- 5 years ago
- Wedding: September 2013
My long winded dress story, feel free to ignore if the sight of reading it gives you a headache 🙂 some tips on buying dresses used online.
I’m a HUGE fan of Say Yes to the Dress, but out of all the dresses I ever saw on that show there was actually only one that REALLY made me wish I was rich and could buy a fancy wedding dress. In season 4 episode 8 (The Voice of Reason) the red headed bride at the very end of the episode looked so great in her dress, and I was actually able to see myself in it in my head. But I turned off the TV and got back to homework.
Fast foward to many years later, me and my guy were talking about tying the knot and wondering if we could afford it. Originally my max budget for a dress was $2,000, which is a HECK of a lot, but after so many years of dress worship I was willing to pay out of my pocket and bend over backward to get something NEW that made me feel my best. If I could find a dress that did it for me for $300 then all the better. I bought a Bridal Bargains book…and it convinced me that I shouldn’t go absolutely nuts on my dress budget and that I could really reduce my budget by buying my dress used. I was REALLY impressed with some of the gorgeous dresses I could find at a great discount if I was the 2nd wearer. I found a lot of lovely options both on eBay and preownedweddingdresses.com (I even saw some of the ACTUAL brides from Say Yes to the Dress selling their dresses on preownedweddingdresses.com).
Tip: on eBay run a search using key words that will get you the options you’re intereseted in (ex: Vera Wang Gemma) and then save that search. You can then go to that search under MyEbay and adjust for what length of time those key words will be monitored for new auctions. You’ll get an e-mail once a day with all new auctions with those key words. If there are no new auctions then you don’t get an e-mail.
So on preowned I decided to search by “my shape”, and suddenly I recognized it…I had never known the name of that dress or the maker but I recognized it (Rivini: Aria). The dress was new/unworn and the only alterations that had been done were to make a 6 into a 4. This dress had been released only once in 2006 and has no known common bootlegs. I got into contact with the seller and we agreed to a price of $2100 and that I’d have 2 weeks after receiving it to decide if I wanted to keep it, before we exchanged money for the dress we became Facebook friends and talked a lot. I was confident of who I was buying from and that it was legitimate. Plus also it helps that PayPal protects buyers on payments sent through them of up to $5,000. I called Paypal up and asked questions, if for some reason my seller didn’t hold up on their end of the bargain they would back me up and give me back my money.
Tip: Preowned and the Bridal Bargain book REALLY like escrow.com for sending payment, but I think PayPal is better for this type of purchase. Why? Because I can charge the money as a purchase on a credit card, and if all else fails you have the fraud protection of your credit card to back you up. This is a CHARGE to a credit card, not a money request from the credit card. I called escrow.com and they said that they SPECIFICALLY do not allow wedding dress purchases on a credit card because they ran into issues where brides would decide too late the dress wasn’t right and have the money forcefully taken back from escrow using the credit card’s protection. Whereas paypal encouraged me to use a credit card for an extra line of defense. Paypal may send the money to the seller all at once up front (no monitored 50% before shipment and 50% after being received and approved of by the buyer) but overall I felt better protected in their hands.
So did I save money by buying my dress ‘used’ online? No I actually went over my max budget, but I have something I never thought I’d be able to have. A dream dress that fits me like a glove right away (minimal alterations needed, I just need to bustle it). I’ve already lost some weight, but it’s comforting to know that if I need it I can let out the dress another inch because the last owner had it taken in. I have no regrets and couldn’t be happier about wearing it to my Sept. 2013 wedding. And afterward, I’m going to sell my dress to another bride and make back at least half of what I spent. $1,000 may seem like an expensive ‘rental’ for a gown, but this wedding dress will fill me with a lifetime of memories and confidence even if I won’t own it for life.
Tip: The following is only for financially responsible brides that pay all their bills on time. I charged the $2100 to a new credit I opened and dedicated SPECIFICALLY to only that dress. This credit card (Citibank) gave me 18 months interest free on all purchases. So I made that one purchase on the card, put it in a drawer at home, and am slowly paying it off over 18 months.