Jun 112013

When you review a sex toy, do you talk price? Is it just me? I feel that it’s an important point to cover, one that my readers would want to know. If I were reading a sex toy review of an item priced well over $100, I would need a fuck ton of convincing that that item is going to rock my fucking world for that price.

A potential relationship with a retailer who thought I was new to the scene back in 2012 ended quickly when we discussed the finer points of reviewing. They didn’t want me to just review one item, they wanted me to review a lot. Primarily I turned them down because they didn’t have an affiliate program (I work from home now, I need all the income I can get) but also because our views just didn’t mesh.

I’m actually not going to publicly name names here, because the point I want to make really doesn’t have anything to do with the company – my point is that it’s an aspect I care about. But in our very short discussion, as a response to me detailing that I do not sugarcoat my reviews and I am bluntly honest, always, this was mentioned:

“It’s a product review… Let the customers decide if it’s worth it.  Most all of my product are over $100, so if that’s an issue and your readers don’t want to spend that, I don’t want to be skewered because you don’t believe in buying $150 toys.  If a toy is good, and gives orgasms, or does its job, give it a good review.  Let the buyer decide if it’s worth it.  I’m a high end retailer, and carry great products.  I need good, honest reviewers, that have good audiences that might buy.  Let me know what you think.  I repost on my blog, from your blog, word for word, so no editorializing or such.”

Well, I’ve already talked about my feelings on someone re-posting my review on their site and I was not okay with that aspect of their conditions. But I had a real head-scratcher over the “let the buyer decide if it’s worth it”. Um….isn’t that what I’m doing here?? I’m presenting them with the information but also my opinion. If they wanted pure information, they’d read the copy from the website. I responded with:

“I personally expect every, single luxury sex toy to live up to the high expectations that come along with a high price tag, and from everything I’ve seen, so do my readers. I’ve reviewed so many luxury toys that were such a let-down that I fear I’ve become a little jaded. I am hard on toys though; I expect great things for the price tag. I’ve been unable to fully recommend items such as some Lelo, Je Joue, Zini, JimmyJane, etc because there are less expensive items that perform better. In my opinion, I do reviews to help the buyer decide if a toy is worth the money – be it $25 or $125. I wasted a lot of my own money (both prior to reviewing and even recently) on toys that appeared to have glowing on-site reviews. That was what led me to reviewing, ultimately – I was searching for women who’d tried the toys I was considering, to ask them a few questions, and that was how I found out about blog reviewers. There are so many items out there that I don’t think are worth the price and I don’t hesitate to tell my readers that. To me, that’s half the point of a review. They’re looking for reassurance in our reviews, reassurance that they won’t be dropping a week’s worth of grocery money on a toy that just isn’t worth it. I get disappointed with items/manufacturers but in the end I actually like all the reviews I write – I love being able to tell someone that something is awesome and I feel good about telling someone to avoid something that sucks. I don’t gloss over just for sales. In the end, I want my readers to be happy with their purchase and feel that I truly helped them.”

This didn’t go over well, I guess. I never heard from the person again. Apparently, I’m not the type of reviewer they want on their side. They clearly wanted reviewers who would drive people to buy, and it almost seems like they were angling for some sugar-coating. Thus far all of the places I review for have never taken issue with my reviews, no matter how harsh they are and boy howdy have some1 been2 harsh3.

Do you talk about price? Do you feel the need to justify super-pricey toys to your readers, assuring them it is worth it? If that same toy that you feel is decent, but not wonderful, cost half the price would you be more likely to recommend it?

  1. Hello Touch, how I hate thee
  2. We-Vibe Thrill made me angry I wasted my money
  3. Fixsation review was so harsh, the creator tried to slam me in comments by pretending (badly) to be someone else

  14 Responses to “Who Should Decide if a Sex Toy is Worth its Price?”

  1. Price is something that will always be in my top search terms. However, the price will always come after how good the toy is. And this information can only be obtained through a reviewers.
    When I read reviews before purchasing a toy, I absolutely want to know if the money spent will be worth it. I’m not rich, and I know many consumers aren’t, and without knowing if the toy is worth the money or not will just drive me away from the toy. But isn’t that just the whole purpose of reviewing? Telling the readers if a toy is worth it or not? That’s just my own opinion.

  2. I don’t always talk about price, but I know that it’s something that I need to work on in my reviews.
    Because personally, I don’t just want to know if you loved a toy, I want to know if you loved it enough to drop $100+ on it!
    Not talking about price is like saying “this is a great toy!” and not talking about *why* it’s great.

  3. If a toy gives orgasms, give it a good review. Oh no you did not. No. No. Even the shittiest toys are capable of giving me orgasms. Toys I would never in a million years recommend that anyone else buy. NO.

    I had a similar experience with a retailer once, and lo and behold, our relationship ended very quickly. I can’t review for someone who thinks that all luxury toys are worth the price.

  4. I actually never discuss what I write in my reviews with the companies that work with me. They’ve never asked and I’ve never offered the information. The last sponsor of a ridiculously expensive item is not at all happy that I gave a bad review on it.

