Best of the Web: Where to Buy (and Sell) Used Wedding Items

by Melissa on April 26, 2011

Whether you’re looking for used wedding items because you’re looking to save money, be green, or a little bit of both, there are a lot of ways to find used wedding items online.  From dresses, DIY supplies, decorations, favor making supplies, to equipment like chafing dishes or chairs  it’s all available! In addition to your basics like Craigslist and Ebay, you’ve got a lot of options. 

I’ve started to obtain and purchase wedding decor.  In the last week alone, I have bought items from WeddingBee Classifieds sellers, Ebay, thrift stores, and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  I actually like this whole “not buying new” stuff.  Someone else used it, loved it, and now wants to pass it along to someone else!  These are some of the best sites I have found to buy (and then sell!) used wedding items. 

Top Sites to Buy and Sell Used Wedding Items

WeddingBee Classifieds.  I check the WeddingBee Classifieds, especially the decor category, several times a day. Wedding Bee classifieds posts, in my experience, are by far the most frequently-updated collections of used wedding items.  But, you must be quick.  I’ve ordered some vases through a seller there successfully, but I have attempted to buy some other items as well, but I wasn’t quick enough, and they were sold.  A tip: If you’re really, truly interested in something and know that you want the item for sure, send a private message to the seller with your PayPal e-mail address and zip code for shipping purposes and tell her to invoice you via PayPal.  That way she knows you’re serious and you’ll get the item! A few things I don’t like:  No image thumbnails in the list of posts.  You have to actually click on the post to see photos.  

The Knot’s Trash To Treasure Forum.  Although it’s updated less frequently than the WeddingBee Classifieds, the Knot’s Trash to Treasure Forum is also a great resource to buy used wedding items.  A few minor complaints: Unlike to WeddingBee classifieds, there are no subcategories in the Trash to Treasure Forum.  So, I have to trudge through all the used wedding dresses and other attire (which I’m not interested in), just to find various decor items that might be for sale.  

Ruffled Blog Recycle Your Wedding.  I really like this forum.  The items for sale tend to be more specific (as opposed to WeddingBee in which a single post which might contain a list of dozens of items for sale) and, it posts thumbnail photos next to the entry.  There’s a lot of great stuff on here! 

Project Wedding’s Classifieds.  Project Wedding’s Classifieds are similar in structure to The Knot’s Trash to Treasure forum. There are no subcategories, so if you’re looking for something specific, you’ll have to rely on search or just scrolling through all the entries.  This board is also updated frequently. 

Recycled Bride.  Another good site that has more focused posts and also contains photo thumbnails.  One thing that bugs me (and unless I’m missing it somewhere on the page), there’s no date of when the seller posted the information.  So if I search for something, like twine, and it comes up in my results, I have no idea if that person posted it for sale yesterday or last year! 

Some Honorable Mentions

Bride Share.  While BrideShare is a great concept, unfortunately it does not have a lot of active users, making it difficult if you’re looking for some very specific items. 

Smart Bride Boutique.  Smart Bride Boutique does not have a very active community either, but again, it’s good if you’re searching for something specific. 

Wedding by Color Marketplace.  While there are several posts from brides selling their used wedding items, Wedding By Color Marketplace seems to be dominated by businesses posting their goods and services, instead of newlyweds looking to pass on their wedding items. 

Wedding Dress Specific

I’m not interested in buying a used wedding dress, so i haven’t played around much on either of these sites.  But if you are interested in buying a used wedding dress or other used wedding attire, here are some great sites:

Brick and Mortar Stores

  • Goodwill and Salvation Army (support a good cause while shopping)
  • Other local thrift stores
  • Habitat Re-Store (Another great cause to support!  I scored some awesome finds from our local store). 
  • Consignment stores (although I have found consignment stores to be outrageously overpriced, at least here in the DC area.  Same thing goes for antique stores in the DC area.)

Non-Wedding Specific Online Resources, but Still Useful! 

Craigslist.  I don’t think much description is necessary here.  But I will share my method for finding items on Craigslist.  Although being a quick replier on Craigslist is typically the way to go, I have set up RSS feeds for the items that I want.  Although there is a slight delay for them to appear in my feeds, it saves me time from having to perform the search each time.  Here are some of my search terms I use for my RSS feeds:  “Wedding -dress -ring” (because I’m looking for wedding items, but not dresses or rings).  “Mason Jar”  “Vase *less than $5”  “cobalt blue.” “autumn.”

Ebay.  I use a lot of the same keywords above on Ebay but set them up as alerts. I also have the app on my phone to let me know when items on my “Watch List” are ending soon.  

Freecycle.  I know a lot of people love Freecycle.  And maybe Freecycle and I just got off on the wrong foot.  But it has not been useful for me.  1) Freecycle is extremely, extremely neighborhood-focused, to a fault.  So, it wouldn’t let me join the Freecycle groups for neighboring communities.  For instance, the city I live in is right on the border of another city.  So, I applied for the city that I live in (I had to give my zip code and nearest major intersection on my group application).  They denied my freecycle application, saying that was the other city’s group.  So, I applied to the other city.  They told me I had the wrong one.  So then, I applied for the DC Freecycle, because their Terms of Service said that folks who work in DC but live in Virginia or Maryland could still apply.  So I applied to the DC Freecycle. And they rejected my application.  Eventually I got one application approved (for the neighboring city).  So, every once in a while I’ll check out the group page, but I’ve never found anything useful. 

 

Because it’s difficult to keep track of the actual costs of the items I’m looking for across so many different sites, I’ve developed a spreadsheet to determine the true cost of each item to ensure that I’m not overpaying!  I’ll share it with you in a few days!  Simple, but works like a charm! 

Am I missing any other good sites out there?

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