After pounding the pavement for months, you finally find the perfect wedding dress. While it looks fabulous on you, the cost would wreck your budget. Searching online for alternatives, you come across a website selling the exact gown you saw in the store at a fraction of the price. While this is one way to get the dress you love at a cheaper price, you may be opening yourself up to a scam. Here are a few ways to protect yourself when buying a wedding dress online.
BE CAREFUL WITH REPLICA WEDDING DRESS SITES
There are numerous websites that specialize in selling copies of designer wedding dresses at discounted prices. Unfortunately, some of these companies sell substandard products made from cheap materials.
Brides who have purchased replica dresses from unscrupulous online retailers have experienced a host of issues with their gowns including:
- Getting the wrong size (too big or too small)
- Receiving dresses made using poor quality materials
- Embarrassing rips and gaps due to bad stitching
- Receiving a dress that bears little resemblance to the one they wanted
- Marks or stains on the dress that won’t come out
- Poorly packaged dresses that require hours of steaming
Before purchasing from a retailer, search online for reviews from other brides who have bought dresses from the company. If prevailing opinion about the company is overwhelmingly negative or there are no reviews at all, avoid doing business with them.
MAKE SURE THE COMPANY IS VERIFIED
Another issue you may run into is sometimes these replica wedding dress sites are simply clearinghouses for collecting people’s credit card information. This means you probably won’t receive a dress, but the perpetrators behind the site may hit your credit card with fraudulent charges or drain your bank account.
Be certain that you’re placing an order from a seller that’s been verified by an identity verification company such as Verisign. Only use a credit card, which will minimize your losses if the company does turn out to be fraudulent. Confirm how long it will take the company to send the dress to you and insist on using FedEx or UPS. These companies provide confirmation numbers you can use to track your package using their online tools.
MAKE SURE THE COMPANY HAS PERMISSION
While it’s understandable why you would want to get a wedding dress at a cheaper price, you should be aware that some companies selling replicas do not have the designers’ permission to do so. These companies are stealing the intellectual property of others and attempting to make a profit from it, which is theft and fraud.
There are a couple of ways you can determine if a company has the designers’ permission to use their work:
- Contact the designer directly and ask if he or she has given permission to the seller to make the dress
- If the company asks for more than your bust, waist and hip measurements, this is a red flag that they are making the dress from scratch and not getting it from the designer
- Check the designer’s website; sometimes they will have a notice listing their authorized sellers
- Manufacturers only sell through bridal shops; any dress made by a manufacturer that is being offered by an online retailer may be a knockoff
Your wedding day is too important to take a chance on a dress from an unknown company. For more information about finding high-quality replica dresses or help locating the dress of your dreams, connect with a wedding dress shop for assistance.