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Old 11/05/06, 02:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 349
Selling goat milk soap at craft shows

I have been selling goat milk soap at craft shows for about 3 years now. The problem is, that I have right on my labels, a picture of a goat, and the words, "goat milk soap". People read this, and run, like its gonna hurt them. they act like they are afraid of it. should i redo my labels so that the goat milk is not the big emphasis on them? I have not had much luck selling the soap, I think it is the whole "goat milk" thing. What should I do?
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Old 11/05/06, 02:57 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: N.C mountains
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It sounds like you need to educate your clientele. Do a little research on the benefits of goat milk for dry skin, all natural, etc. and make up a little flyer hitting the highlights and teach them why they should buy goat milk soap. There is a lot of ignorance out there about anything that sounds like it came from an animal. These are the same folks who will eat a chicken packaged at the grocery store, but would not want to eat one who had been running around an hour later. They keep the blinders on as to where their food, milk, and soaps come from. So make believers out of them. Also, you may want to give away small samples of your soap with the flyer to get them interested. Good luck.
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Old 11/05/06, 03:38 PM
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Nohoa Homestead
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Location: SW Missouri near Branson (Cape Fair)
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Originally Posted by reneeearle
I have been selling goat milk soap at craft shows for about 3 years now. The problem is, that I have right on my labels, a picture of a goat, and the words, "goat milk soap". People read this, and run, like its gonna hurt them. they act like they are afraid of it. should i redo my labels so that the goat milk is not the big emphasis on them? I have not had much luck selling the soap, I think it is the whole "goat milk" thing. What should I do?
For some (me for instance) goat's milk is a hugely positive thing. My suggestion would be to lose the picture of the goat on the label. Not-knowing people think of goats as stinky, nasty creatures, they will subconsciously associate the soap with the picture and it will not be appealing to them. If it is too labor-cost intensive to redesign your labels to correlate with each individual fragrance, (or if your soap is unscented), I would design a nice label showing flowers, sunshine, etc., that will subconsciously say "oh this smells nice". I also agree that a flyer (or sign) explaining the benefits of goat milk soap, will also help "educate" those not-knowing folks as to the wonderful benefits of the product. (Always use the term "cold process" soap NEVER "LYE") for much the same reasons mentioned.

Do you have a website?

Life is what happens while you are making other plans. (John Lennon)
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Old 11/05/06, 04:07 PM
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I have flyers and pamphlets that I do on the computer. I explain the benefits of the soap. After reading and talking most folks will buy some. I do very good at the craft fairs I go to with my soaps.
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Old 11/05/06, 05:11 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Western NY
Posts: 3,087
After answering an endless stream of the same question "Why goat milk?" I printed & laminated a simple explanation of the positive aspects of goat milk in soap. It's just a 8.5" x 11" page on a pretty yellow paper with BOLD, large text that is clearly seen. Laminated and in the center of my table display. Make sure that what you're printing is true, and all is spelled correctly. Don't make the page too busy, it should be clear and concise; your buying public is already confused.
Charleen in Western NY

A bite of butter greases your track. ~ Gramma Sarah
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Old 11/05/06, 06:55 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Michigan's thumb
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I wonder if people see the goat and think you've used goat fat or goat meat instead of milk. What is the main ingredient in your soap? The main ingredient in mine is olive oil, so I have in largest letters, "Olive Oil Soap". Under that, in slightly smaller letters, I have "coconut & caster oils". In even smaller letters, I list the essential oils. People into natural and/or upscale things know that olive oil is high end, and that there is a reason it costs more. Fewer people are aware of the benefits of goat's milk, but those who are will probably read your label and like what they see.

If there is goat's milk in the soap, I think you should list it just to be honest. But, you should also have a little photo album showing you milking the goats, and another with them following you around like Mary's little lamb (if you have that kind of operation), and another suggesting that your operation is real clean. Not only will you help dispell fears of goat's milk, but it will be obvious that you really make this soap yourself.
Nothing is as strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength - St. Francis de Sales
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Old 11/05/06, 08:31 PM
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Where are you selling your soap? I know there are lots of people in my area that buy milk soap. It could just be the ignorance of the populace in the place where you are trying to sell. Put the benefit info on your display table along with the goat photo album.
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Old 11/05/06, 08:36 PM
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I have run into the same problem. I did a show today & sold about 5 bars all day. I made a whole $27 today. Very disappointing. I do think a lot of it is ignorance. I do have a paper explaining the benefits & also talk to people. Some still turn up their nose. Can't please them all.
I can't believe I deleted it!
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Old 11/05/06, 09:08 PM
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Hey Wendy, do you happen to sell at the Pork Festival in Eaton, Ohio??? Dd did her first big jewelry show there and did pretty well. You might find a good market there. Costs $125 for a space though.
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Old 11/05/06, 09:26 PM
Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs
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Good suggestions, but before implimenting them you might want to look at your market. For example, are you selling into an appropriate, upscale, market where your higher priced soaps are appreciated? Or are you selling to people who buy what is on sale at the grocery store with little regard for the quality of the soap?

If you really believe the issue is "goat milk" then remove "goat" and leave "milk." "The Swiss Secret to Beautiful Skin..." "Bathe Yourself in Luxury.."

