From a customer Facebook message:

Today I am wearing the wig I purchased and the front looks frizzy and frayed. Is this normal? It has disappointed me as it doesn’t look authentic at all.

Every once in a while we receive messages like this. I think it has to do with the proliferation of counterfeit items on eBay and other third-party seller sites.

EVERY wig we sell in our store is authentically the brand we say it is.

Every. Time.

In order to sell these products and use their product images, we are required to sign lengthy wholesale contracts that prohibit us from selling items obtained via third parties. This is why we NEVER buy ANYTHING from the general public for any reason. We do not purchase from eBay. (Ask yourself: Why would we, when we can get these items new and directly from the source? Buying from an unknown source would put us in risk of termination of our wholesale agreements!)

How can you verify this? Easy. There are two ways to check for yourself.

1. All of our wigs (unless they’re clearance items) are drop shipped directly from the warehouses of their respective manufacturers. Because of this, their authenticity is never an issue. The easiest way to verify that this is the case is to simply check out the return label on the package you received.

In most cases, the return address will mirror that of the brand of wig you bought, because that manufacturer is shipping this directly to you on our behalf.

We like doing it this way because it often results in you getting your wigs faster than if we shipped them to our location first.

This practice is also why it is fairly common to receive multiple packages from multiple locations to fulfill a single order. Envy wigs ship from Envy, Jon Renau from their location, and so on. They will all arrive in separate packages, depending on the brand diversity of your order.

2. Don’t want to take our word for it? No problem! Simply contact the manufacturer in question directly and ask them!

This is an excerpt from our CysterWigs Knowledge Base. Check it out on our private site to see over 500 articles all about our store, wigs, and how to wear the hair!

Do you find yourself on backorder lists frequently?

This article features important information about the nature of the online wig industry. I think that giving you this info will help A LOT of this process make A LOT more sense in the long run. You will also find some helpful tips specifically about holiday wig shopping in here, just in case you are in need of some holly jolly hair! 🙂

The holidays can be a particularly stressful time for wig shoppers. You may have parties or family reunions to attend, and of course, you want to look your best! I want to help you avoid delays and backorders the best that I can during this time of year . . . because let me tell ya, this is one of the times of year when they are most likely to occur!

Some general rules of thumb about the nature of backorder trends and why they happen:

  • Backorders frequently occur about a month after the initial release of the spring and fall collections every year, approximately around the time adventurous “first adopters” review the hair, and everyone else gets a chance to see whether or not people on message boards or their favorite bloggers like the wig. That delay is just long enough for the most popular of those collections to sell out.
  • It may take a month or more for some of the smaller, independent brands (like Envy and Estetica) to get inventory in to fulfill their backorders once these items sell out.
  • Less popular colors go on backorder with a fair amount of regularity. Greys, reds, and avant-garde fashion colors aren’t as popular as rooted blondes, highlighted browns, and light browns in the medical market. While you might think that these would be the last to sell out, so they shouldn’t be hard to get . . . you’d be wrong. The manufacturers know which colors will sell the best long before they commission a factory in Asia to make the hair for them. They make far fewer of these less-popular colors and they order them to be made much less frequently. Because of this, these “niche” colors may take a little longer to sell out, but once they do, they frequently stay on backorder for up to six months (or sometimes, even longer).
  • Popular pieces and new colors or styles tend to go on backorder most frequently and recover the fastest.
  • There is a cyclical nature to the inventory levels of any manufacturer, regardless of size. This has to do with the natural dip in wig sales that tends to occur during certain times of the year. In the summer, people buy fewer wigs because it’s hot and they may be saving up for the fall lines. In the Christmas season and shortly after, people tend to buy fewer wigs because they’re buying presents or paying off their credit cards from the holiday, or they may just be saving up for the spring collections
  • All of the stores on the web are drop-shipping from the same sources (the name-brand manufacturers) and because of this, you’re not just competing with customers from my store for products – you’re competing with customers from ALL STORES ALL OVER THE WEB, including, VogueWigs, and other massive sites.
  • Contrary to popular belief, most online wig stores only carry as much product in their own inventories as they absolutely have to (which isn’t much), and it’s usually only the most popular products. Everything else is drop-shipped directly from the manufacturer at the time you place your order. (Heck, even massive stores like drop-ship virtually everything!)
  • Most websites – including ours – do not keep current inventory levels listed on their website, so the colors listed DO NOT reflect what is actually available. Updating this daily is an extremely expensive and labor-intensive process that only one or two larger online stores can currently afford.
  • Colors sell out in a cyclical, seasonally driven pattern. Blonde colors sell out very quickly in the late spring and early summer. So, it stands to reason that the very first items to go on backorder any spring are the most positively anticipated new spring collection offerings from a given year in rooted blondes (which tend to be the most popular), followed by non-rooted blondes. If these are your colors during this season, you should plan to buy early to avoid this!
  • The inverse is true of brunette shades in the late autumn and early winter. Highlighted brunette and light brown shades always go on backorder first in the fall, particularly when it comes to the new fall collections for that year. Once the highlighted brunettes and light browns sell out, the non-highlighted ones generally follow suit. If these are your colors during this season, you should plan to buy early to avoid this!
  • Everyone tends to buy at the EXACT same times, which increases back order probability. If you only buy wigs on Black Friday or during a large sale, you should anticipate the high likelihood of a backorder.
  • Most stores (including this one) process orders on a first come, first served basis. If you wait until the last minute of a big sale to order, you will have to wait for the orders of everyone else who ordered before you to be processed first . . . and all the while, the same process is happening in stores all over the web, which cumulates in the rapid depletion of existing supplies while your order is waiting to be processed.

