Get Prepped for San Diego Comic-Con 2018 Returning Registration: SDCC PreReg Tips and Prep Guide

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Time for San Diego Comic-Con Returning Registration and our date with a computer as we try to nab that ever so coveted SDCC Badge.

On Wednesday, October 18, 2017 we finally received the official announcement that SDCC 2018 Returning Registration will happen on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 9AM PT.  So get those badge buying fingers ready, we are set to ride that spinning circle once again!

We know those of you who will be participating in the upcoming sale on Saturday have been around the block and participated before (some of you many, many times). However, sometimes our minds can get a little hazy, even when the last badge sale process was only a few months ago. After all, it’s likely that we participate under a stress induced haze during these sales anyway.  So we have put together some tips to help prepare you for the big day.

Lets get ready for that sale shall we, here are our top tips:

  • Learn the Process – It’s never too early and you can never be too prepared. We know those participating have all taken part in the SDCC waiting room madness a time or two before. However it’s a good idea even for veterans to brush up on the details of the badge buying process. We’ve put together our SDCC Returning Registration 2018 Visual Guide to help you through.
  • Registration Code at the Ready – Comic-Con International is once again using the registration code system, a unique Registration Code and Registration Link are posted in Member ID accounts for those who are eligible (and you should have been e-mailed that same information as well, but if you didn’t receive the e-mail, fear not — just log into your Member ID and click the “Registration Info” tab). You will need to input this code to enter the waiting room.
  • Stay Informed – Make sure you’re following both The San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog (on Twitter and Facebook) and Comic-Con International (on Twitter and Facebook).  Set push notifications for both. We will post any info as soon as we have it. You can also follow along with the SDConCast Live Returning Registration Show. We’ll be discussing the sale as it happens so come join the SDCC UBlog team for tips, information on glitches, common questions, and more.
  • Browsers Set to “Prepared” – The registration waiting room system is not formatted for mobile devices, so don’t chance it. Get to a computer and make sure it is fully prepared.  Double check the Javascript & cookies on your browser since they must be enabled to reliably function in the EXPO LOGIC waiting room.  CCI has provided a link that will help you verify if your browser settings are compatible with the waiting room (it is also located on the link that is in your Member ID), so be sure to take the time to use the link to check your PC and make sure it passes the Comic-Con International test. We also recommend turning off pop-up blockers during the sale, as this sometimes seems to cause issues. Also, make sure your computer is running CCI compatible browsers.  You can use:
    • Firefox: Any version
    • Google Chrome: Any version
    • Internet Explorer: Version 11
    • Safari: Version 7 or later
    • Microsoft EDGE: Any version
  • No Multiple Tabs – If you have several family members trying for badges, do not run multiple browser tabs. Two different browsers is acceptable on one computer, but multiple tabs within the same browser may cause issues.
  • Info Gather – Make sure you have all the info you need gathered in one spot BEFORE the sale begins. If working with a buying group, make sure you have all info before the sale starts. Some of the information you will need is:
    • Last name – Yours and anyone you’re attempting to purchase a badge for
    • Member ID – Yours and anyone you’re attempting to purchase a badge for
    • Registration code – Only yours, do not share this.
    • Credit Card payment information – Card number, expiration date, code, name on card, and billing address.
    • Link to the waiting room  – Preferably added to bookmark bar – quick and easy.  You can also find the link in the email which was sent to you or in your Member ID, “Registration Info” tab. However we suggest having that link handy before the day of the sale. The Member ID site can sometimes overload on day of sale.
    • Apps – If communicating with a group, have it downloaded and ready to go, or any other means of communication that you will be using if working with a group.
  • Print it Out – Print out all the above information to have as a handy dandy list so that there will be no need to search for it.  Or, if you prefer, have it loaded and ready on your computer.  Whichever floats your boat.
  • Make Sure Funds are In Place – While working in groups is the best way to increase your odds at getting a badge, there’s one drawback: you’ll only be able to use one credit card during check-out. That means that if a group of three people are each trying to buy badges and working in a group, whoever gets to the front of the line first will have to pay for all three badges on a single credit card.  Because there’s no way to know who will get in first beforehand, each person has to have all of the funds ready to go. The sale accepts Visa, Mastercard, and American Express only.
  • Communicate with your Minions – If you’re working in a team, it’s very important to develop a system for how to communicate where you are in line, and to coordinate the purchasing process. If you get to the front of the line first, and your friend wants a four-day badge, but Saturday is sold out, then what?  We recommend using AIM, Skype, a group chat, or (gasp!) an actual phone as e-mail and Twitter can be slow, and you might not want to share your personal information over social media.
  • Have a Backup Plan – When it comes to SDCC Registration, there are no guarantees. Bookmark, copy and paste the e-mail link, and have that e-mail open and ready to go! One year, the links e-mailed out didn’t work, but copying and pasting the link did. Just assume that when dealing with badge sales to one of the largest, most-coveted events all year long, that glitches can and will happen. If we hear about any of the errors, we’ll be online live with our Annual SDConCast Returning Registration Show, featuring live coverage, the highs and lows of the sale, success stories, tips, and much more.
  • Screenshot Issues – Remember that glitches can happen, so if a problem arises, screenshot it. You may need them. Although there is no guarantee that CCI will be able to help you out if a technical issue or error arises, they have been known to help those with issues in the past. So it is worth well worth grabbing a screenshot if problems occur. It’s also worth taking a screenshot of your purchase page after you’ve completed the purchase, as it can take hours or sometimes even days for the final badge confirmation e-mail to be sent to you. If anything goes amiss, you’ll be glad you have proof that you were victorious over the badge sale.
  • Pay Attention To The Clock –  When it is your turn to check-out, you will have 15 minutes to enter all your information and check-out. Remember, badge inventory will be held for you in the shopping cart while you are making your purchase. EXPO LOGIC and CCI are effectively holding all options for you, so there’s no need to hastily enter your credit card. You’ve got time to talk to your badge-buying buddies to confirm things, and you’ve got time to check your bank balance. Entering everything in 30 seconds or five minutes isn’t going to be the difference between you getting a four-day badge and you losing one. But be mindful of that 15 minute window.
  • Don’t Refresh Or Hit The Back Button  CCI has made it explicitly clear that either refreshing or hitting the back button on your browser after the 9AM kickoff time can send you to the back of the line, or cause the waiting room to behave “unexpectedly”. Neither of those are particularly good options. However, if you do receive an error message, we recommend taking a screenshot of your error message, and then weighing your options for next steps. CCI has stated that if you close the window, rather than refresh, and re-enter, that you won’t lose your place in line.
  • Set Alarms – We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, set those alarms.  You do not want to sleep through the waiting room queue during entry time. If you’re sitting there wondering how anyone could let that happen — just look at Twitter after the sale. It’s happened before and it will happen again.  Be the one alarm to rule them all!
  • Wake up that Computer! – Not only do you want to make sure you’re not going to sleep through the sale, you want to make sure your computer doesn’t take a nap at the wrong moment either.  Turn off the sleep mode.
  • Snackage  Gather up those snacks. You might be staring at that screen for a bit and you really don’t want to be fumbling in the kitchen to grab snacks when suddenly your screen pops open to the purchase page.  Get your store run done the night before and have those snacks handy. Sadly, this early-season badge sale means that our own personal snack of choice won’t be girl scout cookies… so plan accordingly.
  • Prep Thyself for a Staring Contest – Be prepared to stare at that spinning circle of doom. Learn it, love it, stare at it!

You are now prepared for all the Comic-Con badge buying fun!

Do you have any SDCC Returning Registration tips?  Share them with us in the comments below!

About Lisa McDowell