Con season is coming up, so this picture will inevitably make the rounds. It’s sold by a booth called Asylum Anime. They’re at Otakon, Anime Boston, and some others. Usually when it appears, one of three things happens: people laugh about those crazy Sailor Moon items and their exorbitant prices; people are angry that they’re asking so much; and/or people defend its cost or the right of the owner to sell it at that price. I firmly believe people can charge whatever they want for their own things, so this isn’t actually about an artbook; this is just so you recognize the booth that sells it while I talk about their shitty customer service.
Back a couple of years ago at Otakon, I went to the Asylum Anime booth and saw two plush, Sailor Venus and Sailor Mars, both from the same series. I know quite a bit about Sailor Moon merchandise, so I knew that they usually sold for the same amount as each other, and I knew that it was a pretty reasonable price. I wanted the Venus plush, but upon examining it, I found a pretty bad stain. It really looked like someone had spilled coffee or soda on it, possibly even that very weekend. I reasoned that they might not know about the stain, since it didn’t really make sense to charge the same amount as another plush of equal value and in mint condition from the same series. So I asked the saleswoman, as nicely and kindly as I possible could - understanding that they probably put up with difficult people all the time, and genuinely not wanting to offend them in any way - if she might take $5 off the price. I really thought they might not know about the stain or it had just happened, so I thought asking - just asking - for $5 off of a $40 plush that was significantly damaged was pretty reasonable. Or that they’d at least want to know about it - I would want to know if I had a soiled product taking up counter space.
The saleswoman’s response absolutely floored me. She snapped at me that she knew EXACTLY what she was doing charging the same price as a plush in perfect condition. She rudely told me there was no way they would lower the price and they knew what they were doing and these were expensive, retired items. I weakly tried to explain again that I thought they might not know or it might have even been damaged by a drink that weekend, but she cut me off and berated me some more. By the time she was done, I was literally holding back tears. I put it down and left the dealer’s room.
I get charging what you want - I really do. I truly understand that customer service is difficult and it’s hard to be nice all the time. I’m not asking for saccharine sweetness or half off. Just some basic decently. Hell, just saying “NO” and turning away would have been nicer than the response I got.
So I will never buy from Asylum Anime. Not because they’re overpriced, but because of their fucking terrible customer service. Be careful dealing with them.
Btw you really can find that Infinity book much cheaper on ebay.