Unreasonable?

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TheGecko

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Last month I was ask to give a quote on making the below soap; woman has a high-end housekeeping business and wanted to do a special soaps as gifts. I quoted her $12.00 per bar plus the cost of molds (single cavity, 5oz, $15.00); eight colors. She wanted two dozen soaps; I said I would need a minimum of four molds and 60 days or eight molds and 45 days because of cure times. She also wanted five dozen 'guest' type soaps...larger than what you would find in a hotel, but not a full-size bar s she has several AirBnBs. I suggested a 3oz Round bar and quoted her $3.50 a bar...60 days.

She thought the quote for the 'witch' soap outrageous. I explained that it would take me at least a half-hour per bar for the various colors for the first layer, then it would need to set before I could pour the second layer (moon) and that would have to set before I could pour the rest of the soap and that I wasn't charging her for 'wait' time as I could be doing other things. The soap would then need to set for at least two days because of the intricate design and then I could make the next batch. That even if she purchased two dozen molds, I was still limited on how many I could produce because like her, I was a small business owner. She also didn't want to pay more than $2.00 for some 'plain old soap'.

I generally try not to allow stuff like this to bother me, but man...she just rubbed me the wrong way so I should her how much of a "witch" I could be. When I asked her how much she charges and then asked why when she was just running a **** vacuum cleaner! Needless to say, I didn't get the order. LOL


Witch Soap Mold Colored.png
 
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Last month I was ask to give a quote on making the below soap; woman has a high-end housekeeping business and wanted to do a special soaps as gifts. I quoted her $12.00 per bar plus the cost of molds (single cavity, 5oz, $15.00); eight colors. She wanted two dozen soaps; I said I would need a minimum of four molds and 60 days or eight molds and 45 days because of cure times. She also wanted five dozen 'guest' type soaps...larger than what you would find in a hotel, but not a full-size bar s she has several AirBnBs. I suggested a 3oz Round bar and quoted her $3.50 a bar...60 days.

She thought the quote for the 'witch' soap outrageous. I explained that it would take me at least a half-hour per bar for the various colors for the first layer, then it would need to set before I could pour the second layer (moon) and that would have to set before I could pour the rest of the soap and that I wasn't charging her for 'wait' time as I could be doing other things. The soap would then need to set for at least two days because of the intricate design and then I could make the next batch. That even if she purchased two dozen molds, I was still limited on how many I could produce because like her, I was a small business owner. She also didn't want to pay more than $2.00 for some 'plain old soap'.

I generally try not to allow stuff like this to bother me, but man...she just rubbed me the wrong way so I should her how much of a "witch" I could be. When I asked her how much she charges and then asked why when she was just running a **** vacuum cleaner! Needless to say, I didn't get the order. LOL


View attachment 68655
I get it. Working in a print shop, we get some "interesting" requests. When people want something like 25 die cut wedding cards or a 1.5" circular tag with a hole in it, they gulp when I let them know that their order would need to have a custom die created (occasionally, they'll order a size and shape we already have a die for) and those START at about $200, just for the die. Then, we still need to create their file, print it, and then die cut it. All of a sudden, one wedding invitation ends up costing close to $15 or more. It comes down to "how badly do you want this?". And usually, it isn't THAT badly.

In the case of the witchy soap, though, would it be an option to paint it with micas afterwards? I mean, it still wouldn't be cheap but... ??

ETA Incidentally, I often make guest sized soaps (2x2x.5" ish) if I have a bit of batter left at the end of a batch. Once I have enough to fill a basket, I sell them for $3.00 each. They sell like hotcakes! $2.00 for "plain old soap"? Send her to Walmart.
 

TheGecko

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I get it. Working in a print shop, we get some "interesting" requests. When people want something like 25 die cut wedding cards or a 1.5" circular tag with a hole in it, they gulp when I let them know that their order would need to have a custom die created (occasionally, they'll order a size and shape we already have a die for) and those START at about $200, just for the die. Then, we still need to create their file, print it, and then die cut it. All of a sudden, one wedding invitation ends up costing close to $15 or more. It comes down to "how badly do you want this?". And usually, it isn't THAT badly.

In the case of the witchy soap, though, would it be an option to paint it with micas afterwards? I mean, it still wouldn't be cheap but... ??

ETA Incidentally, I often make guest sized soaps (2x2x.5" ish) if I have a bit of batter left at the end of a batch. Once I have enough to fill a basket, I sell them for $3.00 each. They sell like hotcakes! $2.00 for "plain old soap"? Send her to Walmart.
Ex-husband and I had a print shop for a short time and I used to work for a paper box company and we made our dies in-house.

I thought about painting it…on one hand it would much a lot easier than doing the math and master batching a bunch of different colors, but that seems like such a Wal-Mart move and I’m a Macy’s kind of soap maker. ;)

I usually keep the extra soap for me since I’m gotten pretty good about being spot on with my calculations and don’t too often have extra batter. But I love your idea.
 
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I keep going back and forth between looking at that soap and reading your post. I would pay $15 for that soap all day.

