How to avoid knockoff prom dresses

One of the ideas behind the International Prom Association is to help educate the consumer when shopping for prom dresses. One of the most troubling problems facing the industry today is knockoffs. Designers put many months of design, work, and thought into these dresses each season. Foreign companies are copying these designs and trying to pass them off as the originals.

Lets face it ladies, the reason you are choosing a knock off is because of price. They can be up to 50% cheaper than the originals, but, as in real life, you get what you pay for. Here are the most common examples of knockoff problems that we hear about.

  • Copyright – All of the prom designers based in the U.S. have copyrights on their dresses. So if you are buying a knockoff, you are buying a dress from someone who is infringing on a U.S. copyright which is against the law. In the past, knockoff factories have closed due to lawsuits and other legal problems. Imagine paying for a dress that you never get because this happens… And yes, this does happen every year.
  • Color – The color of the dress you are seeing in the picture almost never matches the original
  • Fit – Since these are copies, there is no standardized sizing. Imagine ordering a size 6, but it fits like a 10. Again, this happens every year.
  • Design – Most of the knockoff factories do not have an original when they try and copy it. They simply look at the picture online or in a catalog, and do their best interpretation of what the dress looks like. Things like beading patterns, rouching, straps, trains, etc are almost never quite right.
  • Quality – We have personally spoken to girls who have purchased knock off dresses that have literally fallen apart (broken) in the middle of prom. Imagine dancing one minute, and your straps or zipper breaks the next. That sucks (unless you are a boy lol)
  • So how do you know who is selling knockoffs? In most physical retail stores they will have the real thing. The IPA verifies all our retailers to make sure they are not selling copies. You will want to make sure that there is a manufacturers tag sewn inside the dress before purchasing. If you are shopping online, make sure you look for a physical address for the company you are buying from. Almost all of the knockoff companies are NOT based in the U.S. This is also evident in how things are worded. If there is “bad English” in the website’s FAQ, Help, or Customer Service sections that is full of spelling and grammar errors, would you really want to order from that company anyway? Also look to see what shipping service they are using. If they use a shipping company you have never heard of, chances are good it is not coming from the U.S.

    And lastly, if you are not sure, ASK QUESTIONS! Call the customer service phone number on a questionable website and get answers!! Don’t get burned and have your prom ruined by someone trying to take advantage of you.

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