Unlike cars, you do not get to take vibrators for a test drive before you invest in a shiny new sex toy. Which is why the people who review them are basically little vibe fairies who can warn you against a bullet that might burn your clit off, and sing the praises of a dildo that’ll give you the best orgasm of your entire life.
Cosmopolitan.com spoke with Angela, a 28-year-old top 500 Amazon reviewer who lives in Pennsylvania and tries out weird sex toys so you don’t have to.
How long have you been reviewing for Amazon?
I’ve been a reviewer for just over a year — I think I’m close to 1,500 reviews. I do makeup, and I got into reviewing when one of my friends told me, “Hey, I got a bunch of brushes for free on Amazon.” I would pay for things at first, but then I got Prime, and it kind of spiraled from there. Now sellers just contact me directly — I get probably 30 emails every day when I wake up in the morning. It gets overwhelming.
How does reviewing on Amazon work? Do you have to have a certain ranking?
I belong to a third-party group that sends promotional codes — sellers send codes to reviewers this way, and that’s the only way it fits Amazon’s terms of service and is a verified purchase. When I get something discounted, I put a disclaimer in my review. I don’t get paid to do this though. I don’t make money off of this.
The more reviews you write, the higher your ranking goes. But it also depends on how many people “like” your reviews, and how many “helpful” votes you get. I recently got hit by a fellow who wasn’t happy with a review I wrote that was honest — his products were garbage — and he sent his little minions over and they just attacked my profile by down-voting my reviews. I went from like a 98 to an 87 percent rating, and there was nothing I could do about it. I actually just got back in the top 500.
You can’t just go on Amazon and contact a seller to review products — they’ll laugh in your face. Usually you need to be at least in the top 3,000, but I think you can probably score a vibrator at 5,000 or under.
When did you review your first sex toy?
I want to say I reviewed my first one, like, eight months ago, roughly. It was just your basic vibrator.
How many sex toys do you think you’ve reviewed in total?
Oh my goodness, I’ve probably reviewed 30 to 50 vibrators, sex toys, and restraints. Once you review one sex toy, and if your rank is good enough, all these emails flood in. Most of the time, the sellers want you to review 10 or 12 at a time, or will send you their whole stock.
What kind of stuff do you include in an Amazon sex toy review?
I like to include whether or not it feels cheap, like if it’s worth the price. Some of these are available on Adam & Eve for like $12.99 and on Amazon they’ll cost $40, so if it’s just cheap plastic, that’s ridiculous. You can buy it somewhere else.
I check to see if it’s dirty or clean when I get it it — sometimes they’ll come all destroyed, or they’ll be dirty like someone’s used them already. I write about how it feels on the outside, and how well it works in lube and water. Those are people’s main concerns. A reviewer friend of mine tried to use her vibrator in the water and it blew up, and it said it was supposed to be waterproof. Whether or not the description of the toy is accurate is a huge thing to include too. And people care about how loud it is, like if it’s quiet is a big thing. Maybe they’re hiding it from their husband or parents.
If you don’t make money doing it, why do you review sex toys?
It’s opened up a new world for my husband and me. My husband has always been really adventurous and I’ve always been more shy. But one company recently sent us a bunch of restraints that came with vibrators and strap-ons, and that made things fun. We’ve been together for 13 years — since we were 15 years old — and we have a 2-year-old. When you have a kid and are together that long, things get a little bit boring. Using all these sex toys have really opened up a different world of trust.