Avoiding Online Scams

We would all like to think that everyone is trustworthy when you’re talking about love and weddings, but that’s not always the case.  The internet can be a scary place where people aren’t always out for your best interest.  We want to help protect you from online scammers as you use Once Wed to sell your wedding gown online.  We want to ensure you that we’re doing everything that we can to protect you to make this an easy and pleasant process.

First, we suggest that sellers wait to ship the dress to the buyer until you have received full payment. Most brides are on a tight timeline and you may get some eager ladies pushing you to ship immediately, but make sure that your payment has processed completely before you ship your dress.

Second, you should make sure to use a secure payment service.  We encourage our users to use Escrow.com because this safe and secure online payment service ensures that every part of the transaction is complete before the money is released. Do not accept any type of deposit before completing an escrow.com transaction, make it clear to the individual that all money will be processed through escrow.com. Read more about using Escrow.com and why it’s the only payment method we endorse.

Third, we want to share some telltale signs that will indicate that you’re talking to a scammer. As a seller, the most common scam you will run across involves a “buyer” that is offering to send you a check for a higher amount than the advertised sale price. They will then ask you to cash the check and forward the additional funds along to them with the dress. You’ll find out that the check was bad and it will bounce, leaving you responsible for the full amount.

You can detect these types of scams by looking for a few specific things:

  • These transactions are typically done from other countries (not always, though, so be careful).
  • You may get e-mails from strange e-mail addresses. In the e-mails, they use poor grammar and spelling. This is one of the easiest ways to detect a scammer. If it sounds fishy, it probably is.
  • The person trying to conduct the transaction is only interested in expediting the transaction while not really caring about the dress itself (they are only concerned with payment and price). If you’re already suspicious of a buyer, and they don’t request more pictures or information on the dress, please email us and we’ll help you confirm whether or not this is a legitimate buyer.
  • The individual emailing you has a strange story. For example, they may say that they are overseas and can’t receive the dress so they’re sending a courier service to pick it up. Another popular scam is for an individual to email you on behalf of someone else, they may say they are the mother of the bride, or the wedding planner and they’re coordinating everything for another person. Beware of any story that doesn’t seem entirely right.
  • They may want to pay you via cashier’s check, wire transfer or money order and use a third party shipper to send the dress (do not do any of these things).
  • Some scammers have become wise to the fact that we encourage our sellers to only use escrow.com, and will start out saying that is the payment method they want to use, but late into your conversation they may ask you to accept something like an “earnest deposit” via check. Once again, NEVER accept checks, cashier checks, money orders, or wire transfers as payment. Only use escrow.com for the entire transaction.
  • You need to be aware of the amount in the transaction. If you receive excess payment, cancel the transaction immediately.

So, the main thing to remember when you’re selling your used wedding dress online is to be careful.  Most people out there are honest and are legitimate, but if you’re ever suspicious of an e-mail, forward it along to info (at) oncewed (dot) com and we will block this person from contacting other seller’s on Once Wed.  Just take the time to investigate and ask the right questions and your transaction will be quick and easy!