AGeekyGal’s Cosplay Guide: Buying a Cosplay Online

AGeekyGal’s Cosplay Guide: Buying a Cosplay Online

So you want to buy a cosplay online and have no idea where or how to start? I’ll break it down for you and even discuss my own experience with buying cosplay online. If this is your first cosplay, start here!

Unfortunately, I don’t know how to sew (as may be your case as well). My first ever cosplay was in September of 2015. I agonized over this costume. I wanted to make it myself and had saved tons of tutorials to my computer. I was determined I was going to make my cosplay… Until I realized I didn’t have a sewing machine and literally had no experience with one. That’s okay though. I’ve since bought my cosplay and plan on revisiting it later when I’m more skilled and knowledgeable to handcraft it like I had originally planned (maybe).

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Before you consider buying your cosplay online:

  1. Press Start. Ask your fellow cosplayers! Ask your friends and family! Where do they buy their cosplays? Are there sites or sellers or commissioners they would recommend? Do they have cosplays for sell? Would they mind helping you make your cosplay? Start in your immediate circle before branching out. You’d be surprised that you may not even have to buy your cosplay from a website!
  2. Research. Take this time to Google what you can. Write down site names, look for reviews on these sites (youtube and the reviews on the sites themselves are good places to start), and cross off the poorly reviewed ones. There’s also groups on Facebook that have cosplays and wigs for sale, offer commissions, etc. Check out the blacklist in these groups too; if they don’t seem to have one, message a moderator and ask for the list. Those are the people you shouldn’t do business with. If you choose to go the Facebook route, pay with PayPal using Goods & Services. The seller will pay the fees and if anything goes wrong, you can file to get your money back with PayPal.
  3. Check out commissions. If you know someone, or even someone who knows someone, who has a portfolio to show off their sewing and crafting skills, it wouldn’t hurt to get your cosplay priced out by them. Keep in mind that you’ll most likely be paying for materials and labor, not just materials! You’re paying for high quality work here too. This cosplay should last and last (with the right seamstress).

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When you buy your cosplay online:

  1. Look for your costume specifically. What I mean is: look up the costume by your character’s name and the name of the show. You’ll get better, filtered results this way. No one wants to dig through hundreds of pages for a Sailor Moon costume with things like “crescent moon necklaces” and “lunar eclipse sunglasses” popping up alongside the actual costumes.
  2. Look at the reviews for your costume. Say you’re on AliExpress. The store you’re shopping with has high reviews and lots of favorites! Sounds like it’s pretty reputable. Now, when you get to your costume, look at its reviews. These are separate from the stores reviews and favorites. Sometimes they’ll even have pictures with reviews which I love and count on the most. This helps you know what you’re really getting!
  3. Compare prices. Now it’s time to really utilize those browser tabs! Find your cosplay on several pages and compare the prices! Lower is not always better but it’d good to know the average price for the cosplay itself.
  4. Get out the tape measure. You’ll need to measure yourself for the best fit. Most likely your cosplay will be in standard Chinese sizes which differ from what you’re used to! So get out that fashion tape measure that you bought years ago and take your measurements: neck, chest/bust, waist, hips, arm, inseam. See this link here for how to measure yourself!
  5. Compare your measurements to the provided sizes. Click on the sizing chart. Most cosplays should have a sizing chart available. If not, contact the seller for one. Now most people will be between sizes. My personal rule of thumb is to buy the size that accommodates my largest measurement which is my hips. I can get the rest of the cosplay tailored if needed.  The flipside is to think about how the cosplay should fit you: Should it drape and flow? Should it be tight and form fitting? Using your measurements, choose the best size for you. Another option is to see or ask the seller if they offer custom sizing, then you can give your measurements to the seller. Always add a little wiggle room in your measurements if going with a custom option!
  6. Email the seller any questions. Ask them about sizing, fabrics, shipping, when you would receive it, or anything you need to know before you place your order. This is a great opportunity to feel out the seller and make sure you’re getting what you pay for!
  7. Order the closest size to your measurements. After double checking your measurements and asking the seller all of your questions, it’s time to place your order!

