Halloween Profits

October 31, 2006

Night Before Halloween
It’s the night before Halloween and you are without a costume! You show up at the Spirit Halloween store and can’t believe how much they are charging for this stuff! A Captain Jack Sparrow outfit for your son is $30, the little Little Bo Peep costume you’re eyeing is $60, and to make your husband a Ghastly Goul it’s $50! If you think the costumes are scary, just look at their prices!

Big Business
An article on about.com gives the numbers collected by the National Retail Federation (NRF) on the business of being scary for a night. With a projected $4.96 Billion to be spent by consumers in 2006 on Halloween decorations, candy, and costumes; Halloween is currently the sixth-largest spending holiday of the year.

Spending Trends
The NRF 2006 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey found the following trends:

  • 63.8 percent of consumers will celebrate Halloween this year, compared to 52.5 percent last year
  • The average consumer celebrating Halloween will spend $59.06 on Halloween, compared to $48.48 last year

Spending Amounts
The article breaks out the 4.96 billion between decorations, candy, and costumes:

  • $1.31 billion on decorations, an average of $15.63 for those planning purchases
    67.0 percent of consumers plan to purchase Halloween decor
  • $1.57 billion will be spent on candy, with 95.7 percent of consumers buying. The average consumer plans to spend $18.72
  • Total spending on costumes, including children’s, is expected to reach $1.81 billion. Consumers plan on spending $21.57 on average and 34 percent plan to dress in costume

Scary Money
Why am I telling you this depressing news, that Halloween is getting more expensive every year? Because with the right timing you can use it put money in your pocket! The markups on costumes and décor are huge and with the seasonal nature of the products, the markdowns begin quickly. Already, on the night before Halloween, the Spirit Store has discounted their items online 50% or more. You can find $80 decorations on sale for $30 and $130 costumes on sale for $50!

If you have extra cash and somewhere to store the loot, now is a great time to score some great bargains. Following the time tested strategy of buy low and sell high, I’d say now’s the time to buy. Load up on the deals and next Fall sell it on eBay.

What to Buy?
Since candy has a shelf life and the margins are pretty low I’d stay away from that. Decorations net a fair amount but they are harder to ship and take up more storage space. I’d go with the costumes. Statistics show they have highest total amount spent yet the smallest percentage of consumers are buying costumes. This translates to the highest per item per consumer, $21.57, and means higher profits for you. Plus they are easier to ship and people need new ones every year. Good luck shopping!


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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