1. We are helping test out a new project for soapmakers. Soapmaking Friend. If you are interested in providing feedback and help guide this project to include all you want to see in a recipe builder and calculator please PM an Admin or post in the Announcements forum. Your feedback is really needed!
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice

Soap Slice Bundles

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by amd, Dec 5, 2018.

Help Support Soapmaking Forum by donating:

  1. Dec 5, 2018 #1

    amd

    amd

    amd

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2015
    Messages:
    1,852
    Likes Received:
    2,262
    Location:
    South Dakota
    Back story: I've been trying to make plans for 2019, setting goals, and figuring out what to change/not change - which has led to a lot of talking to customers. One thing that I took away - of the forty or so customers who I talked with most would actually like smaller bars so they could try different soaps more often! So I've been mulling this through my brain a bit and the only thing stopping me is that I only have a multi-bar cutter set to 1-1/4". So before I ask my husband to spend $120 to build me a new cutter, I thought I would try it out rather roughly.

    My multi-bar cutter is set up so that I have a straight edge to line up the loaf with, and the wires are spaced so that I have a thinner end cut (approx a 1 ounce slice) at each end of the loaf. I was thinking that I could cut my bars as usual, and then cut the end slice off each regular bar - giving me a smaller regular bar and a 1 oz soap slice. I could use those slices as samples, but I think that would be too much loss. The purpose of making the regular soaps smaller is so people can try more soaps, so maybe a soap slice bundle would sell well to those people as well.

    Labeling shouldn't be hard, I use the same base recipe, it's usually just my liquids that change up so it seems I can easily note that on a label as needed - or if I group my beer soaps into one bundle, etc. My concern with packaging, is 1) I don't want to hide the soaps in wrapping and 2) I'm worried about scents mingling, so I do think I need to each bar "protected" somehow. Does anyone have ideas for packaging? I did a google search and most of them were loose bundles tied with twine - which is totally not going to work for my style.

    Also, if you have done the soap slice bundles yourself, how well did they sell for you? Any dos or don'ts appreciated!
     
  2. Dec 5, 2018 #2

    shunt2011

    shunt2011

    shunt2011

    Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    11,231
    Likes Received:
    6,068
    Location:
    Michigan
    That’s an interesting concept. I’ve not done that. With my Nurture molds and my multi bar cutter I get no end cuts. I get 16 bars. Interested to see if others have tried this and their thoughts.
     
  3. Dec 5, 2018 #3

    Obsidian

    Obsidian

    Obsidian

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Messages:
    8,194
    Likes Received:
    5,404
    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    Speaking solely as a customer, I'd rather buy individual samples that I could pick and choose from.

    One local soaper sells the 1/4" end cuts that have been cut in half for $1 each. I always buy some to try different scents.

    Another lady cuts her regular big bars in half and sells some that way. I've also purchased those.

    What I won't do anymore is buy full sized soap from a unknown seller. I've done that and ended up with a expensive chunk of garbage.

    These are the last samples I got. She simply arranges them in a basket and you pick what you want. No labels but if you need to see ingredients, the full sized bars are labeled.

    The dark purple is hyacinth scented, I get some every time I see her.
     

    Attached Files:

    amd, Susie and Misschief like this.
  4. Dec 6, 2018 at 2:44 AM #4

    soapmaker

    soapmaker

    soapmaker

    Soapmaker Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    228
    Location:
    Ontario
    Yes I have done soap slice bundles. Since I wanted them visible I tied them together with a pretty ribbon and tag designating the kinds. They were very pretty and drew lots of comments but I only sold one!! Since they sat around with no one buying, yes the scents mingled. No more slice bundles. Then I took regular sized bars, cut them in half and boxed them, 8 halves on a little basket shred in a flat white box with a clear lid (so the designs were all visible) and a label on the back with kinds and ingredients. Those sold better at Christmas but nothing really great.
     
  5. Dec 6, 2018 at 3:11 AM #5

    DeeAnna

    DeeAnna

    DeeAnna

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    10,121
    Likes Received:
    13,252
    Location:
    Northeast Iowa, USA
    Here's a thought -- slice the loaf as normal. Slide the entire, newly-sliced loaf 5/8" to one side. The wires should be centered in the middle of each bar. Cut again. This would split the 1 1/4" bars into bars 5/8" thick.
     
    TeresaGG and amd like this.
  6. Dec 6, 2018 at 12:18 PM #6

    Lin19687

    Lin19687

    Lin19687

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2018
    Messages:
    2,426
    Likes Received:
    1,261
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Like you, as you know, my 'ends' are about 2 oz, cut down the middle like @Obsidian showed is about 1 oz each. So I get that on both ends of the loaf. I really do this just to clean up the end of the loaf so there is less I have to do. I then just have to Bevel the edges.

    I Did try the give samples away and no one bought full bars.
    Sold the ends for $1 each, sold a bunch but again no one bought the full bars.

    Stopped selling the 'end' and just hoard them for me........... or send to unsuspecting people........ and Full bars started to take off much better.

    Give people only one thing to choose. You need to make Money.
    If you want, and have time you can have a few sample bags made up and slip in peoples bag when they buy 4 or more soaps. Or something like that.

