When we scour the internet and go into Reddit and other various forums, we will always see this question come up:
Where can/should I buy this onahole?
People will then pitch in and mention their favorite shops to buy from all across the world. ToyDemon being one of the answer from time to time, thanks to our wonderful customers!
There are of course many other shops mentioned with some operating from within Japan. Often the person is asking because he is a first time onahole buyer needing some helpful advice on their first onahole purchase.
With over 12 years of experience (as of this writing), we at ToyDemon would like to offer some insider insights and advices for those (especially within USA) deciding on where to make their first onahole purchase. We've shipped about a million products worldwide so we've had a lot of experience dealing with importing onaholes and other adult masturbation products.
Should I import onaholes directly from Oversea Shops?
This is the obvious question since many of the suggested options are shops from within Japan shipping out to USA. On the surface, it seems like importing Japanese onaholes directly from Japan would be the logical and most economical choice. Importing however is a much more complicated matter with many hidden cost and issues. We want to point out these factors and of course why these issues can be avoid by buying from a USA shop like ToyDemon.
Factor 1: Avoid Customs & Related Issues.
Let's face it. You are not buying a cellphone or a coffee mug. You are buying a Japanese sex toy where you want the utmost discretion.
Our logistic staff which has importing/exporting experience more than the 12 years of ToyDemon existence is sure that the US Customs WILL open your package. It might not be this time, it might not be next time, but the odds will catch up to you. Customs now checks more incoming shipment than ever, doesn't matter if it's shipped with USPS, FedEx, UPS, DHL, or freight. For those worry about the government knowing what they buy, they should seriously keep this in mind.
The next issue with Customs is a request we hear sometimes from our own international customer buying from outside the USA. We are usually asked to undervalue their order substantially or say it is a gift while describing the items as something different like so and so shop does. We do not recommend this and are unable to fulfill these kind of requests. We often check out the oversea shops in question after receiving the request and many do openly state that they will lower their invoice value and mark it as a gift as a key selling point so that you don't have to pay much duty/taxes when you import it. This is easy to say and do for these shops because when things go wrong at Customs, the responsibility and penalty will be all on you alone and not the shipper that did it. Customs personnel are not dumb, they can spot a package trying to come in with false information and are more likely to inspect them as a result.
Let's take a look at an example to see how obvious this is:
You buy a 12 pounds heavy hip sized masturbator for $250, plus shipping from overseas at around $100 for a total of $350. The shop puts the invoice value at $50 and a gift so that you can avoid duty. It doesn't even take a Customs agent to know that shipping something that heavy from Japan to USA will cost well more than $50. The Customs agent would likely open the package more now because it's likely the numbers are false or if it's true, they would want to know what type of item it is that is so cheap from Japan.
When they do open it, they will look for any invoices inside the package. If there's one, they will try to verify the stated value on the invoice. If an invoice is not found, many times customs will contact you and require you to provide proof for the value of the goods in addition to details about the item to ensure the right amount of duty + fees is charged for the import. In normal situations, this is already a headache having to communicate back and forth with customs. It's even more embarrassing having to tell them its adult toy products. The worst case after they open the package is that your package ends up being seized, forfeited or returned back to the seller. This depends a number of factors and regulations on certain types of products. In that situation, you are now out of more than just the product(s) but also your money as well. Unless the shipper is willing to work with you to get the package reshipped or replaced. However as mentioned, the responsibility and penalty will be all on you alone and not the shipper that did it since the US Customs isn't likely to prosecute an entity overseas, they go after the person living in the country they have jurisdiction over, and that's you.
Will the above likely scenario going to happen to you? It's all about odds so you'll have to weigh your risk of loss and trouble with rewards of saving a bit of money?
If it was us who have had to deal with customs issue often, spending the extra 10 - 20% to buy domestically is a small cost for the peace of mind.
TOYDEMON SALES PITCH #1!
