Authentic Prom Dress Guide - How to Buy Authentic Prom Dresses
You have been WARNED!
You browse for hours online and at local prom dress stores. You comb through Teen Prom and finally you find the dress you love. Maybe the local store does not have the size and color you want or maybe you just are hoping for a better price. While searching online, you find a website where the price is cheaper…much, much cheaper! It must be the same dress. It's the same photo as the one on the dress designer’s website. It seems almost too good to be true.
Well, it is.
Sadly, there are thousands of Chinese websites that steal American Prom designers’ copyrighted images and sell unsuspecting teenage girls poorly made counterfeit dresses that do not fit properly, look nothing like the photos online and may or may not arrive in time for prom. Saving a few bucks on a defective knock off prom dress will only lead to major disappointment.
Refunds and returns are non-existent on Chinese websites.
These websites have a devastating impact on the American Prom Industry. In 2012, American prom designers and American prom retailers (both online and offline) lost an estimated 300,000 dresses and retail sales of more than $90 million dollars to rogue Chinese sites.
US Homeland Security and US Customs officials seize websites and merchandise from these counterfeiters on a daily basis; however, new sites appear at or near the top of Google’s search results. They advertise on Google, lending a sense of legitimacy, trust and authority to their websites that sell defective, knock off dresses.
Besides the enormous loss of revenue and jobs to the American economy, these Chinese websites are often linked to illegal sweatshop factories that utilize child labor and not surprisingly, are also tied to organized crime.
This is where your money goes when you purchase counterfeit prom dresses online. Convinced you will save some money, you will receive an inferior copy of the dress you really wanted and you will regret it.
You have been warned.
Before you Order your Prom Dress Online, read this guide and learn how to spot a counterfeit website.
Here are the Red Flags to look out for so you can identify a website selling FAKE designer prom dresses:
If the price is too good to be true, it’s a FAKE! This is the most important rule you need to know. The designer determines the price of prom dresses and every American retailer MUST sell the dress at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). Therefore, if you see a dress on every website and retail store for $298, and then find it on a website for 10%, 20%, 30%, 40% or 50% off that price, it is a FAKE dress.
“But the photo of the dress is the same as every other website,” you say? Yep! They steal the designers’ copyrighted images and use them on their websites to sell you a counterfeit prom dress. This is a dead giveaway that the site is selling counterfeit dresses.
Most websites have live seals in the bottom of the site that pop up when you hover your mouse over them. These seals verify the site is protected by an SSL certificate or the site has been verified by PayPal as a legitimate business. Counterfeit websites steal these verification seals and place them on their websites, but they are not active. When you hover over them, nothing happens. A real SSL certificate on an ecommerce site is mandatory if you want your credit card information to be secure and protected.
Golden Asp has many third party verifications on the website, including being a member of Top Prom Websites - a consumer advocacy group which independently verifies that we are an established, trusted retailer authorized to sell all the designer brands listed on our website.
3. Contact Information
The website has no address on the “contact us” page or the contact information includes an address outside the US or a non-USA phone number.
Authorized American Prom Dress retailers have their contact information listed clearly and prominently on all pages of their websites, including address, phone number email and “contact us” form.
To verify that the website is an authorized retailer for the designer dress you want to purchase, visit the “Where to Buy” page of the designer’s website. Any retailer listed on the designer’s website is legitimate.
The shipping info on the Chinese website tells you that they will send the dress to you as a gift to save on shipping costs. What these Chinese factories are really trying to avoid is detection by custom officials for shipping counterfeit goods into the US. They also could get you into a heap of trouble because normally there would be customs and duty taxes that you would have to pay. Avoiding these taxes is a violation of Federal Law.
The text on the website is mangled, broken English. Here is an example of a Chinese website selling unsuspecting American teenagers counterfeit designer prom dresses:
We have honored to employ the most experienced designers and tailors in creating every piece of clothing for you according to your marvelous body shape. It not only provides your ideal-made wear as soon as possible, but also can ensure you a best gesture at any occasion.
How long will be the parcel arrived our country?
Remember the first rule? If it sounds too good to be true, it’s a FAKE. If everything on the website is listed as “on sale”, the dresses are counterfeit. American Prom Dress Retailers are not permitted by the genuine designer to discount their dresses.
If you see a dress on an auction site, please be aware that most American Prom Dress Designers forbid retailers from selling their dresses on auction websites like eBay. The dress is likely a counterfeit.
8. Style Numbers
Often, the style numbers are different than the other American websites where you have seen the dress. Sometimes, there is not even a style number. The real style numbers are created by the authentic prom dress designers and are utilized by all retailers so that we may reference the same dress without confusion.
9. Custom Services
The website offers to custom make the dress for you based on your specific measurements or to customize the dress.
Genuine Prom Dress Designers have specific size charts that they use to construct dresses and they do not make custom dresses for prom. Retailers use the designers’ size charts to help you determine the best size for you.