If it looks too good to be true…

I’ve seen a few posts recently about online dresses from lots of different sites.
They seem so appealing due to their price!!
Why are they so affordable and bridal boutiques or legitimate sites more expensive?
There is a reason why they are cheaper, I’ll list a few:
  • They steal images, so they have no commercial photography costs , no brand building advertising costs.
  • They use low grade fabrics, low grade trims, low grade crystals ( plastic instead of glass etc)
  • They use low grade boning.
  • They use unethical methods of supporting and paying employees
  • They do not provide a bricks and mortar retail environment where you can go and try, and establish what shape suits you, get advice on fit, feel the fabrics. ( some do offer a chargable service to send out to try, which is good, but most don’t

This is just a few examples above.

So how do brides find out what will suit them if the online company does not send out, what to do?
These companies ( can you believe!) Encourage you to go visit the very independent stores whose designers they have ripped off , they encourage you to utilise their staff, access the use of those businesses running costs ( rent, staff, sample dresses, electricity, insurance, advertising etc) take up their time and expertise. These are expensive costs which is why dresses in real boutiques, selling genuine designers, where you can touch, feel, asses the quality, TRY ON and be advised and use an hour or three of their time to get the perfect dress, why they are more costly.
Then they Encourage you to walk away after effectively using that expertise for free ( you see now why many have starred to charge) walk away and order a knock off replica online once you have accessed expertise to see what suits you.😮
I am an independent boutique owner, selling designers dresses, plus my own bespoke designs.
If I did not have to staff my boutique, insure it, rent it, heat it, spend usually around 4 to 5 hours with each client communicating and helping them choose ( not including fitting and sewing time) then I too could slash prices, If I did not go to the expense of hiring models and doing photo shoots of my dresses, if I just stole other people’s photos I could charge less. But its ethically and morally wrong
I am not anti online shopping, in fact I have a lot of clients who purchase remotely, ( etsy, shopify,Instagram) mostly the ones in USA , Australia and New Zealand , but I would NEVER ask them to go waste another independent businesses time. Instead I take the time ( from my business costs) to communicate with them, take extensive measurements, do video calls. Also I protect them and adhere to distance selling rules.
Our beautiful, talented, passionate indie boutiques and designers in the UK are struggling, the world is being consumed by alibaba, aliexpress, temu, amazon, shein ( do love shein mind!!🤣, as it is hard to find daywear when you, like me are a size 22, but they mostly ( not alwats) do their own photos)
For those on a lower budget there are lots of options, all boutiques always have samples at up to 75% off, you can buy pre loved, vintage, retro etc.
Please help be part of the solution, not the problem.
BEX proud to be an indie bridal retailer and designer.
Thanks for listening xxxx
Below is a photo of a vintage/ retro dress that I hand coloured, so its totally original, as it was a 40 year old dress that I customised, I had it on etsy, but the client came to my studio and had it fitted, it was about £400 plus alts, so very affordable, an original one off. But look at all those copt sites. What on earth would you receive, they dont have a photo of the front for starters so did they just take a wild guess!
I’m bloody certain it would not be a vintage/retro dress that had been hand coloured!!