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Expert Survival Tip: Reselling Your Bridesmaid Or Wedding Dress

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Spend half your rent – or a whole month’s worth – on a bridesmaid dress you’ll only wear once?

With this summer’s wedding season coming to a close Survive Wedding Season enlisted Judy Meggs, owner of The Green Hanger Shop, to help teach you bridesmaids – and brides – how to best recoup some of your wedding-related expenses!

From Judy:

You always hear that you will be able to wear that bridesmaids dress again, but the truth is you probably won’t. Then there are the cute dresses you wore to weddings that you no longer want, but hate to toss out. Realizing this after both of my daughters were married, I founded The Green Hanger Shop to give brides and their friends a place to buy and sell this special kind of attire.

While it’s becoming more popular for brides to sell their wedding gowns after the big day, bridesmaids and wedding guests underestimate the demand for their dresses on the preowned market. Summer is not called wedding ‘season’ without reason, and guests struggle with the expense of attending multiple weddings and shower events.

Need help surviving wedding season?

Take a long look at those dresses you have worn to weddings and showers. You will be surprised at how well they will sell. And Maids, I am always finding bridesmaids looking to buy used dresses in watermelon, apple, honeydew, and all the other colors and fruits of the rainbow.

Whether you are the bride, the bridesmaid, or the guest, here are some things to keep in mind when reselling your dresses:

  1. Don’t let dresses get old before their time because they were stuck in the back of a closet and forgotten. While bridesmaids are usually eager to sell, a newlywed bride may have trouble letting go. But remember it’s important to list the dress while it is still a current style and buyers are able to compare the pre-owned dress price with its retail price.
  2. The dress needs to be cleaned – professionally if necessary – as soon after its use as possible.
  3. If it’s a wedding gown, don’t preserve it. It is expensive and creates lots of waste with extra boxes and tissue paper.
  4. To advertise your dress, use a reputable online listing service like The Green Hanger Shop that specializes in weddings. It attracts traffic that is specifically looking for wedding attire and understands the value of the gowns and dresses. It also makes shopping easier with search tools instead of ‘stacking’ the ads by posting date.
  5. How do you set a fair price? The seller can reasonably expect 50-60 % off their purchase price if it is relatively new, let’s say worn only once or twice. And if you still have the receipt, you might get more. The same is true for all the accessories that go along with weddings, especially shoes and jewelry.

The lesson here is simple. YES! That dress can be worn again! It’s kinder to your pocketbook, your closet, and our dear Mother Earth.

Photo by Kim Graham Photography.

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