I ordered a bridesmaid's dress from a big online retailer. The store and UPS say that it got delivered to my condo building, and one of the doormen signed for it. But somewhere between the front desk and my door, it went missing. Who's responsible for covering the cost? Or am I just out of luck?

Paying good money for a dress you’ll probably only wear once can sting. It hurts even more for one you won't get to wear at all. Before you can determine who -- if anyone -- should reimburse you, you’d be wise to figure out what happened to your package, our experts say.

“A practical, not legal, response is to get management to view cameras to look for clues as to where it went,” says Roberta Axelrod, a real estate broker and asset manager at Time Equities. To start, you could also post a sign in the common areas in case someone took it by mistake.

While legally neither the board nor the management company is obligated to reimburse you, it doesn't hurt to ask them to cover the cost. Put in a written request to the board, and they may consider it at their next meeting.

Meanwhile, if a thief is to blame and you have homeowner’s insurance, you could try to make a claim on your insurer. ?

“While some insurance policies do provide coverage for lost or misplaced items, most do not,” says apartment insurance broker Jeff Schneider of Gotham Brokerage. “If you can convince your insurer the item has been stolen, you would have a shot at reimbursement, minus your deductible.”

Lastly, if this is a problem at your building, it may be worth addressing it at the root.

“Although it may not help this time, work with management to have a system to record packages identified by name -- who it's to and who it's from -- accepted, and to keep a record by having the recipient sign when they take a package so there are tighter controls and a better chance of tracking it down later," Axelrod says.

Leigh Kamping-Carder is a senior editor at BrickUnderground.com, the online survival guide to finding a NYC apartment and living happily ever after. To see more expert answers or to ask a real estate question, click here.