How to Put Together an Awesome Cosplay With Free Stuff

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CC SA Ruth Suehle

Sure, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But you can still get a lot of good stuff out of company loyalty programs–some more than others. You probably have at least one grocery store discount card and have joined a few restaurant programs for the free desserts on your birthday. But there are a few loyalty programs that help you out without a single purchase. Put the right ones together, and you could have your next cosplay put together a lot easier. Here are a few of my favorite loyalty programs that help you get something with no purchase required.

First, the costume…

HerosTime sells costumes (largely of the spandex sort), wigs, and assorted other costuming needs. If you create an account on the site, you can get 50 cents credit every day for just logging in. That’s $15 off your next costume just by logging in every day for a month. Keep going long enough, and it’s possible to end up with a free costume.

I’ve been participating since the end of September. The caveat is that there’s still a warning on the page where you check your balance that lets you know that due to an increase in orders around Halloween, they reset all of these login credits to zero on September 1. I’m assuming it’s possible they may do this again anytime, particularly around that time.

Next, the shoes…

Zappos was the next site I found to offer a similar credit-for-login system, but it uses points instead of money. They launched a new rewards program this past October. I haven’t bought anything since then (though I certainly have spent enough on this particular site in the past!), but I’m already well into Gold level status from simply having logged in fairly regularly. That means my free 2-day shipping is now free 1-day shipping, and I’ll get early access to sales.

Eventually, the program should offer discounts, but I haven’t reached that point yet. If you’re a frequent shoe buyer, you should look into DSW‘s more traditional points-to-dollars program, which results in regular discounts. Combined with their clearance prices, you can come out with great shoes for very little money.

And the makeup…

For even the most casual make-up wearers, Sephora’s loyalty program is worth enrolling in. For pure make-up junkies, it’s a must. Just by enrolling in Beauty Insider, you get a free birthday gift (no purchase required) and free beauty classes. This year’s birthday gift is a Tarte blush and lip paint or Caudalie serum and moisturizer.

Ulta offers a similar reward, but the birthday gift changes every quarter. For the first quarter of 2017, it’s a 0.25 oz Benefit the Porefessional. Last year’s gifts included Urban Decay eyeshadow and Benefit Roller Lash.

Lastly, a surprise each week…

The last one I’ll mention isn’t quite zero purchase required, as you have to already be a T-Mobile customer. But if you are, you should enroll in T-Mobile Tuesdays. Every Tuesday, you get something for free. You generally have to redeem it that day, but, hey, free stuff. It’s frequently a movie from Vudu and a Frosty from Wendy’s. Domino’s Pizza and Zappos had unexpected success with their programs, so much so that the Zappos redemption was unavailable for much of the day and Domino’s had to back out of the promotion. Even cosplayers need to eat and watch movies. And you never know what else might pop up on a Tuesday.

Do you know of others like these? What are your favorite loyalty programs?

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