It’s a dreaded Halloween situation no Champaign-Urbana parent wants to face.
Your child has their heart set on a costume, but it’s sold out at every store in town.
You call local costume stores, even the Halloweeen pop-up store, and it’s sold out everywhere.
You do a quick search online, only to find it available at a few places. “Yes!” you exclaim as you click the costume to place in your cart. Multiple attempts to put the coveted costume into cyber carts ends in futility. “Item is no longer available” pops up over and over again.
No Charizard for you, my young son. Mommy should have ordered this costume in July.
What to do when the costume your child wants can’t be found? We put the question to our Readers, and we offer up their advice:
- Get your Pinterest DIY on and make it: “Can it be made? Pinterest has tons of blogs that post step-by-step instructions for DIY costumes. You would be surprised what can be made from a cardboard box and paint or felt and a sweatshirt.”
- Are you crafty? “Sounds like it’s time to craft it! It could be a fun bonding experience!”
- The Bait and Switch: “I had a similar problem this year with my 7-year-old, and wasn’t having much luck with alternatives. I told him about the situation. He was briefly disappointed, but I took him to a local costume store where he could look through everything and he ended up with a completely different costume that he loves.”
- Always have a Plan B: “I would be honest with your child that you’re having a hard time finding the costume he wants, so you’ll do your best but you’ll help him come up with a backup costume in case his first choice doesn’t work out. Small disappointments are good for their growth and development! I’m all for making Halloween costumes too, and maybe he can even help!”
- Local garage sale websites: “Maybe post ISO on garage sale sites? Somebody could have one they totally don’t need just hanging around.” See our post about local garage sale sites here.
- Think New to You: “Both Goodwill locations in Savoy and Champaign and Salt n Light in Champaign have lots of costume pieces! We have found great items that work!”
- Get it together and piece it together: “I’ve had great luck piecing costumes together from Goodwill and crafting accessories. Maybe you could purchase some costume parts online and put together the rest?” “Have you tried Dallas and Company in Champaign?” “I pieced together a costume using pieces I found on Amazon.”
- Ebay: “Have you tried Ebay?” You might be able to find it on Ebay, but watch out for shipping delivery dates and price gouging.”
- Work your Network: “One year my daughter had her heart set on a costume that I could not find. I asked my Facebook friends if they could help, and picked up the costume from a friend of a friend the same day.”
So what did this seasoned but late Mama do to solve the Charizard costume catastrophe of 2016? I’m not sure if it’s the Pokemon Go craze, or if all 7-year-old boys in Champaign-Urbana and Beyond decided to be the same character this year, but after frantic online searching, I turned to Ebay. I managed to find a costume in my son’s size, with reasonable shipping and delivery to my home well before Halloween. I also managed to purchase a costume from a listing that didn’t charge a small fortune. We will need that money savings to piece together his older brother’s costume, Peeta from the Hunger Games, that has employed Reader Tips #4,#3,#1, and #7.
Do you have any Halloween costuming tips and tricks? Add them in the comments below!