Halloween Is Over. Now, Go and Buy Your Costume.

Photo: House Of Sims

With the exception of Christmas, Halloween is the most lucrative holiday for retailers. This year, Halloween sales will have topped an incredible $6 billion!

It's also a holiday that comes with a delicious treat for most stores...ALL SALES ARE FINAL. Ah yes, the usual rules for consumers don't apply here, because retailers have given themselves an adequate amount of protection from the "buy it, use it, return it" crowd. Halloween is about one night, and until that night is over, you're paying through the nose for everything.

But then, November 1st rolls around, and those same retailers now have a whole bunch of almost useless leftover stock. Most costume stores advertise 50%-75% off sales for November 1st a week before Halloween night.

As a frugal shopper, it's painful to know that a $50 costume I buy on October 30th will be available for as little as $12 a few days later. And that's why you should be running out now to buy your supplies for next year's Halloween bash. You can still be the star of the show next year, but you can spend a lot less money on costumes and spooky supplies.

Think ahead, look at the costumes available and plan accordingly. For instance, a very popular movie or singer right now may not be so popular a year down the road. There were a ton of Michael Jackson outfits this year, and if he'll always be your idol go ahead and buy them...but he certainly won't be as topical in 2010. However, some outfits are evergreen and should be considered a bargain whenever they go on sale. Batman, Superman, Spiderman and the usual super heroes will never really go out of style. Also look for the comic couple duos, like Fred and Wilma, Jack and Jill, Mario and Luigi, and Morticia and Gomez, plus the more inventive ones like Plug and Socket, Bull and Bear or Sweet and Sour.

The same rules apply for the kids, too. When it comes to costumes, they probably won't be too happy being stuck with an old costume if there's a new flavor-of-the-month next year. Just be careful if you snap up a bargain Transformer or G.I.Joe, because next year's blockbuster will come with a slew of costumes at wallet-busting prices. Again, the safe bets are the timeless super heroes, villains, cartoons, ghouls and non-specific costumes. There’s always room for a zombie, ninja, werewolf or vampire. Oh, and remember to buy a size or two bigger...kids have this annoying habit of growing like weeds between holidays. Dress-up clothes are also a bargain right now. You can snap up princess outfits, pirate gear and other cool costumes for almost nothing. No need to wait for Halloween next year, the kids can have a blast anytime.

As for the decorations, they’re always a bargain. With very few exceptions (I did see a sequin-gloved hand coming out of a grave...poor taste I think) they’re always reusable. Strobe lights, fog machines, spider webbing, skeletons, wall decor, party plates and cups — they’re all on sale right now. And as the week continues, expect to see the prices drop to 90% off. Stock up now, fill a box or two with next year’s Halloween costumes as decorations and costumes, and tuck them away in the basement, garage or attic. When October 31st rolls around next year, you’ll have all of your Halloween shopping done early...and at a fraction of the cost. Now, go hit up those sales before the bargains are all gone.


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Guest's picture

actually, the time to go out was yesterday (at least in Baltimore, this is the case). by the time we got to Walgreens (9:45am), they were wiped out. same situation for Target, and WalMart's stock was quickly filtering out the door. i'm pretty sure all that's left by now is the broken/crap no one else wants.

FYI: most of the party stores do not put any costumes on sale. COSTUME stores might, but we don't have any of those near me.

Guest's picture

Halloween is over but next holiday will come and i'll have to spend more money to buy some new gift for my son :>

Guest's picture

Depending upon your decorating/party needs in the upcoming months, you can also get great deals on plastic ware, napkins and such if you plan ahead.
My high school colors were orange and black. The years my sister and I graduated, mom planned ahead and got all of the plates, napkins, plastic ware and such for our graduation parties at least 50% off.

Now, I keep an eye out and if I see plastic ware or napkins on super clearance I'll grab them up and either donate them to the church youth group (where I volunteer) or take them to work.

And, as I was explaining to a coworker yesterday, with the correct purchases of candy (if you can find any left on clearance) you can have bargain priced holiday appropriate candy by buying after a holiday to serve at the next holiday. "Harvest" themed colors are suitable for Thanksgiving and can be found in M&Ms and, Hershey's kisses and little chocolate bars. It's a little harder going from Thanksgiving to Christmas, but Christmas to Valentine's day is easy and, if Easter is early, some Valentine's pastel colored items can be carried over to Easter.

Guest's picture
Roxie Meiske

I look for and buy some child size costumes when I can find them at a good price. They make great 'dress up' clothes for my home child care business.

Also I have given them away as Christmas gifts too. My youngest grandson loved BATMAN. I found a costume marked down to less than $5.00. It was perfect, not torn or dirty..I wrapped it as a gift and Christmas morning he was so excited. We had Batman at our dinner table.