Why We Recommend Escrow.com

PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com recommends that buyers and sellers use Escrow.com for the wedding dress transaction.  And here’s why.

Simply put, escrow.com acts as an intermediary within the transaction process. And offers protection for the buyer and the seller.

The Escrow.com (an accredited escrow company) process works like this:

  1. Buyer and Seller Agree to Terms: Both parties agree to terms of the transaction, which includes a description of the merchandise, sale price, number of days for the Buyer’s inspection, and any shipping information.
  2. Buyer Pays Escrow.com: The Buyer submits an available payment option. Escrow.com verifies the payment.
  3. Seller Ships Merchandise: Upon payment verification, the Seller is authorized to ship merchandise and submit tracking information. Escrow.com verifies that the Buyer receives the shipment.
  4. Buyer Accepts the Merchandise: The Buyer has a set number of days for an inspection and the option to accept or reject the merchandise.
  5. Escrow.com Pays the Seller: Escrow.com pays the Seller by the method selected by the Seller. The transaction is complete.

How Buyers are protected:

  • Escrow.com tracks the shipped merchandise and verifies it was delivered (assuring the wedding dress will ship before the seller receives the money).
  • The Seller isn’t paid until the Buyer accepts the merchandise, or the inspection period expires (assuring that the item is as described).

How Sellers are protected:

  • Escrow.com confirms when the Buyer receives merchandise.
  • The Seller is authorized to ship only after Escrow.com verifies good funds (assuring the seller will get her money).

For wedding dress purchases, Escrow.com requires that the buyer pay via a wire transfer (essentially a transfer from your bank account to them). They do not accept not paypal or credit cards for wedding dress purchases.

Escrow.com offer buyers more protection than paypal.  Why?  Because Paypal offers its best protection for ebay purchases.  Ebay purchases are protected under the Paypal Buyer Protection Policy. But non- ebay purchases are protected only under the Paypal Buyer Complaint Policy.

And for the Paypal Buyer Complaint Policy:
1)  A  complaint can be filed for an item not received, or an item significantly not as described

But

2)  Paypal  generally does make a ruling  for  item  not  as  received.   But generally does  not make a ruling  for an item  significantly not as described

And

3) Even if paypal does rule in your favor, if the seller has already transferred the funds from her account, paypal will not be able to return your money.

Essentially,  Paypal does provide is fast, safe,  and secure transfer of funds, but it does not provide any real buyer protection.

And just a quick word on why we don’t recommend money orders, cashiers checks, personal checks, etc.  There is just too much room for fraud when you mix those payment types with internet purchases.  Internet scammers commonly use those payment methods to work their scams.  And with those methods – someone has to pay first or ship first, and with an online transaction, that just shouldn’t be the case.

I know this is probably not the most exciting blog post you’ll read on the internet today – but I do think it is extremely important to anyone buying or selling a high priced item on the internet – and PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com considers it part of our responsibility to share it with you. Thanks for reading!

  1. This is really good information. When I bought my dress a few months ago, I was disturbed by how little protection is offered to buyers on Paypal. I wanted to use Paypal instead of Escrow.com because I thought Escrow.com’s fees were steep, but it turns out that Paypal charges the seller a percentage-based fee (I think 3%) for transactions over $500 anyway. Escrow.com is definitely the way to go.

  2. I just got off the phone with escrow.com. They DO NOT allow credit card purchases on apparel items, including wedding gowns. Very important note that is not really on the website (that I could find). Kind of important to know, I would think…. But you could possibly name your transaction something not related to apparel.. just an idea…

  3. Escrow.com does not allow credit card purchases on apparel items, but they do allow wire transfers (transfer from your bank account to them) as payment for wedding gowns.

  4. If the seller send the package, but she send stones from the road instead of the wedding dress…and then the buyer accept the package, open the package and looks that is not the thing that was expecting how you deal with the thing to know if the seller is laying or the buyer traying to get the dress free…

    1. Buyers and sellers sign a contract outlining the purchase and terms. So the item has to be as described for the buyer to accept it. For escrow.com “accepting” it means more than receiving the package.

  5. Good blog on how to go about paying for wedding dresses…..we are in contact with escrow.com to add them to our list of payment options. Thanks!

    1. The seller needs to be willing to accept escrow.com as a payment method. In our experience, many sellers simply aren’t aware of the service and how it works. Once they learn the benefits to both sides, many are willing to accept it. (And personally, I think a seller’s unwillingness to accept it after being asked might indicate a potential problem).

  6. Interesting 😉 As a buyer that works fine if I do not need to use my credit card. As a seller since I have a no return policy on my gowns…(Some people purchase them, wear them, and try to return them) this would not work well for me at all. Trust is a funny thing. I do not agree that a seller who does not wish to use escrow as a payment method might indicate a potential problem. Brides that want to make sure they get what they pay for really are best suited to going to a real brick and mortar store. I have been a buyer and a seller for over 10 years. 99% of my experiences have been fantastic the other 1% have been hell. You need to know who you are working with. That is the key! Ask questions….If you don’t feel 100% positive about it then don’t do it! As a seller I will not be using this payment method……just more food for thought 😉

    1. Hi Paige,

      Thanks for your comments. But I have to say I disagree that a seller who wants to make sure they get what they pay for should visit a physical store. Safe/secure transactions occur online all the time. Being protected – and not relying on trust – is what makes the transactions safe. Escrow.com is the best service we’ve found for protecting the buyer AND the seller.

  7. How can you (as a seller) guard against someone buying the dress, wearing it, and returning it as ‘not what they wanted’, etc., in essence scamming this sale and seller?

    1. Hi Sue,

      I do think the vast majority of buyers are honest and wouldn’t try to do this. However, for those that might not be, the best way to prevent this is to restrict the approval window to a specific time period. If a bride only has 24 hours to see/accept the gown, then she won’t have time to wear it. Also, keep in mind that the escrow.com contacts aren’t about “not what they wanted”, but rather about specifics about the gown: designer, size, condition etc.

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