Finding a good hair vendor is tough, especially when the entire hair extensions manufacturing scene is in Asia. Years ago, you might have to pack a bag of cash and fly across the ocean just to have a slight clue of where you can see some hair extensions, luckily in this digital age, discovering a great hair vendor or factory is made easy to you by the great internet. Anyone who is determined to start a hair business can easily find thousands of hair vendors online just by googling on their computer or scrolling through Instagram.
But should you trust every hair vendor that “slides” in your inbox or appears on your feed? Absolutely not! There are 8 tips that a new hair boss should know to discover a great hair vendor and avoid dissapointment. In this article, we will focus more on Chinese hair vendors. If you want to know whether it’s good to find a US hair vendor, check out this article.
Good hair vendors do exist on Ali-express
Ali-express is great Chinese platform that connects Chinese hair vendors directly with buyers like yourself. This is a great place to discover what’s out there in the provider market.
But the downside of this cheap platform is the overall hair quality is below average and 90% of the hair vendors are scamming people who don’t know hair. The “hair factories” are trading centers or even middlemen vendors rather than real factories. The quality of hair extensions from these vendors are always never guaranteed. You won’t be able to tell if the hair vendor is a factory without doing some investigation. But we still recommend writing down all the Ali-express hair companies that you like so you have a list of vendors that you can reach out to. After inquiring and comparing, you will have a better idea of what each vendor offers.
Ask for price lists and as many questions as possible
This is where your knowledge should come into help! If you don’t know every itty-bitty detail about human hair extensions, synthetic hair, density, hair types, and all those things yet, we suggest that you stop working on your hair business right now and go subscribe to our Hair Boss Seminar! It is completely free and we will teach you things to outsmart the “fake vendors”. You should always go into a business prepared with knowledge so no one can take advantage of you.
Once you find a vendor that you like, give them a list of the products that you plan to sell and ask for price lists. For example, if you want to sell bundles, full lace wigs and frontals, you should ask for price lists for these products.
Don’t ask for everything they have because usually your vendor will be confused and just send you the cheapest lists. Don’t ask questions like “is this Brazilian hair?’ or “is this virgin hair?”. These questions will make you sound like a regular buyer who doesn’t know too much about hair. You should instead give a clear instructions on what you want to see. You can say something like ” please give me the pricelists for the highest quality hair that you have.”. This way, your vendor sees that you are looking for quality. They may actually send you two or more price lists.
Good hair vendors can provide photos, videos of hair
Ask the hair vendor to provide pictures of different hair textures.
If a vendor doesn’t seem to be enthusiastic to send you anything or say that they don’t have pictures, run from this vendor. A good hair vendor should always want to communicate with you and provide the information you need as long as it’s not too out of the way. Remember to also not overdo this because you might scare off a potentially good hair vendor. Salesmen don’t like to be played with by uninterested people. If you ask for a lot of photos, make sure that you tell them you want to see the quality of the hair.
If a vendor tells you to wait for a second and returns with the correct information you ask for, you can continue investing your time into this vendor to see if it’s good for you.
Note that international hair vendors have different business hours which are usually a whole day and night apart. Your questions may not be answered right away.
Good hair vendors lay out all the shipping rates and hidden fees
Many hair bosses forget to mention this part. If you receive a price list that looks so deliciously cheap and you are totally ready to spend your savings, PAUSE RIGHT THERE, your WILL 100% be hit with hidden fees!
We have a separate article on how much hidden fees can add up your hair extensions prices, but basically these fees usually include a very high shipping rate (sometimes more expensive than the hair), currency exchange rate, PayPal fees, etc. Shipping for 3-4 bundles can be up to $18-$25 USD and you won’t be able to ship anything back without spending $50-$100+.
You should ask for all the hidden fees and see how your vendor responds. If the answer is simple and throughout, you would know that this hair vendor actually cares that you understand everything. However, it doesn’t mean that you got a great hair vendor, it just means that your vendor is patient, which is a good sign.
Unfortunately, even if your vendor tells you every hidden fee, all these fees fluctuate on a daily basis and can be hard to calculate since currency exchange changes on a daily basis.
That’s why hair bosses love US hair vendors because they take on the risk for you and there will be no hidden fees ever. You will be able to maintain a set price on how much you can make. After all, running a business is about sustainability, not risking your profits every day.
Good hair vendors give your clear processing time
Certain products take longer than others to make. Your vendors should make you aware of any additional processing time other than same-day processing. A Chinese hair facility should NEVER tell you to wait for 3 business days unless an item is customized. For example, Branded Hair Extensions’s fulfillment center in China ships hair all day while the western buyers are asleep! This way we have the maximum capacity for shipments while answering questions day to day speedily.
Not everybody can provide this kind of service, but at least same-day processing time should be suggested as an industry standard.
A vendor who doesn’t know or lies about how long it takes to process a bundle, they should never be your vendor! They can seriously mess up your own processing time and make you lose customers. There are also cases that a middleman hair vendor transits the hair to themselves before sending it to you.
