Used Wedding Dresses: Where to Buy and Sell Online
If you're in the market to sell your wedding dress or looking to buy a used one, you may be tempted to turn to large online marketplaces like Ebay and Craigslist. While these popular websites are great for listing and buying everyday purchases, a website specifically for used wedding dresses can probably offer you a better deal and a more user-friendly service for this very niche (and important) wedding day purchase. Check out our tips for buying and selling a pre owned wedding dress, as well our reviews of the best used wedding dress sites, below.
Tips for Selling Used Wedding Dresses
Whether you aren't the sentimental type or you're just savvy, selling your used wedding dress is an easy way to recoup some money from your wedding. If your dress is in good condition, consider listing it online over selling it to a thrift store, where your listing will reach a greater volume of potential buyers and can be more easily shared and promoted. A used wedding dress in great condition and under two years old can usually sell for 50 percent of the retail price. And, if your dress is a more recognizable brand like Oscar de la Renta or Vera Wang, you could make closer to 60 percent of its retail value. Even if your gown isn't designer, don't give up hope—since there's a large demand for all kinds of second hand wedding dresses, a designer label doesn't necessarily mean your dress will sell faster. Not to mention, plus size dresses are also in high demand, so you shouldn't worry if you're not a sample size.
Tips for Buying Used Wedding Dresses
Buying a used wedding dress can be a bit of a gamble, but as long you're cautious, it's a thrifty way to snag a designer wedding dress for half the retail value. Plus, if you get lucky and buy a wedding dress from someone with a similar body type, you may not have to make too many alterations, which also cuts down on your costs. As long as the gown you found looks to be in good condition (if you can't see it in person, make sure photos show it clearly from all angles or ask to Skype with the seller to get a better look), a used wedding gown can be a terrific deal. A few tips: Since your dress will have to be custom-tailored to your body regardless, a larger size is easier to work with where alterations are concerned. Fabric can always be subtracted, but adding more fabric that perfectly matches the rest of the gown can be difficult (not to mention expensive!). And because you're getting the wedding dress for a steal, you can put some of the money you save toward making sure it fits like a glove (and some extra dry-cleaning if necessary).
Where to Buy and Sell Wedding Used Wedding Dresses Online
The Knot Editor's Pick
Nearly Newlywed: Part used wedding dress boutique, part inspirational blog, Nearly Newlywed saves sellers time and stress by handling all buyer interactions and shipping. The application process is quick and easy: Sellers just submit their measurements with a wedding dress description and photos of their gown. If their listing is approved, Nearly Newlywed takes it from there, answering any buyer questions and shipping the dress directly. So, sellers can sit back and relax while the website's experts do the grunt work.
Review: Why do we love Nearly Newlywed so much? This innovative marketplace makes it easy on buyers and sellers. If you're buying a used wedding dress, the application process ensures you're paying for the real deal and not a counterfeit wedding dress. And if you're selling, once your application is approved, your work is done. Be aware this website charges a 25 percent commission fee.
Other Websites to Buy and Sell Used Wedding Dresses:
Tradesy: A fashion-forward website geared toward designer brands, Tradesy offers a streamlined interface with a quick listing process (under 60 seconds). Since the website is curated like a high-end retailer site (think: Net-A-Porter or Shopbop for preowned wedding dresses and other brand name items), users can search used wedding dresses by label, or browse listings in the coveted “Editor's Picks" section.
Review: Tradesy takes a 9 percent commission on sales, and promises prompt payment. Be aware Tradesy covers shipping and returns for most fashion items, but used wedding dresses are not included. If you're buying, Tradesy comes with a money back guarantee if wedding items are inauthentic, taking some of the worry out of the used wedding dress buying process.
Still White: A marketplace specifically for used wedding dresses, Still White may not look as fancy as other preowned wedding dress websites, but it offers a wide range of used wedding dresses, from Vera Wang and Pronovias to Essense of Australia and Maggie Sottero.
Review: This straightforward website gets down to the nitty gritty and lets users browse by dress condition, taking the mystery out of the second hand dress buying process (after all, a sample dress is usually more worn than something brand new). Sellers can create a listing for for $19.95, or upgrade to a premium listing for $29.95, which means their dress will be promoted on the site. While it's an initial fee to create a listing, the website takes no commission, meaning sellers keep pretty much all of their sales.
PreOwned Wedding Dresses: Boasting over 20,000 used wedding dress listings, Pre Owned Wedding Dresses has been around since 2004 and offers the largest selection of dresses on the web. Sellers can list their used wedding dresses for a flat fee of $25, and can negotiate the price directly with potential buyers.
Review: The trick to selling on this website is making your wedding dress listing stand out, since the quantity of second hand dresses on the site can feel pretty daunting. Though it can be more difficult to navigate than other second hand wedding dress websites, Pre Owned Wedding Dresses has some extra perks: you can also buy and sell bridesmaid and mother of the bride dresses, and there are lots of helpful wedding dress FAQs available, as well as an inspiration blog.
Where to Rent Wedding Dresses Online
Rent the Runway: It's not the most common way to find a wedding gown, but ready-to-wear rental websites like Rent the Runway have white dresses in stock that would work for your walk down the aisle, and you might even find a designer that's devoted to wedding dresses.
Review: The upside of renting is you can wear an expensive designer gown while paying just a fraction of the retail price (as low as $30). The obvious catch though is since your wedding gown is borrowed, you may have to plan around its availability, and you can't make alterations—not to mention there's a risk it's never delivered. And, of course, you don't get to keep the wedding dress as a special memento in the end.
Vow to Be Chic: Primarily a bridesmaid dress rental site, Vow to Be Chic also offers a smaller selection of little white dresses by popular bridal designers like Theia, Nicole Miller and Watters.
Review: You won't find super formal wedding dresses here, but this option is perfect for weddings with a more casual vibe and flirty second wedding dresses. Rentals start at $50, and while you can't have your little white dress altered, each order comes with two size options to ensure you get the perfect fit. And, like its ready-to-wear counterpart Rent the Runway, Vow to Be Chic also has stylists available to guide you through the rental process.
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