5 On Your Side

Dresses from seized Raleigh bridal salon up for auction

Posted September 30, 2010

— Wedding gowns, bridesmaid and flower girl dresses and accessories from a closed north Raleigh bridal shop will be auctioned on Monday to help recover tax money owed by the store's owner.

The North Carolina Department of Revenue seized Diamond's Bridal last month, taking the store and everything in it.

Sharon Hipps said she bought Diamond's Bridal "on a whim" last year and got in over her head by growing too fast and offering too many discounts. Instead of ordering dresses for brides, she used deposits from new customers to pay the previous owners for the business and to pay off other brides who didn't get their dresses.

In July, a bride requested help from WRAL News after she paid Hipps for dresses she didn't receive.

In mid-August, Hipps said hundreds of orders were still outstanding.

Since then, some brides got refunds from Hipps, and others got their dresses directly from manufacturers. Some brides had to repay another shop to get their dresses, losing the deposits they had already paid Hipps.

After the store was seized, auctioneer Randy Wester said the Department of of Revenue worked tirelessly to match dress orders with customers. To get the dresses, those buyers had to pay the balance they owed. All of the merchandise that's leftover is being auctioned.

Dresses from seized Raleigh bridal salon up for auction Thousands of bridal gowns up for auction

Wester said some of the more than 1,000 dresses available will probably sell for between $10 and $20 each. Other dresses normally priced around $3,500 could sell for $300 or $400, he said.

The auction is being held at the former location of Diamond's Bridal, 1606 North Market Drive. Doors open at 8 a.m. for a two-hour preview. The auction starts at 10 a.m.

Bids will be taken first from individuals who want the dresses, then commercial buyers, Wester said.

People will not be allowed to try on clothing, and all sales are final.

A 10 percent buyer's premium will be added to all sales.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • snowl Oct 1, 2010

    You cannot try the dress on, so don't bother..., and you'll still have to pay for alterations IF it even looks good on your body type. Or perhaps you can sell it on Craigslist or a consignment store and make some extra cash? I wouldn't want it for my actual wedding thats for sure.

  • crisway Oct 1, 2010

    Does anybody know if these are just bridal dresses? Will they have mother-of-the bride, or bridesmaid dresses?

  • Glass Half Full Oct 1, 2010

    For all of you knocking the government, please remember this is the United States of America, and you're all free to move to a different country, if they'll have you, if you don't like our rules.

  • b5fan Oct 1, 2010

    I know where I'm going to be Monday morning!!!

  • Peace Love and Cold Meds Oct 1, 2010

    I'm wit' ya' MuguGuyPan!

  • abrcromben Oct 1, 2010

    Mugu ...still single I see.

  • Mugu Oct 1, 2010

    I find it amusing that people get married just to get married and these women make these huge productions of their weddings.

    I find this selfish and disgusting and I have no pity for the women who lost money dealing with this business.

  • BlahBlahBlahBlahBlah Oct 1, 2010

    20 married today!

    10 divorced next year!

  • violetthorpe Oct 1, 2010

    they will work it around to be Obama's fault give them a little time..it's some ignorant people on this blog

  • superman Oct 1, 2010

    People lost their deposit because she never even ordered the dresses. The people who paid for their dresses paid the sales tax at the time they picked up their dress for which the owner never sent to the state. The dresses in the store are most likely store mechandise for which no one has paid sales tax. Does that mean it any more clearer to you?