I have threads about my experience:
My BAD experience
My good/informative china replica experience
Some things you should make sure you check out before buying anywhere:
*if there is a website, always check feedback OFF site, and get a feel of its them doing fake reviews, or really honest opinions.
*If ebay, make sure they have 98%+ on their feedback, and that those positives are not “soft” positives. Also that they are for dresses, not little crappy fillers to look really great. Read every negitive and neutral. There shouldnt be too many, but it can show you a different story. (“soft” Positive is something like “nice dress, will work, slow shipping but cheap” “great for its price” that means they didnt have huge standards. Happy brides are enthusisastic)
*When communicating always be simple, articulate, and to the point. But if there is a problem or you could come across negitivly, lighten it with thank yous, and light hearted incerts. You have to realize you are talking to someone who possible doesnt speak any english and is using a translation site. You dont want to come across as rude (VERY bad to them) but you need to let them know your points and that you are expecting exactly what you paid for.
*Ask for photos of their past work, and if they have made your style, or close to, ask to see those ones. If you can ask to see the details.
*If you have some time, ask to get samples of their fabric.
*Communicate ALL details, and keep the emails, BEFORE paying. That way you have records, and you can make sure its all smoothed out before production
*See if they will send photos to proof. Not all will if on a tight time limit, but if you have a little time its worth it. Make sure all worrysome aspects are included. Tell them not to send until you Okay it, and make sure ANY conserns are addressed before okaying it.
*If getting a copy not listed or a design you created, send ALOT of photos of the things that are important to you, and ask if they can come close
* Beading and lace are two of the hardest things to replicate, so ask for pics, and what kind of beading they use. I asked for very little seqins, but thats my personal taste.
*All that communicating serves another purpose, how well/quickly they get back to you, and how well they understand what you want through the language barrier.
*KEEP communicating. Ask little questions, and be nice, but to the point. Just to make sure they are still communicating, and not ignoring your order
*Pay with Paypal, using your credit card. You have two ways of saving a bad purchase, but even then not always in your favor. Paypal only gives you 45 days from PAYING not sending. And if they deny your claim you can go to your credit company. Problem is occasionally because paypal denied you they will ban you from paypal.
*Lastly, if all goes well and you did your research, realize it will not be exact. It may be not as high quality (especially if you want a replica of a HIGH end dress) There may need to be minor alterations, but you should get a beautiful dress, within your budget, that you will look beautiful in. Some brides are even more satisfied with the customization that the original.
Sorry so long. Just wanted to let you know as much as you can, from a bride who didnt take all the advice and had a few worrysome mistakes. But now I have a beautiful china replica dress I am VERY excited about.
Some good resources are:
adw2c– she is a VERY good bee to talk to, and has helpped alot of brides.
The best thread I have come across of others experiences with very well known replica makers