Selling to stores....help?

Discussion in 'Soap Making' started by DostThouHaveMilk, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. DostThouHaveMilk

    DostThouHaveMilk New Member

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    This thing is getting out of control pretty quick on me...lol
    I didn't have enough soap for Christmas sales...have one order waiting while I soap like a mad woman during my 5 days of break from kidding. I'm trying to get some soaps ready for Valentine's Day but I just don't know.
    My father's girlfriend's soon to be daughter in law wants 150 heart shaped soaps for her wedding (with business cards with each one) and a woman in town who is a message therapist has requested ten bars of soap ASAP to try in her store. She has a client requesting that "goat soap" they bought at the farmer's market this summer...lol
    So I have to figure out pricing for all this mess.
    I also have a repeat customer interested in buying in bulk without me wrapping them...
    Is there a formula (or percentage) you all used to figure out the minimum you would charge for these types of things? How low do I go before I am hurting myself in the end?

    It costs me $.55 to make a 3-5 ounce bar of soap (figuring I get 42 bars from one Wal*Mart recipe batch). $.14 an ounce...this is a basic Wal*Mart recipe with 34 ounces of GM (valued at $1 a pound), with 10 ounces of FO (figured at $1 an ounce).....
    This does not include overhead like molds, blender, my time, labeling, ink, etc, etc.
    I normally charge $2.50 a bar or buy five or more and they drop to $2. I still get people refusing to purchase at that price....
    What do I do for specialty (heart) shaped soaps? What about people buying soaps to carry in their businesses?

    It's good...I know it is good because I lost the three off the farm jobs I had last year and will have one back part time this spring, but money is scarce on a farm.
    I'm just not sure I am ready for all of this.
    I *love* soaping but when I *have* to do it...especially when my BiPolar or SAD is acting up (read wintertime) it is really hard to force myself to do it.....
     
  2. Kalne

    Kalne New Member

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    Wow.....that's wonderful that business is going so well!

    I am amazed at your cost! The last time I figured mine it was closer to $1/bar.

    I don't sell to any stores yet but I have read that your wholesale price is generally 1/2 your retail price. Retail in a shop could be $1/oz. But if you are selling it for so much less at the market I don't know.

    As for pricing the heart shaped soaps....I would definitely take into consideration your time. It takes a lot more time to make 150 shaped soaps versus 150 bars cut from a log.
     

  3. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

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    I do price break pricing for wholesale. Minimum order is $50. 50-100 in retail is 30% off, 101-200 40% off and over 200 they get 50% off the retail price. There is also "lots" meaning they have to buy so many of ONE variety. I've set them low to accomodate small shops. only 5 bars on soap per lot for instance. I would prefer they buy a whole dozen per lot, but I'm new and trying to get established and I know what it is like to be small and cash strapped! I also offer sampler sets that are 30% off retail of my soaps and lotions that aren't subject to minimums or price breaks. I would one day like to just say, "$200 minimum" and just set all my prices at 40-50% off at that point. Less complicated! In reading this right now I think I will do that! I'm just tired of piddly orders, you know?

    To me your retail price is just way off. My bars are $5 for 4.5 oz. When you sell at a lower retail price than that you just can't wholesale effectively and still make any money! My very lowest price is $2.50 wholesale per bar and boy that hurts! (I'm currently putting together an order to ship out of soaps and lotions at 50% off retail and I don't like it!)

    And for custom orders you definetely need to consider your time! I hope Christy gives us her thoughts here... she's good at this numbers game!

    Bethany
     
  4. cmharris6002

    cmharris6002 Guest

    Well I think Vicki is going to be better at this than me :lol

    But here’s what I do… First start with the going rate for goat milk soap .50/oz wholesale and $1/oz retail. Then consider your cost including packaging ink labor, everything it should be under .25/oz. Now here is where the science ends and the art of pricing begins. Ask yourself some questions. What is the maximum you can get for a bar of soap in your area? What is the minimum price that makes it worth your time?

    If you are so busy you are going crazy raise your prices! It’s all about supply and demand. That is what I had to do. I sell 6.5oz bars wholesale for orders over $100 is $4/bar anything less and it is not worth it too me. My stores get $8 a bar so it is no problem. You don’t even want to know my wholesale price for lotion :crazy

    Christy
     
  5. Sheryl

    Sheryl New Member

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    you guys are making me crazy trying to follow thos figures. Wow. It's gonna be hard for me to figure this one out. I have such a hard time on my sewing items. :crazy

    Sheryl
     
  6. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

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    As a matter of fact Christy, I DO want to know what your lotion wholesales for! :biggrin I HATE making lotion!!! I retail mine (it's a thick one - based on Barbara's recipe) for $7/2oz and $16/8oz. It sells decent. But I hate making it so much that I am seriously considering dropping it. I might at least drop it from my wholesale becuase it hurts so bad to sell it 1/2 off! - but I have wholesale customers who LOVE it. Just one or two, though. I think I will see how my scented shea and lotion bars go and then decide. I just HATE making lotion!!! (did I mention I hate making lotion???)

