What would you do?

Discussion in 'Soap Making' started by kidsngarden, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

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    My local farmer's market let in a melt and pour soaper who is underselling me by 50 cents per bar. My sales the last two weeks have been dismal, the weeks previous off and on compared to last year. I still have my regulars, but the folks who have not tried my soap yet are going to the other gal because of price. My deal is $5.00 per nearly 5 oz bar or $4.50 each if they purchase 4 or more. Her price is $4.50 or 3/$12. I have put up signs saying my soap is made from SCRATCH using handmilked goat milk, etc. Her products are all from bases, even her lotions.

    Now, I have been thinking about RAISING my prices because as we all know our costs have gone up (even the price of lard has doubled in a year, coconut has over doubled - feed for my goats - sheez!). How can I raise when uneducated folks are going to the cheaper gal already? I do carry stuff she doesn't, shea butter, bath bombs. lotion bars (I stopped selling my lotion because I dreaded making it so much it wasn't worth it to me)

    So here's what I am thinking:

    Lower my price to meet hers just for the market.

    Have a 20% off sale for an entire month to draw people in to try my products.

    Keep my per bar price, but match her 3/$12 price.

    What would you do?
     
  2. Sheryl

    Sheryl New Member

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    I think I would do everything I could to keep from lowering my price. and I would still consider raising the price a little (because of costs going up) Hang in there. Give the customers time to realize that the melt and pour is really nasty stuff. Do you have anykind of brochure you can pass out with small samples of soap, giving all the good info about your soap? Moisturizing qualities? etc. Or maybe just a little comparison chart of qualities of hand made versus the "cheaper made melt and pour soaps" Cause ya know the melt and pours have some perservatives in them. hmmmmm. You don't have to mention the other person, just "melt and pour" in general.

    Some kind of super sale. Maybe first 5 customers of the day get a free soap poof with purchase of "x" amount of hand made soaps. Or buy "x" bars of soap get one free or something. or % off if you purchase 3 or more soaps.....just ideas.

    I really think after the customers use the melt and pour they will be back....and if they dont come back, then they wouldn't have been repeat customers anyway. :sigh

    Sheryl
     

  3. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    I would hang tight. You clientel have nothing to do with hers. I sell milk for $8 per gallon, some of my customers go to folks who charge alot more and are closer to their house...they always come back, always tell me about how awful their cheese tastes or the milk was grainy, or sandy, or just awful:)

    If you have a good product your customers will come back after sampling the cheaper bars. Melt and pour is itchy and drying, and most purchase it to keep on their coutertop, and some of it is absolutly beautiful!!! But to use? They will be back. Vicki
     
  4. Kalne

    Kalne New Member

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    I would play up the benefits of goat milk in soap. That would be an obvious thing missing in the other soap and something someone who has no clue about soap could see at a glance.
     
  5. cmharris6002

    cmharris6002 Guest

    Yep, market your soap better. Make up a sign w/pics that explains how every bar starts with you milking your goats and why your soap is so wonderful. People expect to pay more for a superior product, let them know why your soap is the BEST!

    Christy
     
  6. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

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    OK, that's what I will do, be more aggressive with my marketing at the market. I need to take pictures of me making 100% goat milk soap for a tutorial I'm supposed to do on craftserver so maybe I will print some up showing the process of making soap...It would be interesting to read and look at anyway.

    I think I will make a comparison chart too. Not just between Goatsmilk and melt and pour, but melt and pour, CP, HP, storebought, etc. So it wouldn't seem like I'm singling her out - which secretly is what I want to do. To her benefit I do think most of her bars are not syndets. (I gave the courtesy of going and looking at her soap and saying nice things - she has never once come to my booth) Then I will hand out samples as well. Anyone already know of such a chart on the web that would save me some research??? :biggrin

    What is crazy is that I KNOW my product is superior, but I have felt so deflated and furious after my market lately that I began to question, "Maybe it's not as good as everyone says and I think it is" Which makes absolutely no sense. My market is so small 15-20 vendors - having two soapers is too many I think!

    Thanks for the boost and any help on the comparison chart would be appreciated!
     
  7. feistygoatwoman

    feistygoatwoman New Member

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    I'm with Sheryl, make small little samples of your soap. Maybe use a cute cookie cutter and give them to new customers. They may buy the other girls soap this week, but next week they may come back and get yours because it is soooo wonderful!!!!! I thought about doing this to help get my business up and running. I don't know if you want to do this, but it is an idea to help spread the word about your soaps to the newbies.
     
  8. SherrieC

    SherrieC Active Member

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    Bethany, I have that Huge year round booth I sell at, I've always given out free samples. mine are just a tidbit with a business card and stapled in a 3 X 5 cello bag. I have the JC penny looking soap booth two booths away from mine. here check em out
    http://sacsandco.com/ They have their Lotion in the Bathrooms as samplers, so last week when one of them was turned I memorized the ingredients. They are using the $14 a gal base from wholesalesupply.com
    took me Two cliks to find it on the net. when I looked around at what else wss sells lol and behold their whole store. other than the Herbal stuf they by from an herbalist at the other large farmers market. Talk about competetion they are the Evil woman who back stab and verbally attack me, one of them is the HEAD right now of the vendor alliance. oh boy.
    Everytime someone takes a sample I tell them "that will feel just like your washing with lotion, like liquid silk, because of all the milk in there. It's so good for your skin, I honestly went 5 years without using a drop of lotion after I starting making this soap." and also that I've been making it for seven years now.
    we had a $700 weekend. those girls in the corner HATE me. Every person who stops by thier booth in the Know can spot in two seconds its all melt and pour. She started making melt and pour in Loafs to look like my soap. They question the ladys who work for me, about what new ideas I have all the time.
    Oh what does her soap label look like? theirs has all that crap listed that's in the base they buy mine has 5 wholesome ingredients listed. and I went to mercola.com and printed out the common Dangerous ingredients in lotion, it's out on my table with my lotion testers. 4 on the list is contained in her lotion ingredients. (that I did to be mean, yes but she attacked first) But still I'm not happy over there anymore with the evil feelings they have towards me.
    anyhow give samples, I have a bar of Irish spring next to a bar of mine on top of a 8 X 11 saying what's in your soaps ingredients? If you can't prounounce it? if it's not safe to eat is it safe for your skin? (not verbatum of course I typed it up when I was in a "thinking Mode") today I'm in a can't speak english mode lol!
     
  9. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

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    I made a very nice poster mounted on foam core. The top part says "what's in your shower?" it lists some pro's and cons of commercial bars, melt and pour, HP, and CP in bullet point form so it was easy to read. then I have an orange part (so it will stand out) that says "the Capella's Garden Goat Milk Soap advantage" with the reasons my soap is so good.

    Then the majority of the rest of the space shows step by step GM soap making so they can see it's not like I make the soap one day and sell it the next.

    I did a briefer version of the "what's in your shower" and put it in a glassine bag with my soap samples too.

    People did stop last week to look at the poster and I handed out a lot of samples. Last week was painfully slow though - end of a long month just BEFORE payday. So I hope this week I will see the fruits of my labors!
     
  10. Kalne

    Kalne New Member

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    Oh Sherrie.....what good ideas!

    In our small town tiny market I could never hope to sell $700! But I sure would like to win over more of the locals. A lot will stop and say "Goat Milk Soap? Hmph." and walk on. If I can sell a couple dozen bars it's been a REALLY good day. LOL