There are a lot of misconceptions about how the “Russian mail order bride” industry works and the costs involved.

It seems many people have this idea in their head that you simply log onto a website with a catalogue of women, take your pick of the prettiest girl, pay some money, and then she’s on the first boat to you.

It doesn’t quite work that way 🙂

And unless you’re a slave trader there is no way to “buy” a woman.

In fact, the term “mail order bride” came about because the primary means of communication in the past was letters sent via the mail… not from any actual “mail order” service. You still had to win her over with more than a check.

(However there are dodgy companies out there who play on these misconceptions and charge upwards of $1,800 to become a member. Do not fall for these scams. Reputable agencies will let you browse profiles for free and you’ll only have to pay once you’re ready to contact the women.)

These days the mail order bride industry is more like traditional online dating.

Here’s how it works and the costs involved:

  1. Start your search at a reputable agency such as Elena’s who have thousands of single Russian girls who are looking for love. Cost: FREE.
  2. When you find a few profiles you like the look and sound of you’ll want to register on the site so you can see high resolution photos and get more information about them. Cost: FREE.
  3. Once you’ve found some girls you’d like to get to know more about the next step is to select a membership plan which will give you access to full contact details such as email, phone, Skype, and postal address. Cost: From $16.50 a month.
  4. Beware of companies that charge PER CONTACT, force you to communicate via their private website without revealing the girl’s personal contact details, or charge mandatory translation costs because these costs can add up fast.
  5. Developing your relationship via email, chatting on the phone, video conferencing on Skype, and exchanging photos costs nothing and lets you develop a strong relationship. Cost: FREE.
  6. At some stage you’ll want to meet in person and take your relationship to the next level. Depending on where you are traveling from a plane ticket may cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a thousand or more. In most cases if you’ve developed a strong relationship you’ll only need to do this once! Cost: ~$100 – $1500
  7. Finally when you’ve found that someone special you’ll need to arrange visas and a plane ticket for her. This is the most expensive step but only happens once you’ve found the girl of your dreams and decide you want to get married. Cost: ~$3500
    If you compare these costs to how much most guys end up spending over the years on traditional dating — dinners, movies, flowers and gifts etc — all without finding a suitable woman, you’ll likely find it’s no more expensive to find a beautiful Russian girl than someone from closer to home. It might even be cheaper.

And it’s certainly quicker — for example, many people report getting married within 6-18 months of joining Elena’s and seriously starting their search. The women on the site are really interested in finding a good man and getting married.

So if you have good intentions and put the effort in you can find someone special very quickly. And then the “cost” is negligible because it’s hard to put a price on happiness.

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