More Bridal Gown Shopping Rules


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On this site I do a lot of criticizing of Bridal Salons and the lack of satisfaction of many brides with their experiences. Much of it is deserved while some is not. There are great stores out there that give wonderful service, but that service comes with a hefty price tag. Many brides are on a strict budget and look for bargains on the internet, second hand services and stores. Sites like ebay and craigslist have become popular places for selling gowns. These places can offer great bargains if you are willing to settle for a used gown, a designer knock-off, or simply not have the services that a store does offer like being able to see the gown in person and try it on to see if your body looks good in it.

Shopping at these alternative markets is risky. When you have to pay up front for a wedding gown that is not returnable from a place that you can't go to in person and often does not have a telephone number you can call, it rattles the nerves. I do rank on bridal salons a lot but they do serve a good purpose in letting a bride see what she is getting before she pays several hundreds of dollars for her dress. Though I have taken many stores to task for giving out misleading advice, many give good advice that a young bride needs to help her make the many decisions facing her in ordering her gown. Web sites and ebay listings don't often answer all these questions.

So, if you are a bargain hunter and are willing to deal with the things your aren't getting by shopping at a bridal Salon- - - here are some additional rules for shopping these alternative markets.

#1. A gown that looks good on a web site picture doesn't mean that is the gown you are buying.

Most people know that pictures can be doctored so that flaws in a dress are painted out with a program like PhotoShop. That's only part of the situation. Most webmasters know how to process pictures so they load on your screen faster. One of the things they do is lower the resolution. This can often make details harder to see so that the dress you are looking at on your computer screen may be very different seeing it in person.

Color is also a big factor. Computer monitors very widely in their color representation and the color of the original picture may look very different to you than to another person looking at the same web site.

The biggest factor in this category to me is that unscrupulous people writing these listings can use pictures stolen from designer web sites and use them for their site/listing. You may think you are buying the Vera Wang gown in the picture because you know that is a picture you have seen on Vera Wang's official site, but what you get in the mail is a knock-off gown that looks like the dress in the picture but is very much NOT.

#2. Knock-offs are very prevalent on the internet.

A knock-off is a copy of a designer gown that is usually made with lesser quality construction techniques and cheaper quality fabric. It is perfectly legal to copy any design out there. It is very much illegal to copy a designer label. The easiest way to tell a knock-off from the real deal is to look inside for the label.

a) Price is a huge indicator that the gown you are buying is a knock-off.

There is nothing wrong with buying a knock-off. They can be a great way for a bride to save a lot of money. The problem comes in when you are deceived into thinking you are buying a designer gown worth $2,000 for only $200 and you get a cheap copy that is nothing like your dream gown.

Every bride wants to save money while getting as much gown as she can. $3,000 designer gowns are out of the question for most brides but how many of us dream of wearing one of these beauties. Bargains on these gowns can be found using the Internet if you are willing to buy second hand, or spend a lot of time searching for a sale price. If you think you have found that designer gown for $200 you need to look again very carefully.

b) If the listing says, "Custom Made" but the price is very low, it's a knock-off.

A big clue that a site or listing is selling knock-offs is that they will say the gowns are "custom made". Go read rule #5 on the Bridal gown Shopping Rules page. Most designer gowns that are found in major bridal salons are Special Order. Web sites that sell gowns may also be Special Order, but if they say they "custom make" or "sew the gown to your measurements" or "the gowns are made in our factory" you can bet you are buying a knock-off.

Fine Custom Made gowns, also called Couture, are very, very expensive. They are made to your measurements from very fine fabrics and excellent construction design and manufacture. Knock-offs cost little because thay are not fine.

#3. Check up on the seller.

Sites like ebay have a seller rating system to help you know who you are buying from. Do take the time to read a seller's profile and their feedback from customers.





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