I have been in the used formal wear business for about 5 years. I have a full time job outside the home. I run this business to generate a little extra income but mainly as a way to allow folks to recoup a little of the money they spend on a formal dress/gown that they will never wear again and also to allow people who can’t afford a $200-$400 gown to have a chance to wear something beautiful and affordable. I donate many dresses, that I have purchased from sellers like you, to organizations that provide prom gowns to underprivileged kids and also to military personnel overseas. I don’t know any other sites like mine, sites that will pay cash for a dress in the hopes that it can be sold to someone else.
Here’s a bit how I figure the offering prices. Say you purchase a gown this year for $200. The shop you buy the gown from will most likely buy 6-8 of the same style gown in varying sizes. They know that they will most likely not sell all of them, so they have to make all the money they paid for the 6-8 gowns, the cost of the store rent, utilities, bags and the salaries of the employees on selling, maybe, half the gowns. So in most, if not all, retail stores the markup on dresses/gowns is about 55%. So the gown you paid $200 for probably cost the store about $80-90. When you pay for the gown, it’s final sale. Store owners don’t want the hassle of people trying to return gowns they wore one time and claim they don’t like or it doesn’t fit. So, once you walk out the door, it’s yours. Once you wear it, it’s used. Whether you wear it only once, or two or three times, it’s used. I try to look at the pictures of the dresses sent to me and their descriptions to determine a price. If it’s a recent gown, purchased within the last year or two, its worth more. If it’s a famous designer, Maggie Sottero, Scala, Alyce Designs, Jovani, Tiffany, its worth more. Intricate patterns, beading, rhinestones, unique features also bring the offer price up. In general my offer will be between 10-20 % of the original purchase price. So, for you used $200 gown, I would offer anywhere from $20-$40. I am not purchasing the gown for myself, but for resale. I also have to pay you an amount to get the dress to me, again, depending on the gown, that could be anywhere from $6-$15. So, if I offer you $25 for the gown and $6 to ship it to me, I have already spent $31. If I want to make a small profit I would try to sell the gown for $35. Sometimes when I get a gown, it turns out to be better than the picture so I can ask more for it, more times than not the gown is what I expect and sometimes it’s not worth the price I paid and I take the loss.
I have heard from many sellers trying to sell me a gown they paid $350, $400 or $500 that someone will be happy to pay half that price for a gown. I can tell you they are wrong. If you buy a gown from my site, you cannot try it on, you can’t feel the material and you can’t return it. There are not many people in the world willing to drop more than $100 for something that might not fit and that they can’t return.
I have just a few gowns on the site selling for over $100. Their original purchase price was well over $500.
In conclusion, what I am trying to say is that I am not trying to insult you with my offering prices or trying to gyp you. The price I offer has been well thought out and is based on my knowledge garnered from supporting this site over the last few years.
Thanks Barbara @ Preowned Party Dresses