What do you pack your soaps in for a show ?

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Jan 20, 2018
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The dreaded thought, how the *&^#^ am I going to get these all to the show in one piece and not too heavy?

Since I now have a car, a Hatchback and thank goodness for that ! I had forgotten how much I LOVE hatchbacks !!! Plus it is an EV so weight is something that is in the back of my mind if I have to drive far.
I fit in the 10x10 Canopy with the 3 side walls, 2 - 6' folding tables & table covers, 2 folding chairs, 2 shoe racks assembled but will be making them flat in the future as I just hate fiddling to attach them every time. hmmm, 4 long wooden serving trays, tent weights and a bag for our little things (money, drinks, hand towel to wipe the sweat off me all day) etc little things.
I can fill the car in about 5 minutes from my shed next to the carport where I store it all except for soap. I fill it so that I can get the Chair out first and put anything small on it then tent to set up, tables and everything else.

What I have done and changed since doing shows this year.

I had bought plastic shoe boxes at the $1 store but I can not fit that many into them and didn't want to carry 100 of them. I still have them but have not used them. I am sure I will find a use for the 10 I have

1st I had boxes. 16" x 12" x 4" tall I got the boxes for free and I have a LOT of them. I still use them for storage of soaps with heavy butcher kraft paper around each scent and like scents together.
This seemed ok to use to take to the shows, nice $$ saver but they are too long and start to bend after a very short while.

2nd I got those nice bigger crates they sell at Michaels/ Joanne fabrics etc. About 14"x 12"'x 12" tall They really need some more bracing on the bottom as the slats are kind of weak. So I had to get 3 and only could fit so many before it got heavy and I was afraid the bottom would give. That lasted 2 shows. They are neat crates so I will keep them.

3rd and final so far. I was at Costco and they had plastic bins with tops. Stackable (well what plastic flat top box is not stackable) with the locking side clip/handle. Called Buckle up Storage Set of 6 12.9 qt . roughly 10.5"W x 16" L x 6.5" H for I think $14 on sale -- It's College season you know.
I can fit about 6 or 7 different scents (6 soaps each) in each one.
BEST part is that it fits between the front and back seats on the floor. Only the weights were able to fit on the floor and a bag before. Seemed like wasted space. I did have to take the headrests off the back seats for more room but MAN was a Saver !!

So tell me, what have you used. Anything you changed like I did or would improve on ?
I will take a pic of my filled car on Saturday (next show)

I got under bed storage totes similar to this at WalMart - I think they were $12 or $14 each. I couldn't find a picture of the exact one that I got, but there is a piece to snap from base to the lid. The one shown here snaps from the lid to the base - DON'T GET THOSE! They are flimsy and will eventually break! My totes hold about 60 bars of soap, which makes them an easy weight for me to carry one at a time - or for my stronger husband to carry two at a time. The first ones I bought just had a snap on lid - the lids quickly warped and now they are a PITA to use. I can't recommend the locking ones enough. Here's what the locking feature on mine looks like:

So that blue piece comes up from the base of the tote and snaps around a "knob" on the lid.
My mom does wood turning and does craft shows for that, so here's what I've learned helping her pack, set up, break-down and unpack.

Give each tote a number. Tote #1 is unpacked first, and so on. I wouldn't have one large tote full of soap (obviously), but maybe put together a tote that has stuff that goes together - for example, maybe one tote contains soap and the display those particular soaps go on.
I use cardboard baseball card boxes. I then stack them into a large container. I can fit 12 boxes per storage container. In on I put 4 bars of each fragrance (keep like scents together) for my display. In the other I have all my restocks. They are quite heavy but I have a small foldable dolly that I can load them on and works like a charm.


Like this one but I didn't pay nearly that for it.
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Yes! I have a foldable dolly too, but the dolly doesn't work well for hauling from the basement to the blazer, lol. Or for indoor shows with stairs. I haven't had an outdoor show yet that I couldn't drive up to my spot and unload from. If you don't know, make sure to ask the organizer before hand. It's nice to not have to pack the dolly and give a bit more room for other stuff.
Since I make candles, I use old leftover container boxes to pack my soaps in. I am lucky, 1) I only do 4 shows a year - this year I may only do 2, 2) all my shows are indoors, and not very far from my house, 3) my hub helps me load up. I pack/unpack everything, but he loads up the truck, and unloads at the show- we also have a convertible dolly that folds down to a long dolly or folds up to a hand truck type dolly (if that makes sense)

