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There's something in Halloween for everyone, from the kids who can't wait to get their hands on piles of free candy, to grown-ups who get to feel like a kid again by dressing up like their favorite superhero or celebrity. Of course, at the heart of any Halloween celebration is the perfect costume. If you're tired of dragging out the same tired clown, witch, or devil attire every year and you're ready for something new, it's time to get shopping!
But wait - what if it's not even fall yet? Or what if you're trying to dress up your kids for their end-of-the-year theme days at school? No need to panic: even though they're called "Halloween" costumes, you can shop for almost any imaginable attire with any number of online retailers who keep the proverbial doors open year-round. That's especially true now that conventions, cosplay, and other dress-up occasions have become so popular - why should that kind of fun be limited to the month of October, right?
Thursday, February 9th
In business for over 30 years, Minnesota-based Halloween Costumes is dedicated to making Halloween happen around the world. Not only can you get more than 10,000 costumes here, but this retailer carries a line of more than 3,500 exclusive options that you can't get anywhere else. If you want to be the only person wearing your particular costume, this is the store for you.
Everything from exclusives to rentals and more
There's no other online store that makes it this easy to get a fantastic Halloween costume - for yourself, for the kids, for your group or even for your pet. Choose one of those categories to get started, or use the Costume Ideas section if you need some inspiration first. Or, go all out and jump right into the Exclusive costumes: at the time of this review, those included themes like A Handmaid's Tale, Grease, Labyrinth, Frida Kahlo, Raggedy Ann, and many more. There's even a section for Rental Costumes if you'd really like to be Darth Vader this year, but you'd rather pay $650 to rent it instead of $1,300 to buy it.
Filters make for super-easy shopping
Once you've selected a category, the filters on Halloween Costumes make it so very easy to narrow it down. This was the only site we saw that offered filters for both "sexy" and "full coverage" costumes, letting you do you in whatever way fits. You can also choose a theme, a price range, or featured costumes - and this is one of very few retailers in our review who actually had the current year's new options posted a season (or two) in advance of Halloween. Because, you know, some people have reasons to dress up before October.
Nothing missing in the costume details
Pick a costume you like and then prepare yourself, because you're going to learn everything you could possibly want in the product description, from videos showing the costume in use to recommended accessories. There's also zero guesswork as to the sizing, because the chart will tell you the exact measurements, whether it runs small, large, or true to size, plus additional sizing tips. We really appreciate the real-time in-stock info: if it's out of stock, it says which size(s) that applies to, the exact date they anticipate having it available, and gives you the option of being emailed when it's ready to order. And finally, here's a store that has customer reviews and ratings on many Halloween costumes.
Two options for returns
You've got a couple of options if you need to return your Halloween costume here. If you need a refund, you'll pay an 18% restocking fee. Otherwise, you can choose FUNBUCK$ credit on the site that you can use right away to order something else, and there's no restocking fee or waiting period. Either way, you'll print your return labels through Halloween Costumes' online return center and get it postmarked within 30 days of your original order date.
Excellent rating from the BBB
Halloween Costumes is the first retailer in our review that has a reputation to get excited about. Not only do they have the Better Business Bureau's top "A+" rating and accreditation, but they also have very few complaints there: just 36 over three years. Better yet, over 300 shoppers loved their experience with this store enough to write a favorable review on the BBB site, averaging an impressive 4.59/5 stars.
Over 3,000 five-star reviews
That matches the customer feedback we found in other places: more than 3,000 people have given Halloween Costumes a perfect five stars. Shoppers say that the customer service team pays very close attention to detail, and we saw that in their careful, professional responses to the small number of complaints among the compliments. There's also a lot of praise for the quality of the costumes and the on-time delivery, which can be hard to come by in this industry.
#1 store for Halloween costumes
We love everything about this store. It's so easy (and fun) to shop, there's plenty of information about every costume they carry, and there are options you won't find anywhere else (like costume rentals and exclusive designs). Customers leave glowing reviews about the company and the costumes themselves, and we encourage you to read them for yourself if you're on the fence for any reason. But, we can't imagine why you would be: Halloween Costumes does everything right, and there's no better place to buy yours. This is our first-place retailer of Halloween costumes.
Party City has thousands of Halloween costumes to choose from - year-round. Though you may have to shop online instead of at one of their many brick-and-mortar locations if you're shopping for a costume in the middle of the winter, you'll have no trouble finding plenty of options.
