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Counterfeit pleasure products impact far more than a manufacturer’s bottom line. From health risks to negative press, counterfeit products are a significant issue impacting the industry — and virtually unknown to consumers.

In a rare opportunity to explore the wider impact of sex toy fakes, Vibratex owner and Vice President Shay Martin discussed “How to Spot a Counterfeit” and more with Cosmopolitan.com.

Vibratex is the exclusive North American distributor of the Magic Wand brand — one of a handful of sex toy lines consumers ask for by name. This demand makes Magic Wand a big target for counterfeiters, rendering Martin an expert on this specific issue.

“We hear from consumers who are dissatisfied with purchases and completely unaware that sex toy fakes are even possible,” Martin explains. “We were happy to share some insights with Cosmopolitan in the hopes of helping people avoid disappointment — and even danger!”

Read the “How to Spot a Counterfeit in the Wild” segment, part of a larger piece titled “How to Navigate the New Landscape of Everyone’s-Doing-It Sex Toylandia” by authors Carina Hseih and Taylor Andrews, here: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/a33797860/sex-toys-sales-boom-during-covid-19/. The story also ran in the September 2020 issue of the magazine’s print version.

In her full interview with the authors, Martin stated that the scariest aspect of counterfeit sex toys is that “anything’s possible.”

“Consumers may wind up with something safe — or with something that is dangerously unsafe. We’ve seen everything from unsafe electrical components that overheat to silicone and rubber materials that literally smell harmful. The unpredictable nature is what worries us most,” Martin says.

According to Martin, consumers are far less likely to find fakes in brick-and-mortar stores today, as most reputable stores have done product vetting in advance. She offered consumers a list of key checkpoints to consider, however, if they are ever unsure. These points included: asking the relevant salesperson what they know about the toy and brand, inspecting the product box and packaging, and… smell it!

“Does the product smell like chemicals? If so, put it down and move on,” Martin quips. She also discussed the allure of large online marketplaces — which do house many authorized sellers and authentic products, including Magic Wands — and how to avoid potential pitfalls.

“If you do choose to buy on a site like Amazon, stick with those authorized sellers and avert your eyes from the sites with the super low prices,” Martin advises. “Generally speaking, if you find two identical looking items and one is listed at a price that seems too good to be true, it is very likely a fake.”

“No matter where you shop for sex toys, remember what you’re going to do with it before choosing the one that’s half the price of the other one that looks the same,” she adds.

In sum, when asked if counterfeit sex toys are really that bad, Martin said, “Let’s put it this way: You’re buying something to place on or in an intimate and sensitive part of your body. Why would you purposely take that risk?”

Hseih and Andrews concluded their piece congratulating readers for making it this far in 2020. “You deserve to join in on all the sex-toy-buying fun and get yourself something pretty,” they write. “Go ahead, buy the one that caught your eye — you know you want to.”

Thanks in part to Martin, consumers are now equipped with key tips to do so.

For all Vibratex and Magic Wand sales questions and inquiries, contact Eddie Romero, Director of Business Development, via eddie@vibratex.com.

To learn more about Magic Wand, visit magicwandoriginal.com. Join Magic Wand on Instagram at @truemagicwand.

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