Wedding Dresses Already Broken In, and at Bargain Prices

Let’s face it, your wedding dress is taking up coveted closet space and, decades from now, your daughter is not likely to wear what’s sure to be an out-of-style gown. So, why not declutter? Sell it and let some lucky bride get a deal on her dress. Here are a few websites that will resell a gown, and some examples of gowns being offered at markedly reduced prices. We’ve also listed some places that take dresses as donations for brides in need.

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A Berta wedding gown which retails for $9,500 and is being sold for $5,300 on stillwhite.com.CreditArmen Asadorian

Time to Clear Up Space Under the Bed

In 2010, Bruno and Ingrid Szajer, then newly married, started Stillwhite.com, where brides can sell their already-worn wedding dresses. They started because she tried to stuff a big box containing her wedding dress under the bed in their one-bedroom apartment in Sydney, Australia. “And how long do you expect to keep it there?” he asked. When she said “forever,” he decided to start a business. Hers was the first one they posted on the site. Mr. Szajer said that the site had 250,000 visitors each month and that dresses were sold worldwide. Some dresses sell in minutes, though the usual sell time is 60 to 90 days. There is a listing fee of $20 or $30, depending on the type of package you want, and the rest is up to the seller and the buyer to negotiate and ship.


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This bride is wearing the Diana gown from the Vera Wang Collection, which is being sold for $3,500. The original retail price is about $7,000.Credit

Inspired by a Nearly New Vera Wang

Jacqueline Courtney started her site, Nearlynewlywed.com, in 2012, a year after being married in her dream gown, which was designed by Vera Wang. Ms. Courtney had bought her gown secondhand for $4,500 ($7,000 retail) from a woman in Atlanta. “It popped up on eBay,” she said. “My mother flew to Atlanta where she arranged to meet the woman, and the dress, in the airport.” After her wedding, with little extra space in her Brooklyn apartment and feeling that someone else could also feel happy in the dress, she resold it for $4,000 to a woman in Manhattan. That inspired her to make it easier for brides to buy a previously worn dress. Her site charges a $25 listing fee, supplies a shipping label for the seller to send the dress and then takes care of customer services. It keeps the dress in inventory, and does all of the work surrounding the sale and all of the correspondence between the buyer and the seller, as well as the shipping once sold. Dresses are repacked and sent in a fresh garment bag and box. The commission is 35 percent, and dresses may be returned within five days if the buyer is unhappy.


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A lace-accented dress by Self-Portrait retails for $1350 and is being sold $925 on therealreal.com.Credit

The Real Real Deal

TheRealReal.com was started in 2011 in San Francisco. After an online form is filled out and the Real Real accepts the garment, the seller receives a paid shipping label and sends the dress to the company (or a representative will pick it up). Once the dress is received, the company takes it from there. The seller receives a check when the dress is sold. This is a luxury consignment site and the commission is 55 percent to 70 percent. Natalie Seufferlein, a senior manager, said the site had sold four million items (not all bridal) in six years.

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This Hayley Paige Esther gowns is listed for $2,000 on PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com.CreditWonderlust Photography

Preowned, From $50 to $50,000

Josie Daga is the founder and owner of PreownedWeddingDresses.com, a site she started in 2004 when she wanted to sell her wedding dress after divorcing. She said many women did not know what style dress they wanted when they began their search. Her site, she said, makes it easy to look at many styles, from romantic to sexy. “It used to be that girls looked through magazines when they got engaged,” she said. “Now they come to our site.” Dresses are priced from $50 to $50,000, and many cost less than $500. A seller pays a listing fee of $25, then it’s up to the buyer and seller to make a deal.


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This Essense of Australia wedding gown sold for $500 on Tradesy.com. A similar gown by this designer retails for $1,900.Credit

Tradesy, for Gowns and Other Clothing

Tradesy.com started as a bridal consignment site, but now resells other clothing as well. This site does not charge a listing fee but takes a 14.9 percent commission on sales. The site has a price recommendation function and all sales are final.


Donate for Other Happy I Dos, Too

Many know that other brides-to-be cannot afford a designer wedding dress and are happy to donate theirs in exchange for a tax deduction.

Fairytalebrides.org runs a resale shop in Maryland and donates the net proceeds to charities. All workers there are volunteers. A dress may be sent by mail for those out of the area. BridesAcrossAmerica.com also accepts donated gowns to give to military brides in need. Housing Works in New York has a once-a-year event called Bride on a Buck at one of its area thrift shops. Information for how to donate for next year’s sale and auction can be found at housingworks.org.

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