Welcome back to the Student Sexuality Information Service (SSIS) column, where we answer any and all of Brandeis students’ questions about sex, sexuality, identity, and relationships. If you have a question you’d like answered in our next column, email email@example.com or leave a question in our Google Form https://tinyurl.com/AskSSIS Any and all questions are welcome: there are no bad, stupid or weird questions!
(Note: These answers are good-faith attempts by SSIS to be helpful to the Brandeis community, and are by no means exhaustive or to be taken as universal. If these answers don’t resonate with you, either pay them no mind, or reach out to us with suggestions for improvement!)
How are your products so cheap? Are they fake?
This is an awesome question, thanks for asking! To start, no, we don’t sell anything fake or forged! We buy from numerous retailers and wholesalers like PinkCherry, Condom Depot and Global Protection Corp, but also directly from manufacturers, like Sliquid. We try to pay attention to a few different things in our suppliers—namely quality, safety and ethics. There is a significant amount of deliberation that happens before we decide what we want to provide to the Brandeis community, and who it’s coming from.
As an organization, we really strive to provide products at a price that is accessible to people. There’s a couple factors that all contribute to our ability to offer so many great products at low prices. First and most importantly is our allocation. We receive generous funding from the Student Union Allocations Board that allows us to make purchases throughout the year for the things we need to stock and provide to the community. This is the money we use to procure all of the products we provide, and we do our best to spend it wisely. There are a few ways we are able to leverage SSIS’s unique nature: bulk ordering and wholesales. Because retailers really like to move a lot of product at once, our ability to buy at such a scale allows us to buy things years in advance and acquire sometimes massive bulk discounts. Then, because of the store in our office, we are able to establish wholesaler relationships with vendors to buy products well below retail price. Furthermore, our purchases are tied to our funding, NOT our sales income. This means we don’t have to worry about pricing things higher than what we buy them for; everything we sell is technically at cost! We consider ourselves very lucky for this because it allows us to truly focus our energy on improving our services and meeting the community where it’s at. The money we get from sales is still valuable because we invest that back into the community through other channels like books, trainings, or speaking events.
We are hoping to introduce a sliding scale payment system to increase accessibility to our services. Keep and eye out on our Facebook or Instagram for this soon, @ssisbrandeis. If you have any feedback on anything here or otherwise, we always love to hear from you, so feel free to submit another question or text us at 586-ASK-SSIS (586-275-7747)!