Website is straightforward
The Party City website is pretty easy to shop. Choose among several categories, like Family Costumes or Themes, or scroll down the page to see some suggested options. At the time of this review, those included Disney, Gamer, Scary, Couples, and even outfits for pets. Once you've selected a category, you'll see helpful filters to show you results narrowed down by costume size, themes, age, and so forth. There's also the option to show you only the items available at a store near your zip code; just check to make sure your browser automatically fills in the one you want to use for reference.
Free shipping on $59+
Once you've narrowed down the options, you'll have no trouble seeing your matches. The results page shows you what sizes are available, if it's in stock online and/or at a store near you, and the price. All orders of $59+ ship for free, and since most costumes sold by Party City are under that amount, you may want to add some accessories to your cart. Plus, at the time of our latest visit to the Party City site, there was a 15% discount promo off any orders of $59+, so take a look and see if there are any sales in progress when you shop.
Lots of information on every costume
There's no shortage of details once you've clicked on a costume that interests you. From the materials used in the various components (jumpsuit, mask, belt) to the types of closures used to keep it secure, your costume won't be a surprise when you pull it out of the packaging. Party City also includes the care instructions: no need to store a sweaty, smelly costume until next Halloween when you know exactly how to clean it. All products give customers the opportunity to leave a review, but we didn't find any on the ones we selected.
Generous 30-day return policy
Party City offers a solid return policy. You've got 30 days to return your Halloween costume, by mail or in store, for a full refund. It needs to be in new, unworn condition and in the original packaging. Also, as with any holiday merchandise, you'll need to make your return more than seven days before the date (October 31, in this case) to get a refund; returns within that one-week window will get you store credit instead of your money back.
No worries about reputation
Party City has a disappointing-looking "C-" rating from the Better Business Bureau. It's not a huge concern, though, because it's based on Party City's failure to respond to just seven complaints. There were only 112 complaints filed there in the three years prior to this review; for such a big company, that's practically nothing.
Great choice for costumes
Overall, you should feel good about buying a Halloween costume from Party City. With thousands of choices in their inventory, convenient options for ordering online and picking up in store or having it shipped, you should have no problems finding what you need and getting it in time for your party, event, or Halloween activities.
You know autumn is coming when you start to see Halloween Express stores popping up in shopping centers and strip malls near you. Their online store is open year-round, so you can shop for your Halloween costume anytime.
You'll find what you want - eventually
Finding your perfect costume can take some time on this site. If you know what you want, your best bet is to type it into the search bar. Otherwise, you'll have to pick a category like Boys or Women, then choose a category and hope it contains what you have in mind. There's no way to filter for size, price, color or anything else. For example, in the Adult costume section, you can click on options for Classic Horror Movies, Disguise, Princess, Science Fiction or 50+ other descriptions. Then once you've selected something there, the filter options are available on the resulting page. We went to the ever-popular Witch Costumes section and could narrow it down by brand, size, color, price, and so forth.
Good selection and costume info
Selection isn't a problem with Halloween Express. In the Witches category alone there were 50 choices ranging from Zelena on the TV show "Once Upon a Time" for $121.97 down to a "Bewitchin' Babe" costume for under $15. It's hard to tell exactly how many Halloween costumes are sold here, but it's obviously in the thousands. Most of them don't have any customer ratings, but there's plenty of details to help you make up your mind, from available sizes and recommended accessories to an estimated delivery date when you select your shipping address state in the dropdown.
Shipping is free, depending on location and order amount
What will you pay for shipping on your Halloween costume? The answer here is definitely "it depends" . Their warehouse is in North Carolina, so all orders of $65+ to addresses east of the Mississippi River get free shipping. West of the Mississippi, you'll need a minimum order of at least $99 to qualify for no-cost delivery.
30-day return policy
Halloween Express has a 30-day return policy. If you get your costume and decide to send it back, you'll need to reach out to their customer service team to get an RMA and then make sure it arrives within that 30-day period from when you originally received the package. Halloween Express doesn't typically charge restocking fees, but you'll be responsible for the return shipping costs, and your refund won't include the original cost of shipping the costume to you.
Some mixed reviews from shoppers
We were glad to see that Halloween Express has an "A+" grade from the Better Business Bureau, and even gladder that the retailer had zero complaints filed there. Looking at shoppers' ratings in other places, they average out to be 3.5 stars. More than 500 people had a perfect shopping experience, with many repeat customers who have used Halloween Express for years. Some people get their orders quickly and in great condition, with nothing bad to say. On the other hand, 20% of their customers are so unhappy, they give the store a one-star (or lower if they could). Comments include difficulties getting refunds on orders that were canceled by the store, items that arrive in obviously-used condition, and costumes that don't look like the online images.
