Halloween Shopping Guides
Halloween Costume Stores
Halloween is quickly approaching. Have you figured out what you're going to be yet? If not, maybe you're a little confused about where to shop for the perfect costume. By now, you've probably seen at least a few of those seasonal Halloween costume stores pop up in your area. Could they be the answer? Then again, many big-box retailers have huge selections of costumes, accessories, and supplies too. There's also the internet--is it easier to find discount costumes online?
Whether you're shopping for yourself, your kids, you and your partner or even for a pet, you're spoiled for choices when it comes to finding great costumes. Here's a primer on six of the most popular places to buy Halloween costumes so that you can more easily find what you need.
One of the best things about Halloween Express is its generous exchange policy. If you don't like the size or style of the item that you bought, you can send it back for a new one within 14 days. The company pays the shipping costs both ways.
With more than 850 stores around the U.S. that are open throughout the year, Party City is one of the top Halloween costume stores around. Unlike many Halloween stores, Party City designs and manufactures many of its own costumes, so many items are unique to the store and brand.
Party City also operates an e-commerce site that is intuitive and easy to use. Conveniently, the company allows you to return or exchange online purchases in local stores. They must be returned or exchanged within 30 days of purchase, and they must be unopened and in new condition.
You can feel good about shopping at Party City because the company supports many charitable causes. Since 2011, Party City has raised more than $14 million for causes like St. Jude's, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Spirit HalloweenOne of the longest running Halloween chains out there, Spirit Halloween was founded in 1983. Today, the company operates more than 1,100 mostly seasonal stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. Like others on this list, Spirit also operates a year-round online store. Best known for offering unique items that are tough to track down elsewhere, Spirit Halloween allows you to return costumes to the store within 14 days, but they must be returned by October 21 and in their original packaging.
The company's long-running Spirit of Children initiative, which brings Halloween fun to ill children, has raised more than $29 million for children's hospitals since 2006.
Unlike most of the Halloween stores on this list, this one is strictly an online operation. However, when it comes to finding discount costumes, you'd be hard-pressed to do better because this Halloween company sells pre-owned costumes for truly rock-bottom prices. They also offer rental costumes, so you can get something pretty elaborate without spending a small fortune. You can even trade in your old costumes for store credit if they are eligible for the trade-in program.
By signing up for the Costume Club, you can get even better deals on costumes through this retailer. As an added bonus, HalloweenCostumes.com offers a convenient fundraising program in which 15 percent of sales are donated to your organization. This is a great fundraising idea for schools!
You can't beat the convenience of shopping at Target. While the retailer's brick-and-mortar stores have somewhat limited selections, their online store offers hundreds of options. If you have the Target credit card or debit card, you can save an extra five percent, which is a big plus.
Most years, Target offers great sales on Halloween costumes. Keep your eyes peeled for buy-one-get-one-free deals for kids' costumes.
One of the best things about buying costumes at Target is that the same generous and flexible return policy applies to those purchases.
No matter where you live, you're probably not too far from a Walmart. The retailer goes all out for Halloween, offering a huge in-store selection at most locations. Their e-commerce site is loaded with even more options, including rollbacks on some of today's most popular characters and themes.
Returns can be made in-store or through the mail, which is nice. Items must be in their original packaging.
While you won't find particularly unique or unusual costumes at Walmart, you will find some of the most competitive prices.
Needless to say, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Halloween costume stores. However, chances are that one or more of the retailers listed above has exactly what you need for a great price. Hurry, though--Halloween will be here before you know it!