So if you’re the type of cosplayer who HAS to buy the newest and best costumes often, then you’ll know how expensive it can get. Because whenever a new character costume is released on a cosplay website, it will always be the priciest in the beginning. It’s pretty much similar to regular clothing; you won’t see the price drop until much time has passed.
You might be thinking, “That’s just how it goes with buying new cosplays = expensive.” And for the most part, that is true.
HOWEVER! There is one method to potentially reduce the cost of a brand new cosplay?
What is this method, you ask?
My personal story
A while back, I actually lost a lot of money ordering a Kaeya cosplay that didn’t fit me properly, despite ordering the “right” size. That meant I had to order a new Kaeya cosplay, but I definitely wasn’t going to order from the same website that gave me the wrong measurements.
So this time, I decided to go with a different cosplay store (RoleCosplay) and they had a “pre-sale offer.”
What’s a pre-sale offer, you ask?
Well, it’s when a cosplay store gauges interest to see if they are enough buyers interested in mass-producing a costume for a character.
In this case for me, it was Kaeya from Genshin Impact.
So what you do is deposit a few bucks to the cosplay store as a pre-order. For me, I paid $3.
If there aren’t enough pre-orders, then the store refunds your money back and they cancel making that costume.
But if there’s enough interest, then not only will the cosplay store go ahead and make that costume, you also get a nice discount for pre-ordering.
So for me, I got 30% off because I was part of the pre-sale offer! Not a bad deal at all, definitely cheaper than the first time.
So while I do talk about cosplay hype and how popular characters at the moment costs more to buy, you can circumvent this by going with pre-orders.
For me, I wasn’t in a rush to buy a new Kaeya cosplay, so pre-ordering was no big deal. And my patience paid off by saving a good amount of money!
So what should you do?
If you know that you want to buy a costume for a brand new character, then you should definitely shop around for any pre-sale offers.
Go through a bunch of cosplay websites and see which ones are attempting a pre-sale (for a list of the best cosplay websites, click here).
If you see a website that is offering a pre-sale, then go ahead and bid for it. It’s usually only a few bucks to put your bid in.
Once you put your pre-sale bid in, do not bid for other websites! Because once the cosplay website decides to go ahead and produce that costume, then you will have to opt-in and buy it. You wouldn’t want to have multiple versions of the costume from different cosplay stores. That would be a lot of money and it would defeat the whole purpose of saving money.
So if you do see more than one pre-sale offer for the same character, then pick and choose one.
What if pre-sale offer doesn’t go through?
If there aren’t enough potential buyers for a specific new character, then the cosplay website will likely cancel the pre-sale offer. From that point, they will give you your bid money back. If that happens, then don’t fret; there may be another opportunity to get a pre-sale offer in the future, especially if the character is really new.
But if your character has been around for a while and you see other cosplay websites offering the same costume, then you may have to bite the bullet and pay full-price. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it does not!
Other ways to save money on brand new cosplays
With that said, if you really want to save money on a specific character but you’re not finding anymore pre-sale offers, the next best thing is to wait.
You can do a few things:
- Wait until someone sells it on buy/sell/trade group. As I mention on this blog, there are many cosplayers who take part in CosSwapping; buying new cosplays, selling them to fund the next new cosplay, repeat the cycle. So once the cosplay hype for a specific character wears out, you can bet that someone will be selling that cosplay at a discount! So keep an eye on those Facebook cosplay groups. For more info on how to buy used cosplays, click here.
- Wait until the cosplay goes in the clearance section. At some point, that character will be in the clearance section of a cosplay website and it will be much cheaper to buy! Keep in mind, this could take several years to happen, so you will have to be reaaaly patient to do this.
- Cosplay website sales. Don’t forget that cosplay websites themselves have their own special deals during certain times of the year. You can save around 10-20% on that brand new cosplay, as these discounts are usually for the entire site! Some popular times for discounts (from my experience): Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Christmas holidays. I would avoid buying in the summer, as that’s peak convention season and generally speaking, there aren’t many discounts to be had at that time.
I hope you found this post enlightening. You may have thought that brand new cosplays are always going to be super expensive. But if you keep on the lookout for pre-sale offers on cosplay websites, you’ll be able to save a lot of money, just like how I saved 30% on my brand new Kaeya cosplay!
Which cosplays are you planning to do? Is there one you’re keeping an eye on? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear if you have ever taken advantage of a pre-sale offer as well. 🙂
My name is Roger Senpai. I’m a cosplayer that’s been in the community for well over a decade now. I’ve traveled all over the world to Anime and Comic conventions and hosted my own cosplay events. Now I’m writing articles for new and experienced cosplayers like you to help inspire, save you money and improve your cosplays!