Not always up-to-date
The last little detail that put us off here was their "New in [Year]" section. When we visited the site, the one it specified was the prior calendar year, and we were only a few months away from Halloween in the not-so-new-anymore year. That gives the impression that this store really isn't going to get too bothered about offering the top trends... until much closer to the holiday (like mid-August when their retail stores start to open up again).
A solid option for Halloween costumes
We still give Halloween Express decent marks for a longer-than-some return policy and several hundred five-star reviews from happy shoppers. Keep this store in mind if you don't happen to find what you're looking for with one of our higher-ranked Halloween costume stores.
Costumes knows that dressing up isn't just for Halloween. Whether you're into cosplay and conventions or you've got a masquerade coming up, you'll find lots to choose from with this online store.
Thousands of costumes
Costumes divides its inventory into categories: New & Trending, Collections, Kids, Adults, Pets, and Accessories. They've also got options for Decor, Toys & Collectibles, and Holiday merchandise. Once you've chosen one, you can further filter the results by type, collection, theme, size, and price - and with nearly 3,000 costumes in the adult category alone, you're going to want that kind of help in narrowing it down.
Plenty of themes you'll like
The possibilities here range from classic to eclectic. Are you interested in a Clowns & Circus theme? Adults have nearly 50 options. Go retro with a Breakfast at Tiffany's theme, get your Marvel on, or check out 30+ Rock Star costumes - and that's just a tiny fraction of the inventory.
More info, please
Product descriptions are not very extensive, once you click on a costume you like. You won't be told what it's made of, just a basic list of the contents and care instructions. Costumes lets customers leave reviews, but we didn't see any on the products we checked out.
Save some money, get free gifts
Costume prices here are average: not the most or the least expensive we've seen, so you should be able to stick to your budget without too much effort. You could save some money if you sign up for Costumes' mailing list. We got a pop-up with a 10% discount on our first order if we provided them with our email address. There was also a fun promo in place that got us some free Wonder Woman socks or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle scalers with a purchase of $30 or more.
One of several related costume companies
Doing a bit of sleuthing, we figured out that Costumes is one of several companies associated with another store in our review: Buy Costumes. When you look up the Costumes "contact us" address, it comes up as the distribution center for Buy Seasons, one of the alternate names of the business. We found you! Fortunately, the reputation of all of the associated companies is good, as far as the Better Business Bureau is concerned.
Short return window + restocking fees
On the downside, that means that all of the not-so-great aspects of Buy Costumes are in effect here. The biggest is the 15-day return policy - and that's 15 days from when you placed your order, not from when you received it. Tack on a 12% restocking fee and now your costume order is more expensive than many rival Halloween stores if you choose to send it back.
Not many shopper reviews yet
Also, since this rebranding/repackaging has only been around for about a year, there's not as much customer commentary to consider. We're happy to see how active Costumes is on their social media channels, but reviews specific to this company and its Halloween wear are hard to come by.
Hopeful to see future improvements
We rank Costumes higher than its sister brands because of its fresh take on cosplay, conventions, and beyond-Halloween costumes. If this division could go the extra mile by extending the return policy, and if lots of positive buzz starts coming in through reviews and comments, we'd gladly boost Costumes in our ratings in the future.
California-based Costume Kingdom has been in the Halloween costume industry for over 10 years. At first, you might be wondering if Costume Kingdom is even in business: during our visit, the site was still proudly displaying "New in 2020!" at the top of the site... which was several years out of date. We know a lot of stuff changed that year, but wow. No worries, though: we called the phone number on the Contact Us page and got a friendly support rep right away, who confirmed that yes, they are up and running and ready to take orders online.
Easy to shop, lots of options
Shopping for a Halloween costume here isn't hard. Choose whether you're shopping for adults, kids, or pets; themes, accessories and makeup, and couples' costumes are your other options for getting started. Not only are there a lot to choose from, but there are numerous options within each grouping. Want something from the 80's? You'll have 26 costumes to browse. Disco? 41. Disney princess? 44. You get the idea. And, in those options, we were happy to spot the "New For" section corresponding to the current calendar year: it just wasn't updated and featured on the main site yet. Whew!
