Do I want to sell my wedding dress, and how do I do this?
Updated: Nov 13
There are several things to consider before deciding to sell your beautiful wedding dress.
How do you know if you should sell your dress or keep it? Brides wish to keep their dress for many reasons. Some say they want their daughter to wear it but have they considered that their daughter may not want a bar of their mother’s dress though? Of course, sometimes these daughters do go on to re model the dress or incorporate some of the fabric into their wedding day. Others feel that the dress is such an important part of their wedding day memories that they can't bear to part with it.
For some brides it takes 10 to 15 years before they realise they actually no longer feel so attached to the dress, and decide to sell it. Realistically though, they have missed the window to sell their dress more easily.... too often, the older the dress, the harder it is to sell.
If you do decide to keep your dress, read our blog on the subject for some tips on how to keep it in the best condition possible.
Before selling your dress, do some research. Pricing your dress will depend on many factors. You may have spent $$$$ on the dress but are unlikely to recoup as much as you think. Second hand wedding dresses are tricky to sell – so price it right. Also, the sooner you choose to sell the better; current dresses are more likely to sell than something that has been sitting in your wardrobe for 5 or 10 years.
If you are trying to sell a dress that you have bought online and you don’t like it or it doesn’t fit/suit you or whatever, then at least be honest and state where you bought it from, how much for, and show true photos of the actual dress, etc. Also give the dress a press or a steam to show it in the best light possible and photos of it being worn are really helpful too, rather than just on a hanger.
In New Zealand we have quite limited options to sell a second hand wedding dress online:
TradeMe - Going down this route means that brides cannot try on the dress, so are reliant on you providing great photos – especially ones showing it being worn - and good sizing indications – including any alterations you may have had done. Especially important is to mention your height as a dress can be shortened but hardly ever lengthened. You should also mention any damage, stains or marks on the dress and clearly state if it has been dry cleaned or not since your big day. I always recommend being clear on your price expectations – what is the point of a low starting price if you have a much higher reserve?
Facebook Marketplace - With regards to the dress description, the same applies as if you were listing it on Trademe. The main difference here, is that brides may contact you directly and ask to try it on, so you have to be prepared to have ‘strangers’ come into your home. Recently there has also been a lot of discussion around time wasters and scammers – so be wary.
Stillwhite - This is a global website so may attract overseas buyers if they are willing to pay postage. You pay a one-off fee and the dress is listed until sold. The site works well for designer gowns, and again you need great photos to make the most of your listing, including as many details as possible.
Remember with selling through these online platforms to try and put yourself in the prospective buyers’ shoes and pre answer all their questions.
If you are looking for an easier option to resell your dress, check with your local bridal stores to see if they offer a Sell on Behalf service.
Here at Elodie Bridal, we do just that. Dresses must be less than 4 or 5 years old, dry cleaned and in excellent condition. Selling this way takes the stress away of having to deal/negotiate with potential buyers, and it will be exposed to more buyers too. There are no up-front fees to pay and a commission is only taken once it sells. For more information; https://www.elodiebridal.co.nz/services
How long will it take to sell? Who knows…. Depends on the style, the size, the colour etc – there are a lot of variables, but having it in a bridal store is way better than sitting in your wardrobe!
Vicky Hughson | Wedding Dresses Wellington
Find your dream dress at a dream price