While I was researching one of my recent posts, I discovered that a fair few places that I had used over the years to purchase items are no longer viable. The websites are gone, the people that ran them seem to be no longer in the scene, or just gave up on the whole business side of it, because of, oh, I dunno, reasons?
Add in the fact that it’s getting harder and harder to find new businesses that have the quality of product to replace the ones that have gone by the wayside. Sure, I could shop at established places like The Stockroom, or Damax, but the former does tend to import a good amount of their product from China, or it’s mass produced, so therefore a lesser quality (think Chinese steel) and the latter is overseas, just in the other direction. And a bit pricier because of location, they’re usually one offs, and I’m probably only going to order one of his wares in the near future. And don’t get me started on Swedish Collar.
Etsy is definitely a possibility, considering that a lot of people go there to sell their wares, but you have to take a chance with quality as you really don’t know the people, feedback on the reviews can be spotty, so it’s a lot like Internet dating anymore. Separating the wheat from the chaff can be an expensive prospect. Honestly, right now about the only things I’d be in the market for would be furniture for the future (BDSM variety) and some metal toys.
Fortunately, none of the big box home improvement stores will be going out of business anytime soon, and repurposing stuff found there is relatively easy. It doesn’t always even require the ability to weld. Kink(dot)com managed to prove with plumbing supplies, one could easily construct a bondage frame that would be inexpensive, very adaptable, and fit almost anyone. Put it in a room where it wasn’t a problem screwing the contraption into the floor and you’re all set.
I’m certainly not saying there aren’t quality vendors anymore. It’s just I’m finding the ones I’ve been familiar with, are now gone. But many more have taken their place, and in spite of the market being swamped with a lot of less than stellar quality wares, the fact that BDSM is becoming more mainstream does mean that there will be more stuff to choose from in the future. One just has to shop wisely.