How do Canadian soap makers stay in business?

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I went to Candora Soap and Windy Point today. The prices are very expensive, especially in Canadian money. And shipping within Canada alone (my sister lives in Alberta so I thought that would be an option since Candora doesn't seem to deliver to the US) is just astronomical. I've been wanting to try a bunch of fragrances from Canada. Fizz Fairy too. I can get Voyageur here. But the shipping is two and a half times what I'd pay if I bought it here and that's not even shipping it across the border, just to another province.

How do you do it?
 
I went to Candora Soap and Windy Point today. The prices are very expensive, especially in Canadian money. And shipping within Canada alone (my sister lives in Alberta so I thought that would be an option since Candora doesn't seem to deliver to the US) is just astronomical. I've been wanting to try a bunch of fragrances from Canada. Fizz Fairy too. I can get Voyageur here. But the shipping is two and a half times what I'd pay if I bought it here and that's not even shipping it across the border, just to another province.

How do you do it?
One gets used to adjusting to wherever one lives. I search around until I find the best price and shipping just has to be accepted and allowed for. Also I live in a border town so if there's anything I want in the States I ship it to my aunt who lives across the border and bring it back to Canada myself, declaring it at the border.
 
I went to Candora Soap and Windy Point today. The prices are very expensive, especially in Canadian money. And shipping within Canada alone (my sister lives in Alberta so I thought that would be an option since Candora doesn't seem to deliver to the US) is just astronomical. I've been wanting to try a bunch of fragrances from Canada. Fizz Fairy too. I can get Voyageur here. But the shipping is two and a half times what I'd pay if I bought it here and that's not even shipping it across the border, just to another province.

How do you do it?
We adjust our prices accordingly.
 
I went to Candora Soap and Windy Point today. The prices are very expensive, especially in Canadian money. And shipping within Canada alone (my sister lives in Alberta so I thought that would be an option since Candora doesn't seem to deliver to the US) is just astronomical. I've been wanting to try a bunch of fragrances from Canada. Fizz Fairy too. I can get Voyageur here. But the shipping is two and a half times what I'd pay if I bought it here and that's not even shipping it across the border, just to another province.

How do you do it?
Oh, you are singing the song of my people! I don’t live anywhere near the border but I do envy Canadians who can get product from the USA without paying shipping and duty and customs taxes etc. there are products I would LOVE to try but total costs, especially with the exchange rate, are way too high. And as you pointed out, shipping within Canada is also crazy.
my husband bought me a soap cutter from the USAfor Christmas. The shipping, duty, customs agent taxes etc almost doubled the cost of the cutter.
i am just a new soaping hobbyist but I guess a prolific one🤣🤣 - the closest good soaping supply store to me is Windy Point. purchasing anything at a distance is pricy but shipping small amounts is CRAZY expensive so I save up and buy everything I think I will need at once to try to bring the per-item shipping cost down. And then I inevitably find I have forgotten something essential. Sigh.
 
Despite the hefty shipping prices, I sometimes order product from a USA supplier simply because I can't get it in NZ or Australia (foaming apple being one). Some items are cheaper to order from Australia even though the shipping is circa $60 because the items themselves are so much cheaper.
Having said that - I can't believe the prices of shipping in the North Americas. I guess it has to travel further, whereas in NZ it's literally only a 30 hour drive from the tip of the north island to the bottom of the south (not including the 4 hours ferry between the Islands) . My shipping costs for items I buy from my NZ suppliers is no more that $9.90 - no matter what the weight. And if I spend over $120 the shipping is free.
 
I mean, we also don't have to worry about paying medical bills
I wish that was the case. I'm from Alberta Canada. I will tell you, the different medical bills makes a BIG deal.
Despite the hefty shipping prices, I sometimes order product from a USA supplier simply because I can't get it in NZ or Australia (foaming apple being one). Some items are cheaper to order from Australia even though the shipping is circa $60 because the items themselves are so much cheaper.
Having said that - I can't believe the prices of shipping in the North Americas. I guess it has to travel further, whereas in NZ it's literally only a 30 hour drive from the tip of the north island to the bottom of the south (not including the 4 hours ferry between the Islands) . My shipping costs for items I buy from my NZ suppliers is no more that $9.90 - no matter what the weight. And if I spend over $120 the shipping is free.
The US isn't too bad, it depends how far it is really. Although shipping prices have been increasing pretty badly in the last six years. Canada is just so much worse though. Doing the math, I wanted to get 4 oz of Water Orchid from Candora. With the exchange, the price for the scent is about what you'd pay in the US. But Candora doesn't ship to the US (that I can find anyway). They are in London Ontario I believe. So I figured that I'd just have it sent to my sister in Alberta and she can send it to me. So the cost of the item in US funds would be about $10. The cost of the shipping from Ontario to Alberta was THIRTY. Even in American funds that's really high. It likely would have cost me somewhere around $10 if shipped from state to state, but nowhere near thirty. Even when I lowered it to 2 oz, it was still telling me it would be $17 for shipping. Mind you that's Canadian funds, but even with the exchange rate it's still expensive. The difference usually runs around 30% so it still wouldn't match what I'd pay here.

Living near Calgary wouldn't be bad because there's lots of places to buy from nearby.

My thing is that I live in Louisiana and the closest place to buy fragrances and other specific soap items from is a 6 hour drive one way so I have no choice but to get shipping. You'd think they would have supply stores actually in New Orleans but no (you'd be surprised at how many things are missing from that major city that other major cities in the country all do have). I'm a 45 minute drive from there.

Anyway, I really just wanted to let you know that you have my sympathies. I don't know how anyone could stay in business with costs that high.
 
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I wish that was the case. I'm from Alberta Canada. I will tell you, the different medical bills makes a BIG deal.

The US isn't too bad, it depends how far it is really. Although shipping prices have been increasing pretty badly in the last six years. Canada is just so much worse though. Doing the math, I wanted to get 4 oz of Water Orchid from Candora. With the exchange, the price for the scent is about what you'd pay in the US. But Candora doesn't ship to the US (that I can find anyway). They are in London Ontario I believe. So I figured that I'd just have it sent to my sister in Alberta and she can send it to me. So the cost of the item in US funds would be about $10. The cost of the shipping from Ontario to Alberta was THIRTY. Even in American funds that's really high. It likely would have cost me somewhere around $10 if shipped from state to state, but nowhere near thirty. Even when I lowered it to 2 oz, it was still telling me it would be $17 for shipping. Mind you that's Canadian funds, but even with the exchange rate it's still expensive. The difference usually runs around 30% so it still wouldn't match what I'd pay here.

Living near Calgary wouldn't be bad because there's lots of places to buy from nearby.

My thing is that I live in Louisiana and the closest place to buy fragrances and other specific soap items from is a 6 hour drive one way so I have no choice but to get shipping. You'd think they would have supply stores actually in New Orleans but no (you'd be surprised at how many things are missing from that major city that other major cities in the country all do have). I'm a 45 minute drive from there.

Anyway, I really just wanted to let you know that you have my sympathies. I don't know how anyone could stay in business with costs that high.
I am quite sure the Water Orchid FO you want to buy from Candora is from Wholesale Supplies Plus. Why not buy directly from WSP?
 
I wish that was the case. I'm from Alberta Canada. I will tell you, the different medical bills makes a BIG deal.

The US isn't too bad, it depends how far it is really. Although shipping prices have been increasing pretty badly in the last six years. Canada is just so much worse though. Doing the math, I wanted to get 4 oz of Water Orchid from Candora. With the exchange, the price for the scent is about what you'd pay in the US. But Candora doesn't ship to the US (that I can find anyway). They are in London Ontario I believe. So I figured that I'd just have it sent to my sister in Alberta and she can send it to me. So the cost of the item in US funds would be about $10. The cost of the shipping from Ontario to Alberta was THIRTY. Even in American funds that's really high. It likely would have cost me somewhere around $10 if shipped from state to state, but nowhere near thirty. Even when I lowered it to 2 oz, it was still telling me it would be $17 for shipping. Mind you that's Canadian funds, but even with the exchange rate it's still expensive. The difference usually runs around 30% so it still wouldn't match what I'd pay here.

Living near Calgary wouldn't be bad because there's lots of places to buy from nearby.

My thing is that I live in Louisiana and the closest place to buy fragrances and other specific soap items from is a 6 hour drive one way so I have no choice but to get shipping. You'd think they would have supply stores actually in New Orleans but no (you'd be surprised at how many things are missing from that major city that other major cities in the country all do have). I'm a 45 minute drive from there.

Anyway, I really just wanted to let you know that you have my sympathies. I don't know how anyone could stay in business with costs that high.
Shipping for small orders is insane in Canada. Seems ro be a base fee applies and then weight/size is on top of that. I learned to never buy less than $100 in an order as the shipping cost just isn’t worth it.
 
I am quite sure the Water Orchid FO you want to buy from Candora is from Wholesale Supplies Plus. Why not buy directly from WSP?
I don't doubt. I am trying to move from WSP so the only thing I buy from them is boxes and containers. I don't like their business practices. Unfortunately it looks like I will still be ordering things from them anyway.
 
I am almost ashamed to admit this, but here goes -

If I need a small order and the shipping from my soaping supplier would be too much (like two litres of castor oil or something) then I get it from...... Amazon! I'm willing to pay the shipping costs for a large and/or specialist order where it makes sense to do so, but I'm not paying twice the price because of the shipping
 
I am almost ashamed to admit this, but here goes -

If I need a small order and the shipping from my soaping supplier would be too much (like two litres of castor oil or something) then I get it from...... Amazon! I'm willing to pay the shipping costs for a large and/or specialist order where it makes sense to do so, but I'm not paying twice the price because of the shipping
I've pretty much stopped ordering from Amazon but yeah, sometimes its the better option. Hence why its hard to say never to anything. Hence why I still shop at Hobby Lobby in spite of their politics. My husband was shocked that I served a woman wearing a certain political hat. I said "money is money". So sometimes you do what you don't want to. And I'm really eyeing that fragrance at WSP.
 
I went to Candora Soap and Windy Point today. The prices are very expensive, especially in Canadian money. And shipping within Canada alone (my sister lives in Alberta so I thought that would be an option since Candora doesn't seem to deliver to the US) is just astronomical. I've been wanting to try a bunch of fragrances from Canada. Fizz Fairy too. I can get Voyageur here. But the shipping is two and a half times what I'd pay if I bought it here and that's not even shipping it across the border, just to another province.

How do you do it?
I live in Canada and shipping costs are huge here and to buy from the US is so expensive bc of duty and shipping is brutal from the States so it’s hard to have a business in Canada!

I was wondering why Canadian prices are so high. Guess now I know.
Since Covid and the war in the Ukraine, prices of everything have skyrocketed. Idk how single income people survive in Canada. We are taxed to the extreme and to buy a head of romaine lettuce for example is up to $5 and the quality is awful bc people can’t afford it. Gas prices are high so the cost of everything has gone up so much and this has increased shipping costs as well. I started a business this year and as much as I love it, I wish I had of just bought a small amount of stuff and done it as a hobby bc I can’t see it surviving. People aren’t going to buy a bar of soap for $8.00 bc they don’t understand the difference between the soap that we make and the detergents that they can buy cheaper at the supermarket.
 
Since Covid and the war in the Ukraine, prices of everything have skyrocketed. Idk how single income people survive in Canada. We are taxed to the extreme and to buy a head of romaine lettuce for example is up to $5 and the quality is awful bc people can’t afford it. Gas prices are high so the cost of everything has gone up so much and this has increased shipping costs as well. I started a business this year and as much as I love it, I wish I had of just bought a small amount of stuff and done it as a hobby bc I can’t see it surviving. People aren’t going to buy a bar of soap for $8.00 bc they don’t understand the difference between the soap that we make and the detergents that they can buy cheaper at the supermarket.
$5 for Romaine? I've seen it here (Kelowna, BC) for up to $9 per head. And, if it doesn't sell, it's thrown away. My husband and I try to eat seasonally and lettuce doesn't grow here in the winter so we don't have it. At this time of year, we eat a lot of root vegetables and cruciferous vegetables (brussels sprouts, cabbage, and such). And strawberries in January? Not a chance!

I started warning my customers during the last half of my season that my prices were going up with the next season. With situations as you describe, they understand completely. I'll be going up from $7.00 to $8.00 per bar, or 3 for $20 (which I've always done).

Incidentally, I was researching Turmeric soap yesterday and came across an American maker who is charging $14.99 per bar (standard size bar) of unscented soap with turmeric, nothing fancy, nothing special. I checked ingredients and there was nothing special in the soap that I thought would warrant that price. People are charging more and still making sales.
 
Since Covid and the war in the Ukraine, prices of everything have skyrocketed. Idk how single income people survive in Canada. We are taxed to the extreme and to buy a head of romaine lettuce for example is up to $5 and the quality is awful bc people can’t afford it. Gas prices are high so the cost of everything has gone up so much and this has increased shipping costs as well. I started a business this year and as much as I love it, I wish I had of just bought a small amount of stuff and done it as a hobby bc I can’t see it surviving. People aren’t going to buy a bar of soap for $8.00 bc they don’t understand the difference between the soap that we make and the detergents that they can buy cheaper at the supermarket.
A friend of mine used to pay circa $NZ20 per bar for a specialty soap for her skin ( she has bad eczema). She tried mine once and is now sold - she buys about 8-10 bars every few months and even though I offer her a 'friends' discount she refuses it because she is now getting two to three bars of soap for the same price as one of the specialty bars.
 
Since Covid and the war in the Ukraine, prices of everything have skyrocketed. Idk how single income people survive in Canada. We are taxed to the extreme and to buy a head of romaine lettuce for example is up to $5 and the quality is awful bc people can’t afford it. Gas prices are high so the cost of everything has gone up so much and this has increased shipping costs as well. I started a business this year and as much as I love it, I wish I had of just bought a small amount of stuff and done it as a hobby bc I can’t see it surviving. People aren’t going to buy a bar of soap for $8.00 bc they don’t understand the difference between the soap that we make and the detergents that they can buy cheaper at the supermarket.
Also don't expect to do well in a year's time. It takes time. I have been doing this for 18 years now and well remember the impatience I felt in the beginning. Now I'm looking for ways to downsize.
 
$5 for Romaine? I've seen it here (Kelowna, BC) for up to $9 per head. And, if it doesn't sell, it's thrown away. My husband and I try to eat seasonally and lettuce doesn't grow here in the winter so we don't have it. At this time of year, we eat a lot of root vegetables and cruciferous vegetables (brussels sprouts, cabbage, and such). And strawberries in January? Not a chance!

I started warning my customers during the last half of my season that my prices were going up with the next season. With situations as you describe, they understand completely. I'll be going up from $7.00 to $8.00 per bar, or 3 for $20 (which I've always done).

Incidentally, I was researching Turmeric soap yesterday and came across an American maker who is charging $14.99 per bar (standard size bar) of unscented soap with turmeric, nothing fancy, nothing special. I checked ingredients and there was nothing special in the soap that I thought would warrant that price. People are charging more and still making sales.
Wow $9 for a head of lettuce! Idk why Canada has been hit so hard but I know what you mean, I’ve seen American soap makers that are charging more than I do and their supplies are cheaper, shipping is cheaper and much more options. I think your price point is right on especially considering the price increases of ingredients and shipping is outrageous. I live close to New Direction Aromatics, like an hour, it’s close to Toronto and I’m planning on picking my orders up. I wish WindyPoint was close too but now I’m getting greedy lol. Hoping you have a great 2023!
 
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