Tips for Sellers on How to Avoid Online Scams

Tips for Sellers on How to Avoid 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 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 PayPal or Escrow because they are safe and secure online payment service ensures that every part of the transaction is complete before the money is released. To make it simple and easy, we have integrated PayPal with our messaging system - simply click Send Buyer PayPal Invoice from inside the message conversation when you are logged in to your OnceWed account!

Wait to Ship

We strongly recommend that sellers wait to ship the dress to the buyer until they 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.

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 reach out to us about the exchange so we can block them from the site.

  • Trying to Communicate via Phone or Private Emails
    Never communicate with a buyer privately via phone, text, or personal emails. Stick within our built-in messaging system to protect your privacy and your dress.
  • Excessive Back and Forth Messages
    A sale should be quick and easy – not convoluted with lots of unnecessary emails back and forth.
  • Only Want Images
    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).
  • Sending Check Worth More Than Your Dress
    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.
  • Asking For ID
    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 PayPal or Escrow 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.
  • Pushing to Not Use PayPal or Escrow
    Scammers have become wise to the fact that we encourage our sellers to only use PayPal or Escrow, 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 PayPal or Escrow for the entire transaction.
  • Multiple Messages
    You get messages from the same buyer over and over again.
  • Awkward Wording or Poor Grammar
    An e-mail has poor grammar and spelling, or is awkwardly worded.
  • Doesn't Care About The Dress - Just Payment and Price
    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).
  • Has a "Story" Meant to Elicit Sympathy
    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, or they are taking care of a dying family member and can't afford to pay what you want for your dress.
  • Emailing You On Behalf Of Someone Else
    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, Venmo, Zelle, wire transfer or money order/cash apps 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 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!


Once Wed was launched in March 2008 to meet a need in the marketplace for an online listing service for second-hand wedding dresses. Within a short time, the company had developed into an online wedding publication and resource to provide newly-engaged brides with inspiration and tools to plan their dream wedding.