Should you buy second-hand?

Written by    Last updated: September 13, 2006

If you want to save cash, a “pre‐loved” wedding dress may be a good option

If you’re on a tight budget, or you simply don’t like the thought of splashing out, then buying a second‐hand dress has never been a more attractive option. So many more channels for bringing buyers and sellers together have opened up, which means that more women are considering passing on their dresses as a viable option to keeping them in the attic gathering dust.

How much will it cost?

Aside from the actual cost of the dress, which might be anywhere between £10 and £500, (possibly more depending on the designer and outlet), be aware that there may be other costs. You will probably have to pay delivery if you buy online. Also, although the vast majority of sellers dry‐clean the dresses before they are sold, you may wish to clean them again – the cost of this varies, so shop around. It’s also a good idea to keep some money aside for alterations (either to the size or the style).

Where can I buy?

Buying online

Many brides sell their once‐worn, and sometimes never worn, dresses privately online in places such as the Confetti For Sale forum. Auction sites such as eBay are also fruitful sources of dresses, just be careful not to be duped into buying a designer copy. If an expensive designer dress is being sold for a fraction of the price then it’s probably an illegal copy and unlikely to look as good as it does in the picture.

Charity shops

You may also have seen wedding dresses in the windows of your local charity shops. This is certainly a very inexpensive option, if you are lucky enough to find a size and style to suit you. Oxfam and Barnardos both have stores or sections dedicated to wedding dresses and accessories. As well as not costing the earth, these boutiques are in a good cause, and also offer the excitement of going to a dress shop – something that may be missing from your local charity shop.

Dress agencies

There are number of dress agencies that specialise in bringing together “pre‐loved” dresses and new owners. You can find these in the confetti Supplier directory.

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