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You know how holiday clearance sales usually mean the same thing as after-Christmas sales? And how candy gets big discounts after holidays like Valentine’s Day and Easter have come and gone? Well, the timing of Halloween clearance sales is nothing like that. Let me explain.
The days after Halloween are way too close to Early Black Friday deals, so putting Halloween on clearance that late is a no-no. Stores need room for all that Black Friday inventory way in advance. After all, they can’t have jack-o-lanterns hanging around when they’re trying to make room for TVs and singing Santas in early October (or before).
That’s why some stores start putting Halloween stuff out as early as July. While there are a few stores that will hold onto their Halloween inventory through mid-November, most are trying to clear their spooky goods by Oct. 31.
That means that while you can find a bit of Halloween clearance after All Hallow’s Eve, you’re gonna find the bulk of it during the month of October. And exactly when (and what) to shop for during Halloween clearance sales depends on the store, as I’ll show you below.
1. Look for Target Halloween clearance sales to start a week before Halloween.
If that’s not cheap enough for you, you can always wait for the big day to come and go. That way you’ll be able to load up on next year’s items (or what’s left of it) for less. The day after Halloween, prices get slashed to 50% off. Then, about three or four days later, they get marked down to 70% off.
Target Halloween clearance sales move fast, though. That’s because Target — like so many other retailers — has started running early Black Friday sales super early. They need to clear that shelf space for winter holiday inventory.
Best things to buy: Target’s Halloween clearance decorations.
If you’re looking for home decor that looks like it came straight out of a horror movie, Target is not the place for you. The selection of Target Halloween decorations is plentiful, but it’s mostly just cute and not incredibly scary. But Halloween clearance decorations are the most likely thing you’re going to find at Target after the holiday is over.
TIP: Prior to clearance sales, Target does also have Halloween costumes at affordable prices, along with tons of great deals on Halloween candy. Keep a particularly close eye out for BOGO offers on these items starting in mid-September through early October. While the prices may be great after the holiday, too, the inventory is almost nonexistent. Great prices don’t matter if the item you want is out of stock!
2. Walmart Halloween Clearance launches Nov. 1.
Walmart Halloween clearance kicks in on Nov. 1, and like Target, the inventory goes fast. You’ll find prices slashed by 50% off the day after Halloween, with prices dropping to 70% off just 3 – 4 days later.
Best things to buy: Walmart clearance Halloween costumes and decor.
Items will be pretty picked over, but the best things to shop for are Halloween clearance decorations and clearance Halloween costumes at Walmart. The Walmart Halloween costumes, which normally retail for $25 – $30, are usually marked down to somewhere between $4 – $8. Decor, including any leftover inflatables, will get similar discounts.
3. Spirit Halloween’s clearance sale is super short.
Spirit Halloween stores aren’t even around for very long after Oct. 31, so you’ll have to hurry if you want post-Halloween prices.
That said, you can find clearance items before Halloween, too. Just look for the wall at the back of the store. Another good way to identify clearance items is that the prices will end in “.97” or “.98,” while full-priced items end in “.99”.
But Spirit Halloween isn’t your cheapest option for clearance Halloween costumes.
Honestly, if you can find a costume at Target or Walmart, it’s probably cheaper than the one you’d buy at Spirit Halloween. The regular prices are just plain higher. That said, during the post-Halloween clearance sale, prices can get a lot more competitive — even if the sale itself is incredibly short.
TIP: Sometimes Spirit is the only place you can find a particular costume. For example, in 2022, the only place licensed to sell Hocus Pocus costumes was Spirit Halloween. So you might pay extra for that exclusivity.
4. Costco Halloween clearance isn’t really a thing.
Costco has some incredibly popular Halloween items. From the Disney Halloween Village at Costco to their giant animatronics, the warehouse is one of the most popular destinations for Halloween shopping.
Their items are so popular that they tend to sell out before Halloween even gets here — which means they sell out before clearance can even start. Plus, bulk candy items come at a great price, but they’re usually packaged so that they can be sold in bulk at any time of year. So you’re not going to see as much Halloween candy clearance pricing as you would at other retailers.
If you’re able to get your hands on some great prices at Costco in the days after Halloween, mad respect to you. But it’s going to be more of a treasure hunt than a reliable shopping strategy.
TIP: If you’re looking for the lowest prices on Costco Halloween costumes, shop the week before Halloween. The selection of clearance Halloween costumes is gonna be slim, but their prices in years past have dipped as low as $9.97 per costume.
