This is the second part of a article series submitted by one of our long term buyers at HairSellon. A very useful read for any hair sellers! The first article can be found here: https://hairsellon.com/selling-your-hair-advice-from-a-veteran-hairsellon-buyer-part1-of-2/
How much do I ask for my hair and how do I get that price?
Hair has value for different reason to different people. As such it is important to know how to make your hair look its best in your ad, as well as understanding to whom you are trying to sell your hair to. Therefore making your hair appear valuable and desirable to those buyers who might be considering buying it, and understanding their motivation can be important when creating your ad.
1. Making your hair appear valuable and desirable!
Remember, regardless of the reason, or reasons, you are selling your hair, it is all about how you market your hair that determines how easily, and for how much, you are able to sell it for. So, consider thinking of your hair like a car and how you might go about selling your car. What kind of photos do I use to show my hair at its best? How many photos should I post? What are my hair’s best qualities that I want the photos to show and how best do I show and describe to a prospective buyer? How important is diet and care information when compared to the photos? Would I buy my own hair, and if so, for how much? How does my hair compare with the hair of others trying to sell their hair? These are all relevant questions to ask yourself if you are serious about selling your hair and getting a good price for it. In general, though, the answers should be somewhat obvious. The key is using photos that make your hair stand out and look its best, regardless of the length, and describing it and how you have taken good care of it. Regardless of your hair’s condition, consider making an appointment at a salon and ask a stylist about your hair. Just be sure to keep track of the cost so that you include it in the eventual price for your hair. The things you will want to know from the stylist are:
1) What can I do to make my hair look its best—trim it, certain styles, etc…,
2) What are my hair’s best qualities and how can I emphasize them in photos?,
3)What can I do to make my hair really stand out?
4)What can I say about it that will explain how nice it is and how carefully I have cared for it? All of these things should either clearly be displayed in the photos you select, or clearly mentioned in the description of your hair and haircare routine.
Personally, when looking at photos, I want to know the exact length, the condition of the hair that is typically illustrated by a photo of the last 12 to 16 inches of length, and the thickness and color of the hair. so, I use three very specific photos to determine these characteristics of someone’s hair that I am considering buying. So, lighting, style and the proper camera angle and tools are very important when taking photos of your hair prior to selling it. Thought should go into any extra photos that you post that you believe show how beautiful it is other than those indicating its length, thickness and health, even to the ends.
Also, when consulting with the stylist, remember that healthy ends look far better and will get you a higher price than if your ends are uneven or poorly trimmed which does not look at thick, nor as well cared for. So, talk about the amount of length you and the stylist feel you should have trimmed if they are uneven and have them trimmed. Also, if your hair is naturally curly, but you often like to style it after straightening it, make that clear in the description and make sure you have photos to illustrate both situations. Remember, the better and more desirable you can make your hair look and sound, the better your chances of finding a good buyer for your hair!
Pricing Your Hair!
Okay, you have your photos, and you now know what to say about your hair. So, you know what you wish to communicate through words and photos that will make your hair stand out in a buyer’s mind. So, the next thing you need to consider is, just what kind of buyer am I trying to sell/appeal to when selling my hair? So, let’s take a look at the various types.
- The “Not so serious Buyer.” For the most part, you can basically ignore these non-buyers once you identify them. The trick is identifying them quickly and accurately. There are a few giveaways though that you can look for in figuring this out. Generally, they ask a lot of questions that you might consider more personal rather than hair related. They tend to ask for additional photos, over and over again. They never make a solid offer, and will not consider paying a portion of the agreed price prior to you actually cutting your hair. These are general rules to go by, but in my experience, they are pretty accurate. So, consider the type of communication you get from the potential buyers you receive. How someone communicates can tell you a lot about a person and their intentions.
- The “Bottom Feeder!” The “Bottom Feeder” is the kind of buyer that wants to pay you as little for your hair as they can and still get the most hair length they can. If you have cut your hair prior to making a deal for your hair and getting paid for your hair, you will likely end up having to deal with this kind of buyer. Hair that has already been cut is never worth as much as hair that is still growing and attached to your head. The price difference can be quite dramatic! So, if you couldn’t wait to cut it, or didn’t know you could sell it until after you had cut it, just realize that cutting it prior to making and completing a deal for your hair may cost you OVER HALF the expected price of your hair! Yes, it can be that bad, as some women have learned for various reasons. Anyway, if this is what you are faced with, then do your best to at least break even, and hopefully you didn’t cut too much length so that it will grow back quickly and you can sell it again if you want to let it grow and sell it. And, if you simply want to stay with a short style, then at least you can get your haircut for free by selling to a “Bottom Feeder.”
