So you’ve spent a fortune on your wedding dress. Now what?
Let’s start with a staggering fact that may come as unsurprising to anyone who has gotten married: The average cost for a wedding dress in 2021 was $1,800, according to The Knot.
And lest you think that high costs mean fewer people are wearing traditional wedding dresses, the answer to that is definitely not. A whopping 99% of female-identifying survey respondents in The Knot’s wedding study said they wore a dress for their wedding.
But for those of us who are budget-conscious and realize that a wedding dress is both a beautiful memento and likely something that will sit in our closet untouched for years, there has to be a better way. Sure, a wedding dress, like a car, likely loses some value once it walks off the lot—or in this case, the bridal store.
There is an alternative to recoup at least part of the investment: We have 10 places where you can sell your wedding dress.
10 Places Where You Can Sell Your Wedding Dress Online
We found 10 places where you can sell your wedding dress online:
- Nearly Newlywed
- Sell My Wedding Dress
- Once Wed
- Social media
PreownedWeddingDresses.com is a great tool for buyers and sellers who want easy access to a collection of vintage or pre-loved wedding dresses. The listing service is online only, meaning there’s no physical location. However,it does offer users an advanced search option that allows them to search by zip code or city if they want to pick up an item locally.
The site is best for brides who are selling dresses after 2005 and remember the style name, number and designer of their dress. For those who have no idea, consider calling the store you purchased from or list the dress as “other” and title it based on its descriptors, like its sleeve length and material.
PreownedWeddingDresses.com charges a one-time $25 listing fee with no renewal. Sellers list their item on the service, and interested brides can message the seller internally for questions about sizing, style and more. The total price, including shipping, selling price and terms, is up to the buyer and seller. PayPal is integrated into the messaging system for a secure checkout.
Although you can hope for a quick sale, you should be prepared to wait. While the site notes that some sales happen in as quick as 24 hours, the average sell time is 70 days.
Unlike PreownedWeddingDresses.com, Tradesy is a luxury and designer resale platform that sells everything from Louis Vuitton bags to vintage Helmut Lang. Wedding dresses simply make up one of their categories, so this is a good site for someone who has a dress that will stand out.
Rather than charging a listing fee, Tradesy works on commission. Listing your item is free and as easy as a few clicks on your phone. Wedding dress sellers have to ship items on their own, requiring them to purchase tracking, insurance and even signature required upon delivery for anything over $500, according to Tradesy. Assuming your dress is listed for more than $50, the site will deduct a 19.8% commission rate, roughly $99 off of a $500 dress, for example. You can then receive the rest of your money through PayPal, ACH transfer or a debit card.
Items in the wedding category fall into the “final sale” category and cannot be returned.
Like PreownedWeddingDresses.com, Stillwhite is a site that focuses specifically on selling wedding dresses. The retail platform has a helpful tool to let you set your price when it comes to selling your old dress. Just input the retail price, the date you purchased your dress and its condition, and the site will auto-populate with a suggested price.
A 2021 $4,000 Vera Wang dress that is used and cleaned would go for $2,600, according to Stillwhite, the same price that PreownedWeddingDresses.com estimated.
Also like PreownedWeddingDresses.com, Stillwhite has a one-time fee rather than a commission. Pay a $25 standard one-time fee to list four photos that will remain on the site until your piece has sold. If you choose to pay a $35 premium fee, you’ll get a place on the homepage gallery, improved search result and up to eight photos and a video of your dress.
The site has built-in fraud detection and privacy protection. Sellers can get their money through PayPal, which usually has a 2.6% to 2.9% transaction fee, but can be transferred directly into your bank account.
4. Nearly Newlywed
Nearly Newlywed is another online listing service (or as they say, boutique) for wedding dresses. But this site distinguishes itself by offering white-glove concierge service.
Sellers must first create an account and pay a $19.99 one-time listing fee. After inputting dress details and photos, Nearly Newlywed communicates with buyers and handles marketing. When your dress is sold, the site will send you a prepaid and insured shipping label that you will need to use to ship your dress to its new home. All told, you’ll get 70% of the total price via PayPal. Nearly Newlywed takes 30% commission.
BravoBride has one special characteristic to help it stand out among its competitors: Most items are free to list and sell, except for bridal gowns, which incur a $9.95 fee. You can also pay $9.95 to have an item featured or $4.95 to highlight it, which might end up being helpful down the line.
