Dropshipping hair extensions is the best way to start your hair business. You can sell hair without an inventory and save the funds for marketing and paid ads to grow your brand. Dropshipping comes with many advantages, you get to make profits upfront and start a whole business without inventory. But just like anything in the world, there are mistakes that can cost you money or even worse, make you lose loyal customers.
Here are some of the most common mistakes that hair business entrepreneurs tend to overlook when they dropship hair extensions.
Also read: Pros and Cons of Dropshipping
Mistake 1: Dropship pre-orders with a hair vendor you never bought anything from
Accepting pre-orders is a great idea for you to get a taste of the hair business profit. Your customers can buy from you before you officially launch your hair extensions website or store. You can then use your customer’s money to fulfill their orders and use the profit to fuel your hair business’s launch.
However, things can go very wrong if you drop ship pre-orders from a hair vendor that you never bought anything from.
It is risky is because (1) you don’t know if the vendor is a scammer who will never ship your order (2) you don’t know the quality of the hair extensions (3) you don’t know how the presentation looks when the package delivers to your customers.
The first impression is important. If you mess up on the first order, chances are you might not get these customers back.
So if you are dropshipping for your pre-orders, we advise that you follow the below tips to make sure your very first customers are satisfied.
How to avoid mistakes when dropshipping hair extensions pre-orders.
- You should avoid sending a large amount of money to a hair vendor for the first order through Cashapp/Money Gram/Western Union. These payments do not give you buyer protection if the vendor never ships your hair.
- You can ask your vendor to show you pictures or videos of the packaging. For example, BHE ships all hair in clear plastic packages with hair texture names and length marked on the hair. If a hair vendor sends you hair pictures that lack consistency (different colored rubber bands on each bundle), it means that the hair vendor might be a middle man who doesn’t have a consistent hair source. You should avoid this kind of hair vendor.
- Make sure your hair vendor KNOWS that you are dropshipping. This is important because not every hair vendor specializes in dropshipping. They might print their own invoice and slip their own contact information in the order because they don’t know that you are dropshipping.
- You can order a small amount of hair samples or a hair bundle to test the hair quality first before you dropship your pre-orders. This way you can be confident that your customers will receive top quality hair extensions and great presentation.
Mistake 2: Forget to ask your hair vendor about return policy
If you are dropshipping for your hair extensions business, the last thing you want to hear is “Can I exchange?”. This is because most hair vendors are overseas and do not accept exchanges or returns. Even if they do take exchanged, you will have to pay high international shipping fees to send the hair back. In this case, most hair bosses would just take up that loss and pay for 2 items and twice the shipping fees. Sometimes a customer can make a mistake and places the wrong item, if you allow exchanges, you might end up losing money on some orders.
A great thing about Branded Hair Extensions is that we not only offer exchanges but also directly accept exchanges for our dropship client’s customers. If a client’s customer wants to exchange the hair, they can ship everything easily to our New Jersey USA location without paying high shipping fees. This way, our clients don’t have to take up the cost for the unwanted product, and also doesn’t have to lose any shipping fees in between. We also process this anonymously so your customer never knows where they shipped the package to. This is our way to protect our clients from any loss for unnecessary exchanges.
Sometimes, a vendor can make a mistake and send a wrong item, or worse, a bad vendor may purposely send a lower quality item. This is why you need to at least ask what your hair vendor’s return policy is to see if they are willing to help you resolve an issue.
How to avoid mistakes with return/exchange policies when you dropship hair:
- Clearly ask your vendor if they allow exchanges. Many wholesale hair vendors have very little profit margins, they might not allow exchanges at all. If your vendor does not allow exchange, you will need to let your customers know that they can’t exchange or return either. Or you can just take up that loss as the cost of doing business. It is proven that a generous exchange/return policy encourages more sales down the line.
