Are you looking for ways to cut back on your wedding expenses without giving up any of part of your dream wedding? If so, there are a host of opportunities available to brides today that weren’t available even just a few short years ago. For instance, the Internet has opened up the international market for wedding dresses, affording brides-to-be the opportunity to expand their search and outsource their orders to get the best prices on wedding dresses around.
For many brides in your shoes, turning to the large and cheap wedding dress making industry in China proves a great way for you to save some money on your wedding dress without compromising the style and look that you’ve envisioned.
Why Buying a Wedding Dress from China is So Popular
Wedding dresses straight from China effectively cut out the middle man, giving you store-quality wedding dresses for less. Since many manufacturers outsource their orders to China anyways, if you know what you’re doing and what to look for, you could wind up paying hundreds – even thousands – of dollars less than you would at an upscale bridal boutique or big name store.
Of course, that addendum is very important so it bears repeating – if you know what you’re doing and what to look for. The problem with buying wedding dresses online from China is that they aren’t subject to the same quality control measures that boutiques and brand name stores put the gowns through. Plus, you’re dealing with international orders so alterations aren’t as simple as walking to your local store. Further, the language barrier proves to be a bit difficult with some companies.
If you want to learn how to buy wedding dresses from China online, there are some very important things you need to know first.
Cautions When Buying Wedding Dresses from China Online
Before you place your order for any wedding dress, you need to have your exact measurements taken. This becomes doubly important when ordering wedding dresses from China online. Check, double check and then triple check your measurements, making certain that the numbers you give in the order are indeed the correct ones. You can have a seamstress take your measurements if you feel uncomfortable doing it yourself.
Retain records of this transaction so that you have recourse if the measurements on the dress are wrong when you receive it. It’s a good idea to convert your measurements from standard to metric, including both sets of numbers in the order to cover all bases.
Then, when it comes time to choose a website from which to order your wedding dress, be sure to do your homework. Check the site’s reputation, not only with safety sites that deal with web registration, but also look for customer reviews. The site should be registered to an actual company and not be only a few months, weeks or even days old. Essentially, you want to know that this company has been in business for a while and they are good at doing what they do.
Alternatively, you can look on eBay since a lot of Chinese dressmakers are on there. If you do, take advantage of eBay’s seller rating and feedback system, checking the dressmaker out thoroughly. Look for scores up in the 98th percentile.
The site should also be secure and encrypted. Look for “HTTPS” in front of the web address and your browser indicator to turn green as that signifies a secure site. These are typically more expensive so scammers won’t bother with them. This ensures that your payment info is secure and safe, reducing the risk of identity theft and credit card scams.
Look for a Facebook page or Twitter account – anything that shows they are not just some start-up or knockoff sweatshop. Look for a FAQ page and contact information. Basically, look for details that make you feel comfortable putting the lasting image of your wedding in their hands – your dress.
Tips for Buying a Wedding Dress from China Online
Here are some other things that you should keep in mind when buying a wedding dress online from China:
- Wedding dress manufacturers typically keep their dresses pre-ordered and in stock in boutiques for easy sales. Since they’re made in China to begin with, the Chinese dressmakers are used to working with a list of preordained specifications made to ensure quality and meet popular demand. Feel free to ask for your own specifications – the dressmakers are used to this.
- Be sure you know which type of fabric they are planning on using and since the dress is going to be cheaper, feel free to upgrade to a natural or silk-based fabric instead of polyester.
- Make it clear that you want a soft lace, not a stiff one. Some places cut down on cost by putting a stiffer lace on the wedding gown, but that comes off looking cheap and will make you uncomfortable when you wear it.
- The same thing goes for satin – ask for a high thread count and be sure to retain email records confirming you asked for and received confirmation of this.
- Order early so you can ask for fabric samples to be sent to you. This is especially important for satin and lace wedding dresses.
- Ordering early also gives you leeway to deal with unexpected problems. Murphy’s Law doesn’t take a break for weddings!
- You can also opt for extra layers in the skirt, something that will cost you a bit more, but not nearly as much as if you purchase the dress from a high-end boutique.
- Ask for pictures with close up details of other dresses they’ve made. Wedding pictures from actual brides are a huge plus.
Payment and Shipping Tips
When it comes time to pay for your dress, you should always try to use PayPal since they have security measures that protect the consumer if something goes wrong. Don’t ever do direct bank transfers or give any credit card information on a site that isn’t secure. Look for security ratings from McAfee and other online security raters.
When it comes to delivery, choose a courier service so the package can be insured, tracked and will get more TLC than with general airmail from China.