12-Bar Soap Logs for cut-by-the-inch displays.
36-Bar Bulk Blocks to cut & package as you please! We'll provide ingredient/labeling protocol info.
Wholesale Terms & FAQ's
We are only accepting a very limited number of new Wholesale Clients at this time as we are so busy serving our current client list regularly. Carol is a one-woman operation and costs to add employees here in California are so high, costs that would have to be added to end soap cost, .....so we have elected not to go the employee route or raise soap cost.
We love partnering with retail establishments! Thanks for your interest, and welcome aboard!
Your customers are first attracted by the colorful artisan designs and earthy naturalness of our soap in your retail establishment, followed by a scent-laden whiff.....then, the assurance of a repeat-sale is when they take the bar home, use it, and discover the wonderfully luxurious way it makes their skin feel! It's nearly impossible to go back to mainstream detergent bars again! A soap love affair has begun.....it's really quite that simple because the soap sells itself!
Seduce your customers with soap to cut-by-the-slice (as logs, or bulk chunks, as pictured above), or, as pre-packaged bars; .....our "Ancient Alchemy" parchment label, our "Wylde" line soaps that feature our art (painted by myself) or also available in parchment labels, or use your own "private label"! Your in-store, catalog, or on-line display's are limited only by your creative imagination! We offer a WIDE selection of soap varieties that appeal to both men (LARGE selection of men's favorite soaps!) and women, including soap customizing, to fill any merchandise theme you can wish to offer, as well as serve all skin types!
We *FIRST* NEED a copy of your RESALE PERMIT (for states that issue them) or BUS. LIC. on-file, please. Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Upon supplying this document, thank you, and go ahead and shop!
Like all manufacturers, we require a min. order to be able to offer wholesale pricing at all. We've kept ours low ($100.00) all these years to be able to work with smaller companies just starting out for whom high minimums would be too difficult to meet.
Wholesale MINIMUM ORDER is $100 subtotal in product (pre-shipping), AT WHOLESALE PRICING.
And we have TWO TIERS of wholesale discounting; orders under $1000 (45% off retail), and orders over $1000.00 (50% off retail).
The 45% off tier:
We offer 45% off retail for orders under $1000. (So you'd need to order approx. $184+ in retail product for the 45% whlsl. cart discount to bring your order with the discount applied, to the $100 minimum.) Use code word "wholesale" (<- case sensitive) in the discount voucher box at checkout. The cart will remind you if you've not met the minimum you need to apply the discount.
The 50% off tier:
We offer 50% off retail for orders OVER $1,000. (So you'd need to order $2000+ in retail product for the 50% whlsl. cart discount to bring your order, with the discount applied, to the $100 minimum.) Use code word "wholesale1000" (<- case sensitive, no spaces) in the discount voucher box at checkout. The cart will remind you if you've not met the minimum you need to apply the discount.
Apply the word "wholesale" or "wholesale1000" (no quote marks) as described/instructed above, in the APPLY COUPON box at check-out.
SHIPPING NOTE: The shopping cart built into this site is pre-designed to only offer a limited number of shipping weight options, goes up to 38 lbs. for our shipping profile options. (Hoping WIX remedies this option-range sooner than later!) If your order exceeds 38 lbs. we'll need to hand-transact your order....which is no problem to do So select "Offline Payment" as yoru method of payment at check-out, and we'll contact you to gather your cc, PayPal or other method of payment after we correctly total your shipping cost. Thank you!
What are your production times like?
We are a handcrafted soap manufacturing company. Many of our wholesale orders are custom, and thus we are often making soap fresh for each order. We do not stockpile large quantities of soap, and therefore you receive freshly made soap that is scent-rich! Soap needs time to cure and be hard enough for use, without melting away too quickly. Therefore we are unable to process 24-hour, or instant turn-around times on orders. Please plan your soap inventory needs and ordering ahead of time & ask about/allow for soap production time so that we can make your order for you in a timely fashion that meets your needs and yields you top-quality soap for resale!
