Dealer FAQ

Please read through this FAQ to find the URL for the Dealer application form.

General Dealer Questions

1. When is Arisia?
January 17th - 20th, 2020. The convention starts Friday afternoon, and will finish Monday afternoon.

2. Where is Arisia?
The Westin Boston Waterfront hotel at 425 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02210.

3. If I have questions, who do I talk to?
Your Dealers Liaisons this year are Ed Trachtenberg and Sabina Fecteau. The best way to reach them is to send e-mail to dealers@arisia.org.

4. Is there a Dealers Room this year?
YES! Please note: There is NO Dealers Row.

5. May I share my space with another vendor?
Absolutely. Discuss it with them ahead of time. You will need to mention them on your application form and they will need to mention you on their application form. At least one of you will need to let us know who will be responsible for paying for your shared space.

6. Tell me about the Dealers Room.
The Dealers Room is an area in a large exhibit space. The space will be shared mainly with the Con Suite. The Art Show is upstairs. This area will be secured after hours, so that our dealers will be able to set up Thursday afternoon and/or Friday morning and tear down Monday afternoon, without having to do daily set-up and tear down during the weekend.
The cost is:
Tables -- First $120, Second $140, Third $160, Fourth $180
Non-Corner Booths -- $340 each
Corner Booths -- $420 each
We have learned that the Westin is switching to 6' dropleaf tables. They can be changed between being 18" and 30" wide. We are still planning on giving each vendor 2 of these tables per space. This gives you much more flexibility than in the past. Also, be sure to bring your own table coverings this year.
Dealers who want more than two table spaces will have to provide justification for why they need additional spaces, and they will be granted on a case-by-case basis. There will be space in the application form for this justification.
We will, also, provide a small number of 10’ X 10 spaces for booths. Arisia does not provide booth partitioning nor pipe/drape decorating. These booth spaces will cost $340 for a non-corner booth (one sales side) and $420 for a corner booth (two sales sides). Each booth comes with a pair of 6’ dropleaf tables.
As always, we are limiting the # of tables to be appropriate for our attendance. If you ask for it, we will provide at least one power outlet per dealer. If you need more than one, please bring power strips and/or extension cords. Power strips and/or extension cords must be of the grounded variety (3 wire).
The hotel does not have storage areas for boxes or crates, so packing materials will have to go under the table, or back to your vehicles.
The Dealer’s Room will be open for you to start moving in at 6:30 pm on Thursday, and at 9 am on Friday. We plan on allowing dealers to set up until midnight on Thursday. On Thursday and Friday during setup, only people with Dealer Ribbons will be able to get into the Dealers room. You get your Dealers Ribbons from the Dealers Liaison at the convention.

Proposed Dealers Room Hours for the public are:
Friday 5pm-9pm
Saturday 10:00am - 7:00 pm
Sunday 10:00am - 7:00pm
Monday 10:00am - 2:30pm
FYI … most programming starts at 10am each day (except Friday) and the Programming Grid operates on 90 minute blocks.

Dealers Room Questions

7. What is the lighting like in the Dealers Room?
The lighting in the Dealer’s room is not great. We're trying to get extra lighting placed around the Dealers Room. However, if you have readily transportable lights, it's probably a very good idea to bring them along.

8. What is the power situation in the Dealers Room?
If you ask for it, we will make sure that your area has an outlet. We will have at least one power drop per dealer island/wall-group. It is recommended that you bring at least one grounded (3 wire) extension cord. If you need to plug in more than one item, please bring a grounded (3 wire) power strip. Please bear in mind that you will be sharing power with your neighboring dealers.

9. Can I get Internet in the Dealers Room?
Free Internet cannot be guaranteed in the Dealers Room. If Arisia is able to create a room-wide hot-spot we will notify dealers. Please note that if WiFi is available, it will be shared by other dealers and should be used only for business purposes. Wired internet is available at $125/drop/per day.

