Don’t Fall Victim to Online Sites Selling Knock-Off Prom Dresses

It’s April, spring is in the air, flowers are blooming, the weather is getting warmer and all across the country young women are searching for the perfect prom dress for 2012. However in recent years a sinister trend has been developing in the online prom dress market that has left thousands of girls with poorly made knock off dresses when prom is only a few days away. Online dress boutiques claiming to sell top quality designer gowns are acting as fronts from illegal third world factories that churn out poorly made knock offs using the designers own photos!

In recent years these sites have become such a problem for designers, legitimate retailers and consumers alike that online advocacy groups have begun forming to help distinguish honest boutiques from crooks and educate consumers on how to avoid a prom dress disaster. One such advocacy group Top Prom Websites, estimates that last year these cheaply made knock off dresses cost the designer prom dress industry as much as 10 million dollars and left hundreds of thousands of consumers with defective dresses and no way to get their money back.

It works like this: illegally operated factories in countries like Indonesia, China and India set up online websites claiming to sell designer gowns by labels like Jovani, Sherri Hill, Tony Bowls, Clarisse and other premier prom dress designers. Unable to be prosecuted under US and European copyright laws they take pictures from designer’s websites and advertise “designer gowns made to your specific measurements”. While most of these factories do make each dress to individual specifications they do so with substandard materials and manufacturing processes that usually result in a dress which looks nothing like the original. However by the time the buyer realizes this they dress has already traveled half way across the world and the money has changed hands. And if you hadn’t already guessed, these sites don’t do returns.

Designers and respected online retailers alike are doing everything they can to raise awareness about this serious and illegal issue. Shoppers thinking of buying their dresses online are encouraged to double check to make sure the address of the shop they are ordering form is in fact in the United States and to watch out for warning signs like sites that claim they need 2 to 4 weeks to produce a dress, considering designer gowns have already been made months in advance this one is a huge red flag. To learn more about knock off prom gowns, and for a list of trusted online retailers visiting Top Prom Websites homepage here.

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