Author Topic: How do you sell a wedding dress?  (Read 5996 times)

gbbi_977

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How do you sell a wedding dress?
« on: June 22, 2015, 04:29:28 AM »
Hello! Not a broken heart story, don't worry :) Happily married and I've decided after a few years to think about selling my wedding dress. I liked it (didn't love it), parents paid for it and won't mind if I sell it, and I figure as it's a kind-of designer dress (cost $1000) it would be nice to give someone the chance to wear it for a steep reduction (I'm guessing I'd be lucky to get $300?) and enjoy a bit of extra padding in the bank account...

Has anyone done this successfully? Is there much market for used dresses? Would you recommend a general website like Craigslist, or are there websites specifically for brides looking for second hand dresses?

Thanks a bunch.

MayDay

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Re: How do you sell a wedding dress?
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2015, 05:39:06 AM »
I donated to a prom dress program as mine did not have a train.

I only spent 400$ so I figured I would be lucky to get 100$.

raffmaster

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Re: How do you sell a wedding dress?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2015, 05:52:36 AM »
I haven't sold a dress, but am currently wedding planning :) There is www.preownedweddingdresses.com/ which is what I've seen most-referenced if people are looking for used dresses, but I have seen some on Craigslist as well. I'm not sure how much it will go for if it's a few years old, but it's worth a shot listing it. There are also a ton of charities that accept used dresses if you can't sell it.

I'm a red panda

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Re: How do you sell a wedding dress?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2015, 06:40:34 AM »
I've known people to sell them on both Ebay and Craigslist.

I donated mine.

historienne

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Re: How do you sell a wedding dress?
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2015, 09:32:57 AM »
Last I checked, oncewed.com was the other major resale site.  I was buying, not selling, so I have no idea what the process is like from that end.

expectopatronum

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Re: How do you sell a wedding dress?
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2015, 09:46:50 AM »
In addition to the above, try tradesy. I'd say your success is going to depend on the brand. A well-known "model" on one of the above websites would probably go okay. Go for those sites before eBay as I think it's where people seeking a used dress go.

However, also check for a consignment shop in your area. That's where I bought my wedding dress, at 80% "list" price!

TrulyStashin

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Re: How do you sell a wedding dress?
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2015, 10:16:19 AM »
I have a never-worn dress that I've tried to sell, off and on, for about 5 years now.  It's a classic look so it's not out of style.   My pictures are good -- not great.  I have had ZERO success.  I've used the oncewed site and Craigslist.  I may try eBay next.  There are a ton of dresses out there on the resale market.  I have an ad on CL right now for $300.  It still has the tags on it with original retail of $2650. and the markdown to $1100.   I paid $900 (it was a sample).

I may end up just donating it to Goodwill and taking the deduction. 

Good luck, I'm going to follow this thread.  Please post back if you succeed.

Edited to add:  the dress is by Romona Keveza, a hoity-toity designer. http://www.legendsromonakeveza.com/#home-1  It's 100% silk (pictures show this on the label).  I'm surprised and frustrated that it hasn't sold. 
« Last Edit: June 22, 2015, 12:31:15 PM by TrulyStashin »

CommonCents

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Re: How do you sell a wedding dress?
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2015, 11:52:38 AM »
It's hard to sell a wedding dress after a few years.  In addition to the sites listed here, maybe also check out the weddingbee.  I think they have a classified section.

happypup

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Re: How do you sell a wedding dress?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2015, 07:00:13 AM »
I bought my dress from the weddingbee classifieds, actually. The listing had been up about 2 years, and the woman said there was zero interest in it until I came along. People are looking for such specific things in wedding dresses (not to mention specific sizes/length) that I think it can really just take a lot of time for a dress to sell -- so a site like weddingbee (not sure about the others mentioned here) where the listings will persist and be searchable for a long time might be a better option than craigslist or ebay, as long as you're not particularly anxious to offload it immediately.

Anatidae V

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Re: How do you sell a wedding dress?
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2015, 07:09:21 AM »
I bought my dress second hand online from still white.com, which may be a more Australian focused site I'm afraid. It was hard work to find one I might want to buy, as I'm petite and was looking for a specific thing, so I imagine it is as difficult if not more so from the other side.

expectopatronum

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Re: How do you sell a wedding dress?
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2015, 07:36:43 AM »
I bought my dress from the weddingbee classifieds, actually. The listing had been up about 2 years, and the woman said there was zero interest in it until I came along. People are looking for such specific things in wedding dresses (not to mention specific sizes/length) that I think it can really just take a lot of time for a dress to sell -- so a site like weddingbee (not sure about the others mentioned here) where the listings will persist and be searchable for a long time might be a better option than craigslist or ebay, as long as you're not particularly anxious to offload it immediately.

+1. I think sometimes that girls will go and try them on in-store, then scour the internet for that dress before they make the purchase new. It's pretty difficult to locate your size (or one that could be altered) in the exact dress you want unless it's a very popular one or a very popular/expensive designer (where people will buy at a discount, compared to spending the same amount of money on a new dress of less well known brand), and the pressure to buy once you find the dress you want is very real, so it's a matter of luck on both ends.

