How to Avoid Wig Scams When Purchasing Online
Telling the Good Wig Companies from the Bad and the Ugly
I was recently perturbed to discover that there has been a sharp rise in the incidence of online wig scams. Many individuals have been ordering wigs from companies that they have been led to believe are based in the UK. They’re not. They may have .co.uk web addresses, but are in fact stationed overseas. Crucially, the wigs they’re advertising are not the wigs that customers are receiving.
As no contact information is given on their websites, it’s extremely difficult to return products and get refunds. And since these companies are based overseas, they cannot be prosecuted via Trading Standards.
Thousands of people – possibly more – are falling victim to heinous wig scams every week, and it is sickening that these companies continue to take advantage of people who may be purchasing a wig at a vulnerable time in their lives.
We may not be able to take legal action, but we can raise awareness and prevent as many people as possible from being conned by these unsavoury wig companies. Name and shame any you come across using the comments box on this page and they’ll report them to the Office of Fair Trading and post their names up for all to see. Use the following guide to make sure that you don’t fall victim to any of these scams yourself, and share it so that fellow wig-wearers know what to look out for when ordering wigs online.
Avoiding Wig Scams: What to Be Aware Of
Having come across a wig company for the first time, the first thing you should check is the contact details. If the full address and telephone number aren’t clearly displayed or appear inconsistent or odd in any way, avoid buying from the company. Many of the offending sites have nothing but an enquiry form, so be especially mindful of this common trick. Also take time to read through their refund and return policies carefully.
Next, check out what others are saying about the company. Are there what appear to be genuine testimonials, product reviews and/or pictures of satisfied customers on the website? Do be careful with this as many companies make up or cherry-pick positive reviews. Are there external reviews elsewhere on the internet? Try typing the name of the company into a search engine along with the word ‘scam’ or ‘review’, and if they have been reported on websites like scambook and reviewcentre, avoid them like the plague.
Social media is one of the most reliable tools for checking the accountability of a company. Many online scammers have links to Facebook and Twitter on their websites in an attempt to look accountable, but when you actually follow these links you often discover a whole world of frustration, complaints and heartbreaking stories. Links from some sites go straight to the Facebook and Twitter home pages, or to very limited social pages with the comments hidden and no or very few ‘likes’.
Assuming that the company you are checking out has passed on all of the above points, you should scrutinise a couple of the product descriptions on the website. Are they written well, or do they contain vague and/or grammatically flawed explanations, with sentences like this: ‘The colour may be slightly different as the picture, since the different web browser and monitors’? (This is a genuine quotation from a wig company that has been flagged up.)
If the prices seem too good to be true, they probably are. Lower range synthetics (e.g. acrylic) should cost around £50 – £120. Higher range synthetics should be about £150 – £200. Human hair wigs can cost anything from around £200 to £800, and custom wigs often cost more than that. Look out for well known brands such as Revlon and Rene of Paris, then you know exactly what you are getting. Carry out a quick price comparison to make sure the cost is about right.
Here’s a checklist summarising these points, so that you have something to refer to when ordering wigs online:
- Is the company fully accountable? Do you know where they are based and how they can be contacted?
- Do they have a decent online presence? Can you find their social media pages / any external reviews and do these paint a positive picture of the company?
- Do they appear knowledgeable and passionate about their products?
- Do they appear to be selling their products at an appropriate price?
- Are the product descriptions specific and written to a decent standard of English?
By checking companies on all the above points before ordering wigs online, you can be almost certain as to whether or not they can be trusted. Buying wigs should be an exciting experience, not one that leaves you angry, upset and out of pocket. Take care to avoid these wig scams and don’t forget to warn others so that together we can end this remorseless exploitation.