- Ask your vendor how willing they are to resolve mistakes. Branded Hair Extensions cover all costs and shipping if we make a mistake. However, most of the international won’t take responsibility for their mistakes due to thin profit margins. If you are dealing with a hair vendor who doesn’t offer a public return policy, then you will most likely need to negotiate with your vendor case by case.
- Have a return policy that makes sense for your business. Not all business is good business. As a business owner, you have to know your quality and worth so you can protect your profit by blocking out “bad business”.
Mistake 3: Don’t have a return policy for your own hair extensions store
A return policy sets the rules for your hair business. Human hair extensions are considered hygiene products. Most laws would prohibit reselling used hair extensions for public health concerns. If your policy is “no return/exchange”, you should write that down in your return policy to prevent unnecessary returns and exchanges.
A customer can also look up your return policy to see if they can return a certain product.
For example, a customer purchased a straight hair wig from you. After washing the hair, she decides that she wants curlier textured hair. But the hair has been tampered with and you can no longer resell this item to someone else. So, in your return policy, you will state “do not accept exchange on hair that has been tampered with”. You can then explain to the customer that her exchange is not qualified since the hair has been washed.
Return policy can also protect you from fraud. We will have a dedicated article soon to help you discover ways to fight chargeback frauds in the hair industry.
How to draft your return, shipping policy:
- Ask your vendor how long shipping is to different countries that you sell to. Put the shipping time frame plus 1 business day to your own shipping policy page. The 1 extra day is to prevent uncontrollable delays.
- If you dropship from Branded Hair Extensions, we have a return/shipping policy template for you that you can copy and fill in your store. The policy works best with Branded Hair Extensions’s dropshipping policies. But if you are not dropshipping from us, this is still a template you can use to write your own policy.
- You should clearly state if you accept exchange or returns. Hair extensions are considered a hygiene product by the laws in many countries, thus many hair stores do not offer returns. If allowing returns and exchanges hurt your profit margin, then simply don’t offer.
- Set your rules for the “wrong item” exchanges. Leave a number or emergency email so your customers can contact you. A customer who received a wrong item might want to speak to someone quickly to resolve their issue, sometimes they have to miss a hair appointment due to your mistake and they just want to express their frustration to someone. In this case, you should remain professional and help your customer exchange quickly. Good communication and pleasant manners can increase customer satisfaction and turn a bad situation into a loyal customer. Surveys prove that most consumers are willing to shop from a company again if the company can correct their mistakes quickly and pleasantly.
- Don’t bend your rules. If you don’t accept returns and exchanges, don’t make exceptions. Your customers might get angry if they find out that you treat people differently.
Mistake 4: You don’t have a clear shipping policy
Your customers deserve to know how long shipping is and where the item is shipped from. For example, our dropship clients will state on their hair website that all items are fulfilled directly from their factory in China or warehouse in New Jersey USA. Some clients want to be a domestic brand without holding any hair on hand, they will place the order from BHE to ship to themselves first, then proceed to ship the hair to their customers. So in this case, they will write processing time 3-7 business days, shipping time 2-3 business days (or however long it takes for packages to go from their location to their customer’s address).
A clear shipping policy can help your customer estimate delivery time. Then they can go about planning their hair appointment. Your shipping policy will also soothe your customer’s anxiety and reduce your chargeback or cancel rate.
How to write a good shipping policy for a hair extensions business:
- State how long processing is, how long shipping is, and how much it is to every country you sell to.
- Write disclaimers. It is inevitable some packages can be lost in the mail or delayed due by shipping carriers due to weather, holidays, and other reasons. You are not a shipping company, so you should state that you are not responsible for lost mails or delays.
- Require signatures for your packages. This way you can make sure that all packages are delivered. This can help you prevent fraudsters who receive a package then file
- State how many days it takes for you to send tracking numbers to the customer’s email.
Mistake 5: Misspell customer’s address or name
Dropshipping requires you to be a careful person who
double triple checks your customer’s address.
