If you received yesterday's San Diego newsletter just recently, I apologize for the delay. With
growing ever larger, the show staff keeps having to implement new measures to insure crowd control. As a case in point, last night with no advance warning, they shut off our Internet connection immediately after the convention closed to the public.
While I understand their desire to clear the dealer's room quickly, this abrupt action caught poor Lynne completely unawares. As a result, she was just getting ready to start the mailing (which actually runs off of our server in Colorado), when we lost our connection. Suffice it to say, we were all a bit peeved.
While the new Internet cutoff time caused us a slight annoyance, it was really no big deal. Lynne sent out update #1 first thing this morning, and I'm following up with #2 this afternoon. At the risk of being repetitive, I have to reiterate that this show is simply wonderful!
Our sales last evening did end up being quite strong for opening evening, and today is also running well ahead of last year. Even better, this is a house full of smiles. I don't know if I've ever been at a convention where so many people were as relaxed and happy as this one.
One factor that I know is helping keep everyone so satisfied is the massive amount of free loot that publishers and manufacturers are giving out in their booths. Aside from greeting fans, my job at the show is to do the bank run each morning, and to bring in snacks for the staff from the grocery store across the street from the bank.
That means that I generally don't arrive at the convention until after 11 AM. What struck me upon my arrival this morning was the astoundingly steady stream of fans who were already heading for the parking lot. No, they were not leaving. They were hauling huge bags of free stuff to their cars in the parking structure so that they could go back and grab even more! It may cost $50 (advance rate) to attend the SDCC for five days, but that cost is easily covered by the astounding diversity of free posters, buttons, mugs, comics, pens, tote bags, books, & t-shirts available in the exhibit hall.
In some regards, freebees have become the defining element of this year's show. While our sales are certainly significantly higher than last year, it is also quite evident that many attendees are spending the first two days of the convention scouring the hall for freebees, rather than shopping. Discounting has also become an expectation, rather than a simple desire. At our booth we have all of our books at a flat 20% off. That's actually a little bit less of a discount than we're offering right now on the same books on our website (20%-40% off). With our cost of setting up at the convention well in excess of $20,000 for the weekend, however, we have no choice but to be a bit less generous in order to keep the bills covered. Even at 20% of, however, we are well within people's expectations.
There are some other book dealers here at the show, however, who are trying to stick with straight cover price, and I have heard numerous complaints about them. I find that trend a little disturbing, as there can certainly be very valid cost reasons for why full price sometimes needs to be charged. But the fact remains that consumer expectations have changed, in all probability as a result of ubiqitous online discounting, to the point where I heard a few fans saying that they would rather not purchase an item at all than pay cover price. Without passing judgement, I will simply state that once again, the power of the Internet is exerting a very powerful influence on person-to-person commerce...
That's it for today's report from me. Pam took a slew of nice pictures for you of new products premiering here at the show. Tomorrow we'll have a panorama of cool booths. In the meantime, don't forget that we still have the
50% off SANDIEGO codeword sale
in effect for you, at least until the show ends. The team at home reported this morning that a huge surge in sales came in from our online division yesterday, so I know that many of you have already taken advantage of this great sale. At 50% of of prices that I've already just lowered, however, this sale has to be brief, so order soon. 'Nuff said.
President - Mile High Comics, Inc.
of next weeks comics from
Marvel and DC
Mutts Mooch and Earl by Dark Horse Comics
Emily Strange Cards & Stamp Set
dKillerpanda Monster Theater
Nancy & Slugo
Transformers by Hasbro
Guitar Hero: Slash
Schoolgirl: Witchblade by CS Moore Studios
Walking Dead Torso Statues
Battle of the Planets Nanomen by Kinetic Toys
Jun Planning Pullip Dolls
Jun Plannying Corpse Bride Dolls
Marvel Time Classics - Amazing Fantasy
Marvel Time Classics - Giant-Size X-Men