Is it a good idea to buy a Wedding dress from China – Can we trust the quality and sizes?
Buying wedding dresses online from any supplier in any location will have its difficulties simply because you're not trying it on before you buy and as with all clothes bought online this will be very hit and miss re sizes and quality. When it comes to buying any item of clothing from China specifically we need to bear in mind, many of the High Street clothes we buy locally from are also selling clothes made in China and so we know we can find quality items made in China.
The difference is though that we can see the quality and try on the garment once it is available in a local store and we can't do either of those things when we buy direct from China. Buying direct from China though is increasing in popularity due to the massive savings we can make. We can save hundreds of pounds on wedding dresses buying them off the shelf and even custom-made from China based sellers, via eBay or websites like DressilyMe and AdasBridal.
What if I don't like it, it doesn't fit – can I return it?
If we are buying clothes online generally the only way to obtain a refund is to return the item. Many merchants insist we pay the return postage and shipping fees before they will even consider a refund and in many cases they do not cover the cost of return postage. That is even when they are in the wrong. This is not the case for all however and this is why it is all important to read the ‘returns policy' before ordering. If it costs you more to return the item than it cost for the item itself – is it worth it? In many cases we write bad purchases from abroad off to experience. It's not so easily to do this with wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses as we are often restricted by time constraints and of course lack of alternative options.
We don't though, want to avoid overseas sellers due to these hiccups.
MANY do offer a great service and great products at prices we can afford as their testimonials (on social networking sites) show.
So what do we do?
How to safeguard your online purchase
- My advice would be to order early enough to allow for returns or hiccups so you have time to make alternative arrangements and do not leave yourself panicking last-minute about shipping delays and other problems. If you do decide to order early, keep a regular eye on your own measurements so they don't change! Last thing you want is to gain or lose so much weight the dress doesn't fit on the day due to ordering too soon. The same of course applies to bridesmaid dresses ordered from China.
- Read the sellers returns policy – if it stinks, move on.
- Take your OWN measurements and check them against their measurement charts – do not rely on UK, USA etc. dress sizes when ordering from China or other overseas sellers. Here is a handy video demonstrating how to take your own body measurements accurately.
- I have found a few times the fabric used in the China made garments is different to that shown in the picture on their website with the result that how the garment ‘falls' and fits around the body differs from that in the photo. Familiarise yourself with different fabric types and their appearance. And read the details re what the clothing item you're buying is made from. If it isn't made from a fabric that appears to have the qualities of the fabric in the image, then you will know to expect differences in how the garment looks on you compared to the model.
- Read the sellers feedback and reviews – do they look genuine? Check the dates – are they all the same day or spread out over a period of time.
- Has the seller been trading long?
- What is their communication like – you may want to test this by emailing them for advice before making a purchase. If you're ordering an expensive item like a wedding dress you may need advice about sizes, customizations and more, so good communication is essential. Trust your gut, if it's poor, move on.
- There are some great social networking sites where brides share details of their China wedding dress purchases. If they report a great result ask to see their own photos of the dress and the sellers promotional photos. Then you can see for yourself if there are any marked differences in quality though it's still only a photo – bear this in mind at all times.
All online clothing purchases come with a risk. Are the savings worth it?
I myself buy clothes from China for my regular wardrobe and make regular savings and it is a bit hit and miss even when using the same seller. Overall … I have found the savings worth it. You however need to make your own mind up re this one. I hope these guidelines go some way to helping you.
Please do share your China wedding and bridesmaid dress reviews below so brides can benefit from great savings and quality!