5 Places to Save on Halloween Costumes Online

Photo: Carrie Kirby

Halloween is one of those times that brings out the foolish spender inside so many of us. We can plan ahead and spend too much by picking the hottest costumes of the year from catalogs, or we can wait til the last minute and spend too much at those outrageously overpriced Halloween superstores. Instead, why not just take the easy route to really cute costumes by shopping for costume bargains online?

One note: All these ideas are a lot easier if you don't set your heart on a specific costume before you start shopping. For kids, if you do a little pre-shopping before having that "what do you want to be" discussion with the kids, you can guide them toward a costume that you already know is a good value on one of these sites. Nefarious parent! (Hey, maybe that's what I'll dress up as. No costume required.)

  1. thredUP, the kids' clothing swap site, is doing special Halloween swaps. For $5 plus the cost of shipping, you can choose a box with a gently used costume. In return, you agree to list a box of clothes for swap and mail it (postage free) when selected by another user. Listed on the site right now are a cow, a lion, a unicorn, and other costumes. (Not only will this save you money, it's also an environmentally-friendly way to get rid of last year's costumes.)
  2. For your high-end costumes, Zulily has multiple Halloween events running through Sept. 30: Le Top costumes and adorable outfits, Rubie's costumes, WishingWear costumes.
  3. Freecycle! Again with the Earth-friendly! If you watch Freecycle listings for the next few weeks you will doubtless see costumes listed, or you can just ask your local Freecycle group for the exact costume you want.
  4. Ebay's Halloween store is currently offering free shipping on "everything Halloween." Not only can you get great deals on used costumes, but it's also a good place to locate new items that finish off the DIY costume, like a pair of ruby slippers for Dorothy.
  5. OldNavy.com. How could you not love this little bumblebee for only $15? Shipping is a flat $7, and if you spend $75 or more, you'll get 20% off your purchase, through 9/30. Maybe you can lump in some clearance-priced back-to-school clothes to get your total up to $75 — if you need them, of course.

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