If I were you, I would get some cardboard boxes and/or the ones that are shown above. That's the best way to transport IMO
I drive a Grand Cheroke;e and all my stuff fits in the back, with room to spare. I use an 8' table (provided); I have my soaps in 2-3 box lids from 13 x 19" card stock (from work-I can get as many as I want/need whenever I want them; that stuff is heavy and the boxes are quite sturdy). They're about 21 x 14 x 4"; one advantage to these is that they fit under the bed in my spare room, which also acts as my craft/storage room. They do eventually bend and crack at the middle but I usually carry them with the short edge against me and holding them at the center. That definitely helps them last longer. Another one holds the B&B products. I can slide two into the back of the Jeep side by side, along with two wooden boxes that I use as risers; those are also used to hold odds and ends. There's also my cash box and a basket with packaging materials (bags, labels, insert cards, brochures, business cards, pens, etc) that also fit right behind the back seat. The boxes are strong enough that I can add a second layer, at a slight angle, if I need to.

I'm always indoors and the building has 4 entrances, 3 of which have stairs (only 3 stairs). As long as we can get close to the building, it's not big deal carrying everything in. It takes about 3 trips with the two of us to get it all to our table. It all gets put on the floor until we get the table cloths and risers set. We empty one box at a time, starting at the center of the table and working our way to the edges. Once a box is emptied, it gets stored under the table. I think Trinity could almost do it all herself by this point.
I use these but I am lucky my hubby carries them, but I could carry 1 at a time if I had to. I have had a few of the handle locks break but some I have used for 7 yrs. Also I am fortunate that I do not unload my truck between markets and simply would not do markets if I did have to unload after each market. A good part of the reason is I would have to carry down 15 steps then another 13 steps to get them downstairs. Nope, not happening... Until we lost the market owner that owned several market we were doing up to 5 markets in a week, with 3 being the average. No way would we unload and reload that often.
There are the boxes, my size 10 dirty sneaker for size. Also more of these I just bought. I can fit 7 scents of 5 soaps each in a box with a bit o room .
I use baseball boxes and shoe boxes at home to store my soap but for fairs, I just don't like the bulkiness of the containers. At fairs I display with soap in trays and I take my basic inventory already in the trays in Rubbermaid tubs. For refills I pack the soaps in ziploc bags and have them in a Rubermaid tote labeled Refills. I can get 130 in one rubbermaid tote with them in ziploc bags. It is heavy and I need to haul with a dolly. It is easier to find the soap since the bags are clear and I can put 12 soaps in a gallon ziploc.
I know what you mean about stacked by the door. I am looking to get the Kallax Ikea shelves so I can put the boxes I have now in them by the back door
View attachment 31583 I use these or their small cousins. Been using them for years. The only downside is when I decided to change the size of my soaps to better fit my displays I was limited by the storage boxes but it worked out fine. You can find them here: https://www.bcwsupplies.com/super-shoe-storage-box-3000-cards

@SoaperForLife thanks for sharing the link for the boxes. I just ordered some over lunch and by 2:00 I had notification that they shipped! Hopefully this will help organize my soap hoard, I mean collection, so that I use soaps in a more timely manner... rather than years down the road.
Just an update.
The plastic boxes I still use for small FM's that I don't think I will sell much. There are usually about 4-5 I take. And I take 5-6 bar of each scent, or only a couple for ones that are not big sellers.

When I did the big Farm Fair (4 days) I had to take everything. So I just used the boxes I had. They are something like 16" long x 14" wide x 4" tall. pita, but was easier to bring since I would not be moving them every day, just there and home when it was over.
I'm using the under-the-bed storage containers with locking lids. I can fit 7 fragrances 10 each. They have coasters and they were about $14 each. I tend to take a lot of soap with me.
I like the shoe box for separating the similar scents inside the container.
I use the same shape totes as the underbed but mine do not have the wheels and are a size down. The hold 2 layers of my soap and we take 3-4 to all markets. I think mine are around 26 qt versus the 40 qt underbed size. Hubby and I are getting to old to lift and carry the 40 qt when filled with soap
Man, Those must be heavy ! Even the boxes I use are heavy with roughly 32 bars in it.. maybe it is a little more like 36 bars

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