At this point in your business, you’ve learned how to set up your candle making business and learned how to make the candles that you want to sell. But how do you get those candles on the market, and what is the best process to do so?
To sell your homemade candles online:
- Know the legal standards for selling your candles.
- Find your target market.
- Pick an online retailer or build your online store.
- Create your brand and market your items.
- Have the proper packaging.
- Keep detailed financial records.
Starting your business in earnest isn’t supposed to be daunting or complicated, so read on to find out more about the best ways to get your candles online, including information on what websites you can link up with to make online selling that much easier.
Know the legal standards for selling your candles
This is the most important step which you should take before selling your candles online. There are standards set aside for candle makers, including that you must have fire warnings on your label and your labels should include information about your business.
You should also have several business licenses before you sell online. While it depends on your state, your state policies on tax and businesses can typically be found on their state website.
Find your target market
Picking out a place to sell your candles should be determined by your target market. You should consider your demographic in picking your online seller. Who is the type of person to purchase your candles? What scents are they going to want, and how are they going to search for your product? This kind of information can drive where you build your online store or what online retailer you decide to go with—each potential market is different, as each demographic searches for items on different shopping websites.
You should also be using that information to determine what kind of candles you should be selling online. Dyes, fragrances, and even sizes can be determined through this kind of market research. You can also determine what your pricing would be for your products online by seeking information on your chosen demographic. Some people have more money to spend than others, and you can take advantage of that by keeping your prices competitive. Always keep your customer in mind as you make these choices, and you’ll find success selling online.
Pick an online retailer or build your online store
When you’re selling online, it’s important to also know your options of where you can sell your items. There are many avenues that you can choose from, from Amazon to Etsy. But which one is best for you?
- Amazon. Surprisingly enough, Amazon is a great place to sell your homemade candles. While it is a very saturated market, you can still break through on Amazon. Note that like eBay you’ll have to pay some sort of commission to Amazon when your item sells.
- Big Cartel. An option with some limited reach based on its popularity, Big Cartel is an option for selling online. If you are a smaller business with a smaller budget, Big Cartel may be an option for you. Listing five products is free, so you can test whether you like the setup, and it goes up to $10 and then $20 per month based on how many products you want to sell.
- eBay. eBay isn’t just a place to unload your unwanted handbags or books. People are using eBay as an alternate seller to places like Etsy or Amazon. eBay typically takes a percentage of the sale in a commission, depending on what you’re selling.
- Etsy. This is the first and foremost stop for handmade items on the internet. If you’re looking to reach a wide base of consumers who are all looking for something like what you make, look no further than Etsy. When it comes to Etsy, understand that there is a twenty-cent listing fee for each item and the website receives a commission of 3.5 percent on anything you sell. This could be offset with the fact that it is such a reliable place to find handmade items—with the right marketing, your reach could be massive.
- Magento/Adobe Commerce. If you have coding experience and want to dress up your shop, Adobe Commerce—formerly known as Magento—is the place for you. You can request a demonstration to find out more about pricing and what it can do for your business.
- Shopify If you don’t want the stress of constantly paying listing fees or competing with so many other handmade sellers, try using Shopify. You can use it either alone and create your website directly on the Shopify app, or you can link your Shopify account to your unique website. Because you can integrate that store into your website and link to your social media, you can create a cohesive look and experience for your consumers. Shopify provides their own point-of-sale system, hardware, and support for the cost of $29 per month.
- WooCommerce. WooCommerce is similar to Shopify in the fact that it is another platform that you can integrate into a website, specifically WordPress, but it is self-hosted, giving you control over more parts of the selling experience.
When choosing an online retailer, there are many facets that you will need to consider. You should be looking for consistency in their offerings, something that is easy to use for both you and your customer, and decent customer service—again, not just for you, but for your customer. Selling online is convenient in our modern age, but it’s a chore when it goes down. Make sure you work with a company that is going to ensure that your business website is up and running at all times.
Create your brand and market your items
Creating your brand before you sell a single candle is extremely important—people want consistency, so they want something they can trust and recognize. Create a logo for your candle making company and make sure you use your branding—colors, logo, fonts, etc.—throughout all of your websites, social media, and online shops.
If your potential customers don’t know about your product, they can’t purchase it. Some online shop options provide some marketing for you, but most of it will lie with you. Create a website and a social media page to create consistent content that brings people to your shop—you want to stay at the forefront of people’s minds so you can make that final sale. But be sure you don’t overload your customers with content. Keep a consistent schedule that piques their interest and tailor it to your chosen demographic.
Have the proper packaging
After listing your items online, the next thing you need to prepare for is your sales. You can’t do that without having the proper packaging on your candles—if you’re using fragile containers, you’ll need something to wrap your candles in to send them through a mail service without it breaking.
This is also something to consider when pricing your candles. Adding the cost of your candle’s shipping to the cost of the actual product can give you the opportunity to sell your products with free shipping—which we all know people search for.
Keep detailed financial records
As you continue to sell your products online, you’re going to want to keep financial records of how you sell them, what you sell, and how much you’re making. Not only can you better determine your profits, but you can also tell what products are selling the best—meaning you know what inventory you need to increase to meet the demand.
Selling your candles online doesn’t have to be stress inducing. You too, can come up with a plan in which you will find success—just follow the steps, pick out your target demographic, find a place to sell them online, and market your product. The steps are easy, but the benefits can be endless!
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find the best supplies for candle making?
Purchasing supplies in bulk can be your best option, and you can do that using a major retailer like Amazon, CandleWic, and Michaels. They have the most competitive prices in the market while being easy to shop on and some may even provide free shipping.
What supplies do I need to start a candle making business?
By selling online, you are eliminating a lot of overhead in having your own physical location. Selling your candles from your home means all you need is a workshop to make your candles and inventory—wax, wicks, fragrance oil, dyes, and containers—before you can start making your products to sell.
How much do homemade candles sell for online?
While it depends on the size and usually the type of wax and fragrance oil, most candles sell at a 50 percent markup based on how much you have spent on your supplies. There is no real average cost, but if your candle takes $15 to make, you can usually sell it for around $30.
Looking to start your own candle making business, check out my startup documents here
Please note that the contents of this blog are for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any action taken based on the information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Additionally, all images used in this blog are generated under the CC0 license of Creative Commons, which means they are free to use for any purpose without attribution.
Meet Shawn Chun: Entrepreneur and Candle Business Fan.
I’m a happy individual who happens to be an entrepreneur. I have owned several types of businesses in my life from a coffee shop to an import and export business to an online review business plus a few more and now I create online candle business resources for those interested in starting new ventures. It’s demanding work but I love it. I do it for those passionate about their business and their goals. That’s why when I meet a candle business owner at a craft fair, farmers market, retail location or anywhere else I see myself. I know how hard the struggle is to obtain and retain clients, finding good employees all while trying to stay competitive. That’s why I created Candle Business Boss: I want to help candle business owners like you build a thriving business that brings you endless joy and supports your ideal lifestyle.