Not so long ago, soapmaking was seen as a somewhat crazy hobby for select folks, but now it has become extremely popular among creative entrepreneurs. Why? Because it’s a fruitful business opportunity. Read on to learn more about how to make money selling soap.
This comprehensive guide covers the basics of setting up your soapmaking business, along with lots of other useful information on marketing and managing your store successfully. It doesn’t matter whether you wish to sell soaps online or in a brick and mortar facility; the insights presented here will come in handy in both cases.
So, without any further ado, let’s get started.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Make Money Selling Soap
Choose Your Soap Recipes
As with any other business, the first step to starting a handmade soap business is to decide what your final product would look like. This would allow you to purchase the necessary raw materials in the right quantities and determine the packaging accordingly.
If you already have something specific in mind, that’s great. If not, there’s a lot to try out there. You can make simple soaps for daily use, customized soaps for gifting, luxury soaps for an exotic bath experience, or anything else in between.
If you are eager to rake profits from the get-go, you can search for what types of soaps are hot on the market right now and start with those. For instance, vegan and organic soaps are becoming a novelty these days.
Think about your potential customer and their buying preferences to identify what would sell best. However, try not to overthink this. The best part about selling handmade soaps is that you can always do a test run with a small batch and easily change or modify your production based on how well they sell.
Collect Soapmaking Tools and Equipment
There are different processes for making soaps at home, namely hot process soap and cold process soap. The tools required for the job can vary depending on the production process and soap type.
As for how much you should spend on these supplies, the answer is: as much as you want. Just like a person starting a roadside café can use their home oven and kitchen utensils for preparing the food items or buy professional cooking gear if they want, the same applies to soapmaking. You can buy DIY soap kits from the market or for a professional touch. But if you are low on budget, using common household items can yield equally high-quality soaps too.
For instance, rather than purchasing soap molds, you can use a cake pan and cookie cutters to shape your soaps. Once you start making nice profits, you can upgrade to better equipment.
Think About Packaging and Presenting Your Products
Let’s not beat around the bush. People don’t typically buy handmade soaps merely to get rid of germs on their hands – it’s more about the aesthetics and the sensory experience.
If you plan to sell in a physical store, customers can smell and feel the texture of your soaps, which can encourage them to buy it immediately. However, when selling online, you lose this big benefit. Visitors to your online soap shop will mostly analyze the product on its visual appeal. Therefore, you should put extra thought into presenting your products properly.
Add a detailed description of the ingredients used and the fragrance of your soap in addition to taking high-resolution pictures. The way you photograph your products can literally make or break your online soap selling business. So, don’t be hesitant to invest in packaging and presentation.
You can check out some successful soap sellers on Instagram or Pinterest for inspiration on how to exhibit your own crafts. Additionally, don’t forget to check the rules and regulations for labeling homemade soaps.
When thinking about how to make money selling soap, some people think it’s a smart approach to price their creations lower than those of their close competitors. This is perhaps the biggest mistake you can possibly make in this venture.
Sure, you might be able to attract a large volume of orders, but there’s a high chance that you will end up incurring a heavy loss, nonetheless.
In order to make a profit, you need to carefully factor in all the costs incurred in producing each bar of soap and then set the price a tad higher than the total amount.
Let’s say you bought soapmaking supplies for $100 to make a batch of 50 soaps. It took you two hours, and you value your time for $10 per hour. For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that you didn’t require any additional help (which would lead to employee expenses), made and store them in your own kitchen (no rent and inventory costs), didn’t spend on marketing, and so on.
So, the total cost per bar is: $100 + $(10×2) / 50 = $2.4
Therefore, you should ideally sell each bar for at least $3 to get a significant return.
However, you must still pay close attention to the price tag on your competitors’ soaps. If they are selling at a considerably lower price than yours, offering more value (in terms of soap size, smell, and overall shape and design), and have a better reputation, you may have trouble surviving in the long run.
Pick the Marketplace
Finally, it’s time to decide where to sell your handicrafts. There are several online marketplaces, and the right choice for your creations mainly boils down to your own preference.
Generally speaking, it’s best to sell soaps on Etsy. As an exclusive marketplace for unique and creative goods, Etsy has millions of active users interested in buying handmade items. Thus, joining this site will allow you to tap into a targeted group of buyers almost instantly.
Or, you can use Amazon Handmade, which is similar to Etsy in most of the aspects except that it charges relatively higher listing fees and shipping costs than Etsy.
Do a thorough research and compare the pros and cons of each online retail site to identify which one you should go with. It might be boring, but it’s crucial to the success of your soapmaking business. So, choose well.
One of the main reasons why soapmaking has become to go-to money-making activity among hobbyists is that it requires little to almost no investment. It’s a flexible and fun, newbie-friendly business opportunity with a wide pool of resources available online to help you master the trade.
We hope this guide on how to make selling soap has made you more confident in your abilities and prepared you well for turning your creations into cash.