Nice costumes but not always available
There's plenty of detail on each Halloween costume's page when you find one you like, including a description, easy-to-understand care instructions, the material it's made of, and a list of any pictured items that don't come with it. There's also a spot for customers to ask questions and get answers from Costume Kingdom reps, but we didn't see many people taking advantage of that feature. Also, read carefully because there were many costumes listed as out of stock while we were shopping - in some categories, it was more than half of the inventory. That's a bit of a downside if you've got your heart set on something and not only is it unavailable, but so are most of the comparable alternatives.
14-day return period
If you need to return your Halloween costume or other items, you've got 14 days from the delivery date; note that orders placed between October 15 and November 15 are excluded and no returns are allowed. As long as the items are in new, unused condition and can be resold, you'll qualify for a refund, minus any shipping fees. You'll also have to cover the return shipping costs. Shipping was listed as free "for a limited time" on orders of $50 or more, but you'll still have $7.50 or more taken out of your refund to cover their own costs of sending the costume to you.
Reliable according to customers
Costume Kingdom had an "A+" from the Better Business Bureau when we checked their listing most recently. More impressive than that is the fact that there were zero complaints filed there in the three years prior to our review. There's not much to be said about the retailer's reputation in other places; all of the spots we typically check for shopper feedback were practically silent. That is, until we realized that this store sells quite a few items as a third-party store of another major retailer - and there, Costume Kingdom had a great score of 4.2 out of 5 stars over 275+ customer ratings. Shoppers said the costumes are good quality, they arrived on time, and most people were able to get help if they needed it.
Outdated site but selection and service are worth considering
Costume Kingdom could use a little more attention on its website, so that they don't turn customers away who think that the site is outdated - because the costume selection and shopper experience at this retailer is actually not bad. We'd easily give them a bump up in our ratings on our next visit if we see that everything is up-to-date. Give this Halloween costume store a chance and you probably won't be disappointed.
With more than 1,400 retail locations that pop up every year around August, Spirit Halloween is the largest costume retailer in the nation. Although their shops in strip malls and shopping centers are only open from August through November, you can shop their online store anytime (and the site will helpfully tell you how many days you have until Halloween.).
Not too hard to shop here
What kind of Halloween costume are you looking for? Start by choosing from boys, girls, toddler, baby, womens, mens, plus size, couples, or group costumes. Browse from there if you like, but with over 500 categories in the Mens section alone, you'd be wiser to click on a subcategory like Pirate, Time Period, or Occupation to make better use of your time. Most costumes are priced under $80, though you'll find a few that cost more (like the Ani-motion Goin' Ape gorilla suit for $159.99).
Solid details in the descriptions
Clicking on a costume you like will take you to more in-depth information. See it from several angles, check out the size chart to get the right fit, and be sure not to miss the "You May Also Like" section in case there's a similar item you'd prefer. There weren't a ton of shopper reviews on individual Halloween costumes here, but sometimes those can offer extra insights.
Get some savings - if you dare
On our last visit to the Spirit Halloween online store, Pennywise the Clown (from "It" ) creepily offered us a 20% discount on one item and free shipping over $75 if we entered our email address in the pop-up box. Beep? Then again, there was a promo code at the top of the site offering free shipping on orders over $50, no need to see if we all float after all.
Shorter return period than before
Spirit Halloween has made some changes to their return policy since our last review. On the negative side, it's shrunk from 21 days to just 14. On the positive side, your items no longer have to be in the factory-sealed packaging it came in: that means you can try it on for size and as long as it's still in new, unworn condition and can be resold, you'll be eligible for a refund. You have to pay for return shipping, so it might be worth it to take it to one of their retail locations (if it happens to be August, September, October; all sales are final after October 28).
Lackluster reputation with customers and the BBB
But, reputation-wise, Spirit Halloween is mediocre. They have a "B" rating from the Better Business Bureau, with just under 170 complaints filed there over the last three years. Shopper ratings in other places paint a similar picture: in one place we looked, this retailer didn't even reach an average of two out of five stars across 250+ reviews. The biggest complaints mention customer service - or the lack thereof. When deliveries are late (or missing), orders are charged twice, or other problems arise that have nothing to do with the customer, Spirit Halloween reps seem reluctant to take care of it. So much for "the customer is always right" .
Not the best, not the worst
Spirit Halloween gets a "just average" rating from us. We applaud the change to the return policy that lets customers actually try costumes on to see if they fit, but we would have liked them to keep the timeframe at 21 days (or longer, to be more competitive with several other Halloween costume stores). It's also a plus that shoppers have in-store return options, at least for part of the year, but this retailer's disappointing track record for customer (dis-)satisfaction keeps them from getting our highest recommendation.
