Amazon is the place to get pretty much anything. Heck, I've used Amazon to get real x-ray scans of a human skeleton for an art project... using 2-Day Prime...
So naturally, finding vibrators and other sex products on Amazon is also a go-to for some people, especially because it's fast and discreet.
But before you turn on 1-click ordering, there are some considerations you should think about before you make a sex toy purchase on Amazon.
When is Amazon a bad choice for sex toy shopping?
1. You might not be getting what you expected
You might have read about the issues Amazon is facing, not just with sex toys but with all sorts of products in their marketplace. There are a lot of counterfeit and lower quality versions of products being sold there. Even if you are on a listing where the main seller is the manufacturer or a well-regarded retailer, third party sellers may undersell products that are counterfeits or lower quality than the original product. Depending on the company, they might not have control over who decides to sell their products, real or not. These types of third party sellers will find ways to list anything on Amazon to make a quick buck.
What does this mean for sex toys? Depending on the seller and product, you might end up buying a counterfeit version of the product you wanted to buy, or you might get something that is of lower quality (knowingly or not). There are plenty of manufacturers who sell products that claim to be made of medical grade, platinum silicone when they are not (so materials that might interact badly with your body unbeknownst to you), or are designed with shoddy electronics that will break much sooner than a company that emphasizes quality and customer satisfaction rather than just moving product off the shelves.
2. Amazon deliberately hides their selection so it's really hard to find good, legitimate products
Supposedly the story is this — early on someone at Amazon decided that they didn't want children to stumble upon product listings in Amazon searches. Heaven forbid someone misspells "Lilo and Stitch" as "Lelo and Stitch" and finds some classy sexual wellness products... Hold your pearls!
So, Amazon decided to hide a bunch of sex products from search. Even if you search for a specific vibrator on their regular search, which a vast majority of customers use... it'll be like the product doesn't exist. Let's say we search for our product the "Lioness Vibrator"... you won't find us, even if we technically are on Amazon. Try it for yourself.
No matter what, you won't find us in Amazon's search :(
You have to jump through hurdles and obstacles to find us
As you can see, there are still some adult listings that come up. All sorts of sex toy companies find ways to sneak around Amazon's algorithm so they can appear (at least until they're discovered and taken down by Amazon). But most of the time those are the unbranded, usually direct from China/Asia manufacturers with unknown quality. Or you can fly under the radar as a "massager" and look like a massage wand for a variety of achy muscles... some companies have run very successful operations arbitraging Amazon's algorithm this way. But if you are looking for something else, it's much harder.
3. You can't return vibrators and sex toys on Amazon the same way you return other products
One more con for sex toys is that they don't fall under Amazon's regular return policy. They're considered intimate products. The upside is that it makes it a lot harder to end up recirculating used sex toys (especially important for brands if they use Amazon's fulfillment to control their Amazon stock), but if you're hoping to try out a toy and then return it, it's not going to work very well.
When is Amazon a good option?
So after all that you might be thinking that Amazon is not a great place to buy sex toys. If you are not informed about these things, it can be pretty dicey. Fortunately, it's not all bad, and sometimes Amazon can be a fine way to shop for sex products. Here's when it can be good:
1. Buy direct from a manufacturer or well-known retailer
If the seller you are buying from is the manufacturer of the product you are interested in, you are buying direct from the source. You can tell who you're buying from by looking at the seller name on the listing. If it isn't the manufacturer or someone you recognize, tread carefully or buy elsewhere.
2. Quick / Prime shipping
It's hard to deny the ease of buying on Amazon and how quick they are with shipping. Especially with sex toys, sometimes you want the product right now, so if 2-Day Prime is available, you can start your next new adventure in a heartbeat.
3. Price comparison
Depending on the product, sometimes the prices are controlled by algorithms. If the listing is fulfilled by Amazon, Amazon is really good at price matching other retailers online. You can use services like camelcamelcamel to track the prices for your favorite products and snipe them when they're at a desirable price.
(As a note, for companies like us that control fulfillment for our listings, our prices don't adjust automatically... the cheapest/fastest ways to fulfill are on our own site right now!)
Shop wisely, pleasure seeker
If you do decide to go the Amazon route, hopefully that's enough information to be able to make wise decisions about what you're buying online. Now go forth and have fun!
What adventures await?
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