Especially for peak selling periods like seasonal holidays, please order your inventory EARLY! Like good wine, good soap can't be rushed! Place orders (depending upon size) at least 2-3 weeks in advance of your need-by date. Our business is growing immensely, but we are committed to remaining a family-owned and operated business that is based at home. If we move out to a shop with large overhead, we'd have to raise the cost of our soap to reflect these additional costs, and we don't want to do that! THANKS!
"Custom" soap lead times.....
ALLOW 2 - 6 WEEKS FOR CUSTOM SOAP ORDERS TO BE COMPLETED AND SENT. We may need time to order and receive custom (not-in-stock) ingredients/scents, AGAIN--depending upon SIZE of order. We cannot process a $10,000 order in the same time that we process a $100 order. INQUIRE ABOUT DELIVERY IF YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC "NEED-BY" DATE. THANKS!
Due to the handmade natural aspect of our soap, and so you are assured of the best quality.....
WE DO NOT ACCEPT RETURNS OR ISSUE CREDITS & REFUNDS
.....on our product line. We stand behind our product line 100%--but we cannot re-stock a handcrafted or custom-made product that may have been sitting at another location indefinitely. If there is indeed a problem in any way with soap integrity, we will replace it immediately if brought to our attention upon your receipt of your order.
All sales are payable upfront by either VISA, Mastercard, American Express, or PayPal-accepted forms of payment.
We do not drop-ship. We do not do COD's.
We use USPS, Flat Rate Priority Shipping.
What kind of business are we?
We are a sole proprietor, home-based, mail-order, online storefront only. All orders are shipped out from us. We are unable to accept drop-in clientele.
Who is retailing Ancient Alchemy?
Specializing in CUSTOM SOAPMAKING, Ancient Alchemy makes an attractive and affordable offering in soap bars, slice-by-the-inch soap logs, or gift arrangements for retail shops,gift basket, bath-related businesses, natural products stores, hotel or B&B establishments, corporate employee/client gift-giving, beauty salons/day spas, health clubs, craft shops/shows, in online or mail-order catalog collections, in specialty shops....and especially in your OWN bathroom!
Ancient Alchemy Soaps makes a perfect gift, or everyday-use product that is ALWAYS a great seller and quickly builds repeat-buyer clientele, not only by virtue of it's wonderful effects on the skin, but also because of it's enticing visual and olfactory allure! makes a perfect gift, or everyday-use product that is ALWAYS a great seller and quickly builds repeat-buyer clientele, not only by virtue of it's wonderful effects on the skin, but also because of its enticing visual and olfactory allure!
Many clients start out ordering a wide selection of soaps to determine which soaps are the best sellers for their region or target market. Then, they begin ordering bulk soap which affords additional savings/more profit! Ordering in bulk (logs, bulk chunks, or BIG bulk chunks) along with our soap cutters that maximize use of bulk soap with no wastage, are a great way to have soap that you can "private label."
Creating your own label is part of the fun! You can have a professional do it, or if you have most any word-processing or design program on your computer, you can do it yourself! Simply design a page in landscape orientation, insert lines, graphics, and lines of text--we can assist you with proper labeling requirements for soap. Print on your own printer, or take a master copy to a copy shop/printer and mass produce labels you can cut-out and wrap around each soap bar! (See more labeling info. at: Bulk Soap & Cutter Instructions. Scroll down to see the instructions.)
NOTE: If you are "private labeling" you need to use your OWN soap names and your OWN soap descriptions & marketing verbage--DO NOT COPY OURS!!! We only allow others to use our verbage if you are selling our soap under our own Ancient Alchemy Soaps label.
Don't feel limited to "labels," per se....you can instead, have stickers made up (Avery labels). Your soap packaging is only limited by your imagination. Many inexpensive packaging ideas include simple cellophane bags with a raffia or ribbon tie and label or sticker with soap information..... stretch wrap, shrink wrap, cloth wrap, muslin bag, gift box, handmade paper, gift paper, crinkle paper,....well, you get the idea! Create your own UNIQUE "look" that reflects your business! (See more info. below under "Private Labeling.")
