Check out as many brands as you can find regardless of price. Try different scissors styles and lengths. Take the scissors in your hands and see how they feel to you. Work them as you would during a haircut. If the scissors feel too tight or too loose in your hand, ask the sales rep to adjust the tension. Remember that these scissors are going to be the ones you work with day in and day out, so first and foremost they have to feel good in your hand. Ask about the return policy. Reputable sellers will offer a 30, 60 or 90-day grace period. Without regard for brand bias or pricing, start developing your short list. At this point your only concern is how the scissors feel in your hand, so don't be rushed into making a decision. Your shopping tour has only just begun.
Try your short-listed scissors on hair. If you can take a willing test subject with you then that's an ideal situation, otherwise take a hair extension or something similar with you. The next best choice is if the sales rep has a manikin that you can try the scissors on. See how the scissors cut and how they feel to you while they cut. If the sales rep won't let you use the new scissors on hair then either change reps or strike the scissors from your list. The cut test is the most important part of your shopping tour, so be fussy and if the scissors aren't up to your expectations, remove them from your list. By now your short list should be shorter but you are not done yet.
The final decision. OK, OK, we're all human and in the excitement of the moment we can be driven to an irrational decision, soooooo take a break (along with your short list) and go have a coffee. Once away from the pressure to buy and all the glitz you can calmly make your decision. NOW is the time to bring your budget into the equation. Bear in mind the old saying, "no decent mechanic can afford the luxury of cheap tools", and remember that the same adage applies to stylists. From your short list select the BEST scissors you can afford. The BEST does not have to be the most expensive but it may not be the least expensive either. Unless one scissors really stands out from the rest, cut your short list down to about 2 or 3 choices and get ready to spend some money.
The purchase. See if the sales rep will give you a break for cash. Remember that this only works if you actually have the cash with you. Better yet, (if you feel gutsy enough) give the guy a cash offer for the scissors and see what happens, but don't insult him by going too low (usually 10% or 15% off the selling price is negotiable). You may be in a better position to get a price break if you're buying more than 1 pair of scissors from the guy. Once the sales price is finalized, ask for "extras". Most better quality scissors come with stuff like scissors lube and ring sizers (the little circles you put into the finger holes), but if they're not in the box then ask for them. Some scissors employ unusual center screw arrangements. If your scissors of choice happens to be one of those make sure that you get the necessary "special tool" to adjust the center screw. GET A WARRANTEE CARD AND A RECEIPT!
See Also: On Lifetime Warranty