Buying figures at conventions?
I’ve seen both really stretched prices and actual good deals for quality stuff. There’s always a ton of overpriced stuff, I especially see a lot of scale figures that are super pricey and a lot of the time sellers will up the price because they know it’s a lot more tempting to buy something when it’s right in front of you rather than online so they’ll try to rip you off just because people fall for it. A lot of people who are new to collecting are very vulnerable to overpaying for figures since they don’t usually know what’s worth what or they think they’re getting a deal because they don’t have to pay for shipping.
But sometimes there are also cheaper products and good deals. If you’re less picky about figures, like I am (like owning preowned figures or not getting the box, etc.), then you can find some great deals. I’ve seen a lot of people who will discount a perfectly good figure if the box is missing and similar cases to that. Also sometimes sellers have deals at their stands; once I bought 3 figures from a single stand and I got a $5 discount on every figure I bought after the first which wasn’t a lot but it was definitely something so it’s good to look for the sellers who are more generous.
One thing I think that’s great about buying at conventions is finding rarer items or at least things that you’re having trouble finding online. If you don’t know where to look online or have limited sources that you’re familiar with (like me) and you can’t find certain items for reasonable prices then sometimes you’ll find them at conventions. I’ve seen certain figures that are way overpriced online but actually selling at reasonable prices in person and I always take those chances to buy them when I find them.
I think for me personally it’s always worth it to search considering that I’ll find rare figures or good deals sometimes. Plus shopping in person is a lot more fun that shopping online and it’s just part of the experience to look around. I always price-compare when I buy at conventions; when I see something I want, I’ll look up on the spot how much I can get it for online and avoid buying it if it’s more expensive in person. Always beware of bootlegs though! Make sure you inspect what you’re buying and stay away from suspiciously cheap products.
With prize figs on the table you literally get to see exactly what you're getting. Next step is to get them to sell you the display unit.
Some vendors will try to control the price by selling on their ebay store/etc. Make sure you're well versed in the value of the AUTHENTIC product. Helps to know the market value in your country and in japan as well.
Having veteran otaku friends will help you incorporate exchange rates and shipping into the price(s). And if the con price is really unfair, they might let you combine shipping with their monthly preorders so you can get your stuffs even cheaper (I've done this for people many times)!
I used to prey on vendors not knowing the values of their stuffs. Ha I've even gotten a reputation for it back in the day. Vendors see me, they go silent and tense up. But that's getting less possible here in the age of the smartphone. Speaking of smartphone, don't check prices while in their shops. But don't wait too long or others will swoop your items from right under you! Don't be surprised if its one of your otaku friends shopping with you!
Bruh exactly v^v I feel like a lot of sellers try to be fair and nice, but some are kinda snakes and sell just to make some money for something they normally couldn't normally pass off as worth that price :( can't believe they didn't even offer it to you for a lower price after you saw the imperfections -_-
Another thing I noticed is that with large cons like Anime Expo with thousands of people in the exhibitor hall after a few hours of opening, people are willing to spend since they probably waited a few hours to get in the hall and it can take upwards of an hour to walk from one side of the hall to the other. With so many other people there, some will just buy on sight something they are interested in since who knows if it will still be there later during the con. This is probably the reason why some vendors price their stuff very high or offer grab bags to get rid of excess stock as well. I've worked as a exhibitor there for the past 8-9 years so I can explore the hall before they open but if I were to go back to a regular attendee, I'd pass on going since you can find the same nendoroids and scales and such on amiami/ebay.
I always love to look at all the stalls selling figures at my local con (they're my favorite places even just to browse), and yes, a lot of the time they're a bit (or a lot) overpriced, but that's usually the case for most items anyway at conventions. I've certainly picked up a few figures there over the years, if it's been hard to find, or the price is decent, after I've looked it up online of course and done some estimation for shipping and currency conversion etc.
When I go to cons, I usually buy a nendoroid or two from gsc since they usually have an exclusive at anime expo or they'll have something that I liked the way it looked more in person than on the screen. Other than that, I spend most of my money at the artist alley.
I'll only buy figures at cons if the con is rather large since they have a wider selection of vendors. I don't get too many, maybe 1 or 3 max. I also check my phone for prices before committing just to make sure the price isn't too high. The ones I buy though are usual pretty good deals. There are some dealers that sell old figures no one wants for great prices. And sometimes dealers are willing to haggle if it is the last day of a con. Haggling on the last day usually helps me save even more.
It's a fun experience. Though I've been disappointed with the dealers lately. Most I find rarely sell scale figures. They prefer to sell nendoroids and pops instead which everyone else in the dealers hall is already selling. I rarely buy any figures now because of this.
I do when I go to cons usually. Yeah, they can be a little higher than online, but sometimes it's the same after shipping comes in. I've been lucky overall I guess because the ones I go to usually have things in good condition and definitely new with no defects. The main one I go to and buy at is AKon.
when I first started collecting. Don't really know for value back then and probably overpaid as I was first starting but oh well.
A couple years later picked up
together. I remember I got Haru for a steal compared to his online prices at the time, then thought I was getting Makoto for average then later found out I overpaid, but oh well I guess. Evens out with the deal on Haru? lol
I also got
at the GoodSmile booth at one con, and got
for about average to his aftermarket. Have also picked up a couple of impulse buy plushies at cons too.
The louise otaku
Usually plushies actually like alpacasso and nemuneko.
But I also scored deals in the past from briing and buy which are fair priced most of the time plus Youko from inukami for 58 euros which back then was fair ^^ (sold her by now tho..)
Here cons: animecon and abunaicon
Is where I buy
Prizes are often decent prices too but rest is often overpriced with figs :( like 2-3x the value.
I tend to only buy trading figures at cons, and I was very fortunate to find this set for sale
. They were unopened but missing one character, so it was a bit of a gamble since I didn't know if my fave was missing. Luckily, the missing character was the one I didn't want! I had missed the preorder period for the set and the price at the con wasn't even marked up too badly ($10 USD each compared to 800 yen each originally).
I've never bought one at conventions myself, but I regret not buying a $400 aud scale that i saw. It was so expensive I took too lon deciding and someone else snatched it up. I've never seen it that cheap anywherw else as it costs like $100+ shipping online. Otherwise prize figures tend to be fairly priced.