Why is so hard to get a Faciliator for more Cons?
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I am throwing this out there as a topic for discussion and as a kind of frustration. I get that CGC can't be every single Con and there are only so many Legit Facilitators out there that can submit/witness on CGC's behalf. But with smaller Cons and not so smaller Cons almost weekly through out the country, I would wish CGC would allow more LCBS owners to facilitate a Con in their area.  There are so many Cons that I would love to attend and submit at, but there is no one there to witness for me from a Celeb/Artist/Writer. Plus that LCBS owner could charge a witness fee and submission fee and make some extra money in the process and CGC would continue to receive submitted books for grading (boom-win/win). I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels that way. Thoughts?

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The Signature Series label is a brand built on trust.  If they just let any Joe Schmo witness books outside of their supervision, chances are higher that there will be some rule bending/breaking going on.  If that rule bending comes to light, trust in the brand will diminish and Signature Series as a label will essentially be worthless.  If you insert doubt into even one book, every book becomes questionable.  If the trust is shattered, the SS program will cease to be. 

 

But this post should really be directed at your LCBS owners.  Nothing is stopping them from calling CGC and saying "Hey, I've got 500 books and an upcoming opportunity to have them signed by ____________.  What are my options for getting them submitted for Signature Series?"

 

Obviously, the more books a shop could submit, the more lucrative the proposition for CGC and the more likely they'll be to oblige in some fashion.  But if a show/in-store signing is only going to yield 20 books or so, don't expect mountains to be moved. 

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There was less drama when there were lots of SS witnesses who signed contracts and were trustworthy.   There are 6 big ones now and 2 are problems, so not sure where the built on trust is coming from.

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18 hours ago, Bowchigabowwow said:

I am throwing this out there as a topic for discussion and as a kind of frustration. I get that CGC can't be every single Con and there are only so many Legit Facilitators out there that can submit/witness on CGC's behalf. But with smaller Cons and not so smaller Cons almost weekly through out the country, I would wish CGC would allow more LCBS owners to facilitate a Con in their area.  There are so many Cons that I would love to attend and submit at, but there is no one there to witness for me from a Celeb/Artist/Writer. Plus that LCBS owner could charge a witness fee and submission fee and make some extra money in the process and CGC would continue to receive submitted books for grading (boom-win/win). I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels that way. Thoughts?

As stated above, its mostly a matter of trust.  I think if dealers/LCS owners are willing to go through the steps to become facilitators, nothing is generally stopping them.  But is it worth it for them to go through the steps for the amount of extra money they might get if they just do the 1-2 local cons each year in most areas?  If you have a firm grasp of the steps and economics of the situation and feel like you can persuade an LCS owner in your area, you should attempt to do so.

 But actually, you can probably contact some of the more trusted facilitators directly and ask them to come to your local cons and witness the signing of your books.  I don't think CGC is keeping them from doing it.  They'd probably love to have more revenue.  Of course there is the matter of cost and profit.  Generally there needs to be some sort of book/dollar limit to make it worth it for the facilitator (and/or CGC to a somewhat lesser extent).  How much would you need to be paid to drive 3-4 hours and watch some dude sign comics for 5 hrs?   What if its farther?  What if you need a hotel room? What if you need gas?  What if its a 2-day con? Or 3-days?  What about the time it takes to package and ship to CGC?  The time managing the customers?  The time doing the accounting and paperwork?  Just drop a $10K bonus on the facilitator and I bet you'll have one turn up at your house drive you to the con, and piggyback you around the con while getting your books signed.  But if those economics don't work out for you, hopefully you can see why the economics might not work out for your local LCS person either.

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12 minutes ago, revat said:

As stated above, its mostly a matter of trust.  I think if dealers/LCS owners are willing to go through the steps to become facilitators, nothing is generally stopping them.  But is it worth it for them to go through the steps for the amount of extra money they might get if they just do the 1-2 local cons each year in most areas?  If you have a firm grasp of the steps and economics of the situation and feel like you can persuade an LCS owner in your area, you should attempt to do so.

 But actually, you can probably contact some of the more trusted facilitators directly and ask them to come to your local cons and witness the signing of your books.  I don't think CGC is keeping them from doing it.  They'd probably love to have more revenue.  Of course there is the matter of cost and profit.  Generally there needs to be some sort of book/dollar limit to make it worth it for the facilitator (and/or CGC to a somewhat lesser extent).  How much would you need to be paid to drive 3-4 hours and watch some dude sign comics for 5 hrs?   What if its farther?  What if you need a hotel room? What if you need gas?  What if its a 2-day con? Or 3-days?  What about the time it takes to package and ship to CGC?  The time managing the customers?  The time doing the accounting and paperwork?  Just drop a $10K bonus on the facilitator and I bet you'll have one turn up at your house drive you to the con, and piggyback you around the con while getting your books signed.  But if those economics don't work out for you, hopefully you can see why the economics might not work out for your local LCS person either.

