SDCC Badge Sales: Warnings, Info, and Tips
By Davinci Smurf
Here are the things we learned from last years sales. Hope it helps for this Saturday’s
There are a few important things that need to be remembered during the upcoming SDCC pre-registration (Pre-Reg) badge sale. This article will go over the questions and concerns I have seen many times in various FB pages, twitter and google plus. I will try to simplify the process here and remind you of some important things that you shouldn’t forget. I have also included some warnings and things you should do so that you have fewer issues during the sale.
I’ve read a lot of questions and concerns online about Pre-Reg sales, Regular sales and the Professional badge sales (the latter of which will also take place soon). Some people were upset last year because Professional sales took place before Pre-Reg, but this year it’s happening after. This means some people will be buying badges as a safety net and then returning it if they get their professional badges. Then there will be more badges available to the public IF they have a sale for all the returned ones. You now have more tributes to compete against during this digital version of “The Hunger Games”!
(The parts in Red are important!!)
The first tip is for those who need to pay people back for helping to buy your badge.
– If you are paying someone back via PayPal for buying your badge, make sure to label it as a gift. Why? That is so the person receiving it doesn’t get taxed on it since money received by PayPal is now taxable. Gifts in the form of cash can’t be taxed as long as they don’t exceed $13k for 2014 per individual per the IRS website.
This sale is only for those that went last year but also remembered to Registered there code for this years sale.
– You will need your badge codes for registration. This is code will give you access to registration on one tab of once window of one device. If you are going to be in class or somewhere without a computer and someone else is going to log in for you with the link, REMEMBER to also give that code in the same email. If you don’t remember that code or your arch nemesis somehow made you forget, then go to your member ID account and get the code in the the Registration info Tab. Do not post this code online or someone else will be able to use it.
Check your spam folder every few days.
– I found my Prof Reg e-mail in my spam folder a day before the sale last year. Please remember to check your spam folder every few days just in case. SDCC will send out an e-mail 48 hours prior to the sale, so don’t miss it.
SDCC limits you to using only one credit card during the sale.
– Comic-Con accepts Visa, MasterCard, and American Express only: “We’re sorry, but we cannot accept PayPal or payments using multiple credit cards.”
– Remember to check your credit card balance. If you are buying for 3 people for all the days then make sure it will have over $600 available as of Saturday.
If buying for others, you will need their Member ID and last name.
– “During Pre-Reg, you may purchase badges for up to three people total, yourself included. Prospective attendees must be eligible for preregistration and they must have their own unique Comic-Con Member ID.” You will need the Member ID and last name for all individuals you are purchasing for.
Only 2 people plus you makes 3.
– “Everyone may still purchase badges for up to three people during your registration session. When you get to the front of the line, you may make purchases for people who are still in line, if desired.”
– ‘If someone purchases a badge for you while you are still in line, you will still get an opportunity to purchase badges for three other eligible people should you reach the front of the line as well.”
Do NOT use more than one device or browser.
– “Your personal registration code will only authorize one device and one browser to enter the EPIC waiting room. If you attempt to enter your registration code on a different device and/or browser, your registration code will authorize the NEW device and your old device and/or browser session will expire. You may not run multiple browsers or multiple browser sessions of the waiting room. We strongly recommend that you log in to the waiting room using only the computer and browser you plan to be on for the day of the sale.”
Do NOT use a mobile device.
(There are some tablets that run on the same software as a regular computer, but why risk it if you don’t need to?)
– “The EPIC online badge registration system is not formatted for mobile devices. Although mobile devices can be used to purchase a badge during preregistration, Comic-Con is unable to guarantee that the registration system will behave as expected using a mobile device.”
Do NOT refresh your browser.
– “It is very important that you do not refresh while you are in the waiting room, especially right when the badge sale begins. If you refresh during the sorting period, you will be sent to the back of the line.”
You only have 15 minutes and there is no timer counting down. Have everything ready!
– “You will have 15 minutes to complete your entire registration session and purchase! There is no countdown timer, so please be aware that your session will expire within 15 minutes of your initial Member ID login. We strongly recommend that you have your credit card information ready and all of the Member IDs and last names of the people you are purchasing badges for.” A delay in inputting this information may cause your session to expire.
– Go log in right now to the SDCC member page so that you can make sure you are using the right username and your info is correct. You don’t want to be wasting those PRECIOUS minutes trying to enter the right username or correcting any information. You should have already updated your info, i.e., address and e-mail.
– Before the sale begins, open the e-mail you received with the link to the sale. You may not have to be first in line this year because they are giving people 2 hours to log in, but you still want to make sure you have that link. Don’t fall asleep waiting the 2 hours. Set your alarm to go off again a few minutes before the sale and tell your friends to call you a few minutes before if they don’t see you online. Have you credit card out, the username and last name of those you are going to try and help if you get in first, and make sure you know what badges they will want as backups if their first choice is sold out.
