AT A STORE
Some people buy a sex toy on impulse when shopping at a physical store, but don’t feel pressured to do this. I tell my friends – small things, like condoms and lube, are great to buy because the price really doesn’t vary a lot from online stores, and you’re likely to use them immediately and often. However, on larger items like rabbit vibrators or large masturbators (essentially any sex toy over $40 in the store), you owe it to yourself to comparison shop.
You can do this by looking on the box, just above the barcode. There will be a “sku” there (NOT the numerical barcode, which is usually about 16 numbers underneath the barcode itself) which you’ll want to copy down discreetly. Some newer cell phones, like the G1, have scanner apps that can do this for you automatically. Be polite and quick about doing this, and don’t give any reason for the nice counter folks to think you’re taking cell pics, which can be a big no-no in these places. Once you’re home with this code (if you’d written it down and not scanned it), toss it into google, minus any hyphens, and include the name of the toy if you’re having trouble turning it up.
You’d be surprised at the markup on some items. A rabbit that lists for $60 online might sell for twice that in the store! I don’t begrudge shop owners, natch, they’re just trying to make a profit and keep food on the table. This is why I advocate always purchasing condoms and lubes from the if you can – it’s a steady income that is easy to translate into repeat business as the customer’s supplies run low.
There are four major toy manufacturers – California Exotics, Doc Johnson, Pipedreams, and Topco – together these guys put out most toys, I’d estimate 80% or more currently on the market. All four of these companies have their collections on their respective sites for you to browse through. If something catches your eye, just type the name or code into froogle to comparison shop.
If the toy is by Topco, the code will have a format like #1234-5
If the toy is by Doc Johnson, the code will have a format like # DJ1234-56
If the toy is by California Exotic, the code will have a format like # SE-1234-56-0
If the toy is by Pipedreams, the code will have a format like # PD1234-56
AT A HOME PARTY
It’s easy to feel like you have to buy something to be polite, which is one of the reasons why home parties for sex toys and other items like candles, cookware, jewelery, do so well. Again, same ideas apply – if you want to grab a lube or something small, by all means. Again, though, it’s better to research larger purchases before plunking down the cash. Also, almost all of the “party brand” specific lubes, lotions, oils, arousal creams, etc are repackaged major brands, so don’t think you can’t get another tingly lotion or flavored powder if you don’t grab it right then. Naturally, it’s nice to purchase something smaller from the host, but you can usually find that large kit or expensive toy for a lot less elsewhere.
I know some people will boo and hiss at me for dissing home parties, but the truth of the thing is that the companies are still making a healthy profit off of these hostesses, perhaps more than they should. I have nothing against profit, but I have a bone to pick with any ‘job’ that makes you purchase anything to start working for them. My take is that if parties really are profitable, the company should furnish demo collections for hostesses, and rely on the program to recruit people, not the hostesses.