Erruk Posted April 3, 2010 Report Share Posted April 3, 2010 Hello, I have been a silent member of these forums for quite some time, recently registered and finally decided to start getting involved some.I have been in the craft business ever since I was born (no kidding). My mother ran craft shops and did crafts herself for my entire life. So no doubt I got into it at the age of 14, I helped make her wood products. By the age of 18 I was doing candles retail in her shops and some shows. My mother finally closed all her shops and went full wholesale when I was 19. Of course I went too, going from retail to wholesale is very hard, a lot of things are different.I personally do just about everything, Pillars, votive, clam shells, jar candles, etc. Now that I am wholesale I will never go back, here's why:1 - I love dealing with only one person, not literally, because I deal with dozens of people any given week. But I deal with just one shop to sell however many candles they order, and no one else. I sell to shop number 2 however many candles and no one else, etc. I'm sure a lot of people LOVE dealing with the customers, I did too. But I never knew how much I would love dealing with just one person, and having them deal with the customers till it was happening.2 - I LOVE how, when I do a wholesale show, people RUN to my booth pushing trash cans (no kidding) and other giant carts and wagons, and grabbing 10 or 20 of just one type of item. I love having no ONE persons bill being under 100$, none of these people are buying for themselves, they are buying for a profit! No one is going to JUST spend 20$ (unless they are small! but very few small shops sell candles, its a very big expense to most shops)3- I mainly do wholesale shows, there are tons of shows around the united states, and I do about 1 a month. I love working for a month straight to have a "payout" at the end! it makes all the hard work worth that much more!4- I love having just ONE JOB! When I was retail I worked the business PLUS a full time job. Why? I had a ton of overhead! and if I didn't sell x amount, I didn't eat for a month! You never know exactly how much retail people are going to buy, but wholesale is so much more guaranteed, how so? well because after a few years you can get wholesale accounts, people who just call up and say I need x of this and y of that, charge my card on file etc. My wholesale accounts ALONE pay all my monthly house bills and food etc, so what does that mean? Basically, my wholesale shows pay for my business, and anything "fun" I want to do, whenever I have time (which is never)Those sound fun? You might want to do wholesale! BUT! keep some things in mind!You have to be ready for people to haggle you for better prices, its the name of the game, and do not get upset. I have a list on my computer of all the different shops who get different prices! some pay more then others, and god help me if another one finds out! Its just how it works, keep this in mind when pricing, and do not JUMP and say yes if someone offers a lower price. Most of the time I make it clear that the only way they are getting this lower price is if they make x amount order each month, with a minimum of x a year or they lose the price. You have to be able to handle people make what I call rude remarks! You will not imagine the amount of shows I go to where I have this new item and bring 100's of them, sell out of them within the first hour (I always keep one on hand to show people what it looked like so they can order), and then have 5 people walk by and say "oh well, that looks easy to do we can make those ourselves" I usually encourage this! why? because no one in their right mind would do what we candle makers do! (I said goodbye to my sense of smell years ago)PRICING! this is the big one, and sadly this is the one where most people will fail in this business. I am a workaholic, I get it from both my parents who worked 16 hour days almost my entire life. I also do not buy 10 of something and say wonder how these will do? So what you say? well, if you buy 10, and I buy 150, or even 1500, I bet I can haggle for a very nice price break. A wholesale business takes about 5x as much money to start as just starting a candle business, and you all know how much that costs! I am sure most of you do this as more then a hobby, a few posts lately I can tell a lot of you are also very much workaholics. So back to pricing. I sell my candles cheap, I do not double my price on most of them. I also have my cost figured down to a tenth of one penny. So I know exactly how much profit I make on every single thing I do.I will give you an example in a votive. I buy my wax from candles and supplies. Why? because I live close to them, so shipping costs me no more then the tank to drive there with a trailer attached. I know of a few more places that are much much cheaper, but! the quantity needed is a minimum of a cargo container (no kidding) or a trailer load. I do own a warehouse, but not big enough for 16 skids! (or however many skids a trailer carries) I buy enough wax to make the cost of pouring 8 votive less then 2$ including scent, wax, color, and even packaging. I use a very similar packing method to one I saw on here a few weeks ago with 12 votive candles in a pack. Okay, so for 8 votive candles its around 2$ ( don't want to get too technical with the exact amount, just making it easy) So for a pack of 12 thats roughly 3$ cost. I sell a pack of 12 candles for $6. and to most of my steady buyers, they get them for as low as $5. a pack. I run many many melting pots, each with their own color and scent already added, and most are 10 pound pots. So what does that mean? It means I can pour 100's of these things in a matter of minutes. I did the numbers once but it was something like, from nothing to 100% done, packaged and labeled (excluding the time to cool) I could do 500 in one hour, those are very rough numbers without actually finding the papers where I worked this out, but it gives you a rough idea of pricing. I try to make the majority of my money on quantity bought, and not an individual item. Some of you might say I don't want to sell a votive for 50cents! or less! but, if you can make 100's in an hour, why charge more? its better to make sure your shops are making money, at the same time they are selling tons, and in the end making you more money. The more money your shops make, the more money you make, its that simple.I do a lot of other items that go well with candles that I do not touch, as what most people call "staples" such as candle holders, lights, and silicone light bulbs.One big thing is, and I know a lot of you might be upset about this one... But you need to choose your best scents and stick with just them. I have 5 scents, that's it! You may be thinking OH MY only 5!? Think of it like this, a small store wants to carry your line of candles. I'll give mine as an example, I have an 8oz jar candle, 12oz by request, and 16oz candle, votives and 3x3 3x6 and 3x9 pillars and clam shells. No store is going to be able to carry all of those in all 50 candle scents you have! now, 5 scents they will, and it will give people a nice price range of items to carry in their shops. I do carry a few extra scents during different types of the year, like gingerbread close to fall, and toasted marshmallow(c&s brand) in fall and spring etc. PLUS this means you can get more done of each type of item, for example I always try to bring 48 of each pillar (pillars are not my best seller) of each scent to every show, which is easy only having 5 scents!I am sure I missed a lot of things, but ask questions I will try to answer most of them. I know a lot of you have given out a ton of information about suppliers etc, but I cannot afford to lose all of mine so that is one aspect I cannot answer. Don't hesitate to ask there is some stuff I will share tho!ALSO! in wholesale, you you are quarter year faster then the rest of the population! What does that mean? well, Winter items sell best in fall, summer items sell best in spring, and spring items sell best in winter! heh, one thing to keep in mind!That is why I love wholesale, Also I do not have a website, I wish I did but I just cannot get myself to make one! even though tons of people ask me about it!Thanks for reading, or not, too long I know! I tried to keep it short. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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