eBay Dream Wedding Dress

pbgownLast November, I wrote about gown shopping with my sister, Bridezilla. She found the perfect dress for the Big Day — with a killer $1700 price tag. She apparently has the perfect shape for all designs by Paloma Blanca, and the only alteration she’d need is a hem (she’s only 5’3″). However, even though my mom and my aunt were willing to chip in to make the dress possible, she concluded there was no way she could justify that kind of money for a dress she’d wear for just a few hours. She ordered the Ann Taylor one for $312 after my google rampage for online coupons, but it fit horribly. By the way, I give Ann Taylor high praise for having $6 shipping plus a free return label with a long period of time for mind-changing.

So last week, Bridezilla perused assorted second-hand and sample sale wedding gowns online and stumbled across her Dream Wedding Dress, the Paloma Blanca 3710, on eBay for $500. She was all set to stalk it and swoop at the last minute until I pointed out the history of completed sales for similar items: none had sold, and in fact this exact dress had been listed earlier in the month but failed to attract any bids. Sure enough, hers was the only bid, and she is now the ecstatic owner of the perfect gown – at a 70% discount!! And it’s a bridal salon sample, which means it hasn’t been altered and will fit perfectly, as had the one she modeled for mom, sister, aunt and cousin over Thanksgiving. Now if she can just avoid getting pregnant for at least 7 more months, it’ll all work out fine.

Lesson learned:  shop for dresses as soon as you get engaged. By the time you actually need to buy one, your top pick(s) will be “last season” and available at deep discount online. Oh, and apparently the best way to sell a dress on eBay is to have a bitter, tattoo’d man model it in the photos (do y’all remember that?! – it made the primetime news!) or else it won’t generate sufficient interest.

10 Responses

  1. Yes I remember seeing that ebay listing with the guy selling his ex-wife’s wedding dress. It was so funny! He really had a way with words….

  2. That’s great that she got the dress! And unfortunately I don’t recall seeing that guy in the dress; I wish I would have, it sounds like a riot!

  3. That’s exactly how I got my dress! Only it has a grass stain on the hem, so 90% off. Strange market…

  4. Wow, what a great deal. I never remember to check eBay. I’m going to write myself a note on that.

  5. Well done! I used to be ashamed to buy used stuff this on eBay (or anywhere, really) but now it doesn’t bother me one bit…

    And if your sister can bear to part with it, she might even be able to get all of her $$$ back by throwing it right back up on eBay after the big day!

  6. At the rate Mr M and I are moving I won’t need your advice any time soon. Together 6 years and not even engaged yet…. Good advice though, money will definitely be a concern when that time comes. That’s great your sister could return the other dress and get what she really wanted.

  7. Great tip. I’m sure that tip would apply even to other garments other than wedding gowns.

  8. Well, it’s not just the standard “use eBay” advice… you need to know your market, when collections turn over, all that sort of thing. I guess that applies to most designer clothing, but with wedding dresses, honestly, who the hell knows what was last season v. this season?

  9. My best friend decided to rent her wedding dress. She didn’t see the point in spending all that money on a dress she was going to wear for a few hours and never again. She’s renting it for something like $300 – and that comes with the veil, undergarments, tiara, and something else (can’t remember).

    Good for your sister not to pay $1700 for that dress! I think the whole wedding industry is a rip off…everything costs more than it normally would if it weren’t a wedding. And it’s because these people know the brides will pay top dollar to make “their day” special. Whatever, I’m getting married on the beach in a simple dress…forget the hassle!

  10. When my wife was searching for dresses, she went to David’s Bridal and tried on different models. When she found one she liked, she scoured eBay and found a wholesaler that had the exact model.

    Total price, $400!

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