How to Spot Modest Prom Dress & Formal Counterfeit Websites

Last week we covered important points on how to spot a counterfeit modest wedding dress. While most of the issues we discussed also apply to spotting a counterfeit modest prom dress (a topic we also discuss here), since this is an ever growing issue that affects thousands of young women every prom season, we thought it was worth publishing an article dedicated solely to spotting a counterfeit modest prom dress website.

Genuine & Counterfeit Prom Dress
A genuine designer prom dress on the left compared to an overseas knockoff on the right.

General Guidelines for How to Spot Counterfeit Modest Prom Dress Websites

  • Poorly written English. This is a huge warning sign that a website may be based overseas, even though they may go to great lengths to try and conceal this fact.
  • A huge diversity of photography, some of which doesn’t look professional at all (this especially applies to photographs that are selfies, in particular if the selfie appears to be taken in the dressing room of a boutique – this is a huge indicator that the dress being tried on is sold by the boutique and NOT by the website hosting the listing. The same applies for pictures that appear to be personal prom photos).
Dressafford Counterfeit Modest Prom Dress Selfie
  • Unbelievably low prices. While we all love a good deal, paying under $130 for a handmade, customized modest formal should tip you off that things aren’t above board. 
  • Odd pricing. Most reputable prom boutiques price their dresses in round numbers, such as $185 or even $750. If the price is an odd number, this too is a good indicator that the website is questionable in its integrity. 
  • Improbably quick processing times. In the wedding world, everything moves a bit slower. For a reputable boutique, even if a dress is in stock it may take 2-3 weeks to ship. For dresses that need to be ordered, you can expect the wait to even be up to 6-9 months.
  • Even here at Virtuous Prom, making a custom modest prom dress can take 4-8 weeks depending on the time of year and the complexity of the design. So, if a website offers a processing time in mere days, things probably aren’t above board. 
  • Another great clue that you are working with a disreputable company is if they literally offer THOUSANDS of styles. Unless you’re an absolutely mammoth company like like Saks Fifth Avenue, a reputable boutique is probably going to have dozens of designs – not hundreds or thousands. 
  • A lack of contact information, or no response when contacted. If a company has a phone number that just rings and rings with no voicemail message, this should probably raise an eyebrow. However, due to COVID, many companies have their employees working remotely, so if you can’t reach them telephonically, email may be your best bet ESPECIALLY if their voicemail requests that you contact them via email, as do we (we’re almost always near our email!).

Common Counterfeit Modest Prom Dress Websites

AliExpress – AliExpress is notorious for knock-off gowns and the unprofessional photography and low price points are a good tip off that they’re not a legitimate prom dress site.

Amazon – Amazon has some very reputable sellers, but beware, there are scammers there too. Your best bet is to look carefully at feedback and, when in doubt, message the seller!

Amy Prom – This website fails the “prom dress selfie” test and has other warning signs that it’s less than legitimate.

Dolly Gown – Unprofessional photography and unusual prices point to this site being a counterfeit prom dress seller.

Dorris Wedding – From prom dress selfies to improbably quick processing times, this site fails the legitimacy test on many counts.

Dress Afford – not only does this site have prom dress selfies, it has selfies that are also “sold” on other websites.

DH Gate – DH Gate is another large counterfeit website based out of China. From the improbably low prices to the huge selection, there are many indicators this site isn’t above board.

eBay – Just like Amazon, there are both reputable and disreputable sellers on eBay. A seller’s feedback is a good guide to navigating your way to a legitimate dress as is looking for the other clues we’ve mentioned above.

Etsy – By and large, Etsy hosts reputable sellers, but overseas vendors are still apt to use images that don’t accurately represent their own products.

Gem Grace – Although Gem Grace has a much more professional website than most of the other sites we’ve listed, it still has many warning signs that it’s less than legitimate.

JJ’s House – JJ’s House is another notorious Chinese website that specializes in cheap and counterfeit goods.

June Bridals – From boutique selfies to prices too good to be true, June Bridals is another website to steer clear of.

Luulla – Any site that offers over 3,700 designs is probably borrowing them from someone else.

Prom GirlA website that offers a prom dress for $29 is probably one you should skip.

The Celebrity Dresses – This site is unique in that it almost exclusively sells red carpet gown knock-offs and doesn’t pretend the designs featured are their own.

The Dress OutletWith prices range from $19 on up, this website doesn’t appear legitimate either.

Top Dresses 100 – Inconsistent photography, suspiciously low price points and extremely quick processing times all point to Top Dresses 100 being less than above board.

Veaul – Although this website seems legitimate, the product reviews that contain photographs show that what you see isn’t what you get.

Is there a counterfeit modest prom dress website we’ve overlooked? Be sure to leave their information in the comment section!