The beauty of a consignment shop is that people may go in not knowing what they're looking for and just start trying on dresses. The shop I bought mine at took dresses that had been made in the last 3 years and turned them over relatively quickly. The dress I bought had actually been on the rack for some time, and my mother was able to negotiate them down another 20%! If she couldn't, though, there was another that I liked as well. Basically, the advantage of the shop over the internet is that a girl is more willing to go in with a general idea or open mind.

MillenialMustache

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Re: How do you sell a wedding dress?
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2015, 09:00:48 AM »
I bought mine on Ebay, if that helps. But, I paid only $80 shipped for a dress that was $1000+ new. I bought it from someone who was selling several wedding dresses and it had been a store display or sample. If you want to unload it quickly, people aren't willing to pay a lot for a dress they can't try on. I was looking for one $100 or less shipped. In case it didn't work out, I would be able to afford another one.

After my success, my SIL bought hers on Ebay too, I think she paid around $200.

If you haven't tried Ebay yet, you may want to. It will get a lot of eyes that way.

The others had a good alternative - searching the weddingbee board seems good because someone might do it in several months or a year looking for that particular dress.

Good luck! I realized I was very attached to mine and paid more to have it boxed ($130) than it cost in the first place. It was my second wedding anniversary present from my husband.

Candace

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Re: How do you sell a wedding dress?
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2015, 09:47:06 AM »
I brought mine to a consignment shop the Tuesday after my wedding. It sold quickly since it was an up-to-date style. It wasn't trendy, it was just (almost) new. I got about half of what I paid for it, which I think is fair because someone else is providing the venue and taking care of the buyer. It only cost $750 new (in 1996) and wasn't a major designer brand. We got the comment that it sold quickly because I didn't wait long to put it up for sale. Even today, with lots of websites available, I would go this route again. Personally I wouldn't buy a wedding dress without seeing it and trying it on, and I'll bet many of today's brides feel the same way.

I think consignment works well since you will get many more potential serious customers in the same room with your dress than you will if you're listing on Craigslist, and they will have the opportunity to try on the dress without you having to make an appointment with them.

Good luck!

nottoolatetostart

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Re: How do you sell a wedding dress?
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2015, 10:44:45 AM »
I sold my dress (still married, just didn't need the clutter dress in my closet anymore. My daughter will wear whatever she wants....her wedding, her marriage, her dress. I tried Craigslist but had luck selling to a wedding boutique consignment shop. This shop specialized in used designer wedding dresses. Another bride ended up buying it a few months later. The boutique and I split the sales price 50/50 and I got a check within 30 days of the final sale. Since I had already tried selling on CL (at a lower price), I ended up making a few dollars and had no hassle since the boutique took care of everything.

expectopatronum

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Re: How do you sell a wedding dress?
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2015, 10:48:51 AM »
That's awesome, Candace! I always think that getting 50% the purchase price is pretty fair; it's like you're splitting it with the other person AND you get to wear it first : )

I'm having trouble letting mine go. I'll need it in about a month to wear when we go to DH's home country for a small reception (generously hosted by his mom). After that, I do doubt I'd wear the entire dress again, but it's so hard to let it go. I'm not even holding onto the "my daughter might want to wear it" even though it's an all-over lace dress because 1) I may not have a daughter and 2) choosing her own dress can be really special too. It's just...such a gorgeous gown...

I'm a red panda

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Re: How do you sell a wedding dress?
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2015, 07:02:00 AM »

I may end up just donating it to Goodwill and taking the deduction. 


I recommend trying to find a charity that takes wedding dresses specifically.
Goodwill will have the same trouble selling it as you did- as that really isn't their market, and when they don't sell things they go to bulk fabric sales, where it just gets shredded and recycled or stuffed as mattress filler in developing countries.

Of course, if you can't find one locally (mine went to a place that specialized in prom, but also did wedding)- Goodwill does take them, and you do get the deduction!


Random thought: The trying on in store and finding online is the reason a lot of boutiques won't let you take photos until the deposit has been put down!
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 09:56:42 AM by iowajes »

Dicey

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Re: How do you sell a wedding dress?
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2015, 09:29:19 AM »
I think sometimes that girls will go and try them on in-store, then scour the internet for that dress before they make the purchase new. It's pretty difficult to locate your size (or one that could be altered) in the exact dress you want unless it's a very popular one or a very popular/expensive designer (where people will buy at a discount, compared to spending the same amount of money on a new dress of less well known brand), and the pressure to buy once you find the dress you want is very real, so it's a matter of luck on both ends.
A friend's granddaughter did this. Tried on the dress in CA, and then scoured the internet. Found the dress and discovered the seller was a college friend in Boston! GD also wanted extra fabric to beef up the straps. Turns out friend had ordered extra fabric and ended up not using it, so she had that, too! It pays to look and be patient.

I'm a red panda

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Re: How do you sell a wedding dress?
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2015, 09:57:19 AM »
I looked into selling, but now I'm thinking of cutting it up and dyeing it to make shibori couch pillows. Or a skirt.

Sounds fun!

The only thing I'm sad about having donated my dress for is my train was so beautiful and I would have loved to make a baptismal gown out of it!