DropShipping Halloween goods [Updated for 2021]

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Whether you love or hate Halloween as a holiday, it is most definitely a time that businesses can really increase their sales. If you’ve lived in the UK for any length of time, you’ll know how Halloween celebrations have grown over the past few years – in fact, revenue from the celebration almost doubled in size over five years – and it shows no signs of growth slowing. A lot of that can be accredited to the internet and sharing websites like Pinterest, with ideas from the US making their way into our collective consciousness. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can use DropShipping in your online retail business to increase your profits throughout the spooky season.

Types of products

Things have come a long way in the world of Halloween products since we were kids. More often than not, our mums would cut arm and neck holes in a bin liner or an old bedsheet, pop it over our heads and add a hat or maybe some face paint for going out “trick or treating”. That might have worked well for us back then, but today, the norm is a brand new, full costume and a special Halloween bucket for their treats. Not only that, Halloween has become another excuse to decorate the front doors, and even the interiors of our homes.

Whether your customers are likely to want to go for the full-on orange and black scare-fest, or they are looking for something a little more refined with black accents, creepy figurines and pumpkins, there is a huge range of products to consider listing in the run-up to Halloween.

Halloween costumes

While there are easy DIY options that many parents are happy to use, there are just as many who would rather buy everything in one go to keep things simple. Since kids grow so quickly, year after year they need new costumes – and even if last year’s costume fits, often they want the excitement of something new. Not only that, there are plenty of events around the Halloween season that mean grown-ups need costumes too. Parties, dances and accompanying little ones as they go trick or treating are all opportunities to make sales.

While Halloween celebrations are likely to be much more restrained this year owing to the global pandemic, we anticipate that there will still be celebrations. We’re hearing about communities setting up COVID-safe Halloween ‘trails’ for children to see decorations, and smaller groups getting together for Halloween-themed tea parties. For retailers, that means opportunities to make sales of masks, false teeth and fangs, as well as Halloween-appropriate jewellery for a little more subtle nod to the season, as well as makeup, face and body paint and other cosmetics. For families that can’t go out because they are self-isolating, matching Halloween themed pyjamas (pyjamas for all the family make a great photo opportunity – as we have seen become more popular over the past few Christmases) are becoming ever more popular too.

Halloween decorations

There has to be suitable decorations for Halloween – especially in a pandemic year! There is always a huge demand for carved pumpkin and jack-o’-lantern ornaments throughout October, but they are just one décor option to offer your customers. You might also include fake headstones, witchcraft related items such as cauldrons and broomsticks, spiders, ghosts and zombie decorations.

Fog machines and old fashioned lanterns can increase the spook factor, but there are plenty more alternatives too. There are many customers who will be looking for more glamorous décor – so finding glitter or sequinned items can help to increase those sales too. These customers are often the type who would talk about their finds on their social media, which could help to dramatically increase the reach of your brand, so encourage them to tag you in their posts.

Although the country is currently not subject to any lockdowns, many of the celebrations will be outdoors, so there will be demand for indoor and outdoor decorations.

Party supplies

Whenever there are parties happening, there is almost always a demand for disposable table cloths, napkins, paper plates and so on. Spooky party supplies are likely to be up again this year, and we are betting there will be more than enough customers looking for them to make it worth your while sourcing and selling them. Don’t forget to look for the most sustainable options when you’re searching – customers want convenience as well as wanting to know their purchase impacts the environment as little as possible. We reckon that compostable, anti-leak options from our supplier Zume would be absolutely ideal – sign in to see the range.

Games and toys

As Halloween is still likely to look a little bit different from the norm this year, parents and carers will be looking for different ways to mark the occasion. Where smaller parties are happening, there will be a need for party games! While there are plenty of lower cost options such as ‘dress the mummy’ (using rolls of toilet paper), party organisers may be looking for spooky pinatas and games like ring toss, dart boards and quizzes.

Party organisers are often looking for party bag fillers that aren’t just sweets too – so adding temporary tattoos, mini toys like bouncy balls and Halloween themed paper bags are great ways to meet those requirements.

