Indiana Comic Con April 29th-May 1st, 2016

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Mr Paul Wiederhold went to Indiana and brought us a message of hope and love!!!

Indiana Comic Con was my first ever and I went in with both feet being a seller and buyer at the CBSI/F5 booth. Our crew consisted of myself, Deno Pappas, Anthony L, Ben Steiniger, John Brown, and Jon Z with honorary mentions to a few more gentlemen that swung by the booth: Mike Oberlin, Matt Saltzman, Thomas Pilsbury and Stewart from our CBSI forums.

A special shout out has to go to Ben C’s friend Greg White hooking us up with another pass for helping him set up and tear down his booth. A real genuine guy that any CBSI member attending Indiana (or any other con he goes to) in the future needs to hook up with, lend a hand, and say hi.

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Were there pre-sale tickets (online/in-store), and could you get in early?

Kids 12 and under were free and tickets could be bought before the show.

At the door, tickets were $60 for all 3 Days or as follows for individual days:

  • $30 for Friday (12-6)
  • $40 Saturday (8-6)
  • $30 for Sunday (9-5)

As vendors, we got in early to set up and open shop over the weekend

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How many retailers were there?

There were 275 booths but some doubled up; CBSI/F5 were Booth 703/802. Of course not every vendor had comics and the blend seemed pretty even. There were some great items for sale!

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How was the floor layout?

The layout for the con was pretty awesome, and it definitely matters. After talking to other customers, the consensus was that the organization and layout of this convention was top notch. Indiana literally rolled out the red carpet for the hall, adding a level of professionalism to the entire convention.

What was the most ridiculously over-priced book you saw?

Midgrade raw Batman 181 priced at a reasonable $1,400

What was the highest priced book you saw?

Raw Amazing Spider-Man #1 at $12K

What was your best bargain purchase? Why?

My best bargain purchase was IDW TMNT #5 cover A Santolouco variant. I definitely did a double take when I saw it in the bin, bought it and ran. There haven’t been any sales in a while, but the book could go for $40-$60…maybe higher.

What was your favorite item purchased? Why?

I was sending non-stop pictures to my wife and we (read she) finally settled on a neat sailor girl pinup. I got a good price on it, and it was cheaper than the other things that had been catching her eye, so win-win.

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What was your favorite comic purchased? Why?

How about comic related haha. I bought a TMNT poster from Jim Lawson in the Artists Alley and Scott Robertson had a commission piece done which is pretty badass!

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What was the rarest book you saw?

We saw Bone #1 9.4, Crow #1 9.8, and Sensation Comics #38 as well.

What were some books you were surprised the dealers had priced so high? (that you saw multiple dealers had at a high price, not just a single as above)

A lot of people had What if Venom priced pretty high with the lowest at $275 in NM+ condition.

Were any artists present? What were your experiences with them?

There were a lot of artists present, but I only met with Jim Lawson. He was very nice and didn’t mind to talk shop at all. I hope he’s there next year!

If you were the promoter, what would you have done to make this show better?

With a vendor's pass I can’t really say much from a customer's perspective regarding waiting at the gate and all. Food prices could have been lower which I’m sure is said at every convention. Before the con I saw actors and artists they were promoting via FaceBook, but that was the extent of my exposure before arriving. Saturday morning I saw a few people bolting for a signature which probably could have been handled smoother. Other than that I wouldn’t change much at all.

If you were selling comics, what would you have done differently?

Luckily I can give a little more insight here. This was my first convention and I certainly learned a lot. Some nice tips I can pass on are to always engage customers. I saw vendors who were in a chair watching potential sales walk on by all three days, one guy was even sleeping! Just saying “Let me know if you need any help” doesn’t cut it if you want to make money and bring home less inventory. At the CBSI/F5 booth we were on our feet almost all day shaking hands and calling out to people in turtle shirts that we had turtle books (don’t expect customers to read your signs). We weren’t annoying, just engaging. If we didn’t have a book we asked the other guys if they did; if I knew I had a book they were looking for in my dollar mish-mash box, I went around the table and helped them look. None of our guys took home less than $1,000 in their pockets.

Another tip I can say from the rookie standpoint is to be organized. I was rushed getting ready for the con and left books behind that I guarantee would have sold because I didn’t have the time to price them. Other tips are: give yourself PLENTY of time to get ready for a con and don’t bother alphabetizing your dollar bins but bag/board them if possible. If you have dividers in your comic boxes, label both sides so you know what your customer is looking at or where to redirect them. For me personally on the next go around I’m probably going to remove my “$10 and up Misc” & “$3-5 Misc” sections and put books in a more logical place. If it doesn’t qualify as a wall book it’ll go with the rest of the Spidey books kinda thing.

Here are some nice labels you can use as well: Large, which are great for wall books and Small for everything else. They are pretty easy to take off as well. Here are links to download the templates (large and small). Type in one then press TAB to change them all. You MUST click print in the bottom right of the PDF for it to align correctly on your printer.

Another little tid bit of info is to download the PayPal Here App so you can accept cards, this was a lifesaver. Be sure to sign up before the con though so PayPal can send you the FREE reader.

If you have any other tips/advice for con’s (especially for newbies) please share in the comments below.

Did you see a dealer try to swindle a rookie? If so, explain.

Every dealer I saw seemed fair. Books were marked up a bit to leave haggle room so it was up to the customers to take advantage of a potential deal in that aspect.

How much was this con about just the comics?

If customers weren’t looking for a specific book they were drawn in looking for something to have an artist or actor that was there sign. Because of how comics tied into other aspects of the show I’m comfortable saying at least 50% of the con was just about comics.

How much was this con about the cosplay?

I don’t think any convention is complete without cosplay. I saw everything from steampunk goggles to wigs and tails on sale to complete any costume.

How pumped up was the crowd?

The crowd was great! Everyone put 110% into their cosplays (album link below) and even whole families were getting into it. Saturday and Sunday we were surprised to see so many kids and families as well. Of the hundreds of people walking by I saw maybe 2 kids crying. Safe to say everyone had a good time.

How strong was the haggleability?

Haggleability was very strong, everyone was there to make a buck and move inventory. We weren't letting ourselves be taken to the cleaners, but what’s $3-5 on a sale in the big picture. Did I mention we had repeat customers…A LOT of them too. I’m sure this links back to us being personable and nice, but we heard on more than one occasion CBSI/F5 was the most organized booth with the best prices. We knew what we had and didn’t have which was also a big help to customers.

Final Grade

Definitely a CBCS 9.8 for me. I was amazed at how many people came back to our booth, and at the ones who dug through every issue of every box we had. This was a great experience and I can’t wait to do it again next year! In closing I will say that customers seemed to be about a year behind CBSI articles and speculation so it pays to be here! Enjoy the cosplay/city pics!!!
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