Dress up Your Surplus Inventory Marketplace This Halloween with Liquidity Services

Halloween comes a-creeping frighteningly fast every year, bringing families together for some spooky good times and helping stock the pantry with an entire year’s worth of chocolate. It also helps scare up a big spike in consumer spending, and yet is often overlooked as a retail holiday.

Happy Halloween

Halloween is also the perfect holiday for unloading your overstock and used goods. Consumers, especially younger ones, often visit Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other secondary marketplace stores to find budget costumes and decorations. Through a smart recommerce approach that’s customized to the holiday, you can sell these goods for desired recovery to eager consumers.

Here’s more about the retail opportunity of Halloween as well as how your retail business can capitalize on the secondary market.

Halloween Retail Spending by the Numbers

Let’s take a look at some numbers from last year’s Halloween season.

For Halloween 2015…[i]

  • 157 million North Americans planned to participate in Halloween festivities
  • 68 million planned to dress up for the holiday
  • 49 million either attended or hosted a party of their own, requiring expenditures for food, travel, entertainment, decorations, and more
  • Amongst millennials, 49% purchased costumes and/or supplies online, while only 34% of the revelers actually set foot in a physical retail marketplace
  • 25% of all Halloween purchases were made in the two weeks prior to the holiday itself
  • Only 32% of shoppers bought prepackaged costumes; the rest combined new and used, made outfits by hand, reused an old outfit, or borrowed from friends
  • Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram were the most active social networks when it came to sharing Halloween costumes and ideas

Overall, a massive $6.9 billion was spent on Halloween in 2015, with 2016 spending projected to reach $8.4 billion[ii], an all-time high for the holiday. The National Retail Foundation reports that some of the biggest trends this year[iii] include:

  • Millennial consumers will become the top adult generation in terms of Halloween spending and participation
  • Door-to-door trick-or-treating will near an all-time low of 29.7 percent, being replaced with “safer” events like “Trunk-or-Treating,” community Halloween festivals, and events staged at retail centers including malls and shopping plazas
  • Kid’s costumes are getting more varied than ever as gender-neutral options continue to increase in popularity

Turn Halloween Browsers into Top Customers

This time of year, consumers are visiting secondary marketplaces in droves to find low-cost costumes and decorations. These promotional ideas will help you capture your share of Halloween business and turn these one-time sales into recurring customers.  

  • Add a Halloween theme to social media posts and pictures – Something as simple as an orange background or a Halloween photo filter can help you stand out in the crowd, while Halloween-themed hashtags can help get your posts trending.
  • Promise your customers a Halloween surprise with each purchase – A bit of candy in the package, a company pen with some Halloween imagery on it… it doesn’t have to be expensive. Freebies go a long way towards turning a customer into a fan.
  • Pair items together that could make great additions to a costume – Display the vampire teeth with the fake blood capsules, or the plastic jewelry with the princess outfits. Pieces that go well together, sell well together.
  • Spice up your holiday email campaigns with Halloween images – Use pumpkins for bullet points. Underline your text with broomsticks. Put some ghosts in your “ToooOOOoooOOooooo” lines. Go nuts! Halloween is one of the few times of year when it’s almost chic to be cheesy.
  • Encourage customers to share through social media how they’re using your products – Create a custom hashtag for your customers to use, and don’t forget to return the favor by reposting the best ones. You may even think about offering a prize for best costume, best recipe, or best anything!
  • Offer Halloween specials – Consider discounting apparel and other items – such as toy weapons – that make sense for Halloween costumes. On the one hand, you’ll get rid of overstock that may be harder to sell after Halloween. On the other, you’ll get your foot in the door with new customers who may now consider you for other purchases.
  • Or try one of these 15 other great ideas from Small Business Trends.

Regardless of how you plan on getting into the holiday spirit, be sure to contact us to see how Liquidity Services can help you sell Halloween-themed surplus items on your own website, or through, our B2C marketplace. For retailers, the Halloween season doesn’t necessarily have to end at Halloween, and our experts have the tools and experience to move your unsold, overstock Halloween merchandise even after the holiday’s ended.