You have a vision of what you want your wedding outfit to look like. You might even have an exact picture of what you’re looking for. At this point, it’s a matter of finding a business that can perfectly reproduce the outfit in a way that is within your budget, while also getting it to you well ahead of your big day.
You’ve already decided that paying Sabyasachi well over $10,000 USD is out of your budget, and so is dropping $7,000 USD at a local boutique to get something similar. So now you’ve embarked on a journey, looking for a business in India, who can make a perfect copy of the outfit for under $2,000 USD.
As you look for reliable vendors overseas, you look for reviews online and get opinions from friends/family. After doing your research, you’ve found a couple vendors who have glowing reviews on Google. Your friends/family may have even had a great experience with them. Now you feel like you can confidently pick a vendor to go with, so you pull out your phone to start the purchase process by messaging the business on WhatsApp.
Before going any further, wait! We have spoken with many brides who have ordered from overseas businesses with great reviews, and many of them have ended up disappointed.
There are a few tips we recommend you consider, before sending the business payment.
Disclaimer: We are not providing professional advice, so use the following information at your discretion.
Tip 1: Pay with a form of payment that provides buyer protection.
Examples of payment methods that often protect the buyer include, and are not limited to paying with:
Many vendors in places like India, often request payment via methods like
- Western Union
- Wire transfer
To work around this risk, something like a credit card can be used. That way if the business does n not fulfill their duties, you can file a dispute with your bank and/or credit card company. Your bank or credit/card company will gather information from you (e.g. proof that you didn’t receive what you purchased), and will work on getting your money back directly from the business’s bank and/or payment processor.
Depending on your bank/credit card provider, the dispute may need to be filed within a certain period of time (e.g. within 60 days of the original payment).
As an example, the picture below outlines Visa’s dispute process.
Tip 2: Arrange a payment plan with the business.
In many cases, businesses will require full payment up front. Based on speaking with other brides, there are a few problems with upfront payment.
- There is no incentive for the business be respond to your questions/concerns, after you pay them.
- There is no incentive for the business to ship your outfit on time.
- There is no incentive for the business to make your outfit exactly the way you requested it.
We have seen brides deal with businesses who disappear after receiving payment, delay shipments, and deliver the incorrect outfits. To avoid these types of scenarios, here are some ways to structure payment.
- Pay a portion, when placing the order.
- Pay a portion, after the order has shipped (like actually verify the order is in transit, using a tracking number)
- Pay remaining portion, after you verify that the received outfit is made the way you requested it.
The real review to the right, demonstrates how a business delayed shipment while shipping outfits that were improperly sized. Setting a payment plan can provide businesses with an incentive to follow through on their promises.
Tip 3: Read reviews carefully, and compare them with reviews on other platforms.
Even if a business seems to have glowing reviews online, its important to analyze and cross-check reviews. Below are some ways to do that.
- Look for their negative reviews – You can do this on platforms like Google, by filtering for reviews based on star ratings (e.g. 1 star ratings). That way you can be sure to get a full picture of what a business’ reviews look like; since negative reviews may get buried under positive reviews.
- Compare reviews across platforms – For example, a vendor may have 5 stars on Google, 4 stars on Facebook, and 2 stars on PlanEvents.ca. It’s worth looking at the business’ reviews across platforms, to look for anything suspicious.
- Ask around, online – You can also ask various online communities for input, as well. Here are a couple worth considering
Anyways, that is all we have. Hopefully this is helpful.
If you have questions or thoughts, feel free to reach out to us on IG, over @planevents.ca.