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Recycled Bride: 6 Tips for Selling Your Wedding Dress

About Recycled Bride As wedding season begins to wind down, I’m hearing lots of brides ask the eternal question, “What do I do with my wedding dress now?” Many will preserve their wedding dresses and keep them, while others will donate to a charity like Brides Against Breast Cancer for their annual gown sales. But every year, more and more brides are making the choice to resell their gently used wedding dresses after the big day, on websites like my very own RecycledBride.com. According to a recent survey by David’s Bridal, nearly 20% of brides are planning to sell their dresses this year! These brides understand the financial, environmental, and social benefits of resale, and want to be part of the trendy bridal resale movement. Here are my top 6 tips for selling your wedding dress: 1. Have it cleaned, not preserved. Your dress should be dry cleaned by a shop that specializes in wedding dresses, as soon as possible after the wedding. Even if you don’t see any stains, clear liquids like sweat or white wine can yellow over time if they’re not removed promptly. Expect to pay between $75-$200 for dry cleaning. You do *not* need to have your dress preserved, which is a more expensive and labor intensive process that is designed to keep your dress stored for many years. 2. When it comes to pricing, how low can you go? Brides who are shopping for gently used wedding dresses are looking for serious bargains. The bigger the discount, the easier it will be for you to sell. Most once-worn dresses from recent seasons sell for 50% of their original retail value. If your dress is older or has any damage, take off at least 70%. If it was barely worn or is an extremely sought after style by a well-known designer, you may be able to sell it at only 30% off. 3. Looks are everything. When buying a wedding dress online, shoppers want to see lots of clear, detailed photos. Be sure to include at least a few images of yourself wearing the dress on your wedding day if you have them, a few images of the dress’s embellishment details (like lace or beading), and any other images you can find of the dress, such as advertisements or manufacturer photos. 4. Less is not more. When creating an online listing for your dress, give as much information as you can. The more information you put in your listing, the easier it will be for buyers to find your dress when searching for what they want. It will also minimize the amount of time and effort you have to put in to answering questions via email. 5. Know your Terms of Sale. Buying and selling online can be intimidating, especially when it comes to an item as important as a wedding dress. But it’s easy and secure if you’re prepared and informed about safe transaction practices (we’ve got some good guidelines here). Decide in advance what payment methods you’ll accept and who will pay for shipping, and be clear with the buyer about both. 6. Patience is a virtue. While some popular dress styles sell immediately, most can take weeks or even months to find a perfect match. Remember, you’re waiting for a buyer with compatible measurements, height, budget, and timing to come along and find your listing. Be sure to answer all buyer inquiries promptly, politely, and honestly. When the right buyer comes along, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing another happy bride is enjoying the dress you love. It’s not just good for your wallet, it’s good for your karma - and the environment! Will you consider selling your wedding dress once you've said I Do? We want to know!
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