Friday, November 25, 2011

Bridal Shops Can't Fix the Problem

Shop locally and save money, time and more.
Even bridal shop owners feel bad when a consumer gets cheated by China.  I have hundreds of friend nation wide who own bridal shops and have posted a few of their recent comments regarding Fake Chinese Dress Copies.

A website can never give you the security and ease of a brick and mortar shop
"Knockoffs seems to be a common occurence anymore.  Last year a girl came into the store and wanted to purchase a tony bowls dress that retailed for a little over $700.  Her mother had sticker shock, and did not purchase the dress from me.  A few months past and she came back, desperate for the dress she tried on, and unfortunately we had already sold the sample. Her mother then told me she ordered it directly from china, 'to cut out the middle man'. It was hard not to laugh at this statement, but I let her continue with her story. She said she was able to get the dress ordered for $150. She asked me if I could check the order for her, because it had not arrived and prom was in two weeks!  I told her I was unfortunately not able to do anything because it had no been placed under my account.  I told her the best I could do was check hanging stock, and see if there were any left in her size, so we could order her one from our store, but she would have to pay our price. Luckily there was one left in stock!  The dress arrived from Tony quickly and we did a few minor alterations.  The knock off arrived a month LATE, and was sewn with purple, red, green, and blue threads, made of organza instead of silk/taffetta, and to top it off the sequins were glued on! I don't understand what people think they are going to get for $150. Why does the red flag not go up in peoples' minds?"BR

"I had a girl come in a couple of weeks ago with a really bad knock off.  Dress was glued together and sequins were glued on.  It looked AWFUL!  Money was not the issue (her dad is a local plastic surgeon) she just had to have THIS dress and couldn't find it in any store.  She bought something from me to replace it but was still upset it wasn't "THAT" dress!" DS

"Had a pageant girl and her mom in on Wed. with two eBay specials that were supposed to be Tony Bowls knockoffs.  The mom had ordered the gowns, spent over $600 and had two pieces of trash.  Mom had the printout from the eBay site and both gowns plainly had the TB logo.  The dresses were hideous.  Nothing was salvageable and she ended up buying another pageant gown from me.  Ka-ching!  You just CANNOT educate people about these knock-off gowns!!!" Tricia

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How to Spot Fake Reviews

 When you understand the nature of the Chinese knock off business it becomes easier to spot the fake review.  Look at the grammar.  The order of the words can be a tip off as well as using the wrong form of a word.  The review below is from a thread on this very subject.  There are girls who state that they got what they expected but I do wonder if they are just too embarrassed to say that they got cheated after so many warnings.

I went through DHGate and bought 2 dresses. I had found “MY” dress and they had the picture that was from the model that you would see in the magazines. DON”T DO IT! Both dresses were poor quality and not what is pictured. They use the pictures and send you cheap imitations.
Even with their no hassle money back claim – i was never able to get a refund. Even the veils I bought were horrible. I could’ve had a kindergartner make them look nicer. Save yourself the money and go find a dress you can try on and a bridal shop you can hold accountable in the USA! " Click here to go to the thread.   Click Here for another site with photos of fake wedding dresses.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Good Morning America Report

Here is Jenna by Maggie Sottero.  You might find Chinese websites with this same exact photo but you will only get this dress from an authorized retailer.  See knockoffs below.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the knock off people are not professional seamstresses.  They have never even seen the real Maggie Sottero Jenna or any of the real dresses of the stolen pictures.  Some of the comments (after the tears stop) have been, "Cheap looking, It wasn't finished, It smelled like fish, I had to pay $200 more in duty to get my dress from the Post Office." And more.

How to avoid wedding dress blues.  Still think you might be ordering a wedding dress, bridesmaid dress or other dress directly from China?  Click Here to see the video aired recently on Good Morning America investigational  report on some who actually ordered and what they got.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Buyer BeWare!

You've found your dream gown but the price is more than you want to pay.  Then you find a picture of the dress on the web saying that you can buy it direct from China for a fraction of the cost.  I have always heard "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is."  You might have even found glowing reviews about the source of the Chinese gowns.  Anyone who has done any research will tell you that you are playing wedding dress roulette.  If you actually do receive a gown, and that is a big "if", it will likely be very late, in a package the size of a shoe box and will bear little resemblance to the beautiful designer dress.  You would be better served to buy second hand or borrow if you really don't have sufficient funds for your own wedding gown.  There are also sale racks where you can actually buy a real wedding dress for about what you will pay online and you know what you are getting.  Once your money is sent overseas you might as well kiss it good bye because it is not coming back.  Buy your dress safely more.
At The Gallery by Lynette we carry real designer labels as well as gowns designed and created for our store.
No matter what, you will know exactly what you are getting from the very beginning.  Please visit us

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Still Waiting for my Chinese Knock off Gown

My Chinese Knock off copy of Sottero and Midgley Adorae that was supposedly shipped the 4th of April has still not arrived. What a big surprise!!! They were happy to take my $117 for a $1200 gown but quit responding to my inquiries with I asked for a tracking number that actually works. I got paypal involved and hopefully I will get my money back but in the meanwhile who has months to wait to see if they will even get a dress let alone something you can wear.  

