1. All dress manufacturers dresses fit differently. Sizes can vary greatly, a 6 in one mfg dress might be an 8 or even a 10 in another’s. Since you cannot try the dress on we typically recommend buying a larger size…it is easier to alter it down than up.
2. Be aware of the return policy. Many online dress sales are final, no returns allowed. While paying with Paypal may give you some additional protections, if a seller has a no return policy you are stuck.
3. Be aware of lead times. Many people think online = in stock. Many online dresses come from China and can take weeks to ship and even longer in transit once shipped. Also, tracking numbers from out of country are not always updated and timely.
4. Understand the shipping costs, including any duties or tarrifs on out of country shipments. It is not uncommon for a $99 dress to cost $300 or more by the time all the fees are paid.
5. Understand alteration costs. Many dress shops will not alter dresses they did not sell. Typically alteration fees are much higher on dresses not bought at the store doing the alterations.
6. Finally, truly understand what you are buying. Read all the details on the website, ask questions, check the company out online for reviews. This is truly a buyer beware situation.
Yes, you can get a great deal buying your wedding dress online. And if you are careful and understand the whole transaction it can be a pleasant experience. But absolutely be aware of the things that can go wrong.
Finally, just as a common courtesy, don’t go into a bridal boutique and expect them to match a price of a dress you find online. To get the online price you are assuming many of the responsibilities a dress shop would have and it is not fair to expect them to assume those responsibilities for you and offer a deeply discounted price