– Open 1 tab for your pre-reg page, 1 tab for your fb page so you can get any updates on whats happening and then the other to whatever you are using to communicate with your badge buying buddy. Or just use a different browser all together for your Registration. Again, remember to keep keep your communications open. Someone may have an extra slot to fill at the last minute, and that could be you.
– Have more than one message window open if you are using Private messaging on FB and are working with a group. One for the group and one for the 2 others you are helping so it’s easier to keep track where the 3 of you are in line.
Proceeding to checkout.
– ” If one of the Member IDs you are purchasing for does not validate during the badge selection step, you will still need to proceed to checkout for the other members who are validated. Do not use your back button to return to the member selection prompt!”
Do NOT use the back button!
– “*Important* It is critical that you do not use your browser’s back button during any step of your registration session! If you need to remove a badge selection, you will be given that option on the final review page. Comic-Con International cannot guarantee that your EPIC registration session will behave as expected if you use your back button during any step of the registration process.”
Tested Web Browsers
– “The EPIC online badge registration system has been tested on the following browsers. We cannot guarantee your results should you use a browser not listed below: Firefox Google Chrome Internet Explorer Safari”
Have insurance against the fates – TIP
– Keep your registration e-mail/receipt in a separate folder of your e-mail account. Have a copy on your computer and also print it out and keep it in a safe place. A place where YOU will find and REMEMBER it and others can’t accidentally throw it away.
Work with family and friends for a better chance at getting badges –Tip
– If you don’t know anyone that is planning on going or rather wants to go, there are some websites and FB pages that have others in the same situation. Be safe and DON’T give out your info to just random people, especially if they say that have cookies. Those bums never have cookies!
Do NOT post your personal information –Tip
– Do not post anything that the public can see when the sale is going on. You don’t want your username, Credit Card info, etc., being shown to random people. Make sure you trust the people to whom you are sending this information. In other words, don’t post your personal info on FB or Twitter. It sounds like common sense, but I’ve seen random people’s credit card information EVERY year and that info wasn’t meant for me. This year, I shouldn’t see that at all because only one credit card can be used, but we shall see. Either way, don’t post your username where people you may not trust or know can see it . DON’T put your registration code online or someone else will be able to use it.
There is a 100% change that there WILL be tech issues – Tip
– During the Prof Registration sale, there were a few people that had errors pop up. I was one of those people that had an error and had to start again. I ended up getting what I wanted but just barely. I mention this because the number of people for that sale was only a tiny fraction compared to what Pre Reg or the Regular sale will have. I’ve been through this before so I took plenty of screenshots just in case.
– A screenshot can be your best friend if things go wrong. You can email the images to SDCC and they MAY help you get a badge, even after the sale is over and badges are gone, though it’s not guaranteed. But it’s a chance and that is better than no chance at all. They will take a while to get back to you since they will have thousands of people screaming at them on FB because they didn’t get badges, and even more people will be emailing them. Be patient, but do keep bugging them if they don’t get back to you after a few days.
(If you don’t know how to do a screenshot, find someone to show you how before the sale or Google it. This could mean the difference between you getting a badge and not getting one, should an error occur.)
If you only get a day or 2 – Tip
– Don’t worry; there are PLENTY of Geeky things to do outside of Con. Nerd HQ is only one of them and far too many others to mention. You pay separately for Nerd HQ, but it goes to charity (tax deductible), and you might get to meet one of your favorite actors up closer than you would at a panel.
Once you get your badge, start preparing – Tip
– When at SDCC, try and use mostly credit cards; it is better to lose your credit cards and report them stolen than to lose your cash. Stolen cards means you have a chance to recover any money that was used on them. If you lose your cash, then you just lost your money; however, do carry cash for emergency’s and to haggle (use cash on Sunday–you can negotiate for better prices with vendors who are eager to sell items so they don’t have to take them home).
– Remember to notify your credit card company before you go to SDCC that you will be in San Diego. They might put a stop on your card if you use it to much otherwise. That happened to me my first year in front of a stunning cosplayer dressed as Supergirl…need I say more?
– If you have a backpack or carry something along the lines of a messenger bag, keep it in front of you, both when traveling and when buying exclusives. There are people that may try and take your stuff when you are unaware. Remember there are geeks that have given into the Dark Side.
– Food is VERY pricey inside the convention, but there is a Subway a few blocks away. If you have plenty to spend but want better tasting food and to explore San Diego, the Gaslamp District, which is across the street from SDCC, has plenty to pick from.
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask and I’ll see if I can find any answers. I’ll post them on the EpicGeekdom FB page and/or update this article if I find them.
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