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The Savvy Bride’s Guide To Buying And Selling Wedding Dresses Online

Thinking of buying or selling a wedding dress online? We know you’ll have some questions about the process, so we’ve put together some information on the topics we get asked about all the time — read on to find out more!

For brides who are selling

Q: How long does it take for wedding dresses to sell?

A: There are cases of dresses selling very quickly (within hours of being listed!), but generally speaking, the average time it takes to sell a dress is upwards of 2 months. Don’t worry — once you post your listing on our site, it’ll be live for up to 12 months, and if you haven’t sold it within this time, you can relist your advertisement with just a single click.

Q: What information should I include on my listing?

A: The more information you include, the better! List when you bought the dress, what designer it’s from, the model or name of the dress, the cut/silhouette, the type of neckline and back, how many times it has been worn, and the colour of the dress.

Make sure you include pictures of yourself wearing the dress, and to provide potential buyers with more context, list out your height and weight, and give details about your wedding footwear (ie: how high was your heel) as well.

Q: How do I know if a buyer is legitimate?

A: If someone exhibits suspicious behaviour (for instance: offering to pay via money order, Moneygram, Western Union or another untraceable method, or asking you to send the dress to them before the funds have cleared into your bank account), then it’s possible that they’re not a genuine buyer. Under such circumstances, we’d recommend that you err on the side of caution, and do not proceed with the sale. You can find more about this here in our Safe selling article.

Q: What’s the best way for me to get paid?

A: If possible, meet your buyer face to face and get them to pay you via cash. If it’s not feasible for you and your buyer to meet, your best option is using a third party payment provider such as PayPal. If a dispute arises further down the road, you can rely on PayPal’s Resolution Centre to work things out.

For brides who are buying

Q: How do you deal with alterations?

A: Before buying a dress, ask about what fabric/material the dress is made out of, and whether there’s boning included — then speak to your tailor, and ask them what sort of alterations are possible. Generally speaking, altering for length is pretty straightforward, but if you want to alter the fit of a dress, this might be a little more difficult.

What some brides do is to look for a dress from a seller who has the same body measurements as they do. This way, there’s a higher chance that the dress will fit them well. Alternatively, you may choose to purchase a dress that’s one size bigger, so that your tailor can take in the dress to fit you snugly.

Q: How do I know if the seller is trustworthy?

A: If possible, meet the seller in real life — this way, you can see the dress and make sure it’s as described before passing them their money. If you can’t do this, make sure you speak to the seller at length before your purchase, and keep an eye out for any red flags (eg: if the seller doesn’t want to provide you with additional pictures, or if the seller agrees to let go of the dress at a suspiciously cheap price).

You might also want to add your seller on social media to confirm that they are who they say they are. Ask for pictures of your seller wearing the dress as well.

Q: How do I ensure that the dress doesn’t get damaged during shipping?

A: Ask your seller to pack the dress properly — they should pack it first in a garment bag, then in a sturdy box that’s the right size (so that the dress doesn’t move around too much during shipping). Ideally, the seller should also include packing peanuts to fill up the extra space. If the dress comes with embellishments such as beads or sequins, it might also be a good idea to protect these with extra layers of acid-free tissue paper.

Also, ask your seller to obtain proof of posting and insure the parcel against loss. You might have to fork out a little more for this, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind!

We hope this helps – don’t forget, if you’re thinking of selling or buying a dress, as the UK’s original wedding dress marketplace, we’re a very good place to start. Good luck!