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Cosplay is short for "costume play." So just what IS the difference between a cosplay costume and your run-of-the-mill Halloween get-up? While both of them involve dressing up as a character from a book, movie, or video game, a Halloween costume expands that into just about anything, including a bottle of ketchup or your favorite candy bar. It is something fairly casual and meant to be for fun. It can be cheaply made, have fake muscles, and quite possibly a lot of velcro.
A cosplay costume, however, tends to be a little bit more on the serious dress-up side. In cosplay the goal is to do your very best to look as authentic, accurate, and immersive as you possibly can. Not only do you want to look the part, but you want to act the part as well. Cosplayers tend to put a lot of time and money into their craft.
Saturday, February 4th
In business for over 30 years, Minnesota-based Halloween Costumes has a great reputation with its customers. While you might think that a Halloween-themed store won't be able to supply cosplay costumes year-round, you'd be wrong. Read on to see why this retailer earns our highest recommendation for all things cosplay.
Everything from exclusives to rentals and more
This is the easiest online retailer to get a great cosplay costume for either yourself or even your kids. Choose either adults, kids, or accessories to get started. Filter by price range if you know you want to keep your look within budget. We also really loved the "features" filters where you can choose from sale, exclusive, new, made by us, or rental. Maybe $1,300 is a bit out of your budget to be Darth Vader at the next fan event, but you could swing $650 instead.
Nothing missing in the costume details
Choose a cosplay you'd like to learn more about and then be prepared for a lot of information. Some even have videos of models so you can see how the fabric behaves on a moving person. Sizing will be a breeze with the chart that gives you exact measurements. You can even find a place where you'll see if it runs small, large, or true to size. Real-time stock information is super helpful as well, even giving you the exact date they expect the item to be back in stock. Want a notification when it's available? Opt in for email updates.
Two options for returns
You've got a couple of ways to return your costume if you decide it won't work. A refund is an option, but you will have to pay an 18% restocking fee. If you'd rather, you can choose FUNBUCK$ instead to use on a different item in the store. The plus is that there is no restocking fee or need to wait. Whichever you pick, you'll print out your return labels through the website and make sure your returns are postmarked within 30 days of the original order date.
Excellent rating from the BBB
Halloween Costumes is a retailer that actually has a rating from the Better Business Bureau. Granted, most other companies in our review are from China, but what makes this worth mentioning is the amazing rating they have at the BBB: 4.59/5 stars. That's something that is hard to come by. There were only 36 complaints over three years and they had a lot of favorable reviews as well.
Over 3,000 five-star reviews
It's rare indeed that a cosplay costume company has over 3,000 5-star reviews, but Halloween Costumes does. One common compliment for this retailer is that the customer service representatives make sure that all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed. When there are complaints, the responses are very kind and professional. We came across a lot of praise for the quality of the costumes and happy mentions of on-time delivery.
Want to save a little?
Be on the lookout for various ways to save. On our most recent shopping trip we were offered 15% off our first order if we joined their email list.
#1 store for cosplay costumes
There is a lot to love about this store. The website is easy to navigate and fun to shop around. It's also the only place we reviewed that offered the option of renting. Customers have left extremely happy reviews about not only their interactions with the company, but also the costumes themselves. We also really loved that you don't have to wait for shipping from China, nor do you have to worry about the long time it takes to return something that doesn't fit well. For these reasons, we choose Halloween Costumes as our first-place retailer among cosplay costume stores.
Bad Wolf Costumes is a husband and wife team based out of Wilmington, North Carolina that does made-to-order costumes on Etsy. Alex and Katherine met through their love of cosplay and want to make fantasy a reality for others too. They have an adorable picture of their completely costumed wedding guests from 2012 on the site.
Small selection, but high quality and happy customers
The Bad Wolf site is very professional-looking with great pictures on mannequins. Often there are a couple of angles you can see even from the thumbnails. Prices are what you would expect for a handmade item - usually around $150 for a cape or almost $600 for a full costume. There are a few lower-priced items you could get as well. For example, a cloak is less expensive than a cape. The only flaw is that the selection is pretty narrow with only around 60 items to choose from. There are about 900 reviews for the shop though and a huge percentage of them are 5 stars, so there are quite a few very happy customers.
