Homemade soap sellers can be found at most fairs, craft shows, farmers markets and other types of events that allow for entrepreneurs to showcase their goods. For some of us though doing shows can be a too much of a time consuming process and maybe an online business seems appealing. So you might be asking yourself can I make money selling homemade soap online?
Lets dive into the world of soap making and see what the pros and cons would be to selling soap online. Can selling soap online be profitable or are their better alternatives?
- The Homemade Soap Business
- Making Homemade Soap
- Equipment and Tools
- How Long Does It Take To Make Soap
- Selling Homemade Soap Online
- Selling Soap On Craigslist
- Selling Handmade Soap On Ebay
- Selling Handmade Soap On Etsy
- Selling Handmade Soap On Amazon Handmade
- Selling Homemade Soap On Social Media
- Selling Homemade Soap Using Affiliate Marketing
- How Much Money Can I Make Selling Homemade Soap Online
- Selling Soap Legally & Regulations
- Pros and Cons Of Selling Homemade Soap Online
- Final Thoughts
- An Alternative
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The Homemade Soap Business
Many people start making soap from home either as a way to create a healthier product to use or to make some side income with the possibility of turning it into a real money making business someday.
If you enjoy cooking, then you would probably enjoy making soap at home as well because it has a similar process.
You can either use a soap recipe or you can experiment by adding your own ingredients together to make your own unique blends.
There is no shortage of help or advice on the web making it easy to get started.
Making Homemade Soap
There are different ways to make soap and using the best quality ingredients that you can afford will make the difference in color, fragrance and character.
The video below shows a the basic process of making soap for those not familiar.
The first thing you would probably want to do is keep it simple for your first few batches, just to get used to how things work and what to expect from mixing the different ingredients.
Equipment and Tools
One of the benefits of this business is that you should have most of the equipment and tools to make homemade soap sitting in your kitchen.
Here is a quick breakdown of equipment needed:
- Emmersion blender
- Measuring cups
- Empty containers
- Mixing spoons or spatulas
- Protective eyewear
- Soap molds
As time goes on you will add other different equipment to make things easier.
How Long Does It Take To Make Soap
This really depends on which process is used when making soap and the different ones are cold process soap and hot process soap.
There are pros and cons to both methods which I won’t get into here.
Typically to gather up the necessary equipment and supplies plus the preparation would take 1 to 2 hours to make a batch of homemade soap.
Its important to note that the soap will also need to go through a curing process that can take up to 6 weeks. This allows the moisture to escape and the soap to become harder.
Selling Homemade Soap Online
So now you have made some successful batches and your looking to profit on your new endeavor.
How do you go about selling and where are the best places to sell soap online?
Here is a list of some of the places to consider when getting your soap business off the ground:
- Amazon Handmade
- Social Media
- Affiliate Marketing
Selling Soap On Craigslist
This would be a great place to start selling soap because it is free plus you can use it to grow a local presence within the community.
There is a services section that allows small business ads to placed or you could post ads in the “community” section.
Selling handmade soap on Craigslist can be hit or miss. Sometimes selling on Craigslist won’t work with certain products, so doing it on a regular basis will determine if there is any demand for soap here.
If not, then no big deal because it was free list.
Selling Handmade Soap On Ebay
Ebay is the marketplace of the world and you can find just about anything for sale here including soap.
Doing a quick search, I found a couple sellers that had handmade soap listed for sale and they had quite a bit of it sold shown below.
Currently you would be able to have 50 different listings for free and just pay a 10% fee on whatever the final selling price is.
Another option would be to selling homemade soap with an Ebay Store, which would cost $19.95 per month to start plus final sales fees.
Selling Handmade Soap On Etsy
This marketplace is probably one of the best options for crafters and those that make their own handmade products.
The advantage of selling handmade soap on Etsy is that you will be grouped in with other similar sellers and have the benefit of targeted traffic.
Targeted traffic would be people looking to buy handmade soap.
Below are some listings of soap sellers that have a lot of sales completed.
Listing products on Etsy is easy and there are no monthly fees to worry about.
To list a product only cost .20 cents and when a product sells there is a 3 1/2% transaction fee.
