Asian Hair Extensions: Pros and Cons of Buying from a Vendor vs. a Local Reseller

Woman with long Asian hair extensions

Asian Hair Extensions: Pros and Cons of Buying from a Vendor vs. a Local Reseller

The hair extension industry is expanding rapidly, and the market for hair extensions for women of color and white women is vast. However, the two markets have varying profit margins for local resellers. Asian hair extension sellers offer an affordable option for those looking to reduce expenses by bypassing the local intermediary. Cheap labor is critical in obtaining competitive hair extension prices, and Asia is known to offer lower wages than Western countries.

Buying from an Asian hair extension vendor directly can help save money as they offer a wide range of options, including different types, colors, and lengths. The decision to purchase from a vendor may depend on various factors, such as the vendor’s trustworthiness, inventory, and quality expectations. While there are advantages to purchasing from Asian hair extension vendors, some disadvantages also come with it. Significant issues include language barriers, cultural differences, trade barriers, and shipping time.

Commission-based sales jobs put a lot of pressure on salespersons to make sales, and as a result, some may resort to lying or exaggerating the benefits of a product. Shipping times from Asia can also be longer than local hair extension resellers, and it can be challenging to maintain a full stock of all products. While Asian hair extension vendors may offer a low-cost option for hair extensions, there are pros and cons to consider before making a purchase.

Woman holding three bulk hair extensions
This image showcases three different colors of bulk hair extensions, emphasizing the variety and quality of products offered by hair extension vendors.

Reasons to buy from an Asian hair extensions seller:

When it comes to purchasing hair extensions, one important factor to consider is cost, which is where Asian hair extension sellers come in. Since most hair extensions are sourced from Asia, they are typically the most affordable option. By buying directly from Asian sellers, you can avoid the added costs of a local intermediary.

One of the main reasons why Asian hair extensions are so cost-effective is due to the availability of cheap labor. For example, it can take up to 10 hours for a single 4×4 closure to be produced and have all hairs hand-tied to a piece of lace. With minimum wages as low as $2 per hour in Asia (although not always strictly enforced), the production costs of Asian-made products are much lower than those of Western-made products, where minimum wages can be as high as $10 per hour.

Profit Margins

The hair industry comprises two major markets: hair for black women and hair for white women. These markets have varying availabilities, leading to different profit margins for local resellers.

The “black women market” mainly focuses on bundles combined with a lace product, possibly turned into a wig. So many hair vendors can offer these widely available products, and competition is fierce. So the profit margin of your local hair extension resellers is relatively low at 40-80%.

Three bundles of black curly hair with orange line
Discover the latest trends and challenges in the black women’s hair market, where products like these curly hair bundles are in high demand.

The market for “white women” hair extensions offers an extensive range of options, including different types (machine/hand-tied/genius wefts, U/V/I/Flat-tips, nano ring/bond, micro links, halo, regular or PU clip-ins), colors, and lengths. Considering the various combinations, there are over 1000 possible variations, making keeping all options in stock impractical. Consequently, most orders must be customized, with minimum order quantities ranging from 1-3kg per length and color. Although the cost of starting a business in this niche is high, the competition is relatively low, which explains why some Asian vendors sell their products for $150 while resellers charge $300-450. Therefore, buying from a hair extension vendor directly can save money.

Two pre-bonded hair extensions in blonde and mixed brown colors
This image showcases two popular pre-bonded hair extensions in wavy texture and mixed blonde and brown colors, which are in high demand in the white women’s hair market.

Alternative Reasons

The decision to purchase from a vendor may depend on various factors, particularly the nature of the vendor you are dealing with. You may need to consider whether they are trustworthy or deceitful, whether they have adequate inventory or source their products from unreliable channels, and whether they can meet your quality expectations or offer a subpar experience.

After all, you need a vendor to provide you with consistent quality products.

But once you’ve established a relationship with your hair vendor, there are certain advantages you could get. Here are some ideas on how your hair vendor might operate and what you can use your hair vendor for.