5. Do not wait for Skelly to go on clearance at Home Depot.
If you’ve been dreaming of buying one of Home Depot’s 12-foot skeletons, you’re gonna wanna figure out a way to get your money together this year. After the 2023 Halloween season, Home Depot will be retiring Skelly for good.
That means not only will you want to scoop him up over the next couple of months, but you also don’t want to wait to get the best deal. You’re highly unlikely to find Halloween animatronics clearance deals that include Skelly this year. And in 2024, you won’t get another shot.
6. Catch Lowe’s Halloween clearance before Halloween.
Lowe’s is particularly not cool with holding onto their Halloween inventory into the month of November. So if you want to hunt for Halloween inflatables clearance deals, it’s wise to shop before Halloween actually rolls around.
About two weeks before Halloween, you’ll start seeing prices marked down by 50%. As Oct. 31 gets closer, you’ll see discounts as high as 75% off. Remember, though — they’re trying to clear shelves. If you really want an item, you might not want to wait until the sale gets better. Because if you do, it might be out of stock.
TIP: Be sure to sign the kiddos up for Lowe’s free (spooky) trick-or-treat event.
Best things to buy: Lowe’s Halloween inflatables and pneumatics.
Lowe’s is one of the first stores to bring pneumatic props to the masses. Pneumatics are essentially decorations that use the power of an air compressor to simulate sudden or human movements (aka jump scares). A good example is Lowe’s Haunted Living 2-foot Grandpa.
Lowe’s Halloween sales are also known for their “normal” animatronics and inflatables — they’ve got quite a large selection. The biggest thing to watch out for is that sometimes Home Depot has lower prices on Disney inflatables specifically.
TIP: Home Depot also wins when it comes to skeleton decor pricing.
7. Take your time with Big Lots Halloween clearance.
Unless there’s a hyper-specific item you want from Big Lots’ Halloween line, your best bet is to wait to shop after the holiday so you can stock up for next year. Technically, Big Lots Halloween clearance kicks off in mid-October, but the discount is only 20%. You’re better off waiting until Halloween comes and goes.
Usually, the days after Halloween is when you’ll see prices start to go down by 50%. By the time Veterans Day rolls around, prices are typically a whopping 90% off at Big Lots!
And unlike other stores, Big Lots usually still has plenty of Halloween inventory lying around in mid-November. With the 90% markdown, you’d be hard-pressed to find an item that costs more than $5, with most items well under the $2 mark.
TIP: Big Lots sells a lot of Halloween home decor, so that’s usually what you’ll find in the clearance section. Before Oct. 31, you’re more likely to spot some additional items like costumes and inflatables. In 2023, we’re psyched to see that there’s a Nightmare Before Christmas line at Big Lots!
8. Shop Joann Halloween clearance with a calculator.
Craft stores caught a lot of heat for how marked up their Halloween prices were last year. They blamed inflation, but it got super out of hand. Decorations you could have picked up at Big Lots for under $20 were going for $50 or more at places like Joann. In some cases, they went up above $100!
We’re relieved that it looks like Joann Halloween prices have come back down to Earth this year (so far). But you’ve also gotta remember that craft stores do tend to have inflated sticker prices — because they run a lot of sales that give you a huge percentage off.
For example, in years past you could get pricing like 70% off Halloween items two weeks before Halloween itself. That’s a pretty sweet deal.
But you’re gonna wanna bring a calculator with you. Because 70% off doesn’t mean the same thing as 70% off at Target if your base prices start out higher.
9. Hobby Lobby Halloween clearance is really just Fall items.
Hobby Lobby doesn’t actually sell Halloween decor because of…something about Satan? I dunno. My understanding of Samhain (the ancient holiday Halloween eventually evolved from) is that it predates Christianity by quite a bit — so I’m not sure how it would even be possible to have its origins in the worship of Christianity’s demons.
But, hey. We’re all allowed to have our own beliefs, and one of the many controversial ways Hobby Lobby expresses theirs is by not selling Halloween items.
You’ll still be able to find steep percentage-off discounts on fall decor items like pumpkins and other harvest items leading up to and in the days following Oct. 31.
Expect discounts of 50% – 90% off during Hobby Lobby’s Fall clearance.
Right around spooky season, Hobby Lobby’s Fall decor starts to go on mega sale. Which is good, because like Joann, they have a history of some pretty jaw-dropping markups. Here’s an approximation of the potential Hobby Lobby sale schedule for Fall clearance:
- End of August through about a week before Halloween: 50% off
- About a week before Halloween through the first week-ish of November: 66% off
- Second week of November through the week before Black Friday: 75% off
- Week leading up to Black Friday: 90% off in-store only