Lots of product information
Once you pick an item to look at, you'll get plenty of information. There are lots of pictures so you really get a good sense of what you're buying. If there are color options, you'll see a picture with swatches to choose from. Keep in mind that individual color variations happen from monitor to monitor so the actual color may not be exactly what it looks like on your computer. Be sure to read everything in the description since that is where you will find all of the information that Bad Wolf needs you to provide to make your item.
Many items qualify for free shipping
Many cosplay costumes here have free shipping, though the lower-priced items don't. The cost will be calculated once you put your address in. Bad Wolf works hard to ship ASAP and the turnaround isn't bad for a handmade item - usually within 4 weeks. They have a history of shipping on time and with tracking. Expedited shipping is available if you contact them and they'll do their best to make sure you have it by the date you need. Change your mind? You have 24 hours to cancel your order.
...but no returns allowed
Because each cosplay costume is made-to-order, you cannot return yours. Taking correct measurements - and even double- and triple-checking before you use them to place your order - is extremely important. Customer service is high on their list so if you are unhappy in any way you are encouraged to contact them and they will see what they can do.
Patterns to make your own
One of the things we loved were the patterns you could buy. Need the perfect Star Trek TNG or DS9 cosplay? Bad Wolf might be just the way to go, because you can get a screen-accurate pattern complete with instructions to make your own. Don't sew? They suggest sending the pattern to a seamstress to make it for you. There are a few other patterns available besides Star Trek as well.
We really loved the vibe of this retailer and especially that the costumes are hand-made to your exact measurements, ensuring the perfect fit. The option to get a pattern and make your own is great too. If the kind of thing you're looking for is something they have on hand, we encourage you to give Bad Wolf a try.
CosRea is a cosplay costume company based in Suzhou, China. They started out very small and have grown to about 15 employees and 2 workspaces. CosRea has done a number of collaborative designs with various cosplayers over the years. This retailer believes in providing quality costumes that are also affordable. They offer free custom sizing and a bunch of customization options - and you can get props here to add to your look.
Wide range of anime costumes
CosRea's site is nice-looking and easy to navigate, with a pretty wide range of costumes - especially if you're looking for that perfect anime cosplay. They also have a lot of Disney-inspired as well as Marvel, DC, video games, and TV/movies. If you find that prices are not what you'd expect, check the very top right of the page to make sure you're seeing them in US dollars instead of a different currency.
Easy to look around but no filters
Across the top you have your choice of automatic dropdown menus of Disney inspired, Cosplay, Genshin impact, Armor and others - such as wigs, shoes, and props - and a gallery you can look through. What CosRea doesn't have are filters to sort by price, color, or anything besides the character. It's still not hard to look around, though. A chat feature is available if you want to ask questions of someone while you shop.
FREE custom sizing
There is also a great information section with very detailed instructions on how to measure yourself. This is extremely important even if you'll be ordering "regular" sizing. You will definitely want to read over the FAQs before you buy. CosRea suggests how to adjust your measurements to get some wiggle room out of your custom fit - they make according to the exact numbers you send - and it's also mentioned that because their standard sizing is smaller than most, you'll want to measure yourself even for a typical size. With custom measurements, there is typically some tailoring that needs to be done to ensure a perfect fit. For that, they have specific instructions that allow you to get reimbursed (up to a certain amount.) All you have to do is provide some information and you're good to go. We think that is more than generous.
Don't forget boots/shoes
When looking at an individual cosplay costume, the things that come included are clearly listed. Even helmets seem to come with your order, which is awesome. Shoes, however, typically don't. If you want the matching boots/shoes, you do have the option of ordering those separately. There are good details such as the production time it will take before it's shipped. If the costume has customer reviews - some we looked at did and others didn't - those will be toward the bottom of the page. Most customers seemed very happy with their orders from CosRea.
Free shipping over $100
Even from China, CosRea's shipping is free on anything over $100. If you want rushed shipping though, as far as we can tell, that will be an extra $29 - not bad, if you ask us. Returns and exchanges are available on any non-custom items and within 2 weeks. Shipping fees are deducted from your return. Considering the original shipping was free, we feel that's fair. We couldn't see where you could return for free if your items were damaged, but they do say they take each return on a case-by-case basis, so we suggest talking to their customer service if you feel you have a reason.
