What online shops are best for buying sex toys?
I still prefer to walk into a brick and mortar sex shop so that I can touch, squeeze, smell, and taste (in the case of lubricants) the products before I buy them.
It makes sense, however, that most people today do the majority of their shopping online. I also get that having to share your secret kinks with even one person, such as the cashier at a sex shop, can be mortifying. Express shipping, discreet packaging, and an anonymous buying experience makes buying your first dildo, prostate massager, or love doll online easier than ever.
There are literally thousands of online stores that sell sex toys nowadays. How do you choose where to buy your toys?
There are many reasons why you may choose one store over another:
- ease of navigating website
- customer service policies
- shipping prices and times
While you may be thinking that you’re just buying a vibrator, I think it’s important to get all of the facts and information to make informed choices.
At the end of the article, I also want to talk about why you need to take sex toy reviews with a grain of salt and not always choose the recommended retailer of your favorite sex blogger.
Where to find the cheapest sex toys? (hint: it’s Amazon)
Without a doubt, the cheapest sex toys, dildos, spanking tools, male strokers, and anything else you can think of will be found on Amazon.com.
I’ve come to realize that there is considerable markup in sex toys. How else can retailers constantly offer “buy one get one” deals and 40% off coupons. The competitive nature of the Amazon marketplace means that prices are rock bottom. You might see fifteen different sellers all selling the same WeVibe Tango bullet vibrator for five different prices; all of those prices will likely be below retail.
Why do you read on most sex blogs that Amazon is the worst place to buy your sex toys? Well, a few reasons:
- You have no guarantee that you’re buying an authentic product.
- Customer service is lacking.
- Amazon pays sex bloggers a very small commission.
Authenticity of Sex Toys on Amazon
As a sex toy blogger, I have a fairly large knowledge base of manufacturers — basically which company makes which toy. Even still, I sometimes am confused when shopping on Amazon because I’m not sure if the seller of a particular toy is the manufacturer, a distributor, or some Joe Schmo selling knockoffs. Buying on Amazon takes a bit of searching and verifying seller authenticity.
While there are mostly good sellers on Amazon, it still is possible to end up with a fake product. The easiest way to see if a listed product is authentic is to read through the reviews. What do you do when there are no reviews or only a few vague reviews?
The legal disclaimer on Amazon is terrifying:
Actual product packaging and materials may contain more and different information than what is shown on our website. We recommend that you do not rely solely on the information presented and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before using or consuming a product.
It basically says that you might not get the product as shown on the page.
Uhh, when I’m buying a 6 inch ribbed glass dildo to go in my ass, I’d better be getting exactly what is pictured. If I’ve just spent an hour deciding on which texture will feel best and whether I should choose four humps or five, they better fucking send me the correct model.
Now with all of that being said, Amazon seems worse than it really is. It’s fairly easy to ensure you’re getting what you pay for here.
To understand this, let’s touch briefly on the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program. This is a way for sellers to essentially set up their own online stores through Amazon. What companies will do is buy products in bulk from the manufacturer and have it sent to the Amazon warehouse. Amazon will store the merchandise for them, and if a customer makes an order, Amazon packages and ships the product for the seller. Essentially, the integrity of the seller is really not important because Amazon takes care of most of the details.
Recently, Amazon has chosen to consolidate their product listings so you’re not necessarily able to choose exactly who you are buying from.
Let’s take the We-Vibe Touch Clitoral Vibrator
So if you’re looking for a We-Vibe Touch, this seems pretty good.
There are a few things that might stop you, however. You’ll notice that the seller is listed as “We-Vibe.” This is the company that makes the toy. When you go down into the Q&A section on that page, however, you’ll see something different:
As a normal consumer, I might be off-put by the listed “sellers” being not We-Vibe. In fact, I have no idea who LABEshops, Vert Delivery, or NaughtyboytoyZ are. This might be enough for a cautious buyer to click away. My first thought when I first saw this entire listing was that maybe the seller “We-Vibe” was a knock off seller and maybe the original was “WeVibe” or something similar. This is an example of the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program. Each of these sellers are selling authentic We-Vibes through this program and Amazon has chosen to consolidate all of their listing. In a way, it makes it easier to buy.
You can click on each of the sellers to see their ratings. Some of these “shops” have 10s of thousands of ratings so it’s fair to say that they are trustworthy.
What about products that aren’t as popular as the We-Vibe Touch?
There are times when you’ll be looking for a product on Amazon and you’ll find it with no reviews or ratings and you just aren’t sure of whether it’s the correct or authentic version. With no reviews, you’ll want to pay close attention to the seller. You’ll just want to ensure that the seller is either the manufacturer (a quick Google search will tell you who that is) or has plenty of positive ratings.
Alternatively, Amazon fulfills some products themselves. You can always trust that Amazon will deliver authentic products.
Amazon Customer Service and Return Policy
Surprisingly, Amazon does have a 30 day return policy!
