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Five things to look for to avoid buying a fake wedding dress online

Traditionally, the romantic vision of finding the perfect wedding dress probably wouldn’t involve clicking ‘add to basket’ and entering credit card details online. A surprising number of today’s modern brides, however, turn to the internet to buy their dream designer dress.

Buying a wedding dress online appeals to many because of the potential cost and convenience benefits. However, in stark reality, amongst the extensive range of genuine designer websites, there is a multitude of counterfeiters making a living out of selling fake wedding gowns. In today’s online world, there are certainly no guarantees that the bargain designer dress will be genuine.

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The availability of fake goods on the internet has grown substantially during recent years, and all consumers, including brides-to-be, are being advised to adopt the same vigilant approach with their online purchases. Online brand protection experts, MarkMonitor, has compiled the following list of top tips to ensure that brides-to-be are extra vigilant when shopping online…

Price

Counterfeiters are wising up and realising that sometimes it can be more convincing the less the dress is reduced. Search around for the recommended retail price (RRP) and even if the dress only has a small discount, such as 20%, it is worth checking other elements of the website to see if they stack up.

The site itself

Although some websites look professional at first glance, counterfeiters aren’t always so careful with the ‘About’ or ‘FAQ’ page. These sections need to be examined, including the delivery details and where the company is based, to ensure it matches up with the designer dress company’s credentials. 

Return and privacy policies

These should be clear. If the dress doesn’t fit or is damaged, it may need to be sent back – a genuine seller should provide an option of how to cancel and where to return goods. Counterfeiters won’t usually invest the time to craft a clear, strong privacy policy, so if there isn’t one on the website, that could be a warning sign.

Check the web address

Impersonation of a brand’s website and what is referred to as ‘cybersquatting’ are on the rise. When doing an initial search for the brand name, the link should be checked for spelling mistakes on both the website and the URL address. If the address begins with https://, the ‘s’ tells you it’s a secure site. Some of the big brands have dedicated pages on their websites so consumers can check whether a seller is authorised.

Online marketplaces 

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Even if the marketplace itself is a known brand, the reviews of the seller should be thoroughly checked before that dream dress is purchased.