The Dangers Of Buying Used Tutus Online

© Designed by Monica Newell
Designs that are copied victimize the dancer who paid for a custom couture garment.

The word cheap and Classical Tutu should never be in the same sentence. These garments are so precious, so valuable to the traditions of the ballet, we must guard them respectfully and never allow them to become the victims of pinch-penny mentality.

Ballet training is expensive. Not only do classes have to be paid for, but all the numerous garments and accessories a dancer needs. Leotards, tights, warmers, slippers, hair accessories, stage makeup, dance bags, pointe shoes, padding, tape, lambs wool, bandages and, of course, costumes are a large part of the expenses.

In the world of ballet competitions, hundreds of classical tutus are custom-made for individual dancers. After the venue is over, the dancer has to decide what to do with her costume. She may decide to cling to it as a precious keepsake for the rest of her life. She may also decide to pass it down to another dancer or a younger sibling. A used tutu can also end up in the public marketplace.

Buying A Used Tutu The Smart Way

The safest way to sell or buy a used tutu is to do it within the confines of your school with fellow students. Ballet students find this a resourceful way to get a quality costume at a lower price. It works with dancers that are close in size. The benefit is that they don’t have to guess about the fit or aesthetics. They know exactly what they are buying in advance. They know the people they are dealing with; unlike doing business with a stranger online.

Used Tutus For Sale Online And Through Social Media Sites

Used tutus can be found online in many places. You find sellers on dance forums. Some have shops on Etsy that offer vintage or gently worn costumes.  Facebook is full of swap meet pages. It also contains groups dedicated to the buying and selling of dance costumes.  Sadly to say, if you want to buy a second-hand tutu online, it would be to your advantage that you don’t need it for something vital to your ballet career.

Buying a pretty used tutu just to have is one thing. Depending on it to pass the scrutiny of high standards on a professional stage is risky beyond measure. Ballet is and always will be an expensive career. You cannot cut corners on costuming and expect to maintain perfection of aesthetics. It is this cutting of corners that many unscrupulous sellers take advantage of.

Unethical Advertising Lures In Unsuspecting Buyers

Because the Internet is so full of beautiful tutu images, those that are not protected by copyright notices are fresh for the taking. In good ways, they are shared and enjoyed by honest people. However, tutu images are exploited by people who use them as advertising bait to get customers.Why? Because their own designs are not enough of a draw to attract a sustainable client base.

They refuse to invest money into creating sample garments of their own work. It costs them nothing to grab a picture online. Not only does the buyer become a victim of false advertising, upper echelon companies like Costume Creations, Benefis, Rosetti, Class Act, e.t.c. find their professional designs posted as garments that are easily made by home sewers and seamstresses.

3 Sneaky Ways That Tutu Sellers Try To Get Sales From Stolen Photos :

  1. The Wing-It Method– Find a professional tutu design from a top company that doesn’t have a copyright statement on it. Study it, upload it to your webpage, then offer the costume for sale confident you can whip up the same exact tutu as soon as you get the order.
  2. The False Front Door Method– Upload a fabulous tutu design that was created by a high-level professional; not you. Use this photo as a ” representative”  of your couture skills, whether or not you have those skills.
  3. Recruiting Partners In Crime– Advertising to your potential customers that they can bring photos of tutus from other makers  that you can copy for them at a fraction of the cost.
© Designed by Monica Newell
Stolen tutu images are exploited by people who use them as advertising bait to get customers.

Read between the lines, dancers and customers. These practices are banking on the naiveté of eager buyers. People who try to sell tutus this way are lazy, lecherous and unbelievably dishonest.  Do you really want to do business with somebody like this just to save a bit of money? They are lying to you.

Remember, no reputable tutu maker is going to allow her work and designs to be exploited for profit by another business. Don’t take a photo to be copied at a cheaper price. If a tutu maker doesn’t have the artistic capability to birth a costume for you based on your variation needs, I would run, perhaps even Jeté away from that webpage.

The tutu maker that has been in business for decades will offer you a glimpse of her photo portfolio.

How To Protect Yourself From Buying A Bait & Switch Tutu

Let’s suppose we find a seller that has posted an exquisite photo of a peach Classical tutu for sale on her webpage, Facebook group, or online shop. It’s gorgeous and the price is so reasonable! Before you get too excited, slow yourself down and take a few measures to protect yourself and your money:

  • Verify Source Through Google Images– Enter “professional peach Classical tutu” into Google Images. Chances are excellent that you can locate the original source of the image if it is published on a costume company website. Enter as many search terms as you can think of.
  • Ask The Seller For A Proof Photo– Don’t believe the picture you see. Tell the seller you want a dated picture of them AND the tutu they are selling. In color and UP CLOSE.
  • Request A Skype Session-If they had computer access to post a tutu photo on a sales page, then they should have no problem giving you a free Skype session. Why Skype? Because it allows you to see the front, back, sides, inner linings and seams for holes, stains and rips.
  • Use PayPal– When it comes to buying anything online from an unknown seller, PayPal can offer you a lot of protection if something should go wrong.
© Designed by Monica Newell
Costume companies are increasingly vigilant about protecting their designs from fraudulent use online.

If a tutu seller makes excuses or refuses to let you examine her garment up close, don’t do business. Refuse to deal with anyone that says:

  • My Grandma made this years ago and I am selling it for her, so I don’t have anymore pictures to show you.
  • I’m selling this for a friend, but she’s on vacation. Otherwise I could borrow her computer/ camera.
  • You will just have to take my word for it. You can always get your money back if you don’t like it.
  • I’m offended that you want all of this extra proof. Nobody has ever questioned my honesty before.

An honest seller would work with you to make sure you are comfortable buying from them. If a seller becomes defensive; they are probably hiding something.

If you see a tutu online that makes your heart sing and calls out your name, you are in love with the work of its designer! Do everything in your power to locate that person or company and order directly from them; you will be glad you did.


If you are taking copyrighted designs and using them to trick buyers to profit yourself, you are perpetrating a  consumer scam. You are committing Internet Fraud. You are committing Postal Fraud. You will find yourself in Legal hot water with the customer, the police, the costume company and the photographer.




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