If you’re looking for information on how to make candles to sell, you’re on the right track.
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Market research is the first step to any business planning, no matter how big or small the business you plan to launch.
This post will talk about everything you need selling candles from home, whether you plan to start as a hobbyist or build a full-scale candle-making business.
Learn How to Make Candles to Sell
You have several paths to this industry.
- Make candles to sell to brands. You’ll be making candles in bulk based on the specifications of another company. In this case, you no longer have to take care of branding and marketing the products.
- Make candles to sell yourself. If this is the route you want to take, you need to think of production, marketing, distribution (if you wish to go big), packaging, and shipping.
Of course, whichever route you decide to take, it’s important to dip your fingers into the actual making of the candles first.
Types of Candles
The materials you’ll use in the business will vary slightly depending on the type of candle you wish to focus on.
For example, tea light candles and votives are small and come in different colors, but tea lights are designed with a metal cup, while votives are bigger and are often paired with a glass container.
Paraffin candles can be turned into BIG, glorious pillar candles or finger-shaped taper candles.
They can also be non-scented or scented, which will require extra oils and fragrance and in turn, add to your cost.
Aside from paraffin, some candles are also made of other materials.
Examples of these include beeswax candles, gel candles, and soy candles – all of which use different materials to create the candles.
Sourcing Materials: Things You Need to Begin Making Candles to Sell
Your first batch of materials will cost about $50 to $100, depending on how many you plan to “try out” or if you’re ready to sell immediately after making candles.
The good news about not being the first to think about candle-making as a business is that there are TONS of suppliers.
You can even choose to buy candle-making kits from sites like CandleChem or Candle Science if you’re starting small, or buy the materials in bulk.
Basic materials for candle-making include:
- Beeswax, paraffin, soy, gel, or another type of wax as your main ingredient
- Wicks and wick stickers
- Jars, tins, glass, or other containers
- Melting pot, thermometer, scale
- Essential oils for fragrance and dye as coloring agents
- Caution labels, branding labels, packaging/shipping supplies
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Make Candles to Sell
The basic steps of candle making will vary slightly depending on the type of candle you’re going to make, but here is the general instructions:
1. Measure and Melt Your Wax
Because you’re turning this into a business, you have to be specific with measurements.
Believe me, it will help you with accurate costing.
Regardless of the type of wax you chose, the first step is to measure your wax to fit the container you’re going to put the candle in.
Note that if you’re adding dye or fragrance, this should be counted toward the total measurement.
Once you’ve measured everything, melt the wax in a double broiler. Each type of wax will have heating instructions. Paraffix, for example, needs to be heated to around 185° F temperature.
2. Add Fragrance and Dye
Add the fragrance first once your wax reached its melting point.
Stir in the oils until dissolved completely.
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If you need to color your candle, this is the time to add the dye into the mix.
3. Attach Wick, Pour Melted Wax, and Secure Wick
Attach the wick into the container and make sure it’s secured.
When the wax is around 135° F, pour wax properly into the container or mold. Double-check the wick if it is situated upright.
4. Let Your Candle Cool
Place your candles in a safe spot for cooling. Be patient – they need several hours to cool. For big and chunky candles, it could need overnight cooling.
If the wick ends up too long (the ideal length is about 1/4-inch), trim it to the perfect length.
5. Brand your Candles
If you’re selling the candles yourself, label the candles and package them as you wish.
If you’re selling the candles for another company, brand the candles based on their requirements.
Ready to Formalize the Candle-making Business?
Have you decided to continue with your candle business? Planning is essential to your success.
You should decide on:
- Distribution channels (where you’ll sell the candles)
- Shipping and logistics (are you going to fulfill the orders? how are you going to ship them?)
- Manpower (are you going to do everything from making the candles to shipping the product?)
- Marketing (decide if social media/online marketing is the way to go or traditional marketing)
The most important thing about your candle-making business is standing out: candles are very general and most people are already loyal to a specific brand.
Also, anyone can make them.
However, if you find a way that makes YOUR product unique (maybe turn them glow-in-the-dark, or create your own fragrance, and so on), this will ensure your success in the market.
If you’re not branding your candles and are distributing instead, be on the lookout for the most affordable materials for your product so you could always offer the best pricing to your customers.
Licensing and other legal requirements
Do you need a business license to sell online?
As explained by Amy Beardsley of NextInsurance, the answer isn’t as simple as “yes,” or “no.”
It’s because not all candlemakers are required to obtain business licenses, permits, and other legal requirements. This will depend largely on your location and sales volume.
Local zoning laws, insurance requirements, and other business-related laws that may fall under candle-making can vary from state to state.
As such, the best way to ensure you’ve got all legalities in place is by talking to your local Small Business Administration (SBA) office about your business.
How to Sell Candles Online
Where do you sell your candles once you’ve produced them?
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You have 3 common options: a website, a seller’s account on an online marketplace (such as Amazon, Etsy, eBay), and traditional places like art and craft festivals, exhibits, and shows that may cost $50 to $100 a day per table/booth.
Selling candles on your own website
A website is always recommended.
These days, people can set up a website from sites like Shopify or Wix in just a day.
If you want specific customizations, you’ll need to hire a web developer and pay several hundred dollars. Plus, you might need to pay for website themes, hosting, domain names, and so on.
Selling candles on Amazon
Amazon Handmade welcomes an Artisan-only community of sellers.
Joining this community requires a Professional selling account which costs $39.99/month. However, this monthly fee will be waived for approved applications. Once you sell a candle, sellers pay 15% of the sale price per listing (or a minimum of $1.00 per listing).
Selling candles on eBay
It’s free to list on eBay, but if you list more than 250 items per month, you’ll start paying a $0.35 insertion fee per listing.
The problem with eBay is that there are millions of products listed here each day, which means competition will be fierce.
Imagine competing with mass producers of candles from overseas that sell the same candles as yours for 1/4 of the price.
Selling candles on Etsy
If you’re going to choose just one place to sell your candles (aside from your own website), Etsy is perfect.
It’s the go-to online marketplace when it comes to crafts, homemade items, and other hobby-turned-business products.
It costs $0.20 to publish a listing on the Etsy marketplace.
A listing lasts for four months or until the item is sold. Once an item sells, there is a 6.5% transaction fee deducted from your sale.
I talked about Etsy before in the past:
- the many ways you can make money on Etsy
- how to sell items on Etsy, and
- a comparison between Etsy and eBay.
How to Make Candles to Sell Successfully
The secret to succeeding in this niche is to stand out and create an excellent business plan around it.
How much can a candle business make?
Making a typical pillar candle costs anywhere between $2 and $10. If you can sell your candle for $20, that’s a profit of $10 to $18.
If you’re able to sell 50 candles a month, you’ll be making $500 to $900 monthly. If you sold 100, the amount will double, of course.
What similar home-based businesses are there?
If you’re not ready to commit to candle-making and want to check out other craft-based businesses that you can do totally from home, check out this guide I wrote about making and selling crafts online, the crafts that are easiest to sell, and hobbies that make money.