When shopping for your wedding needs, whether it’s wedding dresses, wedding shoes, wedding veils, wedding favors, wedding invitations, etc., it’s hard to beat the Web as there are indeed great prices to be had! But there is an abundance of online stores making the choices overwhelming and that means there are some “fly-by-nights” that we don’t want you to fall prey to, so we hope this 5 minute read (yes, we clocked it) of tips for shopping online will help prepare you for the challenge of finding your ultimate wedding dress for the best price. As is true with many things – no pain, no gain… It’s the same when searching for a deal online; they don’t just fall into your lap. You have to look for it, but we’re certain these tips will help put you in the driver’s seat.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
* There are many wedding dress stores online. Whatever store you are considering, check out their testimonials, but remember when you do that there are always going to be a few disgruntled shoppers because quite frankly there are people out there that just aren’t happy campers no matter what and bad luck seems to follow them, so when you look through the testimonials, don’t discount a wedding dress store because of a couple bad reviews compared to hundreds of good ones.
* Find out what their return policy is. Custom made items and down and dirty priced items will probably not be returnable, unless it is damaged. So that is something else for you to weigh – for the right price – if it’s not damaged and looks anything like you saw on their website – will you be able to be happy?
* Visit the Better Business Bureau to see if they are in good standing.
* Call the company – this is a big one… Do they answer the phone, is the person that answers the phone knowledgeable?
* You are probably all over the web looking at things for your wedding and with that you will see websites that advertise online wedding dress stores. Notice which ones you see most often because they will be the most reputable ones.
* When it comes to the concern about not being able to try the wedding gowns on ahead of time to make sure the style suits you. That’s what the bridal stores are for. Go try on sleeveless and long sleeve, straight and sleek or big and full, ivory and white, short, long, with trains and without. Then armed with your notes, go online and find the one you want. You can even go to designer stores and look at specific brands like Dessy, Alfred Angelo, Jessica McClintock and Vera Wang and then go to your online wedding dress store of choice (after doing all your homework from above on them) and find either the exact designer dresses or really good copycats by dozens of wonderful designers.
Buying online offers convenience and great pricing, but it also can have some risk. You’re paying upfront without directly seeing or trying on merchandise and you could potentially be opening yourself up to identify theft, but here are some ways to reduce that risk:
* When looking for your wedding dress online, go with brands and websites you know.
* Shop online stores that have been recommended to you from friends, family, and websites you know and trust.
* Be sure you see https:// at the top of your screen where the Web address is displayed. The “s” after “http” indicates the site is secure.
* Do not send money to a site that doesn’t have a physical address or a phone number for customer service.
* Pay for your wedding dress with a credit card. This is another biggy! If you are unsatisfied, quite often you can get your credit card company to reverse the charges, if your reasons are valid.
* Trust your instincts; if you don’t feel comfortable or if you feel pressured, don’t buy it.
OTHER NOTES TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN PURCHASING A WEDDING DRESS ONLINE:
* Obviously, the fit of your wedding dress is also a concern when buying online, but that shouldn’t be a big worry. If it’s not a perfect fit (although it should be really close so long as you measure yourself accurately and use your website’s size charts), wedding dresses can usually be altered up to 2 sizes in either direction, and even with any added cost to alter the dress, you’re wedding dress is still sure to be priced well below retail!
* Many of the wedding gowns can take some time to get, so ORDER EARLY. Online Designer dresses at prices well below retail are not “off the rack” orders. Be sure you call them to check stock information. Do not just order online; talk to a live person. It’s worth the extra couple of minutes to confirm your choice is available!