Lots to love
CosRea has some really great things going for them. While there are a couple of costumes that will cost you over $2,000, most of their options are in the very affordable range, just like their mission statement says. We particularly love the free shipping. Better yet, the customer reviews we found were very positive. If you're looking for something nice but still on a budget, we recommend you check out CosRea for your next cosplay costume.
Sim Cosplay is a China-based company that started in 2014. They are fans first and got into making their own costumes because of their love of cosplay.
Website is not our favorite
Sim Cosplay has some great-looking costumes and some glowing reviews to go along with them. There is a chat feature that pops up when you first visit the site. If you have any questions, that's a great place to get in touch with customer service. The site itself wasn't our favorite though. It's one of those with a permanent clearance button in the bottom left that we found extremely annoying. It kept getting in the way of things we wanted to click on. If you can ignore that though, it's fine.
Their homepage has some "top selling" and "hot" items you can look through. There is also a navigation bar at the top where you can look at specific categories. A couple of them had drop-down menus for you to narrow your search further. There is a small "ready to ship" option there too. Depending on which category you pick, there might be a way to filter on the left-hand side. If not, you can still always sort by position, name, price, and most viewed. We're honestly not quite sure what "position" means though.
Hover for details
In looking at a particular costume, there are plenty of pictures so you can see exactly what you'll be getting. We didn't like that we couldn't click on the pictures to see a full-screen version, but when you hover over a picture an enlarged version pops up and you can move it around to see details better. The description provides the fabrics used as well as a list of everything that is included.
Some costumes can be custom-sized for $30 extra
Some costumes can be purchased for the opposite gender but for an extra cost. Some of the more expensive/realistic ones can be custom-sized for an extra $30. Matching shoes/boots are often around $50 more, but do help to complete the look. Scrolling down will give you Sim Cosplay's sizing charts as well as how they want the measurements taken.
Decent shipping time, but pricey
Shipping time isn't too bad with this retailer. Standard shipping only takes 5-10 business days and rush is 3-5. The cost is more than some competitors, but less than others. Standard shipping is $40 and rush is $57. Processing time is comparatively fast as well. A pre-made size will be ready to ship in 7-10 business days and a custom size in 10-20. Returns are only accepted on standard-sized costumes, props, wigs, and accessories in new and unused condition. They pay return shipping if the fault is theirs. If you order the wrong size or make some other buyer mistake, you take that cost on.
Overall, Sim Cosplay is one of the better China-based retailers for costumes. Their prices are reasonable, shipping isn't too bad, and reviews are very positive. Check them out and see if they have what you're looking for.
Liking Cosplay is based in China and has been in business since 2008. Like a lot of other costume companies, they sell worldwide. Customer service is a priority for this retailer, so don't hesitate to contact them if you have any questions or concerns.
Nice, clean website
Liking Cosplay's site is nice, clean, and easy to navigate. There is a search bar at the top right that you can type what you're looking for; or, if you'd prefer to browse a while, there is a bar at the top with movies/TV, games, anime, cosplay props, and cosplay shoes as your starting points. If you hover over them it automatically drops down with all the options available. Alternatively, you can click on the title and it brings you to a page with category filters on the left. Props and shoes are located both with their corresponding characters and in the general props/shoes categories. When you are looking at a list of results, there are a couple of filters available on the right-hand side - male, female, or unisex, or if the item is a costume, prop, shoe, helmet/mask. You can't sort by price or anything else though.
Shorter processing time than most
Once you find a cosplay costume you're interested in, there is enough information, but still not a ton. One of the most important things is the processing time. This is a retailer that has one of the shorter turn-around times. We looked at a pretty detailed costume and the processing time was only 7-10 business days. Some other companies take much longer. There is a list of what comes with the order, which is nice to know if you're getting a great Captain America costume but the look will be off because you didn't get something you thought came with it.