The site is very hands-off when it comes to the actual transaction. Bravo Bride allows the buyer and seller to determine the terms of the transaction and how the seller gets paid. They recommend using Escrow.com for any transaction over $100.
SellMyWeddingDress.org stands out because it’s free to register and free to list your item. You’re entitled to 10 free photos on your listing and 10 active ads.
But you also have the option to pay premium pricing and get better play on the site. Pay $29 for a wedding dress listing and you’ll get 25 active ads and a featured listing.
While SellMyWeddingDress.org may be inexpensive, it lacks certain protections. The site doesn’t make clear how the payment process works for the seller and does not offer refunds.
7. Once Wed
Like most bridal resale sites, Once Wed was started to give second-hand wedding dresses a second home. It’s now turned into a site with roughly 3 million visitors a year and a daily social reach of 400,000 followers, so your dress is sure to reach some interested eyes.
Once Wed charges a $19.95 one-time listing fee, consistent with other competitors, for listing your new or used dress. (That dips to a $5 fee if you’re only selling an accessory or bridal party dress.) Interested brides can message you directly through an internal messaging system. The site does not handle payment, but they recommend PayPal or Escrow.com to ensure a safe transaction.
Like Tradesy, Poshmark is a vintage resale site that does not specialize in wedding dresses. That can either work in your favor—you’ll get a bigger audience—or against it—there will be fewer people looking specifically for wedding dresses.
What Poshmark can offer is a tried-and-true community and a business model that’s been tested many times over. Like many of the other sites, it works by having you list your item, share it, communicate with buyers and ultimately sell it. Assuming your dress is more than $15, Poshmark charges a commission of 20% of your sale.
Once you’ve made a sale on Poshmark, the site sends you a prepaid, pre-addressed label to ship your dress. When the buyer has received your item, your redeemable money will show up in your Poshmark account within three days of delivery. You can then choose to receive that money through a check or a deposit directly to your bank account.
Queenly is an interesting in-between of a wedding dress site and a secondhand clothing store. They focus on formalwear, meaning not just wedding dresses but also for a prom or a quinceañera.
Selling on Queenly is commission-based. The site keeps 20% of your sale. You upload photos and write a listing and they’ll send you a prepaid shipping label when you have a buyer. (That still means you have to take it to the post office yourself.)
Sellers get paid after the buyer receives the item and has confirmed its condition. Items over $500 must first be sent to Queenly headquarters to be inspected for quality control. The good news is that you can receive your earnings directly via PayPal, Venmo or ACH transfer.
10. Social Media
Social media sites like Instagram or Facebook Marketplace are perhaps the best and worst way to sell a wedding dress. You won’t have to pay a commission or listing fee but you’ll certainly have fewer protections. If you’re lucky, you’ll sell your dress to a friend who loved it when they saw it on you!
The main challenge of these two forums is monitoring your posts and answering any questions. When you put together a post on Marketplace or Instagram, photos are key. Assemble your best images and give all the information necessary for a potential buyer—for example, any alterations, issues with the condition and measurements. Generally, local buyers pay in cash for their items and meet up in person. If you’re planning to ship, make sure you secure a payment method ahead of time.
How Much Can I Make Selling My Wedding Dress?
If you’re prepping for your wedding and already thinking this is a path you want to pursue, remember that time is of the essence. Like all clothes, dress styles go in and out of fashion, so the closer to your wedding date that you sell your dress, the more likely you are that it is in demand.
A good guideline is selling no later than two years after your wedding date.
If you want to get a better sense of how much you can actually earn off of your wedding dress, try out PreownedWeddingDress.com’s value calculator. Whatever method you use to actually sell your dress, this tool is a helpful barometer of what you might be able to earn.
Dry clean your gown before you sell it. It’s a small thing you can do to get the most value possible for your resale.
The condition of the dress and the designer are perhaps the most important factors. If you splurged on a Vera Wang or Monique Lhuillier gown, then you might be able to make back a larger percentage of what you spent.
There may be many emotions tied up in your big day and the dress you bought for it, but try to think of selling your dress as giving another person the opportunity to experience the same kind of happiness you had. And you can use the money you make off the dress to give you a financial lift in your new wedded life.
Writer Elizabeth Djinis is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder, often writing about selling goods online through social platforms. Her work has appeared in Teen Vogue, Smithsonian Magazine and the Tampa Bay Times.