Buying a wedding dress online is a great way to save money on the dress of your dreams. Not only that, but you are contributing to a cool sisterhood of a traveling dress, reducing your wedding’s impact on the planet and preventing something beautiful from sitting unused in a closet.
But, whenever you buy something online from PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com or any resale website, it is important to exercise care during your transaction and make sure you protect yourself.
I’m happy to say that in the five years we’ve been running this website, we’ve had only a handful of transaction issues. However, just yesterday, we were presented with two different sellers who demonstrated how important it is to ask the right questions and to protect yourself.
The first woman, selling this amazing Ulla Maija Blythe dress, updated her listing several times after posting it – to ensure it was a complete, accurate and full disclosure of the condition of her gown. The dress is beautiful and the repair needed is minor. The woman who buys this gown will get a stunning dress and save $4500 from the retail price. This seller is a great representation of the honesty and integrity that the majority of our sellers possess.
But, we also had a situation yesterday where we had to remove a listing from our site due to validated concerns that the seller was actively misrepresenting her dress. We have only removed a few gowns from the site over the years, but we have always taken buyer protection very seriously.
The best protection we can offer you is information. When you find a dress you’d like to purchase on this site, here is what we recommend:
1) Know the gown’s retail price. Go to the designer’s website, online wedding retailers, or to your local store to see the gown’s price. Researching this price will help you negotiate the amount for which you purchase the gown.
2) Always ask questions. Ask the seller for a complete, clear and full disclosure of the condition of the gown. And ask her to provide it in writing/an email and to provide images if necessary.
3) Confirm if the gown is authentic to the designer and not a copy. A certificate of authenticity, a photo of the label, or an indication on a store receipt are all ways to confirm this.
4) If the seller has indicated she has a receipt – ask to see it.
5) If any information is missing from the listing (year purchased, preservation method, etc) – ask the seller to give you that information.
6) Protect yourself during the money exchange. Paypal and Escrow.com both offer protection for buyers and sellers. Paypal offers protection for the actual money exchange (funds are guaranteed). Escrow.com offers protection for the money exchange and the actual transaction (that the item is shipped/ is as described). You can read more about each service here.
Ultimately, it comes down to trusting your instincts, being smart, and protecting yourself whenever and whatever you buy online.