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Use Caution When Purchasing a Prom or Wedding Dress Online

Use Caution When Purchasing a Prom or Wedding Dress Online - The Beacon


By: Amanda

Use Caution When Purchasing a Prom or Wedding Dress Online

Prom and wedding season is upon us, and if you are looking for that perfect dress online, your BBB has a word of caution. Recently, we received a call from a worried consumer. She informed us that her daughter had finally found the perfect dress for the prom online. She ordered the dress, and immediately, the money was pulled from her debit card. After the transaction, she began to worry that the website she had placed the order on was a scam. She couldn’t locate any contact information for the business, other than an online form on the same website.

Unfortunately, we were unable to locate a BBB Business Review on the company, and after doing a little digging online, found that the web address was registered overseas. While a registration overseas doesn’t mean the website is a scam, we advised the consumer to carefully watch her bank account for any further transactions, and to report the transaction to the Internet Crime Complaint Center if she did not receive the ordered dress by the promised date. As of today, we have not heard whether the consumer received the dress or not, but the BBB would like to remind consumers to use caution when purchasing anything online, and would like to provide the following tips for those still looking for that perfect dress:

-Check out any store you want to shop at with the Better Business Bureau.

-Shop for dresses at a retail store.  Some retail stores actually register each dress that is sold to prevent several of the same dress showing up at an event, which is especially useful for proms.

-If you’re going to shop online, shop with a store you know has an actual location that you can visit if necessary and make sure it uses secure checkout.

-Check out the online store before you give them your money.  Look for the company’s physical address, and read their “About Us,” “FAQs,” and “Customer Service” sections of their website, including any sections on refunds, returns, and what to do if your order gets lost. You may even try to call customer service for more information. If you don’t reach someone, that may be a red flag.

-Use a credit card. Credit cards contain more protections for consumers if you don’t receive the dress.

-Compare prices carefully. If you see a dress for, say, $200 on one site and the same dress is “only” $75 on another site, be careful. While that lower price may appear to be the best one, you may not be getting the same quality or any dress at all.

For more information you can trust, visit

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Amanda is the Director of Bureau Affairs and is a regular contributor to the consumer education blog. She is one of our go-to colleagues for answering complex consumer inquires. Amanda also manages our charity reporting program.