About Your Important Purchase Decision:
Every Bride wants the best deal when purchasing her wedding gown. However, the best price may not be the best deal. Be certain that you are comparing “apples to apples” when making your decision. Understanding about discounts does not necessarily mean that you will be saving any money. You must weigh the ‘free services’ that are or are not included in the price and terms of your purchase decision.
The Best Place To Buy Your Gown
We recommend that you buy your gown at the store that gives you the best service. Consider how knowledgeable and helpful the staff appears to be. Beware if the store cannot provide gowns to try on as well as assist you with your fitting, alterations, and pressing services. You can usually save time and money by doing it all at one place – with assurance that your satisfaction will be guaranteed. What you will learn about discounts is that sometimes the savings will cost more.
“No Inventory” Dealers
Many discount offers come from part-time “gray market” dealers who have no dresses and no physical store that you can walk into. Some call themselves a personal shopping service; but instead, they ask that you shop around and find the style you want and call them with the manufacturer’s name, style number and your measurements. They order your dress, not from the manufacturer, but through a third party. You may have to pay shipping charges, and the full amount before seeing your dress, find a seamstress, go to another location for fitting. The think about discounts is that in many cases, you will pay more for pressing and alterations than you would at a full service bridal store, with no assurance that they will stand behind their work. When you add up all these extras, you would have probably paid less, and saved a great deal of time, by buying the dress from the bridal store that assisted you. Our advice, “If a dealer can’t show you dresses to try on, don’t show her your money.”
Savvy brides should beware of discounters that require you to pay in full for your dress before they order it. Be careful that they are not saying, “We do not service what we sell. We do not guarantee the fit. We do not want to be responsible.” Our advice about discounts is: A bride should be very careful about paying in full before her dress is ordered. Ask the following questions: 1. How much can I expect to pay for alterations? 2. What if the dress is the wrong size? 3. If there is a problem who is responsible? There are correct and incorrect answers to those questions.
In our salon a bride may expect to pay from $100 – $250 additional in alterations for a gown that is in her size. We allow our customers to choose the size that is ordered. We measure and then present both measurements and the size chart and together, we choose the closest fit size for each customer. Responsibility of problems is determined by the problem. Any product problems are OUR problem, not yours. We will work them out with the manufacturer directly. If you should lose or gain weight we can not accept responsibility. We can alter and we promise to take the best and least expensive approach to every situation we handle for you.
800 Numbers and “The Internet”
It’s smart to buy some things over the phone and the Internet, but not an item that is so important and requires professional measuring, fittings, alterations and pressing. Following is a TRUE story. A bride had been in a full-service store looking for her wedding gown. She found what she wanted; however, she ordered it over the Internet as she found a source that would sell her the same gown for $100 less. After receiving her wedding gown: (1) in a small box, (2) dirty and (3) not the correct size, she is having to pay $250 for the necessary alterations and $175 to have the gown professionally cleaned and pressed. When she tried to phone the Internet business where she ordered the dress, their number had been changed to an “unpublished” number. In an article in USA Today, it was reported that shoppers were getting a poor deal from Internet retailers. The Consumers International research group ordered 151 items from various Internet sites. It found that one in ten items never arrived. Your wedding gown is just too important to take that chance. We have brides every week bringing us their ‘deal’ looking for solutions to salvage it. Don’t put yourself in that situation. Work with a trusted resource. The thing about discounts is that sometimes they actually cost more.
Many brides that buy from a national chain do so because they assume they will save money. It’s our opinion that they do not. It’s understandable how a bride could be confused, because a chain may advertise $99 bridal sales and like Wal-Mart, proclaim, “We sell to the masses.” However, unlike Wal-Mart, some bridal chains only offer their own line of imported wedding gowns. They do not offer most of the designer wedding gowns featured in the bridal magazines. They sell the same style dress to many brides. It appears that they carry more styles than they actually do, because they stock dozens of dresses of the exact same style. One of the comments that we hear is that a chain store may have styles that look similar to designer gowns, but the fabric, construction and even fit are lower quality. Our advice: If there is ever a time when you deserve quality, it’s your wedding day!
Full-Service Bridal Stores
Many full-service bridal stores offer their brides savings on shoe-dying, tuxedos, invitations, and gown preservation that far outweigh the so called “discount” being offered by others. Here a bride also has the option of special ordering her gown or buying the one she tries on. These are owner-operated stores that specialize in assisting brides selecting their gowns. They encourage brides to try on various styles to find the perfect dress. They fit the style and offer alterations services. They will press the gown, place it in a protective bag, and take responsibility for customer satisfaction. They feature nationally advertised designers and offer many different styles. The selection, service, and individual attention are big advantages.
Bella Sposa Bridal & Prom for service, selection and satisfaction.
Where dreams come true…often!
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