03 January, 2012

How-to: Sell Your Wedding Dress Online

This post might be a little late, but I know a whole bunch of beautiful ladies who have just recently gotten hitched that might be interested in this post.

And if you ever want to sell a car, it’s a pretty similar process, too.

Back-story: When we got engaged back in December 2009, I was frantic (as many brides can be) and I was immediately daunted with finding the perfect wedding dress. The one that everyone would gasp and say “that’s so Sarah” (as opposed to “That’s So Raven”)…you know, to make the ENTRANCE OF A LIFETIME. I immediately tried on every single dress in Charlotte and Atlanta. I probably tried on about 250 dresses by February 2010. I felt time was running out. My heart was beating so fast at every second of the day. Oh good LORD, I must find it so they can order it so I can get it fitted so I can get accessories, hair, makeup, bridals…It was all so much to handle. Also, I had been reading wedding blogs like it was my job (mostly, while I was at my job) and I had become a HUGE fan of Claire Pettibone gowns. They were romantic, some were edgy, and they were from England…most importantly, no one I knew had worn anything like it. So I ended up leaving a bridal salon in Atlanta (which will not be named) immediately knowing I hated the dress that I just plunked one grand on. And that’s just to order it…

When I got home, I Google imaged it (that phrase is a verb in my vocabulary) and found this beautiful woman wearing the same dress I had just bought. And it looked amazing on her. I had hope. I clung on dearly to this hope and this picture for 5 months until the dress arrived. (Seriously, this woman is gorgeous, here is her cute blog, too). I am a professional stalker.


Fast forward to 5 months later, and as much as I had stressed about the dress, I convinced myself it would be wonderful.

And then I tried it on…

photo (15) Blech.

I hated it, Can you see my hate in this picture? I understood what they kept telling me “you have to wait to pass judgment until you get it sized” bullsh***. Nope, I hated it. HATED IT.  I needed another dress. How could I get married in something I was unhappy in?

But I had to sell this one. Oh and the salon in Atlanta knew I hated it, but you sign these contracts that they will not return them because the are “custom”. And I was just so unhappy.

Solution: Buy a new dress and sell the old one.

I used www.Preownedweddingdresses.com which is actually a really fun site to peruse and learn of new designers, and you can see how things actually fit real women as opposed to the heartless models that are usually used for bridal lines. Seriously, those girls are all 7 feet tall and approximately 95 lbs, aka not real women.

Step-by Step Listing:

    1. So for a small fee ($335), I listed my dress (for about 10%off of the price I paid for it) on Pre-owned Wedding Dresses
    2. Uploaded pictures (the ones from the Claire Pettibone website, no one wanted to see my sad face)
    3. Researched other for sale dress descriptions and wrote my own very detailed (and honest) description of the dress
    4. Filled in every single bit of detailed information including size of dress, street size of dress, actual length of dress with 4” heels, dimensions of bust, etc. This was probably the most tedious, but well worth it task of the listing process.
    5. Also, it is important to figure out who will pay for the shipping, the buyer or seller. Since I was not-super desperate, I ended up tacking on about $50 to the shipping price, knowing I would ship it priority (it is a big shipment!)
    6. Wait patiently. Within about one week, I had about 10 emails about the dress! Many people ask dumb questions like:
            • “will it look good with tan skin”
            • “can I buy it for 1/25th of your asking price”
            • “can I come to your house and try it on tomorrow, I live in Canada” (um no, that’s creepy and you live in CANADA< what?!)

I wish I were kidding.

But after about two weeks of fielding some very interesting offers, I find a girl that is very interested in my dress. After exchanging our actual email addresses, we emailed back and forth for about a week. She would ask very good questions and I would answer the best I could. I was very honest with her and told her that I had changed my mind and wanted a fuller skirt and a different dress for my wedding.  We also agreed that this purchase was a FINAL SALE, no returns as long as the product was what I had promised. She decided to buy the dress (hallelujah) and we started the actual “Selling” process. Oh and I agreed to drop the price a bit more for her since she was hesitant about buying it online and I just wanted to get it out of my house at this point!

Step-by-Step Selling:

    1. The website Preowned Wedding Dresses promotes and encourages the selling process to go through a third party website called Escrow.com.
    2. Create a free Escrow account and then send bill to email address of buyer.
    3. Wait for buyer to create their own Escrow account and accept terms of purchase. (Again, I emailed her and told her that this was indeed final sale and we agreed upon this statement)
    4. Buyer submits money order/credit card/etc. to Escrow.
    5. Escrow then emails you (the seller) and says that “the money has been accepted” and will be held by Escrow until the buyer receives the merchandise.
    6. Then you ship the dress via whatever method that you and the seller have agreed upon. I ended up overnighting the thing to California via FedEx (the buyer got a little ancy). This cost me about $80. Since I had already told her it would only be $50, I gladly ate the $30 to get rid of the dress ASAP. However, the buyer ended up paying the Escrow fee as well, and I think that was about 3% of the purchase?
    7. The buyer them signs back into their Escrow account to confirm that they have it and accept the purchase.
    8. The Seller gets a check within 5-8 business days.
    9. All is well with the universe as two brides are happy.

Escrow was really great after I understood the whole process. I called many times just to make sure I was doing everything correctly. I encourage all brides (and old bridesmaids) to try and sell their dresses (if they are not keeping them) as soon as you can (while the styles are still relevant). I am so happy that I got some of my money back from this purchase and I am so happy that another bride could have the dress of her dreams. 

I did not choose to sell my actual wedding dress and I got it preserved (aka very expensive dry cleaning) so that I can force our future daughter to try it on and tell me that it’s out-of-date.

Please feel free to email me (in about me section) or tweet me if you have any more questions about this selling method!

Oh and last thing, before you sell your dress, make your super funny friend, Erin try on the dress and prance around with it like a fairy princess. Wait for Erin’s birthday to post to her facebook page and have a good laugh.

photo (15)


Francesca R said...

OMG! I had so much fun reading your post. The incredible thing is that I like the dress, in my modest opinion you were looking great with it so I have to take that you really didn't feel it was YOUR dress.
But now I have also learned how to sell mine (used) cause it's rotting in my closet and I am feeling guilty.
Drop by my blog and if you like let's follow each other!

Francesca R said...

I am followin and I can't wait to see a new post!

Erin said...

Haaaa. Yesss. Glad I could help.

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