Tips for buying your wedding gown on eBay

As you know, my wedding gown was ordered from eBay. I received it only 16 days after placing the order, which I think was pretty fast, and I’m very satisfied with the quality. A few friends asked me for tips on ordering a good gown so I’m gonna share what I know. For people living overseas and do not have access to affordable tailors in Vietnam, eBay may be a good choice.

Pros:

– You don’t have to go anywhere to get your gown

– Choose your favourite gown from a vast online collection

– The cost is affordable: usually from 140-180 USD for each piece, including shipping by EMS/TNT/UPS…

Cons:

– Risk of misunderstanding, sometimes the seller sends you the wrong gown.

– You have to take the measurements without professional help. (But for my gown, I only give them 5 measurements (Bust, waist, hip, butts & height, amazingly it fits so well!)
– If the gown does not fit the way you want it to, you have to find someone to help and this may incur extra cost

– Reality does not match expectation. If the seller does not do a good job, it’s difficult or very time-consuming to resolve the dispute.

So here’s my tips to choose a good seller and get a good gown:

1. Know what you want

You probably wear your gown only once (hopefully) so spend a lot of time on your homework! Know what you really like: a big princess gown? a mermaid gown? A-line gown? Greek goddess gown?

See if that style suits you? Are you tall or short, a bit fleshy or slim…? Your bust/waist/butts… – are they in good shape and would the gown accentuate the strengths or weaknesses on your body?

Browse through a lot of design and decide what’s best for you.

2. Search for the style you want on eBay

After making your decision on the style, look for it on eBay. Key words like: Princess wedding gown, Mermaid wedding gown, custom-made gown, etc… may help.

Next, sort the results according to the price + shipping. For example, you can only pay maximum 150 USD for your gown, there’s no point looking through every result because there are hundreds or thousands of them and some are very expensive. So limit your search within the price range you can afford. Pay attention to shipping price, too.

3. Narrow down to a few most-wanted pieces

Now you’ve come to a few final pieces, compare them to choose the best one. Usually for the same design, a few sellers can make it so which seller will you choose?

Criteria for your considerations should be:

– The seller’s rating: Usually the higher the better. Aim for sellers with above 99%. Look at the number of ratings, it should be at least a hundred or a few hundreds. As I know, most gown sellers are from China or Hong Kong.

– Examine the ratings: See how many positive/neutral/negative ratings the seller has got for the past 12, 6 and 1 month. Read the neutral/negative comments to see what the problems were. Consider if these are serious problems and if the seller made attempts to resolve the disputes or not.

–  Look for ratings of items similar to what you are about to order. For instance, if you want to order a chiffon princess gown, read ratings of chiffon princess gowns sold by the seller. If these ratings say something like: great gown, very nice, fast shipping, exactly like photo, etc… that’s a good sign that you’d probably will receive the same good gown.

– Check order processing time: Some sellers can do it really fast (2-3 weeks) but some take 4-6 weeks. So order your gown months in advance or you have to contact the seller and make sure he/she can do the job within your expected time frame. Give buffer time for shipping and scenarios that may delay the process.

Check if the price includes mandatory accessories like a petticoat: Some gowns need a petticoat inside to keep them fluffy, big or flare. contact the seller to see if your design needs a petticoat and how much it costs. A petticoat may cost 20-30 USD so be careful.

– Check shipping service: What service will be used by the seller? Is the shipping cost included in the price? Usually eBay gowns 1bove 100 USD already include shipping fees by EMS/TNT/UPS. Shipping time ranges from 2-7 days.

Be aware of tax! Some countries tax about 20% for commercial items so you may have to pay extra for that. There’s a way to get around it, for example, some sellers can mark your package as a gift with low value. But I can’t guarantee it works, so ask the seller and it’s best to know how much you have to pay in case they tax it!

– Check refund policy: If the gown comes in wrong size, color or the quality is bad, can you return it? Get a refund? Who will bear the return shipping cost?

4. Finalizing your order

Now you have your favourite design and a potentially good seller, contact the seller to verify all the information (price, shipping cost/time, design, size, color…). If everything goes well, order the gown and pay for it, best through PayPal so that in case something goes wrong, someone can help you with the dispute or refund.

Next, choose the color of your own. The popular colors for wedding gowns are pure white, ivory, natural or off-white. You can choose it from a chart provided by the seller

Measure yourself. Give the seller measurements he/she needs, as indicated on his/her advertisement. Make sure you do a good job measuring because it will be a big trouble if the gown does not fit. Get help from a friend if you don’t trust yourself here. Take into consideration possible weight change (are you going to gain/lose some weight before your wedding day?) It sounds a bit funny cos you’ll say “How do I know if I’m gonna lose or gain weight?”

But you should know. Exercise, sleep and eat well to maintain/gain or lose weight as you wish to. I always know how much I will weigh and the measurements I need for an important event. If I want to look fleshier, by all means I will find a way to work out and eat so that I’ll gain that much weight. The same is true for losing weight. After all, we should know ourselves best and have certain control over our bodies right?

After sending the measurements to the seller, wait for your gown!

It’s good to check with the seller when he/she’s about to ship the gown to you, just to make sure everything’s right.

5. I hope you receive the gown on time and with satisfaction!

If something’s not right, contact the seller immediately and see what can be done. If it does not work, contact eBay for help!

This is the seller from whom I ordered my gown. Take it as a reference but remember to do your own homework :-)



Last but not least, I spend a lot of time collecting wedding gown designs so I’ve got a folder of hundreds now. Drop me a line on facebook  if you need it. I’ll be happy to share it with you.

Happy eBaying!

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