Labeling soap for gifts

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Catscankim

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So my friend is a realtor. A bunch of months ago she bought soap from me for baskets that she makes for her customers/new homeowners. I sold them to her full-price ($8/bar), with my usual special of 8 bars/$56 (like getting one free).

She requested special labels that did not include my information on them...this was my fault, I asked. At the time I didn't mind...I was just thrilled to get a big order. So I put her special label on one side, and the ingredients list on the back. In hindsight...I just lost 30 potential customers.

She just asked me for 30ish more bars. I don't want to "ask" her about labeling again, cause she will probably say the same thing. Do you think I could get away with just sneaking my info on the back label? LOL. Or would you bring it up to her and insist on having my information on it. I don't want to lose the sale with her, especially now that she is a repeat customer with another big order.

I don't know what the etiquette is...I think I would compare it to wedding favors for those that sell to events like that.

She also wants help coming up with something to print on the label. The last batch she bought was around New Years, so the label said "Wash away 2020" or something like that...with her RE biz info. I was thinking something along the lines of "A Clean Start". Maybe. Something like that. So looking for someone with a creative mind to help with that LOL.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I think there is a name for it, but it escapes me at the moment, but it's not unusual to even have wholesale accounts where the branding is that of your customer and they sell it on to their end customers as "their product". The plus side being that you have 1 large customer rather than many smaller ones, downside being that you sell the bars wholesale instead of retail.

In Europe, the information of the manufacturer (you) has to be present regardless.

But are you really losing those customers? They might not have ever bought your soap and may not actually ever buy it even having used it - not meant in a mean way, but we do know that some people will never buy artisan soap when the local cheap shop has a bar for 50 cents/pence/whatever. They might, however, like getting it in a basket from someone who IS willing to pay you.

If you're not making profit from the arrangement, then consider ending or changing it. If you're making money on it, why not carry on making money?

But don't forget, for custom logos and packaging there is a time cost for you which you might consider charging her depending on how much time it takes
 

Peachy Clean Soap

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So my friend is a realtor. A bunch of months ago she bought soap from me for baskets that she makes for her customers/new homeowners. I sold them to her full-price ($8/bar), with my usual special of 8 bars/$56 (like getting one free).

She requested special labels that did not include my information on them...this was my fault, I asked. At the time I didn't mind...I was just thrilled to get a big order. So I put her special label on one side, and the ingredients list on the back. In hindsight...I just lost 30 potential customers.

She just asked me for 30ish more bars. I don't want to "ask" her about labeling again, cause she will probably say the same thing. Do you think I could get away with just sneaking my info on the back label? LOL. Or would you bring it up to her and insist on having my information on it. I don't want to lose the sale with her, especially now that she is a repeat customer with another big order.

I don't know what the etiquette is...I think I would compare it to wedding favors for those that sell to events like that.

She also wants help coming up with something to print on the label. The last batch she bought was around New Years, so the label said "Wash away 2020" or something like that...with her RE biz info. I was thinking something along the lines of "A Clean Start". Maybe. Something like that. So looking for someone with a creative mind to help with that LOL.
If it were me' I'd want my name on that label' after all it's your soap business' just as she has her name on her Realestate Business Card. I'm the type that would bring it up to her explaining your feelings as to why? and have your label on your wonderful soap.
on the flip side' thats fantastic you got that order' its just wonderful. :computerbath: 🧼❤🙌🏼
 

dibbles

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What about just a line that says 'created for *real estate name* by *your company name*. A Google search using your business name would lead anyone interested to your website. This is assuming they kept the packaging long enough to decide they wanted more of your soap. Your friend isn't going into the business of selling or reselling soap, so this isn't taking anything away from her. If she put, for example, coffee grounds or chocolates in the basket, wouldn't that have the maker's information on it?

On the other hand, at the end of the day I really agree with TEG. You are making money, and your friend is placing repeat orders. You will likely see more monetary benefit from that arrangement than picking up one or two random customers from those who receive the gift basket. You can't assume that all 30 of the gift basket recipients are going to become good customers.
 

earlene

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So my friend is a realtor. A bunch of months ago she bought soap from me for baskets that she makes for her customers/new homeowners. I sold them to her full-price ($8/bar), with my usual special of 8 bars/$56 (like getting one free).

She requested special labels that did not include my information on them...this was my fault, I asked. At the time I didn't mind...I was just thrilled to get a big order. So I put her special label on one side, and the ingredients list on the back. In hindsight...I just lost 30 potential customers.

She just asked me for 30ish more bars. I don't want to "ask" her about labeling again, cause she will probably say the same thing. Do you think I could get away with just sneaking my info on the back label? LOL. Or would you bring it up to her and insist on having my information on it. I don't want to lose the sale with her, especially now that she is a repeat customer with another big order.

I don't know what the etiquette is...I think I would compare it to wedding favors for those that sell to events like that.

She also wants help coming up with something to print on the label. The last batch she bought was around New Years, so the label said "Wash away 2020" or something like that...with her RE biz info. I was thinking something along the lines of "A Clean Start". Maybe. Something like that. So looking for someone with a creative mind to help with that LOL.
I would refer to the FTC (U.S.) regulations regarding what is required on consumer packaging.
See also: Product Label Requirements

In other words, you are required to include your information as the manufacturer. She can ask you to do otherwise, but the legal requirement is stated in the law, so I'd go with the law and explain that to her.

However, there does appear to be a grey area you might need to explore because this actually seems to apply as well, so if it were me, I'd delve a little deeper:

Even so, this is what I find in the FTC regulations:
16 C.F.R. Part 500


Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (link is external)

Part 500: Regulations Under Section 4 of the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act

Rule Summary:
The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA or Act), enacted in 1967, directs the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration to issue regulations requiring that all "consumer commodities" be labeled to disclose net contents, identity of commodity, and name and place of business of the product's manufacturer, packer, or distributor.
and this: What Are the Labeling Requirements with Respect to Place of Business? | PackagingLaw.com

So based on that, I'd probably tell the buyer that you are responsible to follow the Federal law as far as labeling goes, and that you would have to put their information as the distributor (name & address per FTC regulations). And that if that is not acceptable you cannot sell the product. Bottom line, the law is the law. But read up a bit more and possible talk to your insurer as well.


And of course since you are in Florida check with the Florida regulations and see if any ot them address this issue. Remember that you are required to adhere to the strictest laws whether it be your state's or the federal government's that are more strict.
 

amd

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Do you think I could get away with just sneaking my info on the back label?
This is what I do for my breweries: I use their logo, artwork, etc for the front label. The ingredients go on a small 2x1 label on the side. If there isn't room for my info on the front label, I add it to the bottom of the ingredient label. Every bar on one label or the other has "Handcrafted for [Brewery] by [My Biz Name and website]" Of course my breweries are happy to build local businesses and have my business cards out with the soap for anyone who wants a biz card. And maybe that's how you need to "sell" the realtor on including your information on the label. Remind her that she is not getting repeat business from the soap - no one is buying another house from her just to get another gift basket - but it is supporting another local business if it generates another repeat customer for you. Guess what, that means YOU'RE more likely to recommend her to anyone you hear in need of a realtor because she supports your business. Present it as a team effort.
 

Catscankim

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Lots of great advice here as usual. Thank you all.

I know she is part of the "all about me generation" lol, but she's my friend and I want to keep her LOL.

I try to find repeat customers wherever I can find them. That might have been 30 bars of soap that went out without my label, but I do see it as losing potential customers. I might have not gotten 30 customers out of it...or even one for that matter. But it was a potential :).

I give out a bar of soap to my shipt shoppers all the time. I have two that order from me now.

Maybe I can stuff them into a muslin bag with a biz card? Or tie a piece of hemp around it with a gift-tag type "biz card". I kinda don't want to busy up the soap with labels all over it either LOL. I also don't HAVE to put ingredients on the label, although I do prefer to. So I guess I have a few decisions to make.

She is probably not fretting about this as much as I am LOL. I just don't want to make wrong decisions. That's why I ask here LOL.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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First decide if it's worth losing the repeat business over (taking all things like any extra work for you and how often or seldom the orders come etc in to account) and then say that you would like to have your information included.

