Is It Safe to Buy a Wedding Dress Online?

We won’t keep you in suspense: Yes, it is absolutely safe to buy a wedding dress online, as long as you shop at trusted online wedding dress websites. Whether you are a chronic online shopper and don’t want your bridal gown purchase to be any different or you’re simply curious if online shopping is an option for such a huge purchase, it’s reassuring to know that you can shop, purchase, and try on wedding dresses from the comfort of your own home. But even seasoned online shoppers need to be cautious when it comes to this once in a lifetime purchase. Safe online shopping for wedding dresses is all about confirming the security and reliability of the websites you’re exploring. Wondering how you can make sure you’ve chosen a solid, dependable, and high-quality online wedding gown shop? Here are 6 tips on how to safely buy wedding dresses online:

  1. Check the Site Security. The most important way you can make sure that the online wedding dress site you’re exploring is safe is to check the URL. Make sure the beginning of the URL starts with "https” and not “http” because that little extra letter makes all the difference! The “s” at the end stands for “secure” and means the company has an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. So what exactly does all that mean? Basically, if someone is trying to hack your information, an “https” website stops them in their tracks.
  2. Explore Your Payment Options. When it comes to shopping safely, you want to give as little of your personal information away to as few people as possible. So we recommend checking out what payment methods a website accepts before getting too far into the shopping process. A good way to check out payment options is to add any product you see to the shopping cart and then see what options are available. If your only option is to pay with a debit (bank) card or by filling in your bank account information, that is a huge red flag. Walk away. Why? Because these payment methods mean you are giving the website direct access to your personal funds. If something goes wrong, it’s much harder to get that money back once it has left your account. A much safer route is to use a payment method that offers a “buffer” between your money and the website you’re shopping on. For example, look for the ability to pay with a credit card, prepaid visa, or an online payment system like Apple Pay, PayPal, or Shop Pay. These methods make it possible to keep your personal bank account one extra step away from the website itself. Having that extra layer of protection, especially for an important purchase like your bridal gown, can set your mind at ease. Here’s a bit more information about these payment options:
    • Credit cards: Since the credit card is not directly linked to your bank account, your personal funds are not instantly removed when you make your purchase (you simply pay the bill later). Credit cards also provide fraud protection services in the event that you have issues with an online retailer, and since your bank account funds were not directly impacted, there’s less panic while your credit card company works with you to dispute a charge from a counterfeit site.
    • Prepaid Visa Cards: If you’re not a fan of credit cards or just dislike putting your personal credit card information on websites you’re less familiar with, then getting a prepaid Visa card in advance of your purchase is a good way to create that extra distance between your account and the website. Once you know the total for the dress and shipping, you can purchase a prepaid card in the amount needed and use it to place an order. Be sure to hold onto that prepaid card in case you need to do a return later, since companies typically return funds back to the original method of payment that was used.
    • Apple Pay, PayPal and Shop Pay: Online payment systems are great because you can make a purchase without having to enter your personal information on the website; it’s all safely stored by the service provider. Also, using online payment services typically means you can skip any kind of processing fee that might be attached to a credit card transaction. You may already have an account set up with Apple Pay, PayPal, or Shop Pay, so it’s also just convenient! But if you don’t, you can easily set one up before making a purchase to add that extra layer of protection between your information and the unfamiliar website.
  3. Check the Contact Information. Trusted online wedding dress websites don’t hide their locations. You should be able to see exactly where they are located and see a variety of ways you can contact them should you wish to ask questions about their policies or speak with a representative about your order. Make sure the address listed is legitimate (bonus if it’s located in the U.S.), and look for a phone number that suitably matches the location. Potential red flags appear when the only way you can talk to a company is via email or if the phone number is international while the rest of the contact information seems to imply a location within the U.S. If the company is making it super difficult for you to contact them before purchasing your bridal gown, imagine what a nightmare it would be if you had an issue with your order.
  4. Confirm the Site Quality. If you want a high-quality wedding dress online, then look for websites that also provide a high-quality browsing experience. The site should reliably load in a reasonable amount of time, provide good quality images, and have well-written text with proper grammar. Chances are good that a safe wedding dress site will put the same diligence, dedication, and attention to detail into their products as they do with their website.
  5. Review the Policies. As a general rule before buying from any website, you should always read over the privacy policy and return policy. You want to make sure that your personal information is only used in ways that you approve of, and you need to be sure that you can return your bridal dress if you have concerns about quality, fit, color, etc. If there aren’t any privacy or return policies listed, then it may be a good idea to plan on buying your wedding dress elsewhere online. Additionally, any try-before-you-buy programs usually have special policies, so you’ll want to review those rules carefully too.
  6. Read Off-Site Reviews. Since websites themselves usually have control over the reviews they post, it’s a good idea to also do an internet search for customer reviews about the site and products. You can often get a good feeling for safe wedding dress websites from trusted review sources like Google, Yelp, or Trustpilot. Even social media reviews can help give you an idea of what to expect before buying wedding dresses online. Of course, there will always be mixed reviews about the best of companies, so you want to use your own best judgment and look for any patterns behind the praise or complaints posted.
    While you might not have been too sure about buying wedding dresses online before, with these 6 tips on identifying safe wedding dress websites, you can set your mind at ease. Buying your wedding dress (online or otherwise) is one of the biggest and most special purchases of your life, so it makes sense that you’d want to make the best experience possible right from the start by searching for trusted online wedding dress websites. This is where Avery Austin can provide you with a relaxing, convenient, and safe “shop from home” experience. When you shop at Avery Austin, you can count on high-quality gowns, honest and affordable pricing, generous return and exchange policies, superb customer service, and a risk-free shopping experience. Explore Avery Austin’s Story and Policies to discover a reputable, trustworthy online wedding dress retailer that always has your best interests in mind. With the option to contact Avery Austin by email, phone, or live chat, you can easily keep in touch with this trusted online wedding dress site. Eliminate your dress stress and make the most out of your time and energy with safe online shopping for wedding dresses at Avery Austin.