Selling homemade candles online can be a fun little business but if you’re not familiar with all the little details that are involved then you may want to grab a cup of coffee because I will go over what you need to consider in order to make money with this endeavor.
- Why Should You Consider Selling Homemade Candles Online
- Make And Sell Candles But Which Ones?
- Equipment To Make Candles
- How To Sell Your Candles Online
- Better Alternatives
- 1. Sell Candles On Etsy
- What Does It Cost To Sell Candles On Etsy
- 2. Sell Candles on eBay
- What Does It Cost To Sell Candles On eBay
- 3. Handmade at Amazon
- What Does It Cost To Sell Candles On Amazon Handmade
- How Much Money Can You Make
- Ideas To Get started
- Final Thoughts
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Why Should You Consider Selling Homemade Candles Online
The candle industry has been seeing a steady growth for the last seven to eight years with approximately 70% of households in the US alone using candles.
The chart below shows a steady demand for candles and the peaks right around the Christmas Holiday.
Here are just some of the facts that I got from the National Candle Association website.
- 3.2 billion dollars annually sold in the US
- 90% of candles are purchased by women
- Most important factors for candle purchases were the scent, color, cost and shape
- 35% of candle sales happened during Christmas and holiday season
- Buyers say the fragrance of the candle is one of the most important factors
So the industry as a whole is fairly steady with about a third of the sales coming in during the Christmas season.
This offers opportunity for candle sellers with some creativity to make some money.
Make And Sell Candles But Which Ones?
The first task of starting your online candle business will be deciding on which type of candles you plan to sell.
For example what styles of jars will the candles be in, what scents you plan to create and what types of materials the candles will be made out of.
If this is your first time making candles it’s going to take a little bit of research to figure out the correct types of materials used for the different types of candles.
Soy is typically a good material for container candles because of its low melting point and low shrinkage but wouldn’t be good for making votive candles because its soft.
The different types of waxes that could be used include:
- Soy wax
- Paraffin wax
- Gel candle wax
- Palm wax
Each of these types of waxes have their pros and cons such as the soy wax being soft and easy to work with but harder to make them with a strong scent versus using paraffin wax.
Eventually after doing some experimentation you’ll figure out which ones are your favorites to make and which one will sell best.
The whole process is similar to making and selling soap.
One way to get a feel for what’s popular as far as scents and the kind of candles that sell the most would be to visit your local candle shops and spark up a conversation with the clerks and owners.
You could also visit local fairs and flea markets to get ideas.
Equipment To Make Candles
To get started making candles you won’t need much equipment.
It’s recommended that you not heat wax directly on any type of burner or open flame. Instead you will need a large pot that you can boil some water in.
Then you will need a pouring pot or pitcher that will fit into the bigger pot that has the boiling water. This is where your wax will be melted.
You’ll need a thermometer to make sure whichever waxer using is heated to the correct temperature.
A scale was also needed to make sure that you’re using the right amounts of wax and fragrance.
Just to recap the equipment needed for making candles:
- Big pot for boiling water
- Pouring pot or picture for melting wax
- Molds and containers
Just about all the equipment can be found at a local Walmart or hobby store. You can also check the online retailers such as Amazon for deals.
Overall the cost will run about $50 to $100 in total for the equipment to make candles.
The video below gives a good example of the process of using the equipment to make your candles.
How To Sell Your Candles Online
You may be considering setting up an e-commerce store to sell your homemade candles.
There are many different hosted solutions to choose from when setting up your shop.
Some of the main players in the market are:
Being self hosted you wouldn’t have to worry about all the technical things because the company handles that for you.
All you would need to do is load your products and sign up for credit card processing to get started.
Is this really the best way to get started selling?
Not really because at this point you really don’t have any customers or traffic coming to your website. So it will just be sitting there costing you money.
The best way to get started selling homemade candles online in my opinion is with a few different marketplaces such as Etsy, Ebay and Amazon.
These specific marketplaces already have a lot of visitors that are looking for specific products such as homemade candles.
1. Sell Candles On Etsy
The reason for this is because you already have a targeted audience looking for handmade goods to purchase and being grouped in with other candle sellers you’re going to get more traffic to your products by default.
In order to take advantage of the Etsy traffic your candles should be eye catching so that people looking through all the listings stop on yours.
For example when I was on the best sellers page browsing through the different candles for sale one of the merchants had some creative jars that consisted of beer bottles.
I am not a beer drinker myself but if I was looking for a unique gift for someone that I knew was a beer drinker these would be on my list.
Here was another unique candle for sale that looked like a tin of chocolate chip cookies.
