Buying a Used Wedding Gown from a Thrift Store

Buying a used wedding gown has never been easier than it is today. Not only has the Internet opened up a number of ways for sellers and buyers to come together for this type of transaction, but an increasing number of women are deciding that instead of gathering dust in their attic, their dress could be put to better use. Perhaps it’s their need for cash that motivates them to put their pre-loved dress up for sale, or maybe they just want to donate their dress to a worthy cause. Whatever the reason, buying a used wedding dress means you can pick up a gown that’s only ever been worn the once, or, as is the case with some wedding dresses, never. One place a bride-to-be can pick up an amazing bargain is at her local thrift store. Just knowing when and how to shop for a used gown at a thrift store can lead you to the dress of your dreams, at a fraction of what you’d pay for it brand new.

Where to Shop

It probably goes without saying, but don’t rely on one store. Cast your net wide and visit as many stores as you can. Obviously this means starting your search earlier rather than later. Don’t leave it until a few weeks before your big day to start shopping.

Don’t just stick to the bigger thrift stores when shopping for a used gown either. There’s no telling where people will donate used wedding dresses.

How to Shop

Always ask the sales assistants if they have any wedding dresses for sale if you can’t see any on the shop floor. Sometimes wedding dresses are kept in a separate area as they’re too big to place on the clothing racks.

Take a stock of contact cards with you or a Post-It pad so you can give your contact details to the store and ask that you be called should a dress come in.

Considerations to Make

While you may be lucky and find a used dress you like that doesn’t need cleaning or altering, it’s wise to budget for what could be necessities. There’s every chance that buying a used wedding dress from a thrift store will mean that it needs to be professionally cleaned. Some stains are more difficult to remove than others. For example, biological stains (e.g. perspiration stains) can be difficult to remove if they’ve been there for a while. Similarly, food spills that weren’t properly removed immediately they occurred may also be difficult to remove now. However, don’t worry if you’ve fallen in love with a dress that has a few stains that look as though they will be hard to shift. It’s possible to have the offending material replaced with new. While any necessary costs such as these should be factored into your overall budget, the total cost will almost certainly still work out cheaper than buying a new dress.

If you find a used gown that’s a little too big or too tight, again, alterations can be made. An experienced seamstress or tailor can work wonders, so don’t write off any dress without employing a little imagination first.

And if you add effort and perseverance to that imagination, then you’re well on your way to finding the perfect used wedding dress for a fraction of the price of a brand new one!

©, 2010

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