Selling Soap_making money

Soapmaking Forum

Help Support Soapmaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
13,028
Reaction score
14,361
Location
Southern California
I was checking prices today on some oils and Lard. I am really not sure how anyone can make money selling soap today. It is horrid the direction prices have gone. We were at the business today and I checked the cost for a cube of lard, which I used to pay $32 for it is now $66. I mentioned in another thread the cost of the palm I used to pay $40 or less for 5 lb pails at Cibaria is now $108 on their site. Not sure if that would be my will call price or not but these prices are crazy. No way would this allow making a profit on a $7 bar of soap after all expenses are figured in. Covid really did in the market. Ironically Avocado Oil is still $152.00 which is not much more than it used to be when I was purchasing it. Palm Kernel $125.00 I used to pay $45. I last purchased right before covid. You got a really good deal Alison. 🤣🤣🤣
 
It certainly makes me wish that I lived near Des Plaines, IL. Pick up is free at Soaperchoice. They still have a 30lb cube of lard for 31.50. It's the shipping with them that kills the price.
 
It certainly makes me wish that I lived near Des Plaines, IL. Pick up is free at Soaperchoice. They still have a 30lb cube of lard for 31.50. It's the shipping with them that kills the price.
I saw that, I was checking out their prices. That is how I had such good prices at cibaria, I was always able to will call and they gave me discounts for will call.
 
Palm Kernel $125.00 I used to pay $45. I last purchased right before covid. You got a really good deal Alison. 🤣🤣🤣
Yes I sure did, and I'm so thankful! 🙏💜

BTW, the one and only cube of lard that I've ever bought at a store was $48 a little over a year ago. It's now $125. With those kinds of prices, I will definitely be calling the hog butcher who is about an hour from me, so I can buy his ground fat and render my own lard. I liked my own better anyway. It had zero smell, whereas the one from the store smelled piggy to me.
 
I was checking prices today on some oils and Lard. I am really not sure how anyone can make money selling soap today. It is horrid the direction prices have gone. We were at the business today and I checked the cost for a cube of lard, which I used to pay $32 for it is now $66. I mentioned in another thread the cost of the palm I used to pay $40 or less for 5 lb pails at Cibaria is now $108 on their site. Not sure if that would be my will call price or not but these prices are crazy. No way would this allow making a profit on a $7 bar of soap after all expenses are figured in. Covid really did in the market. Ironically Avocado Oil is still $152.00 which is not much more than it used to be when I was purchasing it. Palm Kernel $125.00 I used to pay $45. I last purchased right before covid. You got a really good deal Alison. 🤣🤣🤣

I hear you @cmzaha
In June 2021 I purchased 5 gallon Organic Sunflower Oil @ $77.
February 2022 same quantity @ $112
Updated price list March 2022 same quantity @ 199.50

I hope our customers will not shy away from inevitable price hikes!
 
This is why I am glad I pulled the plug and retired from selling after the covid shut down. It was not really because of covid it just finalized my decision. Even a $1 increase would not have made it worthwhile the trouble of selling when I was selling to make money, not for a hobby. Now with the cost of living folks are not going to have the disposable income to spend on fluff items such as handmade soaps.
 
I had to buy some more lard yesterday. When I first started, Amazon had a 4 lb tub for $20. A lot, but I didn't know where else to get it. Someone here, I think, mentioned Walmart. The same tub Amazon was selling was less than $5 there. Next time I went to get some, it was $6 and change. Yesterday, the same tub was over $10. *sigh* I make small batches unless I'm making Christmas presents, because I don't sell, so the tub will last me a long time. Wonder what it will cost the next time?
 
Still not $20!

My problem now is fractionated Coconut Oil for lotion. Four liters used to be $60 something at NDA now it's $102! Will anyone even buy my lotion?
 
I've always said, "You can't make a living making soap. But you can make enough to support a rather expensive hobby!" All it takes is careful planning and knowing what the market will bear.

Finding a niche market is key. For example, for the 10 years or so I was selling to wholesale customers, one customer became known for their Goats Milk soap -- plus GM lotion, herbal salve and lip balms, all of which have a better profit margin than the soap does and in many ways balanced out the cost of making soap.

My problem now is fractionated Coconut Oil for lotion.
MCT Oil (aka FCO aka Medium Chain Triglycerides) is $20 for 32 oz at Costco.
It certainly makes me wish that I lived near Des Plaines, IL. Pick up is free at Soaperchoice. They still have a 30lb cube of lard for 31.50. It's the shipping with them that kills the price.
The key to saving on shipping from Soapers Choice is to order a gallon (7lb Bottle) of Four oils you need to get the best price on shipping. You save on storage space ordering the gallon size and can order more as you run low. That way your oils are always fresh because they are used up during production times, which for me was March - May (for summer markets) and August - October (for markets and holidays).

