~ Serving Winnipeg and surrounding areas ~ Coast to Coast Online ~
Due to the unique nature of this industry and related matters of hygiene and public safety, I have chosen to revamp my return/exchange policy. I will no longer be accepting any returns unless it is to correct an error or manufacturer’s defect. I have actually been thinking about this for quite some time and finally got the push I needed to take this bold step. To be completely frank, I have also been considering removing my online store (and keeping everything else) because there is so much information to go through that it has proven to be cumbersome for many of my people. But back to my Return Philosophy and let me tell you why I have chosen to make this change.
1. The only way to guarantee that you receive a brand new item is to have a zero return policy. If someone accepts returns, you can be sure that those returns are resold to someone else. And if it is returned again, it will again be resold. This is why you sometimes see “discounted” or “clearance” items at prices that are unusually low.
2. Very little of my business is online and I would go so far to say that approximately 98% are in person appointments. This alone takes me AWAY from my computer so it doesn’t lend well to being quick to reply to emails etc. So why haven’t I removed my store yet? Because it was a LOT of work to upload photos, copy and paste every description, etc. So yes, I am considering parking that portion of my website for a few years until I am able to dedicate myself to this full time and structure my week appropriately between online and in person business. In the meantime, I feel that in person is my best place to focus.
3. Returns for me have been extremely rare. Perhaps that is because the large majority of my business is in person and the satisfaction is from a thorough consultation. In the entire time I have done this (I’m at the early part of my fifth year now), I have had one return and one exchange, both of which were in person sales. In the case of the return, I accepted it because I actually didn’t want to sell her the topper anyway. Why? Because this lady is older and has difficulty with dexterity. She has lovely hair, she just felt she needed a little extra, but a wig is just not for her – yet. I was surprised she wanted the topper, and although I expressed several times that I felt her hair was actually quite lovely as it is, her mind was set. When she called me the very next day to say that she was having difficulty with the clips, I was not surprised and invited her to return right away and we took care of that. In the case of the exchange, this was a young woman who had a sudden onset of alopecia. She is tall and slim, and very pretty, and was absolutely devastated by her hair loss. When we are new to it, wig shopping is a lot like buying new frames for your glasses (in my opinion). We usually start with something “safe” and our styles evolve as we acclimatize to our new look. And this was the case for her. The wig she chose was somewhat “matronly” and again, she called me the next day to ask if she could come back with her husband. Of course!! So they arrived, with her wig absent from her head (a dead giveaway that she really doesn’t like it and will likely never wear it). She put on the wig that was actually my first choice for her (it was edgy and sexy, a young and fun look that she could really rock). The first words out of her husband’s mouth were, “why didn’t you pick this one?” She turned her head to look at me and said, “I don’t imagine I could return mine and get that one instead?” I said absolutely, they happen to be the same price (or close enough anyway) so by all means, take that one instead.” They left thrilled, she looked like she floated down my front steps. So yes, although I’m choosing to move to an “all sales final” policy, there certainly may be occasions where I extend a courtesy for something quite obvious (ie tag still attached & zigzag part undisturbed, etc.). Aside from these two experiences, I recently had someone order care products and want to return them because the photo of the shampoo bottle hadn’t been updated to reflect the new packing of a black bottle. She just needed reassurance that the content was the same, but this was quite confusing and compounded by a language barrier, but ultimately she understood.
4. Hygiene. I’m not a control freak, but I am a clean freak. In person appointments allow me to ensure that all wigs remain sanitary during the fitting and consultation process. This is not to say that people are untrustworthy, but shenanigans do happen. I recently watched a YouTube video of someone discussing her return policy, and she went on to say that many pieces were not returned in the condition they were sold in, and made reference to the numerous returns her store gets. The thing is, alternative hair is already quite expensive and ultimately everyone pays for the shenanigans of others. Why? Because at the price of wigs, few businesses (if any) could afford to dispose of what is returned via the wastebasket.
5. Alternative hair is expensive and few can afford a costly disappointment. I was quite fortunate when I went through treatment, to have the means to be able to engage retail therapy in the way that I did. I found fun in wigs, changing up my colour, style, length, texture, all on a moment’s notice. I was aware though, that this is not the case for everyone and at some point I really did have to reel myself in. If that wig that I mentioned above happened to be the only one I could afford and it arrived in the condition it did, as a clearance item from out of country (aka pain in the neck to return), I would have been beside myself. So yes, my first reason for starting my business really has been to help others, with a secondary goal to shield others from the online mishaps that I had. So the only way to guarantee that a wig is brand new is to simply say that all sales are final. Then there is no question.
6. There are plenty of resources available to make an informed decision. Today’s technology is a gift that allows us to be together at a distance. We can use Zoom, FaceTime, email with videos and/or photos to facilitate a virtual consultation. There are online resources and support groups, etc. I had all sorts of ideas when I started my wig business (and still do, but those will be kept secret until I’m in a position to action them), including doing video wig and colour reviews and putting them on a YouTube channel. But really, there are many others doing this, why reinvent the wheel? Especially when they are SO good at it! I will say that there is definitely some misinformation out there, but I would also say it is quite obvious when you are watching a professional reviewer. You will also see and hear some overlapping information (people stating the same facts or using similar words to describe a colour, etc.) which should add to the credibility of whomever you are choosing to follow.
7. You’ve done the research above in point #6 but are still torn between colours? Style can be demonstrated quite easily in virtual consultations and are well shown in many YouTube videos. Colour however, can be tricky. If you have narrowed down your search and just need to see a few things, I am happy to send colour swatches out in the mail to you with an envelope and postage included for you to return them to me. Or you can send me a small snip of your hair for colour matching, whichever you prefer. I don’t have this listed on my site because I like to actually speak to all of my Clients and I don’t charge for small numbers of swatches. I just ask that they be returned.
8. Did you know that by law alternative hair cannot be returned in certain countries? This actually makes me feel like we might be a little behind the times. But either way, it makes perfect sense to me.
I wanted to share an email that Jon Renau Marketing sent out regarding fake wig websites. I also thought that it would be appropriate to also share the actual pricing agreement that JR requires (as all Manufacturers do) so that everyone is aware that there really is a limit to what online and home retailers can do. The reality is that if you are getting a discount higher than what is allowed by contract, it is very likely that you are purchasing something that has been returned.....and potentially again and again and again. Absolutely everything I sell is brand new and all my clearance items are sample pieces that may or may not have been tried on.
~ Tara ~
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