Another option is to suggest your standard label with the humourous name instead of a custom label - saves you time, has your information, might be pleasing to her
 

TheGecko

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I just lost 30 potential customers
Not necessarily. I have about a half dozen 'gift' bars of soap sitting under the cabinet in the bathroom...they've been there since before I started making soap.

Do you think I could get away with just sneaking my info on the back label? LOL. Or would you bring it up to her and insist on having my information on it. I don't want to lose the sale with her, especially now that she is a repeat customer with another big order.
Think of it as being a wholesale account. I have a natural skin care company that wholesales my soap. Their name is on the label, but they make no secret of the fact that they didn't make it. On the bottom of the back ingredient label, it says: Mfg in XXXXX, Oregon. You could do something similar; in small type your could put: Mfg by Catscankim in xxxxx, FL
 

amd

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I might have not gotten 30 customers out of it...or even one for that matter. But it was a potential
It is a potential indeed! Last fall I did 70 gift boxes for a local guy to give to his office managers in his offices throughout the Midwest - his wife is one of my biggest fans, so he asked me to include my business card in every box. I got one order at Christmas because of that, and it was a large $200 order for the lady, simply because she loved the products she got and wanted to give them as gifts. I've had two more orders from the gift box recipients since then, so while 3 out of 70 isn't a high percentage of return, it is still 3 people that I wouldn't have reached if they hadn't known where to find me. Of those 3 people, they were buying for things for 12 other people, and one is working on a second order for a custom soap idea for a later order. Even a small repeat can lead to more possibilities... but they have to know how to find you.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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It is a potential indeed! Last fall I did 70 gift boxes for a local guy to give to his office managers in his offices throughout the Midwest - his wife is one of my biggest fans, so he asked me to include my business card in every box. I got one order at Christmas because of that, and it was a large $200 order for the lady, simply because she loved the products she got and wanted to give them as gifts. I've had two more orders from the gift box recipients since then, so while 3 out of 70 isn't a high percentage of return, it is still 3 people that I wouldn't have reached if they hadn't known where to find me. Of those 3 people, they were buying for things for 12 other people, and one is working on a second order for a custom soap idea for a later order. Even a small repeat can lead to more possibilities... but they have to know how to find you.
But if they didn't want to include your information, would you have risked the 3 orders for the sake of it?

If the OP's customer is happy to include the information, that's one thing. If she isn't, I think that the idea of sneaking it in there for the possibility of (mathematically based on your experience) less than 2 orders at the risk of losing the order of 30 bars is bad odds.

I still maintain that a direct and sensible discussion with the customer is the best way to go. Is she willing? If not, why not? Is the OP willing to increase the discount on the order as a sweetener?
 

TheGecko

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I think that the idea of sneaking it in there
She doesn't really have to 'sneak' anything in because while soap labeling laws aren't as strict as they are for other products (speaking only of the US), you still have to manufacturing information on them. An example...I have some Visine on my desk. You have to look for it on the box (it's on the bottom), but while it is 'distributed' by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc Skillman NJ 08558, it made in Belgium by J&JCI and then you can go to www.visine.com and find more information.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I wouldn't, and I didn't say I would sneak it. As mentioned in my first post, I would work with the customer and sell it as a benefit to both of us.
She doesn't really have to 'sneak' anything in because while soap labeling laws aren't as strict as they are for other products (speaking only of the US), you still have to manufacturing information on them. An example...I have some Visine on my desk. You have to look for it on the box (it's on the bottom), but while it is 'distributed' by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc Skillman NJ 08558, it made in Belgium by J&JCI and then you can go to www.visine.com and find more information.
The OP stated in the first post that sneaking it on was something she was considering - as in, making the change without discussing it with the customer. Wasn't suggesting that either of you would do so. As for the laws around it - again, doing that to suddenly be in line with the laws without mentioning it could risk losing the customer
 

Catscankim

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I spoke to her. I explained that as the owner of an operational business I needed to include certain information on the label by law. I had all my ducks in a row with the legalities etc...

She didn't even care LOL.
 
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