This post is a guest post from Maridah’s cosplay blog about avoiding wig scam sellers and some of her personal wig seller reviews.
With so many new people coming into the cosplay hobby, and an upswing in fraudulent listings and shady sellers, I felt compelled to make a guide on how to be a smart buyer. Buying smart and avoiding scams is a big part of enjoying cosplay. No one wants to waste money and feel swindled when trying to create the look of a character you love. I’ve also included a list of wig sellers I’ve bought from, and give you an honest review of each – the good and the bad.
Aside from the obvious checking of feedback when available, here are some tips to buying from cosplay sellers online:
1. Buy from sellers that use mannequins to show products, not cosplayers. There are sellers all over the web stealing photos from cosplay sites and using them for product shots. Don’t assume the person wearing that wig or costume is modeling for a store. Odds are, they are unknowingly being used to sell goods that aren’t nice enough looking for a seller to want to show you the real thing you’d be buying. Some sellers will have galleries where you can view photos submitted by happy buyers, but reputable sellers do not use cosplayers for their actual product listings. Avoiding sellers that use cosplay photos instead of products on mannequins in product listings is a big must. You want to see exactly what you are getting.
2. Look for photo consistency. Are all the photos shot on the same mannequin? Is the lighting the same in all the photos across their entire stock line? If you search for that same wig or costume, do other sellers have the SAME product shots? If you can easily find other sellers using the same pictures, it’s a bad sign. It probably means those sellers are all using photos of someone else’s products. Often, sellers use photos from places like Cospatio because the costumes look spot on. Those costumes cost hundreds of dollars, have custom-made trims and details, and have much higher quality control than most other ready-made cosplay. They aren’t what you’ll get for $60 on Ebay, so be aware of this practice.
3. Don’t trust watermarks. Just because a picture has a seller’s store name on it, doesn’t mean it is a legitimate product shot. Sellers will watermark over photos they have stolen, and do it all the time– sometimes right over other seller’s watermarks who’ve stolen the photo too! Often they will remove other watermarks by cropping out a site’s credit or a photographer’s mark or blur it. If it looks like they’ve blurred out or cropped out someone else’s watermark, it’s a bad sign. No seller needs to do that on a photo they’ve shot of their own product. It’s a big red flag.
4. Be skeptical. Do research. Be logical about ‘good deals’. Some deals are too good. If it’s a complicated costume or a styled wig, it won’t be sold for cheap. If one seller is selling something for much, much less than other sellers, be wary. Be rational and don’t just buy based on the cheapest price. Quality is directly related to price, no matter where you buy it from. That said, you can still find some reasonably good deals and not be scammed if you scrutinize and use caution.
On a personal note, I’ve had a number of sellers use my photos without permission to sell wigs and costumes. If you ever see a seller using my photos, do not trust that seller. I never give anyone the okay to use my cosplay to sell costumes or wigs. I’ve sewn my costumes myself and styled the wigs on my own, so whatever it is that they are selling, it isn’t going to be what I’ve made. The same can be said for so many other cosplayers who’s hard work as been ripped off to sell questionable goods to unsuspecting buyers. None of us want to see people get scammed, and it’s unpleasant when someone uses your likeness to pull the wool over someone’s eyes. It’s like being an unwilling accomplice in a crime 😦
Before I get to my wig seller reviews, let me preface this with a little bit about me as a wig buyer. I prefer to style my own wigs and the majority of what I buy is plain styles that I can cut and style as needed. If you are looking for ready to go, fully styled wigs, I can’t speak to that. These reviews don’t cover where to buy a Saber wig, for example. I styled my own from a long wig, loose hair, and some home-made wefts. I can’t tell you what places do it well and which ones don’t because I don’t like to take that sort of buying risk. Usually what you can do with a little time and a few YouTube tutorials will be as good, if not better than a wig seller that is worried about volume and cost effectiveness but not accuracy. With that in mind, here are my reviews…
Wig Seller Reviews
These are some of the wig places I’ve bought from multiple times. I’m not sponsored by any of these sellers so I’m just speaking from my own experiences. I can’t guarantee the same experiences for you, of course. These are by no means all the places you can find good wigs or good deals, but if you are in a pinch and want to know a few sellers you can trust, that’s what this list is for. I’m being honest about my experiences with each here, sharing the good and the bad.
I’ve bought from them several times and overall would give them a positive review.
