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10 top tips for buying a wedding dress online

We investigate the world of online shopping and offer advice for buying your wedding dress securely.


Buying a wedding dress online, the do’s and don’ts!

We don’t need to tell you, that you can buy almost anything online. You can get your groceries, buy a new pair of shoes and if you really want to, you can even buy Justin Timberlake’s half eaten French toast. No, really.

If  you’re on the look-out for a wedding dress, then you can expand your options by buying a wedding dress online as the Internet is much bigger than your traditional bridal shops. Although you don’t get nearly the same level of service, and just the general lovely experience that you would in a bridal shop, Internet wedding dress shop can come in handy, especially if you’re after something very specific or are an unconventional bride searching for a wedding dress that’s a little bit different.

But much like trying on a wedding dress before you purchase it in a bridal shop, there are certain precautions you need to take before clicking ‘buy it now’ online.

Things to consider for buying your wedding dress safely online

1. Check out the site first, find out how easy it is to contact them. Look for ‘Contact Us’ or ‘Help’ on the site. Then make a note of the contact details and try calling the company to see if someone answers or send them an email to see how quickly it takes them to reply.

2. Check out the returns conditions and how much extra delivery is going to cost you.

3. To make sure the website is secure check that the web address starts with https, instead of http and always look to see if the padlock symbol appears when you go to enter your payment details, as this is the site’s security certificate.

4. Always know your rights when you buy something online. If you buy online from a UK or EU-based company you have the same rights as if you’d bought from a shop. Goods must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described when sold, otherwise you are entitled to a refund.

5. Always consider your payment options. If you have a credit card use it to pay for the wedding dress, this way if things go wrong you are covered for anything between £100 and £30,000. This means that you can claim your money back from either the card provider or the retailer through section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if there is a problem with the dress.

6. If you are given the option of paying by Paypal use it, as it allows buyers to safely pay for goods, and offers a 28 day period where refunds can be issued if items are not as described, or if not delivered, therefore offering full protection to shoppers should things go wrong.

7. Make sure you know where the dress is coming from and how long it will take to arrive.

8. If using eBay, Always check a seller’s feedback profile prior to making a purchase – their Detailed Seller Ratings (stars) show the level of service you can expect. Be more cautious if they’ve received negative feedback recently.

9. Watch out for underpriced items and expensive items where the seller offers free delivery – if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

10. Watch out for strange item descriptions – they’re often an indicator of a fraudulent listing. Common warning signs are:

  • Differences between the location of the item on the listing page and in the item description.
  • The item description language differing from the seller’s country.
  • The item description reading as if it’s been translated by an automated translator.