Buy Costumes carries over 10,000 unique costumes for Halloween, Christmas, or any other occasion you have for dressing up as something different. They've been in business for over 20 years and are based out of Wisconsin.
Basic shopping experience
You can start your Halloween costume shopping by clicking on the categories at the top of the Buy Costumes site: Character, Baby, Girls, Boys, Womens, Mens, Accessories, Decor, Holidays, or Sale. Or, scroll down the page and see some popular themes like DC Comics, Video Games, TV & Movies, and so on.
Need a laugh?
Our favorite category to shop here - literally for grins and giggles - is Funny. You, your family and friends, or even your pets can have everyone on your trick-or-treat route cracking up with the Halloween costumes in this section. We particularly liked the Acme Dynamite Pet Accessory for $7.99, Pumpkin Suit & Tie for $119.99, and the Evil Clown w/Victim Inflatable for $86.99.
Prices are all over the place
Buy Costumes' prices can be affordable or higher than average, depending on which one you choose. Inflatables in particular were more costly here than on other Halloween stores we looked at. Want to save a bit? When we were browsing the Buy Costumes store most recently, we got a pop-up discount of 15% if we were willing to join their email list. That savings could help you cover the shipping fees, which start at $7.99 for economy delivery within 2-10 business days.
Narrow return window and 12% restocking fee
Buy Costumes isn't very generous with their return policy. You've only got 15 days from your original order date - not the day it was delivered - to postmark your return back to them. Your refund will have a 12% restocking fee deducted from it. As with most Halloween costume stores, your items need to be new, unused, and in their original packaging to be eligible for returns. Plus, some items (pet costumes, artificial hair of any kind, cosmetics, socks and stockings, and so on) must be unopened if you want a refund.
Still in business
We were a little confused when we first looked up Buy Costumes' reputation with the Better Business Bureau: it showed the retailer as not being in business. Fortunately, a quick call to the number on the site let us know that the store is under a new parent company (Rubies DTC LLC), which has a flawless "A+" and accreditation from the BBB. It was also nice to see that we reached a US-based customer service rep right away.
Performance is inconsistent
Beyond the BBB, customer sentiment towards Buy Costumes is mixed: out of more than 1,300 ratings, nearly 800 gave this Halloween costume store a perfect five stars. We found glowing praise for how quickly orders arrived, the quality of the costumes, and the attentiveness of the customer service team. Oddly enough, the 25% of shoppers giving Buy Costumes a dismal one-star rating complained about the exact opposite: orders arriving late or not at all, poor-quality outfits or incorrect items that needed to be exchanged, and trouble getting a response from support.
Could be worth trying
You can expect to have a reasonably good shopping experience if you get your Halloween outfit from Buy Costumes. Just be sure to pay close attention to the contents of your order, in case you need to request an exchange or refund, and try to make your purchase well in advance of when you need it.
The Halloween Spot is one of the newer costume shops in our review. Based in Sugar Land, Texas, and with warehouses in Georgia, this store offers order delivery within 2-3 business days if you need something fast.
Fairly average online store
There are quite a few categories of costumes for sale here: adults, children, and even pets. Accessories are on offer too, and if the outfit you're looking for is seasonal (like Easter Bunny or Santa Claus), The Halloween Spot has you covered.
No filters = takes longer to shop
The shopping experience here isn't anything to get excited about. When you click on Adult Halloween Costumes, for instance, the only available filters are Seasonal, Men's/Women's, and Adult/Plus Sizes. If you're looking for a quick way to jump to a theme or trend, no such luck. Scrolling through that selection, there were just under 100 options like 80s Wild Child ($74.99), 90s Stupid Tuxedo ($54.99), and Gothic Venetian Harlequin ($54.99).
Nice return policy
The Halloween Spot offers a 21-day return policy. You can get a refund as long as your items are in new and unused condition, with all original packaging, so that they can resell the products. Lingerie, wigs, beards and facial hair costume pieces are all refundable only if the packaging hasn't been opened at all (due to hygiene issues).
Watch for discount offers
During our visit to The Halloween Spot, we got a pop-up with a 10^% discount code when we went to leave the website. They sweetened the deal to 15% if we were willing to provide them with our email address. You might spot similar offers while you shop too.
Social media is a little weird here
We're not really sure what to make of this Halloween costume store. Their social media channels are pretty hit-or-miss. Instagram posts for Christmas but practically nothing leading up to Halloween? Facebook posts encouraging adults to "get something just for YOU" for a change - and then recommending a kids' reindeer costume for that? Um, what?
