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Date Posted: 05:42:28 05/29/17 Mon
Author: hth
Subject: So things to look for and request (see inside)
In reply to: Maia 's message, "Looking back, what do you wish you'd known about the process of buying a solo dress?" on 03:47:04 05/29/17 Mon

Been in the game a little while and have bought quite a few used dresses over the years.

Start off with the overall look of the dress. Look for missing crystals, frayed ends, tanner marks, makeup marks, sweat marks (especially in the arm pits) and general wear and tear. If you are buying older, understand that marks on the inside of the dress is normal, but the extent will tell you how well cared for the dress has been. As a note, I recently sold a 3 year old dress that had minimal marks inside. Also asked how the dress was stored. Dresses should be stored flat in a dress bag. Not hung up in the closet.

Some other things to consider - if the dress has been altered look for stitch marks. Some fabrics are very unforgiving and will depreciate the dress.

If the dress has lots of embroidery I would check to make sure the stitching is in good condition. Things happen, and sometimes stitching gets pulled - they can also be repaired before getting worse, so if there are a lot of pulled stitches then I would pass. In addition if there are sequins (not so common now but I'm seeing a slight return) Look for missing sequins and I would ask if they have replacements or additional sequins so you can replace them (its a lot of work to sewn them back on individually.

Things to ask for: Check the age of the dress. Who made it? When was it made? Any updates to the dress? Was it let down? Was it let out? Can it be let down and out? Does it come with a cape? Does it come with a crown? Does it come with kick pants? (some people do not sell used kick pants - which is fine they consider this a hygiene issue, but it still means you will need to purchase some).

All these things listed will play into the purchase or selling of the dress. The make and age especially. After getting all of this information I would look up with the average cost of a new dress is by maker, and depending on the year you can negotiate on the price of the dress. Newer dresses less than a year old will sell close to the production cost of the dress. But dresses 1 to 2 years older it will vary on the condition and style of the dress. Classier designs will sell well, but things that were fads will not (I'm talking about things like tulle skirts, or certain cape styles).

Ultimately do your research. If you really love the dress and it has minor issues (say slight fraying or major marks in the dress) you can negotiate price. But remember that one day you will have to sell the dress one day too. So you want to ensure you not only get a good deal, the seller does, and you have good resale value. You don't want to be stuck with a dress for years in your closet.

Some other things you may want to consider - during the purchase phase, see if the seller is willing to accept returns; this is important if you are worried about fit. I've done a couple of purchases where I paid a refundable deposit to get the dress to me, and then paid the rest when I found the dress fit. Some sellers only deal with final sales. But it never hurts to ask. Also check if shipping is included or if you have to pay. And make sure tracking numbers are shared and that the dress is insured. And I would check how the payment is to be made. Many people will take paypal. But if buying a dress in person the selling party will probably take check.

Last but not least - always talk to your TC. They may have a certain look in mind for your dancer. They will know what is in style and what may sell again, what looks good on stage etc.

Happy shopping.

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