sell old costume jewelry

How to Make Money by Selling Old Costumes and Costume Jewelry

In Costume Party Tips by Caleb

Dressing up in costume is an excellent way to escape the real world or be the life of the Halloween party. Flaunting costume jewelry is always a fun way to make a statement. However, these things will eventually outlive their use to you, making them just another thing to clog up your closet space. But what if you could get a little extra value out of those old items?

How to make money by selling old costumes and costume jewelry:

  • Online
  • Thrift or Consignment Shops
  • Flea Markets
  • Yard Sales

Continue reading below to find out more about how you can get your old costumes and costume jewelry off your hands for a little extra money.

The Cost of Costumes

Anyone that has done a little research into the vast world of costumes knows that there is a huge range of prices attributed to them. Adult costumes tend to run a bit more than children’s costumes, no matter where you’re looking.

You can find a costume for under $20 if you don’t care that much about quality. But there are some very high-end costumes out there, as well. You may even create an elaborate DIY costume for hundreds of dollars to get the look just right.

If you take a look at the numbers, you might be surprised to find what most people are willing to spend on costumes for any occasion.

The Cost of Halloween Costumes

The cost of Halloween alone is pretty astounding. On average, Americans spend upwards of $100 to buy candy, decorations, and costumes just for one day of the year. It’s one of the top spending holidays in the country.

While costumes only take up about 40% of the Halloween budget, they can still be on the pricey side. The average amount most people spend on Halloween costumes today is in the $60 to $65 range.

Of course, just because people are willing to spend so much on their costumes, doesn’t mean they have to.

Around 66% of all Halloween costumes are valued between $20 and $50, which gives just about everyone an option. 21% of costumes are valued between $50 and $150, 8% of costumes are valued below $20, and only 1% of costumes are valued above $150.

The Cost of Cosplay Costumes

Where costumes are concerned, cosplay is the top of the ladder. Cosplayers take their costume-making skill very seriously, putting a ton of time and effort into every single costume. These costumes are on the opposite end of the spectrum from mass-produced Halloween costumes that you find in stores.

No detail is spared when it comes to crafting these costumes, which are usually reproductions of what a character wore in a movie or tv show. Because of the amount of time and skill that goes into each one, some more than others, they can sport a heftier price tag.

It’s difficult to get anywhere close to an average for cosplay costumes, considering the amazing number of ways you can go about crafting a costume of your own. However, a large percentage of cosplayers spend well over $100 on each costume.

With 70% of cosplayers spending between $100 and $600 per costume, it’s not difficult to argue that cosplay costumes cost more and are inevitably worth more than Halloween costumes.

The Value of Old Costumes

After shilling out the cost of a brand-new costume, you have gotten as much wear out of it as you want, and you’re ready to pass it on to a new owner. If you want to sell old costumes, though, you need to know how much you should be charging for them.

Valuing an old costume has a lot to do with the individual costume itself. There isn’t an end all be all guide to tell you what a costume should be sold for based on how much it costs. You will have to make up your mind about the value based on what you have.

Some things that may affect the value of an old costume include:

  • If the costume is complete or missing pieces
  • Any stains on the costume
  • Rips in the fabric
  • The popularity of the character
  • The availability of the costume

If a costume is easy to get ahold of for a good price, it’s probably going to be more difficult to sell an old one for very much. However, if you have your hands on something rare, well-made, or in high demand, you can easily charge more for it.

A good rule of thumb when selling old costumes is to price it around 60% below what you paid for it. This is generally a fair price for the average costume once it’s been used. Of course, this can always go up or down, depending on what you have on your hands.

Where to Sell Old Costumes to Make Money

In today’s world, it’s incredibly easy to find several avenues to sell the things you no longer want to hold onto. If you’ve got something, chances are, someone else wants it. All you need to do is find the perfect buyer.

Here are a few ways you can go about it.

Sell It Online

The easiest way to sell anything old for some cash is to do it online. There are just about as many sites and apps to choose from as there are costumes being sold. It can be a bit hit or miss when it comes to selling online, so it’s best to go with what you’re comfortable with.