10. Payment and Reservations
  1. Pay your dealer’s fee (see question #6). If you are selected to be a vendor at Arisia ‘20, payment instructions will be included with your acceptance letter.
  2. Purchase your needed memberships at https://arisia.org/registration. You will be able to purchase memberships at the “pre-convention rate” of $55.00 per person as follows:
    • Until 9/30, you will be able to purchase memberships at the $55 posted rate.
    • After 9/30 (for applications completed prior to 9/30/2019), memberships may be purchased (until 11/30) at the $55.00 rate as follows:
      • Up to 1 membership per table allocated
      • Up to 2 memberships per non-corner booth allocated
      • Up to 3 memberships per corner booth allocated
      • Memberships in excess of this allowance must be purchased at the rate in effect at the time of registration.
    • If you are not certain as to WHO will help staff your dealer space, memberships may be purchased as “Minion #n of Company X”. Real names MUST be provided to Registration no later than 12/15.
  3. Reserve a hotel room (https://arisia.org/reservations). As the Westin tends to sell out very quickly, you should plan on booking your room as soon as hotel reservations open (1pm, September 19th).
  4. Confirmation:
    1. Receive confirmation from Arisia Dealers Liaison that we have received your dealer's fee.
    2. Receive confirmation from Arisia Registration that they have processed your membership registrations.
12. How much is dealing at Arisia going to cost me?
  • See question #6 for pricing of vending spaces.. If you are sharing a table / booth with another vendor, you will need to decide how that cost will be split and who will be responsible for making payment..
  • The cost of your lodgings, whether that is at the Arisia hotel, another hotel, or with a nearby friend.
  • A membership fee for each person who will be with you, paid to Arisia (https://arisia.org/registration), see above for pricing.
  • This applies to all workers, helpers, children, etc. regardless of whether or not they plan to attend any other Arisia events.
    • Both Kids-in-tow and Adults-in-tow require memberships. However, these memberships are provided at no cost. For a definition of both of these categories, please see the Registration FAQ Page (https://arisia.org/regFAQ).
  • This membership fee goes up the closer we get to the convention, so the sooner you know you are vending, the sooner you can purchase your memberships.
  • All memberships will need to be purchased through Arisia registration.
  • If you have local people coming to help with set-up or break-down who are not staying to work nor to attend the convention please contact dealers@arisia.org ahead of time so that they can make arrangements so that your short-term helpers are not turned away at the door.
  • Your cost for getting you and your stuff to and from Arisia, including tips for hotel staff who move your stuff and parking fees.
  • Your cost for food, and for any other items that you want to purchase at Arisia, especially from your fellow vendors.
  • If you are interested in purchasing an ad in Arisia's Souvenir Book, contact ads@arisia.org. The deadline for submitting an ad is October 1.
13. What happens if I need to cancel my reservation?
  • If you must cancel your dealer reservation, notify us as early as possible.
  • Refunds will be given ONLY if we are able to resell your table(s) / booth(s).
  • NO, you cannot resell / sublet your booth yourself. However, if you have a person in mind please let us know who it is and have them fill out the dealer application.
  • If you have to cancel your hotel reservation, please be aware that cancellations after December 15, 2019, will incur a fee equivalent to one room night's rate.
14. Parking
Please see https://arisia.org/parking.

15. Load-In
There is a full-height covered loading dock, with both a freight elevator (up 2 feet) and stairs (up 3 stairs) to the Dealers Room. There is, also, a street-level freight-only lift available near the loading dock. Please unload as rapidly as possible and then move your vehicle to allow other vendors to also unload there.

