Almost everyone loves candles, and selling candles from home can be a lucrative way to make some extra money.
If you’re looking to start making money from candles, this guide will give you basic information to help you get started.
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Can You Make Money Selling Candles?
Candles are profitable. If you make candles at home and sell them, you can make $500 to $1000 a month. Some even increase their business to build a full-time income from selling candles.
It’s important to calculate the cost of materials and other costs (such as the cost to set up a booth or the cost of listing an item online) to make sure you’re making a profit. You’ll want to keep your costs low and your prices high enough that you’ll make a fair amount for your investment.
How to make money selling candles
1. Decide on Your Candle Niche
Before you buy any materials for making candles, you should decide on your candle niche and target customer. How you manage an eco-friendly line of candles will be different from how to sell decorative candles.
Soy candles are typically longer lasting and produce less soot. Because they’re derived from natural sources, they’re great for making an eco-friendly candle. However, the pros and cons are more expensive to produce and offer less scent when burnt.
Paraffin candles are inexpensive to produce and provide stronger scents. Unfortunately, they’re not derived naturally and produce more soot. Because they burn quickly, they offer less burn time than a soy candle.
Once you’ve decided on what your base is made from, you need to decide what type of candle you’re going to make. There are different type of candle, decorative candles, aromatherapy candles, molded candles, hand-dipped candles, and more.
Once you’ve decided what kind of candles you want to make, you need to create a business name and figure out how you’re going to label your candles. If you’re making an eco-friendly candle brand, for example, you might want to use recycled materials for packaging.
2. Purchase Materials
Once you know what your candle brand identity will be, you need to purchase materials. Candle making is a popular side hustle because you can typically get started for less than $100.
You’ll need candle containers or jars, wicks, wick stickers, a melting pot, a thermometer, a scale, wax, oil fragrance, dye, product labels, and caution labels.
Keep careful records of how much you spend on candle-making supplies to help you determine the cost of making each candle. If you’re shipping your candles, try to get your shipping supplies from a wholesaler to reduce your overall shipping cost.
It’s important that you make quality candles while reducing your investment cost. You need to consider the cost of supplies and the cost of acquiring customers into the price of your candles. Booths at farmer’s markets and craft fairs cost money. Selling online also has associated fees.
All of these costs need to be recorded and factored into your pricing. If you make all of the candles yourself, you can make a 50% to 70% profit off the candle’s retail price. Hiring help will reduce your overall profit but may become necessary if your business grows.
3. Make Your Candles
Making your candles will obviously be the most significant investment of your time in your home business. It’s essential that you learn how to make candles well and master your candle recipes.
There are lots of guides out there to show you how to make candles. However, the basic process will be the same no matter what kind of candles you make.
You’ll need to measure the wax, making sure to measure out a little less than the volume of your candle container. Room should be left for adding fragrance.
Once measured, you need to melt your wax, usually in a double boiler. You need to heat up the wax to whatever temperature is indicated for your wax type.
After it’s heated, add the fragrance and stir until it is completely dissolved and blended. Add colored dye, if desired.
Attach your wick to the bottom of the candle container using a wick sticker. Allow the wax to cool to the temperature indicated for your type of wax, and pour the partially cooled wax into your candle container.
Once the wax is cooled, secure the wick and let the candle cool completely. Trim the wick to a quarter-inch above the wax. After this is done, your candle is ready to be labeled and sold.
You need to master this process, making a consistent and high-quality product. While others may offer “recipes” for candles, it’s important that you create recipes of your own so that you aren’t stealing the intellectual property of another candle maker.
4. Label and Package Your Candles for Sale
How to label and package your candles will go a long way in producing sales. While people want candles that smell good, they also want candles that will look nice on their desks or in their homes.
Create labels that are compelling to catch customers’ eyes. Include the candle’s weight and estimated burning time to let prospective customers know what to expect from your candle.
5. Sell Your Candles
Once you’ve made your candles and mastered your candle recipes, it’s time to sell your candles.
Before you can sell your candles, you need to determine an appropriate price point for them. Your target audience and the cost of making each candle will help you choose a price. For example, an eco-friendly candle line may be able to charge a little more than a candle line that provides scented paraffin candles.
Decide where you’re going to sell your candles. Candles can be sold in person at farmer’s markets and craft fairs or local consignments shops. You can also sell your candles online through social media, selling sites like Etsy or Amazon, or on your own website.
If you’re selling your candles online, make sure to factor shipping into your costs. While you can charge shipping to your customers, you’ll need to determine exactly how much it costs to package and ship your candles.
As you build your candle business, use online resources to determine what kinds of candles sell best and where they’re selling. Certain scents and designs may be popular in certain areas.
You should also learn about your competition. Since candles purchased online can be shipped anywhere, your competition in online retailers may be fiercer than in in-person locations. If selling at local craft fairs, find out what other candle makers are selling in your area. Knowing their products can help you appropriately price and market your own.
6. Scaling Your Business
There are several ways you can scale your candle-making business.
First, you should make sure you have all of the appropriate licensing to sell where you live. In the United States, a vendor permit is required if you’re selling at farmer’s markets or craft fairs.
If you’re unsure what licensing you need, the Small Business Administration can help you find the correct resources.
Second, you can scale your business by building your own website. Purchase a domain for your brand and make sales through your own website. This is great for updating customers about new products or giving them a behind-the-scenes look at your operation.
Finally, find ways to cut your costs and increase your production. More efficient equipment may be needed if you’re selling lots of candles, so factor in equipment costs to your business plan.
Purchase your materials from wholesalers to cut the cost to make each candle. Even if you’re buying from a wholesaler, keep your eyes open for places that provide your materials at a lower price. Every time you cut the cost to make your candles, you increase your profit margins.
7. Selling Candles Made by Others
If you don’t want to make your own candles, there are many direct sales and multi-level marketing options that allow you to sell candles.
Make money selling candles: The bottom line
Selling candles can be a profitable business for two primary reasons. First, candles are popular, and the candle industry is a huge one. Second, because candles are used up, there’s always a market for repeat customers.
Whether you want to make candles to make a little extra money on the side or turn it into a full-time job, candle-making and selling can be a profitable venture.