Custom sizing available
Custom sizing is available and Liking Cosplay gives you detailed instructions on how to get them the correct measurements. As far as we could tell, adding a custom size was free, which is a great perk. As always, even if you're planning on a premade size, have someone measure you and compare that with the size chart so you get the right one. There is nothing worse than having an amazing Moon Knight costume that fits wrong.
High shipping costs
Shipping is no small fee at Liking Cosplay. They say shipping depends on the location and the weight of the package. The costume we put in our cart was estimated at $51.93 to ship. It's a good thing the custom sizing is free here. Standard shipping is anywhere from 7-20 business days so keep that in mind if you have a specific event you're planning for. Expedited shipping is available, making it only 3-6 business days, but we'd hate to see how much THAT ends up costing.
Good return policy
On a more positive note, the return policy is fair. Liking Cosplay will cover the shipping costs on returns when the error was theirs (shipping the wrong item, defective materials, and so on). If the error was on your side, then you cough up the return costs. See their return policy for all the specifics. If you have buyer's remorse and decide to cancel, make sure you do it right away. Once 24 hours from the order has gone by there starts to be a cancellation fee that goes up quickly as time passes - until you don't get any of your money back.
Not bad, overall
Overall, we feel Liking Cosplay is a place you should check out. The selection is large and the costumes look great. Shipping is a little pricey, but that's offset by the lower-than-average prices on the cosplay costumes themselves.
Champion Cosplay is based out of China. They say that their costumes can be worn daily, meaning they are very durable. Sometimes you just need to go grocery shopping as Spiderman, after all. Wait. Not everyone does that??
Have questions? Use the chat feature
There is a chat feature that pops up as soon as you get on the site. This could come in handy if you're at all unsure about an item and want to ask questions of a real person before you order.
Helpful ways to filter and sort
At the very top of the Champion Cosplay site, there are a few helpful tools. The first is to make sure your currency is set to US dollars. There is also a great FAQ tab with important information. When you're ready to start shopping, there are a couple of ways to browse the cosplay costumes. At the top of the page you can look by category - movie, anime, game, TV drama, or kids. The farthest right menu shows items on sale if you're trying to stay within a budget. You can search alphabetically by movie, for example, and then look at all the costumes from that movie. You can also look at everything in a category if you just want to check out the selection. Scroll down to see costumes in each grouping that are on sale. Further down they show featured cosplay to look at. When you pick a category you can select a price range or a color to filter by. You can also sort the selections by name, price, rating, or model.
Pay attention to measurements
Once you are looking at a particular Champion Cosplay costume, you'll see a number of pictures of different views and details that you can consider. We really liked that the fabrics are listed as well as all the included pieces. Make note of the link with the tailoring time when you order, and take the production and shipping times into account if you have a deadline. There are very specific directions on how to measure yourself so you get the right size. You can use your measurements to either pick a premade size or you can select "custom size" and they will make it to your exact measurements - for an extra cost, of course.
Extra costume options
Sometimes a cosplay costume here has "extra options" you can choose from as well. As you scroll down you can see other costumes you could look at and then some extra information. The description really isn't informative, though: it only tells you the sizes. Similarly, the reviews don't give you much to go on either; some of the ones we saw weren't actually reviews.
Lower-end shipping rates and decent return policy
Shipping isn't free at Champion Cosplay, which is a downside. For the costume we looked at, standard shipping added $35 and rush shipping added $54.54. Returns are only for standard-sized items. Customized orders cannot be returned. If the product is defective or sent by mistake they will foot the bill for the return shipping. If you just want to return it then you must pay the return shipping - not cheap to get to China.
Good enough to consider
There are a LOT of costumes to choose from at Champion Cosplay. They seem to be very nicely made and have quite a few happy customers. But, the shipping costs here are on the spendy end, and returns are about the same as we've seen from other companies in China (which means they're a bit of a pain).
Pro Cosplay is a China-based company. They're pretty tight-lipped about their background as a retailer: where most cosplay costume stores will come right out and say where their headquarters are, how long they've been in business, and what they specialize in, this one prefers to remain mysterious. We don't love that, but it's not necessarily a huge red flag either.
