Is Craigslist the best option? Or is there a better choice?
Selling a Wedding Dress
TDS Reader Contributors
Selling Your Wedding Dress
Selling Through Consignment Shops
After the Wedding
How to Sell a Wedding Dress
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!
Rules to Follow When Selling a Wedding Dress on Craigslist
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:
- Take several good pictures. You will be able to see how they will look on the site. The better the pictures, the better response you are going to receive.
- Only take a picture of the item. Make sure that you have nothing in the background that may give away your location or any other items not for sale./li>
- State in your ad that you will accept cash only.
- Do not place any personal information in the ad. Craigslist has an option for other people to send you an email. You can then decide who you want to respond to. Once you receive several email responses, email the individuals back and include a phone number at this point. You will be able to speak with an individual and find out how interested they are. During the phone conversation, you can set up a time for them to look at the item.
- If I received several responses in a short period of time, I would tell each individual that they were one of several people to contact me, and that it would be first come first serve. Plus, that lets people know you will be firm on the price. If there are four to five people interested in the item, why consider a lower price?/li>
- Look for similar items already listed on Craigslist and see what they are selling for. If you place too high a price on the item, you will not receive any responses. I found that if you do not receive responses in the first couple of days, the price it too high or the item is just not going to sell.
- Place your item in the garage or other area outside. I was not comfortable having people inside our house. Instead we placed the items in the garage so they could easily see the item and make a decision on whether or not they wanted to purchase it.
- Let a neighbor or someone else know what you are doing. I just made sure my husband would be home whenever someone was coming over.
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.
Sell Your Wedding Dress on Consignment
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
Donate Your Wedding Dress to a Good Cause
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
Sell Your Wedding Dress on eBay
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.
Additional Ways to Sell Your Wedding Dress
Here are several ways to sell your dress in addition to an ad in the paper and Craigslist, which you mentioned.
- Take it to a consignment shop. You will usually get 40-50% of whatever it sells for. You do nothing but wait. A shop that specializes in formalwear would be best.
- Put an ad (possibly free) in the bargain news, a tabloid size advertising paper.
- Search the Internet for Yahoo and/or other groups where members sell things locally and list there.
- Put a notice on the church or synagogue bulletin board and on community bulletin boards. Include tear off sheets with your phone number.
Donate Your Wedding Dress
Donate the gown to Brides Against Breast Cancer and take the tax-deduction.
Reuse Your Wedding Dress
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.
Take the Next Step:
- Join those who 'live better...for less' - Subscribe to The Dollar Stretcher newsletter, a weekly look at how to stretch both your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE!
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor.