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Bigfoot0910

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Hello everyone, I am a newbie and was looking to get some other's feedback on your cost per bar of cold process soap.
First of all, our soap is costing around $1.50/5oz bar, or $0.30/oz.
This is using organic oils, non organic everything else.
Using all natural ingredients, like colored kaolin or Brazilian clay, natural plant-based powders, and non-organic essential oils.
The EO's are purchased in 16oz containers.
Small batching right now, purchasing oils at 7-10 lb containers and adding coconut milk at 50% of water amount.
Getting organic olive oil, organic coconut oil, avocado oil and coconut milk at Sam's Club.
Is my bar cost of $1.50/5oz bar in line with others making similar all-natural soap using organic oils and EO's?
Seems like this may be a little high and maybe just because I am not purchasing in bulk.
Any of your thoughts/feedback will be much appreciated.
Thanks everyone!
 
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My cost per bar for a similar sized bar would be $NZ 2.20 - 3.50. The cheaper not including more expensive additives, like EOs for example ( but neither with organic oils). My base recipe is the same for most of my soap.
$NZ 2.20 = $US 1.58
$NZ 3.50 = $US 2.52
Mine are all small batches and I buy most of my oils in 1 - 2 litre bottles, so not bulk. My FOs and EOs are usually in 30-50g bottles ( so pretty much the whole bottle per batch). Would be cheaper to buy in bulk, but haven't moved to that level yet.
So mine sounds quite expensive compared to yours I guess. Maybe our ingredients are more costly in NZ?
 

Bigfoot0910

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Thanks Kiwi, I appreciate you taking time to provide some feedback. Making the higher end soap with EO’s and organic oils does cost more and especially difficult/expensive to bump up to the next levels in bulk buying. Going 3.3 oz to 16 oz on EO’s is a big investment up front but a good payoff in the end. Every level of buying bulk pays off, but you have to find the up-front cash to invest.

I was also hoping for some feedback on bulk buying diapers and what that are making their bars for a under that model.
 

TheGecko

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My base cost per bar is $1.12. The cost is based on 10-5 oz bars; base oils/butters, additives, packaging, and label. It does NOT include overhead and labor or colorants or FOs/EOs. The reason for not including the last two items is because cost fluctuates so much depending on my costs.

Right now I'm only buying in semi-bulk...Olive and Coconut Oils from Costco and 35lbs of Palm Oil (RSPO) from Brambleberry. From Shay and Company (local supplier for me) I purchase Castor Oil and Sodium Lactate by the gallon, Sodium Hydroxide in 8 lb containers, Unrefined Shea and Cocoa Butter in 5 lb buckets/bags, and assorted FOs/EOs.

I also try to purchase non-oils/butters in semi-bulk depending on how much I use and cost. FOs/EOs that I use all the time, I've been buying 4oz to 8oz. Only in the last six months, purchased 4-16 oz bottles of a particular FO because it was a special order to begin with. Colorants (Clays, Oxides, Pigments, Micas, Powders) I'm currently purchasing in 1oz jars/bags except for Kaolin Clay and Titanium Dioxide in which I purchase in one lb bags. Packaging and labels...price breaks are at 50, 100, 500 and 1000. So I generally order at least 50/100, but I would love to buy 1000...would easily cut my costs in half or more.
 

Bigfoot0910

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Thanks Gecko. Looks like I am right in line with you. All my base ingredients are very close to $1.00 and then my additives, like clay, EO's, ROE, botanicals and any milks, brings me to about $1.50/bar. I am doing 5llb loafs, 18" long with 17 bars (the 1/2 waste on each end are for samples). If I go 18 bars, I can reduce my $1.50 to $1.40 per bar.

Speaking of the OH's you outlined above for electricity, heating, labels, packaging, labeling, etc, what do you use for a cost/bar?

At this point, all you can do to reduce the cost/bar is buying in bulk and sourcing your products.

I am finding it difficult to get Lye right now...I think there is a national shortage. Do you use flakes or beads? I am using beads.
 

TheGecko

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Speaking of the OH's you outlined above for electricity, heating, labels, packaging, labeling, etc, what do you use for a cost/bar?

I use SoapMaker3 and so the cost of packaging and labeling is calculated based on the costs I enter same as my ingredients. BTW - Your costs should include shipping. As an example I bought 100 boxes for $14.00 but the Adjusted Cost is $17.74 to account for the boxes' portion of shipping.

For calculating your overhead...if you are making soap out of your kitchen or 'studio', you'll need to know the total square footage of your home and of the space you use to make soap. I keep it simple since I don't use either the kitchen or the garage exclusively for soap making by just measuring the kitchen. You then divide the space by the total to give you a percentage...say 250 / 1600 = 15.62%.

You then total up your costs for the year...mortgage/interest/taxes or rent, along with insurance (homeowner's or renter's) and utilities (electric, gas, water, sewer, garbage, home phone, internet) and multiple the total by the above percentage. $20,000 x 15.62% = $3124. You would then divide that by how many pounds of soap you make a year. If you make a 1000 lbs of soap, you add $3.12 to every pound.

And don't forget labor. It should at least be calculated at minimum wage plus taxes.
 

Bigfoot0910

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Thanks Gecko, you have been very helpful. I like the simplicity of what you laid out. Hope you are safe and best of luck to you.
 
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Oh - I have also included in my bar-cost a sum for 'equipment costs' ( jugs, spatulas, moulds etc) which of course I don't buy much anymore because i have all that I need. S0 I'm making on that deal. I add $2 per batch ( usually 2 - 3 pound batches maximum).
 

TheGecko

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Oh - I have also included in my bar-cost a sum for 'equipment costs' ( jugs, spatulas, moulds etc) which of course I don't buy much anymore because i have all that I need. S0 I'm making on that deal. I add $2 per batch ( usually 2 - 3 pound batches maximum).

My equipment costs aren't included because they are depreciable assets.
 
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