SaikouCon 2020 Merchant Application now OPEN!
2020 Merchant Applications will open on October 1, 2019 at 12 PM ET and will close on January 11, 2020 at 12 AM ET. Applications will be previewed as they are submitted, exceptional merchants and merchants of special interest may be approved before the application deadline; those approved early will receive notice and merchant registration invoice as they are approved and subject to the same 10 business day deadline from date of issue on their registration invoice as those approved after the application deadline.
We will have an application just for our 2020 Merchant Wait List following the close of the regular Merchant Hall Application and jurying of those Merchant Applications. The application for our Merchant Wait List will be open from January 31, 2020 until April 3, 2020. Applications received for our wait list will be reviewed and juried in the order they are submitted if space within our 2020 Merchant Hall opens up.
As always, please review the following Merchant Hall details, rules and regulations, guidelines, and F.A.Q. below before applying:
Merchant Hall details:
- Registration fee for accepted Merchants is $100 per space (we apologize for the $5 increase over years past, but as venue fees and operational costs for the Merchant Hall continue to rise each year, we have to adjust our registration fees as well)
- Merchant spaces at SaikouCon 2020 will be 8' X 5' (eight foot long and five foot deep)
- Space includes an 8' table and two chairs
- Accepted applicants will receive three (3) badges with their registration fee to not only sell their approved wares at SaikouCon 2020, but also enjoy all the programming and events open to 3 Day General Admission badge holders
- If accepted applicants need more than the three badges included with their registration fee, they are available, up to three (3) as seen on the application form, at the same discounted rate of $15.00 per badge as in years past
- There will not be individual waste baskets at each merchant space, but there will be large bins provided by the venue at easily accessible locations throughout the ballroom area of The Mountain Laurel Resort & Spa used as the Merchant Hall
- Our 2020 venue, The Mountain Laurel Resort & Spa, is a completely smoke free environment (cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, tobacco pipes, marijuana cigarettes, bongs, hashpipes, and vaping are prohibited), please bear this in mind, also be aware there are designated smoking areas around the exterior of The Mountain Laurel Resort & Spa where cigarettes and vaping devices are allowed. However, violators may be asked to leave the convention either by the convention staff, venue staff, or both if caught smoking in prohibited areas
SaikouCon Merchant Rules & Regulations
- Merchants, both dealers and artists now fall under the title of Merchant at SaikouCon, and have done so since 2017; must apply and then have their wares reviewed by jury made up of convention staff before being allowed to register as merchant at SaikouCon.
- This jury process will be conducted by the convention's chairman and the convention's chief financial officer
- Most Merchants will not be juryed until the application submission period has closed, our process is fast and all applicants will know their status within 10 business days of the close of the application period. However, starting in 2020, applications will be previewed as they are submitted, exceptional merchants and merchants of special interest may be approved before the application deadline; those approved early will receive notice and merchant registration invoice as they are approved and subject to the same 10 business day deadline from date of issue on their registration invoice as those approved after the application deadline.
- Merchants chosen to be juried out of the applicants must provide photos of their wares, scans of their licensed merchandise agreements, typical price points of their wares if asked for by the con chair and/or CFO (chief financial officer); we are aware these rates change with the market year to year, SaikouCon's executive staff have extensive backgrounds in retail sales. But, we still wish to make sure merchants selling at SaikouCon are selling within the current market prices and not above them or too far below them. This ensures top quality, diverse merchandise, fair prices for attendees, and friendly competition between merchants.
- Bootlegged items (CDs, DVDs/BluRays, merchandise, collectibles, action figures, autographs, statuary, other bootlegged memorabilia et. all) are forbidden. If a merchant is found to be in violation of this rule after passing the application and jury process, they will be shut down by the executive staff of SaikouCon, they will then be escorted with their wares from the hosting venue by SaikouCon's security and will be forced to relinquish their merchant badges of attendance to SaikouCon without refund of their merchant registration fee. They will also be banned from vending at SaikouCon in future years.
- For those merchants offering art prints, Fan Art and commissions are acceptable to offer, as long as artists offer original design pieces (prints and/or originals) on hand; medium not restricted. Direct copying of the original artwork of others (i.e. tracing and/or exact dublication of manga volume covers or pages and anime DVD/BD box art) is prohibited and is grounds for immediate expulsion from SaikouCon's Merchant Hall as well as being permanently banned from selling at future SaikouCon events. Please note, "originals" refers to original designs of the artist, original sketches need not be on hand, especially since many artists utilize digital mediums to create their pieces and/or sell prints.
