Wedding Dress Pre-Sale

Savvy brides pre-sell their wedding dresses.

Wondering how to score the hottest dress of the season and still keep within your wedding budget?  Today’s smart brides are choosing to pre-sell their gowns to ensure a sale (and savings) before they even walk down the aisle.

Pre-Sale is listing your gown before your wedding date.  With pre-sale, a buyer and a seller agree on the transaction before the first bride wears it.  Negotiating the selling price and other terms of sale in advance means you can walk down the aisle knowing that your dress has been sold (and part of your expense recouped).  At the same time, the next happy buyer knows exactly when her dream dress will be available – at a fraction of the retail price. Both brides win!

We first spotted the pre-sale trend in spring 2009. At that time, Vera Wang’s Audrey was one of the hottest gowns. As such, it was one of the first gowns we noticed being pre-sold.  Since then, Vera Wang’s Diana and Gemma, and Monique Lhuillier’s Candy and Sunday Rose have been listed as pre-sale dresses on multiple occasions. (And a first for this season, we just noticed a pre-rental listing for Vera Wang Holly).

Sellers listing their gowns as pre-sale report multiple inquires to their listings and positive experiences about selling their dresses in advance of their big days. As one pre-seller remarked to us, “I had my dress sold before my wedding day which was a huge relief.”  (She recouped $4000  – more than 70% – of her gown purchase).

Thinking of pre-sale for your gown?  Here are our tips.

1)    List it early.  As soon as you’ve purchased the gown, it can be listed for sale with the “dress available” date noted.  The longer your dress is on the market, the better your chances of finding a buyer.

2)    Alter your gown with resale in mind. Your seamstress can leave additional fabric in the seams, or save extra material.  Both are extremely helpful for the next bride.

3)   Price it right. Used wedding dresses typically sell for about 50% of their retail price.  Super hot styles with fetch a bit more.  But the more attractive your price, the faster your sale.

4)    Be flexible. Since pre-sale is still a new concept, be flexible on the terms of your sale so that both you and the buyer are comfortable with it. Full payment in advance is probably not acceptable to both sides, but a deposit to confirm intent can make sense.

Thinking of buying a pre-sale dress? Here’s what to keep in mind:

1) Negotiate all of the terms of sale.  Negotiate the price, but also who is responsible for cleaning, and shipping costs.  You’ll want to confirm the ship date and shipping method too.

2) Timing. Be sure to leave enough time between the ship date of the dress and your wedding date to allow the dress to be pressed and altered if necessary.

If you’ve got your heart set on a specific dress, but it’s stretching the limits of your budget, pre-sale might be the perfect option for you.  Either as a buyer or a seller!