Selling my Wedding Dress on eBay

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My wedding dress, waiting for a buyer!

My parents thought I was weird. My spouse thought I was weird. But I bought my wedding dress at full retail price ($1000), wore it twice (one domestic wedding, one international wedding, both to the same person ๐Ÿ™‚ ), and sold it afterwards on Ebay for $400. Why did I do it?

Thought process

I think there’s a stigma to selling your dress. The stigma is that you should be sentimental and treasure this piece of polyester, tulle, and lace for the rest of your life. Or the assumption is that you’re well-off enough not to “need” to sell it, and by selling it, you’re demeaning yourself. For me, though, the reasoning was: I wore it, I felt pretty while wearing it, took some nice photos, but now it’s outlived its useful purpose and is sitting in my closet taking up a whole lotta space. My condo doesn’t have a ton of closet space, yo! Why not convert that dress to something that can be useful to your daily life (through the intermediary of cash)?

Of course, it’s up to each person to decide what to do with a dress. It’s all up to you. But for me, selling was the right decision.

Selling process

I looked up a couple of specialized selling websites, like Once Wed, and Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses, which had various commission fees ($20, $25 respectively). In the end I decided to go with eBay because that’s where I’ve bought and sold before. I have a good eBay reputation score which I thought would help reassure new buyers. The cons were that the commission fee is much higher than the specialized websites, at 10%.

I listed the dress for $500 as the “Buy It Now” price. In general, my rule-of-thumb for selling used items on Craigslist or eBay is to start at 50% of the retail price. I wasn’t expecting much, maybe a few nibbles, and I was fully prepared to lower the price in a couple of weeks.

Lo and behold, within a few days, someone offered $400. (There were also a few other lowball offers which I declined.) After a few back-and-forths to answer some detailed questions about the condition of the dress, we finalized the transaction and I mailed it off. All within a week! To be honest, it happened much faster than I was expecting, so I felt a bit of emotion when dropping off the dress at the post office. But looking back now, a few months later, I can honestly say I haven’t missed it one bit.

Tips for selling

  • Listing speed: I think one thing that helped was selling the dress reasonably soon after the wedding (within a year), while the dress was still available in-store. The dress is a long-running and popular model at BHLDN, so I knew there would be a reasonable number of potential buyers.
  • Reversible alterations: I had made alterations to the dress, but most of these alterations were reversible (i.e., taking in the dress). I noted this clearly in the item description. The only thing that wasn’t reversible was the length of them hem, which was cut to fit a 5’5″ frame. However, this is an average female height, so the dress was still long enough to fit most potential buyers.
  • Good photos: I uploaded a mix of photos: a few from the actual wedding so the buyer could see the dress “in action”, and a bunch of photos of the dress hanging up, including detailed shots and zoomed-out shots.
  • Responsiveness to questions: When the eventual buyer messaged me, I emailed them back right away, was honest about the condition of the dress, and took additional pictures of the areas she requested. I think this helped boost her confidence that I was a responsible person who took good care of the dress.

Would you sell your wedding dress, or have you heard of others doing it? Are wedding dresses worth the splurge in the first place?

6 thoughts on “Selling my Wedding Dress on eBay

  1. I plan on selling my wedding dress as well! I bought it for $300 off eBay and plan to throw it right back on there. I also didn’t alter it at all, because I knew I was going to resell it later. However, I’ve slacked off on doing it, particularly because I’ve been waiting for the right season to put it up. Anyway, I don’t have super high hopes because the size isn’t that common.

    I think the sentimental factor is so interesting! I’m not sentimental about it at all, and like you, closet space is precious! I put up some pictures on Instagram stories of the dress, saying I was going to sell it and I got a comment from someone saying they could never sell their wedding dress, which made me think a little. But then again, I’ve never been traditional about anything wedding-related.

    You’re off to a great start for a new blog ๐Ÿ™‚ Looking forward to reading more!

    Like

    • Good luck with the selling! I would love to hear how it turns out. I was also really surprised that my dress sold, but maybe the uncommon sizes get picked up faster? (mine was size 00) I definitely got some strange looks from my family about selling the dress. I’m just not sure what I would do with it otherwise… If you want to keep it, you’re supposed to spend extra money to “preserve” it by spraying it with chemicals and sticking it in a fancy box, or try to pass it off on your kids, which sounds even less likely to me ๐Ÿ˜›

      Thank you so much for the kind words! You have no idea how much it means to me!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought about selling mine years ago but what made me nervous about it was random people coming and trying it on and possibly damaging the dress. I only ever considered selling it locally as I didnโ€™t want to go through the hassle of shipping and a customer being unhappy for whatever reason and having to deal with returns etc. All these scary thoughts came to mind so I never went ahead with it and alas it still hangs in my wardrobe 7 years later ๐Ÿ™‚
    You did a good thing by selling yours early on. I donโ€™t think they are worth the splurge as you only wear it for a few hours. You managed to get two wears out of it which is great.

    Like

    • Selling locally sounds tough! I’ve had such a difficult time with buyers from Craigslist coming to my house – they make an appointment then don’t show up, which messes up your day if you went home specially to meet them. What I did for eBay was specify “no returns” so I wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle ๐Ÿ™‚

      Have you considered altering or dyeing your dress? That could be an option, depending on the dress style! I considered shortening and dyeing my dress as a backup option, which would have made an acceptable party dress, if selling on eBay hadn’t worked out.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a great post- I gave my wedding dress to charity. Like you I wore it twice once for a civil wedding and once for a church wedding. ( to the same person) It was beautiful, oyster satin, duchess silk and made especially for me, but really what would I do with it? I hope someone with a tiny waist managed to buy it…

    Like

    • That’s wonderful! Charity is a great option. I feel that as long as someone else is actually using it, I am satisfied. I was reading an article earlier today about how girls are sharing their prom dresses (not sure if you have that in the UK) on social media, to lend to others temporarily. I think that’s a great idea too!

      Like

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