It has become standard practice in today’s society for many of us to shop online. People shop for so many different products online and the same goes with sex toys. With today’s economy, who isn’t trying to find the best deal? However, many of us overlook the fine print and product details as we get fixated solely on the price tag. Sites like Amazon, Ebay and Alibaba are selling products that most reputable online retailers cannot match. Is there a reason for this? Often times, the answer is ‘yes.’ There is an old saying “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Before we get straight to the facts, we’d like to share our own story.
Several years ago, we decided to purchase our first massage wand. At that particular time, the Hitachi Magic Wand was the most popular on the market. Its brand name was well-known and it was considered to be the most powerful massage wand on the market. Just like many people do, we immediately went online searching out for the best deal. We’d searched several reputable online shops and eventually found the best deal on Amazon. The listed price of the wand found on Amazon was nearly $25 less than all of the other sites. We couldn’t believe it! We felt like we just hit the jackpot and chalked up a big “win” for us. Before checking out, we read the item description, product specs and reviewed product pictures. The product was even listed as being sold by Hitachi Magic Wand…who could go wrong, right?
After several days of waiting, our product finally arrived and we couldn’t wait to put the wand to the test. While using the wand, we noticed that it was not as powerful and rumbly as it was portrayed through all the hype. It really started to get our minds racing with thoughts and questions. Was everyone else lying to us about this wand? Why would there be so many sales and great reviews on this piece of crap? The most important question we asked ourselves…could this be a fake?
As always, we felt the need to do some further research. At that time, we had a local adult shop that carried this wand so we took ours in to have it inspected. The store rep was very knowledgeable about the wand and even went so far as to look at the fine details of the wand itself. Before doing so, she stated that ours may be a counterfeit as she’d heard several different stories about counterfeit wands being sold but marketed as the originals. She ended up pulling a wand out of her inventory and sat it next to ours. Right from the start we could see a slight difference between them. We immediately noticed that the massager head’s shape, size and texture were not the same. What we did not know is that the Magic Wand was made by Vibratex, Inc. Our wand did not have the Vibratex name anywhere on it while the real one did. The wand we purchased also felt much lighter than the one at the store. Those things alone were convincing enough for us to realize that we bought a fake Magic Wand.
If you haven’t already figured out the moral of the story: be extremely careful when shopping online! Popular sites like Amazon and Ebay are not always the best place to shop. Sites like these may not have experience with sex toys nor do they have a clue about quality. Retailers on Amazon can get away with selling fake products and they have no rules or regulations to follow. Many quality sex toy companies and distributors do not allow for retailers to sell on third party sites like these for several reasons. One reason is to track counterfeiters. If they do not sell on these sites and one gets listed, they know someone is potentially selling counterfeit products. Additionally, selling on third party sites with huge discounts often damages the brand’s reputation. Manufacturers of luxury and high-quality sex toys invest large sums of money to develop new products. Those investments, along with the cost of materials, add up over time. When a specific product is introduced to the retail market, they need to recoup their expenses by advertising at high price points. Similar to pharmaceutical companies, these profits are often reinvested in research and development in hopes to create new exciting products for the consumer.
Sex toy counterfeiting is growing in popularity on a daily basis. It usually happens offshore in countries like China where they do not have the same product manufacturing standards as in other countries. Due to lower manufacturing standards, counterfeit products often contain low quality materials that reduce the manufacturers cost which can also help them increase their profit margin or provide a better discount. Additionally, we often have no clue as to what these materials are. They may not even be body-safe and consist of harmful chemicals…yet they pose as the “real” manufacturer making you believe that you are buying a top-notch high quality product. Pretty scary isn’t it?
Due to counterfeit products, manufacturers are suffering because of this. Manufacturers are reporting declining sales and reporting huge profit losses which make it harder to develop new products and make existing products even better. In rare cases, some of the smaller manufacturers have had to close their doors or sell their business to a larger manufacturer. As consumers, we need to help our sex toy manufacturers through intelligent buying practices. And, we need to be willing to pay full price for these products. A “good deal” now could jeopardize our future purchases.
If you are going to buy sex toys online, please purchase them from a reputable retailer. We want to make sure that you, the consumer, gets exactly what you’ve paid for and that it won’t harm your body. Couples Playthings is a perfect place to shop as we guarantee that all products are real and body-safe. We work directly with toy manufacturers and distributors whose main goal is to provide the very best and they perform quality inspections before distributing. Whether you shop at Couples Playthings, or go someplace else, it never hurts to do some research before you buy. If you are uncertain whether to purchase online, you can also go to your nearest brick-and-mortar novelty store. There are some manufacturers, not all, that sell their own products online which may also be a great option. Please make every attempt at avoiding third party sites like Amazon, Ebay and Alibaba. Finding the best deal is important for many of us as money doesn’t grow on trees, but please remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
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