Tasteful or Tawdry? A Toy Story
Elizabeth had asked me for some advice on starting a potentially profitable adult Web business that was not the typical "hardcore fuck fest" that seems to have become all-too commonplace. She wanted to find something "comfortable" enough to deal with if her mother ever "found out..." Here's her story:
How It All Began:
I was bored and looking for something new and different to do, and I had heard that there was lots of money to be made from working at home on the Internet; but by doing what? Since I'm a pretty open-minded girl, and I know that "sex sells," I thought that finding a way to make money in the adult business was a smart thing for me to try — or was it? I didn't want a "hardcore porno" site or anything really "nasty," but was that really necessary? Couldn't I just find a profitable, sexy, and interesting "hobby / business" that was "clean" enough that it wouldn't embarrass me, and not so "sleazy" as to make me want to throw up?
Toys for Twats
I decided to have a look around the Web: It didn't take me long to come up with something, and that something was an adult toy store! What a great idea! *I* like to "experiment" with a variety of dildos and vibrators, but I've always been embarrassed about going into a sex shop to buy them. Since *I* myself would be much more likely to purchase something "naughty" online, and from the "anonymous" comfort and safety of my own home, I reasoned that other women (and men) would want to also!
But what was the best way for me to set up my toy store? My mind raced with the possibilities and pitfalls. Would I need to rent warehouse space? Would I need to process orders, then box and ship these products — or would I have to hire someone to do it for me? What about customer service, returns, and all the rest of it? I sure didn't like the idea of answering my customer phone calls at all hours of the night...
I had so many questions, and so few answers. I surfed the Web and looked at all the toy stores that I could find, and researched the ways in which they operated as best as I could. My efforts finally paid off for me, when I discovered Internet Fulfillment (http://www.imfc.com/), which claims to be "the largest provider of online adult shopping." Hmmm, free help from a large, established, professional operation? Where do I sign up?
What Internet Fulfillment promised was the fast and easy setup of my own customizable adult sex toy store, one where my customers could pay using all major credit cards, money orders or personal checks, and where the company would handle all of the order processing and customer service issues. Best of all, not only would they set up my store free of charge, they would pay me a 30% commission on all of my sales! Since I felt that a 30% profit margin on my toy store was a reasonable enough return, why not go with a program like this, and leave all the inventory, customer service, and site maintenance hassles to someone else! It was worth a try...
I obtained a new Web site domain name and hosting account, then had my ISP make the "DNS" changes that were required to setup my store (which is hosted on Internet Fulfillment's servers, but has my site's address). The whole process was painless, quick, and didn't take a penny out of my pocket: Altogether, this was a quick and easy way for me to start "getting my feet wet" in the business without risk or expense, and I have a great feeling about my new project. But will I make any money from this endeavor? I have little to lose, and will be delighted with ANY sales that I might make.
I'm not too sure how much (if anything) that this new site will make for me, but it looks good, and I like it: Since I didn't spend anything yet to make this happen, I have little to lose, and will be delighted with ANY sales that I might make. I'm still full of questions like "How can I promote my site so that I can get some customers to it?" and "little" things like that: But rest assured that when I have some more answers, I'll be back to share them with you. In the meantime, I think I'll take a look around my new site, and see what bit of happiness I might like to order for myself: