Saturday, July 4, 2015

Selling Your Hair Online: My Experience

I'd heard rumors, you know. Rumors that people will actually buy your hair. They pay you to cut your hair and send it to them.

I'd heard rumors that many of the charity sites that people send their hair to actually throw away the hair they receive, or they sell what they receive for profit. Then use that profit to pay themselves and keep the 'charity' running.

I'd heard rumors, so I of course wanted to know if they were true. After scrutinizing all the information on a website for one of the popular charities, I decided that the rumors were true-ish. Something fishy was definitely up, the wording was a bit off on a lot of things, especially FAQ pages.

So I decided to sell my hair, just to see what would happen.
I haven't cut my hair in almost a year. I was also blessed to get what my family calls "Taysom Hair", from my Maternal Grandmother. Really thick hair. Every time I get it cut, I warn the stylist before they start cutting that there is a lot of it. And every time, they get about halfway through the cut and pause to say, "Wow, you have a LOT of hair." I reached the point (long ago) where my hair was starting to drive me crazy because it was getting too long for me. I don't want to chop it off, just get rid of enough to be comfortable again. The sites I looked at said that you could successfully sell 8 inches, so that wouldn't be too bad. And I wouldn't have to spend half an hour blow drying anymore, that is, if I last half an hour sitting in the bathroom with a hair dryer aimed at my hair while I can't do anything else. (You know I'm a multi-tasker, and something as dull as drying hair NEEDS a distraction.)

I figured that maybe, this might actually work. So I listed it.

First off, almost every website I checked said I could list 'for free'. But then they broker the sale and keep a cut of the money you earn. The one I decided to go with charged $14 to list, but did not require an fee or percentage cuts after that.

Within 24 hours I had an "offer".

Let's fast forward a few weeks: About a dozen offers. None of them legit. NOT ONE. I had postponed getting a cut, I had PAID to get my listing up on the website, I had even stopped using the daggum blow dryer because it was recommended. I compared to other listings, I have more hair than them, plus it's blonde, a 'highly desirable color'. What the freak!

Here's the run down:

  • People saying they were very honest people, but couldn't use Paypal so they would send a "checque"/"Check"/"cheque" (all spellings were used in one email, fyi) FRAUD ALERT
  • A few asking for videos, or "the rights to your video". PORN ALERT. 
  • Some freaky dudes that my husband is convinced (and now I kind am too) are "old dudes living in their parent's basement with a fetish for hair. Your hair." 
  • Some who insist they are honest buyers, with legitimate businesses, but refuse to submit up front payment. Meaning, they will get you to cut your hair, mail it to them, and probably never ever pay you for it. 

Finally, there was a category of "I love it, and I want to buy... but it's too short." I made a list of these folks, with their consent and re-contacted them when I decided that I was willing to really chop off my hair. First it had grown almost 1.5 inches since I listed. So I could really up the length. As in 15 inches of it. I was that sick and tired of my hair.

And, well. Turns out a lot of them weren't really serious buyers. One is still spamming me with "Sell it yet?" emails offering me less money than it cost to post the ad and pay for a haircut.

What did I do? I cut it. 9 whole inches. 65 grams (yes I did weigh it). My wonderful hairdresser, Vicki, gave me info on a charity that is legit to send it to. I haven't sent it in yet (vacation and thesis writing got in the way) but it's ready to go.

My advice? Don't sell your hair online unless you:

  1. Have more than 12 inches to sell
  2. Have never dyed or permed your hair. You will get more $ for this. Even more if you don't use straighteners, blow dryers, or anything else that heats your hair up. 
  3. Are prepared to deal with a lot of SPAM, SCAMS, and SHADY folks. ( I honestly believe at least 2 people who contacted me were producers of fetish porn, and at least one was some dude who has a hair fetish and wanted my hair to do who knows what with)
  4. Take the precaution of creating an alternate email account that you will use for the contact email for the sellers. 
  5. Are willing to postpone cutting for up to 3 months while the listing is active.
  6. Would be willing to negotiate on length and price paid for your hair. Although I listed a specific length, 90% of offers came in as "Would you cut more" or "I'll pay $$ if you cut to your ears". 

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