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Buyer Beware: Counterfeit Gowns Online

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Gray Photography
Gray Photography

A few weeks ago, we posted a piece on what to consider before buying your wedding gown online. While we recognize that it's a growing trend, there are still some serious concerns that you must consider before buying a gown online. Here, we break it down:

2013-03-11-howtochooseaweddingdressPhotographers_Gray_Photography.jpg
Photo Credit: Gray Photography

1. If the Price Seems Too Good to Be True, Then it Is
Some online retailers claim to be selling you a designer wedding gown for 50 percent or more off the retail price. They might even be showing you the same photographs you see on the designer's website or in our gown gallery, leading you into a false sense of security. But what you don't know is that more often than not, these photographs are being used without permission, and the dress you'll receive — if you ever receive it — will be a cheap knockoff version of the gown you fell in love with. Think stiff, itchy fabrics, uneven seams, and unflattering cuts. 

2. Always Check the Designer's Site Before Making a Purchase
On every wedding gown designer's website, you'll find a list of authorized retailers. These are the only stores permitted to distribute the designer's gowns. You'll rarely find an online retailer listed. If you have any questions, contact the designer's customer service line to inquire if you are purchasing from an authorized retailer. They'll be able to steer you in the right direction.

3. If You Have a Problem With the Gown, You're On Your Own
Counterfeit gowns frequently arrive in lengths and sizes that have no bearing on the measurements you saw on the website. If it's even possible to alter the gown, the alteration costs often can exceed the purchase price, negating any savings you received from ordering a gown online. Often, you won't be able to find any contact information on a counterfeiter's website — a major red flag that something fishy is going on.

While we don't want to discount stores that do sell authentic wedding gowns online, we urge you to be careful and watch out for these warning signs. 

More from Bridal Guide:

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What No One Tells You About Gown Shopping

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How to Avoid Wedding Disasters

By Bridal Guide