You have the option of either selling locally or selling to anyone, anywhere, and shipping it to them. Selling locally using Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and apps such as Letgo eliminate the need to actually ship the costume, which could save some time and money.

If you don’t mind shipping, or just don’t want to meet anyone locally to get rid of your old costumes, you can sell it to whoever will take it. Sites like eBay, Poshmark, and Tradesy are all perfect locations for you to list your costume.

A costume that you put a lot of work into, such as a cosplay costume, could be listed on Etsy, which is tailored to the handmade market.

It’s important to keep in mind that some websites require a percentage of sales made through their services. It’s best to research any site you want to use so you can make sure you’re pricing your old costumes high enough to make a decent amount of money after that percentage comes out.

To get the most attention for your old costume, take really nice pictures. Those pictures are the only thing people will see when browsing online. The better they look, the more interest your listing is bound to get.

Use bright lighting that shows off the details and make sure the costume isn’t wrinkled or distorted. You can even throw in a picture of you or someone else wearing the costume so potential buyers have a reference of how it will look.

Take It to a Thrift Store

People are addicted to thrift stores, and all the old find they can get their hands on in them. Because they specialize in the well-loved, they make a fantastic option for you to drop off any old costumes you have lying around.

There are plenty of stores that take in used clothes, costumes included. They are happy to take your old garments for a price. Sometimes you can even trade in an old costume for other items that may come at a discount for your contribution.

Consignment shops are a bit different. If you take your old costumes to a consignment shop, you only get paid after the items sell. It’s still a perfectly legitimate way to sell old costumes if you have a consignment shop in your area.

Taking old costumes to a thrift store is best done before the Halloween season. Think about it – the most likely time people will be looking for a costume is during the Halloween season, which is probably when these kinds of stores will be looking to stock up on them. As fall grows closer, you’re most likely to see a good offer for your old costumes.

Before heading to any stores, take some measures to make your costumes look as good as they can. Make sure everything is washed and clean with no obvious stains or tears. Fold everything neatly and put it in a nice basket rather than a plastic bag. Presentation is everything, and you want to make a good first impression.

Other Ways to Get Rid of Old Costumes

Selling old costumes is a great way to give them a new life when you’re done with them. However, it’s not the only way to free up that much-needed closet space. If you are hitting a dead-end, getting them off your hands, consider trying something different.

What Else You Can Do with Old Costumes:

  • Trade costumes with your friends so that everyone gets something new to wear.
  • Rent out your old costumes at a discounted price for people to wear for one night.
  • Repurpose pieces of your costumes to make new costumes.
  • Donate old costumes to others that may need one.

What to Do with Unwanted Costume Jewelry

If you are overflowing with costume jewelry and you just don’t know what to do with it, there are more than enough ways for you to get it off your hands. Before you delve into the pile and start messing with anything, though, it’s recommended to have the pieces checked out.

There are more than a handful of stories of people discovering that old tacky jewelry they collected was actually worth more than a few bucks. Tell-tale signs that you could have a keeper on your hands include intricately crafted details, no presence of discoloration or flaking, and a stamp or makers mark somewhere on the piece.

If you’re sure that your costume pieces aren’t secretly treasure, you can easily do away with them in whatever way you find the most pleasing.

Get Crafty

One of the most suggested ways to use costume jewelry is to recycle it into something new. People absolutely love using the stones and chains of these pieces to create crafts of all kinds. You may just find that you have the DIY bug yourself.

Try taking apart jewelry pieces and gluing them back together in odd and different ways. You can even string bits together and create an interesting and sparkly look for your Christmas tree. Costume jewelry does really well when pressed into clay for stepping-stones, on the outside of vases, and any number of other things.

Your crafts are only limited by your imagination. If you can come up with something fun to do with those unwanted pieces, you should do it! Get the kids involved in an afternoon of crafting. They’re sure to have even more fun than you will.

