If you make handcrafted soap you may want to sell your wonderful product to the public and not just to friends and family. One way to get to know people in your area and to spread the word is to join the local Chamber of Commerce or a similar organization. This will cost a small fee, anywhere from $25.00 to over $100.00, depending on the size of your town or city.
They will most likely give you a ribbon-cutting that will be advertised in the local newspaper. After joining the Chamber you will have access to many business addresses and as a member be able to attend Chamber functions etc. All of this will help spread the word about your product.
Always have samples of your soap on hand, for people to smell and see. Join the area soap makers association. Begin your own web site. Pass out business cards wherever you go. Donate to different organizations. Send out press releases to local newspapers.
Setting a price for your soap is one of the hardest things to do. Find out what price other soap makers have on their products. You don’t want to have prices that are too much different from their prices. Most soaps that are full of exotic oils, as handcrafted soap is, sell for about $1.00 per ounce, retail. You can sell your soap labeled, or naked, which is soap without a label. If you sell each bar of soap without a label you can afford to sell it cheaper.
If you want your soap to be sold in shops, you must sell to the shop owner at wholesale prices, or offer to put your soap on consignment. You need to figure out which way you wish to do business. Make an appointment and visit shops in your local area. Take your product with you, for them to see and smell. Find out if they want you to have your own display box or if they provide one.
Keep track of which soaps and how many of each are going to each shop. Work up a portfolio and include your product or photos of your product. Also include your brochure, your business card, and a cover letter telling them what you are trying to do. Send copies of any media coverage you may have had. Send these portfolios to lots of shops in your area. You may hear back from just a few, or from many. You never know how people will react.
Be knowledgeable of your product. Attend trade shows or fairs. Be sure you get a list of fairs and find out all the requirements, in plenty of time before the show. Most trade shows have a deadline for the registration fee to be turned in. If you can afford one, purchase a tent or canopy, so your soap will not be out in the hot sun or rain. Most trade shows have a certain size area that you can set up in.
Buy your tables and canopy accordingly. Set up your table to look attractive and get your product up at eye level. Be prepared with the change, receipts, etc. Stress to customers that your handcrafted soap is pure, natural and so much better than the commercial detergents available in the stores. Tell them what is special about your soap. They want to know why they should buy your product over the commercial brands or other handcrafted soaps available. Educate your customers.
Wherever you go, be prepared to take orders. Be sure you have the right sales tax information needed for the area you are selling in, and always be sure to get all of the customer’s contact information you need to ship the soap to them. Try to pre-calculate the shipping and handling. Also, when you are selling soap, you need to be able to accept credit cards. Contact some credit card companies and compare them all to see which one is suitable for you. If you can’t accept credit cards or debit cards you will miss out on about seventy percent of your possible sales.
So, be prepared with plenty of products, and be sure you have all of the necessary paperwork required by your state, such as a sales tax I.D. number. Do some research and you will be a success.