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Top Ten Halloween Income Streams

No contest, hands down... Halloween is my favorite holiday! In addition to planning our Film Society's annual Halloween event, I also spend hours online, gleefully researching spooky décor, making notes on Halloween crafts and recipes to try, and researching the latest in Halloween technology.

While engaged in such research, I was thinking about how your love for Halloween might lead you to many lucrative income streams. So whether you have a talent for cooking, crafting, decorating, or if you're just good at selling stuff, I think you'll find something in this list that you'll like.

1. Selling Halloween costumes: This one requires a little investment and patience because it won't pay off until next fall, but you can make some decent cash this way.

Seasonal stores like Spirit Halloween and Halloween Express typically set up shop in a vacant storefront around the first of September and sell a ton of Halloween merchandise between then and October 31st. But the day after Halloween, they slash their prices 50% or more to clear out the merchandise.

A few days later, they close up and ship out all the costumes, décor, and accessories to a warehouse to await the next Halloween season... but you can show up there on November 1st and buy that merchandise at rock bottom prices, then wait till next September to sell it on Amazon, eBay, or Craigslist.

Grocery stores and department stores often have even greater markdowns. One word of advice: Stick with the classics - vampires, ghosts, devils, etc. Don't buy anything topical - that is, related to currently popular TV or movie characters or something that is a current fad (think of all those "Jersey Shore" costumes languishing in warehouses somewhere) - because next year it might not be a thing anymore and won't sell.

Alternatively, if you have sewing skills, you could also sell or rent used costumes that you make or refurbish yourself, or offer to do costume alterations. Obviously, there are a lot of possibilities here!

2. Creating Halloween wearables: It doesn't take a lot of design skills to create a funny or catchy slogan or graphic for a T-shirt, hat, hoodie, or baby apparel. Use Paint or Photoshop software to create your design and sell it online at Café Press. Your designs can also go on mugs, tote bags, and other accessories.

3. Selling Your Pumpkin Carving Skills: If you have some artistic talent and a set of pumpkin carving tools, this is a fun way to make some extra cash. Come up with some unique jack-o-lantern designs, carve them, and photograph them to create your "catalog." You can also buy space at a flea market and display your wares. And if you're feeling really ambitious, you can roast and season the pumpkin seeds and sell those, too!

4. Being a Halloween Makeup Artist: Again, if you are handy with makeup or paint, you can make a nice chunk of change applying Halloween makeup or temporary tattoos. If you want to get serious about it, create your "repertoire" and photograph it, then create a simple website to display your work in order to recruit customers. Or you could set up a kiosk at a fall festival or Halloween event and do basic face painting for kids. You can even buy the makeup, brushes, and supplies at a discount when they go on clearance after October 31st.

5. Halloween Party Planning: You can offer a Done-For-You party, or you can sell a "Party in a Box." If you want a hands-on party planning business, you provide the decorations, Halloween-y snacks, scary entertainment, and the spooky sounds and music. If you want to do a Party in a Box, you can sell a package including paper goods, recipes, decorations, a CD of scary music and sounds, and anything else needed to throw an awesome Halloween party.

6. Selling Your Services as a Halloween Decorator: If you have a flair for holiday décor, you can get busy people to hire you to decorate their homes or businesses. Again, you can pick up a lot of the decorating stuff on clearance after Halloween and resell it at full price.

7. Making Halloween treat bags: You can create goodie bags for people to give to trick-or-treaters on Halloween night or at Halloween parties. Simply collect small toys, pencils, stickers, temporary tattoos, etc., from online sites like Oriental Trading and package them in cute Halloween-themed bags.

Again, you can also get super deals on these items on clearance at grocery stores, dollar stores, and department stores after the holiday and save them for next year. If you want to include candy, you can buy it in large bags (Costco is a good source), though you can offer the option of candy-free bags for those who would prefer not to distribute sugary treats. Needless to say, candy is not one of those things you should buy now to save for next year.

Also, if you like to cook or bake, you can make Halloween-themed candy and⁄or baked goods and sell them in your neighborhood or at local venues. Make sure to check on what permits would be required in your area to sell homemade foods.

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