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Buying Used Wedding Dresses

September 3, 2009

There are the sites like Ebay and Craigslist of course. But options are nice for a Shoestring Bride, especially when it comes to The Dress. I have shortlisted three websites that provide the best options and sellers out there.

Preownedweddingdresses.com

This is personally my favorite of the three. It presents the most dresses and the most searchable options. You can search by designer, size, keyword, or go advance. Seeing as it is not a consignment, there are some dresses (I) would consider still overpriced. So search, search, search. If you can afford a new dress but would like to see if you can save some money by purchasing it used online, make sure you looked way ahead of time so you have the option of ordering one from a salon (6 to 8 months) without being on a time crunch. Here are some selections:

Vera Wang $1250

Vera Wang $1250

Sample Monique Lhullier Swan Lake $1350

Sample Monique Lhullier Swan Lake $1350

 Oncewed.com

Aside from being a lovely wedding blog that self proclaims “Designer Weddings for Less”, they also have a handy dandy little section for their readers to buy and sell used wedding dresses. You can search from newest listed to oldest, designer,size, and condition. Now, unlike preowned they don’t specify if it is the listed dress size or actual (and ladies, we all know how different bridal dress sizes run) so, if you are not certain, be sure to ask the seller.

Amsale Juliette $1000

Amsale Juliette $1000

Maggie Sottero Felicia $480

Maggie Sottero Felicia $480

woreitonce.com

To me the layout of this was the least favorite of the three. You can search by designer, color, size, max price (which is a nice option) and city. If you use the search option, dresses are listed in a list format compared to the gallery format of the other two. There is no way to look at more dresses at one time per page so you end up looking at dresses twelve at a time which is fine except they have 27 pages. The display pictures in the gallery are also a smaller than the other websites which makes for claustrophobic viewing

Amsale Josie $800

Amsale Josie $800

Before, running out and buying a dress online, do your research. Print out copies of the dresses you like and take them to the store and try them on. If the style is not current or the store is not carrying them anymore, ask to try on something similar (and for Heaven’s sakes don’t tell them you are planning on buying it online and not from them). That poofy princess dress might not look as good on you as it does in the picture on the six foot model!

Have a question? Contact the seller. Ask, ask, ask. You are buying your dress which is possibly The Dress sight unseen so make sure you know what you are getting. I am not saying this to scare you ladies, just watching your backs 😉 Get more pictures of the dress on her, detail pictures, ask for pictures from her wedding day, most brides won’t mind, they just spent a fortune on their gowns and their photography, they will want to show it off! If a seller takes forever and a day to get back to you, bail. You never know if they will and with your money! If something doesn’t seem right, (i.e. – the seller has horrible grammer. And not horrible as in my kind of horrible I-did-not-read-through-my-message-before-I-hit-send-grammer) run. Trust your gut. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Remember, unlike Ebay this is not a moderated website so make sure you use a method of payment that is safe like escrow or Paypal. Ask for Delivery Confirmation and make sure you get it insured. It is a little more money for a lot of peace of mind.

Cannot afford the sellers asking price? Ask if they are willing to take a lower price. Now, don’t be tacky and low ball them, just because it is the Internet does not mean we leave our manner behind the keyboard. A polite way to ask is usually just, “Is this your best offer?”

Make sure the dress is in your size. The easier way to do it is to make sure you get your measurements taken and compare that against the measurements of the seller. Make sure the dress can accomadate you in the heels you are planning on wearing. It is always easier to take in than let out. That said, again, make sure the dress is as close as humanly possible to your actual size. I am a size 0 and samples drown me. So sample sales and sample dresses are a waste of time for me because by the time I get the alterations done, I might as well have bought a whole new dress. Ask the seller if the dress has been altered and if the alterations are reversable or if you can make further alterations because occasionally you might not be able to.

I hope this helps all my fellow shoestring brides out there. If you have bought a dress from any of these websites or even a different website, do let us know how you fared.

Credits: Pictures are taken from the website they are being sold at.

You know the drill, click through to see the dresses.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. ErinR permalink
    September 9, 2009 9:02 am

    I bought my wedding dress used online and I saved so much! I got it from http://www.smartbrideboutique.ca. I went into shops and tried on several dresses, found the one I liked best and actually found it used on the site! I saved half of what I would have spent in the store and luckily the seller was close by so I actually tried it on (and made sure it didn’t have any rips or stains). At first I was a bit afraid of buying used but I was glad I could see it beforehand and I also saved on all those shipping costs. I would definitely recommend to others to do the same, you save a ton of money that you can put towards other things for your wedding :).

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