Sweets and treats

Let’s face it: for most of us, celebrating Halloween isn’t about the tricks at all – it is about the treats and sweets! With many customers still shopping online, customers will be looking to order their treats. That doesn’t necessarily mean candy or chocolate (supermarkets are likely to have the lowest prices, so it will be difficult to compete with those if you are DropShipping) but look at how you might be able to market items like candy floss makers, cupcake tins and boxes, and Halloween themed sweetie bags for at-home treat makers.

Sourcing Halloween goods to DropShip

Although you’ll find plenty of products by searching for ‘Halloween’ in the Avasam catalogue and anywhere else you might be looking for products, there are other keywords that might uncover products that nobody else has found. Even the best systems, or suppliers don’t always tag products with the right keyword – so by searching for different keywords, you might just hit on a product that becomes your best seller through October.

Some of the keywords we think are worth searching for, apart from Halloween costumes and so on include:

  • Black cat
  • Bones
  • Cauldron
  • Coffin
  • Ghost
  • Gravestone
  • Monster
  • Skeleton
  • Skull
  • Spider (and webs!)
  • Vampire
  • Witch

Don’t just rely on these ideas though. There are plenty of keyword finders that you can use online, or search for “Halloween words” – you’ll find thousands of pages with ideas with very little effort.

Reducing the risk of selling seasonal stock

Although it presents a potential increase in profits, to buy stock for seasonal events and keep it in a warehouse is risky. If it doesn’t sell, you’re left needing to hold onto it until you can sell it for a lower price – in this case, after Halloween, or you’re stuck holding onto it until the season rolls around the next year. But holding excess stock means that you can’t use that cash for other stock for the rest of the year. And of course, if it hasn’t sold this year, there is no guarantee that customers will want it next year either – and so the cycle continues until you cut your losses and dispose of the stock.

This increased risk means that many retailers avoid selling seasonal products, because having liquid cash to be able to put into stock that will sell year-round is more important. Buying stock isn’t the only way to make those sales though. Selling products from suppliers who send orders directly to your customers is DropShipping, and although established retailers often avoid DropShipping due to many suppliers being in China, more UK suppliers are getting on board. Selling this way means that your customers benefit from you having more to offer, and you make more sales.

By DropShipping Halloween goods from Avasam suppliers, you benefit from:

  • Not needing room in a warehouse for stock
  • Not needing to store stock for another 11 months before you have the chance to sell it again
  • Being able to source thousands of products
  • Being able to start and stop selling those products as demand flows
  • Fast delivery from suppliers UK locations, keeping customers satisfied (unlike DropShipping from the far east)
  • Automation between you, suppliers, sales channels, and shipping companies
  • Integration with existing inventory and order management systems so your Avasam orders can be processed with no additional systems for you or your team to learn

With so many events on the retail calendar over the next few months – Halloween, Bonfire Night, Black Friday and Christmas to name just a few – there is never a better time to make additional sales. Being able to profit from them effectively, without tying up your cash is easier than ever. sign up for your free Avasam account to take a look around the platform, and book a call with a member of our team – we can talk you through the process, and help you to connect with your existing systems.

The Takeaway

Selling seasonal products for calendar events such as Halloween shouldn’t be an effort that puts your business at risk the rest of the year. Working with suppliers to sell items using the DropShipping model is easy to implement, and means that you can make sales of products that are only in demand for a limited time. You’ll be able to keep your customers coming back, and by keeping your cash liquid, you can capitalise on other opportunities that will bring more returns for your business.

If you want to get started selling Halloween products, or any of the upcoming seasonal events with no risk and no upfront investment required, sign up for your free Avasam account to start listing today.

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Dawn Matthews
Dawn has worked in technical and customer supporting roles for over 20 years. Most of her career was spent in technical services at top rated UK universities, which has given her a keen eye for detail. A lucky escape led her to the field of eCommerce in 2017, and she’s never looked back.Dawn studied in the field of social sciences with the Open University, achieving an MSc in Forensic Psychology at the same time as working two jobs. She regularly applies principles of psychology from her studies to her work, and outside of her role at Avasam she is busy writing her second book.Follow Dawn on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/dawn-matthews

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