Here’s my little (!) guide to buying online!
Firstly, make sure that the person sends you plenty of pictures of the dress, make sure they aren’t stock pictures of the dress from the manufacturer, make sure they are of the dress you are looking to buy. Then look closely at zoomed versions of the pictures, is there any obvious damage?
Ask specific questions:
What colour is the dress?
What is it made of?
How many layers does it have?
If there is beading or lace, is it at all damaged?
What is the hem like? Is there any damage / marks to the underside. Sometimes this doesn’t matter, but sometimes you can see marks through the material.
How does the dress close? Is it a zipper / buttons / corset style?
Have there been ANY alterations?
Get specific measurements. (If they’re genuinely trying to sell you a gown they won’t mind taking measurements ad inifinitum!)
Remember Bridal sizes come up small. Its really important to check this, a street size 10 won’t be a bridal size 10!
Ask about returns, private sellers are usually reluctant to give returns but companies might.
Has the dress been professionally dry cleaned?
How is the dress stored?
Check that when you buy your dress you’re paying for postage as well. Make sure that the postage is insured and tracked if possible.
Barter if they are open to it, ask for reductions, don’t be shy, if you don’t ask you don’t get!
Do your homework, look online for the same dress and see if you can get it cheaper elsewhere – ebay etc…
If possible, find the dress in a local store and try it on before you commit to purchasing it.
Bear in mind that most brides fell in love with their dress and will consider it to be perfect, even though it might not be, ask questions, get photos!
Lastly, always use an intermediary to send money. Someone like escrow.com / paypal.com or your credit card company. That way you have some recourse if the person doesn’t come through with the goods or you’ve been scammed.
Most sellers are totally genuine, but just be careful. If you’re in any doubt, don’t do it!
Phew! I’m exhausted! I hope that helps, if you need any other help just give me a shout!