Easy site with great pictures
This site is very clean-cut. They have some really great pictures of customers in their costumes, which adds a very nice touch. The thumbnail pictures are professional and only 3 to a row, giving you a good look at the costume on the main page. You can also see if there is a star rating on them right from the thumbnails. Some did and some didn't, but it's nice to know if you can benefit from someone else's experience.
Simple ways to check out the costumes
There are a few ways to check out Pro Cosplay's costumes. You can easily shop by all products, series, clearance, new, or ready to ship. There is also a drop down menu to contact them or a place to buy a gift card for your cosplay-loving friend. If you look at "series" there are thumbnails of some popular choices or if you scroll down you can search alphabetically. Once in a category, you'll see a few tags you can search by if you know which DC character you want to be, for example. We didn't find these extremely helpful, though.
Nice pictures to see what you're getting
Once you decide to look at a particular costume, you'll find a whole bunch of pictures. They aren't any bigger than the original thumbnails though, so click on them and you'll get a larger version pop-up. As a general rule, shoes/boots to go with the outfit are extra so plan on that when you're shopping. There is a listing of all the pieces that come with the cosplay as well as the fabrics it is made out of.
Sizing your costume
Take a look at the extensive sizing guide to see how they want your measurements taken. Make sure you follow this since regular US sizing isn't the same. We saw a place that said custom sizing was available, but couldn't find a way to choose that when ordering. We suggest contacting customer service if you want to see if that is an option. The "attention" tab had delivery times and a basic return policy, which we encourage you to read before you buy.
Shipping can take a long time...
Shipping is what you would expect from China. Pro Cosplay takes 15-25 working days to make your costume and then you have to add shipping time as well. Expedited shipping is an option, though it doesn't arrive much sooner. It was a little confusing as to how long shipping takes. One place on the site said that cosplay costumes would ship from their US warehouse and arrive in 3-5 days. However, a couple of lines down it indicated that standard shipping would take 25-30 days to deliver. To be safe, we would definitely plan on at least a month just to ship.
...and can also be expensive
The cost is expensive: we estimated shipping on a mid-range costume and standard shipping (25-30 days) was going to cost us $63.50. Expedited shipping was $73.20 and was 18-28 days - not at all worth the extra $10. Returns or exchanges must be started within 7 days of getting your items. If it was defective, they will cover the return cost and you'll get 100% back. If you changed your mind or it doesn't fit, then you foot the bill to mail it back.
Ways to save
You get a $5 coupon when you sign up for the Pro Cosplay newsletter. In addition, you can post your pictures in the cosplay costumes and credit the store on your social media. When you do that, they will send you a coupon for your next purchase, based on the total of your last order. Every little bit helps.
Plan ahead a few months
Reviews on Pro Cosplay were mixed. We found some glowing ones and some, well, not-so-glowing. Complaints were mostly about customer service and shipping issues - such as items not arriving on time. That's definitely a problem if you're planning on a Comic Con you don't have your cosplay for. However, we also found other reviews that couldn't speak highly enough of the quality, look, and feel of their costumes. If you're looking at ordering from Pro Cosplay we recommend doing so months in advance and paying extremely close attention to shipping, return, and exchange information on their website before you buy.
Despite the lack of general company background information, Pro Cosplay seems like a good store with high-quality, realistic-looking costumes. The mixed reviews give us a little hesitation, but considering there were many more positive ones and the prices aren't bad compared to some, we say go ahead and give them a try if you have the time to spare.
Herostime is a company based out of China. Like many of these Chinese companies, they are able to keep prices a little more affordable because you are buying directly from them instead of paying a middle-man. They have the largest selection of Spiderman costumes we've seen.
Herostime's website is middle-of-the-road as far as how professional they look. There is a nice background that is fairly subtle and stays while you scroll. Because that is on the dark side, the costumes are shown with a white rectangular background on the homepage. Once you pick a category to view, it has a cleaner look.
Most of their costumes seem to be the skin-tight version, though very well-made. There is a bar with options to look at, but we found it easier to go through the list on the left-hand side. It is long, but will get you into the right category quickly. We didn't like that once you're within a particular category, the list on the left goes away and you have to go back to the homepage to look at a different group. When you're looking at a category, this is one of the few websites where we found you could sort by name, price, rating, or model.
