I’m the type of person who considers saving money to be an exhilarating challenge, especially as I try to financially prepare for graduate school. I frequent used bookstores, I buy second-hand clothes, and my partner & I commonly save 20-25% on our grocery bill through coupons and sales. I will refuse to make expensive purchases if I don’t feel like I’m getting a deal — but I also won’t buy cheap products that will require a quick replacement.
So… How does this relate to sex toys?
I recently started writing a series of posts about body-safe materials. The benefits of these toys are pretty obvious: They’re non-toxic and they don’t retain harmful, icky bacteria. Unfortunately, they are often (but not always) much more expensive. And while a high-quality toy can last a lifetime when properly cared for (whereas a cheap toy might need to be replaced in mere months), dropping a large amount of money on one can still be rather scary.
To help make quality toys more accessible, I’ve compiled a few tips for the frugal sex toy aficionado. I’m not promising that you’ll be able to buy the latest $200 luxury sex toy with the change you found in the couch. But every little bit adds up, and over the last couple of years, these tips have saved me hundreds!
1. Check the clearance/sale section…often! Many online stores have a discount section: overstock, discontinued products, tiny imperfections, etc. Whether it’s prominently featured on the home page or discreetly tucked away, you need to find that section and return to it often. Online deals come and go in the blink of an eye. Many retailers are even in the habit of doing 24-hour “flash sales,” which sometimes offer the biggest savings.
Consider creating a bookmark folder in your internet browser, so that every sales page is just a single click away. To make this a bit easier, I’ve linked directly to some of my affiliates’ & favorite shops’ sales pages below. Keep in mind that not all of these stores are dedicated to body-safety, so it’s up to you to educate yourself & shop smartly.
- Tantus Grab Bags (mystery colors)
- Tantus Limited Editions
- Tantus SalesSheVibe Clearance
- Good Vibes Sales & Deals
- Babeland Sales
- Come As You Are Sales
- Filthy Dirty Sales
- She Bop Sales
- Smitten Kitten Sales
- Hole Punch Toys Misfits (slight imperfections)
- Pink Cherry Specials
- Sex Toys Canada Specials
- Lovehoney Deals & Offers
- Lovehoney Sales
- Peepshow Toys Hot Deals
- Stockroom Clearance
- Stockroom Daily Special
- Extreme Restraints Clearance
- Extreme Restraints Overstock
- Extreme Restraints Sales
- Extreme Restraints Daily Special
2. Sign up for mailing lists Filling up your shopping cart at a new online store? Make sure that you sign-up for the mailing list before you checkout. Many retailers will send out a “Welcome” coupon code that you can only use for a limited time. From my experience, these codes are usually in the 10-15% range, but they’re worth it — especially if shipping is exceptionally pricey.
Trust me when I say that if you’re wanting to add to your sex toy collection, staying subscribed to these lists is key! Not only will you be informed of new store sales & promotions, but you’ll almost certainly receive more coupon codes in the future. Codes that may not be available to the general public. Some sign-up forms will even ask for your birthday or anniversary so they can send you a more personalized special offer.
Bonus tip: If you have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, other social media account, following your favorite sex toy companies may prove beneficial as well. Some giveaway contests & coupon codes are only available on social media!
3. Shop Holidays It’s no secret that stores offer huge sales around the holidays, and sex toy retailers are no exception. The big ones to plan your purchases around? Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Christmas & Valentine’s Day. (Many online retailers also offer savings at other times of celebration such as July 4th, Mother’s Day…even Back to School!) Ask yourself: Can you wait until the next holiday to see what deals are offered?
As an example, this year I put off some major sex toy purchases, waiting patiently for the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales to roll around. I signed up for mailing lists and checked the sales updates provided by other sex bloggers. I meticulously compared prices at several retailers. In the end, I ordered 3 items from my wish list and saved approximately $90 — and that’s not even taking into account free shipping! My point? Planning your purchases pays off.
4. Use loyalty rewards programs At one point, Eden Fantasys’ program was the darling of the community, offering spendable points for purchases, writing reviews, making comments on product pages, or even just doing website searches. Of course, after how shittily they treated fellow sex bloggers, I have stopped giving them my business and cannot recommend that you trust them (with your body, privacy, or money) either.
So that leaves only a couple of companies that I’m aware of who currently offer frequent buyer benefits. My favorite is from one of my affiliates, Good Vibrations. Their Pleasure Points system offers 4 levels of rewards, based on how much money you spend with them. The only catch is that the points expire after the end of each calendar year.
- The Bronze level ($50-299): exclusive bronze offers, $10 off & free 3-day shipping on your next purchase after spending $120, and $10 off with free 2-day shipping after spending $240.
- The Silver level ($300-499): exclusive silver offers and 10% off regular-priced purchases for the year.
- The Gold level ($500-749): exclusive gold offers and 15% off the year’s regular-priced purchases with free 3-day shipping.
- The Platinum level ($750+): exclusive platinum offers and 20% off your regular-priced purchases for the year with free 2-day shipping.
Lovehoney also has their Oh! Points Loyalty Scheme. For every $1 you spend with Lovehoney, you get 6 points. These points can then be used to purchase a special selection of products. Unfortunately, the point value for items is extremely high and, as you would expect, most of the really nice (and safe) items are especially pricey. For example, near the high-end of the spectrum is the Fun Factory Stronic Eins worth 25,800 points. This means that you would need to spend $4,300 with Lovehoney to receive this $200 toy.
If you’re looking for bondage or fetish gear, Extreme Restraints has their Extreme Dollars program where you earn 5% of your purchase in the form of a store credit. The good news is, these credits can be used on any item from their store. The bad news is that your Extreme Dollars automatically get applied to your next purchase, so you cannot save them. If unused, your dollars also expire annually (on June 30th).
Remember that with any rewards program, you need to create an account with the website and always make sure that you are logged in at checkout in order to receive your points!
5. Look for other incentives Occasionally, a company will offer rewards or special benefits for consumers who contribute to their website in some way. With the exception of the aforementioned Eden Fantasys, the only such company that I know of is SheVibe (another awesome affiliate of mine).
SheVibe’s Review Project offers you store credit for reviewing products from their website. Each review must meet the standards set out in the Review Project instructions. (150+ words, contains a certain level of useful detail, submitted through the provided form, etc.) Once approved, each review will earn you $3 on a SheVibe Gift Card Account. These cards max out at $50 and cannot be used in conjunction with other gift cards or coupon codes. While the cards do expire, you have a lengthy 2 years from the date of your last review.
Check out my Pinterest board: Body-Safe on a Budget for some of my favorite sex toys under $50!
Aware of other rewards programs or have other money-saving tips? Please share in the comment section below!