Monday, November 15, 2010

The Dangers of Buying Your Bridal Gown Online

While we all understand the importance of saving a dollar, there are certain instances where you may end up getting more than you bargained for. Many bridal websites lure brides in by offering 20-80% percent off original prices on name brand dresses, but before you click on the “buy now” button here are a few things you should know.

Online Stores are NOT authorized retailers. Bridal designers only allow full-service bridal boutiques to carry their lines and do not do business with online retailers. When you buy a discounted bridal or bridesmaid dress online, you are most likely paying for a knock-off, meaning that you are not guaranteed the original quality or actually getting what you ordered.  The online stores may be showing you pictures of the designer gowns but in fact be sending you an inferior imitation. A bridal gown is something you want to touch and see before purchasing and when you simply click on a picture, you rob yourself of this important experience. Common problems with online bridal retailers:
- Incorrect size or style
- Different dyelots  
- Cheaper fabric
- Does not arrive in time for wedding

Discounted prices are too good to be true.  Even if you know you are getting a designer replica gown, it still really isn't worth it. One of the reasons designer gowns are priced at where they are is because every designer controls the design, quality and materials of each gown. When you end up paying $1000 for a $5000 gown you know that you are not only NOT getting the original gown but you are also most likely getting a gown worth less than $1000.

It just isn't fair to anyone.
When you purchase a replica online it is not fair to the original designer who has put her heart and soul in designing that gown. Nor is it fair to the authorized retailers who are selling the original gown at the authorized retail price. And most importantly it is not fair to you to be getting a gown inferior to what you have been promised.

Watch for hidden fees.
While online retailers may offer a discounted price, your purchase is often inflated with high shipping costs, pressing costs and unprofessional alterations. Not only can you end up paying equal or higher than the price at an authorized bridal dealer, but you are paying that price for a fake replica. Ouch!

How to avoid becoming the victim of Bridal Fraud   
If there is one lesson to be learned here, it is you get what you pay for. Your wedding is such a special and memorable day that you deserve quality products and customer service One way to ensure this is to work with a specialty bridal boutique when purchasing your gown and bridesmaid dresses. To guarantee you are getting what you paid for make sure to work only with an authorized retailer. Call or visit your favorite bridal designer websites for a complete listing of authorized retailers within your area. Bridal designer websites such as Siri, Watters and Dessy will all offer this service. If a store claims to offer certain designers but does not carry any of their samples if they cut out the tags on the dresses, chances are they are not an authorized retailer.

Now that you are a smart and savvy bridal shopper, have fun and enjoy the quality service you will receive at your local authorized bridal retailer!

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