Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How to get those Sold Out Items at Race Expos


 
One of the great things about running races is getting to go to the Expo to purchase merchandise.  Even though this ends up being such an expense, I always leave thinking I needed everything I've purchased or of course justify it  by saying "well it's not like I'll be able to buy this anywhere else" ( referring to the stuff that has race logos on it).

Some expos can be a bit overwhelming and you find yourself hours later still there debating over which shirt or product you want to purchase (well at least I do). 

The most overwhelming expo I have ever been to has to be the Boston Marathon.  It was pretty much in the entire Convention center not just a room.
 

I am always debating on what to get when I'm at expos, but I knew exactly what I wanted to get at this expo, the jacket of course (which was very expensive) but can you really put a price on a Boston jacket you may never get a chance to get again?  Well I didn't care how much it cost I was getting it. 

After making such a big purchase I was debating on this coffee mug. But thought "well do I really need another darn coffee mug in my cupboard?".  And not only that it was like $15.00 ( for yet another mug I didn't need). So needless to say I opted out. That evening I contemplated about going back the next day and buying it because, like the jacket, I'm not going to be able to ever get it again the future and in the grand scheme of things am I really going to remember not having the $15.00 or not having the mug?  I went back the next day and of course they were sold out. There went my chance. 

Several months later my sister and I were contacted by Gone For Run to test out some of their products.   One of the cool things that Gone For a Run does is screen print your race bibs on certain items. I knew right away which item I was going to choose.  I was going to get my  Boston race bib screened onto a coffee mug! Not only would I get my bib on the one side of the mug, I got to have my name, time, and date on the other side. How cool is that?

Before the race started I wrote my name on my bib with green magic marker. I love how that is now a permanent part of my mug!

I have used this pretty much every morning since I got the thing and I love it. It washes up nicely and is even dish washer friendly. 
 
 Gone For a Run can screen print your race bibs on other things such as coasters, pillows, cups, medal displays, etc.  Do you have another personal graphic you would like to use instead of a race bib? No problem. You can put that on a product too. 

I think this is an excellent idea and will be sure to use this service again. it really takes the stress out of getting to expos early and scouting out the items I want before they are sold out. I know that I can have just as good of an item personally made for me ( and it might have a little more meaning behind it).  This is actually a good idea to do for any kind of vacation souvenirs. Why buy some over priced trinket when you could have one personally made?    ~L

Do you ever contemplate on purchases at expos (or anywhere)? What is your deciding factor whether you buy it or not?

47 comments:

  1. I go a little "expo crazy' and end up buying way too much!
    Love the mug :)
    Karen @karenlovestorun

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  2. Thanks! I know I have that same problem.

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  3. Love the mug idea! I'll definitely have to keep this in mind in case I don't get what I want at future expos.

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  4. I like to purchase a few "souvenirs" at the expos. I'm hoping to get to the Disney Expo earlier this year to get some of the special edition New Balances!

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    1. Goodluck! Man those things sell like hotcakes:)

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  5. Great idea with the mug! I had no idea that there were companies that would screen print bibs onto things like that. I'm a little worried that I'm going to spend too much at my first RunDisney expo. I'm going to try to keep it under control :)

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    1. Oh you most certainly will. Try to get there early. Because the Rundisney merchandise does go quickly.

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  6. I knew I wanted a shirt for Princess since it was my first half, but I didn't take the tags off until after the race. I'm superstitious about a few things, but I also knew I should buy that shirt right away so it wouldn't sell out. Most races though I'm fine not getting any official merchandise. If I like the race shirt, then bonus.

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    1. I usually don't buy any of the race shirts either since we always get an official one for registering. I don't like wearing dated shirts either.

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  7. I LOVE the name of your blog!!

    Last time I went to an expo--I wanted to buy the whole store but didn't end up buying anything. The shirts didn't fit, which was a bummer bc they were way cheap!
    I still wish I bought the WAY over priced head bands for bad hair running. Oh wel!!

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    1. Thanks! Maybe you will be able to dind those headbands at another expo:)

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  8. I always buy too much at expos-like I really need another magnet or jacket. The best one was buting $150 worth of stuff at Rock n Roll to get the VIP bathroom on race day-worth every penny

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    1. I bet that was nice. Last year we were fortunate to get VIP as well at one of the RnR races, but don't think we will get it this ur.

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  9. I'm still wishing I would have bought another shirt at Big Sur. That was in 2011 - now, I know better and BUY BUY BUY!!!

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    1. Well I did that race the last two years and I will say they did have a stand that had past years swag. So if you know anyone else running it in the future, maybe they could hook you up:)

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    2. Oh nice! I may have to send my friend who lives in that area over for a look! Thanks. :)

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  10. What an awesome idea! I, too, never knew that was an option. Not that I really want my time displayed for anyone to see it ;)
    How neat would it be to decorate a Christmas tree with bib ornaments?

