Let’s face it — weddings can be expensive, in particular the wedding gown. Because of this, many brides turn to online deals in order to save money, but there is no guarantee that those bargain designer gowns are actually authentic. Many brides have been through very traumatic experiences when the dress they ordered online from non-authentic retailers was not at all what they saw in the photo. There have been instances where the overall design had changed, fabrics were not what they ordered or high-quality, and the dresses were not sewn properly requiring brides to find a local company to completely rebuild the dress just days before the wedding. And trust us, this is something a bride never wants to go through.
So how do you know if the wedding gown and bridesmaids dresses you are buying are the real deal? We at Bridal Spectacular have a few tips on how to spot those counterfeit dresses online.
Look Out For The Warning Signs
There are many warning signs brides should be aware of before buying their wedding gowns (both online and in-store), but the biggest ones to look out for is a retailer offering a big discount on a name-brand dress or promising inexpensive custom orders. Before ordering, be sure the website or retailer is on a list of authorized sellers of the dress manufacturer. For example, if you are looking at a Maggie Sottero gown, you will find a list of authorized sellers in the store locator section of the website: http://www.maggiesottero.com/stores.aspx.
Consumers can also check reviews on the Better Business Bureau site or forums such as RipoffReport.com and SiteJabber.com.
Analyze The Website
Also before paying, look for the padlock sign on the payment page, which indicates the site is secure. Lastly, take a look at the URL and make sure nothing is misspelled. Many counterfeit sites will use a URL with a brand name, but misspell it or change one word so consumers don’t notice. For example: http://www.bridalspectacular.com vs. http://www.bridespectacular.com. If you weren’t paying close attention the URLs would be easy to confuse.
Verify the Price
If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is. If that gorgeous dress you saw on one site is half the price of the one on dress manufacturer’s site, then it’s probably a counterfeit. Even if the dress has a smaller discount, such as 20%, it’s worth checking other elements of the website to see if everything looks legitimate.
What’s the Return Policy?
If the website is reputable, they will make their return policy abundantly clear — and comprehensive return policy is vital to buying a dress online. If the dress doesn’t fit or is damaged, an authentic retailer should provide an option of how to return items and cancel orders.
Is the Website Reputable?
Be sure to do your research before buying your perfect wedding dress online. Check whether the site or seller is mentioned on any of the scam warning sites by doing a search for ‘vendor+scam’ and see what comes up in the search results.
Everyone wants to try to save a little money for their wedding, but be sure to keep these tips in mind and be cautious so you don’t become a victim of counterfeiting. For more wedding planning tips and information please visit http://www.bridalspectacular.com or follow us on Facebook, twitter and Pinterest.
And, be sure to save-the-date to attend our Autumn Bridal Show August 15 and16 at Cashman Center where you’ll be able to meet Las Vegas’ best bridal stores and shop for your gown directly at the show! Receive $5 off admission when you buy tickets online! Click here and enter promo code: BRIDEBLOG14