Dealer FAQ

The Dealer's Room is SOLD OUT at this time. Applicants will be placed on a "wait list" and will be notified when/if spaces open between now and Arisia'13

Please read through this FAQ to find the URL for the Dealer application form.  Of note, this FAQ is still a work in progress and will be edited as more information becomes available.  

1.  When is Arisia?

January 18th-21st, 2013.  The convention starts Friday afternoon, and will finish Monday afternoon.

2.  Where is Arisia?

The Westin Waterfront Hotel at 425 Summer Street, Boston MA 02210.  The room rate is $124/night for kings, $149/night for doubles, plus taxes.  

The overflow hotel is the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel at 606 Congress Street, Boston, MA, and their rooms are all $136 (including doubles) plus taxes.

For the most current hotel information, please look at /hotel.

3.  If I have questions, who do I talk to?

Your Dealers Liaison this year is Ed Trachtenberg, assisted by Amy Chused.  The best way to reach any of us pre-con is to send e-mail to  

4.  Is there a Dealers Room this year?

YES!  It will be just as beautiful, and in the same space, but the layout may be tweaked for better flow.

5.  Is there a Dealers Row this year?

NO.  This is unfortunate.  The reasons are complicated, but the conclusion is that there will not be a Dealers Row this year.  

Those dealers who are Dealers Row-only dealers have our sincere sympathies, and we will keep you on our mailing list for when we are able to have a Dealers Row again.  That will NOT be this year.

6.  May I share a table 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.  You will each need your own Massachusetts State tax ID.

7.  Tell me about the Dealers Room.

The Dealers Room is an area in a large exhibit space which is also near the Art Show, Artists Alley and Fan Tables.  This area will be secured after hours, so that our dealers will be able to set up Thursday or Friday morning and tear down Monday afternoon, without having to do set up and tear down during the weekend.  

The cost is $100/table.  Each table space is likely 2 6' by 18" tables in parallel (making a table that is 6' by 36"), with the occasional 6’ by 30” table.  Dealers who want more than two table spaces will have to provide justification for why they need extra tables, and they will be granted on a case-by-case basis. There will be space in the application form for this justification.

There will also be a small number of 10’ by 10’ booths.  They will cost $250 / non-corner booth and $300 / corner booth.  If you request and receive a booth, you can choose your own layout.  If you want 2 booths, you’ll have to provide justification in the application on why you need the extra space.

Please also note that Dealers Room will have a few designated (and curtained off) changing areas for our costume vendors.

The hotel does not have storage areas for boxes or crates, so packing materials will have to go under the table, back to your vehicles, or to your hotel room if you rented one.

The Dealers Room will be open for you to start moving in at 2 pm on Thursday, and at 10am on Friday.  All day Thursday, and between 10am and 5pm on Friday, people will only be able to get into the Dealers room if they have a Dealers Ribbon.  You get your Dealers Ribbons from the Dealers Liaison at the convention.

        Proposed Dealers Room Hours are below, although they have not been finalized, so if you have a strong opinion, please mention it when you fill out the Application Form:

  • Friday 5pm-9pm
  • Saturday 10am - 7pm
  • Sunday 10am - 7pm
  • Monday 10am - 3pm

        Many dealers like the Dealers Room for the following reasons:

  • Secure area, so you don't have to worry about your shop when the Dealers Room is closed.
  • Presence of other dealers in the same room, so you have a more social atmosphere and can ask a neighbor to watch your shop when you take a quick break
  • Well defined hours to force you to do something other than vend in the evenings, such as enjoy the convention or have dinner with a friend or sleep.
  • High population density, since folks who want to shop know that there are many vendors in one area in the Dealers Room

8.  Tell me about the Dealers Row.

This was an Arisia innovation several years ago, and was very popular.  It is unfortunate that it is unavailable this year, but we have not forgotten about it, and when we next change hotels, we will strive to reintroduce it so that our vendors and attendees can enjoy it again.

To help our costume vendors, who have generally preferred Dealer’s Row, there will be at least one, ideally 2 or 3, changing areas in the Dealers Room, and we will be clustering our costume vendors around the changing areas.

9.  Tell me about the Artists Alley.

The Artists Alley is adjacent to the Dealers Room, so it can take advantage of the shopper population density.  It is limited to artists/authors who are selling their own work.  It is NOT an overflow Dealers Room, and is targeted to a different set of sellers.

The tables are rented for ~4 hour blocks, rather than for the whole convention, so the overall cost and time commitment is much lower, but the exposure is also less and their setup / tear-down time comes out of their 4 hour selling blocks.

Many artists like the Artists Alley for the following reasons:

  • The time commitment is limited, so they can still enjoy the convention
  • They are selling their own wares, so they can meet in person the folks who buy their stuff.
  • Cheaper than the Dealers Room

Dealers Room Specific Questions

10.  What is the lighting like in the Dealers Room?

The Dealers will have the window side of the large exhibition hall, so it is better than the Art Show, but it's still not great.  If you have readily transportable lights, it is a very good idea to bring them along.

11.  What is the power situation in the Dealers Room?

There are outlets on the walls that you can use.  We will work to ensure that there is at least one active power drop at one or several of the interior columns.  Please bring an extra grounded extension cord and/or power strip so you can pull power from the power drop.  Please bear in mind that you will be sharing power with your neighboring dealers.