There are several caveats, however. Most items must be in an unopened and unused state. Third party sellers are also not required to adhere to the same policy and have their own return policies. Take a look at the seller’s return policy before you purchase.
Sex Blogger’s Commissions
Most of us sex bloggers are legitimately interested in helping people find their own mojo and enjoy writing about sex toys. It’s impossible to ignore the fact that we do get commissions when we recommend sex toys to our readers.
Every product review you read on the internet, regardless of the genre, will have a link to said product. The writer of the review will receive a small commission if his or her reader follows that link and makes a purchase within a set amount of time. Perhaps one of the reasons that you see such a large amount of sex toy reviews online is because online sex toy stores pay extremely high commission rates! Blog writers can receive 20-30% commission for each item that they “sell.”
If I recommend that my readers buy the latest Fleshlight from Fleshlight.com, and they follow my link and make a purchase, I get a 30% commission. If I recommend that my readers buy that same item from Amazon.com, my commission is 4.5%.
Can you see the “real” reason why sex blogs don’t ever recommend Amazon?
The truth is, Amazon is a great place to buy your sex toys. Hell, Amazon is great to buy pretty much anything.
Best Return Policy for Sex Toys
Have you ever ordered a vibrator and when you got it home, it was just meh?
Obviously it’s good customer service for stores to accept broken or defective products back, but did you know that many online stores accept used sex toys for return if you simply don’t like it? This is a total game changer and it makes shelling out several hundred dollars for some of the newest technologies in sex toys easier to swallow.
I’ve actually done the majority of my shopping at Adam & Eve. They are the world’s largest sex toy retailer and they have exceeded my expectations in customer service every purchase that I make.
The reason why Adam & Eve is so great is that they have a 100% satisfaction customer satisfaction policy. So if your toy is broken from the box, it doesn’t fit inside you, it’s not big enough for you, it doesn’t vibrate enough or vibrates too much, you can return an open package.
You have 90 days from the time of purchase to return an item that you’re unsatisfied with for any reason. Manufacturer’s defects will be replaced at any time! How many times do you have those toys that just stop working after a while, no matter how well you take care of them? Since sex toys are what Adam&Eve specialize in, they understand the unique concerns and issues that may arise when purchasing a new intimate toy.
Lovehoney is probably the second largest sex toy retailer in the world. They certainly have the largest presence in the UK. They are doing their best to try to take that top spot by upping their customer service game.
So with Lovehoney, you have 365 days to return your product if you’re unhappy with it for any reason! This is a fantastic return policy and a leader in the industry.
Where to Buy a Fleshlight?
Here’s where it really depends.
If you know exactly what you’re looking for, like the Fleshlight Quickshot Vantage, your best option is to price shop between the different retailers.
- Amazon is special priced at $34.95US temporarily. It is available on Prime for free, next day shipping. If you don’t like the Quickshot, you’ll likely be out of luck for returning it.
- Lovehoney is $39.95US but has a 365 day money back guarantee if you don’t like it. Shipping is $12.95 if you do not spend $100.
- Fleshlight.com is $34US but they do not accept refunds if you are not happy with the product. Shipping is only free if you spend $60.
- Adam & Eve is also $39.95US and they have a similar, albeit shorter, return policy as Lovehoney. Shipping is around $7.99 within the US or Canada.
So I guess it depends on what aspect of your buying experience is most important. Are you most concerned about price? Do you want to perhaps be able to return it if you don’t like it? Is it most important that it comes as soon as possible? The choice would be yours.
If you’re looking to Build-Your-Own custom Fleshlight, it is probably easiest to head directly to Fleshlight.com to order. You’re going to be able to choose from several options for the case color, orifice type, and sleeve texture and it’s very simple to navigate on the Fleshlight website.
If you were to try and order a blue case with the mouth orifice and the Destroya inner texture on Amazon, that probably wouldn’t be available. Amazon and the major sex toy retailers do not typically carry all of the different build-your-own Fleshlight combinations.
So where IS the best place to buy sex toys?
In reality, they are all good. Amazon is great for the best pricing. Lovehoney and Adam & Eve have the best customer satisfaction policies. Fleshlights are most easily bought through Fleshlight.com but you’ll probably get better customer service if you can find the Fleshlight you’re looking for at Lovehoney or Adam & Eve. I find that, in general, toys are more expensive when bought directly from the manufacturer’s website, but there will always be more selection available straight from the source.
Also remember that reviews that you read online (including my own!) almost always have affiliate links that garner the writer some type of commission. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because the writer is providing a service to you in the form of the review itself. You should feel comfortable price checking around different places and not necessarily only following the advice of the reviewer. We recommend the same places we shop at but you’re free to shop anywhere else.
If you can stomach it, I highly recommend that you go into an actual sex store to be able to look at and feel the different toys before you buy them. It’s also so helpful to be able to speak in person with the clerks working there about the particular toys you’re interested in. I know that it can be intimidating or embarrassing to talk to a complete stranger about toys that go in your vagina or anus, but that’s their job.
Where ever you buy your toys, I wish you luck and lots and lots of orgasms!