Post # 1
I had a light bulb moment today. Weddings are one day and on average a couple spends $24K on a wedding. After the day is over most of those items are useless. Some of those items were probably never even used and are still new in the package. So, I thought, what if there was a store where brides could come sell their un-used or barely (one day) used items at sort of like a “Plato’s Closet” store. The brides can recoup some of their money and new brides could shop and get some deals on their upcoming wedding supplies. I think I would carry dresses, children’s tux and flower girl attire, china, linens, centerpieces, serving dishes, decorations, favors, etc. My question is that I am not sure brides would shop at a place like this. I am afraid for some people the “second hand” stigma would keep them from shopping even though probably half of the items are either brand new or only used for a few hours. I might even offer rental on some other items that you don’t traditionally purchase for weddings. Please give me any thoughts, comments, or suggestions on this idea. Thanks!
Post # 3
Maybe, but as long as it wasn’t over-priced. I personally did not end up buying anything from past brides in my area- they wanted really high prices! (For anything with “wedding” attached to it.)
Post # 4
I would totally check it out! I’m always looking for a bargin 🙂
Post # 5
I would have used this while I was planning my wedding. And I have a few things I could probably get rid of now – flower girl basket, my wedding shoes, my veil, hair flower, etc. I think its a great idea!
Post # 6
UM YES! I love thrift stores! Now imagine a thrift store dedicated to weddings
Post # 7
This usually doesnt work because the items are usually high priced because the sellers use the argument that the items are “barely” used, since they were only used for one day. Wedding items are only intended to be used once so they arent “barely used” they are “fully used.”
I would buy used linens, centerpieces or decorations for my wedding but not clothing.
Post # 8
I would definitely use this!
Post # 9
I would use one if the items were decently priced. itd be good for items like caketoppersm, decorations and cake cutters, etc.
If you are actually considering doing this, you should be aware that thrift stores can be difficult to operate successfully, especially if the brides receive a percentage of your profit margin. Just make sure you crunch your numbers, before you move forward. Especially if you want to rent a store front. I’m just not sure its financially viable, when you take into account overhead costs and variable expenses
Post # 10
Well, I actually think I would operate on less of a consignment type basis and more like “Plato’s Closet” for those of you who aren’t from the area here is a link to how they operate….http://www.platoscloset.com/how-it-works
Basically, brides can bring their items in and we will make an offer or negoitate a price to purchase the items. This way there are no percentages back to the bride, etc. I think it would be easier to operate in that form. I shop thrift, antique, and even craigslist alot myself. I noticed on Craigslist today a huge number and variety of wedding items. Some very good deals. I could even negoitate prices this way and then resell them in the store.
For example this ad mosted almost a month ago: http://clarksville.craigslist.org/clo/2246476323.html
She is asking $250 for a dress that retails at $800 at Davids Bridal and it’s never been worn. Even if I can’t get her to lower the price any, there is still plenty of room for mark up and still offer an excellent discount to a potential bride.
What do you think? Are the wedding gowns not worth the hassle? Should I try to go soley with decorations, linens, etc?
Post # 11
@Enb0114djb: For a used wedding dress, I don’t think most people would pay much more than $250 (regardless of it was worn), especially for an 800 dress. I just don’t think you’d get a lot of profit margin. and if you buy the products up front, you might end up with a large inventory you can’t resell. From what I’ve heard, a lot of brides have had diffulty selling their dresses. My sister has been advertising for 2 years online and has lowered her dress to $100, and still no bites.
Post # 12
I’d probably stick to decorations/linens/etc. only and not mess with the wedding dresses. Brides have a lot of attachment to those gowns even if they claim it was never worn, and you’ll have a hard time getting them for decent prices and selling them at any kind of profit.
Plato’s closet also gets shipments from actual retailers on stuff that wouldn’t be approved for the sale floor (kind of like TJ Maxx) so I think if you combine people’s stuff that they bring in along with some contracted brand new pieces from retailers, you’d have a good thing going.
There’s my .02!
Post # 13
Preownedweddingdresses.com and oncewed.com make a killing on the used dress market (I am talking about people buying dresses in the thousands range) so yes, there is a market for it. I am not really sure this is a new market though. It might be interesting to have a comprehensive site though. I guess weddingbee classifieds already does that kinda?
A brick and mortar consignment or thrift store is a bit more difficult because you have to count on lots of people getting married. Also you are competing with the websites I just mentioned where brides set the price and pay little or nothing to sell their dress.
It could work but I think there are better places already out there. Thoughts?
Post # 14
I agree that having some new items available would be beneficial and I think it would make the shop appeal to a wider audience. On the topic of the online retailers, I agree they are obviously profitable. I guess my only counter to that would be that I don’t know that I would buy a wedding dress (especially one that costs thousands) online without trying it on. Maybe it’s just me but, a lot of times things look good on the hanger or on the model in the ad but, then on me look awful. I don’t think in Nashville we have a very good selection of “wedding supplies” locations. It seems like most places are outrageously priced and you can find items at local thrift stores, etc but, it would require a lot of time to search each one for wedding specific items. If there were a store that provided discount items all in one location for weddings only, i would definitely atleast check it out. Thanks for all the thoughts comments and suggestions too!
Any other thoughts?
Post # 16
Could work. I know Bridal Garden in NYC is a non-profit consignment and sample store and they do very well. Part of that could be the altruistic mission though.