- Merchants selling their own artwork, fan art, artisan crafts (handmade jewelry, statuary, clothing, cosplay accessories etc.) may be asked to submit photos of their work via email if they are accepted past the application phase to the jury phase of applying to vend at SaikouCon should there not be a wide cross section of the Merchant's work on their submitted links to their webstores/online galleries. This is to ensure quality products for attendees to purchase and promote equal opportunity for sales among our artist and artisan merchants.
- Merchants offering commissioned sketches of attendees, be they in cosplay or plainclothes, are not allowed to continue selling that sketch (reproduced or scanned) to other customers at SaikouCon without express written consent from the subject of the sketch. If a merchant is found to be selling the image of a live person without that person's consent they will be removed from the Merchant Hall, without refund, and will be banned from SaikouCon in future years. WITHOUT EXCEPTION.
- Music at low levels is acceptable to be played in your booth. Compromises, in the event of disturbing booths around you, is left up to individual Merchants, not SaikouCon staff and/or volunteers; though executive staff may intervene and enforce a compromise should the merchants not be able or willing to do so on their own.
- Carnival barking from your booth, taunts, intimidation, hate speech, "negging" patrons to buy, and/or humiliation to extort sales will not be accepted. Failure to comply will result in expulsion without refund from SaikouCon and permanent banning from future SaikouCon events.
- There is a 10 foot height restriction on display/signage pieces for Merchant spaces. If you break this rule you will be asked to take down your display/sign. Failure to comply or combative behavior will result in expulsion from the Merchant Hall at SaikouCon without refund and possible permanent banning.
- Merchants will not exceed their purchased sales space, SaikouCon staff will not allow merchants to encroach on one another's spaces. Happy and courteous neighbors make a good Merchant Hall a great Merchant Hall.
- Merchants are expected, but not forced, to acknowledge and keep the same daily hours as listed above and to the right in the red column for the SaikouCon Merchant Hall. If you choose to pack up and leave before the convention's final day or closing hour of the final day, for any reason, you will not be entitled to a partial or full refund of the merchant registration fee. Leaving before SaikouCon's posted hours is the choice and responsibility of the merchant not the convention nor its staff
- Merchants will be subject to on-site inspection during and after load in/set up to further ensure that there are no bootlegs or stolen intellectual property (IP) in the SaikouCon Merchant Hall, merchants found with bootleg merchandise during and/or after set up will be ejected and banned from SaikouCon permanently without refund in part or in full of their registration fee, no exceptions
- Merchants are expected to adhere to these merchant specific rules and regulations for selling at SaikouCon, but they are also expected to adhere to the rules and etiquette practices that attendees are. These general rules, con etiquette, and behavior guidelines may be found on the Convention Info page; be kind, be courteous, be welcoming, follow the convention dress code (no nudity in full or partial, no exposed genitals or nipples) whether cosplaying or not, and have fun with attendees, other merchants, and con staff. Together let's make a great con experience for all!
Merchant Application Quick F.A.Q.:
How much do extra badges cost merchants?
Extra badges, over and above the three (3) provided with your registration fee (if approved to vend to at SaikouCon), are $15 per badge. Up to three discount badges are available for merchants as seen in the application form.
Why do you need to know who my licensors and/or wholesale suppliers are?
This is so we can vet your licensor and/or supplier names to make sure you are not a bootlegger and/or selling bootleg merchandise. This is so we don't have the unpleasant job of escorting anyone with bootleg wares out of the convention.
Why can I only buy three (3) merchant spaces?
In 2016 there were merchants that bought four or more spaces at a time, while it was our fault for allowing this, it created a hectic, tight, and unfair landscape in our Merchant Hall. We will not allow this again. Up to three spaces still allows most merchants the room they need to properly display and sell their wares, but keeps the landscape of the SaikouCon Merchant Hall competitive without giving any one merchant a monopoly on space in the Hall.
Why do you want to know my average price points?
To ensure fair prices for our attendees; your customers. By "fair" we mean sticking to the MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) for current release figures, statues, models, DVD/BD et. al. in the realm of mass produced items and not going too far above current secondary market price guide listings on older and out of print collector's items. We understand merchants that sell original art, fanart, and artisan/handmade items don't have set price points in the same manner as merchants that sell mass produced inventory, but we ask that you share this information with us anyway as much as is applicable. Remember, each year we're not just putting together a merchant hall, we're building a small economic state within SaikouCon and need to keep the market fair for buyers and sellers alike.