Attire & Accessories Forum

Preowned Wedding Dresses- Experience Needed!

Hi all- so I tried on a dress in a store (okay a few different stores, a few different times) and really love it. I found the exact same dress on and really ready to buy but I'm getting so nervous of buying a dress I've never seen in person! The seller lives on the west coast and I'm on the east, so no luck going to see it in person. She included a lot of pics and I asked her to send some more of some of the bottom of the dress (to look for stains/tears/etc). It still is easily 50% off so I'm thinking if it does need to be cleaned and altered, I'm still saving some serious cash. The sizing is almost my exact measurements, but a little bigger (which obviously I'd prefer bigger to smaller for alterations). It really all seems great but I'd love to hear some peoples opinions or experience with the site or buying preowned in general!!!!

Re: Preowned Wedding Dresses- Experience Needed!

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    That's where I got mine. If you have tried it on and know it fits that should be ok. If it isn't the exact style number and size you tried on in the store then you want to think more. Make sure you know what alterations have been done and u are ok with those. Have you gotten a good vibe from the seller as far as answering questions and sending the extra pix? That was important to me to feel good about the vibe. I also fb stalked her bc I had her name from email so I could tell she was real haha Ensure that you are given a few days to be able to review the item to make sure what she sent is the same as what was advertised (same size, style #, condition as reported etc). Also consider negotiating on the price. I used the fact that I would have to pay $100 for dry cleaning as a reason I was offering a lower price.
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    I was in a similar situation! I went and tried on as close to the dress as possible in bridal salons near me just to make sure it was going to be what I wanted.
    That leap of faith is scary - especially when it comes to your wedding dress! But I just couldn't get that dress out of my head.

    Anyways, I did buy it, and I love it even more now that I have it in front of me. It still needs slight alteration, but I've saved so much money and I have a designer dress that I truly love.

    *Little negotiating power: offer a small deposit on the dress and offer to pay for shipping both ways if you don't like it. That way you are only out like $200 if you really dislike it. But if you know yourself and what you want, you will probably love the dress when it arrives.
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    I just went through a situation with using, so I thought I would share.

    I found a dress in Canada and paid using paypal, I negotiated a 48 hour look period (just enough time to meet with a seamstress).  The dress did not work for me and as soon as I let the bride know, she turned into a not so nice person.  

    She said I broke a button off the back of the dress.  I had no idea.  After looking at pics, I noticed the button was missing in the first picture of me trying on the dress in the tailor shop.  

    So inspect the dress thoroughly when you get it to make sure it is in perfect condition.   

    If you get a dress from Canada, customs will charge you a tax or some type of fee.  For a 900 dress, I paid 72.00 to ship it back to her and then was slapped with a 140 custom fee.  I knew nothing about the custom fee.  

    Just a heads up!  :)

    But if I found a dress in the US, I would be willing to try it again.  I hope this helps.
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    Thanks all!! This has all been pretty helpful! I think I'm leaning towards going with it, it's just a scary big purchase!! Still waiting for updated pics of the train so it may depend on that, but I'll definitely take everything with a grain of salt just in case it's not as good as it seems. Either way it helps that preowned does protect their buyers and that there are several happy brides who buy there! Anyways, thanks again for all the suggestions!  
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    I bought mine off POWD also. It was about half the cost of what my local boutique was charging. Luckily, I live about 30 minutes from where the seller did, so we just met up and I tried on the dress and bought it on the spot.

    Luckily (again!), my wedding planner referred me to a really great seamstress who has worked with my exact style dress before. Once I brought the dress in for her to have a look, she pointed out a lot of little things that the first girl's seamstress had done (sloppily) but that I hadn't really noticed. I thought the dress just needed to be pressed, but it turns out the first seamstress pretty much messed up the hem line and twisted a bunch of fabric in the bodice. But my seamstress has deconstructed the dress and fixed all the issues. It now looks and fits like it did when I tried it on in the store.

    The seamstress is charging me $510, which is on the high side for alterations. So just be will want to find a seamstress who has experience with your dress and you're going to have to pay a premium if the previous seamstress was in a hurry or messed anything up.

    But, even with the alterations, I still saved nearly $1500 on the dress. I'd call it a success. Good luck! I hope it works out!

    **I'd actually recommend seeing if you could take the dress to your seamstress once you get it to let her make sure it's in good condition and nothing has been done previously that can't be undone now.
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    That's great advice! I WISH I could try on the same one, it's just not doable :( 
    As it's playing out it looks like the dress will need some serious cleaning. Any bargaining advice??? I have a bad feeling she won't budge on the price since it's nearly half the cost already and MUCH cheaper than the $100/$150 it'll cost to clean the dress. 
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