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Buyer Beware

The Internet has become one of the most valuable tools a bride has to plan her wedding. Through our site, couples can access information on everything they need for their wedding.

While online shopping has become mainstream, brides should think long and hard, before purchasing their wedding gown online. It may seem like a great idea, price-wise, but there are many pitfalls.

The most obvious draw back to purchasing a gown online is the fact you can’t try it on. Most brides will spend hours at various bridal salons trying on gowns.

Many of the gowns offered online are not the same quality as gowns purchased in shops. Often gowns sold online are actually seconds, or not first quality gowns.

Most times, the less expensive gowns you find online are actually copies of designer gowns. These gowns definitely represent a case of what you see (online) is NOT what you are going to get.

Check the website of any known bridal gown designer and you will NOT find a link or opportunity to order a gown. You will find local retailers. If designers aren’t selling gowns from their own websites, why would they allow others to sell them at a discounted price?

If you are looking to save money on the gown, you are much better served to shop at an authorized retailer. Sample sales and trunk shows are great ways to save. Designer sites will often list upcoming trunk shows. Not only will you see the dress you get, it is much easier to get disputes settled when you have person to deal with, not an email.

Red flags to watch for

  • Look at the price the gown is being offered at. If the price online seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • CAREFULLY read the description of the less expensive dress you are looking at online. If the description says “imitation,” “inspired by,” “similar to,” or any such wording, be concerned.
  • Check out the photos on the site. If they are blurry or badly cropped, the site is probably a counterfeit site. Even if the images are clear, use google.com and search images. Counterfeit sites will often "steal" images off the actual designer site.
  • Check the spelling of the name of the designer. It is amazing how often the counterfeit sites misspell the names of the designers they are supposedly representing.
  • Read the entire site, carefully paying attention to where the company is located; return policies; and FAQs. Counterfeit sites often fail to include this information.
  • Call the contact number listed on the site. If the site doesn’t list a phone number or if you can never reach a live person and messages go unreturned, it may be time to move on.
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