Reasons NOT to buy from an Asian hair extension vendors:

  1. Language Barriers: Communication can be difficult if the vendor does not speak the same language as the buyer. This can result in misunderstandings and errors. For instance, terms such as raw, virgin, and remy hair are labels used in English that may not accurately convey differences in quality. In Chinese, more precise words describe these distinctions in hair quality. This, for example, may explain why there is often confusion about what virgin hair is.
  2. Cultural Differences: Asian vendors may have a different mindset than yours due to their cultural background. In our culture, we are not encouraged to ask questions or seek knowledge beyond what our superiors ask of us. This is especially true in the hair extension industry, where many vendors have little understanding of the product they are selling. New sales employees are often provided with a notebook of answers to frequently asked questions and are expected to simply follow the script. Even the boss may prefer to keep employees in the dark, as knowledge of the product could lead to employees realizing the potential for starting their own hair extension business and earning a full 15% profit margin rather than just a 3% commission per sale. Breaking out of these expectation patterns requires out-of-the-box thinking, which is something that many sales employees lack.
  3. Trade Barriers: Depending on the buyer’s location, customs fees, and tariffs may be applicable when importing hair extensions from Asia. While it may not be a significant issue for buyers in the USA, those residing in the EU may be subjected to higher import charges. Additionally, as we receive payment in USD while making purchases in RMB, it requires an extra step to deal with payment platforms, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
  4. Sales Pressure: Commission-based sales is a high-pressure job where a salesperson’s income heavily depends on each sale they make. Dealing with disputes or experiencing a slow month can result in a significant loss of potential income. In some companies, salespersons are pressured by their bosses to purchase a house, which makes them feel obliged to continue working at the same company to pay back their bank loans. As a result of this pressure, some salespersons may resort to lying or exaggerating the benefits of a product to make a sale.
  5. Shipping Time: Shipping times from Asia can be longer than those from local resellers. This can be an issue for buyers who need their hair extensions quickly.
  6. Inventory Limitations: Although we aim to maintain a full stock of all products, it can be challenging for uncommon items such as certain hair extensions. These products come in various variations such as machine/hand-tied/genius wefts, U/V/I/Flat-tips, nano ring/bond, micro links, halo, regular or PU clip-ins, and require at least a dozen different color variations and lengths. Local resellers typically focus on a subset of these items, with a larger stock for specific ones. While it is possible to request customization from an Asian vendor, it may add to the delivery time of your extensions.
  7. Difficult Returns: Returning hair extensions is costly. Not only will there be a costly shipping fee, we even have to pay import tax on any refunds. If you pay us by bank transfer, western union, or MoneyGram, getting your money back pretty much becomes impossible when you are unhappy with your purchased hair extensions. PayPal is probably one of the few platforms to help you win a dispute. You’d have much better chances of being able to return your hair at a local hair extension reseller.

Although there are several reasons not to buy from a hair vendor, the most important factor to consider is finding a vendor who consistently supplies you with quality hair extensions at a reasonable price. If your hair extensions are significantly overpriced, making a sale can be nearly impossible.

However, many of the disadvantages of buying from a hair vendor are not insurmountable. For instance, the term “Virgin hair” can mean different things to different vendors, but you can clarify the definition with your vendor and refer to it as “remy machine-aligned hair” instead. Similarly, if you want to verify the quality of their raw hair, you can request a close-up picture of their raw hair bundles, check for color purity, and perform the acetone test.

Returning hair becomes irrelevant if the vendor consistently provides the same quality product. Shipping time and trade barriers may be inconvenient, but they are unavoidable and can be managed.

On the other hand, buying from a local reseller has its own set of advantages and disadvantages:

Hair stylist personalizing asian hair extensions for a client
This image depicts a hair stylist personalizing hair extensions for a client, highlighting local hair extension resellers’ personalized services and benefits.

Reasons to buy from a local hair extensions reseller:

  • Local Convenience: Buying hair extensions directly from a local reseller can save buyers time and money on shipping and customs fees. Since the reseller already has the products in stock, there’s no need to wait for shipping or pay for customs fees that may arise when importing goods. Furthermore, purchasing from a local reseller lets buyers physically inspect the product before purchasing, ensuring they get the desired quality and color of hair extensions. This provides an assurance and a better shopping experience.
  • Physical Inspection: Buyers can physically inspect the hair extensions before purchasing, allowing them to ensure that the product meets their desired quality and color requirements. As you can tell 90% about the quality of hair extensions by performing some non-destructive tests, it’s something all buyers should test for before having it installed. If it doesn’t meet your expectations, at most, you will have to pay a shipping fee to return the hair extensions.
  • Personalized Service: Local resellers often provide personalized customer service, helping buyers choose the best hair extension products based on their needs. They can install hair extensions, provide a personalized hair care plan, and make appointments for maintenance.
  • Customized Items: Working with a local provider would benefit those seeking highly personalized items like wigs explicitly made to fit their head. Typically, vendors are only capable of customizing items in large quantities. Therefore, if you desire a single wig with custom highlights, it is recommended that you seek out a local provider who can accommodate your request.
  • Local Currency: Another reason to consider buying from a local hair extensions reseller is that you can often pay in your own currency. This can save you money on currency exchange fees that would otherwise be incurred when purchasing from an overseas vendor.

