Should You Buy A Dress Online From China?


As we approach the upcoming Spring season of weddings and proms, you may be hitting the online market and trying to catch a stellar deal from China on a new dress but is it worth it? We have all heard and seen the horror stories of women, young and old alike, who saw an image online of their dream dress being made in China for hundreds of dollars less than had they bought it locally or from a designer. I mean, not everyone can afford the 500 dollar prom dress or the 5000 dollar wedding dress, and so with a few crossed fingers and a few clicks, a dress is purchased.

There are a couple negative scenarios that tend to happen when you purchase a dress online from China:

1. The dress looks NOTHING like the image (because it's often stolen from the real designers website).

Should You Buy A Dress Online From China?

2. The dress comes in a cheap and completely different color or fabric finish then was ordered/pictured.

3. The dress arrives unfinished with pins still hanging on it ready to stab you or more often than not stained by who knows what.

4. The dress is completely ill fitting and constructed in a way that renders it unwearable or the wrong size completely.

Should You Buy A Dress Online From China?

5. The dress gets delayed for weeks or caught up in customs so you either never see it or it arrives well after your event.

6. You totally get scammed and your money is gone with no way of getting it back because the company has just vanished into thin air.

Should You Buy A Dress Online From China?

Not exactly what you had in mind when you saw that first picture right? So how do you avoid this entire nightmare?

First read the reviews carefully.

Real people who write real reviews do not write: "I love the dresses. They are great. Would buy from again. Great seller" for every single review. Beware if this is the only type of review you see because even the best reviewed products on Amazon will have at least a few negative reviews or even the positive ones will have a lot more detail than that explaining what they actually liked or the quality.

Should You Buy A Dress Online From China?

Avoid new shops and sellers.

Granted, everyone must start some where, but unless you personally know someone who has bought something from a new overseas seller, avoid them until they have a few real reviews under their belt.

If you ask a question, it should be answered promptly

A business should answer questions in a timely fashion and they should also be professional about it. If the seller seems bothered or goes for days without answering questions no matter how simple or complicated, beware because just imagine in the future dealing with an issue and they have an attitude even before you buy.

Should You Buy A Dress Online From China?

The images should be the companies own

A lot of overseas companies simply steal the images from a designer or women at their proms and weddings, and crop off their faces or put their own labels over the images to make them seem like that is the dress you will get but in actuality it's more like "a suggestion" of what you'll get rather than the legit real thing which they don't even make because the images are stolen anyway. If you see no images of items that aren't taken from someone or another designer anywhere on their website, avoid buying from them. If you design, you should have images of your own designs either on display, on your own models, or mannequins.

Should You Buy A Dress Online From China?

PayPal or Nothing

A huge red flag is a website asking you to send money orders or checks or anything of that nature. You also personally don't want to give an overseas company your credit/debit card number, so if they don't do PayPal, don't send money.

Read the Return Policy

Apparently you missed the fine print that reads: no returns or should you need a return, you must pay for shipping. It is not unusual for custom made pieces to have a no return policy attached to them, but it's something you should be aware of as well as if they do allow returns that you will have to pay at least a $20+ shipping fee depending on how heavy the item is and where it's off too exactly. On top of that, this is often where a lot of people get screwed because they'll ship it off and it mysteriously never reaches it's destination.

All this being said, can you buy a dress from China? Absolutely. I just bought a stunning dress from an Etsy seller in China because not only did she have steller ratings, every email I sent, she responded in less than half an hour, she answered every single detailed question I asked, the images were all her own designs, reviews were real, there were plenty of review submitted images and details, which all made for a great experience.

My biggest advice when online shopping overseas is to not get swept up in low prices or the beauty of the images. DO your research, poke around a lot and read reviews and pay attention to things that jump out as potential red flags and then don't go on to ignore them!!!! You may pay a few pennies up front but in the long run it may end up costing you way more than had you just done due diligence or bought the dress locally.