- The “Scammer!” The “Scammer” can be very dangerous, both those who pretend to be serious buyers, as well as those who use fake photos and place fake ads to scam money from their victims. Yes, both buyers and sellers need to be on the lookout for the signs they are dealing with a scammer. From a sellers point of view a scammer is someone who pretends to be genuinely interested in buying your hair, but has no intention of buying it. Most often they have a hair fetish and they do this to get women to cut their hair, provide proof of them cutting their hair, either in photos or videos, and then the woman never hears from the scammer again. Most often they offer very high prices to entice a woman into dealing with them in the first place, thus they create the illusion of making a deal with the woman, and then they alter the deal until the scammer convinces the woman to cut her hair without first getting paid. Unfortunately, this can happen in what appear to be ways that the seller may actually think they have been paid, for instance by personal check. Just because you have a check and may have even gone to your bank to cash it does not mean when the check is presented to the scammer’s bank it will be honored. If it is not, then the check will be returned to your bank and YOU will be responsible for covering the amount of the check. So, be careful to only use a reputable money transferring system, like PayPal, Western Union, Venmo, and many others now out there (Hairsellon recommends using PayPal only). Also, as a seller, if you do not cut your hair until you have the cash money in your hands through one of these reputable services, then you will not be scammed. As YOU have the agreed upon amount of money for your hair. Anyway, be very cautious about making you keep all of your hair attached until you have the full agreed price in cash!
- The “Serious Buyer!” Okay, so you have managed to connect with some serious buyers. Congratulations! As you may have guessed, this may not be so easy. Still, that is where you are now in the process. There are different reasons why people buy hair, and understanding those reasons can be important to you, though it may not. If it is, then you will be the one asking some questions of the potential buyer, though understand, unless they present you with some sort of list of other sellers that they have dealt with, then there is very little way for you to verify what they may tell you. So, if you find a serious buyer who does present you with documentation of previous purchases and ways to contact these people with whom they claim to have bought hair from independently, then you are in good shape. As mentioned previously, the payment system is not so important as long as the buyer is taking all the risks. If they are asking you to take any risks at all, then be very careful about how you move forward with that buyer, as they may be trying to scam you. Another thing to be aware of is that a serious buyer has likely bought hair many times before, and far more times than you have likely sold your hair. So, realize that they may request things of you that you may not understand the reasons for the request/s. If you do not understand, then either ask the potential buyer, or ask one of the people that have dealt with them before about the issue. (You can also contact Hairsellon for support or for any questions ). The important thing is, you feel comfortable dealing with the person given the level of involvement you intend on having with them in proceeding with the deal. If you don’t feel comfortable deal with them, then simply be honest with the potential buyer, explain your reasons and give them a chance to respond to your concerns. If you don’t, then you could lose out on a potentially good deal for your hair. Also, realize that a serious buyer is likely to have high standards for the hair they buy, though they will also be prepared to offer you more money for quality hair. Again, this gets back to having your photos and description make your hair desirable to a serious buyer. Finally, if you do get a serious offer from a serious buyer, even if they tell you it might take a little while before they have all the money, you should expect them to at least pay you a significant amount of the agreed price up front to make sure you can trust that they will follow through with sending you the rest of the price when they have it and before you actually cut your hair. If you are unwilling to wait for the full price to be paid, then simply let them know and seek a different buyer. This happens often when the agreed price is quite high, like over $1,000. So, keep this in mind, as well.
Just what kind of price can I expect for my hair?
Finally, now that you know what kind of buyers there are, and how best to show off your hair, let’s talk about what kind of price you can expect for your hair. There are several factors that go into pricing your hair, both from a seller’s point of view and a buyer’s point of view. I have tried to discuss how the reasons involved in selling one’s hair can influence the price, just as I have mentioned how trying to sell already cut hair can drive the price down dramatically. And, I have touched on the issue of the health, quality and condition of one’s hair and how that can influence the price of hair.