12.  Can I get Internet in the Dealers Room?

Probably.  The hotel for-pay wireless reached the Dealers Room in 2011, but the signal wasn't super strong.  Arisia also put a WiFi router on an Internet drop in 2011 in the Galleria, but it was somewhat of a last-minute addition, so instructions on how to access it were sparse.  It will be better this year, and the instructions on how to access the Internet will be mailed out to all the dealers before Arisia '13. There is also free WiFI in the lobby and in the hotel rooms if you book through Arisia.

13.  Can I load into the Dealers Room on Thursday?

Yes.  We will have security for the room overnight Thursday night.  If you want to load in early, and miss the Friday rush, we would be delighted to have you do so.  We will have the Dealers Room open for load-in, and a volunteer to door guard between 2pm and 10pm Thursday.  After about 10pm, the room will be closed to setup, and our security will be guarding it.  

More Information

14.  What is the process for me to vend at Arisia?

  1. Please fill out the application form, including an agreement to pay all applicable associated fees to both Arisia and the hotel, and to abide by Arisia Rules and Regulations.  Please feel free to forward the links to the Dealers' FAQ and the Dealers' Application Form to any colleagues that you think would also enjoy vending at Arisia.
  2. Receive confirmation that we have allocated space for you.  Do NOT proceed to step 3 (Payment) UNTIL you have received this confirmation.
  3. Payment & Reservations:
  1. Pay your dealers fee (either $100/table, or $250/$300 for a booth) either via Paypal using this link: /PayDealers or via check (made out to Arisia 2013, and mailed to Arisia Dealers, PO Box 391596, Cambridge MA 02139).
  2. Purchase your needed memberships at /registration.  When dealers are invited to vend, they will be given the opportunity to buy special reduced rate memberships at $40/membership for a brief period after the invitation goes out.
  3. Reserve a hotel room (/hotel) if you are staying at the hotel
  1. Confirmation:
  1. Receive confirmation from Arisia Dealers Liaisons that we have received your dealers fee.
  2. Receive confirmation from Arisia Registration that they have processed your membership registrations.

15.  How much is dealing at Arisia going to cost me?

  • Dealers Room
    • $100 per table or $250/$300 per booth.  If you are sharing a table/booth with another vendor, you will need to decide how that cost will be split.
    • 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 (/registration). 
    • This applies to all workers, helpers, children, etc. regardless of whether or not they plan to attend any other Arisia events (except for kids-in-tow, i.e. children that never leave your side). 
    • 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 folk coming to help with set up or break down who are not staying to work or attend the convention please contact 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.
  • Any damage deposits that the hotel requires.  (Historically, none, but we do not guarantee this.)
  • If you are interested in purchasing an ad in Arisia's Souvenir Book, contact

16.  Parking

Please see /parking.

17.  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.  Please unload as rapidly as possible and then move your vehicle to allow other vendors to also unload there.  Dealers loading into Dealers Room should use the "Retail" Loading Dock (on the right-hand side of Fargo Street)..

There is also a freight lift in the Retail Loading Dock that goes from the ground level up to the hallway at the Galleria level.  This is a freight ONLY list.  Passengers are NOT allowed to ride in it! 

18.  Adult Items

Dealers Room is open to the general public.  Adult items include, but are not limited to, handcuffs, BDSM toys, and any pictures of naked individuals.

If you are selling adult items, you must agree to the following restrictions:

  • It is your responsibility to ensure that children do not have access to any adult items. This can be done by checking ID before allowing patrons to look in an enclosed box or area.
  • If we hear or see that you have adult items which are easily visible to children, you will receive one warning (since your definition of adult items may be less strict than that of 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.

19.  When I get to Arisia, what procedure should I follow?

In no particular order, you will need to:

  • Unload and then park your car.
  • Check in at the registration desk and pick up your badges (Registration opens Friday afternoon).  One person may pick up the badges for the entire group, provided they have ID from the other members of the group.
  • Check in at the hotel desk and get your hotel keys.
  • Find your Dealers Liaison, let us know you are here, get answers to any burning dealers liaison questions, and collect your Dealers Ribbons.

20.  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 the last to get tables and may not get a spot.
  • For us to check off what we sell, describe what we sell _and_ provide a 10 word tag line?
    • The description will be used for deciding between competing applications if we have more applications than dealer slots, eg “Both of those folks sell Jewelry, but this one has a cooler description, so they’re in.”
    • The 10 word tag line is used on our website and in our publications when we list our dealers.  If you put down more than 10 words, We will arbitrarily shorten it.
  • For my Tax-ID number?
    • A recent change to Massachusetts law requires that we have the ability to turn over to the state the name, address and tax-ID number of all our vendors.  If you do not provide us with a tax-ID number before the start of the convention, you will not be allowed to vend at Arisia.

21.  What laws and rules do I need to be concerned about?

  • You are responsible for observing copyright and tax laws.
  • If you are an out-of-state vendor 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).
  • If you do not already have a MA State Sales Tax ID, the website to obtain a MA State Sales Tax ID is:
  • If you need to acquire a Federal EIN, the tax site is:
  • 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.  Where is the Dealers Application Form?

The URL is /DealerQuestionnaire.