eBay UK to launch Sexual Wellness Category late Spring

eBay UK are intending to open a Sexual Wellness category some time in the next couple of months. We’re hearing that a dozen or so hand selected retailers are gearing up for the launch – only whitelisted retailers will be able to see in the category.

eBay.com has long had an adult category for over 18s only, although you’ll probably not be able to view it if you’re based in the UK. eBay UK are not opening an adult category, they’re merely acknowledging this type of product is available on the high street, and making them available on eBay. They will however have to update their Adults Only Policy.

There’s no question that there’s a market for adult toys and accessories, recently the 50 Shades of Grey film pumped up demand and what was once a taboo subject is now talked about openly. It looks like someone at eBay has looked at the potential market size and decided it’s time to allow reputable sex toy retailers to satisfy customer demand.

We understand that the new category will include Sex Toys, Erotic Clothing, Fetish, Fantasy and Accessories.

One of eBay’s problems is going to be the enormous number of listings on the site which are already on their site. Vibrators, rubber fetish clothing, anatomical body parts… they’re all freely available on eBay UK today. Sometimes a vibrator will be described as as “Sexy Massager” to try and sidestep eBay’s adult policy. Other sellers appear not to even try and pretend that their products are for anything other than a sexual purpose.

My personal view is that it’s a matter of fairness. Several months back we heard from a seller of vibrators who complained that his products were removed from eBay under the adult policy whereas competitors products remained. If the new category is going to launch with a select number of sellers, what happens to all of the existing sellers of sex toys and related adult items?

eBay told us “The UK Sexual Wellness category will only whitelist for certain categories – mostly sex toys. This is more about cleaning up the items that shouldn’t be there, and providing whitelist capability to meet demand for these products from trusted sellers on the list“.

Other items (e.g. erotic clothing) will remain unaffected, however if you’re a seller of more esoteric sexual paraphernalia you may find your listings cancelled. eBay assured us that they are looking very, very closely at policing this type of product in the future.