First time goers make a lot of mistakes going to conventions and might even have a negative outlook on events.
Anime Expo and conventions alike are amazing times to be surrounded by like minded people. If you prepare properly and know what to expect, you can have a great time!
Tip 1: Bring a Backpack or Bag
Nothing sucks like having to carry around a bunch of stuff in your hands and being bogged down. There are many booths that WILL be giving away a ton of freebies, posters, accessories, etc.
The last thing you want to do is fold all those free posters in your back pocket. What are you going to do when you need to go to the bathroom? Don’t be that person. Bring a backpack or bag!
Tip 2: Bring some Snacks
I’m sure the LA Convention center would not condone this, but if you don’t want to get ripped off, we suggest you pack some snacks!
I don’t know if the policy changes year to year, but it would seem reasonable to assume that bagged snacks should be fine. Walking around the convention center for hours, you’ll start to get hungry!
Tip 3: Bring Water, LOTS OF IT
This might sound like a pretty basic tip, but you’d be surprised how many people DON’T pack a water or two.
Do you really want to drink from the water fountain?
Tip 4: Bring LOTS of Money
So you think you’re gong to outsmart the system by budgeting yourself and saying things like, “I’m only going to spend $50 today!”
You think you can merely pack $50 and get away with the best deals ever?
Here’s a news flash: Anime Merch is EXPENSIVE!
These booths are going to be importing rare and awesome items from Japan, selling fan arts, accessories, things you never even thought that you wanted and things you might not easily find online.
You can budget yourself without physically limiting yourself from enjoyment. Especially if you’re only planning on going one day, you should consider bringing more money than you expect to spend just in case you find that one thing that you really want…
Tip 5: Bring Friends
Of course your friends are weebs, it’s 2018, you should know at least one weeb, even if you don’t know they’re a weeb!
You can bring your siblings? Family? Friends? Anyone?
Ohhh I see… So you really don’t have anyone to bring then? I’m sorry.
There’s actually a lot of cool meetups at the convention: Anime Expo Gatherings.
Perhaps now is your opportunity to make friends who are interested in the same stuff as you!
Tip 6: Price Check
For those items that you might be able to find online, such as figures, games, etc, you can and SHOULD price check on eBay, Amazon, etc.
This will be a great way to avoid getting ripped off on some overpriced merch you could easily order online! Don’t forget to check DH Gate for those cheap chinese knockoffs!
Tip 7: How to Negotiate Pricing with Vendors
Let’s face it, everyone is here to make money. And some vendors, (Like Us, Shameless Self Promotions), price our items fairly.
However, if you do come across a vendor that’s selling something obscenely over priced, but you WANT IT NOW instead of ordering online for a cheaper price, you should negotiate with them politely.
How NOT to Ask for a Lower Price:
You: I found it online for a cheaper, can you give me a discount?
Vendor: Sorry can’t do that.
You: Screw you!
Vendor: Screw you too!
How You SHOULD Negotiate Pricing:
You: Hello, I really want this item that you are selling for $25, but I also found it on Amazon for $18.
Vendor: Oh really, let me see? *You show the phone to him*
You: To be honest, I would rather have it RIGHT NOW than to order it online and wait, how about I’ll buy it from you for $20?
…Hopefully you get the discount you wanted. If they insist on selling at full price like that, then you are better off moving on than making a scene about it!