CCI addresses our scalper questions

12 NOVEMBER 2015

And our international ones too. Are we feeling more confident now?

Eh. Let's start with the international questions. If you're a nerd from a distant land, but you're in a buying group with American friends, you can have all your badges shipped to someone here in the States. Which begs the question: why were we told to update our Member ID addresses when obviously we can enter in any shipping address we please? Anyhow, that's the deal.

Onto the problem of scalpers. Okay, so CCI didn't reveal a high-tech master plan to defeat them once and for all. Instead they said the main problem with scams and scalpers is counterfeit badges - so that's why it's so crowded now on Preview Night! - and that this will eliminate that. No more counterfeit nerds taking the seat that should have been rightfully yours in Hall H.

They also said that the Member ID system and the "high level of demand" makes it hard for scalpers to obtain more than a couple of badges. My response: the Member ID system is ripe for exploitation as you can create all the fake profiles you want; while each scalper might only be able to obtain a few badges, that multiplied by thousands of scalpers is still a problem; the black market will thrive. But I'm sure their usual spy team will try to ferret those badges out and turn them off. Anyhow, I'm expecting an uglier Open Reg than usual.

Also worth noting - there is no "line" anymore during badge sales. (Remember the year when we all had numbers telling us where we stood? That was fun.) We're all randomly plucked out of the waiting room and put into groups and then randomly selected from those groups. Just writing this makes my stomach clench.

It's Thursday and the clock is ticking down the minutes to zero nerd hour. I hope you're ready. I'll post more Pre-reg advice later but I think you all know the drill by now.


  1. Hi Valerie. OK, I get CCI's point about counterfeit badges, but they must be aware that, come Pre and Open Reg, there are professional scalpers who have generated multiple member IDs and will be using several PCs for each scalper as well as working with a team of other scalpers, right? What's to stop a scalper from getting his/her allotted three badges and then selling them to highest bidder once they have been mailed out? I'm hoping that there will be at least some sort of validation process for each badge once you're there at SDCC. How about when everyone goes to pick up their bags and programs?

    1. Your final suggestion has been echoed by others. While I love the idea of just breezing in, I think it would be a smart measure to scan badges/show IDs. Not that people can't easily create fake IDs, but it would reduce scalping. Right now they're touting our freedom to pick up our bags and guides at our leisure, but if they see enough scalping action, maybe they'll change that.

      I'm guessing SDCC will continue to scour Craigslist, Ebay, StubHub, Reddit and other sites for resellers and try to catch them/deactivate those badges. But they're not going to catch everyone, not by a long shot. All any seller needs to do is go to the right forum, post about having a badge and take it down a few minutes later. They'll have legit takers that fast.