Tips and Tricks for Buying or Selling a PreOwned Wedding Dress

If you were to buy a new Mercedes for $90,000 and own it for 1 year, the cost would break down to 17 cents a minute.

If you were to buy a wedding dress for $5,000 and wear it for 5 hours, the cost would break down to $16.67 a minute.

Buying a preowned wedding dress (or selling your dress after the wedding to recoup some money) is an idea that just makes good sense.  If you are smartly thinking about buying or selling, here are our tips and tricks for a successful transaction.

Tips for Buyers:

  • Research the gown’s retail price online and in bridal boutiques.  Knowing a dress’ market value will help you in your negotiations.
  • Whenever possible, try on the gown at a local store (Many pre-owned gowns are still available at retail) so can see how it fits/flatters your figure.
  • Ask detailed questions: when and where the gown was purchased, the fabric, detailing, alterations, flaws, cleaning and storage.  If the gown is over 2 years old, ask about yellowing of the lace or other fine fabric. Ask to see photographs of the gown from all angles, including details.
  • If applicable, confirm if the gown is authentic to the designer and not a copy. A certificate of authenticity, a photo of the label, or a copy of the original store receipt are some ways to confirm this.

Tips for Sellers:

  • Provide as much detail as possible about the fabric, the detailing, the fit/alterations, etc. Offer a copy of your original receipt.
  • Provide photographs from different angles, including full length shots of the dress front and back.  Include photos of any detailing like beading or trim, how the train looks down and bustled. Photos taken in natural light are best.
  • Be honest, accurate and complete about any flaws to the gown. If the gown is new and unworn, flaws are typically not an issue.  But if the gown was a sample or used in a wedding, provide detail about the amount of wear and any marks, pulls, tears or stains.
  • Have a reasonable price expectation.  See our pricing suggestions and guidelines.

For Both:

  • Protect yourself in any online transaction.  Get the buyer’s/seller’s full name, address and phone number.  Use a protected payment service like so you have recourse if an issue arises.