16. Adult Items
Dealers Room and the Con Suite are both open to all registered convention members. The only exception will be an “Adult Only” area where entrance will be limited to persons who are 18+ years of age.
Any materials that are sexually explicit, extremely graphically violent, or otherwise unsuitable for minors (under the age of 18) MUST be displayed in a manner that keeps kids (any person under the age of 18) from seeing them. All “naughty bits” (sexual and/or violent) must be covered.
  • If you are selling adult items that cannot be hidden from view (e.g. handcuffs, BDSM toys, etc.) you will be placed into the Adult Only area. This is a relatively small area (4 - 5 vendor spaces). If you feel that your merchandise would be best displayed there, please let us know.
  • If you are selling adult items, you must agree to the following restrictions:
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that minors do not have access to any adult items. This can be done by checking ID before allowing patrons to look in a closed box/binder or area.
    • Exception: If you are vending from the “adult area” adult items may be openly displayed.
  • The acceptability of displays of adult material is at the sole discretion of the Dealer's Room Coordinators.
  • If we hear or see that you have adult items which are easily visible to minors, you will receive one warning (since your definition of adult items may be less strict than some of our attendees), and will be expected to rectify the situation immediately after receiving your warning.
  • If you require a second warning, Arisia reserves the right to either mandate how you rectify the situation, or to close your shop without refund of vending fees.
17. Other display considerations:
  • Any material that might be construed to be HATE related is strictly FORBIDDEN!
    • 1st occurrence: You will receive a warning and ordered to remove that merchandise from your display.
    • 2nd occurrence: You will be removed from Arisia with NO refund.
  • If you are selling music please provide your customers with headphones so that they can sample. The Dealer’s Room is too noisy to quietly play music and expect that it will be heard.
  • If you are selling fragrant merchandise, please keep it covered and allow your customers to “sniff” if they want to sample. There are a lot of people who are allergic to fragrances.
  • If you are planning to sell any BOOTLEG merchandise → DON’T.
    • 1st occurrence: You will receive a warning and ordered to remove that merchandise from your display.
    • 2nd occurrence: You will be removed from Arisia with NO refund.
18. When I get to Arisia, what procedure should I follow?
In no particular order, you will need to:
  • Unload and then park your car. Please remove your vehicle from the loading dock area before you begin to set up your space.
  • Check in at the registration desk and pick up your badge(s). Each person must pick up their own badge.
    • Note: On Thursday evening, Registration is open only for badge pickup (NO badges may be purchased on Thursday).
  • Check in at the hotel desk and get your hotel room keys if you are staying at the Westin.
    • Check-in begins at 3 PM.
  • Find your Dealers Liaison, let us know you are here, get answers to any burning dealers liaison questions, and collect your dealers ribbons.
19. Why are you asking ....
  • Membership information, if you aren't selling us our memberships?
    • So that we can estimate how many Dealers Ribbons we need, and so that we can check the names you give against our registration database to make sure you registered (we may sell out the convention, so it's best to make sure you buy your memberships early).
  • Whether we will be open for vending on Monday?
    • This is a four day convention, and we do NOT want the Dealers Room looking deserted on Monday morning. Therefore, dealers who plan to pack up Sunday, or early Monday before opening will be placed LAST to get tables and rooms, and may not get a spot.
  • For us to both check off what we sell and to describe what we sell?
    • The description will be used for deciding between applicants if we have more applications than spots e.g . "Both of these folks checked Jewelry, but this one has a cooler description, so they're in.", and in a modified shortened form, if we have space in the program book, as a short description below your vendor name.
    • The description and the check boxes will be used so we can try to avoid putting similar dealers next to each other (except for dealers selling adult items in the adult sales area).
20, Weapons Sales
  • Any weapons (real or simulated) sold in the Arisia Dealer’s room must be peace bonded.
  • The location of the peace bonding station will be announced by the time the dealer’s room is open for business.
  • All edged weapons (swords, knives, arrows, etc.) must be wrapped in cardboard and securely taped when sold.
  • Any weapons not peace bonded must be immediately removed from the convention area (brought to the purchaser’s room / vehicle / etc.).
21. What laws and rules do I need to be concerned about?
  • You are responsible for observing all applicable laws (e.g. tax, copyright, and decency laws (see Adult Items), etc..)
    • ALL vendors are required to have a MA Sales Tax number in order to vend at Arisia as we are required to submit a list of vendors and their tax numbers to the State.
    • This rule applies whether your business is a MA based business or an out-of-state business. It also applies even if you are selling only items that are tax exempt. If you are a tax exempt business (e.g. 501(c)3) you must submit your tax exempt number.
  • If you are an out-of-state vendor (or are unfamiliar with the MA sales tax rules) you should read: A Guide to Sales and Use Taxes (you'll need Adobe Acrobat to read it). For more information on Massachusetts taxes, see the Department of Revenue web site or call: (617) 887-MDOR (or in state: (800) 392-6089).
  • To find out what weapons are not legal to carry in Massachusetts see Mass. General Laws Chapter 269, Section 10 (search for paragraph (b) in the middle). Basically if it is more dangerous than a Koosh Ball(TM), then it's probably illegal. Some of the things banned by the state are: any knife having a double-edged blade, dirk knife, any armband made with leather which has metallic spikes, nunchaku, ....
  • The hotel contract says that bumper stickers and any other sort of sticker may not be distributed at the convention, so no free stickers advertising your business.
22. On average, how many people attend Arisia?
That information can be found on the Arisia History Page: https://corp.arisia.org/history

23. Does my application guarantee me a vending space at Arisia?
No. The Arisia Dealer’s Room is a juried venue.

24. How did the Arisia ’19 move to the Boston Park Plaza Hotel affect vendor choices for Arisia '20?
  • Those vendors who either gave up their spaces or downsized in 2019 will get priority selection at the Westin in 2020 (right of 1st refusal).
  • They must still must apply. Inclusion as a vendor for 2020 is not automatic.
  • Any vendor wishing to reclaim their prior space allocation MUST apply by 10/01/2019 otherwise they will be treated the same as any other applicant.
25. Does this mean that if I wasn’t a vendor at Arisia ’19 I have no chance of being selected and shouldn’t bother to apply?
  • No. You should definitely apply if you are interested because:
  • Arisia's Dealer's Room is juried with priority for returning vendors.
  • We are always looking for new vendors with new and exciting merchandise.
  • We often have vendors who elect not to return in a particular year.
  • If you are not selected it will put you on the Wait List.
  • If you have never applied to Arisia in the past it will put you on the mailing list.

26. Boston Bag Ban:
The ban on plastic shopping bags in Boston is in force. Please see: www.baglaws.com/legislation.php?state=Massachusetts#Boston
In short, the ordinance allows only:
    (1) reusable bags (polyester, cotton, or plastic at least 3 mils in thickness),
    (2) paper bags with at least 40 percent post-consumer recycled content, or
    (3) compostable plastic bags conforming to ASTM D6400.
    Retailers must charge at least 5 cents (plus tax) for any bags distributed with handles.
27. Where is the Dealers Application Form?
The URL is: https://arisia.org/DealerQuestionnaire
Last modified
12/08/2019 - 20:22