Should You Buy A Dress Online From China?
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Most Helpful Girls

  • Screenwriter
    Caveat emptor! A big red flag is all the pictures of clothing have no heads on them. The name of the company is odd sounding. Banggood is one. If you google the name you can find lots of negative reviews. Though the store may have a return policy, reviewers commonly say no one answered the phone, or when the phone was answered the customer service people tried to negotiate return "deals." You'd get 60% of the purchase price back, or 30%. It might be a better idea to get the percentage. Shipping back to China is exorbitantly expensive. Also, if the company does not SAY it's a Chinese firm or clearly tells you how expensive returns are or how long it takes for ordered items to arrive. Weeks. Don't buy. If the cost of the items is very low compared to what US items cost, it's a Chinese firm. It's selling knockoffs, 90% of the time. There are a few good firms. But unless you know someone who's had good results personally, avoid them. I bought Chinese shoes sized for US feet at an actual store. The shoes didn't fit correctly and they looked like boats on your feet. I wore the shoes in my house for a half hour and the store wouldn't accept them for return. This was a decade ago. Burned once. Never again. If it's too good to be true, it IS.
    Is this still revelant?
    • Anonymous

      It's funny that in the age of the internet and so much wealth of information about these scams, you still hear every year, these women with stars in their eyes, buying those horrid cheap and frankly unwearable, items. I just stopped a cousin from dropping $500 in a clear camera selling scam. I'm like listen to me, I know cameras and there is no way, not even used, you could buy that 2k camera for 500! It's the same with dresses. You want beading, embroidery, silk, lace, a good fit, quality----all those things cost, and I have nothing against going cheap if you can find it, but go cheap with a site that is well established and you can see customer posted images. I'm glad you've lived and learned. Saved yourself a lot of headache!

    • Well, I understand young women with few dollars wanting to save money and being lured. But I was no spring chicken when I bought those shoes. They LOOKED good up close, except they DID look too long. The half hour at home I wore them, they felt uncomfortable. But the American owned store NOT taking them back... I've never had such poor customer service. The bottom line: The STORE couldn't send them back without the SAME giant loss that women are now experiencing buying such items on their own...

    • Anonymous

      Things made custom and like underwear, I get why stores have no return policy, but I'm always a bit super suspicious if an online store does not allow returns especially when it comes to clothing that despite even accurate measurements on site can fit or look weird on you.

    • Show All
  • Wishfire17
    Here is my dress from china. I have bought other gowns as well.
    Is this still revelant?
    • Anonymous

      Were you nervous about being scammed and how did you finally decide to go ahead and purchase?

    • Wishfire17

      I decided to go ahead with it because I had luck buying a gown for a ball before. I figured if I bought a dress and it worked out, it would save me 2k, I paid $100 for this dress. If it didn't work out, it was $100 down the drain. The pros outweighed the cons for me. I did also research the person before buying

    • Wishfire17

      This was the most beautiful gown I have ever worn. My husband cried when he saw me and his family heard him say "omg, she is so beautiful"

    • Show All

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What Girls Said (23)

  • I got my last prom dress from Aliexpress. It was quite great quality for about 50$, but it had a simple design, so it makes sense that it couldn't go terribly wrong. It didn't have many photo reviews on the website, so I asked the seller for more real photos. I also asked about everything regarding the size and fit. I gained 1-2kg from when I ordered it until I got it so it makes sense it was a bit tight on the hips.

