Life in Transition

Navigating Personal Finances During Life Transitions

Tips for Selling Your Wedding Dress

In a previous post, I shared some places where you can sell your wedding dress (or buy a pre-owned one).  I successfully sold my dress with RecycledBride and I wanted to share my experience and some tips.

I bought my dress and floral sash from David’s Bridal for $718.68 including tax.  I sold mine for a total $415, almost 60% of the original cost.

Tips for Selling your Dress Online

  1. Price your dress right.  The listing sites suggest listing the dress from 50%-75% of the original price.  If you price your dress too high, it will not sell.  My listing price was $375 for the dress and $40 for the sash.  I’m assuming that I priced it just right, since I received five inquiries within a week
  2. List on multiple sites, but avoid those with listing fees.  With sites that don’t require a fee, why list them on ones that do? Especially when a sale is not guaranteed?
  3. Include plenty of pictures from a variety of angles.  Your first two pictures should come off of the designer’s website with their model wearing the dress.  That way, if a bride-to-be is looking for a particular dress from a certain designer, she would be able to instantly recognize it.  The next few should be picture of you wearing the dress at different angles.  A woman looking for a size 8 dress will want to make sure that it looks good on a size 8 woman.  A dress that looks good on a size 0 model might not be flattering for someone wearing a different size.
  4. Write an honest, detailed description.  Let brides know whether the dress has been altered, if there is a small rip or stain, etc.  Be sure to include other accessories you may want to sell with the dress.
  5. Be prompt in answering inquiries about the dress.  Buyers love good customer service.
  6. Beware of scammers.  Never accept checks, cash, money orders or Western Union transfers.  Stick with Paypal and Escrow as your method of payment.
  7. Don’t underestimate shipping costs.  Remember that shipping cost also includes the box, packing material and tape in addition.  If the bride is not in a rush to receive the dress, the cheapest shipping option is the parcel post through USPS.  Make sure to spend the extra money to provide a tracking number and delivery confirmation.  It could potentially save you a lot of headaches.
  8. Dry clean the dress before you ship.
Side Note: In my area, drying cleaning a wedding dress starts at $130. In other words, it is not cheap to dry clean a wedding gown.  However, since my dress was simple with no extensive beading or lace, my dry cleaner charged me the prom dress dry cleaning rate of $30.  So, a less ornate dress will save you about $100 on dry cleaning, which is an expense that a lot of brides do not think about.
Have any of you bought a used wedding dress or tried selling one?

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10 thoughts on “Tips for Selling Your Wedding Dress

  1. Pingback: Tips for Selling Your Wedding Dress « Life in Transition | LifeShopping Blog

  2. I actually bought mine just recently. It was used and a co-worker’s wife happened to be selling it. He knew I was looking for one so emailed me pictures. The pictures with her in it helped me a lot more than those where it was laying flat. He also let me borrow it for a weekend so I could take it to a tailorer to see if it could be altered before I made up my mind. I ended up buying it for $45 so I think I made a great choice buying used. It’s a gorgeous dress.

    • Wow…$45 for a wedding dress! That’s impressive. Looking back, I probably could have bought a used dress and sell it again. I just didn’t want to take the time to look for the specific one I wanted for my size.

  3. That’s a good tip about the dry cleaning rate. My dress was super-simple and I still haven’t gotten it cleaned but definitely need to.

    • I experienced sticker shock when I called the first dry cleaner. Then I called every dry cleaner in town and found the rates for wedding dresses to be $100-200. Afterwards I asked my husband to take the dress to the most reputable cleaner and that’s when I found out that I could get the “prom gown” rate.

  4. I’m trying to decide if I want to sell my wedding dress. It’s been altered quite a bit to fit me better, and I’m pretty petite, so I’m not sure if my pool of buyers are that wide. I’m thinking about dying it black and shortening the hem to make it into a cocktail dress. But that will also cost money…

    • It won’t hurt to try to sell it. I also like your idea of dying it and shortening the hem. Even though it costs extra money, hopefully it’ll decrease your cost per use

  5. Thanks for the tips. Like Well Heeled, I am still deciding if I want to sell my dress. I am not super sentimental but mother is and I am not sure if I can handle her wrath.

  6. Good points. Congrats on selling your dress. I don’t believe mine has sold yet. There is a bridal consignment store in New Westminster with a million, which makes them easier to sell. I tried on several and wish I had found one there, they were so much more affordable!

  7. Great tips, I just got my wedding dress, and plan to sell it right after my wedding.

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