Badges, scalpers and desperation

15 JULY 2013

We're just a day away from the Con. Which means some people are going berzerk trying to get their mitts on a badge.

I have said many times on here that scalpers are not to be trusted - this isn't a concert you're trying to get into, it's a system where you need to show Photo ID and a special barcode, stand in line, etc. People have been caught and prosecuted for selling fake Comic Con badges. It's not like they're hard to make. 

But I know that hardly anyone listens to me on this subject, so if you're considering desperate measures to get a badge, here's what you should know.

  • First, yes, it IS possible to get a legit badge through a scalper. The scalper will have to wait in line, pick up the badge and sell it to you outside. You will have to provide a nice profit margin. You'll also have to take it on the faith that they really got a legit badge and didn't just doctor up a convincing facsimile.
  • Some retail/industry people get extra unassigned badges which they will sell off on Craigslist. Again, you're taking this on faith. I have known people who've gotten badges this way, but I've known more who've gotten burned.
  • Another option, if you have friends going to the Con; tag along, then swap one badge back and forth. I've seen plenty of people do this. It just means that you and your friend have to be willing to sit out parts of the Con.
  • People used to sell off their badges a lot on Sunday - but this year, since you need to hang onto it physically for pre-registration, I don't see this happening as much.
  • With all that said, Comic Con hates any kind of badge shenanigans, and tries to do what they can to eliminate it. That includes having security guards do random checkpoints, where they ask for a photo ID and match it to your badge. How often does this happen? Obviously not that often in a crowd of 125,000 or it would cause massive bottlenecks. 

If you're desperate to make it into the convention center this week, do what you can. But use common sense - because everyone is trying to get a badge this week and evil people know it.



  1. So for pre-reg, do you need the physical badge or can your barcode on your printed paper work?

  2. It sounds like you need the physical badge. That's what they're saying, anyway.

  3. Do you need a badge to get to the vendor booths? A friend who can't attend wants me to buy something for her since I live here.

    1. You do. No admittance inside the building without a badge.