One of the biggest questions for brides after their wedding day: ‘What do I do with my wedding dress?’ While there are options to clean and preserve your wedding gown, we’re finding an increasing number of modern brides are more interested in how to sell their wedding dress.
After all, who doesn’t want a little more cash for honeymooning, new home decor, or a killer new outfit?
Brides, we are completely on board with reselling or donating your wedding gown, as it’s an eco-conscious way to eliminate waste from production and recoup some of your wedding cost. The marketplace for preloved dresses is growing, and we think it’s time to get you on board! With a surge in online wedding dress shopping, comes an even bigger demand for second-hand or pre-owned wedding dresses.
But you might be wondering the best way, or the best websites to sell your wedding dress. Each online platform has different features depending on your needs as a seller.
Wedding dress-specific sites like Still White will offer you a greater return and better chance for a serious buyer, while other sites like Nearly Newlywed will handle most of the work for you. Or, if you’re just wanting to clear up some closet space and do a little good for the planet, consider donating your dress instead.
Whether you are selling a dress you wore to your own wedding, or perhaps you had a change of heart and are selling one you never wore, let’s help you price, list, and move your gown on to its next destination.
How to Price & Care for Your Dress
If your gown is new (within the last two years) you can sell it for about 50% of the original price tag. This is because newer gowns are being searched by brides looking for these hot styles. If your gown comes with a designer name, or even a popular indie tag (we’re looking at you, Grace Loves Lace!) then you could even price it a little higher.
Second-hand wedding dresses can range from designer labels to highly sought-after indie designs that have been discontinued. Do some quick research on the web and see what other similar gowns are selling for. Depending on the platform you choose, they will help you pick a good selling price as well.
Consider getting your gown professionally cleaned. It will cost you a few hundred dollars but will ensure that your gown is in its best condition and is much more desirable for the bride making the purchase. And since some retail sites offer return periods, it will ensure that there’s less of a chance that someone will want to make a return.
Take Quality Photos
Consider it the same as online shopping. You probably wouldn’t purchase something that didn’t have clear images of the details. You can include photos from your wedding to show how beautiful this gown looks on a body, and to help the next bride envision it for their wedding day.
How Long Will It Take to Sell?
Again, depending on all the details, your dress may sell right away, or in a few months. This is because what brides are looking for changes seasonally, and can depend on the designer, price, size, and style of your gown. Most of the online platforms don’t require that you re-list your gown, so you are free to wait as long as it takes to sell!
The Best Resale Platforms
Using a platform will protect you against any sort of fraud or internet scams. It also ensures that you and the buyer abide by the policies of the site, eliminating any sort of confusion. Sites like Nearly Newlywed will handle all buyer questions and only notify you once your dress sells, and most sites have the buyer pay for shipping, providing you with shipping labels to make your life a little easier.
Perhaps the easiest site for sellers, you simply upload photos, measurements, and a description of your gown, and they handle the rest. That includes answering buyer questions and handling shipping. You pay a $20 listing fee and receive 70% of the listing price.
They charge a one-time listing fee, and you get the full price of the gown when it sells. Buyers can make offers to negotiate price, ask for more photos, and you can decide how you want to go about finalizing the process. Some brides even meet in person! Gowns can be searched anywhere from price to condition, making it a straightforward experience for everyone. Chat safely on their messaging site and follow through with the sale however works best for you.
With a $20 listing fee this site essentially works the same as the others, and keeps your dress listed until it sells. You provide photos, a listing, and reply to messages from potential buyers. It will help you generate an invoice through Paypal that will also include the shipping label, keeping the buying process straightforward for both people involved. Their site has been active for over 10 years, making their info and blog sections a great place for inspiration, too.
This site charges a $25 listing fee and you get to keep the rest. And yes, you can sell your bridesmaid gowns, accessories too. They’ve championed the #1 Google listing, guaranteeing your listing will be seen by a large audience of qualified buyers. Plus, they have a wedding dress calculator that will help you with pricing your wedding gown.
A bit hit or miss, listing your dress here could really favor your designer piece since Ebay thrives from specific searches. They’ll charge about 10% off your final price, but you do get seller protection, shipping labels, and 24/7 customer support.
So You’d Rather Donate Your Wedding Dress?
Search specifically in your local area for any bridal shops that run off dress donations. While local thrift stores are a great option, places like Brides For A Cause sell donated dresses and raise funds for women-focused charities. While they may have specifics that they do or don’t accept, it’s a great way to clear up space in your own closet.
With multiple locations on the west coast, they accept most gently loved gowns within the last 5 years. Don’t live nearby? They accept gowns shipped in, too! About 80% of their net profit raised is donated to local and national women-focused charities. They’ll take care of cleaning for you, and provide you information for tax deductions as well.
They boast an exquisite, hand-selected collection of unique and designer pieces as well as rare and vintage gowns. About 30% of proceeds from each sale goes toward charities that empower women and end child marriage. So you’re contributing to a more sustainable climate, and also sustainable change.
Ready to start honeymoon planning with all that extra cash? Peruse our Travel section for the best destinations & how to book your dream trip.