Reputation is trending upward
But, despite seeming to not have any kind of listing with the Better Business Bureau, The Halloween Spot has a surprisingly good average when you look at the ratings posted to their store. We found verified shopper reviews from the weeks just prior to this evaluation, and about 85% of all ratings - out of 1100+ - give four or five stars to the costumes or accessories that were ordered. Most costumes themselves only have a few ratings (we didn't see more than a dozen on any one outfit or accessory).
We expect good things going forward
The Halloween Spot earns a three-star rating from us - for now. The selection isn't as extensive as many of their rivals, and the online store could be more intuitive to shop. But, we're encouraged by the unfiltered, positive recent reviews on the site and we didn't spot any red flags that would make us avoid shopping here. We look forward to seeing this Halloween costume retailer continue to grow and make improvements in the future.
Costume Supercenter provides your typical costume-shopping experience. It's easy to shop by your favorite themes and characters, for adults, children, or pets too.
Use the top links to start shopping
When you hover over the links at the top of the site, you'll get dropdowns that let you select a subcategory. For example, under the Kids section, you could shop by themes that include Historical, Witches & Wizards, Food & Drink, and many others. We appreciate that the Adults subcategories include "No-Hassle Costumes" (yes, please!), Curvy/Big & Tall, and entertaining options for Groups & Couples. However, keep an eye out for inventory: even in the New Arrivals category, many Halloween costumes were sold out during our last visit.
Not enough details on costumes
Depending on the costume you're considering, the product details might be a little scarce or confusing. For example, when we were looking at the Bob Ross Costume Top (and mostly wondering what made it different from your everyday button-down denim shirt), the sizing options were mysteriously labeled as 46" and 50" . Is that a large? Tall? Who knows! Ordinarily, we would suggest looking at the customer reviews for more help, but very few costumes here have them. Most items have no reviews at all, and we didn't see more than a dozen on any of the costumes that did.
Free shipping on $75+
Costume Supercenter's prices are on par with other stores, ranging from under $20 for something basic into the hundreds for a more elaborate costume (though we're not sure why anyone would pay almost $140 for an adult Spock outfit). Signing up for Costume Supercenter's email list could get you a 15% discount on your order. Just watch for the pop-up as you browse the store. And, if your order is at least $75, you'll qualify for free US economy ground shipping.
Reputation has had a sharp decline
We've had to drop Costume Supercenter out of the top tier positions since our last review. Although they've still got an "A+" from the Better Business Bureau and not a ton of complaints filed there, shopper ratings elsewhere for this retailer have gone downhill. More than 25% of them - nearly 1,500 in all - give Costume Supercenter the lowest possible rating of just one star. The biggest complaints surround shipping: even paying for expedited delivery, many costumes and accessories arrive very late or don't come at all, and shoppers have a really hard time getting anyone at Costume Supercenter to accept responsibility.
Disappointing returns and customer feedback
This is also the third company in our review (in addition to Costumes and Buy Costumes) that all seem to ship their merchandise from the same distribution warehouse in Wisconsin. We figured that out when we spotted the exact same wording regarding returns and restocking fees: 15 days from the date you placed your order, and 12% deducted from your refund. We've ranked Costume Supercenter lower than the other two because their shopper feedback is more negative (and because we expected more from an online store that used to earn our highest ranking).
No longer a store we recommend
We're disappointed to say that Costume Supercenter no longer gets our recommendation as one of the top Halloween costume stores on the market. The return policy is restrictive and leaves you out of luck if your order arrives late through no fault of your own. Customers agree and have shown their lack of satisfaction in numerous one-star reviews. It's not the worst place to buy a costume, but it's definitely not the best anymore either.
Find Costume is a Future Memories company, whose family of brands includes Fantasy Toyland, Celebrity Gift, Eat Gourmet and more. This "costume superstore" says they can help you find just the right costume in half as much time as you'd spend elsewhere. True story or fake news? Read on and decide for yourself.
Excellent resource for Halloween costume ideas
Find Costume actually does make it easy to see lots of ideas for costumes. You can click to the category you need - Adult, Kids, Toddler, Baby, Hats/Wigs/Masks, Clearance, or the current year's trends - from the links at the top of the site. You can get more specific by using the left-hand links to Age/Gender or specific themes like Disney or Superhero, and you'll also see a selection of costumes that might catch your eye. We particularly liked the Leg Lamp and Pink Bunny options based on the movie "A Christmas Story" , as well as the Taco Bell Hot Sauce Packet Costume Set for a group; those and many others were featured on Find Costume's main page and were a great jump-start to our Halloween costume brainstorming session.
