Monday, April 15, 2013

Hunting in the Otakon 2012 Dealers Room

The 123,000 sq. ft of Dealers Room space was an anime/manga dream mall. I love the fact that there was a large dedicated space for such merchandise and products. Where else can I find a variety or even items that I have never seen before? Since the room does not have a non-competitive environment, it was time to hunt for the lowest price and bargain for what I wanted to buy!

Before going to Otakon blind, I did research online on the items or series that I wanted to buy from and the dealers on what they had to offer. I had printouts of dealers with the selected items, other online stores that were not attending with the same selected items and a list of purchases that I would like to make. This was to help with price comparison, so that I may purchase the lowest price possible at any retailer, online or on site.

There was one particular item that I have longed to buy, but it has been discontinued. It was the Haruhi Suzumiya Gothic Lolita PVC by Griffon Enterprise from 2008. Unfortunately, I discovered this fixed-posed figure a year too late (I only learned about it from a friend). Ever since I discovered the item, I was on the lookout for it, especially at conventions. Browsing through the dealers list, I came across one dealer that happens to have the statue! It was $112 online, so I had to make sure that I visit that booth.

While looking through all the rows of booths with a sharp eye, I discovered a variety of prices for this statue. For example, one place was selling the statue for $140, while another was selling it for $149. I came across the booth that I was looking for that had the statue for $112. Unfortunately, I was five minutes too late; it was sold right before I got there. I waited this long to get it, but I lost my chance and the other prices were too steep for me. I felt so horrible inside. However, something awesome happened; a booth towards the back had the statue for $120. After checking for its authenticity (manufacturer’s name and logo, date of release or copyright year and item code), I bought the item. That was a long awaited lucky break.

Remember that I mentioned that I have a list of items that I am interested in? Sometimes that list can grow the day of. For example, I came across Puella Magi Madoka Magica pins and keychains. Some dealers had it for $7, while others had it for less. Once again, it was time to hunt for the lowest price. I ended up bargaining with one of the dealers; if I buy all the pins in this series, can I get a discount? The deal had been struck, and I saved $1 on each pin set.

So there you have it folks! One will never know what one will find at a convention until one is there. That is how one prepares for and shop at the Dealers Room with one’s monetary limit in mind. The more I save, the more money left over for me. In this case, the more I save from you, the more I come back to you.

© 2013 Linda Thai Photography by Linda Thai For more pictures, check out the Something Deeper: Anime, Manga and Comics Page on Facebook

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