The secondhand marketplace continues to grow exponentially over time. Whether people are looking for a sought after item no longer in stores, looking to save money, or to shop sustainably, the market is there. It really is true that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, even for Halloween costumes. Whether you’re a seasoned pro online seller or looking to start a side hustle, continue reading to learn tips, tricks (and treats!) on how and where to sell Halloween costumes.
How To Find Halloween Costumes
There are many different stores and online marketplaces where you can find Halloween costumes. For me personally, I purchased a wholesale box from Kosei Threads (now known as Helpsey Source).
I was able to score a good deal because I bought the mystery box in April, so I received the off season discount. Plus, like the savvy saver I am, I searched for a promo code.
Luckily the company was running an Earth Day sale, so I was able to receive an extra 25% off plus free shipping. I received a box filled with 20 adult costumes for $90, so each ended up with a cost of $4.50 a piece.
The costumes that arrived were advertised as returns to the Yandy costumes website. There were varying levels of wear noted on the items. Some costumes had makeup stains, pet hair, missing pieces or dye transfer.
Additionally some costumes had their original packaging, and some did not. Unfortunately there was one costume that I was unable to save due to the amount and type of wear shown.
Besides finding costumes with a wholesaler, there are many other ways to find Halloween items to sell:
- Thrift stores
- Garage sales
- After Halloween costume clearance sales
- Donations from friends or family
- Old costumes around your house
Where To Sell
There are many online marketplaces for you to sell your Halloween costumes including:
Additionally, you could check with your local buy sell trade store including Plato’s Closet, Buffalo Exchange, Hut No. 8, or other consignment shops to see if they are taking Halloween costumes. However, I would use those options as a last resort due to the low amount of profit you would make by selling this route.
Of the 16 costumes that I have sold so far, it has been an even split with 8 costumes sold on Poshmark and 8 costumes sold on Mercari.
I personally chose not to list on Facebook to avoid any weird comments from potential customers due to the nature of some of the adult costumes being somewhat revealing.
Writing A Description
Look Up The Costume
The first and most important step is to look up the costume so you can get an idea of its value, along with information to beef up your description. If the costume is in its original packaging, type the name of the costume into Google.
If you don’t know the name of the costume, describe it in detail in a Google Search. Lastly, you can use the pictures you took of the item and perform a Google Reverse Image Search to see visual matches for the costume.
Once you find the costume, ideally on its original website, find any information you can to help your description. This includes the retail price and details about the costume including fabric, size, fit, keywords, type of costume, and more. Take this information and put it in your own words on your listing description.
Describe What Is Included With The Costume Set
Make sure to disclose everything that is included with your costume listing. If the costume package doesn’t include everything shown on the model, definitely disclose that for full transparency with your potential customers.
For example, some costumes show the model with a hat on. You can reinforce this by making a list of everything that is included in the set. Alternatively, you can specifically state “hat not included”. This will limit the possibility of the customer wanting to return the item.
Double Check The Size
I unfortunately made this mistake with one of my costumes. I accidentally put on the listing that it was a size medium when it was actually a size small. After it sold, the customer returned the item due to my mistake with the size.
However, this luckily ended up in my favor because when it resold to another buyer, it sold for $5 more than the first time!
My Results Selling Adult Halloween Costumes
It took a couple hours for the whole process of taking pictures, looking up the costumes, and listing them on different online marketplaces. After the hard work was done, I patiently waited for the sales to come in.
So far, I have sold 16 costumes for a total revenue of $465. Here’s my month to month trend:
- May - 5 costumes sold
- June - 1 costume sold
- July - 5 costumes sold
- August - 2 costumes sold
- September - 3 costumes sold
I was surprised to see the results for many reasons. First, I was shocked to see how many costumes sold during the summer months. Knowing that I bought the items in the off season, I wasn’t expecting sales to start until we got closer to Halloween.
However, this goes to show that people either plan ahead for Halloween, or have other places/events to wear costumes to throughout the year.
Second, due to the items being returned and some having signs of wear or defects, this still did not stop the sales! I even sold a costume that had a partially broken zipper.
The zipper only worked to unzip approximately ¾ of the way. Of course I disclosed this in the listing, but it still sold within one week of listing! I even ended up with a take home profit of over $20 for this costume.
The costume I profited the most off of was a Deluxe Dark Angel Halloween Costume. I took home a profit of $44 after shipping and marketplace fees.
Of the $465 of total revenue, I have profited over $300 (after shipping and marketplace fees). With 3 costumes still ready and waiting to sell, I can't wait to see what my final profit is!
From now on, I will keep my eyes peeled when I’m at the thrift store or a garage sale for Halloween costumes due to my success selling them this year.