Saturday, 16 February 2013

When it's too good to be true...

Don't leave it up to chance by gambling on an online copy of a designer dress when you can get the real thing and be able to see it in the flesh and try in on... even if you are on a budget.

Too good to be true - the Counterfeit wedding dress industry

I know I'm always harping on about the dangers of the Chinese Cottage industry and the fake designer dresses they make and sell online, but I've had yet another call today where a bride was left distraught when she saw what arrived in the post.  She had thought it was safe as she dealt with a company with a UK web address, but she was in fact dealing with a Chinese company that copied designer dresses. With not enough time to order a new dress, she'll be left to buy off the peg and with the size and colour she needs, she's going to find herself very restricted in choice with a wedding date that is very close.   Both ourselves and the designers of the dresses are always trying to educate brides to warn them of the dangers of buying online - we've seen too many of the bad fakes out there! These sites illegally use the designer's images to advertise their dresses, conning people into believing that they are getting the actual dress pictured.  Thankfully, a lot of ladies out there know that these dresses, often advertised on online auction sites such as ebay, are too good to be true, but too many are still tempted, lured by the low price tag and the promise of the dress in the picture!!

It's been a frustrating week this week as it was pointed out to me that a very popular website that gives tips on how to save money was endorsing such sites.  The researchers clearly did not do their research and they were giving the thumbs up to support the Chinese Cottage industry (ie. the unregulated factories) and even referred to bridal shop owners as being snooty (most of us are far from snooty, I can assure you!!!)  I was horrified at this behaviour at first, but then it occurred to me that they were totally ignorant of what they were actually encouraging people to do.  They saw the pound signs and jumped to steer brides towards the cheap option.   It clearly had not occurred to them that these sites break a multitude of laws from copyrighted image theft, to child labour laws.  They were telling people that they can get fab made to measure dresses from as little as £1 - £15 plus postage.  Surely common sense tells anyone that the cost of paying skilled workers for hours upon hours of work, and using any half decent quality fabric is going to work out a lot more expensive that what these sites are charging?   Any dresses made in a regulated factory, using quality materials and abiding by health & safety and labour laws are bound to cost more than a few pounds. Common sense should tell you.

I feel exasperated that supposed 'experts' endorse such practices in this day and age.  It's not even the fact that the end product is bad (if indeed it even turns up!), but the fact that the people who make these dresses are breaking the law in so many areas.   I've only touched the tip of the ice-berg on this topic, but it makes one person stop and think before they waste their hard earned money, then it will have been worth it.

I totally understand that not everyone can afford to spend the going rate for a wedding dress in a bridal shop.  But the thing is, that you can still save money if you know where to look.  And one of the best ways to save money - and try before you buy - is at a wedding dress sample sale.

I'll be setting the date soon for our next one, so make sure you follow us on facebook or twitter (or keep your eye on here) and I'll be announcing the date soon.  All dresses will be reduced to half price or less, with bargains for as little as £295.  These are all genuine designer dresses which I will no longer be using as samples in my shop and they are great for brides on a budget who are looking for a fab dress at a fraction of the price.  Plus you know exactly what you are getting.  A quality dress which is well made - and ethically made.  Not made in a sweat shop and bought online for a few quid!

Watch this space!!!!!