For some people, wedding dresses are heirlooms that should be kept in the family for future generations to wear and enjoy. But not all brides feel this way. Many young brides choose not to wear their mother's or grandmother's wedding dresses because they are very out of date, so there is no guarantee your wedding dress will ever be used again. Furthermore, many brides see their wedding dress as a large expense for something they will never wear again. Selling your used wedding dress is a great way to reclaim at least part of that expense.
Brides can be pretty particular about their wedding dresses, though. Many brides are superstitious about getting married in a dress that someone else has used for the same purpose, especially if the other marriage didn't work out. (The same thing is true of dresses that were purchased and then never used because the wedding was called off.) Here are a few tips for successfully selling your used wedding dress.
1) Make sure your wedding dress is clean.
Nothing is worse than buying a used wedding dress that smells like someone else -- or has stains from their wedding still on it! Before you sell your wedding dress, take it to a dry cleaner that specializes in wedding dresses and other heirlooms. You want to be sure you take it to someone you can trust to do a good job. Have them remove any stains and give the dress an overall cleaning, and then keep it in the box or bag so that it will still smell fresh and clean for the new owner.
2) Leave out the personal details.
Making it into as impersonal of a business transaction as possible will help you when selling your used wedding dress. If a bride-to-be is thinking of buying a used dress, it is usually to save money or to get a style that is no longer available new. But she doesn't want to know that after you bought the dress, your fiancé broke up with you. If the marriage didn't last, and you are selling the dress because you never want to lay eyes on it again, that's even worse! Even a woman who is not usually superstitious can shy away from buying a "tainted" wedding dress.
Instead, treat the transaction the way a consignment shop would: a professional sale with as little personal details as possible. Take pictures of the dress on a mannequin, or plan photos that look as professional as possible. It's okay to crop the model's head out of the photo. Whatever you do, though, don't use your own wedding pictures, and make sure your photos don't look like wedding photos either. You want a prospective buyer to be able to see herself in the dress when she looks at your pictures.
3) Have reasonable expectations for price.
One of the biggest mistakes former brides make when selling their wedding dresses is expecting to receive too much of the dress's original price. If you bought your gown new, you were paying new prices, plus the markup that any boutique has to make in order to pay their overhead and still turn a profit. Not only are you not a business, but you are no longer selling a new dress. Even if you never wore the dress, you cannot justify the same price as what you paid.
Selling your used wedding dress can be kind of tricky, because there are a lot of superstitions that claim to foretell how successful the marriage will be. Just think of the rhyme, "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." Believe it or not, many brides still adhere to these old superstitions, so it is important to be aware of them when selling your gown!