We all know about knock-off purses but what's the latest? Knock-off Wedding Gowns!
It may seem hard to fathom that brides would actually consider ordering their gown from an overseas website. But unbelievably, this is happening. Between the economy and the fact that so many couples are paying for their own weddings, its easy to understand the appeal of overseas wedding dress manufacturers. Brides are getting "tricked" into purchasing what they think is the real thing for a much lower price. Most of these knock-off sites use the designer images without consent or permission. At first glance, you may think that paying only $399 for the Allure gown you saw in a bridal store for $1500 is a real steal. You may feel that the bridal store is overcharging you. But buyer beware, the dress is a cheap imitation and in some cases, not even a replica at all. Improper finishes, cheap materials and poor fit are just some of the problems you can encounter when buying one of these gowns. Not to mention never receiving the gown and losing your money.
Trusted wedding source The Knot has warned thier brides of this on thier site quoted "If the price of a gown looks too good to be true, it probably is. Don't get scammed by counterfeit wedding gown retailers."
In 2012, numerous designers have bonded together and formed a group called ABPIA (American Bridal & Prom Industry Association) filing federal lawsuits to go after these counterfeiters and stop them. Everyday they are successful in shutting down another site. The latest win is that PayPal has teamed up with ABPIA, closing the flow of funds to these illegal sites. US Customs has seized hundreds of shipments.
Both Mori Lee and Allure Bridals have gone so far to fight this that they are now listing stores and websites which are selling counterfeit copies of their original bridal designs. Quoted from thier own website "Allure does NOT recommend purchasing these dresses online from unauthorized retailers, and urges the Bride searching for a bargain to find a different way to save, as she will more than likely pay more to replace the knock-off dress in the long run." You can click here to link to that list Allurebridals.com/counterfeitsites
Mon Cheri Bridals is leading ABPIA in lawsuits against counterfeit gowns. Quoted from thier website "Mon Cheri is not associated with any Internet selling services and only distributes through authorized retailers. Therefore, if you choose to buy Mon Cheri product that is advertised on the Internet, there is a strong possibility that you may not receive an authentic Mon Cheri dress. For example, the dress could be a copy that does not possess the same exceptional quality, craftsmanship and style that an authentic Mon Cheri dress encompasses. If a problem should arise with a gown bought on the Internet, Mon Cheri Bridals, LLC will not stand behind it. If purchased on the Internet, Mon Cheri will not make alterations, corrections or changes to your dress. You will also not be able to make any returns on a dress bought on the Internet. It is highly suggested that in order to ensure that you receive an authentic quality Mon Cheri dress, you should only buy Mon Cheri products from an authorized retailer. All Mon Cheri retailers proudly stand behind their merchandise and will make certain that you are fully satisfied with the purchase you make." Click to Mon Cheri directly to read more MonCheribridals.com/buyer-beware
And it is not stopping with Bridal. Special Occasion and Prom Gowns are being copied too. Quoted from the LaFemme Fashion website "Authentic La Femme dresses are made with quality materials and constructed by hand. Prices will be consistent across all authorized retailers. If you find a shop or website offering a La Femme dress substantially lower than other retailers, it is most likely a low quality counterfeit item they are selling. Please do not be taken advantage of."
Personally, we at Bella Sposa have seen with our own eyes, and heard with our own ears, stories of disappointment and disaster. Please be educated in your purchases. Do not be a victim. Help us spread the word! We encourage you to share this information with all of your "bride-to-be" friends and report sites that are selling counterfeit gowns.