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 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. There are lots of honest buyers out there so don’t let this information scare you. We believe that knowledge is power and we love informed sellers!
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. (And no they don’t pay us to say that).
Wait to ship
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, so 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. If you use escrow.com they will let you know when the money has arrived and it is safe to ship.
Spot the Scammers
We want to share some telltale signs that will indicate whether you’re talking to a scammer. If you run across these things please stop all communications and provide us with the email exchange so we can block them from the site.
- A sale should be quick and easy – not convoluted with lots of unnecessary emails back and forth.
- If someone seems more intent on getting more images from you than in learning more about the dress it is a red flag (they may be trying to get your images so they can create a scam dress listing using your images).
- 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 – it will bounce, leaving you responsible for the full amount.
- A “buyer” asks you for a copy of your driver’s license to assure you are who you say you are – NEVER give them this. If you are using escrow.com there is never a reason to provide this level of detail about yourself. Same goes with them asking for address, bank account info for wire, etc.
- 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.
- Scammers are most often from other countries (not always, though, so be careful).
- You get e-mails from strange e-mail addresses, or get emails from the same buyer from multiple email addresses.
- An e-mail has poor grammar and spelling, or is awkwardly worded.
- The person trying to purchase is only interested in expediting the transaction while not really caring about the dress itself (they are only concerned with payment and price).
- 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 only want to pay you via cashier’s check, wire transfer or money order and use a third party shipper to send the dress. NEVER do this.
Always be careful
The main thing to remember when you’re selling your used wedding dress online is to be careful. An honest buyer is going to be just as cautious as you, but they will be asking the right questions and not setting off alarms. If you experience any of the above, or if you’re ever suspicious of an e-mail, forward your email exchange to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will block this person from contacting other sellers on Once Wed if they appear to be a scammer. Just take the time to investigate and ask the right questions to ensure that your transaction will be quick and easy!