Give it Away

Donating costume jewelry is highly recommended to anyone that asks what should be done with all those old pieces. Just because you don’t want them doesn’t make them totally useless. There are plenty of places that will take it all off your hands.

Places to Donate Old Costume Jewelry:

  • Nursing homes for use as prizes
  • The local Girl Scouts to make crafts out of
  • A theater to use in their plays
  • Friends who may want to wear it or reuse it

Donating those unwanted jewelry pieces is easy. There is no shortage of people and places that will happily take your generous donation. And it can leave you with that warm feeling inside after doing something kind for others.

Sell It

Selling costume jewelry is another great option to get rid of that pile while making a little money as well. Believe it or not, there is quite a large market out there for costume jewelry. People are always looking for new and interesting pieces to add to their collections. Or to deconstruct for their latest project.

If you want to find out the different ways you can make some money selling your unwanted costume jewelry, keep on reading below.

How to Make Money Selling Old Costume Jewelry

Costume jewelry may be tacky to one person and beautiful to another. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure and all that. So, it makes sense that you would be able to make some money from selling your old costume jewelry to other people who may be looking for exactly what you have in your stash.

Sell It Online

Selling costume jewelry online is probably the most common method. It’s much easier to reach a larger audience when you list your costume jewelry for everyone to see.

eBay has a large market for costume jewelry. Chances are if someone is looking for a specific piece, they’re going to look on eBay. Before you list your pieces, check some of the others for similar pieces to get a grasp on how much you should be charging.

You can list costume jewelry as individual pieces or sell them all in a lot. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of making a listing for every single item, putting it all together is your best bet. People are more willing to pay more for lots of items if they think they’re getting a deal out of it.

Try setting up your eBay listings as auctions rather than a set price. This gives buyers the chance to bid, which could end up driving up the price of the more attractive pieces in your collection.

If you have pieces that are broken or deconstructed, you can always list them on a site like Etsy, where people are always looking for things to add to their craft stash. Your costume jewelry might be exactly what they need to complete their latest masterpiece.

Set up Shop at the Flea Market

Another good way to sell costume jewelry is to get yourself a booth at the local flea market. Fairs and other gatherings are good options as well. You don’t usually have to pay much to rent a vendor space where you can display all your pieces.

While you may not sell out in a single day, there’s a chance you can find good homes for some of your costume jewelry. Having the chance to look at the pieces in person and try them on may entice people to buy more than simply seeing a picture online.

Take It to a Yard Sale

Whether you are having a yard sale of your own to offload more unwanted goods, or there is a community yard sale happening in your neighborhood, it’s the perfect site to sell costume jewelry.

Buyers at yard sales are often looking for old or unusual items to pick up. They don’t know what they want until they see it. You could easily make a pretty penny by setting out a table of your unwanted costume jewelry. By the end of the day, it could all be off your hands!

Find Out the Value of Your Old Costume Jewelry

Before you do anything, it’s a good idea to get your costume jewelry looked at by a professional. This is especially true if you inherited the jewelry from a loved one or bought it at an estate sale. There are some pieces that could be worth more than you bargained for.

Costume jewelry made prior to the 1970s may end up being pretty collectible. Rhinestone pieces are often sought after. Other pieces may be made by a well-known brand, which pushes the price tag up.

To find out if your costume jewelry is worth money, enlist the help of a jeweler. They will be able to take a closer look at each piece and tell you exactly what it might be worth or if it’s just a normal piece of costume jewelry.

Old and Unwanted Doesn’t Mean Worthless

If your closet is getting cramped and that spare drawer is overflowing, you may start to consider getting rid of a few things. While it’s easy to throw stuff out simply, you could be better served to put those old costumes and all that costume jewelry up for sale.

Costumes are in high demand, especially when Halloween starts getting close. People love to dress up and aren’t afraid to spend a little cash to do so. Costume jewelry is no less sought after. Your pieces could even be worth more than you think.

Whether you’re selling online or setting up at the local yard sale, you are bound to find someone that wants your old items just as much as you did once. Don’t throw it out without giving it a chance. You make just have a treasure on your hands.