How to Start a Sex Toys Business in 2023

Sex Toys Business

Starting a business is always a somewhat daunting proposition, especially if you’re aiming to sell something that can be perceived as a little on the edgier side like sex toys. These tips can help you start a low-risk, successful venture selling products that are statistically proven to raise sexual satisfaction, whether it’s solo or with partners.

As of 2023, 78% of people surveyed in the US over the age of 18 own at least one sex toy, and the sex toy industry has grown exponentially over the past ten years, reaching a market worth of over $35 billion dollars this year. 

To get started, you need to decide on a few things:

Products

Are you planning on manufacturing and patenting your own product, or are you more interested in curating a collection of toys and brands that align with your business ethics and quality ideals? If your plan is to go the former route, you’ll need to research patents and manufacturing for sex toys, factory locations, production facilities, and packaging for your new toy. If it’s the latter, you’ll reach out to sex toy companies for wholesale orders to stock.

Target Market

Which sector of the population is your ideal target to sell to? Narrowing this down allows your marketing to be streamlined directly towards this group, whether it’s the married 25-40 set or the heavy kink community. Do keep in mind that most sex toys are marketed towards women (single and married)  25-40, so if your target market overlaps with this subset, that’s definitely a good thing. 

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Licensing and Paperwork

There are, of course, some very run-of-the-mill forms to fill out to start your business, like a business license, reseller’s license, and whatever city permits govern the area in which your store resides. Even if you don’t plan on opening a brick-and-mortar store, you will likely need most or all of these permits for an online business as well. 

Branding Your Business

Branding is EVERYTHING, especially with how people use social media. Most people’s first interaction with your business is going to be something they see online, and you want it to be a good representation of what your business is all about. The easiest way to start branding is to choose a set of colors that all of your branding materials will be made out of business cards, website landing pages, infographics, brochures, storefront sign, and even paint colors on your businesses’ walls. 

Put yourself in your ideal customers’ shoes-what draws you to purchase from this business versus another business? Is it a variety of products or quality? Is it ethically manufactured goods? It can be ALL of these things and more, depending on what your branding is aiming for. A lot of branding can be focused on what makes your business unique and what sets you apart from other sex toy businesses. 

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Big Picture vs. Day-to-Day

Creating long-term goals for your business while still being focused on day-to-day operations is vital to the success of your enterprise. Big picture goals can meet any number of parameters-a sales number, another store location, or being a vendor at a local sex toy convention or night market. Make a list of sex toy suppliers or other small businesses that you admire, and what they are doing that you would like to emulate. 

Daily operations should be focused on running the store smoothly, filling orders online and in-store, and customer service goals. Once you’ve nailed down the day-to-day, you can start implementing your big-picture goals slowly. 

Marketing

Branding and marketing 100% go hand-in-hand. Once you’ve solidified your branding, you can start marketing in earnest. Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok are feeding a lot of small businesses marketing right now for consumers under 40,  and using customer testimonials is a great way for potential customers to see your products and drive traffic to your site. Conventional marketing is still definitely something to invest in for a target market that’s 40+-newspaper and radio ads are still relevant and useful, especially if you are in a rural area. 

Lastly, if you are passionate about supplying people with tools to make their sex lives enjoyable, you will find a way to make it happen. Kindness, grit, and belief in the products you sell will take you farther than you could ever imagine. 

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