A hair vendor who tells you a processing time but continuously misses the time frame is not to be trusted! We had a client who inquired from us but then ordered from China. Her promised 3 day processing time turned into 5 days and the 3-day shipping became a month! She never ordered hair from China again and came straight back to us.
Good hair vendors let your order hair samples
If everything sounds right and the communication is on point, you should inquire about getting some hair samples.
Many Youtube Hair Business gurus tell you to get bundles deals as samples. But we suggest that you ask the vendor for 2 bundles from different grades.
As we already explained in this article, grades and density are NOT real measurements. Companies basically can name their own grades. You can only tell how good the hair is when you have different grades to compare. If your vendor can provide 2 grades of hair, you can compare them. Then you can make the decision to order more.
Getting different “grades” is also a test to see how reliable your hair vendor is.
For example, we offer 4 grades of hair and even another type of raw hair that’s we haven’t listed. Having different hair grades and options can prove a company’s catering ability.
If a vendor only offers one grade, they either have very good hair or really bad hair. It’s usually the latter if it’s not a US hair vendor. Regardless, you still shouldn’t work with a company that only offers one type of hair, period.
Don’t expect to get free hair samples or cheap hair samples. You want to ask for a full bundle to see the hair’s fullness and versatility. Getting hair strings is a total waste of money because you can’t re-use the hair later on at all. If you really have that much doubt about the hair vendor, you should just move on to another vendor.
Good hair vendors accept Paypal
You should ask what payments your vendor can accept. NEVER, and we say NEVER pay a vendor by Money Gram, Wire Transfer or ways if you don’t have a great relationship with your hair vendor. If you send money but gets counterfeit products, you won’t be able to get your money back!
Chinese vendors do not like getting paid by Paypal because just as US hair companies, they are under the risk for chargeback frauds too.
Small hair vendors don’t want to risk any income, but bigger hair vendors might already have the protection in place and don’t mind accepting Paypal. You should always suggest Paypal payment at first in order to protect yourself.
Check out this article on how to calculate prices for hair business . We explained how you can pay your vendors and how much you will pay for transaction fees.
Good hair vendors “kind of ” have a return policy
If you import hair from a Chinese vendor, you won’t be able to return anything, end of the story! This is because the shipping fee is too high for you to return some bundles. But you still should ask about the return policy before you buy anything. There are many reasons why you may need to return a product, quality issues, defect, wrong item, etc. You should know that your hair vendor will resolve with you in good faith.
You should make sure that your vendor will be held responsible if they sent the wrong product. A good Chinese vendor will agree to exchange an unused product if they made a mistake. There may be a very slim chance that they compensate you for some of the shipping fees. A bad vendor will straight out tell you no return.
The terrifying thing is, everyone can talk a good talk when they are trying to make money. You will NEVER know if they are telling the truth until a REAL return issue happens. A bad hair vendor will start slipping slowly once they gain your trust. When an issue happens, all you get is excuses.
Contrary, if a US hair vendor or company does not allow any kind of return, you shouldn’t use them. Offering a decent return policy is common courtesy as a business in the US. Branded Hair Extensions offers a 7-day return window for the customers who accidentally bought a wrong product or wrong length. This is a standard here while it isn’t really so in any other country.
It is 100% understandable when US hair companies want to protect themselves by not offering return policy. This is due to consumer fraud and the buyer’s regret. We are going to release an article on how to fight consumer fraud very soon, stay tuned to Hair Boss Seminar! But anyways, no return, no good.
Good hair vendors will start slowly and grow with you
Believe in your intuition, if you don’t trust the vendor, just move on to the next one. Trust is the #1 thing when you build your business upon someone else’s reliability.
Finding a hair vendor is like finding a business partner that will rock with you when you have problems. They will help you with things that you don’t know and teach you when you make mistakes. They want to grow with you. A good hair vendor wants you to succeed. They also expect mutual respect for their service just as you would from your own clients. Sometimes respecting another’s time may actually help you in the long run.
When Branded Hair Extensions first started out dropshipping hair for clients, a person messaged our sales teammate and dropped numerous “f” bombs when we explained that we do not cover her start-up cost. We hated to do it but as a functional company, we had to block the customer’s number. But only if she was patient enough to see that no one else can offer such a thing. We could have been able to help her start her hair business with coffee money!
Unlike our Monday-Saturday live customer service, international vendors may not respond speedily. They may try to help you out but don’t understand English. These people have normal business hours too in a different time zone. Try talking in their perspective may help you gain some information you would have never known otherwise. At the end of the day, you want to gain a partnership, not to be a mean customer.
You may find a good hair vendor despite it being a middle man, trading company, or factory. The most important thing is the vendor’s honesty. An honest and reliable middleman company is better than a factory that doesn’t reply to your messages. There are also high-quality hair factories and low-quality hair factories too.
Finding a good hair vendor requires knowledge, patience and risk-taking characters. If you think you will enjoy the process of building a hair company from scratch, you will be on the way to hair business success.
If you want to learn more about hair business and industry, subscribe to Hair Boss Seminar! You will get an update every time we release new blogs.
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