Displaying the soap in your shop can also be half the FUN! Many who order in bulk, display the soap logs on a large cutting board, alongside our custom soap cutter--for a freshly sliced piece of soap for customers! Some prefer to have bars pre-packaged and ready-to-go. An assortment works for others! Attractive display accessories can include wicker or wire baskets, cubby-hole shelving, wash tubs, antique bath accessories, porcelain, clay, or wooden soap dishes, a bubble machine (available through disc jockey equipment suppliers)..
Care of your soap.....
When you receive the soap you've ordered, we recommend you do not store it in a hot store room or display it in direct sunlight--sun can fade colors, and or possibly cause the soap to "sweat," or get soft in humid climates, or in hot seasons. A cool, dry atmosphere is what soap likes best! We also recommend draining soap dishes to keep the soap it's driest when not in use.
If you're ordering your soap as "bulk" soap to cut YOURSELF, by the slice, keep it covered in the stretchwrap it arrives in to help keep scents their strongest, but leave one end open for ongoing curing to take place. If you are packaging (long-term packaging) the soap yourself, and cutting it off a bulk chunk, allow the soap to air-dry to the touch to assure you won't be sealing it into any form of air-tight package (cello-bag, shrinkwrap, etc.) with residual moisture from being freshly cut. This could "conceivably" set your soap up for rancidity problems if you're in a HOT or humid climate. A few days of drying, bars set on their edge in a well-ventilated area, or with a fan on them helps speed up drying/hardening. Our soap is quite firm upon us unmolding it before being sent, however some clients in hot, humid climates seem to notice soap taking longer to dry from fresh cutting (bulk soap purchases), especially during summer months. We have never experienced rancidy (brown spots) of our soap...however some clients who have personally shrinkwrapped the soap too quickly after cutting, or displayed the soap in a hot, sunny window (especially in the humid South) have noticed "sweating" of the soap within the package. Air-drying to the touch prevents this.
If you have any questions about your soap, call Toll-free (888)575-7627 or e-mail us email@example.com
Wholesale Selling FAQ's
We receive inquiries from an incredible number of new, and new-to-selling-soap business owners anxious to get off on the right foot and make a big splash at their bath and body care businesses! We feel just as excited and enthusiastic, because, well... we've been in those shoes ourselves, have learned A LOT, and continue to learn and share in the always changing, ever-exciting entrepreneurial spirit of the handmade beauty industry taking the nation, ...indeed the world(witnessed by our many international clients) by storm! A return to more natural roots and quality products has certainly created a difference in the skincare and gift-giving habits of MANY!
By staying in close touch with our customers, both retail and wholesale, we gather and share information that helps us produce product that meets end-customer needs/wants. By sharing what we've learned with you, we help your business grow, perhaps bypassing bumps in the road to your success! Together it's a winning situation!
Because we receive so many "of a lengthy 'consultation' nature" calls and e-mails, and "time" can be a constraining factor for in us maintaining a hectic production schedule, we decided to create this page to try and answer most of the many questions that frequently come our way! We hope this is of help and inspiration to you, and if not, or you have a question we've not addressed, please let us know so we can post it here! Do feel free to contact us if you have more questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
San Diego Local: (619) 287-1394
Most asked questions:
What are your best-sellers so I can start by ordering those first?
That, strangely, can be a tough one to answer! I'm not trying to be evasive, but over the years, I've come to realize that "best-sellers" can actually be a very regional issue! What may be "my" best-sellers to my retail customers, may not be best-sellers to someone in Timbuctoo, USA, or Katmandu, Nepal. A metropolitan city soap-kiosk owner in a business district selling mostly to lunch-hour professionals, will tend to have a very different client base than a gift shop owner in a primarily recreational, touristy region in the Everglades that caters to gator wrestlers (two of our actual client situations). In short, I strongly encourage you to know or find out who YOUR target market is or potentially will be. Scout out other shops in the area you'll be selling in (if at a physical storefront) and if nothing else, sit and watch the people going in and out of shops...get a flavor for who they are, male or female, what their tastes are. TAKE NOTES!With a mail order catalog or online venue (non-region specific), the target market will be more wide open!