But if you're looking at your labels, look at the same time at all your packaging. Could you upscale it for the gift market? Bundle products together for a gift item? Make things larger or smaller to reach a specific price point?
Icelandic Sheep and German Angora Rabbits
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Old 11/05/06, 09:32 PM
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that sounds really strange. goat's milk on a soap label seems to be the single biggest marketing boon apart from olive oil/ castille. it must be the market. maybe it is the goat image too. i second the advice to change the image. maybe you could mention it like this...

Carefully handcrafted soap containing Olive Oil, yada yada, and Enhanced with Natural Goat's Milk.
this message has probably been edited to correct typos, spelling errors and to improve grammar...

"All that is gold does not glitter..."
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Old 11/05/06, 09:37 PM
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It might be that people see the goat milk and they know they are allergic to goats, so figure that the soap might cause a allergic reaction.

Myself, I love it. I bought some a week ago at a craft fair.
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Old 11/05/06, 10:42 PM
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Could it be the type of craft shows you are doing? I've not had a problem selling...I can't make it fast enough.
I don't understand why customers would turn away from GM soaps especially at a craft show, how are you displaying your products?
Maybe design several different label types and get opinions from folks who enjoy your products and go from there. Another good idea is to take photos of your displays and then look back to them..sometimes pics say a lot and may give you better ideas...Works well for me.
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Old 11/05/06, 11:00 PM
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I sell soy candles at craft shows. I find that people respond to phrases like "100% Natural" or "Handmade in small batches." Maybe you could play up this aspect of your product?

I think that maybe people look at the goat and then subconsciously think that they're going to smell like a goat if they use it :P They just aren't educated. I would get rid of the picture. I think that the words "Goat milk soap" are fine - just the visual of the goat might be turning people off.
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Old 11/05/06, 11:56 PM
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Tater's pa

great photos. Your display is very attractive. I'd buy from you! (but I make my own )
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Old 11/06/06, 01:02 AM
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Location: Tx
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I've never sold goat milk soap (don't own goats yet), but hope to someday...For those of you who have, lemme bounce these ideas this thread made me wonder about while I read it today at work.

1. Sampler soap- Would it be possible to cut your soaps to have their width and maybe section the two halves into four pieces? If so, you could sell the smaller pieces as samplers for $0.50 ea. which according to my lousy math would be about $4 per bar (understanding that some of you make bigger bars). I'm referring to those in size that look similar in size to store bought soap I've seen. The samplers would allow someone to try out your scents and products without committing a larger wad of money, but if you're selling the bars for less than $4 then hopefully you still realize a profit.

2. Flyers with information on your products...At the bottom (in smaller print) offer a free sampler or 10% off a normal size bar when they return the flyer...Possibly helps sells and gets you your flyers back (lowering overhead)...Hopefully if they're noticing the fine print, they've read you flyer enough to gain some knowledge.

Ok, that's all I have...Tell me why they would or wouldn't work...Sorry for the intrusion btw, just trying to learn.
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Old 11/06/06, 03:56 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: West Central Indiana
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Organic all natural soaps for sale, made from the finest in traditional ingredients. Our product both cleans and moisturises, without the damaging side effects of commercially produced soaps

Get rid of the goat on the label, your selling soap, not goats.

Get rid of anyhting that says goats milk on it, replace it with a small print ingrediants list, including: milk products, essential oils, and all natural color and fragrance enhancers. more info at www. mypage. whatever

Not that I dont like the goat Idea, but perhaps when your dealing with a more urban audience, just use the catchphrases they understand to be associated with quality hand made soaps. If they like the product so much that they actually go to your website, then they will probably still like it after they find out it's made from goats milk.
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Old 11/06/06, 07:57 AM
In Remembrance
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What about the cutest little lamb instead of a goat?

Off subject: Saw a bumper sticker: Eat lamb, 50,000 coyotes can't be wrong.
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Old 11/06/06, 08:20 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: texas
Posts: 64
I don't think urbane has anything to do with it.I market my goat milk soap to a city based market,dfw area and wow the milk is a big selling point.That buying group as a whole loves to see pictures of my happy girls and their funny stories. How strange,mabye look into an online shop.There is a market out there for your soaps.People want handmade soap.Good luck I am rooting for you.
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Old 11/06/06, 08:38 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Pennsylvania
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I suspect its a case of not being at the right shows, like Tater's PA said. If its the kind of show where people come to buy crocheted toilet paper covers and plastic canvas fridge magnets, these are not the same people who buy goat's milk soap.

I sell goats milk soap at a farmers market & occasional craft shows & have found that goat's milk is a big selling point. On onother group, we were recently discussing how goats milk seems to sell faster that soap made with cows milk.

You should also consider how your display looks. A bunch of soaps laid out flat on a low table don't look 'special' and may not induce people to buy. Here's a pic from a recent show where I did quite well.

Selling goat milk soap at craft shows - Homesteading Questions

Another thought - how you present yourself will affect sales. If you are sitting behind your table reading a book, you won't sell soap. If you're standing up, smiling, saying hi to everyone who passes by, inviting them to smell your soap, etc. If you need to sit occasionally, get a tall stool so you are still at customer eye level.

Last edited by beaglady; 11/06/06 at 08:43 AM.
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