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You guys might remember my “let’s order a custom human hair piece from someone on the interwebs” story from a few years ago.
Edit: my horror story.
It shouldn’t have been a bad situation. I knew the lady (in an online sort of way), and she had been recommended to me from several women that I trusted.
But time passed, and more time passed, and no hair topper surfaced. I didn’t reach out a ton, but definitely moreso towards the end of the whole escapade.
You can read all about the story here and how it ended up, but my TL:DR is this:
You must protect yourself when buying online.
If you see something that seems too good to be true, it just may be.
Let’s go over a few things to look out for.
Look Out for Fishy Pricing
You guys have been reading my blog long enough to have somewhat of a good idea of what pieces cost, right?
What do you think of this?
Really? $258 for super-long human hair?
Not in a million years.
If you order from a company with pricing like this, you 1) may not even receive the product, or 2) will find that the quality and style is not what you were expecting.
Let’s also point out the hilarious title: “Good Blonde Long Wavy Without Bangs Human”.
Check the Photos
If you see sites with really professional looking pics and models, but it’s on a no-name site, something might be off.
Especially if you feel you’ve seen the style before but there’s no brand name or style name attached, like this:
That’s one of my favorite stock photos from Jon Renau, of their Miranda wig. You’ll find this photo all over the bigger sites, but it will always be accompanied by the Jon Renau brand name and the name of the style.
One thing to note: there is at least one company that I know of that is 100% legit complete with fantastic customer service, but white labels products.
What is white labeling?
A reseller pays wholesale for items, then “rebrands” them with their own information (often renames them and takes their own photography) and sells them for a higher cost.
The site I am thinking of white labels a lot of Noriko and Amore styles…probably a few others.
I don’t prefer to pay more for my pieces, so I stick with online sites that I know don’t white label. My favorite to shop from is Wigs by Patti’s Pearls. Check out the videos on her site, I could listen to her talk all day. 🙂
Do Some DIY Investigating
If you’re thinking of buying from a lesser-known site, just do some simple poking around until you are perfectly comfortable making a purchase.
Go with your gut.
If you notice spelling mistakes and a ton of broken grammer, that is a red flag.
Check out their “about us” section and see what they have to say. If you see a bunch of pics with stock photography and not real people, well, that could be another hint.
Do these lovely folks look like they could help you pick out hair?
(You can purchase this photo for use with no watermark at Dreamstime.com. Gotta cover my bases!)
Some other items that legit websites have that you should look for:
– Contact information including a working phone number
– Privacy Policies
– Store locators (all the major manufacturers will gladly point out on their sites where you can buy their products. For example, Jon Renau’s link is right on their homepage. So does Rene of Paris. So does Noriko. You get the drift!)
Also, check out their shipping policies. If the items are shipped DHL, that likely indicates the item is coming from Asia, and could very well be a knock-off.
Use the Tineye Tool
Here’s a little-known tool you can use to see if a photo is being used around the web. It can help you figure out the source of the original photo, and determine if the item being sold is the real deal.
Head over to tineye.com and use their reverse image search. You’ll need to find the image file/image link address. You can often right click on an image, and click “save image address” to do that.
In the video below, I need to dig into the page code just a little bit to find it.
Tineye reads the image, and will return back the same image across the web. You can then assess the results and decide if a website seems legit.
If an image shows up on the web 20 times and the prices points are all varied, then you know you should proceed with caution.
Activate Payment Protection
As I drilled home in my post about when I was almost swindled for human hair: use PLASTIC for your transactions. Ideally, a credit card since they typically offer better protection in terms of the period of time you have to open a dispute.
Also, the credit card is not directly tied to your bank accounts so that is an added layer of protection.
PayPal is probably a good option, too.
When in doubt, consider dropping a line using the contact form or email form on any of the manufacturers’ websites and they can tell you if you are about to buy from a legit site. Jon Renau does this, for sure, and I’m sure other brands would as well.
Over to you. Have you ever considered buying something (hair or otherwise) that you just didn’t have a great feeling about?