From a customer email:
You probably know the answer to this question that drives ALL WIG BUYERS crazy. I get dozens of catalogs sent to me online especially around the holidays. Even if they are truly discount catalogs and sell teeshirts for 3 dollars, there are color blocks listed below the item that you can click on and actually see the shirt in that color. If these tiny companies can give you this option, why can't wig companies that sell $1,000 wigs do the same thing? The other option is to "pay" for a color ring and get reimbursed. I don't know anyone except a professional reviewer who would actually do this.
The reason, as you've mentioned, is the cost.
A tee shirt that is only $3 retail and probably costs about $0.50 wholesale is easy and inexpensive to buy multiples of, so you can easily take pictures of each and every color for very little expense.
Our wigs, on the other hand, are often much more expensive in terms of wholesale cost. The average synthetic wig in our store has a wholesale cost of over $100. That's for a single unit! On top of that, some of these wigs come in dozens of colors, meaning that we (CysterWigs) could spend over $7000 to take images of JUST the Allure by Jon Renau, for example. Multiply this expense times 350+ different styles, and you're talking an expense of several hundred thousand dollars for what, at the end of the day, is a helpful appearing marketing gimmick that isn't as helpful as you might think.
Why do I say that? Because people are not even half as concerned about color accuracy in shirts as they are when it comes to the color of their hair. (I can hardly think of something women are more picky about than the color of their hair!) This means that even if we did put that kind of investment into product images of everything we carry, individual differences between those images and the real thing would still occur, people would still complain, and we would have spent a whole lot of money for something that isn't really very helpful. (These competing store's product images are low res and are often pretty bad at representing the colors, for example.)
NOTHING will replace or simulate the act of seeing these wigs for yourself in person. We do the best we can to teach people about colors in a proactive manner via our color spotlight videos, but even those are only going to get you so far.
Hopefully this explanation has been helpful. This should also explain why only the largest stores offer actual product images. (And those images are not always very good at representing the colors, either.)
These are multi-million dollar companies and they can afford it. We are very, very small by comparison. It would take more than 100% of our current profit for a whole year (as of 2017) to do this!
PS: For the record, we do sell a lot of color rings. They are very helpful for most of the brands we carry. ;)