At ToyDemon, we offer free shipping at $35. We are able to offer such a low threshold for free shipping because we have been around for 12 years. We have established a great customer base and are able to get competitive rate from shipping courier.
With ToyDemon's free shipping, most of the time it's cheaper to buy from us than importing from Japan and risk all the Customs issue. It's really a no brainer.
Factor 2: Consumer Protection.
We definitely understand that there are those who are willing to risk and deal with Customs issues. However if you must import, we really advise everyone to make sure you can pay with either your Credit Card or use PayPal.
Do not use any other payment that you have no control or protection over after paying like Bitcoin or Bank Transfers.
There are no shortage of horror stories online stressing the importance of this. One such horror story we read on reddit is about this guy who made an order over $1000 from Japan to Canada. 19 months has passed and no products were ever received. All the while getting the runaround from the shop's customer service. The shop later blocked him on Twitter when he tried to reach them through there and in the end completely stopped responding to his emails. He couldn't get his money back either because it's been over 19 months and passed the claim period for his credit card.
DON'T BE THAT GUY!
Make sure you have protection and control over your payment method, and when in doubt, file a chargeback before it's too late.
Since every country has their own version of Consumer Protection Laws, do not ever expect that you are protected. Keep in mind that shops located overseas don't have to adhere to your country's Consumer Protection Laws.
TOYDEMON SALES PITCH #2
When purchasing from ToyDemon, payment methods are either: PayPal or Credit Card. We also let you cancel your order by yourself as long as the order has not been processed for shipping. Just simply login or find your order, and cancel it yourself. We try to make it as seamless as possible and not make you jump through hoops or wait for days for customer service to respond.
We will try our best to provide the best service to you so we hope you would never need to file a PayPal claim or resorting to a chargeback.
Factor 3: Defects / Replacements.
Nothing is perfect. We would love for every onahole to be perfect and free of defects, but it just doesn't happen. Especially when a majority of the items are hand made from mixing of the material, to pouring into the metal moulds, and finally individual quality control inspection.
It really sucks when you've waited for your onahole to arrive and upon opening it, found that it has a defect before you get to enjoy it. What do you do?
Say you had imported a Meiki Zhang Xiao Yu from Japan and you found it to be defective upon arrival. Even if the shop is willing to replace the onahole for free, chances are they are not going to pay for the replacement's shipping back you. Shipping it to you from Japan will cost at least $15+ even on the slowest method taking months! Anything that will arrive in a week will cost at least $30. Are they willing to take on that cost?
Is it fair for you to have spend money another $15 to $30 on the replacement's shipping and time wait another few weeks to months before you hope you get a non-defective onahole replacement?
TOYDEMON SALES PITCH #3
For US customers, if the onahole you buy from ToyDemon has a defect from the manufacturer, just contact us and let us know. We'll work to solve your issue as quickly as possible. Every defective case is different but most of the time we would require some pictures of the issue for reporting to the manufacturer. As long as the defect is easy to see and a valid issue for the manufacturer, they will approve it. We will send you a replacement at our cost. Problem solved and as painless for you as possible.
In conclusion, if the onahole you want is available in your country, it's easier getting it locally.
Now that doesn't mean just buy from any shop within your country. Do a little research on the shops available and their reputation, make sure the onahole prices are fair and relatively comparable to other shops. Too cheap and there's a possibility of fakes (that's a post for another day). Typically these domestic shops' prices will be slightly higher than shops out of Japan as the onaholes are imported and the shipping cost and duty are priced in.
Also make sure this shop's customer service exists! If you have any questions, ask them a question. See if they respond within a timely manner, it shows that they are actively monitoring their store. We have read about shops that starts ignoring customers after payments have been made. Don't get yourself in that situation.
All in all, use a little discretion, do a little research, and you should be ok. When all else fail, you can always purchase from ToyDemon! (ONE LAST SALES PITCH) ≧◡≦