$/Bar

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by DWinMadison, Mar 6, 2019.

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  1. Mar 15, 2019 at 11:23 PM #21

    midnightsoaper

    midnightsoaper

    midnightsoaper

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    Well, I guess that's one way to imply my soap lacks quality lol Don't take that the wrong way, I'm not offended, just amused. This is a thread addressing amateurs and I am an amateur after all. I don't claim that my recipe is the best it will ever be. I have a balanced recipe that my skin is quite happy with :)

    It helps that I love the combo of tallow/lard and I get them for $0.78/lb. I also buy coconut & olive locally and get a good deal.

    I totally understand not wanting to give anyone an unrealistic expectation :) Without giving a total breakdown of all my costs, I'll expand a bit.

    I rarely use FO higher than 3% (personal preference), so half oz ppo, $1/1lb batch or 25 cents/bar. At $32/lb, if it doesn't knock my socks off at 3%, it's overpriced when I can buy some for $19/lb that will. Unless I'm head over heels in love lol. I have a $41/lb FO that I LOVE and use at 4%...$1.62/batch or 40 cents/bar. I also have a $19/lb FO that I love and use at 3%...58 cents/batch or 15 cents/bar. It balances out. I don't have to buy certain expensive fragrances because customers demand it, I buy what I love. And I love the expensive ones a lot less lol

    I don't include disposable goods because either I'm trying to use up a current free stash (like gloves) or I just don't use them (I use cloth to clean up). I also don't calculate overhead and misc. like a business would (electricity, dish soap for washing up, cost of doing laundry to wash my cleaning cloths, packaging, a wage, etc). I also don't have to consider label appeal (like adding silk because it looks good).

    I just double checked my calculations (and realized I forgot my sodium lactate and sugar!). For lye, oils, distilled water, FO, SL, sugar & citric acid it costs $2.98 for a 1lb batch of my favorite recipe, so that's 75 cents/bar. As I said, I still need to figure in colorants (working my way through a sample pack).

    Taking a stab at figuring the cost of mica....Nurture samples are listed as 5g or 2 heaping tsp, average of 1tsp ppo usage rate or 2.5g ppo (a 4 oz bag is 113.4g, $30 for Atomic Orange, and will color 45lbs of oil at 2.5g ppo). That would add 66 cents to a 1lb batch and 17 cents/bar. (And now I can add this calculation to my excel file!)

    I have spent money on different additives to experiment with, but they might only make it in one batch, so my price per bar mentioned above is not a full picture of what I spend on the hobby (but that also wasn't the original question). If I like the additive and want to use them in my regular recipe all the time, they will certainly be added to the cost of that recipe. If it's not worth it and I'll never repeat it, I don't consider it part of the cost of future batches. I do expect my costs to go up eventually. I just tried kaolin in a batch and I think I like it....so that will add to it. I tried safflower in place of olive and I liked it, might try sunflower, both of which are higher than olive and will make my cost go up. It's bound to happen. I'm still developing a recipe that I love and trying new things.

    And my veggie bars are definitely higher as they have a fair amount of butter & avocado oil. I prefer the feel of my animal based soap though :)

    I had a business about 10 years ago selling bath & body and soap (soap was more along the lines of laundry soap, not body bars...no colors/designs/etc, I have the mechanics down, but not the art/recipe). I had a big problem controlling costs. I was constantly buying this and that and every new thing to try out. I promised myself when I started this up again a few months ago I would not go down that path. It's a struggle. The cost of this hobby is a big issue for me, so I watch it very closely. This includes budgeting for and buying a large quantity because its the least expensive option in the long run. I know not everyone starting out is going to go buy 100lbs of tallow/lard and stash it away in the deep freeze or buy 32lbs of lye in one go ;)

    (Also, I checked my math several times over. If I made a mistake, I'd love to know, just be gentle lol)
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019 at 11:29 PM
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  2. Mar 16, 2019 at 12:40 AM #22

    cmzaha

    cmzaha

    cmzaha

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    :thumbs::thumbs: Well, I guess that's one way to imply my soap lacks quality...
    I did not imply that at all I am only stating my preference and I do use tallow and lard. I simply cannot make a bar of soap for $.70. I also purchase quite pricey fragrances most of the time. Taking for example my DB which I have to purchase in 40 lb drums is still very costly. Well over $1 per ounce, and I fragrance at 6-6.5%. It is a waste of money for me to fragrance lighter since I will end up with the soaps in the discard bucket. My oils and Lye are also purchased in bulk.
     
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  3. Mar 16, 2019 at 7:45 AM #23

    KiwiMoose

    KiwiMoose

    KiwiMoose

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    Initially mine were about $NZ 3.00 ($US2.05) per bar ( bar size varies, but an average of 100g (3.5oz) ). I factored into that a small cost for 'materials' because I was building my supply of moulds and other tools ( about 15c per bar - US10c). I still factor that in now to cover gloves, etc.
    Initially I used a lot of EOs until I realised that at least 1/3 of the cost of each bar was in EO alone, so I moved to FOs which are cheaper. I've also honed my recipe to include cheaper oils such as rice bran and soy wax, instead of cocoa butter, babassu etc. I still include OO at about 20% in every batch.
    I am now averaging about $NZ1.90 ($US1.30) - $NZ2.20 ($US1.50) per bar depending on the ingredients ( my latest alcoholic escapades are pushing costs up nearer $NZ2.50 -US1.70). I also overestimate the price of colour and other additives slightly, so if anything my cost per bar is slightly less than what I'm actually working out here.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 9:47 PM
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  4. Mar 16, 2019 at 5:32 PM #24

    Zany_in_CO

    Zany_in_CO

    Zany_in_CO

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    TIP for hobbyists and beginner soapers:

    You can get everything you need, i.e., "one-stop shopping", at WSP (Wholesale Supplies Plus) Check out the user-friendly drop-down menus near the top of the page here:

    http://www.wholesalesuppliesplus.com/default.aspx

    As a hobbyist, and as a Newbie, it took maybe 6 months to reach the $500 reward level. I used WSP for years because they keep track of purchases over the previous 12 months. Once I reached $1,000 in purchases, the rewards & discounts were substantial.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 5:38 PM
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  5. Mar 18, 2019 at 4:28 PM #25

    amd

    amd

    amd

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    @midnightsoaper I really appreciate that you took the time to break down your costs, I think it's a benefit to new makers to see where/how they can save money! It's also great that you pointed out that a "simple" soap with few ingredients works well for you. I think too often experienced soapers forget (yep, me too!) that you can make a nice soap for yourself with a few inexpensive oils. Heck, even my first soap with 33% CO wasn't terrible on my skin (but I did learn that reducing CO was even better for my uber dry skin). If anything, your post made me dearly long for the days when I was a hobbyist and could do what pleased me, rather than selling for the majority. I would love to go back to lightly scented soaps. Sigh, I'll live vicariously through you on that end :)
     
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