Here are some tips on how to minimize the possibility of a backorder in this store – and any other store on the web:

  • Inquire about inventory levels before you order. This is the easiest thing you can do to eliminate potential heartache. We recommend doing this at least a day or two ahead of when you plan to place your order so you can weigh your options.
    Remember: the inventory numbers we’re providing are directly from the manufacturer’s warehouse, just like basically every other store. If it’s sold out with us, it’s probably going to be sold out everywhere unless one of the bigger stores has a return or a stock model sitting in one of their brick and mortar locations.
  • If a giant sale is about to launch and you want to take advantage of it, do these stock inquiries the week before and get your orders in as soon as the sale takes effect.
  • We are always running some kind of discount. For those of you who don’t want to risk missing out on your favorite product, your absolute best bet is to purchase your hair the week before any major sales event. For example, most of the styles that were on backorder on Black Friday were NOT on back order the week prior to the rush. (And as proof of concept – we had the in-house specials sale running at that time, so you still would have saved some money!)
  • Buck the trend of wearing browns in the winter and blondes in the summer. Doing this will greatly improve your chances of avoiding a backorder.
  • Stick to popular styles and colors.
  • When shopping during peak times (right after new collections have dropped and during major sales events) make a habit of selecting a primary color and at least two colors you could also live with, in the event your favorite is unavailable. It is definitely better to do this in advance of ordering, since during high peak times, every minute counts!
  • Do not wait until the last minute to order. This one is SUPER-IMPORTANT!
  • Do not wait until the last minute to order. You should get your hair ordered as soon as you can. Okay, so now I’m being tedious, but it’s for a very good reason. If you know a holiday (or a cruise, vacation, or family event) is approaching and you know you’ll need hair hair for it — order it in advance! This will make backorders less of a dire pain and will give you a chance to exchange your wig if you don’t like it when it arrives. Waiting too long to order under these circumstances (from any wig store) will cause you even more stress during a time of year that is stressful enough all on its own. And who needs that?

I know this article has been full of all kinds of information. I hope that you found it interesting and eye-opening. More than this, I hope that it helps you avoid any unnecessary Sturm und Drang between you and your favorite wig vendors – especially now that you know what’s really going on behind the screen. 😉

This is an excerpt from our CysterWigs Knowledge Base. Check it out on our private site to see over 500 articles all about our store, wigs, and how to wear the hair!

From a customer email:

You probably know the answer to this question that drives ALL WIG BUYERS crazy. I get dozens of catalogs sent to me online especially around the holidays. Even if they are truly discount catalogs and sell teeshirts for 3 dollars, there are color blocks listed below the item that you can click on and actually see the shirt in that color. If these tiny companies can give you this option, why can’t wig companies that sell $1,000 wigs do the same thing? The other option is to “pay” for a color ring and get reimbursed. I don’t know anyone except a professional reviewer who would actually do this.

The reason, as you’ve mentioned, is the cost.

A tee shirt that is only $3 retail and probably costs about $0.50 wholesale is easy and inexpensive to buy multiples of, so you can easily take pictures of each and every color for very little expense.

Our wigs, on the other hand, are often much more expensive in terms of wholesale cost. The average synthetic wig in our store has a wholesale cost of over $100. That’s for a single unit! On top of that, some of these wigs come in dozens of colors, meaning that we (CysterWigs) could spend over $7000 to take images of JUST the Allure by Jon Renau, for example. Multiply this expense times 350+ different styles, and you’re talking an expense of several hundred thousand dollars for what, at the end of the day, is a helpful appearing marketing gimmick that isn’t as helpful as you might think.

Why do I say that? Because people are not even half as concerned about color accuracy in shirts as they are when it comes to the color of their hair. (I can hardly think of something women are more picky about than the color of their hair!) This means that even if we did put that kind of investment into product images of everything we carry, individual differences between those images and the real thing would still occur, people would still complain, and we would have spent a whole lot of money for something that isn’t really very helpful. (These competing store’s product images are low res and are often pretty bad at representing the colors, for example.)

NOTHING will replace or simulate the act of seeing these wigs for yourself in person. We do the best we can to teach people about colors in a proactive manner via our color spotlight videos, but even those are only going to get you so far.

Hopefully this explanation has been helpful. This should also explain why only the largest stores offer actual product images. (And those images are not always very good at representing the colors, either.)

These are multi-million dollar companies and they can afford it. We are very, very small by comparison. It would take more than 100% of our current profit for a whole year (as of 2017) to do this!

PS: For the record, we do sell a lot of color rings. They are very helpful for most of the brands we carry. 😉

This is an excerpt from our CysterWigs Knowledge Base. Check it out on our private site to see over 500 articles all about our store, wigs, and how to wear the hair!