If you’re in the majority that wants to cosplay without breaking your wallet then definitely check out this post about used cosplay for sale!
For many who are into this hobby, cosplaying can seem intimidating because it can be so expensive. Whether you’re buying a costume online or making it yourself, the money or time needed can be huge. But fortunately, there is an alternative to saving yourself some cash. And that alternative is buying used cosplay for sale on Facebook!
This guide will show you the details about how to buy cosplay on Facebook. We’ll show you how to properly sell your used cosplays to get lots of buyers. And if you’re looking to buy, we’ll show you how to make sure you’re getting the product you want and getting the most value out of it.
Let’s get started!
What is second hand cosplay?
When a cosplayer is either looking to clean out their closet or to fund their next cosplay, they want to sell their used cosplay for sale to do so. Whether you’re a buyer or one of those cosplayers that want to get rid of your old costumes, secondhand cosplays are a huge thing in the cosplay community.
Compared to buying or making a brand new costume, here are some advantages of second hand cosplays:
- Saves you $$$! This is first and foremost the best reason to buy cosplay that are used. A brand new cosplay can set you back hundreds of dollars, whereas buying second hand can cut that price in half or even more.
- Since most of the sellers are nearby, you avoid shipping/handling costs. Unless you’re fortunate enough to live in Asia, you’re likely paying shipping and handling when you buy costumes made in China. On the flip side, when you buy from a cosplayer in your area, not only do you save money but you also don’t have to worry about customs and wait times. You get your cosplay right away!
- Better for the environment. If the used cosplay for sale doesn’t end up getting sold, it will stay in the closet for a long time or worse…the costume will be thrown in the trash! That would be a shame. Fortunately, there is always someone willing to take your old costume out of your hands. When you buy used cosplay for sale, not only are you saving money but you’re helping the environment. Not to say that buying new cosplays or materials is inherently a bad thing. But reusing cosplays is a greener method. According to this study, cosplayers do use recycled materials to save money when they are on a constrained budget (West, S., & Smith, K. (2017). Eco-cosplay: Upcycling as a Sustainable Method of Costume Construction. Discovery, The Student Journal of Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences, 18(1), 90-98. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/discoverymag/vol18/iss1/15).
- Probably the most economical way to cosplay a bunch of different characters. This is IMO the best reason why you should buy/sell used cosplays. If you wanted a variety of different cosplays on your social media, then buying used cosplays is the cheapest way to do so (other than borrowing a cosplay for free). A lot of cosplayers do this actually. This is probably why you see a lot of cosplayers on Instagram with a variety of cosplays. They cycle their cosplays this way without breaking their wallet!
- Unlike buying brand new, you have a chance to try on the costume before you buy. We’ll talk more about this later, but when buying a new cosplay you get to try on the costume. However, unless you’re physically at a cosplay store (which is rare in North America), you won’t get the opportunity to try on the costume. And most online sellers won’t give you this opportunity (for good reason though).
Some huge advantages when it comes to used cosplay for sale. But of course, there are some drawbacks:
- The cosplay may not be in good condition. When the Cosplay Angel and I made a survey about used cosplays, many of the respondents mentioned that the costume they bought was damaged (e.g. colours faded, certain pieces of the clothing fell off). This was surprising to me because I myself haven’t had to deal with a broken costume. But it seems like a major problem when buying used cosplay for sale. Some buyers will be straightforward and let you know. But it doesn’t hurt to check before you buy.
- Reliability and flakiness is a huge issue…for both buyers and sellers. The most frustrating aspect of buying used cosplay for sale is completing the actual transaction. Whether you’re buying or selling cosplay, at some point you’ll likely deal with flakiness that makes it difficult or impossible to sell/buy a costume. If you’re the one who buy cosplay, there are sellers who won’t respond back to your interest, even if you’re firm with the price they quoted. Sometimes it’s on their backburner of priorities, so they list the item and forget about responding or replying back to interested buyers. Or perhaps a close friend wants their item and they take preference over them. As a seller, it’s even worse.