Plenty of pictures and details
When you pick a costume to check out, you'll find plenty of details, plus lots of pictures of different angles. This is where you'll find the option to do a custom size and it even says how much extra that will be. For the one we looked at, it was $10 extra - not too bad. There are lots of different ways to pay, including PayPal if you'd like a little more security with your purchase. The details include everything that comes with the costume, the fabric(s) it is made from, the weight, tailoring time, and sizing charts. As with all clothing from China, make sure you measure yourself and check those against Herostime's charts. An XS in China isn't the same as it is in the US. If any shopper reviews are available, they will also be on this page so be sure to look for them.
Membership rewards program
There is a membership rewards program that Herostime offers. Each item has a specific number of points attached to it. You automatically upgrade your membership - from default, to senior, to gold, and to diamond - as you accumulate points. Depending on your level, you can redeem your points for a percentage off of items. That will encourage people to be return customers, for sure.
Great shipping and standard return policy
Shipping varies according to the destination country so the best way to see is to add items to your cart. Their estimation is that for .5kg it will cost $10 standard shipping to the US. If you need it expedited - 3-5 business days instead of 5-7 standard - then it's $15. We couldn't find any information on general returns. Herostime offers free returns on defects, items missing, or wrong size/design. You have to initiate the return within 7 days of getting your package though, so make sure you try everything on right away. Their return policy outlines what kinds of returns you have to pay for and the very few things - like custom sizes - that aren't able to be returned at all.
If jumpsuits are what you're looking for, give them a try
While Herostime's website leaves a little to be desired, their quality seems really good and their customers are happy with their products. There isn't a lot of variety in the type of costume, but there are a lot of different characters to choose from. If the jumpsuit-type is what you're in the market for, there's no reason not to shop with Herostime for your cosplay costume.
EZ Cosplay was started in 2009 by a brother/sister team in China. They've grown their business over the years and offer quite a few costumes now. Customer service is important to them. As with any company based in China, remember to be patient and make sure you ask for clarification if you aren't understanding something. EZ Cosplay has enjoyed building a community with a blog - complete with cosplay tutorials - and they have a significant following on Facebook.
Less-than-professional site, but not hard to navigate
This site isn't the most professional-looking of the ones we've shopped at. Not only is it a little cluttered, but there is a picture in the bottom left that is always in the way with no way to close it. It even follows you from page to page, which we found annoying. There is a search bar at the top if you know exactly what you want to cosplay as, or you can look through the categories you see just below it.
Love for Anime
EZ Cosplay's love for anime is evident by how large that particular section is, including a "new anime" category and a regular anime - complete with an alphabetical listing. You can also browse featured, ready-to-ship, games, movie/TV, props, wigs, and shoes. Check out the FAQ page located in the picture of the face at the top right of the site: there is a lot of really good ordering and sizing information located there. Once you narrow your choices down to a particular show, you can filter items by price range. Depending on what category you look at, you can also filter by sub-category such as if there are any props, shoes, or wigs.
Individual product information
We took a look at one of the Black Widow costumes to check out the details offered. The price for it was less than $100, which is definitely on the affordable side. There were lots of pictures to give you a good idea of what you'll be buying. The sizing guides are readily available and they encourage you to measure yourself as their sizes will likely be different from your regular clothing. In small print it mentions they can do custom sizes if what you're looking for isn't in one of their predetermined sizes. You submit a commission request to get an idea of what it will cost. It is very clear on what is included and there is a tab if there are any customer reviews. We recommend checking them out because one did mention that the Black Widow costume was a little on the see-through side. That would be something that's good to know ahead of time. Other products are suggested if you keep scrolling, such as the matching wig.
We saw that there is a way to earn "EZ Points." For every $1 you spend you get $0.03 back to spend on items in the store. Granted, that's a pretty low percentage, but it could add up and get you that wig or prop you've been eyeing.
