The Experience of Buying New York Comic Con Tickets

Although this is a highly not book related post, I just wanted to share my very first New York Comic Con ticket buying experience.

A little over a week ago, tickets for the 2016 New York Comic Con went on sale. Now this was my first time ever, buying tickets for NYCC. From the stories that I had heard from people who bought tickets in previous years, the experience is hell- literally. As soon as tickets went on sale, you would be put in a virtual queue (a virtual waiting room/list) and you would get to buy tickets when it was your turn in “line”. This year, ReedPop, the organization that plans NYCC, made sure all ticket buyers had to be fan verified. Essentially, if planned on getting a chance at going to NYCC, you had to make an online profile. This, they said, was to prevent scammers and ticket resellers.

So when fan verification was released, I created my profile, and patiently waited until ReedPop announced the date that tickets would go on sale. I started getting anxious in that time, no doubt thinking that I never received the email to buy tickets and the tickets were already sold out. Anxiety. Anxiety. Anxiety. But on June 27th, I got the email! Tickets would finally go on sale at Noon on June 29th. Luckily, I was out of school by then and when Wednesday came around, I set alarms for 11:00AM, 11:30AM, 11:45AM, 11:55AM, and 11:59AM. And as I watched the hands of the clock on my phone reach high noon, I hurriedly pressed my cursor on my personalized link to buying tickets. I might have clicked too soon (11:59:59 AM) because the page I was directed to said the link still wasn’t available.

So mere seconds later, I clicked the same link (again) and was redirected into the virtual queue. Was I relieved? No. Stressed? Yes. Anxious? Very. As I waited for my turn in the virtual queue, I started chatting with Alex, who was also in the queue. Twitter was exploding with tweets with the trending hashtag, #NYCC. That was probably a mistake –checking Twitter. My anxiety grew as the minutes passed and soon it was 20 minutes past noon. 

People were buying and celebrating their purchases while I was biting my nails, sweating, watching the same Virtual Queue page as the clock ticked, ticked, and ticked, unsure whether to refresh the page or leave it the way it was. As 50% of the 3-Day Passes quickly became sold out, you could almost feel the virtual tension of the people all waiting in the virtual queue, holding a collective breath.

Fortunately, at around 12:38 PM, I got through the virtual queue *celebration* and luckily, the 3-Day Passes were still available. ReedPop gave each person a limit of 15 minutes to complete their purchase, and I have to say, that was the quickest I ever punched in the numbers of my credit card (sort of felt like the Flash for a brief instant). Needless to say, that experience is now over. The literal hell of waiting in the queue has passed, though I may have gotten a few new gray hairs.

But what could make the ticket buying experience better? Having a number in the virtual queue that let you know where you were in line. Maybe an estimated wait time? Although fan verification did help to cut down on the number of scalpers this year, there were still resellers. Within the hour of release, 4-Day Passes were already being sold for $600 on various online stores. ReedPop gives ticket purchasers 14 days to assign names to each ticket purchased, which means people who were fan verified could buy tickets, resell them, and assign them to a different name. Then this brings up the question, what's the point of fan verification? Overall, NYCC is a large and stressful event (for attendees and organizers both). I commend ReedPop for working hard to organize this event for fans and for trying to make an improvement from past years, but there still remains room for more improvement. 


If you have ever purchased tickets for New York Comic Con, or any other Con, share your experience in the comments below! And if you’re going to NYCC this fall, also let me know! I’d love to meet y’all, especially with the ongoing BookCon at NYCC this year!

Let us know: What's the worst experience you've had with purchasing tickets for an event?



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12 comments

  1. This sounds so intense! I'm glad you tickets but man, it's sounds so damn stressful. I hate that people resell tickets though - it's just so unethical - and I feel bad for everyone at ReedPop that tries so hard to make easier and legit but still get taken advantage of.

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    1. Oh gods, Rachel, it was!!!! But I sound like I'm overreacting haha ~these first world problems~ and yeah, scalpers are absolutely horrible :( I think ReedPop is definitely trying to hack down on the scalpers but hey, it's the Internet and anything is possible when you're just a face behind a computer screen

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  2. My experience was very similar to yours. I was so nervous waiting in that queue! but now I am so excited and cannot wait to go.

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    1. Eeeek I still get anxiety when I think about that virtual queue haha but SAMEEE first time comic con goer!!! To be honest, I'm more excited for the bookcon portion of NYCC even though I'm equally thrilled for the organizers to announce the guests!!! My hope is that the cast of arrow goes because I JUST LOVE THAT SHOW SO SO SO SO MUCH

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  3. That sounds like such a stressful experience! But I'm glad you got the tickets - very lucky that you can go!! :D Hope to hear about Comic Con from you soon! :)

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    1. EEEKKSS gets excited

      Thanks for reading!

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  4. Oh wow I had NO IDEA this is how you had to buy the tickets. That just sounds super intense, and I definitely agree about the fan verification. What's the point of people can resell them anyways?

    Glad you got your tickets though!!!

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    1. Right? Comic Con really needs to put a leash on those resellers.

      Thanks for reading :D

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  5. This is why I've never purchased SDCC tickets. It sets me on edge and makes me feel as if I will never get them anyway, that somehow I'll miss them. So I don't even try to buy even though I do set up my account...

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    1. Who wants to go through so much just to get tickets, amirite?

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  6. Yay I'm so happy you got tickets!
    This will be my seventh year attending and I miss when you used to be able to buy your ticket the weekend before the event or in person at a comic book store.
    I had a really similiar experience this year and waited about thirty minutes before purchasing my 4 day ticket. I think the whole system still needs some work though, as you said. I would love to know what number I was in the queue. I think they had a pretty good idea with this fan verification, but as you mentioned tickets were still being sold by scalpers.
    I can't wait for comic con though! It's going to be so much fun! :)

    Traci @ The Reading Geek

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    1. AHH You're so lucky you got the four day ones. I was lucky enough to at least snag one of the days even though the three day past would have been ideal.

      There needs to be a system change or something. It was my first year buying tickets and let me just say, I'm not happy.

      Hope to see you there!

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