Check the back of your closet. Go ahead, do it. What do you see? If you’ve ever been a bride or a groom, a bridesmaid or groomsman, or even just a wedding guest, chances are you’ll find a graveyard of formalwear, accessories, gifts and maybe even a wedding dress in there. These are items you’ll probably never use or wear again. And they have value. Your wedding dress may even be worth more today than what you paid for it when it was purchased.
The market for gently used wedding dresses and recycled wedding items is booming. Millions of engaged couples on a budget are scouring the Internet right now, searching for great deals on wedding attire, accessories and decor. You’ll find them on specialized wedding resale sites like RecycledBride.com, where wedding buyers and sellers connect.
So what can you sell, and how much is it worth? Here are some quick wedding resale guidelines:
- Wedding Dresses – Sell your wedding dress for about half of what you paid for it if it’s an older style or non-designer name brand. If your wedding dress is by Vera Wang, Melissa Sweet, or any other high-end designer, you can usually sell it for about 75% of its retail price. Have a vintage or antique wedding dress that’s still in good condition? Look for similar gowns on the Internet and price yours comparably. Any gown that you’re selling online should be professionally cleaned before you ship it to the buyer.
- Shoes – Bridal shoes and formal men’s and women’s shoes can be resold if they don’t have stains or damage. If they’ve been worn, you should sell them for about half their retail value.
- Jewelry – Preowned wedding jewelry is a popular choice for budget brides. Costume jewelry should be priced at about 50% off its retail value. Fine jewelry made of gold, platinum and gemstones can be sold for just 10%-15% off their market value. This applies to used engagement rings and preowned wedding rings as well. And since durable materials like diamonds and gold often increase in value, you may just find that your ring is worth moree today than when it was purchased.
- Wedding Gifts – Who hasn’t received a few wedding gifts that just sit in the closet, taking up space? Maybe you were the lucky recipient of two toasters, or a china set that you never end up using, or a vase that doesn’t go with your decor. Sell these items for 65% of their current retail value, or 75% if you still have the original packaging.
- Wedding Decorations – Votive candle holders, centerpiece vases, aisle runners, lanterns…all of these items can be reused by couples who are planning weddings right now! Ask for 50% of the decorative item’s retail value, and make sure to determine who will pay for shipping costs before closing the deal with a buyer.
Make sure to take well-lit photographs of everything you’re selling, and to describe your items in detail for buyers. Selling your wedding stuff is easy and fun, and you’ll watch your Christmas gift fund grow in no time!