I recommend as general rule-of-thumb for starters, to order at least 6-10 selections and include something from the scent families of citrus, green (chyphre), spicey, fruity, floral, earthy, herbal, minty, milk & honey, unscented, bright & colorful, natural and earthy-looking. You're sure to appeal to EVERYONE that way, including men, women, children, and sensitive skinned persons! Many of our clients choose their soap offerings based simply on what creates an attractive color palette---and they claim this is their secret to attracting customers--on a purely visual level!
How do I figure out who "my" target market is?
One of your best client resources is those around you! In fact, that's how most of my clients begin selling--to family, friends, and co-workers who get hooked on quality handmade soap! And that's truly the beauty of this product--it really does sell itself! Gather those closest around you for a party or informal already-scheduled get-together, pass out soap samples, have them use it at a sink, take it home to their tub, and get feedback! We highly recommend either picking out your own first-initial-favorable-reaction soaps from our list and displaying those. A word of consideration though: you may want to offer a well-rounded "family of scents." EXAMPLE: When I first started in this business, I only offered soaps in scents and formulas that "I" really loved (florals and earthy scents). It wasn't long before customers started inquiring about scents that I realized were not scents I personally liked at all, but many of those that they requested have since gone on to be my own best-sellers! So be sure to LISTEN to feedback customers give you--they are your best resource for taking new directions, making new merchandise choices! And be sure to introduce seasonal new items that reflect holiday or seasonal needs--EXAMPLE: Mint soaps, which are cooling to the skin, make perfect summer soaps, and everyone love holidays favorites like Christmas Tree Farm, Wassail, etc.
What's the best way to get customer feedback?
Talk it up! Get involved with your customers in a non-intrusive salesmanship manner! Approach them with a bar in-hand and ask "What do you think of this scent?" Customers love to feel like their opinion counts! Offer free samples of soap to customers willing to take a few moments to fill out a short feedback form on the spot....or inquiry asking "What soap scents or specialized skin type formula soaps would YOU like to see in our shop?" "Is your interest in personal use, or for gift-giving or both?" "Do you have a friend or family member who would appreciate being on our mailing list, as well as yourself?" Obtain e-mail addresses so you can begin an on-line newsletter or mailing list for merchandise updates, etc.!
You can take a standard size bar of soap and easily slice it up into 8 piece samples that supply a few had washings at least, and the feedback you receive will be well worth the cost of the soap out-of-your-pocket! Plus, samples are tax-deductible as "professional samples" when it comes to tax time!
How much merchandise stock do you recommend I start out with and regularly keep on-hand?
That can depend largely upon your venue for selling and how large your target market is likely to be, projected traffic, and your available space for storage. We have clients selling in large shops, quaint boutiques, day spas, B & B's, at one-day to multi-day craft shows, home parties, via direct mail order catalogs, websites.... just to name a few. We've had large-scale business owners approach us to place their first order and mention that they have their MBA in Marketing, have been in merchandising for XX years, and one of their top priorities is to "always have more than enough product on-hand to meet demand because it's marketing cardinal sin #1 to run out of product!", and then they want to place a completely (in my opinion) over-kill sized order to meet this criteria they've established for themselves! We tend not to totally support this theory, and the reason is, especially if this is a first-time order, unless you've test-marketed the soap first, be sure you know what is going to sell well for you before you order massive quantities of it. In the case of my MBA'ers, all of the soap they wanted to order was "custom" scent blends they requested, and based on my experience with scent blending, my nose was more than a bit skeptical about some of their scent preference ideas. Sometimes you can try so hard to be unique and different, that you can actually alienate customers with your "unique" product; I think that's what happened in this case. Going with "tried and true" can be an asset, especially when starting out, establishing clientele. I strongly encouraged them to first order test logs of their desired blends and make sure they tested them on their own testers before placing such large orders. Indeed they did, and out of 10 test logs, only 2 went over well with their testers! This sent them back to the drawing board and ultimately they ended up using scent blends I already offer in my Regular Line and they renamed/ private labeled them.
The way in which we've come to offer the large selection of soap varieties that we do in our Regular Line is, they were all first introduced on our "What's New" page and what sells well has gone on to become part of our Regular Line or as a regular seasonal or holiday offering. Anything you see us offer has shown significant selling power, otherwise it gets dropped from our line.