Reasons NOT to buy from a local hair extensions reseller:

  • Higher Cost: Hair extensions sold in your local area are 40-300% more expensive than similar quality hair sold by Asian vendors. 90% of products offered by local resellers are what they order directly from an Asian hair vendor. You can easily cut out the middleman and save yourself tons of money.
  • Limited Variety: Local resellers may not have as wide a variety of hair extensions available as Asian vendors. For example, we provide 15 different types of double-drawn hair extensions, while a local reseller might, for example, focus on tape-ins, genius wefts, and nano extensions in multiple color variations. As vendors, we’re expected to be able to offer everything, while local resellers can focus on a small selection.

Join us on our Facebook page where many of our articles first appear. You can leave your questions there or contact us via WhatsApp/iMessage at +86 135 3369 3283.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to purchase hair extensions from an Asian vendor or a local reseller depends on the buyer’s needs and preferences. Factors such as cost, quality, availability, and customization options should all be considered when making a decision. By carefully weighing the pros and cons of each option, buyers can make an informed decision and find the hair extensions that best meet their needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Asian hair extensions, and why are they popular in the hair extension market?

The hair extensions market is fueled by the popularity of Asian hair extensions, which are made from high-quality, real human hair sourced from individuals of Asian descent. With roughly 60% of the world’s population residing in Asia, a large supply of hair is available for processing and sale as extensions. Additionally, many women in Asia have low incomes, which makes selling their hair an attractive option. The hair is collected, processed, and sold at relatively low wages, making it an affordable option for customers around the world.

Compared to the hair of African Americans and Europeans, Asian hair is known for its relative health and durability, making it ideal for processing into hair extensions. These qualities ensure that Asian hair extensions can withstand processing without becoming damaged or losing their natural luster. As a result, Asian hair extensions are highly sought after and remain a popular choice in the hair extensions market.

What are the pros and cons of buying Asian hair extensions from a vendor versus a local reseller?

There are pros and cons to buying Asian hair extensions from both vendors and local resellers. Vendors generally offer more competitive pricing and a broader selection of hair extensions. They are often closer to the manufacturer and have more control over the price and quality of the products they sell, which makes them an excellent choice for medium to large orders.

On the other hand, local resellers may provide more personalized service and may be more accessible to customers who prefer to shop in person. While many believe only local resellers sell quality hair, your local reseller most likely produces their hair in Asia. Both are able to offer great quality hair. Thus, both vendors and local resellers can offer great quality hair, and choosing the right seller depends on your specific needs and preferences.

What are the differences in the black women market versus the white women market when it comes to Asian hair extensions?

The market for Asian hair extensions is divided into two major categories: black women and white women. The black women market primarily focuses on bundles combined with a lace product that can be turned into a wig, resulting in fierce competition and low profit margins for local resellers. In contrast, the market for white women offers a wide range of options, with over 1000 possible variations in types, colors, and lengths. However, due to the numerous variations, orders must often be customized, with minimum order quantities ranging from 1-3kg per length and color, making it challenging to start a business in this market. Nonetheless, there are some options with lower minimum order quantities, making it possible to bypass the middleman and save a considerable amount of money.

Overall, there are significant differences in the Asian hair extension market between black women and white women, with varying availabilities and profit margins for local resellers. While the black women market is saturated with competition, the white women market offers more options but at a higher cost due to the need for customization.

What are some common misconceptions about Asian hair extensions, and how can consumers avoid falling for them?

There is a common misconception that all Asian hair extensions are of low quality. However, the reality is that the quality can vary greatly depending on factors such as the sourcing of the hair, processing methods, and quality control standards. Additionally, the idea that hair from certain countries, such as Brazilian, Peruvian, or Cambodian, is inherently better is mostly just a marketing ploy.

It’s also a common misconception that hair care routines need to be complex. The foundation of a good hair care routine is simply washing and conditioning the hair regularly. When hair is damaged, it can become dry, frizzy, and tangled, so it’s important to keep it moisturized to maintain its health and beauty. If your hair extensions are severely damaged, certain products containing silicone can help restore their shine and extend their lifespan.

Furthermore, the idea that hair from different origins is vastly different is also a myth. Hair is a scarce resource, so countries will source quality hair from wherever they can find it. The assigned origins like Brazilian or Cambodian hair are mostly marketing tactics. Ultimately, it’s essential to do your research and choose high-quality hair extensions that suit your needs and preferences.

Share this post