The reason is the complex import process & expensive duties & brokerage charges.
The landed price of an adult product in India is about 3 to 4 times the cost of the product in USA, UK or Europe; the reason are detailed below:
- International shipping - Usually we ship our consignment through DHL & Fedex from the US to India. The international shipping costs are high with these couriers, and more so lately due to COVID where flights are less, demand is more and rates of all man and material have gone up.
- Customs duties - The total import duties we pay on our shipments usually range between 105-125% of the declared value (some of the highest in the World) and these includes customs duties, IGST, taxes and various other fees that are collected by Govt. of India for allowing to import this product category. These have gone up from being 70-80% to 105-125% in last 2 years because the government is discouraging international imports and trying to persuade Indian citizens to buy products Made in India, to advance the MakeinIndia agenda.
- Broker charges - These are fees paid to a specialized group of agents and consultants, who handle all the necessary paperwork, certifications, licensing and regulatory compliances to make these imports happen. If not for them, it is near to impossible to import XX products in India due to the complexities of how rules and laws are written and implemented by authorities. These costs usually form a big chunk of the overall price (generally ¼ of the cost of the product you pay). The biggest advantage is that when we import through them, our customers identity is NEVER revealed at port of import and your privacy is maintained throughout the entire process.
- Domestic shipping and admin fees - Thereafter we incur costs of delivering the order to your door, which includes domestic courier shipping, quality control and courier coordination along with operational costs like warehousing & discreet packaging, business operations & customer service, which along with the cost of the product total up to about ¼ of the total price of the product.
For example, if the price of a product costs $100 in the US, by time it reaches India, it will add up:
- US cost of product, shipping & admin costs = $120
- International shipping = $50-$75
- Customs duties = $120-$150
- Broker charges = $95-$125
- Domestic shipping and admin fees = $20-$30
Total Landed costs in India = $405-$500
The sum total of these costs end up making the product 3-4x the price you can buy it in the USA, UK or Europe where there are NO such complex import processes or import restrictions that end up raising the selling prices.
We are aware that some international online shops may claim they ‘ship worldwide’ including India, but we do not recommend purchasing from any sites unless they clearly GUARANTEE 100% complete custom clearance and door delivery to you. We have seen and heard many customers take this risk, had their orders confiscated at Customs in India and ended up receiving show-cause notices from the department asking to show up to explain why they imported a ‘prohibited’ obscene product in India. The sellers, under these circumstances, will fold hands and will be unable to assist with clearance or refunds, since they claim they have already shipped the consignment and they are relieved of their responsibilities.
For such reasons, adult products in India will be a specialized commodity until the import restrictions are relaxed or we manufacture them in India, in which case we run a risk of producing products that may not match internationally reputed brand standards until such Indian manufacturing and skill sets become trained and competent to match up International standards of quality, hygiene and packaging.