Taking a cautious approach to the Exclusives Portal

 10 JULY 2024

Let's just get it out of the way: yes, the Exclusives Portal is confusing. It is not intuitive or user-friendly; it could use a revamp by a good UX designer. It opened yesterday, a blog post came out on it today, and vendors will add to it over the coming days. All in all, it should be approached with caution. 

CCI's directions are pretty good, so study them thoroughly. I feel like this is the text that bears emphasizing: "Once you submit all your choices, you will not be able to edit, add, or make any changes easily."

In other words, don't plunge into this right now and force yourself to spend your credits on things that don't really interest you. There might be something that you already know has a bullseye on it. (Like, oh, for instance, David Dastmalchian on Friday.) But on the whole, more appetizing offerings will show up. Frankly, I wish they would open the portal only after the offerings are all there.

One thing that seems to baffle many attendees: that you have to click "Add to Cart" before selecting your items. This goes against virtually every ecommerce/online shopping portal I have ever participated in and I wish they would change the wording to "Select Items" or "Use Credits."

Once you're in, you can allot your credits to whatever strikes your fancy; yes, you can allot multiple credits to one choice to maximize your chances. If you don't want anything at all on a certain day, ask your friends what they want and put your points there. Teamwork makes the dream work.

A brief Q&A....

Does anyone ever really get what they want? 

Yes. I've been picked for Funko and others some years; sometimes I got nothing.

Is every exclusive available through this portal?

No. In fact, I'm seeing more and more small press/vendors/artists offer their own independent lottery via their website, Google Docs, Discord, etc. This is much easier for them, obviously, but it's a bitter pill to swallow for your average attendee who simply walks up to the booth to find everything's allotted. 

Is this the same thing certain big vendors are advertising? 

Usually. Mattel sent me the above email and I felt it was a little misleading. Technically correct, sure, but I'm also sure some people missed salient details and got the impression they can easily pick up a Mattel exclusive in a leisurely 60-minute shopping session at SDCC.

Is it better than just waiting in line? 

Debatable. Hardcore collectors may feel this takes away their die-hard advantage of lining up before anyone else. There will be bitterness in some quarters this month; there always is.

When should you submit your choices? 

Wait to see what's coming. I've never seen any evidence that the early birds get picked first, going off my track record. It seems to be randomized. You have until July 18.

So stay your hand for now and be strategic. And do collaborate with friends as much as you can. It seems to be Comic-Con law that you win access to your #1 booth right during your #1 panel. Helping each other out is often the most realistic way for everyone to get what they want.

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