    Bethany
     
  7. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    There is no way you are making it at that price :) $10 an hour, electricity, shipping or driving to pick up your products, shipping of essential oils or FO's and the product themselves...shoot some Fo's will cost you $5 to $8 per batch to add to the recipe. Clays, Mica's colorings, additives, wrapping, labeling...no way.

    $1 an ounce for your soaps retail, and you have to have consistant bars...3-5 ounces isn't consistant. A little less than 1/2 of your price will be your cost per bar when you are buying retail...when you move to 50 pound bags of lye, bulk FO and EO purchases, Mica and Clay by the pound, raw products in bulk (oils and butters) then you could with everything else get your per bar numbers under $1.25. You can get your bar lower still by simply making larger batches, but then you will have mold costs. Cutting and labeling labor is huge when you actually time this.

    So set your prices at $1 per ounce. 80 cents and ounce for wholesale and whatever it costs to wrap, label and labor off (50 cents here) for raw bar purchases.

    Don't give discounts for 3 and 4 bar purchases, give your first price break at 10 bars, unless you want to put gift sets together with 3 soaps yourself. Give price breaks on shipping to those who buy a full box of soap. You will loose business to small stores which are your bread and butter with too high of minimums on your wholesale. They want to test you products, then purchase in bulk.

    IF you don't pay yourself first nobody else will. Vicki
     
  8. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

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    So if I do a $100 minimum, and my bars are $5 each retail for a 4.5 oz bar, you don't think I should sell at 50% off the retail price? I've had complaints about my lot size when it was 10 bars, so I halved it for smaller stores. But I think that since I now offer a sampler pack that would cover that problem for smaller stores.

    I've just always thought that 50% off is what retailers expect.

    Bethany
     
  9. cmharris6002

    cmharris6002 Guest

    Bethany you can't go 50% because you said,
    Don't do it if it hurts :lol

    50% for me would be $3.25 -not happening! I'll sell a full batch 21 bars of one scent unwrapped for $3.50 each but that is just $73.50 and they have to meet the $100 minimum. If they don't meet the minimum it goes up to $4/bar back in my comfort zone :) Really I almost never sell for under $4/bar. You have to live with yourself! Maybe your wholesale price is $3/bar and you can give a SRP of $6???

    Christy
     
  10. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

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    So you retail your bars for 6.50...do you have the SRP at 6.50 or 8? Because I am online and my website is on the bars I am wondering if I can do a wholesale SRP of 6 but sell them for 5 on my site and not get flack?

    Bethany
     
  11. cmharris6002

    cmharris6002 Guest

    This is what I do... Price when buying from me $6.50 (at the farmers market I give 3/$5 deals), WS price $4.00 ($100 minimum), SRP $8.00. I have never gotten flack about it. People understand 'manufacturer direct sales' are going to be less then they should expect to pay at a retail location.

    Christy
     
  12. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    With your wholesale, remember your retail is not your stores retail. Yes sell for 50% if you want to, but know that my $5 bars retail in their stores for $6 and $6.95, so getting my soap for $3.50 wholesale is in most cases 50% price point for them even with shipping. Also shipping...fill a flat rate box, then use that as your minimum...an arbetrary $100 would make me loose stores. Getting 36 bars plus $8.95 shipping gets you repeat sales. Both in unwrapped and wrapped bars. See how many bars you can fit in snugly without fill, use the pretapped boxes if your soap fits in them, then make that your wholesale, because eventually you have to move out of your local area. Local areas do not necessarily want to carry local products. I don't stock any stores even ones who I could...otherwise you have to pay more. Makes them all to happy to buy the whole 36 bars and pay the $8.95. Vicki
     
  13. cmharris6002

    cmharris6002 Guest

    36 bars in a flat rate box for me is $144 wholesale plus $9.60 shipping (I get delivery comfirmation) so it works. I have to have a high minimum, haven't had anyone complain yet.

    Christy
     
  14. BlissBerry

    BlissBerry Guest

    Christy,

    If you use Click N' Chip from USPS.com delivery confirmation is free...

    Sara
     
  15. cmharris6002

    cmharris6002 Guest

    I didn't know that! Thanks Sara :D
     
  16. Kalne

    Kalne New Member

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    Really? Wow, we purchase DC all the time. Dd ships out several boxes a week. Going to go check it out now. :)
     
  17. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

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    yes, Paypal is just like click and ship as well - no charge for DC.

    so let's say I can fit 36 bars. So on my price sheet I say "36 bars for 108 ($3 per bar)" plus 8.95 Shipping" They can then choose three different kinds at a dozen bars each? then I could offer smaller lots (say 6 bars) at 3.50 a bar with a SRP of $6? I do want a minimum of $100 I think.

    Bethany
     
  18. cmharris6002

    cmharris6002 Guest

    Personally, I let them mix and match it any way they want. I don't do lots on fragrances :D

    Christy
     
  19. Sheryl

    Sheryl New Member

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    Geesh, I am so trying to follow what you guys are saying about wholesale prices. I am definately slow brained. I am soooo lost and what the hell is SRP?????????

    Somebody 'splain it like you were talking to a dim wit! Please?

    Sheryl
     
  20. Kalne

    Kalne New Member

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    SRP=Suggested Retail Price