doesn't even have a ISBN number. I did an EBay check prior to posting this and there is only one listed.. and it's for $1,500. Apparently $1,000 is roughly the going price for it. It's an expensive artbook and I'm not nearly fan enough for it, but I'm sure they'll find someone.

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On Friday, you'll want to get to the dealer's room between 1-2 pm, because most of the dealers are set up and most of the wares are still there. The first thing you want to do is to go to every booth, looking at what they have and their prices. If one item is set at one price, a similar item will be set at a similar price. Go to a booth and pick up something that is similar (a DVD, shirt, plushie, etc.) and ask for the price. If what they tell you makes you hesitate to keep looking, MOVE ON! because chances are, you will find it cheaper somewhere else. SHOW NO INTEREST!!! Once you show interest, the unpriced item will suddenly jump $5-10. If there is one of those barcodes that has the price in smaller print, see if the spoken price matches the sticker price. In my head, if I see a price in yen I do a little decimal rearranging. 1,000yen ~$10.00. i.e. 29,571yen ~$295.71. If the price is far away from that, I put it down and move to the next booth.

ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE DOLLAR BOXES!!

Never buy a 'grab bagsh, twenty dollarsh'. Most of the things in them are things that NOBODY buys, so they put them in an opaque bag and call it a deal, when you are getting a total rip-off.

You can always go to your local pawn shop/ discount store and get things cheaper there.

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On Friday, you'll want to get to the dealer's room between 1-2 pm, because most of the dealers are set up and most of the wares are still there. The first thing you want to do is to go to every booth, looking at what they have and their prices. If one item is set at one price, a similar item will be set at a similar price. Go to a booth and pick up something that is similar (a DVD, shirt, plushie, etc.) and ask for the price. If what they tell you makes you hesitate to keep looking, MOVE ON! because chances are, you will find it cheaper somewhere else. SHOW NO INTEREST!!! Once you show interest, the unpriced item will suddenly jump $5-10. If there is one of those barcodes that has the price in smaller print, see if the spoken price matches the sticker price. In my head, if I see a price in yen I do a little decimal rearranging. 1,000yen ~$10.00. i.e. 29,571yen ~$295.71. If the price is far away from that, I put it down and move to the next booth.

ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE DOLLAR BOXES!!

Never buy a 'grab bagsh, twenty dollarsh'. Most of the things in them are things that NOBODY buys, so they put them in an opaque bag and call it a deal, when you are getting a total rip-off.

You can always go to your local pawn shop/ discount store and get things cheaper there.

I think I just figured something out. If you're used to doing that little calculation, EVERYTHING is going to seem about 25-30% more expensive. Why? Simple: the dollar doesn't buy 100 yen -- it has been about 4 years since that was the case.

It's actually about 77 yen to the dollar these days. That means your 1000 yen item is nearly $13 -- and that's just at the raw exchange rate, excluding any thought of profit or the cost of getting it into the country.

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