Mar 27, 2006

obtaining good toys

Where do I get my toys? Well, multiple sources, honestly.

1) I check out a lot of "adult novelty" shops, even if I don't buy. Then when I'm ready to buy, I know right where to go. The right shops have an open, fun atmosphere and you'll see other people in there, men AND women. The videos are only new (not pre-viewed) and the toys are modern and cutting edge, though usually mixed with the old standbys. The products don't look as if they've been sitting on the shelves for years; the store is well taken-care-of with good lighting, clean floors, and a facade that proudly proclaims what they are. The shop should in no way say "shame". The employees are fairly young, knowledgeable about the products, and are savvy to what the average closet-pervert needs and wants and passes no judgement. They should be able to explain the difference between the different materials the toys are made of and their use and care.

2) Online places that have been recommended. I often find recommendations on websites that carry Tristan Taormino's column or Dan Savage's words.

3) Online places that are well-constructed. Many online stores are a little fly-by-night, I admit. I have yet to get stung by anywhere I've ordered, but then I tend to stick to the mainstream roads. A good online site for toys will be a lot like its real-life coutnerpart: welcoming interface, nothing forbiding, nice clean design, no errors, no shoddiness - they are PAYING for a good site and it shows. The shopping interface should be smooth, easy, and quick to find the product you're after. You should be able to save a search or a shopping cart. The cart should be interactive, allowing you to easily empty a product out of it, or increase its number. Shipping should be quoted at the shopping cart and update on its own. Shipping should be reasonable, discounted, or free. (Heavy shipping charges are an underhanded way of making a profit and I avoid those places, even when I'm not buying sex toys!) The site should take credit cards, debit cards, etc. If you pay via card make sure you use a credit card that has buyer protection and fraud protection! It's a no-brainer, once you think of it; but a lot of people don't. I like sites that also accept Paypal, as I can make the transaction a little more anonymous and Paypal now has buyer protection, too.

By the way, it seems like the better sites - the secure, reliable online merchants - don't always have the lowest prices. These merchants aren't some guy sitting in his mom's basement running a markup show, they have an office, staff, and warehouse - they have overhead to pay for. The products will often have been tested by their staff and have reviews posted. The product photos are good to excellent. The prices make you a damn picky buyer - as they should (although realize that some products are simply just cheap; it doesn't take much cost to make a simple molded butt-plug, eh.) Also, the products should have quite a range. I like sites that carry the elegant pyrex dildos and buttplugs that I'll never be able to afford - it's a good sign.

4) Sometimes I'm after a toy that is just hard to find and only one or two sites seem to have it. So be it, I'll take the chance and order. And sometimes it just doesn't matter which site carries product X - it'll be coming from the same place no matter who vended it. Make sense?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You'll love the Pearl, it's one of my favorites. You can get it cheaper in the US at Babeland in New York. Save on shipping, go pick one up!