How to sell your wedding dress

Include professional photos of your wedding when selling your dress online.

Include professional photos of your wedding when selling your dress online. Photo: Getty Images

Given that the average Australian wedding will now set you back around $54,292, the average newly minted Mr & Mrs Joe might have some serious cash-flow problems post nuptials.  Added on to the price of the venue, celebrant and champagne, it's likely that you spent at least a thousand, if not two, three or five, on a dress you will never wear again.

What better way to flip the proverbial bird at the whole wedding industrial complex than by recouping some of those costs and selling your dress to another bride-to-be?

Provide good quality full-length shots of the front and back, close-ups of the fabric and detailing, and clear photos of ...

Provide good quality full-length shots of the front and back, close-ups of the fabric and detailing, and clear photos of any decorative details. Photo: Getty

The pre-loved wedding dress market makes a ton of sense. As it stands, bridal gown shopping can be a frustrating experience (Daily Life's editor can concur) with options few, and prices kept extortionately high. When you buy your dress first-hand with the intention to sell it later, that hefty price tag may just seem a tad more justified.

Advertisement

Want to score some post-wedding cash to put toward the honeymoon fund – and do good by the world? We’ve got some helpful hints to make the process seem a whole lot less daunting.

Go online

While consignment stores and rental showrooms take a cut of up to 30 per cent from any sales and can be choosy in what they accept, websites such as Still WhiteThree Colours White and I Do Gowns only require a one-off listing fee. They’re like Trading Post, but locally based and dedicated solely to pre-loved wedding dresses. Buyers may search for frocks within their state or city, allowing both parties to arrange a try-on before any money is handed over.

Take good photos

Don’t just post an image from the dress designer’s catalogue. At minimum, provide good quality full-length shots of the front and back, close-ups of the fabric and detailing, and clear photos of any decorative details.

Also include professional photos from your wedding day. As Ingrid Szajer, co-founder of Still White, says, “Seeing a picture of you looking stunning in the dress is sure to catch the buyer’s attention.”

Price it right

Your dress may be worth up to 75 per cent of its original price tag. Szajer suggests you list your dress anywhere between 50 and 75 per cent of the original retail price depending on its condition, age and whether it’s been dry-cleaned. “If your dress is older than two years, start with an asking price of about 50 per cent,” she says. When setting your price, check out similar items that have recently sold or consult this nifty Wedding Dress Value Calculator to give you an idea.

Take care of it

Have your dress professionally dry cleaned as soon as you can after the wedding. Any sweat marks or spilled drinks can quickly turn yellow if you leave them too long, affecting the price of the sale. Avoid storing your dress in a plastic bag, which can trap humidity, and ask your dry cleaner to hermetically seal it and place it in an heirloom box to protect your dress from dust before you sell.

Give a detailed description

Give as much description as possible, including the original purchase price, the designer, the size, the fit, the fabric, the colour, the type of waistline, neckline and skirt, the style of fastening, any marks, stains or rips, any decorative details such as embroidery, and whether or not your dress is suitable for alteration. A detailed personal recount of how it moved down the aisle and on the dance floor may also sway the buyer in their decision.

What’s selling like cray cray on the second-hand wedding dress market? We got the stats from Still White:

Most searched designers 

  • Maggie Sottero
  • Collette Dinnigan
  • Jenny Packham


Most searched styles

  • Strapless
  • A-line
  • Fishtail

Designers with the highest resale value (over 60 per cent of the original purchase price)

  • Jane Hill
  • Anna Campbell
  • Gwendolynne