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MONEY MORAL DILEMMA: Should Rachel return the dress after wearing it?

in MoneySaving polls
119 replies 28.9K views
MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
8.3K Posts
Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:
Should Rachel return the dress after wearing it?

Rachel is over the moon; she's found the man of her dreams, Ross. He popped the question and so they had a big formal occassion, in which Rachel went to her local department store to buy a gorgeous £200 dress, especially to match the colour of the reception room. Neither of the pair have the best finances, and Rachel doubts she will ever wear a dress that colour again; so she's considering using the store's returns policy, even though she's worn it, to get her money back. Should she return it?
Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should Rachel return the dress after wearing it?

Previous MMDs: Should Darth take money from his kids' accounts? and Grant's been overpaid, should he keep it?

Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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  • I must admit I was tempted once but chickened out at the last minute.

    I think that the dress probably will stink of smoke, unless she washes it first and then it will be obvious that it has been washed.

    Rachel should have thought about her finances before she splashed out on an expensive dress that she could not afford.

    Rachel should try and sell her dress to dress agency/ebay/friend and try and recover some of her money back
  • kiddy_guykiddy_guy Forumite
    987 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
    Rachel should return it. She's done nothing more than have an extremely long "try on" session so send it back.

    This from somebody who's worked in fashion for 10 years!
  • I wouldn't like to be the next person who bought the 'gorgeous' dress. Who was Rachel trying to impress as she already had her dream man? They are not starting their life together with a good financial attitude. If she could not afford it she should not have bought it - will she be taking her wedding dress back too!!
  • dobbiesloandobbiesloan Forumite
    2.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
  • TaadaaTaadaa Forumite
    2.1K Posts
    If Rachel was only going to wear it once, Rachel shouldn't have bought it in the first place!!

    I wouldn't return it, I would flog it on e bay, and remember to think with my purse and not my heart in future.
    I have had many Light Bulb Moments. The trouble is someone keeps turning the bulb off :o

    1% over payments on cc 3.5/100 (March 2014)
  • impy78impy78 Forumite
    3.2K Posts
    Of course she should. Who hasn't???

    If they give her gip, wait a couple of days, undo the seam, take it to a different counter - bob's your uncle
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure - MSE ForumTeam
  • deborah007deborah007 Forumite
    64 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    I can't believe that this is a "Moral Dilemma".....

    If Rachel has bought the dress and worn it of course she can't return it. The store has kept their side of the deal...supplying an item of quality and fit for the purpose.

    If Rachel can't afford the dress then she shouldn't have bought it.....if she has bought it then she needs to deal with the it a credit card bill or a loan from family or friend.

    As previous posts have said....ebay it or aution it etc to get some money back.

  • hpiperhpiper Forumite
    166 Posts
    The whole point about 'money saving; is if you can't afford it, you don't buy it! Returning it to the shop would be cheating the shop and other customers who may buy it if it were to be returned to the shop floor. There's plenty of other shops out there with cheaper dresses in it.

    She should either NOT buy the dress in the first place, or buy it and keep it (and as suggested elsewhere, sell it elsewhere). P'haps she could hire a gorgeous dress.
  • JeffMinterJeffMinter Forumite
    138 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    If money really was tight then I would have thought she would go for dress rental rather than buying it for a one off occasion. But unless it was a bare bones wedding, I would imagine the dress is just one of many costly expenses.

    But no, she shouldn't return it. Moral reasons aside, the wedding dress is one of, if not the most important event of your life. To return it/sell it off as if it was a DVD on ebay would be an insult to the very meaning of a wedding. My mum still keeps her dress in a chest, a bit icky in my opinion but 26 years on, facing a rubbish pension and severely depleted savings, it has never crossed her mind to sell it.

    Young people these days, eh? :)
  • gingercordialgingercordial Forumite
    1.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I can't believe anyone would do this - moneysaving or not, it's just wrong!
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