Positives – Thick wigs that are very easy to style. The textured wig fiber is especially good if you want a spikey look or something stylized. It isn’t smooth like some wig fiber, which works well for short styles and cuts that need to clump together with only a little styling product. They have many cuts and colors to choose from, and the fibers are heat-resistant. Ships from the USA. Good prices. Products look exactly as listed.
Negatives – Very inconsistent stock. Order from them months in advance and be prepared for some of your order to not be in stock for quite a while. The wigs also lack skin tops and tend to have center parts far back on the wig, which can be an issue for creating certain realistic hairstyles.
I have been buying wigs from this seller for years. Overall my experience has been quite positive, and they are one of my favorites to check when I have a new cosplay planned.
Positives – They have a lot of variety and many character wigs (wigs cut to be easy to style to fit specific characters.) The stock is always changing to meet current demands. Wigs have skin tops which adds a believable touch to a wig. Many of the wigs are heat-resistant. You can find colors at this seller you can’t find anywhere else for such low prices. Cheap, but good quality. Seller includes free wig nets when you buy from them. What you see is what you get, too. They take their own product shots of all their wigs (and watermark the love out of them now since other sellers on Ebay steal from them.)
Negatives – Ships from China. This isn’t a problem for me, but might be for someone else. In the past, I’ve had orders canceled because they didn’t have stock, so contact them first if you are really interested in a wig. Years ago I had a few wigs that were less than stellar arrive from this seller, but in recent years, I’ve been happy with all my purchases.
This store is one of my go-to’s for plain, long wigs. I’ve had all positive experiences buying from them.
Positives – Awesome for heat-resistant, long wigs that are very thick and don’t tangle like other wigs. The fiber is very silky and I always check this seller first when I want a long wig that won’t tangle up on me after wearing around a con. The prices are low and the quality is great. Wigs have skin tops and are honestly as thick as 2 wigs combined from some other sellers. They have large stocks of most wigs so you can order without asking. Seller included free wig nets with my orders.
Negatives – Also ships from China, but this is debatably not a downside if you don’t need it overnight. The stock styles and colors are somewhat limited compared to other sellers.
I’ve only ordered a few wigs from this store and my experience was hit and miss.
Positives – Fairly cheap and wide variety of styles of wig. They offer a lot of character wigs as well. Seller included free wig nets and a brush. I ordered from them in a rush when another seller’s product ended up being out of stock.
Negatives – The wig I ordered for my Tsumugi was as pictured, but my wig I bought for Fumino was not. It was sold as a wig for Taiga from Toradora, which is quite similar in look to Fumino’s hair. Unfortunately the wig came very badly styled and needed a lot of work to save it. The layer of hair under the bangs was crimped and poorly cut. There was a spot in the center of the bangs that was all nap that had to be hidden. I had to create a comb over with other hair from the wig to hide the damaged wig fiber. I would advise against getting a styled wig from this seller because of the condition of this wig. However, plain styles seem to be safe. Ships from China as well, and fast shipping is not as cheap as with other sellers. They use the same model for many product shots, but sometimes use other cosplayer photos which I question the source of. I would use some discretion when buying some wigs from them because of this. Look for ones that are on a wig head and don’t look styled if you want to be certain about what you are getting.
I’ve bought a number of wigs from this seller and have had only positive experiences with them, both online and at conventions where they’ve been very friendly and helpful.
Positives – Affordable prices, thick wigs, and ships from the US. Their wigs are similar to the ones I’ve ordered from CosplayDNA, but they are located fairly close to me and I get my orders nearly overnight. They ship fast and the wigs are heat-resistant. Wigs come with skin tops and they sell very long wigs at reasonable prices.
Negatives – Not much negative to say about this seller so far! They are limited in styles, but have a decent color range.
A long time cosplayer go-to, this store has the best selection of ‘realistic’ hair colors and styles. If you need a believable real color or cut, this place is my recommendation.
Positives – There are so many styles to choose from and the seller has good notes on wigs that are suitable for styling and up-do’s. They are also honest about wig thickness and quality. It’s a good place to buy wefts and loose hair for styling wigs as well. They stock a lot of supplies and styling tools that can be hard to find from cosplay wig sellers. Ships from the USA.
Negatives – Can be a bit more expensive than other wig sellers. It’s very limited when it comes to unnatural hair colors, so this place is best for characters with shades hair naturally comes in. Sometimes there is a wait for products, but the seller discloses wait times well. Order well in advance.
Well, that’s it! I hope this helps direct a few of you to a place where you can find a good wig for your next cosplay!