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I would like to sell some soap and need a way to price it fairly. I do not have regular molds or a steady cutting hand :D. So, I need to sell by the oz.

Would any of you share your price per oz? I have just plain lye soap: lye, water, and lard

Any suggestions on packaging or pricing??!!

FYI---the soap is going to be resold at a local "farm stand". In other words, they are buying off me, and reselling at their "stand"
 

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When I buy soaping materials, I always add in the cost of shipping, taxes etc. and figure price per oz. That way it is easy to figure the cost of materials per bar by multiplying the weight of the bar by the cost per oz. Of course you will have to figure in packaging and cost of labels. I try to figure total cost per bar and double it for retail price.
 

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you could sell by the pound, or by the ounce. let it be free standing, let them cut as they want a piece, if you are there. Otherwise, you can just tie a simple raffia ribbon with your info on it. or brown bag wrap it simple and pretty.
 

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Stephanie I know you aren't a business....yet?!! but you also want to make some money at this, and when they reorder you dont' want to be stuck with a too low price so that you are soaping for free.

What are the costs involved with your soap...even in bulk I pay nearly $1 per pound for lye which makes 21 bars. How much does your lard cost, even produced on the farm it still costs. And your labor, at least $10 an hour...of course you aren't getting paid for it to cure :) Electricity for your stick blender and money for molds etc...

Also think about using a cutting system. If you cut your large soap into logs, you can then slide them through cheap bright yellow miter boxes, about $5 from Lowes or Home Depot, cutting each bar at a preset line you mark so all your bars weigh the same, look the same.

Or think about moving to 3 inch PVC, round soaps are very popular and around me sell for more perounce than oblong bars do.

But $1 an ounce is a good fair retail price, my 6 ounce bars sell in stores for $6.95...so of course I can't wholesale them to stores for $6. I retail my own soap for $5, and wholesale for $3.50 this gives them a good price point...but I also only ship soap, I don't set up or restock stores, and don't commission. You have to find your own way with this, what you are comfortable with and what your customers want.

I do make one unscented soap, although it does have a tiny bit of tea tree oil in it, but in the end your soap is going to competeing for market with folks making scented, and colored soaps. You can still get by with just essential oil bars and some coloring with clays and herbs to stay natural.

I would think about wrapping your product, either bags with twisties from aromahaven.com or even shrink bags....starting with what you can then take into more businesses. Although it sound great to sell raw soap at farmers markets, they get dirty, people pick them up, and then the soap won't sell. It is also technically illegal to sell unlabeled soap, it has to have the weight and your contact info on the label. Give them a few piece unwrapped for folks to smell and feel but sell it wrapped.

Think about your wrapping also....gingham pieces of fabric are cute, but 1000 bars later that year still want to cut all that out :)

My advice to folks as they start is to get a real mold, cut with a cutter so you have professional bars that all weigh the same, really think out your wrapping, and go for it! Vicki
 

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Step #1 is to figure out your costs. Not just raw materials but your time & talent, too. I made soap for 6+ years before I ever thought about selling it. I never felt confident enough to answer questions with correct information, or to do R&D or create new soap recipes without learning learning learning. There is so much to grasp about pH levels, oil properties, beneficial essential oils, skin types, water discounts, etc. Having knowledge & confidence WILL help you sell more products.

For packaging -
I started out with kraft paper bags from Mac Paper. I think it was 1/2# size. I set out a basket of naked soaps and if someone wanted to buy one, I slipped it into the paper bag with had my label on it.

http://www.macpaper.com/c-29-onlinecatalog.html

I then switched to a paper wrapper on each bar with the same label.

Ther are many options here and you'll always be changing your mind. Welcome to the Soap addiction!
 

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I sold the first batch I ever made. Learned more, tweaked this and that with customer feed back. Soap is soap....now lotions and the like, yep your crazy selling them to anybody other than family and friends if you don't test. Vicki
 
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