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Incrtalent

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Alright, ladies and gentlemen, once again, I come to you with my hands out and my tail between my legs. I've realized a couple more tihngs, and now it's time (or past time) to get serious. First, I'm paying premium prices for stuff because I'm ordering small quanities; second, freight is KILLING ME. If I'm paying 15.00 for product and 14.00 for freight, that hardly seems reasonable. I wonder if there are any wholsale packaging suppliers in Florida? How does one find the best wholesale suppliers? There are thousands of them on the net, but many "wholesalers" are actually selling at nearly retail prices. I have to figure a way to get my costs down so I can (hopefully) actually make a profit. Is there, in fact, a list of top-notch wholesale suppliers for soap/bath & body care products that I can check out? Anyone have any recommendations OF ANY KIND in this regard?

Let me give you an example. I just figured out that a 16 oz jar of Dead Sea Salts, (for which I am charging $7.50), actually costs me around $7.58 a jar to make. And that's my COST, not including labor or profit. Tiny little problem there. And don't you guys dare laugh at me! (Although I richly deserve it!) I'm a little bent. :twisted:
 

dragonfly princess

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WOW that is not good! I have found that the more research you do on vendors, the better off you will be. I go from one to another, comparing prices. But I am stuck on wholesalesuppliesplus.com
 

Incrtalent

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Yeah, tell me about it. I dont' even know if the math is totally accurate. The pricing thing is so confusing to me. What I DO know is that I need a way to input my supplies and have some sort of a breakdown. That was why I was interested in that soapmaking software, but it doesn't seem to be the thing I need. Also, I know I need to enter in my shipping costs, (because it is a cost to me), but it varies by product, weight, even (in some cases) by vendor and how that vendor ships. I can add in my hard costs on frieght, but I have no way of knowing how to break this down unless I divide it by the number of products shipped, then divide it down again) until I reach my bar/lotion or whatever size. I'm SOOO frustrated. I think my soaps are decently priced, (4.50-5.50 bar), but I really can't know for certain until I see it in black and white. I may discover that I'm way underpricing myself all the way around. If that's the case, then I need to figure out a way to cut my costs, because even as a consumer, I want reasonable prices. I do NOT want to price myself out of the market!

BTW, I checked out wholesalesupplies.com. They do have some good stuff. Unfortunately, I'm not certian they carry some of the jars I need, but I'm going to scope it and see what I can come up with. I've been delucing myself that the prices I'm paying for my bases/etc., are what I think they are; in fact, with the shipping, etc., they are much higher.
 

Tabitha

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What type of jars are you looking for?

I will also share a bit: In the begining I used fancy jars & bottles because I wanted my products to be set apart from everyone elses. The peoblem with that being, when (not if, when) your supplier discoes a jar or bottle, your are outa luck! They do change fancy unique jars & bottles out as often as some people change their underwear. Make sure which ever bottles & jars you choose, you have multiple suppliers for so when you fav supplier disoes your fav jar you will have a back-up source. And be sure they will disco that jart when your best customer has ordered 40 jars of so & so and already paid & is expectiong jar X.

Any-who, here are my fav container suppliers:
www.sks-bottle.com
bayousome.com
www.essentialsupplies.com
www.containerandpackaging.com

As for shipping cost, it is best to order from as few suppliers as possible. I was ordering from prbably 20 different suppliers on a regular basis. I finally trimed down my supplier list to about 8. I had to cut some things out & switch things over, but that is the differnce between a hobby & a business.

What other supplies are you looking for good prices on? I don't do salt so I am no help there.
 

Incrtalent

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Hey, thanks, Tab. I used SKS and CPS packaging. I supopse the volume you buy in makes a huge difference. The shipping costs, though, are truly frightening. I got a couple of bottles of oil from the Chemistry store - I think shea and Jojoba. My product ran me around 15.00. My shipping was nearly as much! How do you deal with that? It seems that with alot of suppliers, shipping options are limited, and shipping "calculators" often seem to overcharge. How do you figure shipping costs into your overhead?

I also wanted to thank you for the tip about suppliers in Florida. Good to know I'm not the only one who's made mistakes. The evil dwarves of self-doubt have been mining away in my brain all day! :(
 

Tabitha

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With the chemestry store, they charge a handling fee that is not disclosed, or at least it wasn't a few years ago the one & only time I ordered from them. I ordered a 3# item & was charged over $30.00 in shipping. I phoned them & they refunded $10.00 of it & sent me an email that read "congratulations, we just saved you $10.00".

Shipping, in the long run, runs most businesses 20% over the cost of their supplies/goods. Some things are light, some are heavy, but if you spend $1,000 supplies/goods, you should add be able to add $200 for shipping & have that be acurate as an average.
 

Incrtalent

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That's good to know. I do think the chemistry store is tapping me pretty hard on the postage. But a formula of some sort is a great place to start. How, exactly, did you learn all this? Just trial and error? I don't know. I guess I'm having an "off" day, but I've been fairly down about things today. I'm so busy putting out fires trying to order supplies, package and hand label, make the actual STUFF and PROMOTE it so I can sell it, (and I haven't been doing a tremendous amount of this yet), that I don't know where I'm going to find the time for the additional research, calculations, etc., etc., and etc., that I know I need to do. There is only one of me, and I work part-time to boot with three kids. Suffice it to say I'm a bit frustrated. I'm dancing as fast as I can, and it's not nearly fast enough!
 

Tabitha

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Trial & error & error & error & error-LOL

I was a buyer for a couple of boutiques in Dallas that was flowers, art & gifts. That is where I learned about wholesale vs retail vs consignment & shipping expenses, etc. That is also where I learned to price handmade goods. Some of what we sold was made in house.
 
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Tabitha said:
Trial & error & error & error & error-LOL

I was a buyer for a couple of boutiques in Dallas that was flowers, art & gifts. That is where I learned about wholesale vs retail vs consignment & shipping expenses, etc. That is also where I learned to price handmade goods. Some of what we sold was made in house.
AMEN SISTA!
 

Incrtalent

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Honestly. You guys make me feel SOOO much better. I'm not all that thrilled with mysel for some of the mistakes I've made thus far; but I suppose that's part of the process. I'm EXTREMELY glad I'm not on the internet yet, although that's where I really want to be. If I have to "adjust" my prices, I don't want to alread be "out there" to such an extent I wind up with egg all over my face!

I took a look at that soapmaker program, and I don't really know if it's going to work for me with the pricing becuase of my bases. Any body got any other ideas? Also--anyone know of any good business software? I need something that will keep track of my sales tax, invoices, etc., etc. I guess pretty much the whole ball of wax. I've been getting quite a few orders and doing my invoices individually from a template I downloaded for Excel, but WHAT a pain. I have to number them individually and date them, etc. Seems like I ought to be able to find something that will just spit them out sequentially numbered and automatically dated. Call me lazy. :wink:
 

pink-north

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Have you tried the sunburst bottle company. I don't know how their prices compare, but it's worth checking out.
 

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