LELO pleasure products aren’t cheap. It’s fair to say we’re often asked why that is. What justifies the price difference between a $50 sex toy sat on the shelf and the $100 LELO sat next it? It’s a fair question.
There’s one short answer, and several longer answers. We’ll do the short one first, because it’s the most important, most technical and, therefore, the most boring. Sorry. Stay with me.
It comes down to production, and how LELO makes its sex toys. Unfortunately, the production of that $50 sex toy on the shelf, and all the others around it, is almost certainly contracted out to a manufacturing plant in China, probably in the city of Shenzhen, from components sometimes made in other, smaller, less reputable plants around China.
There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s completely normal, and everything around you right now, from that ballpoint pen on your desk to the USB cable charging your phone, is probably made in that city, or at least assembled there. Shenzhen is a MASSIVE city, with a population of New York and Los Angeles combined, and it’s almost entirely dedicated to the production of almost every consumer product you interact with on a daily basis. (Except glasses, weirdly – there’s a whole city dedicated just to that industry alone. It’s called Danyang, but it’s known in China simply as ‘spectacles city.’ If you wear glasses, of any brand, from dollar store non-prescriptions to high luxury varifocals, they came from Danyang. There are certain shops in which a craftsmen will mill your lenses and make your frames for you on the spot, completely from scratch, to your exact specification, in under an hour and for less than $10. It’s wild.)
I digress. The point is that contracting production out to a factory 8000 miles away brings the costs right down, but it comes with risks. You have almost no control over their manufacture, or from where the factory is sourcing their components, or who’s working on the production floor, or the conditions under which they’re assembled, or the materials from which they’re made. A $50 sex toy might claim to be made from ‘medical grade silicone,’ but there’s no real way for the sex toy company to know that for sure and there’s no way to find out. After all, while the sex toy company is trying to cut costs as much as possible to make as much profit as they can, the factories are trying to do exactly the same. In fact, many less expensive sex toy brands that you might think are competitors are actually using the same facilities and the same factories.
LELO, as you might expect, does things a little differently. We’ve had our own production facilities from our earliest days, and it’s grown a LOT since then. Now, our 12,000 square meter factory is situated in a gorgeous city called Suzhou, just outside Shanghai, where we also have a major global office. We’re right next to the Samsung factory, actually. Ours is a gorgeous facility, I’ve been there personally several times and can vouch for its modernity and quality. Because we own it, we can have complete control over the production process environment in which they’re made. Our excellent engineers are all well-trained, highly motivated, and experts at what they do.
Making a LELO sex toy is a long and expensive process, because it’s worth it, and we know that you can feel the difference. A LELO isn’t a luxury, it’s an investment, an investment in your body, your intimacy, and your personal pleasure. We can say with absolute confidence that in every LELO sex toy our components are of the highest quality, made in excellent conditions, from the most body-safe materials, by the most skilled engineers.
And we can say that with confidence because we made everything ourselves, from start to finish. There’s no other big sex toy company that can say the same.
I warned you it would be boring and technical, so let’s talk about something more fun: how does all this passion we put into our production translate to you, and the choice you’re trying to make between that $50 sex toy on the shelf and the LELO next to it?
The connection between your LELO and your body is sacred to us, and we take our responsibility with obsessive seriousness. The design process is very long at LELO, far longer than any of our competitors, which is why we don’t often release new products. Only one or two a year, usually. We’re not trying to rush things out the door to make money as quickly as possible: we want things to be better than perfect before we agree that it’s ready, shake hands, and break out the champagne. Our SONA Cruise, for example, took well over two years to design and produce. Our HEX condoms took seven years.
We have a different approach to design at LELO, a different philosophy: we might be a global brand now, but we’re still Swedish in nature. Stockholm is where the heart is. We’re still very much European in our culture. We think it’s more important to get it just right, than to just get it done. That’s what makes us the world’s best luxury pleasure brand.