Ah, the wedding dress; every girl dreams of her ballgown, mermaid, or a-line dress. I can’t think of one that dreamed she’d be getting ripped off when going out to purchase it.
But that’s the funny thing about wedding gowns. They can be a HUGE rip off….or rather, their labels are often ripped off. Do not get caught in that trap.
Did you know that many bridal stores REMOVE the designer labels from their wedding gowns? Worse, did you also know that this is an illegal practice, much like a mattress store ripping all of those ‘do not remove’ tags off their mattresses.
The Federal Trade Commission REQUIRES that the designer’s label be present on all goods manufactured.
When you’re trying on dresses, look for the label. If it’s missing, the store is BREAKING THE LAW
How did this all start? The bridal business is highly
competitive, and stores wanted to prevent brides from falling in love with a dress…only to go somewhere else to actually make the purchase. Stores started pulling tags to prevent you, the bride, from saving money through a discount store or online retailer. They quite literally ripped off the competition.
Many bridal stores don’t even allow cameras because they are so afraid that you’ll be able to identify the dress through pictures online.
All this, the law breaking, the restricting cameras, to maintain their higher prices.... Buying your wedding dress
shouldn't be this difficult.
Another, rather major, issue caused by these rip offs is that without the labels, you will never really know whose dress you’re wearing. Some stores are so devious that they actually sell the bride a sample, or even a used dress, and STILL charge full price.
So, how can you fight back?
This may seem obvious, but don’t buy your dress at a bridal store! Instead, use the store to your advantage. Make your appointment, try on all the dresses you want, and then leave. You can always find a much better deal on the EXACT SAME DRESS somewhere else.
Look for the ID number. Stores can remove the designers label if they replace it with a store label that clearly identifies the designer with a unique ID number. Make a note of the number, and then do some online research. Make sure that the designer is who they say by cross-checking your information on the FTC's website.
If a store simply will not tell you a designer, leave. DO NOT BUY YOUR DRESS FROM THEM
. Make note of the features that you like, including neckline, length, fabric, silhouette, and search for it online. NEVER
pay cash and ALWAYS
get a receipt. Check your receipt and any contract you are given to make sure that everything is exactly the way you want it. Remember, the store is looking out for their bottom line. It’s up to you to protect yourself.
If enough brides follow these simple steps, then the bridal stores will get the message that bridal rip offs are not tolerated, and maybe brides will start getting the service they deserve.
If brides band together and so NO to wedding rip offs maybe those bridal shops will finally wise up and start giving brides the service they deserve.