- You’ll have buyers who respond and say they’ll buy, but flake on you or not respond when it comes time to meet up. With the survey we did, a lot of respondents mentioned they flaked because they didn’t have enough money or they changed their mind about wanting the cosplay product. Some will tell you, while others will just ghost you. So be prepared for interactions with buyers/sellers that end up going nowhere. Yeah it sucks, but that is part of the experience of the used cosplay market!
- Far more difficult if you live in small city or town. If you live in a large city like Toronto or Los Angeles, then the used buy and selling cosplay market is great and you’ll likely get lots of buyers and sellers. However, if you live in an area with a small population, then it’s going to be hard to sell your costume or find ones to buy. Simply because there are fewer cosplayers in the area. However, for you guys that live in these areas, you can still take part in the buying and selling cosplay market! You’ll just have to look for cosplayers in the nearest large city near you. For example, if you lived in a small city such as Guelph (1 hour away from Toronto), then you’ll have to arrange a meeting point somewhere in or close to Toronto.
- Not a guarantee you’ll get the costume you want. If you’re looking for a specific cosplay or character, you could be waiting a long time for that particular one to go on sale. There are only so many characters available on the local market, usually also limited to popular and seasonal characters. Take me for example. I’m a tall Asian guy living in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Finding a used cosplay for sale that I want to buy can take a long time, as there aren’t as many costumes for me. Also, many of the costumes end up being too small for me. So most of the time, I just end up buying a costume brand new online. Guess being tall has its disadvantages. 🙁
Alright, so now you know the pros and cons of buying selling second hand cosplay, how do you go about doing so? Let’s find out!
Where to find used cosplay groups
The best place to find used cosplay for sale is through a cosplay Buy/Sell/Trade group on Facebook. In general, these BST groups are actually a great place to save on cosplay. To find a local cosplay BST group in your area, just search “(your city) cosplay buy/sell/trade” on Facebook and you should find a group to sell your cosplay.
For example, I live in Toronto and we have 3 different cosplay BST groups:
- GTA Cosplay Buy/Sell/Trade
- Cosplay Buy/Sell GTA
- The CHG Toronto Cosplay Discussion & Buy/Sell/Trade Group of course 🙂
As you can see in these BST groups, there are tons of people always selling their costumes for the same reasons you are. Either they want to get rid of old costume or they’re looking to make some extra cash to fund their future cosplays.
You can also try selling your used cosplay in large, international cosplay market groups. But it’s not worth it in my opinion. Because that would require you to ship the costume and since the buyer cannot try before they buy, it’ll complicate things for the both of you.
As well, you could potentially sell your costume on Etsy and Aliexpress but you’d have to set up an account and I think that’s too much work to sell off a used cosplay. So stick to your local cosplay BST groups, and perhaps try Craigslist and Kijiji for selling your costume as a last resort!
But in general; as long as your price is reasonable and the size is right for the buyer, you should have no problem finding someone to buy cosplay off you. I know when I sell my old cosplays, I get inquiries pretty fast! There’s always going to be someone looking for a cosplay at a discount.
Awesome tips to sell your used cosplay for sale
Alright, so let’s talk about how to go about this as a seller…
- Have lots of photos of your cosplay. Try to get lots of different angles of your costume so your potential buyers can see how it looks like. An even better idea is taking some selfies with you wearing the costume. Don’t use photos of you when you did that fancy photoshoot a few months ago. No. That was in the past. You should use photos of how the costume looks currently. Good photos mean you’ll get fewer questions about the costume when you make the post.
- Pick a reasonable price. Often I see selling cosplay listings in my Facebook group with no replies or interest. Why? Because they are either asking way too much for the costume or they’re listing the price as if the costume is BRAND NEW. Remember that cosplayers want to buy cosplay at a discount.
