SmartBride Guide to Selling - 6 Tips to Sell Your Dress for MORE!

1) Post it Now!

The best way to sell your dress quickly, and for the most money, is to post it as soon after your wedding as possible. Don't kid yourself – you're not going to wear it again – so why leave it hanging in your closet?

Used Dresses continue to hold their resale value for about 2-3 years after they are purchased and worn (depending on the style) and sell for the most money within the first year, no question. Of course, we don't want to dissuade you from posting your dresses from weddings more three years ago because there is always a market - especially for traditional or timeless styles. However, you should know that the longer you wait, the less a buyer will be willing to pay.

2) Use GREAT Pictures!

We allow you to post up to 4 pictures of your dress. Buyers will want to see:

  • Full length picture of the front of your dress
  • Full length picture of the back of your dress
  • Up close picture of any detailing, beading or patterning on your dress
  • Up close picture of any damage or stains on the dress.

Less than stellar pictures or posting no pictures will actually hurt your chances of selling. We see so many dresses posted for sale on-line without pictures or with pictures of the dress on a hanger. Both terrible choices, in our opinion. On SmartBride Boutique, a buyer can elect to search only listings with pictures.

The most useful pictures to a buyer are the ones with you in the dress. This allows buyers to see the shape and style. In fact, the best pictures were probably taken on your wedding day when you spent serious time and effort to look your best. If you don't have pictures back from your photographer yet, ask a friend or family member for their digital pictures. And yes, of course you can blur or crop your face if you don't want it on the internet.

You may also want to include a picture of the dress or link to a picture from the dress manufacturer. This is a good idea, but in no way a substitute for pictures of your actual dress.

3) Be Specific in the details!

Brides will be scanning many listings in their search for a wedding dress and the more information you can give, the faster your dress will sell. Think back to the questions you asked when buying the dress in the first place. Be very specific about colour, brand and model number. Many times brides to be will try the dress on in a store first, and then look for it on-line. If the manufacturer of your dress has a website, be sure to include any information they give such as measurements and materials – you can also include a link to the page.

4) List any Alterations!

Perhaps the most important detail of a used dress is its current condition.

First, be really specific about any alterations that were made to the dress. The dress may be a size 10, but if it was altered to fit someone more like a size 8 – your size 10 buyers will be disappointed. Try to list any and all alterations made and specify whether they are reversible. I.e. Hems can sometimes be let down, while creating darts through the waistline may not be reversible if material was cut out of the dress to produce a smooth seam.

It is also helpful to list your measurements at the time of the wedding. If you can’t remember these details, you can always ask your seamstress. I'm sure they would be happy to help, especially if offer to refer the next owner back to them for fitting.

Second, warn potential buyers of any damage to the dress such as stains, tears or runs up front. Not being honest will waste both your time and potential buyer's time. Don’t let someone make the time to try on the dress, and show up to find out that it isn't what they thought.

5) Get it Cleaned!

Honestly, even if you aren't selling your dress, it should be cleaned right away. We're not saying you should shell out for the fancy box with a window – but it should be clean. A clean dress communicates to the buyer that you have cared for and loved your dress. A clean dress looks better when a potential buyer tries it on. A clean dress makes for great pictures in your posting. We think you get the point.

6) Be prepared to Sell your Dress!

Before you post, make sure you're ready. First, compile all the information about your dress, select the best pictures and craft an informative posting. Then, be sure that once you post your dress that you and your home are ready to show the dress to potential buyers. You need to do three simple things:

  • Make the time to meet buyers – try to be available on evenings and weekends if possible.
  • Create a place for buyers to try on the dress - preferably in a private space/room near a full length mirror.
  • Be prepared to negotiate the price and know your own limits/boundaries so you can make on the spot decisions.