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  • Pricing

    I'm currently trying to put together a range of candles and am having problems settling on pricing. As this is just a hobby/business at the moment I'm really pricing up the cost of materials and my time. I read on here that larger companies charge x3 or x4 cost to make, but in some cases this would be very expensive for my candles. However, I don't want to give them away! What have your experiences been? I'm not asking for prices, just advice.

    Thanks all.

  • #2
    Pricing is the hardest thing.
    I looked around at another candles similar, in size to mine (I make tin candles) and they ranged from £3 (at Tesco) to £12 (an online retailer). I decided to price mine at £8.50 which is in line with some big brands in tin candles. I make a nice little profit for me but wholesaling is a no go as I can't do them at 50% off which is what retailers want.
    Hope that helps.

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    • #3
      Funnily enough I have just spent the last hour browsing other candle sellers prices because I'm considering my options at the moment. And from what I've seen prices are all over the place from the ridiculously cheap to the ridiculously expensive. I have decided the best thing to do will be to work out how much it costs me to produce, then a pound or two for my efforts, which will probably put me somewhere in the middle price range. Obviously there will be some people who will look at the prices in say the local pound shop and not give mine a second glance because they regard them as too expensive but then they probably aren't the type of customer I'm looking for and if its a quality product those with cash will buy it regardless of the competitions prices anyway, hopefully

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      • #4
        Originally posted by squeakyclean View Post
        Obviously there will be some people who will look at the prices in say the local pound shop
        Absolutely right! The people that look for the type of products that we all make (and that goes for any hand crafted item) are happy to spend a little more on something they know has been done with love and care and/or in their local community. As long as it's the best quality you can produce and it's not completely unreasonably priced!

        A good example of a happy medium is our tea light packs - tea lights aren't massively popular in this area and they cost us quite a lot to produce once you've taken the branding and packaging into account. We sell them in order to offer variety but they don't look like much to a regular customer when you can just buy 100 in a big bag from Ikea for a few quid so we have to price competitively and just make sure we're not losing money. They're the tough one's to price up but when you consider that you might be making lots of profit on something else, it balances out.

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        • #5
          Well, I am not a candle maker but I do like scented candles.

          I just lit one that was given by a friend some time ago. Absolutely no scent at all. Probably came from Tesco.

          Don't sell too cheap. Don't even compare yourself with Tesco. I would have thought that the easiest way to sell scented candles at Craft Fairs is to light them and let people see/smell how good they are. Sorry, that doesn't help with 'net sales.
          Cathy
          I sew, therefore I am.
          I apologise in advance for any spelling or grramatical errors, I'm on tablets - no, no - I'm on a tablet.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by LauraShayler View Post
            Absolutely right! The people that look for the type of products that we all make (and that goes for any hand crafted item) are happy to spend a little more on something they know has been done with love and care and/or in their local community. As long as it's the best quality you can produce and it's not completely unreasonably priced!

            A good example of a happy medium is our tea light packs - tea lights aren't massively popular in this area and they cost us quite a lot to produce once you've taken the branding and packaging into account. We sell them in order to offer variety but they don't look like much to a regular customer when you can just buy 100 in a big bag from Ikea for a few quid so we have to price competitively and just make sure we're not losing money. They're the tough one's to price up but when you consider that you might be making lots of profit on something else, it balances out.
            Just had a look at your tealights...WOW they are a good price! The colours are so pretty, and they look very appealing. Not for the IKEA customer
            Please come see me on:

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            Or on my blog Candles From Home

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            • #7
              Thank you!
              You're right, although there isn't a huge market for them here, those that do buy them don't mind paying the prices we charge - they may even be prepared to pay a little more... in fact I think I'm right in saying Marion's are a little more expensive than ours and they're really popular with her customers. It's all relative as they say.

              And Cathy, you say your comment may not help with net sales but you'll be surprised! When we burn samples at fairs a lot of people come over and even if they don't buy, they comment on the strength of fragrance and take cards and leaflets. If 1 in 10 of those resulted in an internet sale, a lit candle definitely does it's job!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by LauraShayler View Post
                When we burn samples at fairs a lot of people come over and even if they don't buy, they comment on the strength of fragrance and take cards and leaflets. If 1 in 10 of those resulted in an internet sale, a lit candle definitely does it's job!
                It is fab your are allowed to burn samples. I have my first event on friday and hoping they let me light something!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by burning_it_at_both_ends View Post
                  It is fab your are allowed to burn samples. I have my first event on friday and hoping they let me light something!
                  I didn't ask if I could burn one! I risk-assessed it, had it out of the way of children's hands, right at the back, raised up and in a container which protected it but the fragrance was fantastic. But if you're there for the whole day don't light it too early so it lasts.

                  Re pricing, remember the 3Cs: Costs, Customers & Competition. There's a balance to be struck but don't try and compete with tesco/Ikea - they will always undercut you but not necessarily selling quality products. That's what you have to stress. People WILL pay more but you have to be clever about it. Look at the costs of a Jo Malone candle! You are buying a lifestyle enhancer there. No candle on this planet is worth over £30 but they get away with it.

                  I have used "Introductory Price" a couple of times because it gives me the option of changing the price if necessary. You could say for March only, encouraging people to buy. But someone else said to me it's easier to cut the price than raise it.

                  Good luck - it is a difficult one.

                  Marion

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the replies all; it's very tricky isn't it. I've been lucky so far in that I've had some large bespoke orders so have priced them on an individual basis. It's easier to price up a bulk order than it is to 'make a day to day living' price. Also, It's not something I can go back and change later! I guess, for the moment, it's a 'suck it and see' process as I really am only a start-up and hope to have many more candle-making years to come.

                    Really helpful comments, thank you all.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MarionT View Post
                      I didn't ask if I could burn one! I risk-assessed it, had it out of the way of children's hands, right at the back, raised up and in a container which protected it but the fragrance was fantastic. But if you're there for the whole day don't light it too early so it lasts.

                      Re pricing, remember the 3Cs: Costs, Customers & Competition. There's a balance to be struck but don't try and compete with tesco/Ikea - they will always undercut you but not necessarily selling quality products. That's what you have to stress. People WILL pay more but you have to be clever about it. Look at the costs of a Jo Malone candle! You are buying a lifestyle enhancer there. No candle on this planet is worth over £30 but they get away with it.

                      I have used "Introductory Price" a couple of times because it gives me the option of changing the price if necessary. You could say for March only, encouraging people to buy. But someone else said to me it's easier to cut the price than raise it.

                      Good luck - it is a difficult one.

                      Marion
                      Thank you Marion, this is really helpful. Lots to mull over.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DaCosta View Post
                        Thank you Marion, this is really helpful. Lots to mull over.
                        My pleasure.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MarionT View Post
                          I didn't ask if I could burn one! I risk-assessed it, had it out of the way of children's hands, right at the back, raised up and in a container which protected it but the fragrance was fantastic. But if you're there for the whole day don't light it too early so it lasts.
                          FAB ~ I will risk-assess it too! x

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                          • #14
                            I'm glad it's not just me. I've been round and round ....... and round again with this topic to the point I'm irritating myself!!
                            I looked at various candles on the market and came up with an introductory price considering my recent beginnings. But plan to increase now my experience (and confidence) has increased.
                            I've now sold a good number of candles and some tealights and only 2 people have chosen not to purchase because "it's too expensive". People have seemed happy to pay the price and many have come back for more. A small number of people have over paid! And the shop I've got them in are selling at more than I'm thinking of charging once increased. Introductory price ends Sunday so 4 more days to think about it!!
                            Cali x

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                            • #15
                              Use eBay to test your prices. Put up your items with different prices and see what the demand is for them. It's also a handy way to
                              test designs, colors fragrances before you splash out on supplies (and time/effort).

                              No-one on here is really going to be able to compete on price but definitely can on quality (with a story - why are you making them etc)

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