$ 600 for a 12 foot skeleton? Halloween decorations are getting hard to find in Houston


Are you having a Halloween party? If you haven’t lined up your decorations, you might be scared.

With two weeks before Halloween, the shelves that once held pumpkins, ghosts and cobwebs are already plucked clean, prompting serious aftermarket vacation enthusiasts – aka eBay and Facebook Marketplace – to search for skulls and skeletons at premium, if not scary, prices.

Mariana Pope said she spent a week searching for a 12-foot skeleton for her backyard in West U before shelling out over $ 600 for an occasion – double what it was selling in stores before they don’t disappear over the summer. And that could have been a godsend: the skeletons were listed for as much as $ 1,000 on Facebook Marketplace.

“We have always loved decorating for Halloween. My husband is going all out, ”she said, noting that the 12-foot skeletons first caught their attention last year and that they promised to get one. “I had no idea they were so popular.”

Halloween decorations have become another victim of supply chain bottlenecks that create shortages and raise prices, and could foreshadow a Christmas season in which much-needed gifts simply cannot be found. purchased. Bottlenecks – the result of increased post-pandemic demand, labor shortages and COVID outbreaks disrupting production – have prevented products ranging from computer chips to Topo bottles Chico to get to where they are wanted or needed.

At the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in California, where about 40% of shipping containers enter the United States, ships wait days and weeks to be unloaded and consumer goods sit on docks, waiting to be unloaded. ‘be transported to their destination.

Augie Bering, owner of Houston-based Bering’s Hardware, said he ordered Halloween-themed items months ago. He’s still waiting for most of it to happen – hopefully before Halloween.

“Things are coming, but they’re coming later than we hoped,” Bering said. “There is just a huge demand right now for the products. “

Home Depot, the retailer selling the coveted 12-foot skeleton, said it first stocked the item in July, in what it believed to be a “preview.” But the skeleton, priced at $ 300, sold out almost immediately and was difficult to restock.

The Halloween shelves at a local Target were nearly bare one recent evening. Party City said supply chain challenges have made it difficult to keep Halloween items on shelves, but they plan to restock before the holidays.

Even the Spirit Halloween decorations section seems limited. The New Jersey-based pop-up retailer said it experienced “product delays and a significant increase in shipping costs” but did not pass the higher costs on to the consumer.

Pandemic release

Most Americans (75%) will be spending money on Halloween this year, according to a recent survey of more than 2,000 people by LendingTree, an online marketplace for lenders. Candy and pumpkin carving supplies topped shopping lists, followed by outdoor decorations, which beat the costumes for third place on respondents’ shopping lists, according to the survey.

The survey found that 47% of parents plan to spend more than they can afford in hopes of making their children happy. Matt Schulz, an analyst for the company, said in a statement that the Halloween craze follows a spending trend in the age of the pandemic.

“Throughout the pandemic,” said Schulz, “we’ve heard from people who have gone above and beyond when it comes to vacations and other events to make up for how lousy the past two years have been. “

Nothing like a $ 600 skeleton to boost morale.

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