My friend is a realtor and buys soap from me at least 3 times a year...like a lot at a time. She pays full price $8/bar for "plain old soap". Doesn't even ask for anything special, and I usually do a mix and match of whatever really pretty soaps I have left, and she knows it. Then I do custom labels for them and put her name somewhere on it. I got finicky at first about the legalities and making sure the bars had my name on them like my real label and ingredients, but now i just do everything the same, and instead of giving my soap a name, that's where I put her "custom" request..."Wash away the new year'...

But if $8/bar is what I sell them to her, I am quite sure the witch motif is really not much to ask. It looks like a lot of work.

I do give a little discount for buying in quantity...usually an extra bar per loaf of soap. But mine is willy nilly not a specific design.

She wanted to pay $2 for this soap???
 

TheGecko

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I keep going back and forth between looking at that soap and reading your post. I would pay $15 for that soap all day.

She wanted to pay $2 for this soap???
I’ll remember that if I ever decide to make them.

No, she wanted to pay $2.00 for the 3oz Round Soap, which was my cost; labor is a little higher with cavity molds.
 

MelissaG

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As someone who spent 18 years in the hotel industry in every position except maintenance... it's because she's been spoiled on the cost of hotel soaps. The average hotel soap is 0.5 ounces and will last maybe a week. Unless it's an expensive hotel, they are usually made with cheap ingredients. They are bought in massive bulk boxes. They are normally completely solid in color, use at least some manufactured ingredients, and will often dry your skin out. Because of this, the average hotel soap is about 35 cents per soap, possibly less. And that's the cost to the hotel, not the maker.

If you want quality, you have to pay for quality. And quality takes time and money.
 
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Very interesting, @MelissaG thanks for that background data.

I’ve been traveling for work and have noticed how small all the bar soaps have become - one ounce! And in California, only the sink soaps can be individual bar soaps. Everything in the shower has to be liquid products in dispensers (to reduce waste). I’m actually good with that and wouldn’t mind LS at the sinks, too.
 

Christa10

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I’ll remember that if I ever decide to make them.

No, she wanted to pay $2.00 for the 3oz Round Soap, which was my cost; labor is a little higher with cavity molds.
Could you use a pvc pipe instead of a cavity mold, to make it easier and less labor intensive?
 

1sadmomma

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Last month I was ask to give a quote on making the below soap; woman has a high-end housekeeping business and wanted to do a special soaps as gifts. I quoted her $12.00 per bar plus the cost of molds (single cavity, 5oz, $15.00); eight colors. She wanted two dozen soaps; I said I would need a minimum of four molds and 60 days or eight molds and 45 days because of cure times. She also wanted five dozen 'guest' type soaps...larger than what you would find in a hotel, but not a full-size bar s she has several AirBnBs. I suggested a 3oz Round bar and quoted her $3.50 a bar...60 days.

She thought the quote for the 'witch' soap outrageous. I explained that it would take me at least a half-hour per bar for the various colors for the first layer, then it would need to set before I could pour the second layer (moon) and that would have to set before I could pour the rest of the soap and that I wasn't charging her for 'wait' time as I could be doing other things. The soap would then need to set for at least two days because of the intricate design and then I could make the next batch. That even if she purchased two dozen molds, I was still limited on how many I could produce because like her, I was a small business owner. She also didn't want to pay more than $2.00 for some 'plain old soap'.

I generally try not to allow stuff like this to bother me, but man...she just rubbed me the wrong way so I should her how much of a "witch" I could be. When I asked her how much she charges and then asked why when she was just running a **** vacuum cleaner! Needless to say, I didn't get the order. LOL


View attachment 68655
She's definitely the one being unreasonable! Nobody works for free! I mean, what you made is art. The ingredients aren't what's special. Anyone can make plain old soap if they want but making it look like that takes an artist's and that's what she'd really be paying for. Not everyone is an artist. Soapmakers even buy soap like that from each other because they can't make it themselves. It's not just your time that's valuable, it's also your skill.

That being said, I do custom orders where I have to buy new molds for that specific order, but only if it's something I could sell at the market, too. Good molds aren't cheap! I did have a customer who wanted soap from a mold that I didn't think would make for good sales so she bought the molds and after the soap was finished I gave them back to her. She really, really, REALLY wanted that design!
 

TheGecko

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She's definitely the one being unreasonable! Nobody works for free! I mean, what you made is art. The ingredients aren't what's special. Anyone can make plain old soap if they want but making it look like that takes an artist's and that's what she'd really be paying for. Not everyone is an artist. Soapmakers even buy soap like that from each other because they can't make it themselves. It's not just your time that's valuable, it's also your skill.

That being said, I do custom orders where I have to buy new molds for that specific order, but only if it's something I could sell at the market, too. Good molds aren't cheap! I did have a customer who wanted soap from a mold that I didn't think would make for good sales so she bought the molds and after the soap was finished I gave them back to her. She really, really, REALLY wanted that design!
I didn't make them...the picture is what she sent me. And she didn't like that she would have to pay for the mold, but that is par for course in any kind of customized request.
 

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