The Blog

How to Wholesale Candles

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a commission if you purchase an item or service I recommend at no extra cost for you. I only recommend products or services I use and love.

Wholesaling your candles is a great way to expand your reach and increase your revenue. I’ve been wholesaling my handmade candles for a few years, and I have learned that it takes a lot of time to build up your client base. If you are wondering how to wholesale candles, and get them on the shelf of a large retailer then you may want to check on my tips below.

Why wholesale?

Wholesaling your products means you will have to sell them to another retailer for at least 50% off of the retail price. So if you’re only making half the amount per candle then why on earth would you do that? Well, just imagine if you have a candle that wholesales for $10 and someone ordered 500 of that candle then you could land a $5000 order. Imagine if that client comes back for more candles regularly? Now imagine that you have 50 clients that place the same order. Now, are you seeing the big picture? Wholesale is an amazing way to scale a business.

Pricing your items

Before you even land your first wholesale client you need to think about pricing your items correctly. A common formula that you can follow is cost x 4 = retail price. So if your candle cost $3 to make then the minimum you should sell it for is $12 retail meaning that the wholesale price would be $6, and you would make $3 from each candle.

Now, your pricing formula will evolve over the years as your business grows because you have to account for any space you are renting, people you are paying, and other costs, but cost x 4 is a great place to start. As your business grows you will also be able to cut costs by buying in bulk to save some money.

Your process needs to be efficient

I have learned that I need to make sure my candle-making process makes sense for growth. I sell candles that look like desserts so making them takes a bit more time compared to single-pour container candles. Even though I am capable of creating intricate designs, I intentionally make my candle-making process as simple as possible. If I am going to scale my business I don’t have time to add crazy details to each candle. I also have to think about training new people to create these candles as the business grows. Every time I release I new product I like to ask myself if this product is scalable. If it is not, I do not offer it to wholesale clients, and I make that particular product limited edition.

You can also invest in tools and equipment to make your candle-making process more efficient. A large wax melter allows me to make many candles in a day. An E-Z wick setter is great for employees to uniformly wick the candle containers. If you want to lay out more containers at once you can invest in a larger table space. I also use a program called Craftybase to store my inventory data and recipes.

So even though you are making less profit per candle refining your processes can save you a ton of time and money.

Packing Wholesale Orders

Remember, you need to be extra conscious about cost when dealing with wholesale orders. Packing and shipping can be a challenge when wholesaling candles. You want the order to arrive safely, but you don’t want to spend a ton on shipping supplies. Also, the bigger and heavier the package the more you pay for shipping. Here are some packaging tricks I have learned.

I like to purchase containers that come case packed with cardboard dividers. Save the boxes and dividers. When you get a wholesale order you can reuse these boxes. I like to add packing peanuts to the bottom of the box.

wholesale candles in a box
Example of case packed candles

What you want to try to avoid is packing each candle in an individual box. If you do this you are going to have to raise your prices a bit to accommodate for shipping this way. You will need larger shipping boxes, more packing materials, and shipping will cost more. Most people shopping for candles in a retail shop want to smell them. So make sure your packaging allows for this. If you package your candles in nice and pretty boxes, and seal them with tape or a sticker the retailer just may remove all of that packaging anyway so the customers and smell it on the shelf.

As an extra touch, I like to give new clients a full-size candle to try for themselves. Retailers also like to receive promotional material that they can put on the shelf to draw more attention. Vistaprint has table tents that are inexpensive and you can customize with your unique selling points. Something as simple as a barcode can also sway a retailer to purchase from you vs. someone else selling a similar item. As a store owner, if something comes in without a barcode I have to spend quite a bit of time printing and sticking a barcode to the items so we can scan them at the register. Small things like this can increase the number of sales in the store meaning you can get repeat orders.

How to Get Your First Clients

Using marketplaces like Faire.com can open you up to tons of retailers looking for unique items. I have a seller account for my candles and I have a buyer account for my brick-and-mortar gift shop. Faire offers great perks for buyers and sellers. Finding retailers on your own can be time-consuming. So far, I haven’t done any heavy promoting for my Faire website. Most of my clients just find me through search which is amazing!

If you are a brand wanting to join Faire you can use my referral link down below!

If you have a store in your area that you want to pitch your product to in person, here are a few tips.

Schedule a meeting. As a shop owner, I can be working on many things throughout the day. I have had people come in unannounced pitching a service or item, and sometimes that can throw me off when I am trying to get things done by a certain time. If you are going to come into a store, try to make it quick. Do a quick introduction, and have a sample of the product with information that you can leave behind. Nobody wants to be put on the spot to buy a product. Set up a meeting or follow up via email to give the store owner more time to research your company and product.

Pitch your items with confidence. Know your unique selling points. Study the vibe of the retail store and give them incentive on why your product would make a good fit for the store. Be ready to answer any questions about your products, and how they are made.

Know wholesale terminology. Here are some keywords to remember when it comes to wholesale.

  • Line-sheet- A simple document that lists all of your products along with the wholesale pricing.
  • NET terms- The amount of time before the retailer needs to pay for the products. Usually, this is 30 or 60 days.
  • Lead time- The amount of time it takes to prepare their order.

Hopefully, this post gave you some insight on how to wholesale candles. If you are wanting to hear about my experience selling my candles through Faire.com you can check out a video I made on the topic:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.