Car Boot Glamour

I went to a car boot sale over the bank holiday, with dreams of both clearing out my flat and earning enough cash to get a sofa that doesn’t have a great big hole in the middle (2 snapped slats, fortunately at least big enough for me to sit in). Sadly, my dreams weren’t realised, although my fund is looking healthier.
I couldn’t help comparing my experience at the car boot sale to my experience at Amecon earlier that month – my first ever convention. Whilst the first major difference was the lack of costumes, and also that I was outside and it was cold, there were other differences which I noted, sadly. I’d never sold anything at a car boot sale before and I think my expectations were formed largely by my experience at Amecon.
Before we had even finished setting up the stall at the car boot, people were coming to pick at our wares, haggle us down, and scoffed at our prices. At Amecon, what was being sold was hidden until the time came, displayed with care and browsed at with appreciation. At the car boot, people didn’t bother to hide their distaste, or to keep their voices down with their opinions. It was pretty crushing, especially given my limited experience at car boot sales and the fact that I was already nervous.
Thinking about Amecon made me think how lucky we are that the Anime community is one that encourages small businesses and artists. I saw so many independent businesses at Amecon, selling things they’d made, they’d drawn, or even just starting up selling manga and anime. People didn’t scoff at the items, didn’t pick through them to see if they were ‘worth’ anything. In this community we see things for their value, not for how much we might not have to pay for them. It is encouraging, and wonderful.
Manga Market are hoping to trade at MCM Expo this October. Having seen the reception traders were given at Amecon, I am looking forward to this with a lot more excitement than I am my next car boot sale. I’m looking forward to learning from the other traders there, from talking to other small businesses, big businesses, and fans, seeing what they want, what we can do better.
Manga Market is my first involvement in a business enterprise, and I don’t know anything – I’m learning as I go. But the rest of the Manga Market team have experience in areas I don’t, and we’re pushing things along nicely. I’m confident that we’ll do well, but I’m also nervous.
At the car boot sale, I was nervous. I felt sick and like the people around me were judging me for my inexperience. My nerves for MCM aren’t like that. They’re the good kind, like butterflies, mixed with excitement.
Thank you, all of you, for being such a welcoming community. And I hope that we do alright at MCM. We’ll probably make a few mistakes, but we can get past that. I figure you guys will help us out.

Fingers crossed!

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