Shipping takes a long time, but is reasonably priced
Shipping and delivery does take some time as most cosplay costumes are made only after you've placed your order. You'll be looking at anywhere from 7-30 days to make your costume and then another 3-16 for it to be shipped to you. If there are any import fees then those are your responsibility to pay. Shipping costs are estimated when you add your items to your cart. For the one we tried it was going to be $13.40 for 10-16 day shipping, $28.30 for 6-10 days, and $32.90 for 3-5 days. Returns are available within 30 days if the wrong things were shipped, if they were damaged, if there were missing parts, or if the package got lost after shipping confirmation. EZ Cosplay's returns page details how to go about requesting a return. Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs.
EZ Cosplay is a decent store and might be just the right fit if you're looking for something on the more affordable side. The reviews we found were mostly positive and their shipping costs aren't bad either. You might want to check them out, especially if you're really into anime.
Role Cosplay is a company based in China, with offices in Germany and the United States. They started out with only 6 people and have grown to over 100 employees. Quality is very important to them and they have procedures in place to check every item before it is shipped.
Hard to navigate website
This isn't the most professional site we've come across. There are a lot of tabs and pictures and things to click on that make it very cluttered-looking. You can look at categories - new, anime, game, movie, wigs, props, and shoes - sales, items that are shipped from US/UK, Halloween costumes, clearance, free shipping, their blog, and coupons. There is also a search bar if you know what character or item you're looking for.
No filter options
The search bar comes in handy because even when you pick a category there is no way to filter anything. There is a "sort" drop-down menu though and you can pick from position, price, newest, and best-selling. There wasn't an option to find a specific movie, which we found annoying. Anime was available alphabetically though. If you are looking for a particularly sexy costume, this may be the best place. We found quite a few cosplay costumes on the more risque side here.
Lots of pictures and easy to see coupon codes
Once you pick a costume to look at more closely, there is some basic information - including quite a few pictures. The quality and detail seem decent and there was a very clear list of what was included and what would cost extra to add. Coupon codes based on price were listed there so they were easy to add before checking out. We did like that Role Cosplay provides buyer protection. There is even a 30-day return available if the items don't fit. Be watching for the processing time that will be listed. You'll need to add that on to the shipping time in determining when you'll actually get your cosplay costume.
Decent shipping costs and great return policy
Shipping costs depend on your items. We checked out a fairly detailed costume with all the add-ons. Standard shipping was $32.07 for 20-35 business days, $34.94 for 12-18 business days, and $66.39 for 3-6 business days. When ordering, keep in mind processing times as well. If you get a custom size you'll be looking at around a month for them to make it before it is shipped to you. If it is something in stock, the processing time is more like a few days. Role Cosplay has a very generous return policy. You have 30 days to return anything, including if it didn't fit, for a full refund. Of course, items have to be in new condition. If you send it back without authorization you will only get 80% of the total cost back so make sure you follow the steps they spell out.
Lots of coupons
There is a coupon tab at the top of the page that has a list of current coupons you will want to check out. At the time of this review, there were promos like free shipping on orders of $299 or more, orders over $39 get $5 off, and certain categories with different percentages off included items.
Barely better than nothing rewards program
Role Cosplay offers a rewards program, but it certainly isn't the best we've seen. Something is better than nothing, but this does border on the nothing side. You get 50 points for subscribing to the newsletter, and 100 points for registering on their site as well as for every review of a purchased item. 100 points = $1. You're only allowed to have 1,000 points - only a $10 savings - before you have to use them in order to accrue more.
If you might need to return your costume, try this retailer
The biggest thing Role Cosplay has going for them is their return policy. If you are worried about needing to return your items this might be a great option. Otherwise, we suggest you look at some of our higher ranked retailers.
There is nothing like being able to wander around dressed as your favorite movie/TV/anime character. If you do it up right you might even have photographers wanting to take your picture. Some of them may even be willing to do some pretty neat composite work on the image and let you have it as well. Because cosplay is all about looking as realistic as you can, you want to make sure that you get a costume that could pass as screen-accurate.
A lot of cosplay stores are based in China - most, in fact. That's why shopping online is a great way to go about finding the next character to dress as, for taking part in your next Comic Con. Since there are so many to choose from, how do you know what to look for? Keep these things in mind as you shop:
To help you get the best look available, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked today's most popular online retailers of cosplay costumes. We're confident this information will make it fun to get the whole vibe you're going for!
Select any 2 Cosplay Stores to compare them head to head
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