NOTE: This is mainly an opinion post with some advice. If you have a differing opinon please feel free to post a comment so your voice is heard.
My heart inexplicably starting pounding at a pace it has seldom seen before as 12:59 has now blinked into existence. After weeks of planning and preparing and talking the time was close at hand and as I watched the seconds drop off the face of the earth one by one my circulation system reached it’s ultimate climax and paused at the :00 mark.
The strokes strokes of my fingers across the trackpad were like wind slicing across the desolate sea on the information super highway and the clicks onto buttons were lightening striking predestined targets. Time, as I had come to know it, suddenly become a foreign entity was unrecognizable. Even my lungs stopped the constant yet comforting pattern that I have had the every moment of my life. Then it happened.
And with those two beautiful word appearing on my screen I crashed back down into reality with all the grace of a Maserati doing a buck twenty directly into God’s pearly white fence. Suddenly things became clearer. Colors were brighter, my Diet Dr Pepper stated like normal Dr Pepper, and so on. Just as I began to look around the webpage to make sure it was true my iPhone’s email notification chimed at me as if to say “You know it’s true, mack”. Victory was mine and my first instinct was to tweet to the world. To post it on the message boards filled with the thousand like minded collectors all going for the same prize.
I may not know a lot of things about a lot of things but i can tell you this much, no one can say that I did not just attempt to order a Comic-Con exclusive Hot Toys Iron Man Mark IV and thirty seconds later managed to get away with one. I watched with all the anticipation of a presidential candidate on election night as post after post landed on that message baord. The first few were positive but the mood quickly turned sour as those who were scorned by the notification that the item has sold out began to voice their grievances. They blamed it on everything and everyone. The media covering Comic-Con exclusives, the flippers who bought toys just to make a profit, they even blamed Stan Lee himself for making Iron Man so all this could happen.
As I closed my screen in a vain attempt to return to my office I couldn’t help but think of how I would act the same way if the tables were reveresed. Hell, I went into this expecting this to be my outcome but it wasn’t and all I could say was better them than me.
Better them than me.
That is just a short tale of what ordering exclusives on-line can be like. We have all experienced that feeling of getting something awesome while so many others did not but to be honest that story could also have easily went the other way like it did for so many others. When it comes to shopping for con exclusives online there is no easy way to simply not react one way or the other. Odds are if you are online trying to get an exclusive at the zero hour you are invested into it, be it as a collector or a reseller.
Seriously though, this game is almost as much of a dramatic ordeal as going to the con itself to purchase these except instead of a few thousand people you now have the entire world’s toy community to compete against. While this is an option that you need to take in order to purchase exclusives from some retailers (Sideshow for example ONLY sells to you at the show if you pre-ordered) others do have the option of buy what you want at the show if you want to wait on a line for it.
Before I go to the show one thing I always try to stay on top of is finding the retailers that let you purchase your goods in advance to pick up at the show. This is something I take advantage of whenever possible. It cuts down on the amount of time spent on lines at the show as well as the guess work of knowing whether or not I will go home with something and it also narrows exactly how much cash i will have on hand for other things.
But if you are one of those who are unfortunately not attending the show (or if you are and just want to double up) this provides you the option of making the purchases without the experience of the convention. If you do chose to do this and do not want to deal with eBay here are my tips:
- Know what you want. This streamlines the process. Do your research before going on.
- Be fast about it. Speed is everything when it comes to the hotter items. The faster you get in and out the more likely you are to win.
- If you can, pre-register on the website. This is actually a branch off the speed tree. Getting you CC info on the shop should just make checkout faster.
- Try to stay as informed as possible. Look around to see what the links you need to be on are. Check to see what time they go on sale and if you will be available to do that. Watch eBay and the message boards to try and gauge what items are the hot ones and what others are going to linger for a bit.
- Unfortunately there are some sites that will allow things in your cart to be sold. There is nothing you can do about this but do keep this in mind when everyone and their mother is out to get the one thing that you MUST have.
That’s pretty much it. Your other options are eBay and trading with people online but there is little I can do to help you on that. Happy hunting, people.