I think I lost them when I told them I get four days of parking for $65...
Sounds about right, mine come in around $2,700 for 2 but that includes VIG badges.
i just want to update this for people for next year to say it's absolutely worth it to have a badge mailed. Thursday morning lines were 1 hour plus for me because i didn't pay the $10. And aside from a couple of times in the late afternoon, they were always that long. This was my first year, but i couldn't believe how bad it was.
I've stood for longer in amusement park lines for roller coasters than I've ever stood in a Will Call line at Gen Con. As much as I don't like standing in lines anywhere, you do have to factor in the time and costs associated with getting your badge delivered and signed for - did you have to leave work early? Did you have to make a special trip to the Post Office because they didn't catch you at home? Etc.
And then, of course, you don't want to end up like this guy.
I've never had the badges mailed to me - I'm considering doing it next year to see what the experience is like...but my assumption is that standing in Will Call for an hour is way less stressful than constantly worrying that I left my badge at home.
My friend and I choose will call, not because ten bucks breaks the bank (though I did get laid off the Friday before, so that's awesome) but because of the paranoia that something would happen to the packets or they'd be lost or forgotten if we had them shipped.
I have to say, the lines every single morning were longer than I have personally ever seen. I wasn't surprised on Wednesday, or even really Thursday, but that the line being all the way to the end on Sunday was a bit of a shocker.
That said...maybe...quitcherbitchin? It took me 1 hour and 7 minutes to get through a line that started outside past the statue thingie. There must have been over a thousand people in it. Not even exaggerating. That means they're processing someone every four seconds. Those people were FLYING. And still pleasant. Can you imagine getting through any grocery store, coffee shop, or other line that fast? Try to get there on Wednesday. Or super early/late. Hunker down and wait. We made chit chat with our line neighbors and invented a board game (It's called Con Crud, you have to infect the whole con, it will be great.) It took me less time to get through that line than it took to get through one fifty foot construction zone.
There are SO MANY things that can go wrong with a trip that's as big and complicated and expensive as Gencon that can really negatively impact the overall experience. I don't think that "I had to exercise patience for an hour" should make that list.
And if your schedule is super tight and you don't want to wait? That's cool. Pay the ten bucks. Neither choice is wrong, just make the one that works best for you.
As to taxes and fees, I end with an anecdote, circa 2010, Michigan. Caribou Coffee has a dollar coffee promotion and, like EVERY BUSINESS that has locations in multiple states with multiple tax rates, it's before tax. A known irritable customer asks WHY it's a dollar six, not a dollar. My boss, at the register, explains it's with the tax.
"I bet you voted for OBAMA," he sneered.
She just smiled angelically at him. "Yes, I did. But I believe Michigan has had sales tax for quite some time."
He pays for his coffee.
Gone to GC 11 of last 12 years.
Took wife for first time this year and spent $1500. Drove from Philly area. No hotel costs - covered by points.
Never thrilled by possibility of losing tickets in mail so I always do will call. Arrive on Wed afternoon and it takes about 20-30
min. 12 years ago that easily would have been an hour plus.
GC has gotten dramatically better at processing people and they are open 24 hours a day starting at 12 on Wednesday. Plan accordingly and one can easily avoid long lines and the cost so many complain about. Line time will probably be even less once a full e-ticket system is implemented.
I believe ticket prices have doubled over the last 12 years which stinks, but if that is the cost to attend then so be it. It would be nice if they gave a discount bases on the number of years you attended for loyalty; I think that would be kinda cool.
The point of this post is not "should I get my badge mailed to me?" because you kinda HAVE to get it mailed unless you want to spend hours in line. The point is that, as ticket prices continue to rise each year, and every events costs more and more, and the Gencon machine continues to make more and more profits, they could, and should just allow a mailing option for free.
I love Gencon, but I really don't like the feeling of getting squeezed more and more each year.
If you want the badge shipped to avoid the lines (I do) then pay for it. If you want to use a shuttle service (I would) then pay the $50 for the pass. I dont see why Gencon should charge everyone for shipping.
Never forget that Gencon is in the business to make money - and that is all.
I would assume that they as a corporation they weigh the possible benefits of doing something against the loss of income .
In this case waiving the cost of mailing badges .
With that in mind - what gain do they have by making the shipping free ?
The number of attendees that they might lose by continuing to charge is statiscally insignificant .
It is likely that they will do something like Austicke wrote and charge everybody a "convenience fee" of $8-$10 and make more money.
Which is what they are in business for .
Gencon has always been more than just another money-sucking corporation. At least it used to be. That's the point. They're supposed to be about a lot more than just squeezing money out of us.
When I become convinced that all they are is another corporation trying to suck every dollar they can from us, I will absolutely be done with them and spend my money at one of the many other options.
Gen Con is currently in no danger of losing attendees, measured by numbers, over something like shipping. If some people decide not to come, then the other people who weren't able to buy badges this year because the con sold out will come instead.
I would also hesitate before I started talking about how much GC's profits are increasing. Just given that I know absolutely nothing about their costs, which I imagine are not remaining stagnant.
I view the whole $10 "cost" a different way. I'm local, and I don't get a hotel room for the con. I stay at home. I'd prefer to have my badge no later than Wednesday evening, so I can get to my Thursday morning events on time, and as stress-free as possible. So to hit the will-call line on Wednesday, I have to make a special trip downtown. It's about a 35 mile round trip. The IRS (not known for their charity) allows you to write off $0.58 per mile traveled for business expenses. This isn't a business expense, but let's assume 58 cents/mile is a reasonable rate. Heck, just for easy math, let's say it's 50 cents per mile. So to drive 35 miles, I've spent $17.50. If I spend $2.50 parking, I've paid for the shipping for both my and my wife's badges. And not had to spend an hour and a half driving, plus heaven knows how long standing in line. Seems like a solid win to me.
Even doing that, i've still known some folk who STILL forgot their stuff, as they grabbed the 'wrong carry on'..