I found some rather interesting comments on a website that you can go to at the end of this post with some pretty interesting feedback. I have copied one below also "The problem isn't the chinese websites, it's the cheapskate customers who use their services. The chinese factories are only selling online because gullible Americans are waiting in line to buy their cheaply made products. Ladies, I know you want a "good deal", but get a conscience to go with it. If you are so immature that you believe wasting a salesperson's time is okay, you are not mature enough to be getting married. If your budget is so low that you have only $100 for a wedding dress, you are not financially stable enough to be getting married!

If you get ripped off by one of these websites, you only have yourself to blame. Same goes for the USA sites like best bridal prices. They have countless complaints for non delivery, late delivery, sending sample gowns as "new". Look it up! The "good" comments you see online are posted by their employees. (You can tell, usually. They tend to read like an ad, and they always mention the "Free veil and shoes" bit)."

Click Here to read more reviews. The site you are going to is not ours.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Own Experience

I went online a few months ago with the eyes of a consumer and found the best option to order a dress from a Chinese knock off site.  I selected because they have been around for awhile and accept paypal.  I thought paypal would protect me in the event there is a problem.

I received an email that my dress was shipped on April 4 with an accompanying tracking number.  The tracking number didn't work but the note said to wait a few days for the tracking number to become active.  I tried it every day for a week.  It didn't work so I emailed the shipper.  A few days later came a response to be patient that I would receive my dress next week. 

That was two months ago.  I have sent numerous emails to the shipper and directly to DHGate and have had no response.  My money is gone.  I have no dress.

If you are on a tight budget take the money you can afford to spend and be up front with your local bridal shop.  Let them show you what you can get get for your money.  At least then you will know what you are getting.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Bride in Tears Today

The most troubling thing happened in my store today.  Two ladies came in looking for bridesmaids dresses.  They knew exactly which style they wanted and as we were talking the bride revealed to me that she had already ordered her wedding dress from the internet.  "The company is in California," she told me.  I asked her which site.  She hesitated.  I asked her how much she paid for her wedding gown.  She said it was $100.  A zillion red flags went up.  She then remembered that the website was .  I pulled it up and explained to her why I know it is a Chinese knock off site.

Ladies, please, please, please do your homework!  Google "review" and the name of the website you are considering ordering from.  Keep in mind that many testimonials are fake so it is a good idea to take them with a grain of salt. 

Here is a review site on  It is quote enlightening.  Click Here for Reviews

The other thing you should know is as a designer doing business in China I know what it costs to make a wedding dress, any wedding dress and what shipping from half way around the world costs and you can't do both for $100.  My theory is that it is kind of like a wedding dress lottery.  Many girls tell me that they never did receive the merchandise they paid for and their money is gone too.  Some who actually did receive a dress got a really bad, unwearable, disappointing dress.  The company takes all the money and sends out a dress every once in a while.  Hence the "Wedding Dress Lottery".

You might think that in store wedding gowns are expensive but you wouldn't go to a restaurant and pay $1 for prime rib without some suspicion.  What if you paid for your dinner and never received it?  What if you paid and saw people at another table served prime rib while all the other people in the restaurant go away hungry.  If you get something for nothing, somebody else gave something and got nothing.   Be smart and keep your money in the U.S.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sad Knockoff Story

No Amount of Money Saved Can Compensate for a Bad Dress

Knock Off Disaster
Yesterday afternoon, one of
my brides visited my store with her mom and asked if I could show her mom a
Maggie Sottero gown recently purchased by one of her friends.  No
problem.  As an authorized retailer,  I'm familiar with almost all of
the Maggie Sottero styles.  However,  the description of her friend's
gown was vague.  It didn't match any of the Maggie Sottero styles in my
store.   I was confused.

The bride then told me that her friend bought the gown online.  Her friend
ordered it from a website that guaranteed that the style was
"identical" to a Maggie Sottero gown pictured in an ad.  The web
site represents a Chinese manufacturer that sells $200 knock-offs of many
popular designer gowns.  According to her friend, the price was low
because there was no middle-man in the negotiation.  It was a
"factory direct" cost. 

$200 would be a great price for a good Maggie Sottero copy if all things were
equal.   However, "good" is a relative term when describing
a knock-off and all things definitely were not equal.  Based upon the
brides description, her friend's gown couldn't be categorized as a
"good" copy of anything.  

Everyone should be suspect of a deal that offers an "identical" copy
for 10% of the original cost.  Realistically, $200 couldn't even pay for
the fabric to make the dress.  If a deal sounds too good to be true, it
usually is. 

The bride went on to say that her friend was on a tight budget and felt that
buying a knock-off was her best option under the circumstances.  However,
she wasn't prepared for how different the original and the
"identical" copy would look.  She also wasn't prepared for how
differently the gowns would fit.

