Halloween costumes don’t get a lot of wear, so it’s pretty easy to find great deals on gently used costumes on the second-hand market, especially if you start looking NOW. In fact, you may be able to get your child’s costume for free!
Here are my best tips for saving 50% or more on Halloween costumes for babies, kids and toddlers:
- Costumes often don’t change much from year to year. Start your search by browsing new costumes online and choosing a few favorites to hunt for on the second hand market.
- The Baby Cheapskate Baby Gear, Toy and Coupon Exchange (nearly 5,000 members strong!) is a great place to hunt for gently used costumes and unload outgrown ones. Type “Halloween” and/or “costume” into the search function to bring up all costume-related posts.
- Check your local Freecycle board for freebies. Mine had a few when I looked this morning. If you don’t see anything, post a “wanted” message and see if anyone responds.
- Find local swap events near you by Googling the name of your town or county and “costume swap”. by Googling the name of your town or county and “costume swap
- You might also organize a costume swap with friends, your neighborhood, church, or preschool. You could do it via email or get together in real life.
- If you don’t mind a little hunting, thrift stores and consignment sales are great places to score costumes on the cheap. Start shopping thrift stores now for the best selection. There are probably some consignment sales near you this weekend. Find them at sites like Kids Consignment Sales or Consignment Mommies.
- Call your local consignment stores to see if they have any in stock. They might cost a little more there, but they’ve been checked over more carefully than some of the other second-hand sources.
- There are lots of costumes on Craigslist right now. eBay.com is a great place to look, too. Each has its plusses and minuses. With Craigslist, you’ll have to arrange to pick up the costume from the seller. On eBay you’ll have to contend with bidding or buy it now and possibly pay a higher price. I searched for two popular toddler costumes– the bumblebee and the dragon– on Craigslist and eBay to see what I could scare up: The Bumblebee was as low as $8 on my local Craigslist. On eBay, it was as low as $12.99 in the Buy it Now section. The Dragon was as low as $15 on Craigslist and as low as $8.95 on eBay.
Keep in mind that you can also use these sources after Halloween to recoup some of your costume costs.