Cheap - but not in stock
Prices at Find Costume are lower than most of their competitors'. That popular T-Rex inflatable? You'll get not just one but a half-dozen different styles - like a skeleton design as well as the traditional one - priced anywhere from $39.95 to $79.99, easily $30 cheaper than other Halloween costume stores. We also spotted a coupon code for 5% off at the top of the Find Costume site. The downside is that they don't tell you until you click on it that a particular item is out of stock, which was the case for most of the T-Rex costumes. You've got the option of entering your email address to be notified when it's available again, but Find Costume doesn't give you a ballpark of when that might be.
Free shipping on many Halloween costumes
Shipping has improved since our last review of this retailer. They don't come out and advertise it, but many items come with free shipping (like that skeleton T-Rex for $79.99). You'll have to enter your zip code in the shopping cart to see what, if anything, you'll pay for delivery, but it was a pleasant surprise to get free ground shipping on our order.
BBB rating has dropped
Sounds great so far, right? Unfortunately, that's not the whole story. We didn't think it was possible, but Find Costume's reputation has dropped even lower than the last time we reviewed this Halloween costume store. The Better Business Bureau agrees: parent company Future Memories has gone from an "A+" to a "B-" in the last few years, mostly for failure to respond to several customer complaints. We've started to see more positive reviews coming in over the last few months, but that's not enough to counterbalance years of negative impressions from disappointed shoppers.
Hefty restocking fee on returns
One reason Find Costume's customers are unhappy is the store's strict return policy. You only have 30 days to make a return or exchange, and you'll be charged a 20% restocking fee. Plus, any costumes ordered in the month of October are ineligible for returns - period.
Costumes may not be as they appeared online
That becomes an even bigger problem when you read Find Costume's advertising disclaimer. It says that they're not responsible for any differences between what you see featured on their site and what the manufacturer produces. We found more than one person who received Halloween costumes that were drastically different from what was advertised - in construction, sizing, and details - and their only option was to get an 80% refund or 90% credit towards an exchange. It's a bad sign when a costume shop makes it the customer's fault when the manufacturer does a bait-and-switch.
Not a reliable retailer of Halloween costumes
Find Costume is a store we want to like. They've got a great selection of fun and trendy Halloween costumes for all ages, and who doesn't like to get a good deal? Unfortunately, what you see is not always what you get here, and the retailer goes to great lengths to avoid responsibility when that's the case. You could take a chance and order your Halloween attire from Find Costume, but our recommendation would be to spend a little bit more to get a better customer experience with a higher-rated store.
Trendy Halloween has been shipping costumes worldwide from southern California since 2010. The store (theoretically) carries over 20,000 Halloween products: costumes, accessories, decorations and more.
Where are the costumes?
We were pretty taken aback by the lack of inventory once we started going into the categories here. Teen & Tween was limited to just 11 prints/characters, which included Glee, Care Bears, Mario Brothers, and Star Trek, among a few others. The Adult category fared better, with approximately 400 Halloween costume choices and more prints/characters, but that's still pretty small compared with rival retailers who carry thousands (or tens of thousands) of options (more on the inventory issue later).
14-day returns, no exchanges
What if you want to return your Halloween costume? No problem, just make sure you get an RMA from Trendy Halloween first. You've got 14 days from the date you received your package to request one, and then once you get an RMA you've got 20 days for your return to be received. There are no restocking fees here, unless you make a return without an RMA (and then you'll be charged 30% from your refund). Also, Trendy Halloween doesn't do exchanges for sizing or any other reason: you'll need to return your order and place a new one. That's not the most convenient process we've seen, but not a huge problem either. And, by the way, customer service here is strictly through their online form - and that includes RMA requests.
BBB says "A+"
In terms of reputation, Trendy Halloween is one of just a few retailers that has an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau and absolutely no complaints filed there. We love that.
Website, social media out of date
On the other hand, there were some glitchy and less-than-polished aspects of the Trendy Halloween website that left us feeling a little "meh" . The site's URL wasn't secure - not to get too techie, but that's an update that was recommended and standardized net-wide back in July 2018. The copyright of the site itself was two years old at the time of this review, the banner at the top of the site encouraged us to see what was new last year (?!), and the SpookBook linked to Pinterest boards that were at least a year old. Ditto that for all of the social media channels listed under "We Are Social" at the bottom of the Trendy Halloween store; none of them had posts after 2018.