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After your cosplay arrives:

  1. Carefully inspect the cosplay and all the accessories. First insure that you have received the full cosplay you ordered. Check that all pieces are accounted for. Next, check for loose threads, glue, missing buttons, stains or anything that is not right. Take photos of any damage for reference. Unfortunately, things happen, and if your cosplay is damaged or missing pieces, it’s time to email the seller. If everything is right…
  2. It’s time to try it on. Hopefully those measurements were right and your new cosplay fits like a glove… or however it’s supposed to! Take pictures of the front, sides, and back to make sure it all fits right. If it’s uncomfortably loose in some areas, it’s time to take it to the tailor. If it’s too tight, double check the measurements and politely contact the seller.
  3. Test it with your wig, shoes and make up. Once your cosplay is the right fit, it’s time to put it all together before the con. Make last minute adjustments and buy any necessary accessories.
  4. Leave an honest review. Just do it! Now everyone else can find a great cosplay and reliable seller like you.

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Places to buy your cosplay from:

  • Facebook Groups – Before doing a search for your cosplay and size, take a look at all the files and documents for the group. This should include a blacklist. Stay away from anyone on that list! They are a no-go for purchasing your cosplay. Ask for pictures of the cosplay and up close pictures of damage. Always use PayPal’s goods and services when purchasing from individuals. They will get charged a small fee, but PayPal protects you if something goes wrong. If a seller asks you to pay through PayPal’s friends and family, it might be a scam!
  • Etsy – Choose a shop with tons of reviews and read them all: the good and the bad. Take into account the complaint and how the seller handled the situation. Look at their listings and note the quality of their skills. If you’re still unsure, send them a polite message about the cosplay they have listed.
  • Ebay – Be wary if you decide to go the Ebay route. See if anyone has purchased the cosplay before and see if they wrote a review. Read all the rates and feedback on the seller before making a purchase and don’t be afraid to ask for more pictures or precise measurements! Many times stock photos will be used over and over again so check that if the seller is using a stock photo that their own logo is on it.
  • AliExpress – This site should come with a big, fat warning sticker. Be aware that everything ships from China and could takes months to arrive. Research any shops you’re considering buying from. Read all the reviews on the shop then all the reviews on the cosplay. Try to find reviews with pictures. Research the hell out of this one before making a purchase.
  • Other sites: EZCosplay, CosplayMagic, Uwowo, CosplaySky, Hello Cosplay, Amazon, HotTopic

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Some tips:

  • Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for not making your cosplay.
  • Make sure your cosplay is comfortable for sitting, standing, and walking.
  • Do your research on any and every seller and website.
  • When leaving a review, add photos.
  • Iron your costume (if possible) before the con. Shipping adds folds to the garment and a quick ironing will take them out!
  • Now get out there and cosplay!

Got any tips for buying a cosplay online? Share them in the comments!

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VGC Day 23: What game do you love to play with friends?

VGC Day 23: What game do you love to play with friends?

I don’t get the chance to play video games with friends too often. When I was younger, my brother and I loved fighting games like Soul Caliber and Mortal Kombat. However, I found most 2 player games lacking. It was pretty hard to find an enjoyable two player game that wasn’t a shooter.

A year ago, during a trip to visit my then-fiance/now-husband in Ireland, Alec introduced me to Lego Star Wars. It was pretty fun, and I didn’t have a problem with the game itself. The real fun came later when my husband arrived in the US. He introduced me to Lego Harry Potter.

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Initially I thought these games were just for young kids and had zero interest in playing them. That all changed one Saturday night on the couch when we popped in Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4. I loved playing this game. And I loved it even more playing with my husband as it really required some team work for puzzles, but we could both loot individually.

