Post # 1
Hi, I recently tried on a gorgeous Ulla Maija wedding dress at a small boutique in Washington, DC. They told me the price is $4,900! I’m inlove with the dress but it’s way over my budget. Anyone have advice on how I can negotiate this price down? How low can I go on a custom-made couture gown? Any suggestions for wedding gown boutiques (even out of state) that I can call and get a better price?
Post # 3
I haven’t bought/negotiatied my dress yet, but I do have a tip. The best advice I’ve ever been given for negotiating anything, is to convey that you will ABSOLUTELY buy, RIGHT THEN at your desired price – if it’s a reasonable price, too. For example, say your budget is 4,000… start negotiatiing a little bit lower and say “this is my budget… if you can help me, I’ll buy the dress right now.” If the salon is interested in your business, they will most likely try to accommadate you the best they can.
Also – throughly search the Web for this dress… new, used, replicas, etc… for both alternatives to the dress and this particular salon but to also give yourself an idea of what a resonable offer will be to make.
Post # 5
totally depends on the price you want to go to. You likely wont get them down any lower than 10-20%, so if its WAY out of your budget I’d scour sites like oncewed, preownedweddingdresses, the knot classified, weddingbee calssified, craigslist, etc.
I found mine at Kleinfeld, then tried it on again at a smaller salon outside of NYC. When they heard I’d rather buy it from them, on the spot, paid in full, they knocked off 20% for me. Pretty awesome 🙂
Starbursts advice is great as well. Start lower than you want and then tehy might offer at what you wanted originally. Or get them to throw in a veil and alterations
Post # 6
I agree with KellyV – if the price is way, way above your budget, they won’t come down much more than 15-20 percent at the most, which really won’t help you. However, with the help of eBay, oncewed.com and preownedweddingdresses.com, you might be able to find a designer dress at up to half the original cost.
You could go back to the dress shop and also ask if you can purchase the sample dress for a discount. I would explain what you’re budget is, and as others have said, say you plan on purchasing that day (if you’re sure about the dress), but were wondering what they could do for you. If you’re okay with purchasing the sample dress, they might be willing to go more than 20 percent.
Post # 7
I am in a similar position – the dress I love is a little out of my price range but I am determined to make it mine! I would definitely first call around to different places and ask for a price over the phone; the price changes a little from place to place. Miss Cowboy Boot wrote a post on how she got her dress from Saks in Beverly Hills, and had it shipped to her in New Mexico and saved on sales tax (which is about 10% in CA). If you get yours at a trunk show, you usually save 10%; I emailed the designer of my dress and asked for their upcoming trunk shows and they emailed it to me right away. My friend got hers from a smaller boutique, but used the lower price quote from a larger store as leverage and got a price match, and a free veil and alterations thrown in. Keep us posted on how it goes!
Post # 8
I don’t know if this will work for you, but I pitted two rival stores against each other. I tried on my dress during a trunk show at Store 1, they didn’t keep the dress in stock, but if I ordered the dress from them within a month of the trunk show I could get a 10% trunk show discount. Then I went to Store 2 that carried the same designer. I mentioned that I was still very serious about the dress and that I’d get a discount from Store 1. So, Store 2 said if I ordered from them, they’d match the discount and give me free alterations and a veil. I went back to Store 1 and said if they could beat Store 2’s offer I’d buy from them. They beat it…15% discount, free alterations and a free veil. Viola!!
Post # 9
wow, great advice everyone..thanks a bunch! i didn’t know about the trunk show discount. free veil and alterations is a great idea for bargaining too. i’m determined to get this dress! So far Kleinfeld’s customer service said I could call the manager tomorrow and talk about the price. Btw, forget about going directly to the designer’s store (I thought it may be cheaper because I’m eliminating the “middle man”, but they said they do not discount at all). I’ll keep you posted.
Post # 10
If you know exactly what dress you want, I would email RK Bridal or Pearl’s Place to see if they also stock your designer. Neither had my wedding dress, but RK Bridal had my flower girl dresses much cheaper than the other stores.
Post # 11
Its definitely worth negotiating even at the top designer salons. As long as you ask respectfully most salons will work with you. I loved a dress at Vera Wang but it was more than I was willing to spend. i looked all over for a sample or a preowned gown but to no avail. Finally I went back to the salon and told the sales girl my budget concerns. I explained that I love the dress and although they had initially said there were no promotions I was given 10% off the dress and a free cathedral length veil 🙂
Post # 12
to tell you the truth i wouldnt bother asking for a discount from kleinfeld’s for that dress, their retail price on their dresses are way over priced. unless they are going to give you a deep and i mean deep discount. as for getting a free alterations their you can forget about it. last time i was there it was 500 for alterations and it didnt matter if you just needed a hem and a bustle. they might lower it to maybe 350.
call other shops that sell that designer and make sure you have the style #. tell them that is the dress of your dreams and you would like to know how much it is and start nego. from there.
i personaly would only go to kleinfeld’s for pnina tornai or any other designer that is only going to make a dress only for them and you cant get anywhere else and i would still nego. on the price.
Post # 13
@sbeedesign: Hi, did you get your dress at the Vera Wang in Boston? I really want a dress there but would love if they could come down 10%.
Post # 14
Uh I don’t think you can count on any bridal salon giving you a discount. That’s why it’s always better to tell them a set budget at the start of the appointment how much you want to spend, because it’s not their fault when someone falls in love with a dress that is too much!
Pretty much all I can suggest if look for trunk shows, they will usually give you 10% off when you buy at one.
Post # 15
@ChemistryBride: I was able to get one! They were running a promotion!