Apparently the seller has incorporated the fragrance of the cookies into this awesome looking candle. Its great to be creative and have unique looking candles but ultimately the scent is what people are buying it for.
What Does It Cost To Sell Candles On Etsy
One of the benefits of selling on Etsy is that there are no monthly fees. You would only have to pay when you list a candle for sale as well as when it is sold.
- Listing fee .20 per product
- 3.5% transaction when when your listing sells
- 3% payment processing fee (Etsy payments)
2. Sell Candles on eBay
Here is another good marketplace for selling handmade goods.
When I did a search for “handmade candles” a total of 1269 listings came up. Although it is a lot I was expecting to actually find more.
When selling on eBay your able to list your items using criteria that makes it easy for buyers to find your candles for example:
- Types of wax
- What scent it is
- Type of candle
When I looked through the listings of handmade candles for sale I didn’t see as much creativity as I did with the Etsy listings.
So I am thinking that eBay doesn’t have as targeted traffic for homemade candles as you might get on Etsy.
What Does It Cost To Sell Candles On eBay
The cost to sell on eBay depends on many factors so I am only going to touch on the basics here.
You can have 50 free listings per month then you will be charged .30 per listing after those 50 are used. There is also a 10% final sale fee.
Overall the cost to sell candles on eBay will be more than selling on Etsy and you won’t get the same targeted traffic looking for homemade candles.
3. Handmade at Amazon
A few years back Amazon started up a special section on their site called “Handmade” giving homemade craft sellers another way to market their goods in front of a large audience.
The listings of candles I saw on Amazon appear to be just as diverse as those on Etsy. There were not a lot of product reviews though so this marketplace may be slow to catch on.
Although the marketplace is still growing and not quite as popular with people looking to buy homemade items as some of the other online marketplaces it may still be worth trying.
What Does It Cost To Sell Candles On Amazon Handmade
Amazon makes their money when your products sell therefore they don’t charge a listing fee.
Instead a seller will be charged a final sales fee that is currently 15%.
How Much Money Can You Make
Just setting up a website or listing candles on any of the marketplaces mentioned above isn’t going to guarantee you make any money selling your candles.
To go from a side hustle to a regular way to earn income isn’t going to happen overnight either.
I set out to find just what candle sellers were making with their business and what were some tips to help you get profitable.
Unfortunately after spending a good amount of time looking on forums and around the web for success stories of candle sellers I was disappointed because I had no luck finding any.
Is it possible that you really can’t make money selling candles online?
Personally I don’t believe it. I know there are successful online candle sellers out there and they have figured out an angle to grow their business.
Ideas To Get started
I did run across a website called Retrowix which is run by a husband and wife team. They have combined their passion for antique glassware and candle making.
The company has only had there website up for a short time so it will be interesting to see how they make out.
I think using antique glassware for candle containers could be a good idea.
Diamond Candles (www.diamondcandles.com)
Here is a company that puts a ring in all of their candles. The ring is actually embedded in the hardened wax and in order to get it out you need to burn the candle.
According to the candle buyers it can take anywhere from 1 to 10 hours of burn time to reach the ring. The video belows explains it.
Another way they promote their candles is to include a chance at winning another ring. Each candle purchased includes a slip called a RingReveal.
Get a winning slip and receive another ring with a value between $100 to $5000.
Create Unique designs
One of the biggest problems of selling candles online is that buyers can’t smell them. Usually people purchase based on the candles scent more than anything.
So when your selling online the buyer doesn’t get the opportunity to pick their favorite fragrance.
To compensate for this an eye catching or unique design can be a way to entice visitors to purchase. Just about anything can be used as a candle mold.
The lady below used empty plastic soda containers.
Another idea would be to sell homemade candles that were specific to public servants such as police or fireman. Maybe create and sell candles based on military and coast guard themes.
Selling homemade candles online can be challenging but not impossible.
To have success it is going to take some imagination as well as creativity to stand out from the crowd. Don’t get caught in the trap of doing what everyone else is.
There is also the option of selling offline to increase volume getting your brand out there.
If your passionate about the candle business, then I am sure that you will figure out a way to make money with it while creating some unique products.
Everyday millions of people go online in search of ways to start their own business. Selling products online has helped many people quit their jobs and pursue their passions.
I have been selling online since 2004 when I set up my first e-commerce shop, but once I discovered affiliate marketing I knew that it was the right business model for me.
I joined a community based training program that teaches how to build a website around your interests and passions to earn income.
So if your considering a way to make money online with candles or any other product then check out my #1 pick.
I Look Forward To Your Comments Below!