How to Wholesale your Handmade Soap

It can be very difficult to grow your soap making hobby into a successful business and the thought of the difficulty is enough to put some people off trying all together. We want to offer you with not only the right products to create a soap business, but also the advice and after-sales support to help you get your soap business off the ground.

We have come up with all the tips, tricks and advice we can think of to assist you when it comes to wholesaling your soap. On the surface, wholesaling your handmade soap might seem like you wouldn’t make enough profit to make it worth your while, when you delve deeper it is actually an extremely good idea. Here’s why!

Why Wholesale your Soap?

Time

Making a large batch of soap for a retailer takes pretty much the same amount of effort and time as making a small batch of soaps for individual customers. By the time you have got everything prepared, it is not much more difficult to scale up your ingredients and recipe in volume. If you are selling 100 bars of soap, you are able to create and ship these bars all at once, saving you time and money on shipping orders individually. It becomes extremely possible for you to increase the amount of soap you can produce, without any major investment into equipment, premises or staff.

Money

You can expect to give away about 50% of your margin when wholesaling. This might seem like a big cut, but try thinking about it in a different way. As well as the money you save on shipping, you are also saving money on the distribution and advertising of these soaps, not to mention that you don’t need to charge sales tax to retailers.

For very little extra effort you are still making a profit, just at less of a profit margin than you might be used to seeing. After a while, as your wholesale orders start to increase, you will start shifting large volumes of stock, expanding your customer base and market, and increasing turnover as a result.

Marketing

Once you have shifted large volumes of stock into your customers’ capable hands, they are then responsible for retailing your soap. You can take advantage of their marketing resources and customer base, meaning you get more time to make soap!

Image Credit: Soap Queen

How to Wholesale your Soap

Now you’ve seen the benefits of wholesaling your soap, here’s how you can actually go about it.

Where

The first step is to decide where you want your soap stocked. You can supply your soaps to online businesses or retail outlets. It is important to start off slowly to give yourself enough time to cope with an increasing demand, so the perfect starting point would be to approach local shops and stores where your product would fit in. Once you have gathered a bit of momentum, you can start approaching bigger retail outlets and online stores.

Approach

Once you have identified the potential stores and marketplaces you think your product would be suitable for, it’s important that you approach the managers or owners of those stores professionally. Call ahead to arrange a day and time to visit them and make sure you do your homework and turn up prepared. Create a win-win scenario, whereby there is minimised risk for the store owners. Use negotiation and an introductory offer to entice them and hopefully this will form a profitable and long-term relationship.

Image Credit: Saffire Blue

Price

Negotiation is key for securing your place within retailers as you need to make this opportunity worth their while. You need to negotiate based on the amount of profit margin you’re willing to give away in relation to giving them the highest quantity they’re willing to take, at the lowest price. This ensures that you are making enough money, and they are able to make a decent profit of your products.

Calculate how much it costs you to create 100 products, factoring in supplies as well as your time at a standard rate. Next identify what your retail price would be for all 100 bars and half it (this accounts for the standard 50% that a retailer takes). This should give you a minimum and a maximum amount, and the area in between is basically your room for negotiation.

Display

Once you have a foot in the door, you need to remember that you are still selling to your end customer, just via a different route. It is important that your branding, packaging and retail display is appealing to the customer. As well as increasing product sales, the retailer will be more likely to purchase your soap to sell in their store.

Image Credit: The English Soap Making Company

Final Thoughts

We hope that we have helped you to identify ways you can expand your soap making business, whether you can improve the way you deal with wholesaling, or if this is a completely new venture for you. If you are new to the soap making business then you can read our article 5 Ways To Sell Your Handmade Soap

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