(Closed) New to the Hive & Need Help with Buying a Preowned Dress

posted 8 years ago in Dress
Post # 3
3526 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010


These are all preowned dress sites:


I think just use the same smarts you would when buying something off of eBay. Ask for proof. A lot of people would save original receipts or tags. Ask for pictures of the dress label. Ask where they purchased it and see if it’s from a authorized retailer of that brand.


Post # 4
5823 posts
Bee Keeper

I would only buy with Paypal, because they have buyer protection.  NEVER send a check or money order!  Also, it’s generally quite obvious when a dress has been worn before, the floor hem will be dirty (and it doesn’t come off usually).  If it says “New with tags” that’s your best bet!  I purchased my dress from eBay “new with tags” and when I received it, it was pretty obvious that it was in fact new.  I had a great online wedding dress purchase experience, so don’t be scared, there are good dresses out there!  Good luck!

Post # 5
8 posts
  • Wedding: December 2014

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!


Post # 6
7975 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

wow, there is some GREAT advice in this post!

Post # 7
66 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I hear you, it took me forever to make up my mind. I just bought a dress from oncewed, and I’m also getting a custom made gown. I never thought I would end up with two dresses.


I bought one dress fron once wed before(so I guess that makes 3 dresses total) it was a JCREW new with tags only tried on, it fitted perfectly but it was tea lenght and I changed my mind after getting it back from the dry cleaners, and they removed the tags so I guess I’m stuck with a third dress ha ha!


Don’t be afraid, a lot of brides take really good care of the gown and they just need more space on their closet.


Good luck!

Post # 8
1288 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union

I bought my dress from bridepower.com and I love it. I think most, if not all, of their dresses are samples. So they’ve been tried on, but never worn outside. My dress was pristine!

My biggest piece of advice is to try on the same exact dress in a store if possible. I tried on mine at Vera Wang and then bought it online. If you can’t do that, at least try on the same shape from the designer.

If you’re buying from a private seller, get many many many pictures. Close-ups of the hem, seams, detail work, everything. Make specific requests so that you know for sure they have the dress and are not just using stolen photos. And then use paypal.

Post # 9
1042 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I have some tips!

And to quickly piggyback onto something Mighty mentioned, PayPal doesn’t have very good protection outside of Ebay. This is why I used Escrow.com…

I bought my dress through a seller on PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com. This site recommends that you use escrow.com to buy your dress. Basically what happens is, you get to write up your own contract and terms, you submit payment to escrow.com and they hold it until you get your goods and inspect them, and then once you verify that everything looks good they release payment to the seller and everything is completed.

So…mine went something like this. I found the seller on the site, wrote up the terms and gave myself 7 days to recieve the dress and make sure that it really was new. I made sure to include in the contract that the seller must include the original reciept, etc (preownedweddingdresses has a whole page about good things to check for and consider). I submitted payment to Escrow.com via a wire transfer (you could also do check, or credit card), the buyer sent the dress, I inspected it and made sure it was exactly as I wanted and notified Escrow.com who sent the payment to the seller….it was actually really simple. I had a great experience!

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions about my experience.

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