- If they wanted a costume in mint condition, they would buy it online. So you got to be reasonable with your prices. Generally, whatever amount of money I spent buying a costume, I’ll offer 50% of that price. So I bought a costume that was $100, I’ll sell it for $50 if I want to get rid of it. You don’t have to go that low; you can even do 60%-70% of the original price if you’re not in a rush. If you don’t mind the buyers bargaining for a price, then you can put “OBO” which means “or best offer.” Say if you sell your used cosplays for a relatively high price and someone offers to buy it for a bit cheaper than your asking price. Then you could get a relatively decent payment that way.
- Be honest about any cosmetic damages. The last thing you want to happen is meeting up and your buyer being dissatisfied or even refusing to buy the costume because they weren’t aware of any damages. So if you know of any defects on the cosplay, it’s better just to be honest and let everyone know in the description. Some buyers won’t mind this and will still gladly take the costume off your hands; either they can fix themselves or you can offer the costume slightly cheaper.
- Answer questions. Sometimes buyers will have questions about what you’re selling before they want to purchase. Be sure to answer them! Maybe they’re wondering if the costume comes with the prop you’re holding. Or they want to know the exact measurements to see if the costume will fit. Answering questions means that you’re transparent and buyers will trust you for that.
- Try to be chill about things. This is my opinion and based on my observation as a cosplay group admin on Facebook. When your post looks something like this:
“Serious inquiries only”
“No negotiating on price allowed”
“No flakes or cancellations”
I’ve noticed that the super strict seller posts often get no replies. I know people that flake or lowball you totally suck! But you don’t want that to seep into your post. Of course you can mention that when someone messages you.
- Pick an easy public location to meet up. Malls are the best place to meet because they’re a public place that’s safe, easy to get to by car and public transit (for the most part). Not to mention there are washrooms where the buyer can change and try on the costume. You can also meet at an Anime convention as well that’s coming up. If you live in a small town then conventions are truly the best place to meet up for the used cosplay transaction, as both of you are likely to be attending the same convention because we’re all weebs and we love our cons!
So that’s how you sell your used cosplay for sale efficiently!
How to be a buyer
This section is more straightforward, since you’re pretty much just giving your money for the costume! In any case, here are some useful tips as a buyer:
- Try on before you buy. This is so important! Before I buy any costume, I always ask to try on the cosplay before I hand my money to the seller. If the cosplay doesn’t fit, then it’ll look like s***! It’s nice to know your measurements and all, but many cosplayers buy their costumes from all over the world, and every costume fits differently. So take that extra to try it on.
- It’s okay to change your mind. If you wanted to buy cosplay but realized either you don’t want it anymore or can’t afford it, don’t feel bad about it. Let the seller know that you’re not interested in buying the costume anymore. They’ll understand and move on to the next person. So if you don’t want to buy the cosplay anymore, just message the seller and they’ll understand. Communication is key!
Speaking of holding a cosplay for you, here’s another tip related to this…
- Buy and meet up with the seller ASAP. If you wait too long, the seller may be impatient and sell it to someone else who is closer/more convenient for them. Although most sellers will hold the item for you, they’re under no obligation to do so. Therefore, if you want a costume, you better arrange a time and day to buy it from them as soon as you can! This will be difficult if you’re from a small city or town, while the seller lives in the big city. They may not want to wait several months until a convention is happening in order for you to pick it up. So if the seller doesn’t want to wait that long, then I suggest taking a day trip to the large city when you don’t have to work or go to school. 🙂
And there we have it; everything you need to know about buying or selling used cosplays! Check out these other posts that will help you buy more cosplays and save money:
- Cosplay Budget Series – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
- 5 Creative Ways To Recycle Or Get Rid Of Your Old Cosplays
- How Can I Obtain Different Cosplays?
Hopefully this post will either help you save money on cosplaying. If you have any comments or other suggestion for buying used cosplays, leave them in the comments below. 🙂
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!