Originally Posted by Drumz
Contrary to folk wisdom, most drum shops aren't too keen on opening up new heads and mounting them on drums just to "test them out". :)
I think don't think any drum shops are going to do this. Nor will they take used drum head returns for buyers remorse. Maybe if you're a high roller and spend thousands on other equipment every quarter. I don't know anybody personally doing that.
You do the best research you can online and maybe by hearing other players use the heads you're interested in while playing live in a smallish venue. Once that's done, buying a head is the cost of being a drummer. Unlike a drum, a head is considered a consumable and is relatively inexpensive. I've bought heads that I didn't care for. I then either played it until it was time to change them, saved it as a backup or gave it away.
Presently i have three different types of heads on my home kit toms (soon to be four) because I wanted to try them out and get the general sound in my head.. Some are keepers and some won't be bought again. I'm OK with that.