    I couldn’t agree with you more, though. Even the crappy bullets inside cock rings are capable of giving me an orgasm. Doesn’t mean they aren’t mediocre at best, but at least the cock ring didn’t cost me more than my gas and electric bill combined.

    When the price is above $50, I talk about the price. When it’s under $50 I won’t unless it’s something that doesn’t fit in the price range they are selling it.

  5. I don’t mention price all that often, especially when I’m reviewing something straightforward like a dildo or a butt plug; I think I almost take for granted that people should know that a good quality material like silicone is going to cost more than something low-grade, so I tend not to bring it up.

    The places where I feel it pertinent to mention prices are, 1.) where there’s an obvious comparison to be made. Take for example something like a Fleshlight, they retail for around £50 in the UK, and which to many will seem a little expensive for what it is. I can quite easily see a consumer being tempted by that £10 jelly stroker instead, but as the voice of experience I can say “one of these is going to feel disappointing, fall apart after a couple of uses, and end up in the bin, and the other is going to be a sound investment which will last for years of enjoyment if you take care of it” and so I duly point that out. If I don’t bring it up then there’s a false economy to fall into.

    The second place where price always shows up is with regard to expensive rechargeable vibrating things. Here I find that the relationship between performance satisfaction and price is very important. I have to think to myself firstly how satisfied am I with the product just as it stands, and then I ask myself how I’d feel about spending that quantity of money to get that quality of satisfaction. Some products I could easily recommend if only they were half the price, because they’re definitely good and fun to use, but if that was my money that I’d spent, then I know I’d be upset to have paid what the manufacturer was asking, and not to have been more blown away.

    Mentioning price adds important weight to the argument you’re making why someone should or should not buy something. If you have two products which you each rank 6/10 in terms of pleasure, quality, and design, then the one which costs £35 will always be preferable to the one which costs £70. Part of a product review is judging whether a product can justify its price-tag or not.

    I’m like you; I’ve spent money in the past on things which I’d been mislead to believe would be better than they were, and frankly it irked me. Value for money is always an important consideration for me, and I believe it matters to other people too, so I mention price in order that they be able to make the most informed decision that they can. If someone is going to shell out a bucket-load of money on a toy, in the expectation that it’s going be their everything, then it had better be that, otherwise I’d feel remiss not to counsel them to spend their money more effectively.

  6. Hmm, this is an interesting post. When I think about it, I don’t think I often mention the exact price of things in my reviews. I often worry that the company will change the price and that I’ll look like a liar (I mean, if you saw a review that said a toy was £25 and then went to the site and it was £35 you’d feel a bit cheated, right?) so I never mention it directly. I do think I try to say if the toy is good or if I’d pay to have it, though.

  7. How you review is your choice and yours alone. If certain companies don’t like it, that’s their problem. Discussing price in a review is a little tricky. What is considered “worth the money” is different for everyone. Obviously, if you have a high priced lux vibe and the thing is total crap then I think you owe it to your readers to say so.

    I think I’m going for the “this is how I feel about the price point” stance. I might review say, a midprice toy and say that I feel it’s a good buy but someone else might think it’s junk. I think our perception of quality grows with reviewing experience. The more one reviews, the more they have a wealth of information to draw upon in terms of discussing worth.

    I’ll one day, probably look back at my early reviews and wonder why I thought certain products were worth the price. But you can only speak from your own experience. And as an experienced reviewer, I think you’ll likely be a bit tougher when evaluating a product. And I think that’s OK.

    I’m sure some retailers won’t like it but in the end, I think you’ll lose your audience if you sugarcoat everything and persuade them to buy items you wouldn’t buy for yourself.

  8. As a sex toy retailler, I think price is really important in how a toy is reviewed. When I am choosing stuff for the shop I always take in to consideration the price vs value question. Money is a big issue for like, MOST PEOPLE, why not be up front about how much something costs?

  9. Of course, I discuss price! If it’s expensive and horrible, people need to know. For some stupid reason, consumers often think pricey = good. Um, yes. LEt’s look at all the negative reviews for Lelo toys. So, people need to know whether they should shell out all that money. On the other hand, price is worth discussing even when it comes to cheaper toys. Is this a good toy but not quite worth what the retailer is asking? Are there better options in the price range? So on and so forth. So, while I cannot force someone to buy or not buy something, the point of my reviews is to let them know when they should and.. sometimes.. how much.

  10. I discuss price when I review sex toys and consider price when giving a rating. Price is definitely a factor for most people when buying toys, so I believe discussing price is important.

  11. Price is so important. Part of reviewing is whether you, as a reviewer, think it’s worth the price. If a company doesn’t want you to talk price, they sound a little shady.

  12. My reviews list prices in the stats section and then I mention it again if I think it is a really good deal or way overpriced. I think value is important. Really important. I have to scrape to afford the toys I want, so I can’t really burn money on toys that fail to meet expectations.

    I love how you blog for other bloggers by the way.

  13. Thanks!

    the price aspect is just something I can’t get away from. It’s super important to me that a toy live up to its cost.

  14. Absolutely agreed. Whether a given toy is worth its price-point is pretty much the entire reason for a review – aside from whether it “does what it says on the box.” And in a world where most sex toy retailers do not accept returns, this becomes even more important.

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