(Closed) Pros/cons of buying a sample online or a dress new w/tags?

posted 5 years ago in Dress
  • poll: If you had already tried dress on and loved it in store:
    Yes, I would buy sample online. : (12 votes)
    27 %
    Yes, I would buy dress new with tags, unaltered online. : (18 votes)
    41 %
    No, I would not buy sample online. (please share why not) : (4 votes)
    9 %
    No, I would not buy dress new with tags online. (please share why not) : (1 votes)
    2 %
    Yes, I would/did buy used/worn dress online. : (6 votes)
    14 %
    No, I would not buy used/worn dress online. : (3 votes)
    7 %
  • Post # 3
    6123 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    @Shkragoldfish:  I bought a sample gown at a bridal shop.  It may have some makeup inside the dress at the bust (if really bad, a cleaning can fix that up).  It might have some minor issues from being tried on so many times (broken hook, missing bead).  But that’s about all the cons I can think of with sample gowns.

    Post # 4
    1360 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2014

    Well, I didnt buy mine new with tags, it had been used, the bride used it as a reception dress, and she had bought it as a sample. I know girls have bad experiences, mine was amazing. The dress fit my measurements to a T (to a half inch) and was in almost perfect condition (there was a small rip in the bustle that I fixed for $20) I actually saved about $4000 on the dress, and on top of that also around $1000 on alterations! But that isnt what you’re looking for. She bought the sample, and it was in perfect condition, so its a good idea I think.

    If you have to take it in considerably, in this case from a size 12 to a 2, beware of the type of dress you’re getting, if it is heavily embroidered or beaded the alterations might be very expensive. I would also recommend buying the sample from an individual, not a sample store I guess you could call them. The individual bought it because she planned on wearing it, she made sure it was in great condition. The store wants to sell their sample. That’s just my opinion.

    Post # 5
    2055 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I said I’d buy an unaltered NWT dress online (even altered), but not a sample. I would rather buy a sample in person that I’ve tried on, and that I’ve seen with my own eyes so that I can fully assess what I’m getting and what alterations need to be done. So, the biggest con to me would be the money wasted/additional stress caused should the dress turn out a whole lot more worse for wear or if I have to spend a ton to alter it or buy another dress anyway.


    But everyone is different, and the biggest pro to me is the money saved on buying either online. I think as long as you’re super diligent about researching the dress, sizing, seller/site reviews, etc., there is a good chance you’ll have a success story!

    Post # 7
    175 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: February 2014

    I would buy (and did) new with tags online. 

    I would not buy sample online, samples may be abused and unless you see it and can judge for yourself you won’t know until it is too late, plus they don’t discount samples much from what I have seen.

    I would buy a sample in person if it is what I wanted and I could decide on the condition myself.

    I would only buy a used, worn, altered dress online if it had a ton of pictures and was really, really cheap since it will be a risk, the fit will be changed, you will have no idea of the condition until you get it and chances are you will still have to spend to alter/clean/fix the dress.

    Most women expect way too much money for their resell dresses, they seem to think that they should get to wear it new for less than half the original cost and that figuring in alterations (which you will likely need yourself anyway) is part of the dress cost.  Don’t ever pay more than half the cost of the dress itself alone for a used dress. 

    Post # 8
    3371 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    @Shkragoldfish:  I have my dress already, 12 months out from the wedding…it’s currently hanging in a giant opaque garment bag over our bedroom railing (we live in a loft apartment). Fiance doesn’t want to see it before the wedding, so I’m not worried about him peeking. Plus he already knows which dress it is. Can you convince your Fiance to respect your wish not to look at your dress before the big day? I also have a special box (which you can get from most wedding dress dry-cleaners) which is opaque too, you could potentially get one of those. Assuming you’ll be steaming the dress prior to your wedding, of course. 

    @Shkragoldfish:  I bought my dresses online, sight unseen – I took an even bigger risk because I hadn’t tried on any of the dresses beforehand. But I had tried on similar silhouettes and styles and know what suited me and what didn’t. I bought my Vera Wang for 65% off and two Reem Acra gowns (one NWT unaltered) for 85% off. 

    There are cons of course – measurements being off, the condition being worse for wear – but most of these can be minimised by doing your homework beforehand. Know your measurements – or even get yourself professionally measured by a seamstress. Get as many photos as you can of the dress you’re buying, and details from the seller regarding condition, any flaws or marks, alterations etc. Pay using Paypal, so you’re covered, and always opt for an insured/trackable shipping method. Do all of these things and you’ll likely end up saving yourself a good chunk of money.

    Post # 9
    1004 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    i didn’t buy mine online, but I did get a sample from a local store and a very deep discount.  If you know how said dress fits, I think its worth a shot.


    Im sure that scams take place, but I have not heard of a lot of them n the bridal world.  If it were me though I’d ask for lots of pictures to ensure quality , ask for an flaws or things that need automatic attention and I also might ask if the seller has feedback of any kind anywhere online.  I’ve been selling stuff online for years via ebay and other webboards, so I like to see that in others I purchase from as well.

    Post # 10
    1004 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    @Shkragoldfish:  I would ask a friend to house it for me…one you trust of course 😉 I dont think most guys will peek though…

    Post # 11
    175 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I did exactly that!  The dress I decided on was selling for $3200 at the salon I found it at.  I went online and saw a salon selling their sample for $850.  It was in great condition and the sample size was surprising smaller than usual so it was in my size (6/8). Our wedding was also less than 6 months away, so I didn’t have to worry about it coming in from Spain and doing a rush fee.  The salon had great reviews so I wasn’t worried.  In the end, I saved over 70%!  Win-win for me  🙂


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