Thursday, April 15, 2010

How to Save Money By Buying Used or Secondhand Bridesmaid Dresses

Looking for gently used, worn once bridesmaid dresses to save money? Luckily there are quite a few places to find some.  By doing this, you can often save 50 to 75% off the regular retail price of a bridesmaid gown.

Tips to keep in mind when looking for used bridesmaid dresses:
  • It's easier to look for dresses if you keep your search as generic as possible.  If the bride has her heart set on all of her girls wearing an Alfred Angelo Bridesmaids Style 7016 in Cobalt then the search will be harder. If meanwhile, the bride has only selected a color for the maids or a silhouette (or both) the chances of finding dresses will be higher.
  • Budget in shipping, alterations, and a possible second dress for your dress budget.  A $75 used gown might seem like a good deal but factor in $25 shipping only to find out the dress looks horrible on you-you're now out $100 and still have to find a bridesmaid dress.
  • Also factor in dry-cleaning and pressing.  If the dress has been worn, it most likely will need to be cleaned and pressed.  Most bridal salons do this for free.
  • Searching might take patience-be prepared to wait it out.
 Tips for Buying Secondhand Bridesmaid Dresses Online
  • Ask about returns. Some sellers will let you return the dresses but you must pay shipping so factor it into your dress budget.
  • Ask detailed questions about the dress's measurements, size, and whether its been altered or not.  Depending on what alterations a dress has had dress might not be able to be altered more.  Don't be afraid to tell the seller that you're 5'10" and ask her if she thinks the dress will fit.
  • Take measurements before you buy. Remember that it is easier to take in than let out aka err on the side of buying a dress that's a size higher than smaller.  Don't assume that your bust size is a 34 because thats what bra size you wear.
  • Get detailed pictures of the dress, especially any stains, rips, and tears.
Tips for Buying Secondhand Bridesmaid Dresses In Person
  • Prepare for it the same way you would for dress shopping in regular clothing boutiques and bridal salons.  Wear the same shoes you're planning on wearing, as well as a comfortable strapless bra.
  • Inspect the dress carefully to see if there are any stains, rips, and tears-many of these will be noticeable if repaired and will push up the cost of alterations.

    Where to Find Secondhand Bridesmaid Dresses Online
    WeddingBee-The complete, no-thrills bridal blog has a great classifieds section where you can post dresses you're looking for (as generic as full-length violet dresses or as specific as 5 Bari Jay 351 dresses in wisteria.)

    Recycled Bride-What else would you expect from a site promoting the use of re-using wedding items and goods? Find bridesmaid dress listings here, as well as listings for wedding gowns, decor, MOB gowns, and more. For gowns you can search by designer, color, and location.

    Ebay-Of course, the auction giant Ebay is also a great starting point for finding used bridesmaid dresses.  The downside to Ebay is that many dresses are only listed for 3, 5, or 7 days.  Save your search as a saved search and then re-run it frequently.

    Craig's List-The beauty of this classified site is that the classifieds are local letting you save on shipping and possibly getting to try the dresses on before you buy.

    Places to Find Secondhand Bridesmaid Dresses
    Consignment Shops-Many consignment stores have special occasion gowns and bridesmaid gowns.  Find local resale stores at  Consignment Shops and Resale Shopping.  Tip: Before going, call up the stores and see if they carry bridesmaid dresses-many consignment stores specialize in children's wear or casual wear so save yourself a trip.

    Thrift Stores-Thrift stores, where someone donated their gowns to a non-profit, can often be a good source of finding secondhand gowns.  Since the gowns were donated and the proceeds are going to charity, the dresses are often extremely cheap too!  Find local thrift stores near you with The Thrift Shopper or head to your local Salvation Army or Goodwill.

    No comments: