Toddler and Baby Costumes: Deal Roundup [10/8]

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 9.48.45 AMHow have costume prices changed since last week’s roundup? Read on and find out:

I’ve listed prices on a couple of popular costumes–Captain America (by Disguise, Inc.) and Lil’ Mermaid (by California Costumes)– at nine retailers so that you can compare deals and prices. Note: prices listed below are before coupon (where applicable).


  • New toddler costumes cost anywhere from $10 to $50.
  • We’ll see the most clearance prices in mid October, though selection is better now.
  • Costumes at stores like Walmart, Target, and Amazon and the specialty stores are made by only a few manufacturers, like Morris, Rubies, Fun World and  Seasons. That means you can compare prices easily.
  • As always, check for coupons and watch shipping costs before you buy.

Discount Department Stores

Target (good selection) Current deal: Up to 40% off Halloween costumes.

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 9.26.40 AM Amazon (really good selection) Current deal: Free shipping on orders of $50 or more or free pickup in-store. Current deal: 15% off costumes with coupon code TRICK15

Costume Specialty Stores Current deal: 20% off with code TWENTYBC Current deal: 20% off with code X20 Current deal: $10 off orders of $40 or more with code RMN1040

Party City Current deal: 20% off orders of $60+ with code SAVENOW20

Oriental Trading Company Current deal: $5 off $59+ purchase and free standard shipping with code CE144576

The verdict? The early discounts have ended, and the deeper discounts just haven’t started yet. We’re starting to see availability issues. If you really want to save, and you’re not nervous about a particular costume going out of stock, wait until next week to buy. I’ll be posting a new roundup next Wednesday!

Have any Halloween shopping tips? Be sure to share them in the comments.

See more Halloween posts.

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Finding Scary-Good Deals on Second-Hand Halloween Costumes

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.
  • Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 9.44.04 AMCheck 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
  • Finding Scary-Good Deals on Second-Hand Halloween CostumesYou 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. 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.

Related posts:

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8 at $30 or Less: Handmade Kids’ Halloween Costumes from Etsy

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 4.42.13 PM8 at $30 or Less: Handmade Kids' Halloween Costumes from Etsy

If you’re looking for a handmade Halloween costume and don’t want to DIY, try, where a recent search for “Halloween Costumes” turned up over 6,000 results. Here are a few of my favorites for $30 or less. Order early, as some are made to order!

Looking for the perfect accessory to round out your own creation? There are tons of cute crocheted hats, custom tees and onesies, leather booties, tutus (a gazillion of them) and more at Etsy.

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The Halloween Costume Shopping Secret Retailers Don’t Want You to Know [Updated]

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 3.49.47 PMIf you’re like me, you’ve already received a few Halloween costume catalogs in the mail from retailers like or Party City. Take a look at them, and you might notice something weird.

The costumes are the same. The photos are the same. In fact, a handful of costume manufacturers are behind 80% of the costumes you see out there. Knowing that will allow you to save big, because although the costumes are the same, the prices are not.

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 3.51.46 PM

Take the toddler Captain America costume shown here. It’s distributed by a company called Buy Seasons. The photo top left is from, where it’s $20.77 right now. The image at right (hauntingly familiar, eh?) is from, where the same costume is on sale for a low $15.97. As of this writing, it’s $19.99 at, $22.09 at, $24.28 at Amazon and $21.24 at Walk into other retailers and you’ll see the same costumes on the racks.

The lesson? When you see the costumes you (or your kids) want, don’t buy them then. Find the brand name (look for something capitalized), Google it, and do some bargain shopping. Many stores are offering discounts of up to 30% right now on costumes and free shipping to boot.

Some stores, like Disney Store and Pottery Barn Kids have more unique costumes that aren’t carried everywhere, so keep that in mind, too.

(Of course for the best bargains, there’s still time to shop your favorite second hand sources–kiddie consignment stores, Craigslist, ebay, thrift stores, and even Freecycle.)

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The Early Shopper’s Guide to Halloween Costume Savings

The Early Shopper's Guide to Halloween Costume SavingsIt’s early September, and you’ve probably noticed that the Halloween costumes are already out at many stores. Should you buy now? Wait until later? When can you expect the best deals?

Here’s an early shopper’s guide to Halloween costume savings. Enjoy!

  • If you like the idea of a handmade costume but don’t think you can do it yourself, check for handmade costumes for less. Etsy also offers lots of accessories to spice up costumes that you may be making or buying. Search for “Halloween Costumes” to find thousands of offerings. Order early.
  • Start watching your local board now for costume freebies.
  • Try for good deals on second-hand costumes.
  • Start shopping consignment stores and thrift stores now for the best selection. Checking in at your local Craigslist board’s not a bad idea either. Used costumes are a great savings. After all, most kids only wear them once or twice.
  • Want a new costume? Do your research now, but wait until you can save at least 30% to buy (25% off if you’re shopping at DisneyStore). Start by making a list of possibilities and scout out a few retailers that carry your top picks. Write down the prices, and make your target price about 70% of full price (or less). Then keep an eye out for sales
  • If you like shopping flash sale sites like Zulily, keep an eye out there for costumes there. I’ve already started seeing them. Be sure to take shipping charges and shipping dates into consideration.
  • When should you buy? We should start seeing deeper discounts on costumes soon. Look for 25% to 40% off online. Retailers will also offer shipping deals and extra savings via coupon codes to help move their wares.
  • Procrastination means better prices, but less selection. Wait until mid-October to buy a costume and you’ll find prices of around 40% off.

Readers, Share your advice below! Do you make your own costumes? If so, what are some easy ones to make? Do you buy your child’s costume? How much do you pay? Where do you find the best deals?

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