Most modern-day hobbies are expensive affairs — being an anime fan and attending conventions is no different. However, there are ways that you can save a bit of money when indulging your hobbies! It just takes a tiny bit of research and a small amount of common sense :3
Early Bird Specials
Take advantage of early bird specials that some organizers offer to fans — such as discounted ticketing or free gifts with purchase. Any discount — no matter how small, means more money saved for you to blow on the dealer’s floor instead!
This is especially applicable when attending overseas cons. Instead of blowing all your cash eating at fast food joints or chain restaurants, go to where the locals eat and save a big chunk of change! For example, when we are in Singapore for Anime Festival Asia, we rarely eat at the expensive food court aimed at tourists in the ground floor of Suntec — instead, we go past it, down the hall, and around the corner for the food court that caters to office workers and students that offers that same great food at far cheaper prices!
Bring your own bottle! Everybody needs refreshments, and unfortunately drink prices are highly inflated at conventions. You can save a bit of money by bringing your own water in a reusable container or tumbler. However, don’t bring in bottled water purchased from a convenience store, as those can be confiscated by security for breaking their no food and drinks rule.
Bundle and Save
If you want to purchase a number of different items from the same booth, ask the sellers if they are willing to do a bundle discount — say, six Funko Pops for the price of five, etc. Usually sellers are okay with offering bundle discounts, especially if you ask nicely and if you don’t ask for too big of a discount. But please remember, if they say no respect their decision, and don’t be an asshole if you don’y get your way 8D
Last Day Sales
Some deal hunters wait until the very last afternoon of the very last day of the con to start buying stuff. This is because sellers and exhibitors are usually trying to get rid of dead stock before the con closes and are willing to drop prices on their wares. Of course, the risk that items go out of stock before the last day of the con is very real, but if you think the pay-off will work in your favor than it’s much better to wait.
Do you have any secret tricks that help you save money at cons? We’d love to hear them at the comments! And we promise — it’ll be our little secret 😀