Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wedding Dress From Ebay?

(This picture is not me, but it's the dress I ended up with from David's Bridal.)
OK......So we had finally decided to set the date and get hitched after 8 years of loving each other. I was so excited and immediately started looking around for a dress. Because of the economy and seeing that I had just gotten laid off in December, I knew it would have to be a great bargain dress. As I began to scour the internet, I saw that dresses were not very cheap. Then I had a light bulb go off in my head. Ebay! The place I had gotten so many bargains from in the past....why not a wedding dress?
I found a beautiful ballerina-style dress from a store in China. I breezed through the feedback of this seller, and everything seemed to be ok. So for $68, free shipping and a beautiful custom made dress (replica, of course), I thought, what the heck? After all, through Paypal I had full purchase price protection. Definitely worth the gamble at such a bargain price. Besides, I had heard that many bridal dresses come from China anyway, so it seemed plausible that this offer wasn't THAT good to be true. It made sense to me. So I did it!
3 weeks later, I wrote the seller asking if my dress would be shipping out by May 31st, which was the timeline he had given for making and shipping the dress. I never received a response. I went back to his feedback....which I had been doing in between time anyway, and saw a recent negative feedback for him. Hmmmmm...I thought. I watched daily as the negative feedbacks rolled in. One after another. I wrote him again, telling him my concerns because of his non-response and negative feedbacks. Still no email.
I finally filed a claim through Paypal and am currently waiting to see where that goes. Lesson learned. I actually learned a lot about the whole feedback thing. Did you know that with some sort of program, they can actually put up FAKE feedback? I always do a lot of researching on the internet, and learned SO much on this subject. There are ways to tell that's it's fake, but that's a whole other blog!
After all this chaos I decided to look for a dress the conventional way. I got in my car and drove my butt to David's Bridal where the staff was more than helpful. After trying on eight dresses, number nine was "the one". I absolutely LOVE it! I have a little over a year to lose a few pounds so that the dress can look like it should on me. lol
Thus far, for my wedding attire, I've purchased my dress(David's), my veil(ebay), my petticoat(ebay), my tiara(ebay) and my shoes. I still need jewelry and I'm still contemplating on gloves(but probably not) and putting some straps or sheer 3/4 sleeves on dress.
UPDATE: I did finally end up getting my money back through Paypal. Lesson learned.


  1. How can you tell if the feedback is fake? I have often wondered about that.
    Congratulations on your upcoming marriage :)

  2. Thank you Anonymous! I did a lot of cross referencing. I clicked on the "supposed" customer's feedback to check THEIR feedback to see if the seller left feedback for them. I go down every single one to see if there is a pattern. I also would check the customer's OTHER feedback to look for inconsistencies. If you look really close, you'll see it. It just takes time.
    I read that they will also have "other" rip off sellers act as customers giving feedback. I found this to be true also.
    Thanks again!

  3. I am always on the alert for scams on Ebay. Unfortunately, as the economy worsens, petty criminals flourish. Those are good tips for checking feedback. Also, I know private auctions are often scammers covering their tracks.

    On the bright side, if you stay within the Paypal TOS, they always decide for the buyer. Use a credit card as the funding source so if Paypal fails you, Visa (or another cc) will back you up. I realize the time involved with making a custom dress makes it a scammer's dream. One time I got scammed on Ebay as follows:

    Bought a mattress pad- it was supposed to be organic memory foam 3" thick but it was 1/2 inch thick egg crate junk. I complained and threatened negative feedback, so the seller said, "No problem. I want you to be happy." Keep the pad so you don't have to pay for shipping and you can have your refund." As promised, he sent my refund....only it wasn't tagged as "refund", it was tagged as "purchase". He had to do this, he explained, to remove the negative feedback I had left him. He had given me the run around, so I did follow through on my threat. He explained, "In a few days, I will send you and unpaid item invoice. Of course, you won't pay it, and only then will Ebay remove your negative feedback." Sounded reasonable because Ebay does warn you that feedback is permanent.

    So 60ish days after my original purchase (when I was beyond the time limit to complain to Paypal any longer about their junk mattress pad), I get an email from Paypal saying that I have a dispute. It was them! They left me a message saying "where's my item?"

    Needless to say, Paypal froze my account until I agreed to release the money they sent me. I called Paypal and they were sympathetic, but there was little they could do. I even sent them the emails he sent me, but I couldn't prove they were originals or even from him. Lesson learned.

    Keep up the great investigative work.