    It had inbuilt cups and it had a special material, like some rubber sticked inside the sleeves so they didn't fall off. The material didn't look luxurious, but it didn't look like trash either. So I would say I had a pretty good deal for 50$. However, I ordered the dress about 3 months before prom and it was more like an experiment. In case I didn't like the dress I had plenty of time to get another one. Also, even though 50$ is a considerable amount of money where I live, it is not that pricey that I would regret buying the dress for a long time.
  • MissDawn7961
    No you should not unless you live there ! I like Chinese red and some of their clothes are adorable but I would never buy online or out of my country either ! this is an example of online searching for what something some 1 I know bought and we wanted to look at a photo of it to see exactly what it looked like all put together ! My brother bought this exercise bike from a store that is just 30 minutes from here ! however , the 1 who made the bike is in another sate ! my brother bought it in our shopping store in the state we live in it ! he had it shipped to our home address too ! however , all of the pieces were not in the box that was shipped to us so he had to call long distance and they shipped the remaining piece to us ! now the exercise bike is in our front room taking up space and the seat is facing the wrong way and looks like it is broke and a piece of $180 . 00 junk ! If you order anything from another country then you live in then their liable to send you just anything besides what you ordered ! Once you see you order , then you may say - I did not order this stuff and now I have to call or email this company and tell them to send me a postage paid label to ship it back to the company I ordered it from in the first place to get my money back - ! now this company can ask you to reorder something else ! if this happens tell them - no thank you for you messed up my last order and I will not have this happen to me again - ! Thanks
  • Saville_Row
    I simply don't buy things online. I'm very picky with what I wear so I have to see myself on a mirror with the dress on. And even then there's a posibility I wouldn't buy it.

    You don't have to spend 500/5000 on a dress. Hit a lot of stores until you get something you like.
  • AndreaTV
    Buy locally. You support your local economy and you can try the item on before you part with your money.

    I only buy on-line when I can't get it from a local shop. For example, I use Agent Provocateur's webite because their boutiques aren't nearby.
  • taleets
    I probably wouldn’t order a dress from China, it was probably made with slave labor
    • Anonymous

      Even more reason to investigate who you are buying from.

  • I rarely buy dress online, I prefer to get mine tailor-made. If its a designer and they have made-to-measure option, I'll go through the trouble to give them my measurement.

    Nothing more disappointing when a beautiful dress does not fit my body perfectly.
  • btbc92
    Absolutely Yes! As the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is! Horrible how they get away with it. Or any scammer from anywhere.
  • SexyAshh
    I wouldn't buy anything from there unless there's picture reviews. They are just trying to make cash and send you cheap crap.

    If anything chinese are some of the biggest scammers right along with the indians.
  • DeeDeeDeVour
    Chinese-made products don't last. Poor quality crap.
  • ninjagirl_34
    Don't do it. I've made that mistake several times and it was never a good outcome
  • arabgoddess
    I was never a fan.. I always have to try before I buy!
  • Daniela1982
    I wouldn't wear half of the stuff shown, especially the #2. I also don't like that they use slave labor in China sweatshops.
  • MajesticTwelve
    Even if it looks like its supposed to its probably made with toxic fabrics that will boil your skin off or something. Don't buy anything from China.
  • ITGirl95
    Nope, learnt my lesson😂
    • Anonymous

      What did you buy and what happened?

    • ITGirl95

      In one case what I got was completely different from what I ordered and in both cases their sizes are just too big for my petite self😂

    • Anonymous

      Awe, that sucks. Yeah, sizing is often crazy. It can be just a straight miscommunication in sizing if say you're talking inches and they are talking centimeters or just bad sizing point blank.

  • DizzyDesii
    Lmao this is why i dont shop online 😂
  • Darcia
    Don’t buy from a third party
  • yourlittlebean
    If you wanna look cheap go ahead
  • Good take
  • AJ_12345678910
    First check the reviews
  • Marie01995
    The red and yellow look nice others not so much.
  • Anonymous
    bruh the red one sent me 😩
    • Anonymous


  • Anonymous
    I've bought clothes from China but the only problem's been their sizes are tiny and i'm a tiny person, i'm very skinny and not very tall yet i've ordered medium-sized clothes from there and they were very tight. I also got a jacket that was a whole different shade from the one on the image once but that wasn't a big issue. I still used it.
  • Anonymous
    No, but from local designers or get in touch with fashion graduates who r willing to work and put their heart and soul into the garments