Well said :golfclap:

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5 hours ago, Pirate said:

There was less drama when there were lots of SS witnesses who signed contracts and were trustworthy.   There are 6 big ones now and 2 are problems, so not sure where the built on trust is coming from.

You're not wrong about the first part...the problems back then stemmed from a small group of people, most operated without any issues. 

But the trust I'm referring to is not referencing the facilitators/witnesses, but the trust in the brand itself. 

Edited by Turtle
correction

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6 hours ago, revat said:

As stated above, its mostly a matter of trust.  I think if dealers/LCS owners are willing to go through the steps to become facilitators, nothing is generally stopping them.  But is it worth it for them to go through the steps for the amount of extra money they might get if they just do the 1-2 local cons each year in most areas?  If you have a firm grasp of the steps and economics of the situation and feel like you can persuade an LCS owner in your area, you should attempt to do so.

 But actually, you can probably contact some of the more trusted facilitators directly and ask them to come to your local cons and witness the signing of your books.  I don't think CGC is keeping them from doing it.  They'd probably love to have more revenue.  Of course there is the matter of cost and profit.  Generally there needs to be some sort of book/dollar limit to make it worth it for the facilitator (and/or CGC to a somewhat lesser extent).  How much would you need to be paid to drive 3-4 hours and watch some dude sign comics for 5 hrs?   What if its farther?  What if you need a hotel room? What if you need gas?  What if its a 2-day con? Or 3-days?  What about the time it takes to package and ship to CGC?  The time managing the customers?  The time doing the accounting and paperwork?  Just drop a $10K bonus on the facilitator and I bet you'll have one turn up at your house drive you to the con, and piggyback you around the con while getting your books signed.  But if those economics don't work out for you, hopefully you can see why the economics might not work out for your local LCS person either.

There lies the issues. I have posted on "SigSeries Event Central" along with numerous of others asking for a witness for this con and that con... with no reply. With only a handful of facilitators spread thin and only going to the bigger cons or small cons in their particular area (where it makes more economic sense for them to attend), LCS owners (at least in the Portland, OR area) aren't willing to see if it would be a lucrative venture.  

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Trust is certainly a cornerstone of the program, but so is cost. I will happily make my team available to you for any con you want to go to if you pay our travel expenses to get us there. I have to pay for all the shows I send my team to, so if you want to send my team somewhere just shoot me a PM. 

I am not being snarky, even though it may read that way. I really will get your books done if you send me somewhere. 

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Not having 200 book limits for the masses would help also, well unless you're in the know and can do what you want.   People would be more willing to do smaller shows with less commitment.  Seriously, what's the big deal with entering in 20 SS books into the system.  Either fully support the SS program or drop it.  I can't imagine the money they are missing out with all this inclusiveness and dumb up-charging the facilitators are doing.

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30 minutes ago, Dork Buzz said:

Trust is certainly a cornerstone of the program, but so is cost. I will happily make my team available to you for any con you want to go to if you pay our travel expenses to get us there. I have to pay for all the shows I send my team to, so if you want to send my team somewhere just shoot me a PM. 

I am not being snarky, even though it may read that way. I really will get your books done if you send me somewhere. 

That's the problem, nobody should have to pay to send your team anywhere.  CGC should have the service available at popular shows.  It's cheaper for them to hire witnesses to show up then bring their own people.   Let the witness bring mail ins (or gasp have CGC accept them) if they want,  pay their way locally and pay them to help in free subs, use them to get other books done for the booth.    This isn't rocket science 

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I used to have them signing my books in early 2000's but there were too many rules that have been changed that have been complicated and more expensive. I saw more obstacles in 2010's and some facilitators became uncooperative and created problems. I gave them up for good.

Back in 2008 and 2009, Neal Adams' signature was only $10 per copy and his price is now $50 per copy.  I always believe it has to do with the union workers who handle the conventions demand the raises on their salaries and the ticket sales have been skyrocketed in last few years. More famous artists/celebrates are depending on VIP tickets than booths. That may be the factor of the declining of the facilitators in last few years. Those companies like Wizard World or ReedPop have controlled everything with money. I didn't have any fun and it gets hard and harder to have my books signed. No more fun or easy to handle with the facilitators anymore.  Simply, I go to all comic book dealers' booths then get out of the convention as I could.

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If you have anything you need help getting signed in Arizona, PM me. I go to PHXCC every year (10 years strong this year) and I'll hit up any LCS or smaller CON if it's in AZ (mainly the greater PHX area). I also try to get out to SDCC and Star Wars Celebrations (when it's in the U.S.). A bunch of the other board members and some CGC staff can vouch for me. I know how to crack slabs like and show your books or art work respect when handling them. I'm not a comic dealer nor do I have plans to quit my day job to do this for a living. I just love comics and helping others who share a similar passion who can't attend a con. 

If your requests are reasonable (ex. a few books here and there for artists or authors, etc.) But I will charge if you want have custom sketch cover requests, need me to stand in long lines and wait hours to get a bunch of celebrities on a book, etc. Because it is getting a little insane now at all the cons I've been too as of recent and from what I've heard what happened last year at Star Wars Celebrations. 

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