My heart goes out to anyone in a desperate situation.   Many people
take risks -- hoping that they can cut corners and still fulfill their
fantasies for a dream wedding.  Truthfully, sometimes it is possible to
cut corners -- but not always.  Sometimes the cards are stacked against
you.  In the end, the money is lost and the dream can  become a

It makes me sad when I encounter the disappointment and tears shed after
precious resources are wasted by gullible girls who want to believe that they
will get an unbelievable deal by buying "direct" from a factory in
China.   Several girls told me that they were assured that the gown that
they ordered would be "identical" to a popular designer style.
Not one gown has been identical so far.  Some factories take it a step
further and assure the bride that the gown will be custom made to her
measurements to avoid alteration costs. 

To the best of my knowledge, this never turns out to be true.  I lost
track of the number of calls that my seamstress receives from

girls who are desperate to obtain professional alterations on gowns

ordered from a factory in China.   I don't believe that my seamstress
has been able to help even one bride because the gowns they received were made
of such inferior quality fabrics and were sewn so poorly at the factory that
alterations couldn't be made.  

If the quality concerns aren't enough to discourage you from off- shore, online
buying, think about this:  all gowns shipped to the United States are
subject to Customs Inspections.  There are numerous laws that prohibit the
distribution of knock-offs in the United States.  Customs Inspectors can
enforce these laws and confiscate your knock-off gown.  The money you
spend on the gown and the shipping will not be refunded.

In some instances, Customs Inspectors make an arbitrary decision that the gown
may be worth more than the price specified.  In these instances, the
Customs Inspector is permitted to increase the import duty from 17% to 20% --
up to an additional $1,000 in duty charges.  Again, you are responsible
for these charges. 

Consumers who select to use their personal checking accounts or credit cards to
pay for their online purchases are faced with a legal battle.  While a
gown may be 100% refundable, shipping charges (ranging from $50 to $150) are
not refundable.  Therefore, some consumers are caught between a rock and a
hard place -- paying as much as $300 in shipping charges on a gown that they
will never receive.

Even if you receive the gown you ordered -- even if it looks vaguely similar to
the gown you wanted -- even if it's wearable -- you're still not out of the
woods.   The fabrics used to make knock-off gowns are so inexpensive
that pressing the gown becomes a major issue.  In most cases, you can't
use an iron.  Instead, the gown must be professionally steamed.  Many
professionals will refuse the job because the substandard fabric, lace, and
beading will make it impossible to achieve good results.  In fact,
steaming could damage the gown.  Similarly, many professional dry cleaners
may refuse to clean the gown after the wedding because it won't withstand the
cleaning solvents or the cleaning process. 

Problems with gowns order from factories in China are becoming common.  If
you've had a problem with a knock-off gown, we'd love to hear from you.
Your experiences may help to save someone from disaster. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

U.S. Feds more involved every day in the knock off trade.

You might think it doesn't affect you and there are enough positive comments online to justify ordering a gown from overseas but is it really the best idea? If the unscrupulous overseas pirates would say that they make your dream gown for the designer and if you order direct you can save $$$$,  if they would steal copyright images and post them as their own, take your precious money and sell you a very inferior gown don't you think that they would also flood the internet with positive reviews, positive feed back and articles about how safe it is?   Read the article below carefully and you will see that you could order your dress, pay your money and they could disappear.  You also might not be aware that you are not protected with you use your credit card for an outside of the U.S. purchase. Be sure to back click after you read the article because there is more below. (Read More click below)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bridal Guide

I just got off the phone with the Editor of Bridal Guide Magazine.  He wants some input on the problems that brides are facing with the issue of buying wedding gowns off the internet.  It is a big problem because un suspecting individuals are being tricked into thinking that the picture online is a representation of what they will receive.  All I can say is the immortal words of Clint Eastwood  "Do you feel lucky?  Well, do you?"

I met a bride to be at a recent bridal fair who told me that she had ordered 4 wedding dresses online before she got the one she was happy with but she said it was OK because they were all really cheap.  Is that really what you would want?  She also was wondering if my seamstress could stand by to make her a jacket because she had two on order and wasn't sure either of them would be here in time for the wedding.

I can't imagine anything more stressful.

I have researched online at what is available.  Any time a bride to be comes into my store wanting a price match to a website offer I go to my computer and pull up the site.  Sometimes I find deep in the recesses of the website in teeny tiny print that these aren't pictures of the real dresses but a version or replica gown.  Often I have to go to a whois site to find out who owns the domain and most of them are hiding behind a registration service.

If  the place from which you are considering buying the most important dress you will ever wear is not in the U.S. and connected to a real brick and mortar store you might want to reconsider. 

Be sure to follow our blog so you won't miss out.  In upcoming posts we will visit ways that you can tell whether you are looking at a real designer gown or a copy and the dangers of sending your money out of the U.S.  The best ways to pay for a wedding gown, the most knocked off designers, etc.