Brides Beware: Counterfeit Wedding Dresses!

Weddings can be expensive, and in an attempt to save money, many brides want to find their dream wedding dress at a reasonable price. However, please watch out for counterfeit wedding dresses, especially if you are shopping for your dress online. If you stumble upon a website that uses pictures of real designers gowns, and advertises these gown at severely discounted prices, there is a chance that you may be on a site that sells designer knock off wedding dresses from an unauthorized foreign seller.  A recent episode of Inside Edition, revealed the harsh reality of brides who have purchased counterfeit wedding dresses.

Inside Edition Special

We want to stress that there are legitimate online resellers, such as preownedweddingdresses.com, that can help brides find new or gentle used wedding dresses at discounted prices. However, if you are skeptical about the legitimacy of an online boutique, keep these tips in mind:

1) Always check the wedding dress designer’s website for authorized retailers. Rarely will an online retailer be listed.

2) Check for Misprints and Inaccurate Information:  If the website has a lot of misspelled words and grammatical errors that is a key sign that the site is not legitimate. Check to see if there is contact information listed.  Call the number on the website. See if the number is actually working.  You can also place the address of the company on Google Street View and see if you can verify that the address is legitimate.

3) Restocking Fees: If the site states that they will refund you money, but only with a restocking fee that may be a sign that the company makes its money from selling low quality dresses that people will want to return.  Some companies will not even process your returns, especially if they are located overseas!

4) Bad Reviews: Go to reliable wedding forums, such as theknot.com, to see the reviews of various online boutiques. Also you may check consumerreports.org or other reputable forums such as SiteJabber.com to see what reviews the online sellers have received.

5) Prices that are too good to be true: If a website is promising to sell you a new designer gown for more than 50% off it may be unrealistic.

If you want to find a wedding dress at a discounted price, there are many reliable methods you can use:

1) Look out for trunk sales on your favorite wedding dress designer’s website.  During trunk sales you can usually get 12-20% off your dream dress.

2) Sign up to receive emails from bridal boutiques that you have visited and see if they have any holiday or seasonal sells. Many bridal shops sell last season's designs or even the store's fitting sample at discounts of 30% or more. So consider buying a sample wedding dress “as is” off the rack.

3) Buy a used wedding dress or rent one.  Read our article here about the popular wedding dress resale website Preownedweddingdresses.com; also look into local consignment shops.

 

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Munaluchi is a strong supporter of ABPIA, founded by Steven Lang - CEO of MonCheri Bridal.  ABPIA pledges to provide online counterfeit awareness, consumer education, and preservation of the bridal and special occasion industry.  Visit their site at  http://www.abpia.org/ to provide a testimonial if you've been affected, or to join the fight.

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