It was an experience to see Hogwarts as well as Diagon Alley and other locations in lego form. My favorite part is definitely being Hermione and using magic. The game makes it fairly simple to use magic, and the puzzles are really fun. Alec and I really have to pick this one back up for another Saturday game night.

Want to see more of the 30 Day Video Game Challenge? Want to try the challenge yourself? Read this post here!

What game do you love to play with friends? Let me know in the comments!

 

VGC Day 10: What game destroyed you emotionally?

VGC Day 10: What game destroyed you emotionally?

So many games can fit here: Heavy Rain, Beyond: 2 Souls, Life is Strange, Kingdom Hearts, etc. Several games have made me cry openly, either with sadness or happiness. I knew there was only one that really fit the bill for this question though.

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I want to take this one back a bit to my first visual novel: Katawa Shoujo. The game itself is free and totally NSFW (it contains sexual content). It’s so beautifully done that I couldn’t believe it was free to download and play. It’s about five high school aged girls and one guy (who you play as) all living with different disabilities in a high school that cares for students with disabilities.

You are Hisao Nakai. Hisao suffers a heart attack caused by long dormant cardiac arrhythmia. After a lengthy hospital stay, he transfers to a new school with specialized education and care. Here he meets five different girls and has the choice to come to terms with his own disability.

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Through a series of choices by the player, you’ll end up with one of the five girls (or another, different ending). You are able to play through her “story” and all of your choices have an effect throughout her story line. During my first play through, I got Emi.

Emi has prosthetic legs and is a track runner. She’s extremely extroverted, funny, stubborn, and just really upbeat. Hisao ends up being her running partner as a way for her to instill some exercise into his routine and keep tabs on him for the school nurse. Emi also finds it hard to get close to people which I identify with completely. Needless to say, I immediately fell hard for Emi’s character.

I played KS like I play any choice game: the first way through is how I want to play it, then I go back and try to get things “right” or get a different outcome from what I has before.

Never have a I cried so much over making the “wrong” choice in a game. It felt like my heart had broke in two. I knew I couldn’t go back yet to make a different choice, so I finished the game with tears streaming down my face. Once I was done sobbing, I tried again, shooting for Emi’s good ending. I had to. I was so emotionally invested in this girl.

The emotional investment didn’t end with Emi though. Just about every girl in the game had me in tears at one point or another. I can’t recall the last game that made me cry like that…. and that’s why KS is the game that destroyed me emotionally.

Want to see more of the 30 Day Video Game Challenge? Want to try the challenge yourself? Read this post here!

What game destroyed you emotionally? Would you like to see a Saturday Suggestion on Katawa Shoujo? Let me know in the comments!

Link Loves

Link Loves

Welcome to the third installment of Link Loves. This post is all about my favorite links of the week! It can include bloggers, articles, news, clothing, accessories, and other cool links I’m enjoying. *Some affiliate links have been used. Check out my about me page to learn more about these links.

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Quibbles & Scribbles gives us her first look at Marvel’s Runaways Vol. 1-3. I had no idea there was also a TV show out featuring the same characters but Quibbles & Scribbles gives us a great look at some of the similarities and differences between the two. Photo courtesy of Quibbles & Scribbles.

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When games meet movies, how high (or low) are your expectations? Which movies have flopped and which have held their own? Check out Ambi Gaming Corner’s post on Game Movies then read through the comments. Voice your own thoughts on game movies!

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John from It’s More Than Just Gaming unboxes Gloomhaven! Check out the video and pictures of this detailed and beautiful game! Photo courtesy of It’s More Than Just Gaming.

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Nothing says Captain America like apple pie. Just ask Monica at Popcorner Reviews. Check out her easy mini apple pie recipe and enjoy with your favorite avenger movie. Photo courtesy of Popcorner Reviews.

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Are you seeing THIS?! Pokemon terrariums?! Take all of my money! No plants so no watering actually required is a bonus for me! Photos courtesy of PalletCraftsByXev.