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    1. I thought of that too, but whose really seeing it in your cupboard, besides everyone else reading our blog..haha.
      Yes that would be a cute idea. Maybe even your medals too.

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  11. i try to rein it in during expos! races are so expensive i have to be mindful :)

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    1. I know right, but when you're there you think you need it all:)

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  12. I have been to expos where I have gone CRAZY and expos where I have held back. I haven't been to a truly GREAT expo yet. I am madly in love with that mug idea. Must try...maybe with my very first ever race bob. Or for my first Marathon race bib. YES! www.runningwithSDmom.com

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    1. Yes I would splurge on your first marathon. It's very special!

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  13. It seems like if I don't buy something I see on vacation, I regret it later. When I went to Disneyworld, it seemed like everything I saw was also stuff I'd already seen at Disneyland, so I didn't buy much, thinking I could just get it back home in CA. Then the one thing I really wanted is nowhere to be found in the CA parks. There was also something I saw on my trip to Seattle in June that I didn't get and wish I had. Sigh. Oh well. As far as races go, I feel like I pretty much already have everything they sell at expos!

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    1. If it's something unique that i havent saw anywhere I would get it. But you are right, alot of expos have the same stuff.

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  14. Great alternative!! I love Gone for a Run.

    Another big market with products like these is runDisney. The shoes, purses, shirts, etc. that they refuse to let us pre-purchase...I really want a Marathon weekend Dooney in January and I just hope they don't sell out lol!

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    1. I know! Run Disney is a tough one to get merchandise. We preordered a Goofy Challenge jacket already!

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  15. I am going to get my Boston bib on a mug now, thank you so much for that info! I went to the Boston expo on Sunday this year to get my number and all the Small jackets were sold out, so I didn't get one, I am SUPER bummed. I looked everywhere post race and they were sold out online, etc. I guess it's not the biggest deal ever, but I kinda did really want a jacket.

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    1. Your welcome! I was really happy when I found out that I could get this done. You will love it! It's so special to me.

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  16. Oh I'm so doing that with my Marathon bib! During the Expo, I felp like I had to run away from there. I wanted everything! lol

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  17. While I'm not speedy enough for Boston, I am running the NYC marathon in November and I plan to BUY EVERYTHING!!

    I love the website for Gone For A Run. I haven't purchased anything from them, yet, but I was planning on ordering something personalized with my NYCM bib. Love your mug!

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    1. Thanks! Yep they can do it for any race. It's such a personalized gift.

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  18. Hahaha, I think I need to do a little MORE contemplating when it comes to making purchases at expos. I have a really, REALLY big problem...especially when it comes to that dang runDisney merch! And, for some reason, the fact that I know it's so ridiculously coveted and sells out super fast just makes me want it even MORE! ;)

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    1. I know! I'm guilty of that too at Disney races. I mean don't they know how many people are running it. They should have plenty of stock!

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  19. Putting your race bib on a mug is a great idea and getting your name on it, too, makes it even better!

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  20. I always spend too much at expos... its like a kid in a candy store :)

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  21. I LOVE this so much!! I want to get a mug made with my NYC marathon bib!! I love Gone for a Run, I have a couple of shirts from them and a medal display. I love looking at the expos but they are always so crazy expensive!

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    1. I really like Goneforarun products too. NYC would be another great bib to put on one! Hope to do that race one day too.

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  22. This is such a great idea! I might do this with my first half marathon bib! Disney Princess was my first and even though I did get the mug from the expo, I think this one is even more special!

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  23. That's so cool having the bibs screen printed (especially for a race that is important to you!). I usually don't get anything at race expos, but I love to look!

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  24. What a GREAT idea. This is perfect for me!!! When I ran my 1st Half in 2012 which was also a destination run, I knew I wanted to keep my Bib in good condition til I got it home and would be able to place it in my running scrapbook, so I placed it in a magazine/brochure for safe keeping. I came home unpacked and thought I had placed the bib in the scrapbook, threw out the unwanted magazine and excess flyers I had picked up and took the garbage to the curb for the next days pickup. A week later I decided to work on my scrapbook and sadly discovered that I had actually thrown away my bib!!!! I cried, luckily I have a GREAT Picture of it and can now have it made into this mug ....oh happy day....Thanks to you and Gone for a Run!!

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  25. I love the mug idea- very cool. I love the expos and could wander around forever. It is hard to decide what to buy and what not to buy- I am like you- I would have had to have the jacket!

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  26. Your mug is epic! I didn't even know there were companies that did that! I think I need a new mug! I do use my 70.3 ironman mug almost everyday, but having my race bib on the cup would be even cooler!

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.