Selling Your Wedding Dress? Here’s What You Need to Know

Wedding dresses, wedding dresses, wedding dresses! Sometimes the search can take months. Then you find the perfect dress—it’s got the detail and neckline you so desperately wanted. So you buy it. You spend hundreds or thousands for that one beautiful moment when you walk down the aisle and everyone oohs and ahhs. Then suddenly, your moment is gone! The dress has served its purpose. So what do you do with it? There are many answers to this question. Some keep it for future generations or for the memories. Others may decide to get some of their investment back and sell it. Some even trash the dress with paint or roll in the mud with it on (I’m not kidding). But if you do decide to sell your wedding dress, here are some things you might want to know about the process.

You Won’t Get all Your Money Back

When it comes to reselling any item of clothing, you have to lower your expectations a bit on what you’ll get back from the initial purchase. Chances are, you won’t get the full amount you paid for it, including fees and alterations especially. Once you’ve bought that dress and worn it, the dress is now used. It’s sort of like a car: once you drive it off the lot, its value depreciates. My advice here is really simple: don’t overlist. If you price the item too high, you won’t get any money back at all because no one will buy it. They’ll see that the dress has a price tag similar to a new dress and click away from your listing.

Here’s the thing: people who are shopping for used wedding dresses don’t want to pay full price. If they did, they would just buy a new dress. Try to put yourself in the shoes of someone trying to find a good deal. Of course, you want to price the dress so that you make a good deal yourself, but just don’t go crazy with it.

The Better it Looks, the Better Response You’ll Get

If you take a low light picture of the dress hanging on your dirty closet door, you might not get as much response as you could. With a better photo and more effort into making the dress look presentable, you could get a lot more views and more potential buyers. If you were looking for a dress yourself, would you jump on one that looked gross or would you purchase one that had lots of pictures and looked basically new?

If you’re absolutely not a talented photographer, try this: hang your dress on a blank wall near a window. The pictures will turn out great because there is no clutter in the frame and the natural light from the window will make all the details easily visible. People want to know what kind of product they’d be getting if they bought your dress. Anticipate all of your potential buyer’s questions and answer all of them with lovely pictures and lots of description.

Be as Descriptive as Possible in Your Listing

Speaking of descriptions, you should try to be as detailed as you can about your dress listing. I’m serious—don’t leave anything out! Buyers want to know about every button and decorative stitch. Description is great for customers, but it’s also a good idea to help with visibility of the listing itself. A lot of sites use hashtags or your descriptions to group dress listings into search categories. The more you accurately describe your dress, the more categories your dress will be listed under. This is good because it means more online traffic to your listing. If you get lots of people to look at your listing and you’ve taken great pictures of it, chances are someone will bite.

You Won’t Get it Back

You know this: once you sell your dress, there’s no going back (at least with most sites). Spend time really deciding whether selling your wedding dress is the best option for you. You can always sell it later. They say within the first couple years of your wedding, your dress is worth the most because it’s still in fashion. But even this time frame gives you a moment to pause and really think about what you’re doing. Some keep their dresses because they want their future children to wear it if they so choose, and some just want to put it on occasionally and dance around in it. Whatever the reason, you might end up deciding to keep the dress. Give the decision a few weeks and at the end of those weeks if you still are sure you’re fine with letting it go, then go ahead and list it!

Selling your wedding dress is big. Sometimes the money you gain from selling it is even bigger! You may use it to fund part of your honeymoon or start the process of buying a new house. Whatever your reasoning, take comfort in the fact that somewhere out there, someone is marrying the love of their life and adding more beautiful memories to your dress.

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