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Why I Sell My Cosplays

It’s no secret that I sell off my cosplay costumes. I’ve created a tutorial on how to do so and included costume sales in my list of ways cosplayers make money. Despite this, friends still ask why I’m getting rid of costumes and fans of a series ask why an outfit is gone. The opinions listed may not apply to every cosplayer, but these are my personal reasons.

  1. I’m not going to wear it again. Usually I only attend 3-4 conventions per year wearing one costume per day. Since this is a prime opportunity to meet up with photographers and explore new locations I try to maximize my photoshoot opportunities by wearing something I have no photos of. This leaves older costumes stored away and I would much rather have a costume being used in a new home than collecting dust in my closet.

  2. I can’t wear it again. I am human and naturally the size and shape of my body fluctuates over time. Some of the costumes I made five years ago no longer fit me. There is no sense in me keeping around a costume I cannot wear.

  3. Someone is willing to buy it. Selling cosplays is a bit more difficult than selling general merchandise of a series. The buyer needs to not only be a fan of the specific character but also wear a similar size of clothing to the seller. This combination makes it difficult to find someone willing to buy used cosplay. As long as the offer is reasonable I usually follow through because it may be a considerable amount of time before another buyer appears.

  4. Materials are easy to find. Some of the costumes I’ve sold have never been worn. As mentioned above, cosplay buyers and few and far between. If materials are readily available for that project, I have been known to accept an offer for an un-worn costume with the knowledge that I could re-make it at a later date.

  5. Money is money. This is the strongest of all the reasons. Cosplay is expensive, plain and simple. Even though I have an IRL job, I’m not exactly rolling in dough. Selling cosplays allows me to fund new projects. Despite barely making any sort of profit (I’m lucky if I can make back material costs) this income gets funneled back into new cosplays. This cycle allows me to keep creating new content on my YouTube channel- for example the only reason I was able to launch a new Danganronpa cosplay series before the new game release was because I sold my Futaba and Yona costumes the month prior.

Now, of course, there are exceptions to these rules. A costume like Junko that I have strong attachment to I am less likely to sell due to sentimental reasons. Liliana took so much time, money, and effort I wouldn’t be willing to sell her either, unless someone was offering to compensate me for 2.5 months of labor.

liliana vess cosplay

(Insert necromancy joke about prying this costume from my cold, dead hands here. Photo by Clouds Photography)

I hope this blog provided a bit more of an explanation as to why I sell my costumes. If you have any thoughts about this subject, please leave a comment below!

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