The trees are budding, spring flowers are blooming and you know what that means? Time for some “Spring clearing”. Now is the perfect time to change over wardrobes and clean up your closet. For recently married brides and bridesmaids, cleaning up your closet might mean dealing with your wedding dress. It’s likely taking up valuable closet or storage space, when it could be helping you recoup some of your wedding costs instead.
It’s always worth considering the sale of clothes you’re no longer wearing to earn back some of the investment you’ve made in your wardrobe, and this certainly applies to wedding dresses.
If you do decide to sell your wedding dress, bridesmaid dress, wedding accessories or wedding décor items online, did you know you can recover about 50% of the cost of your items? This is fantastic when compared to regular clothes for which you might expect under 25% return. Recycling your wedding items not only helps another bride save on her wedding, it’s also eco-friendly.
I chatted with my friends at SmartBrideBoutique.com and am pleased to share seven tips to help you sell your wedding dress:
1. Don’t delay
Post your dress for sale as soon after your wedding as possible. You’re not going to wear it again, so why leave it hanging in your closet? Used dresses continue to hold their resale value for roughly 2 – 3 years after they’re purchased and worn (depending on the style) but generally sell for the most money within the first year when they are most current.
I confess to putting on my dress to celebrate my ten year anniversary – a sort of test to see if I could fit in it, which I’m happy to say I passed! Had I known you can recoup such a healthy percentage, I would have sold my dress.
2. Price it right
Many recently married brides wonder what exactly to sell their dress for. Here’s a recommended pricing guideline:
- 50 – 70% of the original value for a NEW designer gown that’s still in stores
- 50% of original value for a USED designer gown from the last two years
- 30% to 40% of original value for a USED custom-made gown
- Reduce the price further if your dress has not been cleaned, is stained/damaged or is more than two years old
3. Use a fabulous photo
Brides-to-be will want to see your dress looking its best, so be sure to use photos that show the whole dress and important details.
When selling your dress online it’s best to include:
- A full length picture of the front & back of your dress (preferably on a person or mannequin)
- A close-up picture of any detailing, beading or embellishments on your dress
- A close-up picture of any damage or stains on the dress (if applicable)
- A picture from the manufacturer
Posting less than stellar photos (i.e. on a hanger, a badly lit photo etc.) or no photo at all, will make it more difficult for the bride-to-be to visualize the dress and could hurt your chances of selling.
4. Be specific
Brides will be scanning many listings in their search for a wedding dress, so providing more information will likely sell your dress more quickly.
Be specific about
- Model number
- Detailed sizing
Often, brides-to-be will try the dress on in a store before they search online for a budget-friendly version, so the more information you can provide, the better.
5. List any alterations
It’s important to be up-front about the condition of your dress. Describe any alterations that were made and specify whether or not they’re reversible.
For example, the original dress might have been a size 10, but if it was altered to fit a size 6, buyers need to know. Let brides-to-be know of any damage to the dress such as stains, tears or runs. Be honest and you won’t waste your time or theirs.
6. Get it cleaned
It’s important to clean your dress right away. A clean dress shows that you have cared for your dress, and it presents better. If not treated quickly, stains may set in permanently, especially in silks.
7. Be prepared to sell
Once your dress is posted with pretty pictures and all the details, ensure you are ready to show the dress to potential buyers.
3 easy steps to prepare for the sale:
- Make time to meet interested brides, ideally on evenings and weekends
- Create a place for brides to try on the dress, preferably a private space with a full length mirror
- Be ready to negotiate the price and know your limits so you can make decisions on-the-spot
Here are some details about SmartBride Boutique in case you or someone you know can benefit from their services:
SmartBrideBoutique.com is a premium wedding classifieds website where brides can buy, sell and save on ‘everything wedding’, from new and used wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses to wedding décor and accessories. SmartBride Boutique serves brides in Canada and the US.