First Time Collect-a-con Tips?

Hello, I just purchased my collect a con tickets and was wondering if any veterans could give some tips. Like what to avoid, what to look for, things to bring etc etc. Maybe like basic etiquette or something. I’ve never been to a card show or anything like it so I am not familiar with anything. Any advice would be much appreciated. Sorry if this might be a duplicate topic I’d be fine being redirected to the thread. Thanks!


I haven’t gone yet, but have heard nothing but good things! @KingPokemon has been great about encouraging me to go, and maybe when he has some free time he can chime in.

What I know from people who attended, they have way more vendors than Pokemon events. Especially because its not just pokemon. Also meet and greets with celebs. Its honestly closer to comic con than a Pokemon event. Oh and its a great place to meet online friends irl. I plan on attending one eventually, and might be the smallest sperm of the sperm whale doing a meet and greet. :sweat_smile:


I try to go to most of them and they are such a great experience. Here’s my tips:

  • Try and stay walkable distance to the venue if you can. This isn’t necessary to have a great time and you can take Uber/Lyft which I have done before. But the experience is different when you can walk back and forth freely anytime you’d like. If you spent all morning eyeing out potential buys but aren’t sure if you want to pull the trigger yet, you can go back, chill out for a bit and reflect, take a nap, watch Netflix, then go back.

  • Cash is still king Everyone will take cards/PayPal/Venmo, etc but I have found that cash is still king, like at any convention. It’ll get you the best deals and especially as things wind down at the end, having a stack of cash for a vendor when they want to move a product will put you in a bargaining position.

  • Get the VIP ticket. The VIP ticket is only an extra $75 (usually $100) and it gives you entry an hour early to both days, a Collect-A-Con tshirt, VIP badge and any autograph lines are you get into expedited lines. The lines at these are very long at the beginning of the show. The VIP line itself can wrap around streets. The regular line is even longer. This means you also are the first customers, can take a nice quiet look around to get your bearings and find some of this unique items/sweet deals. I’ve snagged some things right at 9am where I said to myself, “no way this I would’ve grabbed this if I didn’t get here early.”

  • Bring a small backpack. This is an event where you don’t have to be a vendor to sell and trade. Most vendors are actively buying and trading. But everyone walking around may see your stuff if you’re showing it to a vendor and ask if you want to take a look at their stuff for potential trades. In any case, especially if you’re not walkable to your hotel, having a place for your water and snacks, your cash, etc will help a lot. Something light and easy to walk around with

  • Take your time and be strategic. - The will go by fast but there’s no reason to rush and buy everything you want right away - unless it’s something you know someone else is going to grab. On Sunday as the event is winding down, especially the last 4 hrs, many vendors will discount prices, wanting to move product and be more amenable to a deal. Snap pictures so you can recall later and think about your choices, spend some time online researching.

  • Ebay ready, camera ready, IG ready. Have the apps/sites you’re going to use most positioned for easy access on your phone. For me, this is Camera, Ebay, Efour & IG. You’ll be checking Ebay comps on the fly. Vendors will do the same. Almost all vendors will have a Pokemon IG and making connections buy telling them yours if you have one will help you make friends for life and make connections for business.

  • Don’t over-pay and don’t fall for bad sales pitches. This is where EFour and knowledge of the hobby and market is gold when you’re at an event like this. You will encounter people that will say an item is special or rare when it is not and you will see a lot of over-priced items, especially for high end. It just come with the territory. But you will also see deals. This is where Ebay at the ready is also helpful. You see an item - “wow, that looks like a deal on that Uniqlo Pikachu PSA 10!” They have it at $3000. Simple Ebay search has 2 buy it nows for $1800. Easy pass.

  • Don’t be afraid to make friends and ask questions. For the most part, vendors want to talk with you. They want to get to know you, depending on their personality. There are also people who have a lot of knowledge that you can pick their brain about as you would on here. Many have specific niches like the Topsun, Bandai only collector who has every release and you’d think created the cards they know so much. Use this to your advantage. They’ll like you more for asking and you gain knowledge.

  • Don’t skip on the Metazoo promos but try not to waste time. Metazoo, regardless of where it’s going at the moment is hot which means the promos they give out for free at times are typically flippable for an easy $100 - $150. That could easily be your airfare paid for. This is another reason getting their at 9am is helpful because these get very long.


@Leo summarized everything I can think of perfectly. But just to re-emphasize, don’t underestimate the power of trading. I brought some cards just on the off chance a vendor might want to make a deal and ended up trading or selling to nearly every vendor I interacted with. My only regret was that i didn’t bring more.

Other than that, the most important thing to remember is just to have fun!


That’s awesome Leo - thanks for taking the time to write that out. Super helpful for many I’m sure!


This is awesome advice! I’m crossing fingers I may be able to make it to Denver. Never been to a con and I can be p reclusive irl so this is super helpful!

Great tips! Is the Con you are attending the KC one in September? I hope to attend this one as my first since it is only 2 hours away from me. I will be bringing a backpack too!

@Leo Thanks for that breakdown, that is super helpful! :pray:

@nppokemon Yes if I can go, the KC will most likely be the first I attend!

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@Leo Thanks for the great tips!

Anyone looking into Long Beach?

@Leo Thanks for the breakdown it is very much appreciated! I didn’t get a chance to snag VIP tickets before they sold out so ill probably be waiting in line a lot :smiling_face_with_tear: Next time ill remember to get the VIP. it sounds like there are a lot of perks worth the extra 75$ Thanks again it was very helpful!

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Anyone doing middleman for Long Beach?

I’m assuming trades mostly take place with graded cards?

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From my experience, yes. But I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt to bring a binder with some nice cards for sale or trade.


Some general Con tips:

  1. Use deodorant
  2. Have a pen/marker handy just case for signatures
  3. If you plan on getting posters, bring a tube long enough for them. You can just roll the poster up to put into the tube to protect from damage and it’ll be easy to transport.

@candle Vendors and general public are interested in both. I’ve sold a lot of raw cards there.

Does collect a con sellout tickets? I am unable to purchase online and was hooping i would be able to attend in person if it doesnt sell out

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You don’t have to buy online. You can definitely buy in person. Trust me when I say, they will not be at capacity and they will take your money. Cheers.

Source: these cons want your money and I’ve been to a few CAC.



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Do you have to buy tickets just to enter the event?

Wow. I’ve never seen them sell out before. That’s great news for the hobby! They should do more a year and do 3 days instead of 2 I think.