Don’t Do it.

But, I am a fan too. I get it. I’ve also been that person asking for friends to get stuff at con for me. Here’s why your friend might not respond. Or may give you the side eye, even if they love you. SDCC swag/exclusive hunting can be… well, a challenge.

Why not?

  1. SDCC is a nightmare to traverse.
    Sometimes, a “t-shirt at a small booth” can end up being 2-3 hours of effort to get to the con, crawl through the snail-pace of the con, find the dang booth, and then wait in line for a shirt… to discover they don’t take cash. Ouch.
  2. Exclusives sometimes require overnight waiting to get.
    And even that’s not a guarantee. Read the sad Twitter stories of people in line for 12-14 hours to get denied last minute.
  3. Sometimes people ask for something and don’t pay.
    Wasting your good faith effort and precious SDCC time (because you went against your judgment and got them something without payment first because they are a good friend and you trust them). Bye bye friendship.

But what if they offer?

  1. Don’t over-ask.
    If you’re asking, imagine that 10+ other people are asking them for help too.
  2. They might not realize how time consuming it is.
    It might be their first SDCC and they wanna help their friends. Then they realize what a nightmare it is but feel guilty pulling out.
  3. Make it easy for them.
    Always ask for things in a manner like this if they offer (YMMV), give them as much information as possible AND GIVE THEM AN OUT:

    Hi!

    Since you’re offering: I would love XYZ exclusive at XYZ booth, I have circled it on this map for you. Their booth should be right next to Square Enix. The item shouldn’t sell out, but it is only available at SDCC and I really need it for my husbando collection. I am happy to Paypal you right now if you can provide me your info, as well as a tip to get some Tin Fish after because you seem to love that place.

    I really appreciate your offer to try to get this for me, but if anything comes up, I completely understand. Have an amazing SDCC!

    Cheers, Your Friend

And if they do help you out..

If your friend is nice enough to get you something, and they are successful, please consider the following:

  1. Tip them for their time. Well.
    I had a friend tip me almost 15 bucks as a surprise to get them something that cost $20 at Star Wars Celebration, because they understood the effort involved. Please be that friend, and not the cheapskate to stiff them a buck or two.
  2. Cover the shipping. 
    SDCC has a FedEx. Pricey but convenient. The stuff you want might not fit in their luggage. Yes USPS can be cheaper but FedEx is right there. If they are willing to deliver or allow pick up in person, read #1 again. (And pick it up. Don’t make then come to you back in your home town.)
  3. Pay it forward.
    Do something incredibly nice for someone at another show. Pay the good con geek karma forward.
  4. Give them a good swag item in return.
    If you are going anywhere or have access to something they wont, see if you can pay them back this way.

Thank you for reading and understanding. 🙂