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Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2019
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A lot of the people who have put so much in to helping people with the hobby make their money from selling soap, and those same people who were freely given the help now start digging into the livelihood of those soapmakers who freely gave it. It's a race to the bottom, and a lot of the very knowledgeable and helpful soapers will drift away, and soaping in general will be the worse for it. We see that here on the forum - a lot of the members who were very active when I first joined rarely (if ever) post anymore and their input is missed in a lot of the threads. And I can see why - people being encouraged to undercut market price / price incorrectly because it's just a hobby (and by the way, if it's in the business forum, we have to talk about it as a business, not a hobby), or in other threads where someone who cooked soap on a stove in a glass jug and left it in there meaning to get it out with a knife later is actually encouraged to sell soap! When many members think that's A-OK, I understand why many members visit less.

I have to agree/disagree.

First of all, I haven’t seen anyone encouraging anyone to uncut market price. It’s possible I’ve missed it; I’m fairly active, but I don’t live here. If anything, we encourage folks to raise their prices because there is more to the cost than just ingredients. If someone is advised to lower their prices, it’s because it exceeds market value for their area.

People come and go for various reasons. Maybe they retired, Maybe their lives took a different direction. Maybe it filled a need at the time. Maybe it’s as simple as drifting away. Maybe they became too busy. Maybe it just got ‘old’ after a while…SSDD. And yeah…maybe they they got fed up with what was happening. I’m sixty and I have participated in a lot of different forums, boards, groups, etc over the years (started back when it was the internet and not the interwebs), even owned a few of them. Life is not static…it ebbs and flows and changes. And change isn’t always a bad thing.

You are always going to have folks who want to make the most amount of money with the least amount of effort. They don’t want to learn how to make soap, they just want any recipe that they can mix up with the cheapest ingredients and sell and make lots amount of money. They care little about the craft…the magic and the science
Jul 30, 2020
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A Small Goat Farm
When calculating the cost of your ingredients are you including the cost of shipping? The easiest way of doing this is on a dollar per dollar basis. You take the cost of shipping and divide it by the sub-total of the items your are ordering ($17.53 / 67.89 = $0.2582118132272794). You then multiply that by the total cost of the item ($38.00 x 0.2582118132272794 = $9.812048902636618). Then you add that to the total cost of the item ($38.00 + 9.812048902636618 = $47.81204890263662). They you divide that by your unit of measurement ($47.81 / 200 = $0.24). So my actual cost per soap box isn't $0.19, it's $0.24.

To calculate the cost of volume on items sold by weight, you have to weigh the volume. So how much does a tablespoon of Sodium Lactate weigh? How much does a teaspoon of Mica weigh? This is one of the things I love about does these calculations for me.

So...when calculating your costs you start with your Base Oils, Lye/Water and your standard Additives (like Sodium Lactate or Kaolin Clay or Tussah Silk, etc). For me, (10-4.5oz bars) that's $0.87 a bar (it should be noted that my SM3 hasn't been updated in quite a while so I'm working off old costs and it includes waste and shrinkage). But I'm not making a plain bar of soap, I want add Lavender FO and Lavender costs just went up to $1.48 bar. Of course, I can't just hand my customer a bar of's needs to be packaged and labeled. My costs just went to $1.76 a bar.

And then there is my labor...this can be difficult to calculate. How long does it take to make a batch of soap (from getting out your ingredients to cleaning up)? How long does it take to unmold, cut, plane, bevel, stamp, box and label? Add to this, I MasterBatch....and I usually do this when I'm making soap 'cuz I'm big on multi-tasking. Add to this, it takes me just as long to make a test batch (4 bars) as it does a small batch (10 bars) as it does a regular batch (18 bars), though there is a time difference once I start processing the unmolded soap. It also takes me less time to make a single color soap is it does to make a 2-color drop/chopstick swirl. Once you figure an average time for your batch size, then how much do you pay yourself? My soap would be cost prohibitive if I paid myself the same wage for soap making that I do for my regular job so I look to what I would pay someone...I just use minimum wage for my state...$12.00. So now the cost of my soap is $2.96 a bar.

Oh...and 'direct/indirect overhead'...can't forget about that. This is 'rent', electric, gas, water/sewer, internet, garbage, telephone, website, business cards, business license, insurance (property and product), general office supplies, printer ink, merchant/banking fees. Some of these, what I would call 'indirect' expenses (in red) can be calculated the same way the IRS does for 'Business Use of Your Home'. You calculate the percentage of your home used for business and then multiply it by the total of your indirect expense. Add that to your direct expense and then divide by the total number of bars you could reasonably produce if you worked 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Or you could just take your base ingredients times two. ;)
Could you live with me ???? 💕😳