In recent years several people have ventured into having a small business or side hustle to help supplement their income. One of the most popular business ventures we have seen people begin is selling scented candles. Whether they are simple candles, uniquely shaped candles, or a fun design being scented helps to make the candles more profitable.
So, are scented candles profitable? Yes, they are. As of 2020, it was reported that Americans alone spent over three billion dollars on candles. Globally scented candles alone is estimated to reach $645.7 Million by 2026. There is a large market for candles and people willing to buy them, allowing them to be priced to make a profit.
People love a well-scented candle that is fragrant as it adds ambiance and cozy vibes to any space or room they are added to. Scented candles are also being used as décor pieces now more than ever before. So, no matter how many scented candle businesses there are currently, there is room for more to enter the industry.
Things To Consider
Similar to any other product you may be creating, your profitability depends on the quality of materials you use, the number you sell, and the types of products you offer. Let’s also not forget that you can position yourself to be more profitable from the get-go if you create your brand to be more upscale.
So, let’s break this down a bit more so that you can fully understand what we mean when we say all of this. The first item we should discuss is brand positioning and how this can affect your profit margins from the very beginning.
Brand positioning is how you sell yourself essentially, do you want to be an upscale candle business that creates unique designs and uses high-quality materials such as soy wax? Or do you want to create more everyday basic candles that can appeal to anyone and use cheaper materials? Of course, it does not have to be one extreme or another, you can find a sweet spot between the two options, but that should be your first decision as a scented candle maker.
More unique designs will require more time, you will need to source or create molds for them, and typically require nicer materials to be durable. These candles tend to be more for décor purposes, so extra fragrance may be needed as they may never get burned which is when the fragrance is most noticed.
Whereas more basic candles similar to those that you can buy at Walmart or Target will require less time and upfront costs in general, meaning that you should not charge as much for them. This idea tends to follow a more value-based pricing strategy. Customers will pay what they perceive the candle to be worth based on materials and designs.
The more high-quality your brand and products appear to be, the more you can charge for them. Many people want to support small businesses and if they see a more complex candle that can double as décor, they will pay thirty plus dollars for it. This is also known as a premium pricing strategy. It allows you to create a more quality brand surrounding your product, enticing people to pay more for a product that they believe is worth the cost.
Can Any Candle Business Be Profitable?
Yes, no matter what pricing strategy or branding your business does you can be profitable. While it takes time to properly melt the wax, measure scents, incorporate everything, fill molds, wait for them to dry, etc. candles can be batched. This means that if you have the space and materials for it, you could potentially make dozens of candles at once. Allowing your labor and overhead costs to be lower on a per-candle basis allows you to have a higher profit margin.
As long as you can charge more for your candle than the cost of your labor, overhead costs, variable costs, and materials you will be able to turn a profit. I know that all of those terms may sound like a lot, but a lot of smaller scented candle businesses are run from people’s homes. This means that you do not need to worry about the cost of having a business storefront unless you want or need one later on of course.
Let’s Break Down The Prices
To help you further understand the possible profitability of a candle business we are going to break down the general costs of different materials needed to make scented candles. This should give you a decent picture of the possibilities they have.
Candle wicks prices vary depending upon the type you want. You can buy a pack of three hundred standard cotton core wicks (the pack comes with a hundred small, medium, and large wicks) from Amazon for around $14. Whereas wooden soy wax wicks will run you around $5 for a pack of twenty-five.
Wax can run anywhere from $26 for a nine-pound bag of premium wax from Michael’s to $33 for a ten-pound bag of soy wax from Amazon. While these prices may seem high for wax, remember that each candle will take between four and eight ounces of wax on average.
Meaning that each pound of wax can make anywhere from two to four candles. Allowing these bags to make a minimum of eighteen to twenty candles. So, when the price of wax is divided between each candle it makes the cost seem a lot more reasonable in the grand scheme of things.
Plus, the more wax you buy in bulk the cheaper it tends to be no matter the type. This means that it may be easier to buy more now and hold onto it rather than making smaller orders more frequently.
In general, molds can be purchased in packs for forty to fifty dollars from stores like Walmart, Amazon, or Michael’s. Custom molds can run you a bit more depending upon the size and quantity you need. Again though, once you divide the total cost by the number of candles, they are used for it is more reasonable.
Mason jars or decorative tins for more typical candles are only a dollar or so each on average. Labels, scents, coloring, and other items of this nature are smaller costs that are five to twenty cents per candle. All together your materials should be around five dollars or less per candle and most are sold for twelve or more nowadays. Meaning that there is definitely a profit to be made.
How Do You Market A Candle Business?
One of the best ways you can market your candle business today is on social media. Platforms such as TikTok and Instagram are allowing small businesses to blow up and gain exposure like never before. It may take some time to gain a following and get the sales you want but once you do, it tends to be a pretty consistent rhythm.
So, yes selling scented candles can be quite profitable. You just need to ensure that your brand is aligned and positioned for the types of candles you plan to sell, you buy the right products, and market yourself. It’s hard to make a profit if no one knows your business exists!
That sounds like a lot of work, can one person start a candle business themselves?
Yes, many of the candle businesses you see today are run by one to two people! There are several tasks you’ll need to do such as marketing, photography, design, creation, and more. So, it will be a learning process, but it’s one many people have embarked on, so there are ample resources and groups out there to help you.
Is the scented candle market over saturated?
The market is not oversaturated as long as you are making products that you love and believe in. With billions of dollars being spent on candles every year, it is safe to say that people are interested in them and consistently purchasing them. So as long as your candle appeals to people you should be fine.
Do I need unique ideas and designs to begin selling my candles?
No, you can sell whatever candles you want to when you begin as long as they fit the brand image you’ve created. As you begin to get customers and grow on social media you can run polls or contests to have people tell you to want or think would be a good idea. Customers love to feel involved in the process.
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.