A full address needs to include street number, state, country, zip code, etc. Missing information can cause problems such as lost mail, wrong delivery address, and more. If you collect customer information on your website, it is advised to call your customer or email them to confirm the address and order once someone makes a purchase.
If you don’t have a website, you need to make sure that the address given to you is a deliverable address.
How to avoid mistake in dropshipping address:
- Call your customer after a purchase is made on your site.
- If you use a website to collect addresses, make sure you copy the address and paste it directly to your dropshipping hair vendor.
- If you don’t have a website and collect your customer’s address by private messaging, you can ask them if this is a deliverable address. Some people use mailing forwarding service and PO boxes. We do not recommend ever shipping without signatures to a PO box.
Mistake 6: Start dropshipping with any hair vendor that claims to dropship
A hair vendor who doesn’t dropship can still have great hair when you ship everything to yourself. But, be aware of the hair vendors who claim to dropship because they want your money.
We will give you a an example for “fake” dropshipping hair vendor.
So, let’s call the vendor Lisa. You found her through Instagram. She claims that she is a wholesale hair vendor. You ask her if she offers dropshipping, she says yes. So you start dropshipping hair with vendor Lisa. Hair quality is great at the beginning, but as your business grows, Lisa starts to make a lot of mistakes with shipping. Wrong addresses, wrong packagings, wrong customer names, etc. She even made mistakes shipping your order to someone else. She also “accidentally” slipped a factory contact card in one of the orders but your customer didn’t notice so you let it slide. Later on, you notice that there is an address on the package and also a phone number, the address is exactly your vendor’s. You are new to hair business and your customer didn’t complain about hair quality, so you let it slide.
Then a year later, your business is finally getting a good amount of attention. But your customers start to complain about the hair quality not being the same as before. You ask Lisa about it. She says the human hair prices (or the manufacturer) are higher so you either need to go with a higher price list or you have to compromise your quality. It is normal for vendors to raise prices by a few dollars, but Lisa’s new price list is $50 more than the original prices.
This is a real story told to us by our client. Frankly, we are not surprised by this. If you look up Entrepreneur groups on Facebook, you will see that things like this happen all the time.
Unfortunately, you can’t judge someone’s reliability until you run into problems. But here are some signs if a hair extensions vendor is indeed lying about their dropshipping capability.
How to tell if a hair vendor doesn’t specialize in dropshipping
- They don’t have a discrete shipping method. For example, BHE specializes in dropshipping and we know all of our clients don’t want their customers to know us. So we partner with large shipping agencies and use mailing addresses to anonymously dropship orders. If a vendor claims to dropship but write their own address and phone numbers on the package, that’s not a good look for your business.
- They seem hesitant to package orders for you, or they often forget parts of your packaging, or they claim that they were too busy or too rushed to package your orders, or they say that processing took longer because they had to package your orders… They have too many excuses for why the package didn’t deliver perfectly.
- They do not issue your invoices with confirmed addresses and order details. Official invoices can help you resolve issues if they send out the wrong items. These payment invoices will also count as tax deductions for your business.
Dropshipping Is Still The Best Way To Start A Hair Business!
Despite all the clout on “Youtube dropshipping millionaires”, the truth is that dropshipping is indeed the BEST way to start your hair business. You don’t have to invest in bulk hair, instead, you can save your budget and spend it on Facebook and Instagram paid ads. You can also invest your budget into other marketing materials such as a bomb photoshoot to further grow your brands and make more sales. Many people spend their savings on hair without considering the cost of marketing. Dropshipping can help you easily secure the funds to spend on marketing.
What these “dropshipping gurus” don’t mention is that a dropshipping hair business is STILL a business. You need to set up a great foundation for your hair business just like you would for any traditional business. You’ll need to register your legal documents, then build a solid partnership with a hair vendor who can educate you, come to your rescue, and answer your questions. You need to have the technology such as a hair website to take your orders so you can pass the correct information to your hair vendor. Your vendor also needs to have technologies and go above and beyond to process your orders.
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