Palm Oil RBD, 7 lb. - 10.71
Coconut Oil 76°, 7 lb. - $17.24
Olive Oil, Pomace, 7 lb. - $21.07
Lard, 7 lb. - $11.55
Total - $60.57
Shipping - $24.70
TOTAL $85.27

That's enough oils to make 100+ bars of soap @ 85¢ a bar, not factoring in other additives like fragrance, colorants, clays, specialty oils and butters which will increase the cost depending on how savvy a formulator and how resourceful a shopper you are.
 
The key to saving on shipping from Soapers Choice is to order a gallon (7lb Bottle) of Four oils you need to get the best price on shipping.

Yeah, just wondering how long before they follow the others. They may have a large inventory and haven't had to pay for the high costs of getting shipments in from suppliers. That may change. Starting to think now is the time to order from them.
 
$20/32oz. = $80/4 liters. That's in U.S. dollars. Converted to Canadian That's $103
Oh my! But I'm wondering why you need 4 liters? I sometimes use FCO in my lotion but it's only one of 4 oils I use make up 10% of the formula (+2% butter, 4% dimethicone, 6% Ewax NF)

Is Meadowfoam less expensive? That's a good sub for FCO.
 
I've always said, "You can't make a living making soap. But you can make enough to support a rather expensive hobby!" All it takes is careful planning and knowing what the market will bear.

Finding a niche market is key. For example, for the 10 years or so I was selling to wholesale customers, one customer became known for their Goats Milk soap -- plus GM lotion, herbal salve and lip balms, all of which have a better profit margin than the soap does and in many ways balanced out the cost of making soap.


MCT Oil (aka FCO aka Medium Chain Triglycerides) is $20 for 32 oz at Costco.

The key to saving on shipping from Soapers Choice is to order a gallon (7lb Bottle) of Four oils you need to get the best price on shipping. You save on storage space ordering the gallon size and can order more as you run low. That way your oils are always fresh because they are used up during production times, which for me was March - May (for summer markets) and August - October (for markets and holidays).

Palm Oil RBD, 7 lb. - 10.71
Coconut Oil 76°, 7 lb. - $17.24
Olive Oil, Pomace, 7 lb. - $21.07
Lard, 7 lb. - $11.55
Total - $60.57
Shipping - $24.70
TOTAL $85.27

That's enough oils to make 100+ bars of soap @ 85¢ a bar, not factoring in other additives like fragrance, colorants, clays, specialty oils and butters which will increase the cost depending on how savvy a formulator and how resourceful a shopper you are.
That would have lasted me one soaping session, so that would have not been cost effective. While the 85¢ per bar might seem a good price is is not necessarily a good price after factoring in all other expenses... I actually made quite good money when I was selling but I worked very hard at it.
 
That would have lasted me one soaping session, so that would have not been cost effective
Haha. But that's you! :) I have no doubt you worked very hard at it but I doubt you started buying in bulk when you first started selling. ? Add to that, the lack of markets to sell at these days compared to the several markets you had a choice of participating in. Slim pickens.

I was thinking more in terms of starting out. Newbies have to create a customer base, a market presence, and build enough capital to reinvest into making more soap and buying in bulk as they grow.

In any case, the above example is just that. They can do 2 Xs, 3Xs, 4Xs, however many times 100 bars to determine what they need for wherever they sell. :thumbs:;)
 
O
Oh my! But I'm wondering why you need 4 liters? I sometimes use FCO in my lotion but it's only one of 4 oils I use make up 10% of the formula (+2% butter, 4% dimethicone, 6% Ewax NF)

Is Meadowfoam less expensive? That's a good sub for FCO.

I'm not familiar with Meadowfoam. My lotion is 100 % fractionated Coconut Oil. That is...the oil part! I'll look into Meadowfoam.
 
Meadowfoam at NDA is $195/4 liters!! I've been thinking of an oil I could mix fco with. Trouble is all my labels have been printed.
I'm not surprised -- meadowfoam has always been the most expensive oil. :confused:

But. No worries! Go for the FCO! As we all have become aware, as raw material costs increase so must the price of the end product!

To save on shipping cost, search for the best price of MCT Oil locally. Many stores here have it on their shelves. People, like me, add a tablespoon to their coffee every morning to improve memory. Some say it helps to lose weight but I haven't found that to be true. 😄

Compare the INCI nomenclature of your FCO to MCT to rest assured that they are the same thing. :thumbs:

Once you have the cost to make detailed, I use the following formula:

Wholesale Price = 2.5 X the cost of ingredients to make + packaging.
Retail Price = 3.5 X the cost of ingredients to make + packaging.
 
I’ve been tracking carrier oil and essential oil prices for a while - it seems like everything I buy has gone up by 10-25%. For example, the cheapest source of light olive oil I have found was 17 ounce bottles of the Walmart brand, which they sold at $2.52, or $0.15 per ounce. (Oddly, cheaper per ounce than the 34 ounce bottles.) Now it’s $2.77, or $0.16/ ounce. Still the cheapest. My beloved Big Lots coconut oil has shot up to $12 from $10 for 102 ounces. Palm oil and shea butter have gone up too. Sigh.
 
Back
Top