    But really I just use the ends for me and a friend local.......... and a far away friend who I think now hates me hahahhahahaha
    Oh and I also used them as Samples to the couple of stores that I tried to sell my soaps to. Worked ;)

    IF you must bundle, I would cut a small piece of wax/parchment paper to put in between each slice. Much more work
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 12:52 PM
  7. Dec 6, 2018 at 1:08 PM #7

    Susie

    Susie

    Susie

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    9,101
    Likes Received:
    8,237
    Location:
    Texas
    I'm with Obsidian. I would only buy the sample until I knew it wasn't garbage. I like it when they put a small basket/box of samples behind the soap so I know it is for that one. I will buy it, go wash with it in the restroom, then go back for a bar (which I then take home and try to duplicate :D).
     
    penelopejane, Misschief and shunt2011 like this.
  8. Dec 8, 2018 at 12:06 AM #8

    KimT2au

    KimT2au

    KimT2au

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2018
    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    180
    Location:
    Australia
    @Obsidian , I am really curious to know you criteria for classifying the soap as garbage. I am not being facetious or anything it is simply that I bought all my handmade soap from one seller for about 10 years before deciding to try making it myself so I have no experience of comparing soaps from different sellers. I still rarely even look at soap tables at markets as most are so highly scented that even going near the tables makes me feel ill and if my kids are with me they absolutely will not go near tables with scented soaps. Anyway, I digress, what I wanted to ask was what qualities, or lack of them, make you classify the soap as unacceptable?
     
  9. Dec 8, 2018 at 1:18 AM #9

    Obsidian

    Obsidian

    Obsidian

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Messages:
    8,194
    Likes Received:
    5,404
    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    The main criteria is how drying it it. No matter how pretty or nicely scented, if a soap is too harsh to use its garbage in my book. I also don't want it to develop DOS after a month or wash away in a week due to a bad recipe.

    Its things like this that makes testing a soap recipe for many months so important before starting to sell. I had a soaper who couldn't even tell me if her product was HP or CP because she didn't know what either term meant. She was just following instructions someone gave her. I ended up buying a bar and it was terrible, so drying I should have grated it for laundry.

    Another soaper had Lavender EO soaps absolutely covered in DOS and had no idea what it was or how to prevent it. It was really bad and they stunk.
     
  10. Dec 8, 2018 at 1:42 AM #10

    cmzaha

    cmzaha

    cmzaha

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Messages:
    8,554
    Likes Received:
    6,797
    Location:
    Southern California
    I use my 2 thin end slices as smell samples. When they no longer smell great I open an end off a full bar.
     
  11. Dec 8, 2018 at 2:11 AM #11

    Relle

    Relle

    Relle

    Administrator & Bunny Fanatic Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    Messages:
    8,943
    Likes Received:
    2,399
  12. Dec 8, 2018 at 4:23 AM #12

    redhead1226

    redhead1226

    redhead1226

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2016
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    399
    Location:
    Miami, Florida
    That is exactly what I do. People do like the smaller size and like to buy different scents. I have different recipes so they can also try those.
     
  13. Dec 8, 2018 at 4:40 AM #13

    cmzaha

    cmzaha

    cmzaha

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Messages:
    8,554
    Likes Received:
    6,797
    Location:
    Southern California
    Do you label each soap sample?
     
  14. Dec 8, 2018 at 4:55 AM #14

    redhead1226

    redhead1226

    redhead1226

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2016
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    399
    Location:
    Miami, Florida
    Yes. they are the same height and width of my regular bars. Just thinner. My cutter cuts at 1 1/8" so I slice that one in half. And I charge 1/2 the price. They seem to like it and really dont spend less they will just get 2 instead. I only cut a few bars from each batch like that.
     
  15. Dec 8, 2018 at 5:57 AM #15

    penelopejane

    penelopejane

    penelopejane

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2015
    Messages:
    4,070
    Likes Received:
    2,610
    Location:
    Sth Coast, NSW, Australia
    But won’t the customer come back and say I want more of the pink one?
     
  16. Dec 8, 2018 at 3:53 PM #16

    soapmaker

    soapmaker

    soapmaker

    Soapmaker Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    228
    Location:
    Ontario
    Are these yours?
     
  17. Dec 8, 2018 at 10:28 PM #17

    Relle

    Relle

    Relle

    Administrator & Bunny Fanatic Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    Messages:
    8,943
    Likes Received:
    2,399
    I'd be telling customers, what's there is there, it may not be available again, you get what you get. As you know customers can be a pain, I'm sure they look on the table and ask for something you don't have, you can make that item thinking they want it and come back but THOSE customers never do.
     
    shunt2011 likes this.
  18. Dec 8, 2018 at 10:29 PM #18

    Relle

    Relle

    Relle

    Administrator & Bunny Fanatic Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    Messages:
    8,943
    Likes Received:
    2,399
    No, not mine, this was from Pinterest, I just put it up to show people.
     
  19. Dec 10, 2018 at 3:58 PM #19

    amd

    amd

    amd

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2015
    Messages:
    1,852
    Likes Received:
    2,262
    Location:
    South Dakota
    Thanks all for the thoughts and feedback. I hadn't thought about DeeAnna's "cut and slide" trick. I might give that a go on a few batches and see how it works. I don't have a lot of shows lined up for 2019, so thinking about it more, I don't see soap slices selling well to my regular customers. It might be a good thing to have at shows when people might be a bit intimidated about too many choices and budget. I still have too much soap from this year to really think about making soap for next year, so I have time to think about it.
     
  20. Dec 11, 2018 at 12:16 AM #20

    penelopejane

    penelopejane

    penelopejane

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2015
    Messages:
    4,070
    Likes Received:
    2,610
    Location:
    Sth Coast, NSW, Australia
    I might not be like others but I would personally prefer a bar cut in half in the other direction. So a 3 inch wide x 2 inch high bar cut into two 1.5 inch wide x 2 inch high bars.

    To me that is a nicer bar for my hand and to test. But that might be just me.o_O
     
    Chris_S likes this.

Share This Page