Discount Wedding Gowns - To Good to Be True?
A bride asked me recently what the catch was with buying discounted wedding gowns online. "It all sounds too good to be true" were her words. At first I was surprised that she thought there was a catch then I realised that having been in the business for years I was taking my own knowledge for granted. Once I explained the pricing process she gave me a rye smile and said "So I really can get a bargain online without compromising on quality". Yes, Yes.
Talking to her reminded me that buying a wedding dress is, for most brides, a new experience and maybe there are many more brides who just needed to be given a little insider knowledge to realise the fantastic price savings they can make online. Here is a general overview of how the High Street puts a price their gowns.
The manufacturer produces the dresses usually in a country where labour costs are relatively low; China, India etc. They sell the dresses to wholesalers in the USA Europe or Australia who then put their label on the dresses. Each Label wholesaler, you know the names, then hike the price and distribute the gowns to their preferred high street outlets with recommended retail price guidelines. They do not want to create competition between their outlets so price cutting is frond upon.
The high street now marks up the price to the recommended retail price to cover their costs and make a profit. There is nothing wrong with any of that; it's the way business works. So how come online retailers can discount their wedding gowns so much?
There are two areas where online distributors can make you huge savings. First they can cut out the middleman and buy directly from the manufacturer; the down side to this is that you don't get a label to boast about. The second saving comes from the fact that online overheads are very low compared to running and staffing a high street store. There is a third and not quite so obvious saving which is made from transport and handling costs. Online dresses may only be transported once from the manufacturer directly to your door whereas a High Street dress is handled two or three times before you receive it. Naturally you can still buy designer labels online but the price will still reflect their higher over heads.
The message here is that you don't have to compromise on quality when you buy online; the price savings are due to lower overheads.