As a retailer that prides itself in our discreet shipping practices with multiple differentiating services and patents pending, we know a thing or two about the reality of discreet. We wrote this article as an education guide to help consumers understand what to look for when making private purchases online and to understand there are differences in discreet shipping services.
Let’s start with the fact that it’s obvious that no sex toy company could survive shipping packages with “Dildo” or “Vibrator” colorfully labeled on their shipping boxes. For most people, that may be sufficient but for many others especially those living with family or roommates – the concerns are far greater and other aspects of discreet delivery and your privacy are important to know before placing an order.
Another reason you should care about the degree of privacy offered during shipping? A recent study showed that in 2018, the three leading couriers (USPS, UPS, and FedEx) delivered 13.5 billion packages in the United States. Of those, 11% were damaged or misdelivered. That’s nearly 1.5 billion packages that were in the hands of, or the contents exposed to, someone other than the intended recipient. Granted, many Americans don’t care if their neighbors, roommates, live in family think about their sex toys but for many of us, this is a real concern.
Here are some of the factors to consider in evaluating discreet shipping services…
Shipping Boxes and Envelopes
Some companies save on shipping costs by using cheaper envelopes instead of cardboard boxes. In fact, most of the leading sex toy companies explicitly describe this as acceptable on their discreet shipping pages as it is an unavoidable practice with drop shipping services. Not only are these envelopes terrible at protecting your product during shipping, but some products are also identifiable through the soft envelopes. If you are unsure whether your retailer uses envelopes for shipping, look for images of the product box to be assured the contents cannot be identified through a soft shipping envelope.
Our Practice: HappyBed never ships items in envelopes and only uses sturdy, corrugated boxes for all orders.
Their Practice: Most leading sex toy retailers ship products in padded envelopes and many don’t even disclose what shipping containers they use.
Many consumers are familiar with the clear plastic packing tape you can buy at most retail stores. This tape is actually terrible for shipping and is more likely to lead to damaged or opened packages during or after delivery. For consumers concerned about the privacy of their packages during shipping or after delivery, see this video for a demonstration of how plastic packing tape can be easily compromised. Large retailers invest in tamper-proof, reinforced gummed tape machines to seal packages and secure its contents. If you have ever ordered from Amazon, you are likely familiar with this type of paper tape that is impossible to remove without cutting with a blade (theirs has the Amazon logo printed all over it).
Our Practice: HappyBed only uses tamper-proof, reinforced gummed tape to seal packages – just like Amazon but unlabeled. We disclose this clearly on our Discreet Shipping page.
Their Practice: We couldn’t find any sex toy retailer that described this detail on their website. We do know that most drop shippers do not take the time or incur the expense of using reinforced gummed tape.
As is the case with discreet shipping, all sex toy retailers will use an alias or parent company name so your credit card statement won’t directly identify the name of their website. All good, right? No, it’s just the first step. Many of these discreet alias or parent company names can be easily Googled with the first search result pointing directly to the website you ordered from. In fact, several of the leading sex toy retailers can easily be found in the top results on Google just by searching their discreet billing name. It wouldn’t be hard for a family member or whoever has access to your credit card statement, now or in the future, to crack that code.
Our Practice: HappyBed bills under a name that we carefully protect from being indexed by search engines. We only represent it as an image on our site like here …
Their Practice: Most leading sex toy retailers will share their billing name in their FAQ or on their checkout page. Just Google it. We found that about half are easily found in the top search results.
Inside the Box
Still concerned? We understand. Living with nosey roommates or intrusive family members can bring anxiety to the experience even if there is only a remote chance someone intentionally opens your package. Or, just knowing that sometimes packages are accidentally opened by someone thinking it was for them. To address this, HappyBed has a patent-pending service where we can put most products inside a fake cell phone accessories box. That way, if someone intentionally or accidentally opens your package, they still won’t know what’s inside.
Our Practice: Our patent-pending Extra Discreet Packaging service provides assurances in case someone opens your shipping box.
Their Practice: Only one other company has a similar service, Lovense. If you order a Lovense product directly from them, they will place the product inside 2 boxes. No one else takes that extra precaution.
Even with all of the above precautions, when your package is left on your doorstep or handed to a family member or roommate bad things can happen, intentional or not. This is where HappyBed is really special. We are the first to work with UPS on leveraging their UPS Access Points for direct shipment from our website to their network of lockers and retail locations. UPS Access Points allow you to pick up your package away from home, at your convenience, at automated lockers (just like Amazon Lockers) or retailers like CVS, Michaels, and UPS stores all across the country. It’s incredibly convenient and totally private.
Our Practice: Just select UPS Access Point Delivery at Checkout and select from one of the thousands of locations across the country where you want to pick up your package away from home.
Their Practice: All other online retailers require home delivery. Further, most will charge a premium shipping charge if you want to designate a carrier rather than relying on the cheapest option so you are not even assured of the carrier that will deliver your package.