This is the beginning of a multi-part series on how I am going to build a Krampus Costume. The mask will be an authentic Austrian Krampus mask imported into the US, and the rest will be stuff assembled here (fur, belt/bells, claws, basket, childrens body parts, etc.). The first few parts will deal with the importing the Krampus Maks into the US and all that it entails. It starts with trying to get some of these mask makers to even respond to my emails. Here we go…

I wanted to get a real Austrian Krampus mask. Actually I wanted to get an entire costume, but I found out that it would just be WAY too expensive.

There are basically 3 ways to get a Krampus mask:
- Contact a mask maker, purchase it from him directly, and have him ship it to the US
- Go on the Austrian equivalent of CraigsList (there are 2 of them, linked below) and buy it from an individual and have them ship it
- Go to the Krampusshop (link below), which is a store that sells Krampus items and also sells masks on consignment, purchase from them, and have them ship it.

Austrian Craigslist:

    • Krampusshop:

      I looked at the Austrian equivalents of Craigslist. You could find really good deals on used masks there. Like upwards of 75% the price of buying a new one. The problem is someone could just take my money and never ship it. There are other problems that I will discuss in greater detail later (essentially since it is art they will have to prove that they paid VAT and they will have to offer some sort of proof that the mask was not stolen – IOW, they have to have the original purchase receipt). So, buying via the Austrian Craigslist is out of the question.

      I looked at a whole bunch of Krampus Mask makers. I tried to figure out, as best as I could, how much a mask would cost – some had prices, some did not. In addition, some simply did not have any in stock, and would only make them on demand/request, and were backed up till October or later. I wanted it sooner than that. I was (am) hoping to get one in time for DragonCon 2015 on Labor Day weekend.

      So immediately I narrowed down my search to masks that were ready to ship. At this point I’m looking at new, used, or un-purchased masks “from the previous season.” I also tried finding information for my favorite mask maker, Thomas Einwaller, but apparently he isn’t making masks anymore, and also his masks are incredibly expensive! I found 1 used one for sale for 1800 Euros. OUCH! I ended up looking at about 4 different mask makers. I perused the sites and put pictures and prices (when given) into an Evernote file. I then sent some of the pictures to some friends to get their opinions on which one they liked the best. I would weigh that with the price and my own opinions to make a final decision.

      So I contacted all of the mask makers, 1 of which was one of my other favorites (and was the guy I am going to buy a mask from, but more on that later). I wanted to know IF they would even ship to the USA, and how much the shipping charges might run, and what would be the best way to get them the money. I got NO responses. A couple of them I contacted a few times over the period of a month. I got no response. The one that I ended up going with I emailed the email address on his website w/ no response. 2 weeks later I used to contact form on his website to contact him. No response. I found his Facebook page, liked it, and posted there, asking my questions. I got no response. It is worth noting that my emails were all in both German and then English (in case they spoke English and my own German was un-readable). Nothing. No responses from ANY of the mask makers. More in the next installment…

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