By: Kiernan Manion

When you think of how far away Halloween is, it may seem a bit early to consider what costume to put together, let alone where to begin looking, but now is actually the ideal time of year to start planning. For consumers and business owners alike, commercial-driven holidays like Halloween can sneak up on you, and for the Army Navy Surplus industry, the summer is a great time to prepare for this large potential wave of business.

Surplus Today sat down with the owner and operator of Joe’s Army Navy, Jeff Goldsmith, who provided some concrete information based on his years of experience with selling Halloween merchandise in an Army Navy store. Jeff’s influence and knowledge on the topic is integrated within this articleYou might be asking yourself, “What would surplus have to do with Halloween?” The fact is that the many authentic, quality-made products found in these stores make excellent contributions to costume ideas for a variety of themes and styles.

People want to utilize a good costume that’s quick and affordable, and the variety of options that a surplus/Army Navy stores offer do that very effectively. The large variety of unique, rare costume accessories like dog tags, badges, ghillie Suits, chains, belts, holsters, bags, boots, helmets, hats and goggles are just some of the many awesome costume additions that surplus outlets offer year-round.

Surplus stores sell accessories and clothing products that are the real deal, far superior to other Halloween stores and online products. Think about the many toy (and perfectly safe) weapons, such as toy knives and guns. Be careful how you sell and market these, though; caution against having these at schools, businesses, or bars for risk (even as toys) and to stick mainly towards private parties and always exercise safety.

Many popular movies and TV shows feature prominent characters with distinct looks, and several of the assorted products and pieces found in these shops can take a costume from cheap and boring to realistic, flashy and complete. Costumes based on adventure heroes like the Indiana Jones movies and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider games, video games like Call of Duty and other various ideas could be enhanced by these specialty products.

Costumes inspired by the military and armed forces are also a popular trend among surplus stores and Army Navy retailers, and without question, the authentic artifacts and costume details offered make a decent costume great. A few costumes to check out are Army Recruit, Soldier, Marine, Sailor, SWAT Agent, Drill Sergeant, General and Pilot among plenty of others along the tactical and military themes.

Consumers also tend to be happier around Halloween, as opposed to more stressful holidays where consumers worry about money and what to buy other people. Instead, they are all about enjoying themselves and seem to be in better spirits. Businesses and consumers should plan in advance for buying and selling costume pieces. Business can pick up as early as the 10th of Oct, but gets really busy in the final two weeks of the month, especially the first Saturday before Halloween and even worse if the 31st falls on a Friday or Saturday. It’s also worth noting that many Halloween-related transactions are final sale with no returns.

Whether you’re a consumer planning on dressing up for Halloween this year, or a Army Navy Surplus owner or operator constantly on the lookout to attract new business, consider the topics discussed here, and remember the dynamic between the enterprise of Halloween shopping and Army Navy Surplus when you’re planning your costume for this year.