Well, why wouldn’t you? The wedding’s over, you’ve got no use for the eight damask linens you had to buy because no one rented the exact shade of gray you were set on. So why not sell them to the next couple?

And, why not buy them?

A local bride, Susan Shapiro, started an online resale marketplace in 2008 after her own wedding. Having searched eBay and Craigslist for wedding items, she realized the opportunity to utilize that type of framework, but focus it on ceremony and reception items, dresses, rings, and other things. There are now over 15,000 preowned items listed on bravobride.com.

We chatted with Shapiro about how the site works, and how it can work for you, and the slideshow illustrates a few key offerings.

WWW: We get excited about local businesses around here because we support shopping at home. But I suppose Bravo Bride is a great way to shop the country via a Seattle entrepreneur. Does Seattle factor in at all? Is there a bigger share of regional sellers or buyers? It would actually be great if so, because then the site could function a bit more like Craigslist; brides and brides-to-be could meet in the real world and do the try-before-buy thing.
Shapiro: California and Texas actually have our biggest share of merchandise with the state of Washington coming in fifth in terms of listing volume. The vases a bride just used at her wedding in Savannah, Georgia might be the ones I want even though I live in Seattle. That was actually a problem I had when trying to use Craigslist for my wedding before I began Bravo Bride. That said, we have definitely had brides meet each other before purchasing merchandise. There is an option on the site that allows users to search by location so brides can meet each other. I recently received an email from a bride whose wedding was called off and through our site, she was able to sell her brand new gown to another bride-to-be in her area. She told me it made her feel so much better about everything and that it was a wonderful way to truly move on from a bad experience, especially now that she had made a new friend.

What kinds of things are most popular on your site? Dresses? Decor?
Dresses are the most popular, followed by wedding decorations, table centerpieces, table linens, and bridesmaids dresses.

What item or sale has been the most surprising?
That is a great question! We had one seller list a miniature mannequin torso dressed in a wedding dress to use as a table top decoration. It was a little creepy and not surprisingly, it didn’t sell. I also had another seller list miniature top hats for dogs to wear at a wedding and those were actually really cute.

What should brides-to-be know about looking for goods on the site?
If brides-to-be are looking for a wedding dress and they can’t meet the seller in person, I recommend trying on the same dress or a similar style at a bridal shop before they make a purchase. With anything on the Internet you have to be very careful when purchasing items online. At Bravo Bride, if you are purchasing an item over $100 we recommend using escrow.com because they are able to protect both the buyer and seller. PayPal does not offer this same type of protection. There is a section on Bravo Bride that provides helpful tips for buyers and sellers and we use an advanced secure messaging system to prevent spamming and scammers from contacting our website users. We also now allow wedding retailers to sell their sample gowns and discounted merchandise our our site, too.

What should recently married brides know in terms of selling items on the site
Almost all items are free to list on Bravo Bride. There is a one time $19.95 fee for wedding dresses and engagement rings. Items remain on Bravo Bride until they are sold and we never take a commission upon sale. This allows our sellers to get the best possible price for their items. Good photographs, especially professional ones from your wedding are very helpful in making your listings stand out. Also, describing your item in detail is also a great way to get an item sold quickly.

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