Thanks for the tips! What would you say sells best? I understand diversity is a good thing, but is there a product that moves more than others?
I've thought about going to Anime Central for years, but they are probably the most strict of the conventions around here. $750 booth fee minimum (still cheaper than C2E2 or Wizard World) and they have a lot of restrictions. Maybe I'll try one of the smaller Anime conventions in Chicago.
If Anime Central draws 30k, $700 is a bargain if you have enough inventory. Animazement only gets around 12k in attendance. I'd guess with 30k people, I could have easily made $18 - $20k.
When I sell at small events I typically struggle to break $3k, so not sure if you should waste your time with anything that has a lower attendance than 5k.
Games sell best, hands down - in specific PS1/PS2 games sell phenomenally. Also, anything Nintendo that is older than the Wii. What I would recommend is if you get a booth put as much stuff in it as you can fit while keeping it easy to browse. You never know what will sell. I had five seasons of Andromeda that I almost didn't bring to Animazement because I doubted they would sell. They actually sold in under 3 hours on the first day for about $200 total. If it's something nerdy, it stands a chance to sell.
Focus on games and media, though. Price fairly and you'll move inventory fast.
As for your question about convention markup - most game dealers at cons will mark games up 20 - 30 percent above retail. They do this because they need to maintain an inventory and can afford to sit on their stock. I mark 10 - 15 percent below retail because I only sell at one con and I want to move as much as possible while still making the same as I would if I sold online.