5 Sites That Can Turn Your Ugly Bridesmaid Dress into Cash

Detail photo of bridesmaids holding bouquets.
Oleh_Slobodeniuk/Getty Images

I have been a bridesmaid not one, not two, but seven times.

Words can’t describe how incredible it felt to stand next to my best friends on their wedding days. The only thing that kept me from completely enjoying each experience was the cost.

Being a bridesmaid is expensive: the bachelorette party, bridal showers, lingerie shower, transportation to and from each event. And, oh yes, the bridesmaid dress.

Most of the dresses I bought for these occasions set me back at least $100. As a woman in my early 20s, still in college on a couple of occasions, those dresses hurt my bank account big time.

Thankfully, dresses are one aspect of being a bridesmaid where it’s possible to earn some of our money back! It didn’t occur to me until recently that I could have lessened the pain of those purchases if only I had planned ahead of time to sell my dresses.

It’s never too late. After doing a little research, I’ve narrowed down my selling options to five websites.

1.   Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses

PreOwned Wedding Dresses is great for both bridal and bridesmaid dresses.  The website is also a good match for brides wanting to sell their wedding dresses.

My favorite part is the Wedding Dress Value Calculator. This tool helps you determine how much your dress is worth, which may be helpful if you bought the dress a while back or if the dress has some wear and tear.

For each bridesmaid dress you post for sale, you pay a $5 listing fee. While this is lower than the commission fee of other sites, you do have to pay it whether your dress sells or not.

2.   Bridesmaid Trade

Bridesmaid Trade has very comprehensible user guidelines, so this website is arguably the easiest to use. (All of them are pretty user-friendly, but that’s just the opinion of this technologically un-savvy gal.)

There is no listing fee, but if your dress does sell, Bridesmaid Trade charges a $15 fee. So, for example, if you want to pocket $75 for your dress, list it at $90.

3.   Etsy

I mean, come on, who doesn’t love Etsy?

As of September 2017, Etsy boasted 30.6 million active shoppers, so there may be a better chance your dress will be seen. I’ve had several friends shop for wedding and bridesmaid dresses on Etsy. They fell in love with their purchases and sing Etsy’s praises.

Etsy charges 20 cents per item that you list, a 3.5% transaction fee, and a 3% + 25-cent fee for processing the payment. Broken down, that means that if you listed a dress for $100, you would end up paying Etsy $6.95.

That equation seems unnecessarily complicated, but it still works out to be quite affordable. So it’s okay, Etsy, we still love you!

4.   Forever the Bridesmaid

Forever the Bridesmaid is for bridesmaid dresses only. My favorite part is its Tips for Sellers section. This page gives advice regarding dress upkeep, photos, descriptions and pricing to increase the likelihood of selling your dress.

Rather than charging a specific dollar amount, Forever the Bridesmaid takes a 15% commission fee for each dress you sell.

5.   Tradesy

Although Tradesy has a lot of high-quality bridesmaid dresses listed, the website sells much more than just wedding-related items. The potential downside of this feature is that people wanting to buy bridesmaid dresses might not think of searching Tradesy first.

However, I must say that Tradesy seems mighty convenient. The site has representatives available 24/7 to answer your questions. Their team also sends you, the seller, a free shipping kit and even handles returns if your buyer changes her mind!

If your dress sells for under $50, Tradesy takes $7.50. If your dress sells for more than $50, Tradesy switches from dollars to percentages, taking 14.9%.

Hopefully you feel a little less anxious about being a bridesmaid now that you have options for selling your dress. Just focus on being there for the bride and thinking of the perfect wedding hashtag.

Laura Grace Tarpley is a nomad and freelance writer who runs the blog Let’s Go Tarpley!, where she shares tips about budget travel and moving abroad. Follow her on Twitter @lgtarpley.