Guide To Selling An Irish Dance Dress

Added 11th Jun 2017 by Danny

Thinking about putting your dress up for sale? Here's a guide to help you!

Asking Price

When selling a dress, the price you ask for your dress is one of the most important factors to consider and may make or break a sale. You need to look at it from the perspective of the buyer, not what you originally paid for it or what you think its worth. Trying to sell a dress for $1,500 when buyers will think its only worth $900, will result in your dress sitting unsold for quite a while. But if you ask for the right price, and sell a dress that's worth say $800 for $800 you will be inundated with emails as the price is attractive to buyers. Which will result in a quick sale.

When selling a dress look at dresses similar in age, and style. There's no use trying to sell a dress from 2-3 years ago at today's prices, as people will simply move on. Dresses in fashion, with styles in high demand will be able to fetch a higher price than a dress that is currently out of style.

So be honest with yourself, and you will sell your dress a lot faster!

Check out our post about Pricing a used Irish dance dress when selling for more details and advice.


You'll want to use clear, high quality photos of your dress. Maybe 2-3 on the dancer so people can see how it sits (1 Front, 1 Back, 1 Side) and the others showing off any fancy detailing, blemishes/marks/wear or accessories (i.e. headband, kick pants ect).

You'll also need to make sure the photos show the colour as best as possible so it would be a good idea to use decent lighting when taking photos. Typically the best light to use is daylight. So if you have a room that gets flooded with daylight this may be the best location to take photos. Failing this obviously there's always outside.

Also make sure that the light is ON the subject, not behind it as this will improve the quality of the photo.

If you use a hanger and the dress looks kinda "saggy" it may be a better idea to use a white sheet and lay the dress flat so the shape is better.


We don't recommend using PICCOLLAGE photos on listing sites as they don't show any detail. They may be OK for the likes of facebook but you'll get asked for proper photos by multiple people any way, so you may as well provide them upfront!

Which would you be more inclined to click?

Good Example
Bad Example

Returns Policy

Buyers may be put off if your listing is set as "Sale Final" as people want to feel safe sending a large sum of money to someone. They wouldn't want to be worrying if they will be stuck with a dress that may be too big or small, or had damage that wasn't outlined.

If you have high quality, clear photos and are 100% honest about the condition of the dress and you and the buyer communicate extensively regarding the measurements and how it was measured ect then there would be no need for a buyer to return the dress.


A return may ease the mind of the buyer, but if offering returns there are some things that may need clearing up.

For example:

A seller accepted returns and sent her dress from Canada to America. The teacher didn't like the dress and so it was returned. When it arrived, the seller had to pay $28 for customs.

As the seller the terms of a return are completely under your control. To ensure you are not put out in the event of a return you could maybe find out what the customs charge would be IF you were to be charged when receiving the dress and tell the buyer that you will require that amount in the form of an extra deposit in the event of having to pay.

If the buyer keeps the dress or no customs charges are required when the dress is returned you then return the extra deposit. If you do have to pay a customs charge, you can use the deposit and it isn't returned.

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Dealing With Buyers

When a potential buyer contacts you about your dress, always be honest about the condition of the dress and also the conditions of the sale. You don't want an unhappy buyer demanding a refund because the dress isn't what they were expecting!

Will you accept refunds, will you ship internationally? You will need to make it clear who pays shipping and taxes if applicable. If the buyer is from overseas, there may be extra taxes to pay.

Receiving Payment

There are many payment options out there including cheque's, paypal and direct deposit. Each have varying pros and cons and varying fees attached.


If you use paypal and hold a valid US paypal account, your transaction will be covered by seller protection. Paypal allows you to receive monies from varying sources though there are transaction fees that would be taken from your asking price. The fee is approx 3.5% of your asking price.


If your preferred method of payment is in the form of a cheque, ask for a bank/cashiers cheque in your home currency. This way you wont loose out if the exchange rate fluctuates and you wont have to pay any conversion fees your bank may charge.

Personal cheque's would potentially have a higher bounce rate. If a cheque bounces banks will charge YOU for this not the buyer. And again if the buyer is from outside your country, you may have to pay your bank a fee and the cheque will be converted using your banks exchange rates which may not be the same as the actually exchange rate.

Only send your item once the cheque has fully cleared. If you send the item before, you run the risk of loosing your dress AND your money. If the buyer is happy with the dress, then the sale would be considered complete.

If the seller is dissatisfied and asks to return the dress (and you are willing to accept a return) have the buyer send the dress back to you. If the dress is in the same condition that you sent it in, then send the payment back (minus shipping fees).

Direct Deposit

Direct deposit shouldn't be confused with other services out there like western union. Really, you should avoid western union at all costs. Its well known that scammers use this option, as once the payment is received there is no way of tracing or tracking the money OR the receiver.

Danny Says: I have personally used direct deposits to send money from my UK bank (HSBC) to a US bank (Suntrust) and its really quite easy. Although both myself AND the recipient were charged for the transfer. For me it was around £9 and them about $14. But this option could be fairly safe. The person sending the money MUST have a valid bank account, and if discrepancies arise the banks could potentially work with you to resolve issues. Although this is my presumption, and not guaranteed!

You would need to provide international banking info to the buyer (if from overseas) so that they can credit the money to your account.


Check out our guide to Shipping an Irish dance dress for tips and advice for shipping a dress.

Protecting Yourself From Scams

You've added your dress and are eager to make a sale. But you should ALWAYS exercise caution when dealing with people you don't know online. "But this is an Irish dance site, surely I cant get scammed here?" In 99% of cases were sure your right. But money is money and Irish dance dresses (even used) can still fetch a pretty penny.

We have measures in place to prevent spiders scraping our site and sending out emails to addresses it finds. Your email address is not found in the source code of the site! Secondly, we prevent automated submission of the email forms on the listing pages. These measures are not a guarantee that emails wont get through, but will reduce them dramatically!

If the buyer is in a rush, offers your more money than you asked for and requests that you just take out the difference and wire the rest back, or send a money order these will be signs that the person emailing you may be more interested in your money NOT your dress.

If all else fails, you could ask questions about the dancers school. If the school isn't in the same area that the buyer is supposed to be from, or you email the school and they haven't heard of the dancer, then cease communication with the fraudster and forward the emails to us.

Check out our Avoiding Scams Page for more information on what to look out for.

Do you Have Info That Might Help Sellers?

If you have any suggestions for sellers that we could add here, please contact us.