Key Considerations for International Shipping of Adult Toys

- 5 mins read

If you are reading this article to learn about how sellers sell sex toys internationally, then you’ve come to the right place. By the end of this article, you will gain insights into the process of shipping sex toys around the globe.

Shipping an adult toy is not as simple as shipping kids’ toys. The sex toy shippers have to follow a lot of rules and regulations to deliver a sex toy to your doorstep. 

With time, the taboo surrounding the purchase of sex toys has been broken. But still, people in different parts of the world can’t free themselves from the societal stigma of playing with an adult toy. The conservative thoughts of the people have led to strict laws by the government.

Below are some key considerations for the international shipping of adult toys:

1. Legality Involved in the Shipping of Adult Toys

The laws for shipping sex toys are not the same in every part of the world. There are regions where you can ship adult toys with no legal boundation. And some regions require you to follow a bunch of laws issued by the government. 

It is better to keep yourself updated with the changing laws of a region while you take the responsibility of shipping adult toys in that region.

2. Regulatory Requirements for Adult  Toys

It is important that the adult toys you want to ship sex toys should meet proper regulatory requirements. ISO 3533:2021 is the latest regulatory requirement document for sex toys; the product you want to ship should meet these requirements.

These design and safety standards are to be followed by any manufacturer, and if you are a drop shipper, then do keep in mind that you have to work with only those manufacturers who are ISO 3533:2021 certified or follow any other internationally recognized regulations.

3. Shipping Carrier Policies 

As a shipper, you should be well-versed with the carrier company policies. There might be policies drafted for different products for carrying them to different countries or regions.

Proper research can help save your shipping efforts and the money you spend on the operations. If you don’t follow the laws of the carrier, your products may be deported back to you. So, kindly adhere to the laws of the carrier companies when shipping any products. 

4. Age Verification Check

Selling adult toys to a non-adult can be considered a crime in some parts of the world. Try to implement techniques to check age before selling the product to an individual. Getting the legal age verification from your customer makes it easier for you to run shipping operations.

However, not all countries have strict laws regarding this, but some countries take such issues very seriously and hence, to be on the safe side, It’s better to get the age verification done before shipping the product.

5. Product Description and Classification 

Make sure you classify a product as per the Harmonized System. If you have never heard of the Harmonized System, it is a standardized numerical method of classifying traded products.

It is also used by customs officers around the world to classify the products for assigning duties and taxes. So, it is better to classify the products you want to ship by using this system.

6. Customs Rules to Follow

Nobody likes it when their packages get stuck in customs checking. Once it is stuck, there is no definite time within which your package will be released.

So, to avoid all this, make sure that the sex toy products that have to go through customs are well-regulated and that the manufacturer follows the ISO 3533:2021 guidelines. 

Also, ensure that the products are classified using the Harmonized System, as it will save time for both you and the customs officer.

7. Discreet Product Packaging 

The adult toys you want to ship should have a discreet package. Many countries have strict rules regarding the packaging of adult toys. The package should not contain pornographic images or images supporting nudity.

In short, be culturally sensitive and try to pack your adult toys in such a way that the outside packaging does not give any hint of what product is inside. 

8. Secured Payment Methods

You must have a discreet payment method to run a sex toy shipping operation business. This helps build trust among your customers and helps you better manage your finances.

If you don’t have a discreet payment method for your sex toy shipping business, then you may experience trouble in the case of both local and international transactions. It is advisable to get one for your business to bring stability in case of global transactions.

9. Explicit Refund and Return Policies

Ensure that the refund and return policies are very clear to understand and are easily accessible to your customers. Transparent policies help stay away from any customer related conflict and also help in gaining customer’s trust. This, in return, will help in growing your shipping business.

10. Agile Customer Support 

A business needs proper communication between it and its customers. A business cannot survive without listening to its customers. The problems your customers are pointing out to be resolved are the critical factors for improving your business performance. 

If the issues of your present customers are resolved with diligence, it will automatically help your business grow, as future customers will find your business with fewer flaws. Also, remember that 24/7 multilingual customer support is the key to satisfying your international customers.

11. Be Culturally Fit

When it comes to culture, you have to be very sensitive. A packaging that might be acceptable in one country may not be acceptable in another. It’s like learning new ways of packaging and marketing your products for different regions with different cultures.

In short, keep up with the cultural sentiments of the country where you want to do business. 

12. Ask For Feedback

Any sex toy shipping business should ask for feedback from its customers. Feedback helps a shipping business to analyze the pros and cons of their service. A shipping business should always work on negative feedback to improve its services and congratulate its employees in case of positive feedback.


As you have reached the end of this article, I believe that you understood the major factors you must consider when shipping adult toys internationally. You saw that there are many things to consider and keep in mind when shipping sex toys internationally, plus the legality and regulatory requirements involved make the process complex.

The sex toy shipping business would be tricky for anyone who is new to the sex toy industry and who wants to work at a slow pace and in the comfort of their home. The simplest way to start a sex toy business online is via xMarketplace by

xMarketplace is a ready-to-install e-commerce website script that can help you sell sex toys and novelties without any inventory. It also comes integrated with international wholesale dropshipping APIs that can offer you access to more than 20,000 products.

Besides dropshipping, you can also sell your own products and get maximum profits. 

FAQs Related to International Shipping of Adult Toys

1. How do I deal with customs clearance delays and keep my customers happy?

Delays due to customs clearance are very common in the international shipping business. A backup plan as per your business needs on how to deal with this kind of situation can be very helpful. 

Customers may sometimes get irritated by the delays caused by unforeseen events. To avoid this, your business should be in constant communication with your customers, updating them on the details of the delay and how you are trying your best to overcome it.

2. How do I handle foreign payments?

Try to keep various options available for making payments, like wire transfers, credit cards, or online payment platforms that offer currency conversion services. Keep in mind that the easier it would be to make payments for your services, the more clients you get. 

People usually restrict themselves from buying services from businesses that don’t have a seamless payment process. Also, keep track of the changing currency rates and the transfer fees to avoid incurring any loss.

3. How do we keep up with the cultural changes?

Cultural Sensitivity is crucial in the sex toy shipping business. A country with a specific culture may accept a particular type of packaging, but another country may find the very package as offensive as per their culture. 

It is just like you can break pasta to fit in a saucepan when cooking with your German friends; if you use the same technique of fitting pasta when cooking with your Italian friends, it will be considered offensive. 

To avoid this, your marketing team should do all the research and keep themselves updated with the cultural changes.

Leave a Comment