Hard to find anything available for purchase
It got worse. Costume after costume, we picked a size and added it to our cart, only to be taken to a page that essentially said, "Sorry, that size is out of stock." Why are you listing it on your website if we can't buy it? We started clicking on random costumes we didn't even want - Yoda dog ears headband! Squid Game tracksuit! 50s Polka Dot dress! - and none of them were available. The only ones we wound up finding after many, many tries were the Colonial Girl and George Washington children's costumes: not exactly what you'd be looking for in a "trendy Halloween" store, in our opinion. *sigh*
Let's recap: you won't know if the Halloween costume you've got your heart set on is actually in stock until you try to add it to your cart. You can't call or even email Trendy Halloween to see when it might be back in stock, and there's almost no point in trying to reach out through their social media accounts. No wonder there were no complaints filed with the BBB: maybe no one is buying Halloween costumes here (but hey, maybe there'll be a run on colonial attire this year). Save yourself some time and hassle by looking for your Halloween costumes from another store, because Trendy Halloween is barely alive and breathing, from the looks of it.
Frank Bee got its start as a five-and-dime shop in the Bronx back in 1957. They've still got a retail store in that location that visitors describe as "eclectic" . That lines up with what you'll see when you visit the Frank Bee Costume Center online - festooned with animated Christmas lights year-round.
Completely outdated website
You're not going to be "wowed" by the shopping experience on the Frank Bee website. The URL isn't secure (which was an update that should have been implemented years ago), and it's obvious that it's an old Yahoo store that's never been moved into the new millennium. At least it's not hard to find what you're looking for: the categories at the top of the site include New Stuff, Adults, Kids & Teens, Wigs, Masks, Make Up, Accessories, Mascots, and Plus Sizes. You can also use the collections listed on the left side to jump to popular groupings like Sexy Costumes, Star Trek, and Disney. We were a little baffled - and scared? - by the "Prisoner Child" recommendation.
No one wants these Halloween costumes now
It gets worse. When we went to the New Stuff section, thinking we might see Halloween costumes from the Netflix series everyone is binge watching, we found that the inventory held "the latest & newest released costumes for Halloween 2014... only at Frank Bee Costume Center" . Annoying Orange and The Flash aren't at the top of anyone's must-have dress-up list anymore, but - yay - you can buy them here. The Kids & Teens section gives the same outdated impression; no one is watching "Yo Gabba Gabba!" anymore, and the Marvel movie characters they featured are about five films behind (if not more).
No free shipping
Shipping costs depend on what you order. You can either put items in your cart and see how it shakes out during checkout, or you can go to the Shipping page and click the link to get a ballpark estimate from UPS. You won't get any customer-friendly "free shipping with a minimum order" here.
No returns, period
Frank Bee Costume Center has the worst return policy of any retailer we've seen: all sales are final. Your costume doesn't fit? Too bad. It doesn't look anything like what was on the website? Out of luck. That's just one more sign that this business isn't keeping up with the times; most of today's shoppers expect to be able to return their Halloween costumes, especially if they're in new, unopened and unused condition.
No reviews - because no customers?
Frank Bee has an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, and the retailer only received one complaint there in the three years leading up to this review. However, we wonder if that's because no one is actually doing business with this store anymore. One report (from more than five years ago) said that they placed an order only to get a phone call several days later, informing them that Frank Bee didn't have what was shown in the online store and that they "can't update their website" . What?! That makes sense, though, considering that the site copyright was 2012 the last time we checked.
Shop anywhere else for your Halloween costume
It's hard to come up with a reason why you'd bother looking for a Halloween costume here, unless you think it's fun to shop for "trending" outfits that are really more retro or you've got some loyalty to the flagship store in the Bronx. Frank Bee Costume Center gets our lowest ranking.
One of the best things about shopping for your Halloween costume online is the selection. Have you been to a retail store a few weeks before the holiday and seen how picked-over it gets? Good luck finding anything that fits or matches, let alone a costume that everyone will be talking about.
Yes, you're always going to find the most options in stock if you shop sooner rather than later, but some online stores can hook you up with a killer costume - literally, if you're into dressing up like a slasher movie - and get it delivered even just a few days before Halloween.
With so many Halloween costume stores out there, and so many themes to choose from, it's normal to feel a little overwhelmed when deciding where to shop. Want to make it a little easier? Keep these factors in mind:
To help you get your spooky on, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked today's most popular online retailers of Halloween costumes. We're sure this information will make it fun and fast to get the perfect outfit before the big party or trick-or-treat!
Select any 2 Halloween Costume Stores to compare them head to head