Selling Your Wedding Dress
Selling Through Consignment Shops
After the Wedding
I'm thinking of selling my wedding dress from last year. I never intended to keep it. However, I am keeping the veil, which I will hand down to my daughter. The dress was used within the last three years, so it's still "stylish." Anyway, I've never listed anything on Craigslist, and I'm kind of nervous to do so because I've seen some shady things on there. Do you just avoid those areas when you're looking for good deals or to sell? Would an ad in the paper be better? Suggestions are appreciated!
My husband loves Craigslist. He peruses the site daily looking for good deals. After watching him find great deals of the site, I decided to list several items for sell on the site. I was very successful. There is no cost to place an ad. Plus, the items were purchased within days of being listed on the site. Here are a few rules I followed that should help:
I think Craigslist is a great alternative to paper ads or garage sales. By following these rules, my husband and I have been very successful in selling our items at great prices.
You can make more money on it and be safer by taking your wedding dress to a consignment shop and selling it there. Have your dress properly cleaned and pressed, making it as attractive as possible, and find your nearest consignment shop. You will have to give a percentage of the sale to the store, but it will be stored safely there and get more visibility.
Lynn in Chesterfield, VA
I know you said you wanted to sell your wedding dress, but I'd like to propose an alternative: donate it. Heavenly Angels In Need (HAIN) volunteers will deconstruct the gown, and remake it into beautiful burial gowns, burial wraps for preemies and micropreemies, casket linings and pillows, and keepsakes for parents. Pastel prom dresses (pale pink and light blue especially) can also be donated. Dresses need not be "in fashion," just clean.
Donations are tax deductible (consult your tax preparer of course), and your one donation could touch the lives of several families who are faced with having to bury a baby they hoped would be coming home instead. Many times, families aren't prepared to make funeral/burial arrangements, and receiving the gift of a gown that is lovingly handmade is such a blessing.
For more information, please go to Heavenly Angels In Need (HAIN). HAIN is also always looking for crafters and seamstresses who would like to volunteer their time and/or materials to help.
Meredith, volunteer for HAIN
I have sold several wedding gowns on Ebay.com and have been happy with both the price I was able to get and the ease of listing. You would have to open an account with them, but it isn't difficult; you just follow along and they lead you step by step.
You do have to supply good photos, but you probably have your own wedding pictures, which would work nicely. You also need to measure the gown and supply whatever manufacturer's information you have. A good, honest description is essential. If there is any flaw, point it out up front to avoid any problems. Before you begin the listing process, find the box you will mail the gown in and weigh it. Both weight and distance determine postage, so you need to know what it will weigh. The customer will pay the postage, but you need to be sure the amount listed is enough.
I allow returns since I think brides would be unlikely to risk much money if they thought they might be stuck with a dress they are unable to wear. I make the time allowed for returns short, though, usually three days from the time they get the gown. I buy Delivery Confirmation from the post office when mailing the gown, which gives you the date of delivery.
Incidentally, I think you are wise to sell the gown rather than keep it for a daughter's wedding. They almost never fit and often are yellowed and unattractive after twenty plus years spent in storage. The veil stands a better chance of being wearable.
Here are several ways to sell your dress in addition to an ad in the paper and Craigslist, which you mentioned.
Donate the gown to Brides Against Breast Cancer and take the tax-deduction.
After my niece was married and they had their first daughter, she asked me to make the baby's Christening Dress, using the wedding gown as the material. With a little fussing around (it's a lot of fabric), it became a Christening Dress. A baby bonnet was also made. I removed some of the lacy motifs from the gown and applied them to the bonnet. It was beautiful. It was a small dress, but it sure used a lot of fabric.
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