How to Sell Your Used Wedding Gowns, Prom Dresses & Formal Wear!

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Please note that this a post about places to sell your gowns and is not a place to sell them.  I’ve had countless number of people leave comments trying to sell a dress via this post and I’m not comfortable being the moderator for such transactions so those comments will be trashed.  If you want to sell them online, please go sell them on Craigslist.  I’m only looking for feedback about any sales successes you have had or questions.  Thanks in advance.

So for the past several years I’ve been hoping my mother would forget that my wedding gown and special occasion dresses were all stored at her house.  Mainly because they are big, bulky and I don’t know what to do with them.  Attempting to sell them on Ebay seems like a shipping nightmare and Craigslist seems a little scary.

Dress Preservation-

I realize that there are people out there who spend big bucks on their wedding dresses and have them perfectly preserved…so that when they are old they can pull them out and touch them????  I don’t really understand the concept of dress preservation (unless your name is Catherine and you’re the Duchess of something).  I guess since I am a thrifty person by nature and didn’t spend over $100 on my dress that it didn’t seem logical to pay $75 to have it taken to a wedding gown taxidermist.  What do people plan to do with dress other than store it?  If you have a real hippie kid in 20 years, they may want to wear it but I think wedding dresses are becoming a individualistic thing.  Girls want to wear their own gown for their own event.  These are the reasons I’m ready to sell my own gown.  It’s okay if you aren’t.  Just like a piece of artwork or sentimental object, it may simply be a treasure that you want to keep for life.  Go for it.

Those other special past occasions…

Don’t forget about all those prom, homecoming, pageant, special event, and bridesmaid dresses in storage.  Got to love those bridesmaid dresses.  When will you ever wear those again?  Are you going to pull them out when you are 55 and be depressed that you can zip them up?  These are ALL my personal thoughts for why I’m ready to get rid of mine.

Bridal Consignment-

For a long time I wondered why I never saw any bridal consignment shops.  I mean its ingenious right?  A shop where you can go and get a completely unique dress that has been in someone’s closet for a few years and only been worn for a few hours.  You can avoid that “Super Dress Express” store down the street with mean staff and overpriced retail dresses.  In addition, if you own a special occasion dress consignment store, your stock is supplied by other people and you get a cut of the sales.  Sounds like a win-win scenario to me.

Facing My Past-

A few weeks ago, I found a pile of my dresses left in my guest room.  Apparently, my mom started cleaning out my old closet.  These had been sent down with my in-laws when they visited.  This is perfectly fine, but I was finally face to face with my past and deciding what place it held in my future.  

Could I donate it?  Sure!  But I’m a thrifty little mom so if I can find a way to squeeze a few bucks out of the things I own, I’m gonna do it before I donate it.  So this week I sat down and Googled “Wedding dress consignment + my city” and found a few shops I didn’t know existed.  I called them up and they welcomed me to stop in so they could check out my goods.  To my delight I was able to consign my wedding gown, prom dress and wedding jewelry (these were not the pieces I wore, but pieces I bought around the time of wedding as potential big day candidates).  As a side note, I did keep my wedding jewelry because I might actually wear those again and if I have a daughter a piece of jewelry is a simple sweet keepsake that doesn’t over-power her own uniqueness.  Besides, you gotta have something old to go along with something new and something blue.

Up For Sale-

The bridal consignment shop will put my dress on the floor for 360 days.  Again, these people are smart.  That way your dress and accessories are sure to be around during the prime event seasons.  Maybe my dresses sell and maybe they don’t.  But for 360 days they are being stored elsewhere and can potentially bring in some money for my stash.

If you are not super sentimental about your dresses or your kids dresses, consider finding a bridal or special occasion consignment store in your area. Call or check out their website to see if you need an appointment and take what you have on over.  The worst thing they can say is “No, we can’t sell this.” Which is no big deal.  Because once you know you can’t sell it, you can donate it to a place where it will find a home.

In fact I think around prom time some organizations collect dresses to give to girls who couldn’t otherwise afford a dress.  Either way, your stuff finds its way into someone else’s closet space for them to enjoy.

Let me know if you have found any other really good methods of selling your used gowns.
Kim Anderson