The Internet can be a glorious resource when used for good. Unfortunately, not all merchants are ethical.

This has led to a significant rise in the number of brides and prom teens losing valuable funds to fake wedding gowns purchased online. It has also led to a federal court case.

How does it happen? Simply, a bride or teen will find the designer gown they really want, search online for one that is listed for a lesser price and purchase it...not realizing that the gown is a fake, the company is a fraud and, once the purchase is made, the business will disappear. The young lady will not receive any response from the so-called business by email or phone and her funds will be gone forever.

We have heard these horror stories direct from our own customers who have come to us after the fact. Whether it's a gown that looks nothing like the picture and has no designer label or it's a half-finished dress that comes with a do-it-yourself beading kit, the $200-$400 savings aren't worth the end result.

It doesn't matter to us whether you purchase your gown from Vera's or another bridal shop. We are sharing this information to help well-meaning brides and prom attendees avoid being taken advantage of.

3 Ways to Avoid a Counterfeit Gown Purchase

While we certainly can't offer you any guarantees of a purchase made outside our own store, we can offer a few helpful tips. (This is only general guidance and we disclaim all liability for how you choose to utilize these tips.)

  • If you choose to buy online, try to purchase from a well-known national or international brand with a strong reputation and legitimate credentials
  • If you find a designer gown online for several hundred dollars less than in stores, it is not likely authentic, as the designers themselves set minimum pricing for retailers
  • Try to purchase from a physical shop, not an online store - this ensures that you can examine the gown you're buying in person and make sure it meets your requirements

Whatever decision you make, we want to wish you the best of luck!