Tips to Know Before You Buy
Below are five tips to keep in mind prior to starting your search for the perfect mascot costume.
1. Knockoff costumes might violate intellectual property rights
Most mascot or character costumes made or designed in the US have some level of copyright or licensing covering intellectual property rights. Using a knockoff costume could make you subject to direct or indirect legal action to protect those intellectual property rights, so make sure you’re shopping for a product that is ethically and legally constructed.
2. It’s better to purchase directly from a licensed manufacturer
Though you might find cheaper prices from using a generic mascot company, you should always purchase a costume directly from a licensed manufacturer or distributor. By doing this you can be sure that you are getting authentic merchandise and that you will receive the quality product you need. Furthermore, several mascot manufacturers include a warranty with their products that can help to further solidify your confidence in the product.
3. You get what you pay for
Most knockoff costumes are not made in the US and can have serious quality issues. Though the price tag may be higher for authentic costumes, you will ultimately save yourself money, time, and stress in the long run, and it keeps you from having to shop again in the near future.
4. The display photo of knockoff costumes might not be accurate
Companies selling knockoff costumes typically display a photo taken from the internet of the original manufacturer's or the distributor’s website. Despite what’s displayed in the photos, these imitation costumes don’t usually have the patterns or molds to recreate the costume. This reduces your chances of receiving anything that looks similar to the image on the website and is almost a guarantee that the quality of products is far inferior.
5. Non-US companies likely won’t offer a warranty or exchange policy
Dealing with companies outside the US eliminates the possibility of any warranty, nor does it guarantee that any return or exchange policy is actually unenforceable. This means you have no credible warranty, no way of securing a refund, and no reliable possibility that repairs can be made.
What to Look For When Buying
Now that you have an idea of what to expect during your search for the perfect mascot costume, these tips can give you a direction on what to look for so you can seal the deal on your ideal costume.
A really low price is a warning flag
Like most things, price is always your first clue. As the saying goes, “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” and this couldn’t ring truer when it comes to buying a mascot. As a rule of thumb, most quality mascots prices start around $1,000. So if you’re looking at a mascot costume that’s under $600, chances are it’s most likely not made in the US, not made with quality products, and will not have a warranty.
Verify the costume is made in the US
If you find a costume that sparks your interest, be sure to check the website, to verify that it is made in the US. If you cannot find a clear answer, contact the business to inquire about their location.
Verify that you are buying from the copyright owner or licensed distributor
Look carefully at the site and product reviews and make sure you are buying your costume from either the legitimate, copyright owner or one of their licensed distributors.
Verify licensing agreement
Remember that not all mascot manufacturers have licensing agreements. Be sure to look for one that clearly verifies their agreements. This not only protects them but also protects you as well.