When someone says they’ve purchased their wedding dress from ebay, most people’s initial reaction is FEAR, WORRY, DISASTER!!! And yes, a fashion disaster can end up happening but that definitely isn’t always the case.
Before we’d even planned the date of our wedding after Joff proposed, I immediately knew that I wanted to save money on my dress and find something on ebay. So, for this week’s diary, I thought I’d share with you my experience!
Now, I’ll be honest and say that I’ve been selling and buying on ebay for ten years now so I am a lot more confident in finding my way around, looking for specific details and knowing I’m buying something that looks like the photo shown.
Buying my wedding dress from ebay is a totally different experience from arriving at a beautiful bridal boutique with my closest posse of bridesmaids, family & friends to support me in probably the biggest clothing purchase of my life. I haven’t even ventured into that world yet and, now that I’ve found my dress, I don’t think I will.
Buying your wedding dress on ebay isn’t for everyone.Therefore, if being pampered, having help and support, seeing the dress before you buy it and drinking so much champagne that the cost of the dress really doesn’t matter any more (I’m just exaggerating here!) is your thing, then ebay probably isn’t the place for you! With ebay, you search online, you bid online, you buy online and then hope for the best…. kind of.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are a tonne of bridal boutiques that cater for lower budgets, alternative dressing, ex-stock etc so you can definitely get a bargain and still have that amazing experience. But when I mention a bargain wedding dress, I’m not talking £500 instead £2,500, I’m talking £50- £150 MAXIMUM! (I told you I was saving!)
Before I decided that ebay was the place for me, I thought it was a really good idea to have in mind the kind of dress that I was trying to find and where better to do this than on Pinterest. Pinterest is an explosion of bridal themed images and wedding inspiration for you to admire. I got a really good idea of the type of dress I wanted by searching through pinterest and putting together a board of images that inspired me. I ended up with three similar styles of bridal gowns that I really loved.
Once I had an idea of dress style, fabric and colour (if only it was as easy as “white” or “cream”) I searched through some high end and high street websites to see what they had on offer and how much things cost just to get an idea. Then, the next thing I did was search for similar or identical items on ebay!!
When searching for my wedding dress on ebay, I always made sure I followed this set of rules:
- The dress must be coming from the United Kingdom
- The seller must have a high rating of sales prior to your purchase (50+ positive sales is a good start)
- There must be visible photographs of ALL aspects of the gown including front and back, up close detail as well as photographs of the labels (especially if they are designer- this will prove you’re getting something legitimate !)
- Measurements and an accurate listing of the colour of the dress must be listed in the description (the more info provided the better and if there’s something missing, always message the seller and ask as many questions before you bid)
- Always message the seller prior to bidding, even if it’s asking something you already know, to see how active they are on the site and how much communication they are willing to give you.
- Try and make sure that the seller will be posting your dress out via recorded or tracked delivery.
- Ask the reasons why they are selling the dress- Now, you may get an awkward reply that they purchased a dress then never went through with their wedding OR you may get some useful information about how the dress was wrong for their hourglass figure or looked too boyish on them etc. It will give you a better idea of why the dress is for sale in the first place!
- ALWAYS try and get the seller to put up a photo of the dress on a model or mannequin. Again, this will give you a better idea of how the dress will fit/hang/ look on you instead of a plastic hanger!
Finding a dress on ebay wasn’t easy. It has taken me 4 months of weekly searching and even when I thought I’d found thee one, I ended up finding something else instead! In total, I purchased 4 wedding dresses from ebay to try for my wedding day. (Two were the same dress in different sizes.)
The down side for ebay buying is that you have to “try” after you buy so if you really have no idea about what you want, it definitely is a case of trial and error. Although, you can always sell your purchases back and even make a profit (which is what I ended up doing!)
Another thing I was personally worried about is not having that first moment with your closest friends and family when they can see you come out of the fitting room with your gown on. So, after I had purchased my dress and tried it on myself, I invited family over to have a look and the reaction was still just as magical (my mum cried!) so there are still ways of making those beautiful moments and memories!
If you have any questions or tips about buying through ebay, I’d love to hear from you. Below are some photographs from my Pinterest Bridal Inspiration board!!