How do you price your soap?

Discussion in 'Soapmaking' started by Up North, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    What is a reasonable amount to charge above your cost to produce a batch of soap? I was asked to sell my first batch of soap and I just don't know how much to charge. Do you sell by the bar or by weight? :shrug:

    Thank You,
    Heather
     
  2. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden Well-Known Member

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    Soap is sold by weight. You should list the weight on the label. General rule of thumb is $1 an ounce. Mine is $5 for a 4.5 oz bar and they sell well.

    Bethany
     

  3. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Now is this before or after it has cured? Or does soap just not loose much weight after it has cured for a while? I haven't done any weighing of my bars so I just don't know.

    Heather
     
  4. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    I weigh my soaps after they've cured for 6 weeks. My own recipe won't loose much more weight after that.

    To come up with my prices, I added up all of my costs and then multiplied by 3. That's my wholesale price and the absolute lowest price I'll accept. My retail price is the wholesale price multiplied by 2. That brings me to $5 for a 4.2 oz bar. (I round my prices to easy, even numbers)

    Husband made me a jig to use when I'm cutting my soaps so they're a consistent size and weight. That makes it easier to come up with prices. I know with my molds I will have 27 full sized bars and 3 3/4 sized bars to cut into guest soaps or samples.
     
  5. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    I got a soap mold and cutter for christmas so hopefully I'll be able to cut a more consistent bar of soap. That's one of my weak points in the whole process. If I didn't have a jig I couldn't cut a straight line to save my life. :)

    Heather
     
  6. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden Well-Known Member

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    I discount my lye or milk most of the time so my bars are pretty well the weight they are going to be at 7-10 days. When I first started out I was weighing at 6 weeks too, so I know that no matter what it is at least 4.5 oz.

    Bethany
     
  7. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    What do you mean, you "discount" your soap?
     
  8. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden Well-Known Member

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    discounting is reducing the ratio of lye to liquid to have a shorter cure time, less shrinking. So on www.soapcalc.com I generally put the lye percentage at 33%, so it is 1/3 lye, 2/3 liquid (in my case milk or half milk half water) I up the weight of the oils a bit so I still end up with the same size bars too. I think the default is 26 % there.

    Bethany
     
  9. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    Fourteen years ago when I started the standard price for soap was $1 an ounce. Supplies have gone up substantially in price in 14 years. It was much easier to make a very nice living with a soap business then.
     
  10. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden Well-Known Member

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    So are you still charging $1 an ounce - I'm still doing fine for myself charging just over that...

    Bethany
     
  11. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Are you still selling soap now? I guess the plan DH and I have is to diversify. Have small income streams coming in from lots of places. If one thing isn't doing so well the others will carry you through. I figure selling soap is a good thing to add to a farm. I don't like spending lots of time outside in the winter and there are plenty of rainy days in the summer that I could be making soap on.

    Heather
     
  12. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree with diversifying. Can't farm without it. So we do a little of this and a little of that hoping to somehow eek out something. Right now my hubby works full time and runs a part time bank cleaning business which he hopes to turn full time and quit the day job so he can spend more time here with the animals and market garden etc. We are hoping my soap co will continue to grow to help with things.

    Bethany