Selling Handmade Soap On Amazon Handmade
Amazon has an area just for handmade goods, so this could be a possible place to list soap for sale.
After looking through a few pages of listings, I noticed that there was a good selection of products but I didn’t find many sellers with a lot of ratings.
It could be that Amazon Handmade hasn’t caught on yet and people that by handmade goods are buying elsewhere.
Selling Homemade Soap On Social Media
Social media has become a place where people can connect with others that have similar interests.
Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram have massive amounts of people watching videos. looking at pictures and interacting with others.
The opportunity to build an audience that is interested in buying handmade soaps shouldn’t be overlooked.
Some folks have had huge success selling through social media.
Selling Homemade Soap Using Affiliate Marketing
Another popular method of selling products online is by using affiliate marketing.
If you were serious and wanted to turn your homemade soap business into a full time endeavor, then you could have affiliates marketing your soaps online.
The advantage of this is that it does not cost you the merchant anything until a sale occurs. Once an affiliate sends someone to your website and they make a purchase, you the merchant would then pay the affiliate a commission.
How Much Money Can I Make Selling Homemade Soap Online
The amount of money you make is going to be determined by a few different factors.
- Product appeal
- Way of selling
- Cost to make
In order to have success selling soap online, it will take a lot of work and testing to see what works best and which products are the best sellers.
For example, you would want to try and differentiate yourself from other sellers and create as much uniqueness in your brand and soaps as possible.
People will pay more money for handmade soap that is made from all natural ingredients, has unique fragrances, nice packaging and a reasonable cost.
Way Of Selling
Another factor will be which way you plan to sell the soap, because maybe selling on Etsy will work better than selling soap on Amazon. It will take some time to test the different markets to see which performs better.
You might even combine different marketing strategies such as selling soap on a couple markets such as Ebay and Etsy while also setting up a blog or website and using affiliate marketing to sell your homemade soap.
Cost To Make
This will be the most important aspect of your business.
Before you can make money online selling soap, you should have an idea of what the cost is to make each bar. This way you know if your going to be competitive or not.
This is done by making sure all measurements of ingredients are accurate and recorded as well as the time it takes you to make it.
Usually people start out selling homemade soap as a hobby, so they don’t keep accurate records of their time or mixes to get a specific fragrances.
If you want to have a profitable business selling soap online, then your thinking needs to change from hobby to entrepreneur.
Selling Soap Legally & Regulations
If you decide to take the step of making money selling your homemade soap online, it is important to know that there are FDA regulations regarding soap.
You should be familiar with these otherwise you could get in trouble with the government.
There have been some soap sellers that have had surprise visits from the FDA, because they used the wrong terminology in their marketing and labeling.
Pros and Cons Of Selling Homemade Soap Online
Lets review some of the good and bad aspects of trying to make money selling soap online.
Pros ( the good stuff )
- Simple ingredients
- Standard kitchen equipment used
- Only small space needed to get started
- Low cost to get started
Cons ( the not so good stuff )
- Easy to start so a lot of competition
- FDA regulations
- Need a lot of sales to earn an income
- Time committment
Starting any online business is not easy and it takes time to reach a certain level to see whether or not you made the right decision.
Is the potential there to the make money or is it too time intensive for the reward?
Selling soap online can be difficult because people like to smell the fragrances and texture of the products, unlike selling jewelry online where a picture gives a buyer a good representation of what to expect.
After researching this topic and going through forums looking for people that have made a living selling their handmade soap online, I concluded it would be a hard business to make a substantial income from just selling online.
Most seem to do it part time and the small majority that tried it to support themselves have a hard time.
There are still ways of making money selling homemade soap online, without the headaches of manufacturing, dealing with multiple market places or customer issues.
I mentioned it earlier in the post. Its called affiliate marketing.
You can become an affiliate marketer which means that you can promote handmade soap from different marketplaces as well as different merchants to earn income.
For example refer people to Etsy, Ebay or Amazon and if they make a purchase of soap from any merchant on those marketplaces, then you would receive a commission.
I have successfully used affiliate marketing to make money this way and I owe it all to the training at Wealthy Affiliate.
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