So, let’s take a closer look at this last point, as well as some of the more obvious issues that affect the price one can expect to get for their hair. Those are, length, health, condition, color and thickness, as well as the conditions that the hair is to be cut and sold. The longer the hair, the more it is worth. The thicker the hair, the more it is worth, the healthier and more beautiful the hair, the more it is worth. And some buyers seek specific colors of hair, like blonde or red hair, but generally, the less common the characteristics of one’s hair the higher the price one should be able to ask and expect to receive for it. So, as I mentioned, consult with a stylist to see just what kind of hair you have to sell. How long is it? Is it well maintained, or have you simply just let it grow without regular trims? Is it thin, or thick? Is it Asian, or Caucasian? Has it been colored or treated in any way, or possibly damaged by using heating or products on it that damage it? Is it course of silky? There are so many factors that it would be too difficult to list them all here. However, the important thing is, if a lot of others are trying to sell hair like yours, then the price you are able to get for it will most likely reflect that. So, the rarer your hair, the higher the price you should be able to ask and expect to get for it, within reason.
Some special types of hair, like dreads, have a very small group of legitimate/serious buyers looking for such hair. So it might be hard finding the right buyer for your hair. On the other hand, if your hair is in great condition, but not that long, you can also expect to get a significantly better price than hair that may be longer, but is not as health and beautiful. And of course, if your hair is very long, and you are willing to cut most of it off and sell it, then you should be expecting a very good price for the time and care you have put into growing it to that length, at least if it is also in good condition! To expect someone to buy a bunch of thin ends that you no longer desire to be part of your hair, even if the length is significant, basically means you want to get a big, long overdue, trim and sell that trimmed hair. Any serious buyer is going to realize this and won’t offer you much for such length, even if the length is significant. So, be sure to consider this and just how healthy and well cared for your hair is when considering the price. And, as I mentioned earlier, if you intend to provide a video of the cut, then that should increase the value of the hair, as well.
Some final Thoughts:
There are a lot of factors involved in knowing how to sell your hair, and how much to ask, as well as not getting scammed in the process. Things like how to cut your hair if you plan on selling it afterwards. That is, make sure it is very well secured with at least two rubber or hair bands in different places along the length of the hair and three if the length warrants it. Hair tends to want to come undone, so it needs special handling and care in securing it well to make sure it will ship safely.
Always use a service that provides you with a tracking number for the package being used to ship it. Make sure the hair is absolutely and completely dry before putting it in any kind of sealed container, otherwise it can easily get moldy. Yuck! Make sure the hair is in it’s absolutely best condition when having photos taken of it and make sure the lighting is good and shows off your hair well. Post BIG photos, and don’t provide lots of additional photos unless you want to and think they will help.
Be careful but not closed to the idea of meeting the person buying your hair if you have someone with you and it is in a public place. If you allow the buyer to actually cut your hair, be sure and charge them extra for that. If you travel to the buyer so they can cut it, be sure to bring someone you trust along with you and do it all at the buyer’s expense. Be fair about the price expectations and be willing to see the buyer’s point of view. If you have a special reason for cutting and selling your hair, and the potential buyer asks why you are selling it, tell them as it may increase the price. Do your best to enjoy this experience and have an idea of what kind of style you want! It is always best to be aiming towards something like a new style instead of running away from something like an old style! If the potential buyer does provide you with direct contact information, use it to get a better sense of who you are dealing with from people that have dealt with them already. Not all serious buyers will have a prepared list of references, but they should be able to provide you with some if asked. And, finally, NEVER CUT YOUR HAIR BEFORE GETTING THE FULL AGREED AMOUNT FOR YOUR HAIR! The ONLY exception to this is agreed upon trims!
I hope this helps and that it has been instructive to those of you considering selling your hair! Long and very long hair can be worth a great deal of money to the right buyers, so if you have hair that is 30+ inches to cut and sell, then be expecting to get at least $1,000 for it unless your hair is not in good shape. The longer it is, the more money you can expect, and if you are not in a hurry to cut and sell, though you could use the money, consider making a deal where you grow it longer and to a specified length for an agreed upon price!