Initial stocking orders are usually your largest, and then you simply need to re-stock on a regular and timely basis, varieties which you are running out of before you run out. I suggest allowing at least a two week lead time, and most are pleasantly surprised that it arrives much sooner. Allow a three to four week lead time during the winter holiday season, and longer for large ($2000 up) orders. Holiday season is traditionally the largest selling season of course, and you'll no doubt need to order more stock during that time (see more tips for holiday ordering below).
How much merchandise should I take to a show?
What is the name/history of the show? Is it being well-advertised/publicized? Is it an established (track record) show that has been around for years and attracts a usual *repeat* crowd? Is it indoors or out? What are alternatives if weather is inclement (if it is outdoors)? All these things can factor into turn-out. Show organizers will always tell new vendors they expect such-and-such a size crowd...but if it's a relatively new (unproven) show, might not draw as projected. I vended at some shows that were touted to be *so big* and yet attendance and sales for everyone vending were dismal. So you can see, it can be really hard to judge quantities to take! For myself, I always did local shows and if I was running out of product, my husband brought me more from the workshop.
What I caught onto and used to do when I did shows frequently was, I got a list of other signed vendors who had vended there previously, contact them and feel them out for actual attendance numbers. There's no harm in that and you will get some honest answers.
It boils down to...you can possibly over-buy merchandise to take and then have to figure out how to sell it after the show (because I cannot accept returns of a product like soap)...and in that regard, be sure you store/display product where people cannot handle it and damage the product, rendering it unsellable later. Have samples out for sniffing, so all of your product does not get touched. And yes, it can be amazing what people will do to product! Digging fingernails in it, letting their kids smell it and rub their snotty noses on it, tearing labels. Ugh! I learned after my very first show to never leave product within reach of customers! Have it attractively stacked & displayed on a shelf behind you (table between you and customers) with your tester bars available for handling....otherwise you'll be taking home product that is un-useable and damaged.
Or...you can possibly under-buy product to take and at the very worst, run out, but still have your samples/testers available and a means for customers to contact you to buy more later when they get home via the internet or any other venues you sell in. Have accurate up-to-date contact and selling info. to pass out! Also ads for any next shows you have scheduled.
I know you probably think I'm being evasive on giving you an answer...but seriously, I'm not. I don't want to tell you to buy 100, 200, 300 + logs to take and then have you stuck with unsold merchandise due to a lousy-attended show......good for me $-wise, but not YOU! So my best advise is to do some Sherlock Holmes with other vendors and scope it out before you make a decision on how much to bring! THEY can be your best source of help! Or such has been the case for me.
Can the soap go stale?
Like fine wine, well-made handmade soap actually improves with age! Soaps that can experience rancidity issues are usually soaps that have a high percentage of un-saponifiables ..i.e. more fats or oils than alkali in the recipe to change them INTO soap. This free-floating oil can be subject to becoming rancid over time, especially if stored in moist or humid environments. We've perfected our recipes where there is a very low incidence of non-saponified oil in our finished soap. However we encourage wholesale customers to store the soap in dry locations, protected from dust and dirt. Certain scents such as citrus are especially prone to their scent fading quickly--this is just the nature of citrus essential oils--they breakdown quickly, usually over 4+ months. It does not mean the soap is stale, just that the scent has faded. Often wetting the soap revives the scent. But keeping citrus soaps well wrapped after curing helps prolong the scent from dissipating into the air. Other scents can fade as well over time, so for this reason we do not recommend you ordering a year's worth of merchandise ahead of time as the scent may diminish over time.
How should I store the soap that's not currently "on-display"? What about purchasing your soap in bulk form...won't it still be soft in the middle? If I'm cutting it myself, or I cut a bar fresh off a log for a customer, how long do I need to cure it before packaging or selling it?
If you have purchased the soap as "bars", the soap will arrive to you already cured and in cello bags. If you have purchased the soap in bulk form (logs or bulk chunks), it will arrive in stretch wrap and you will want to cut the soap if you plan to sell it cut, or at least get it cut into logs so the inside of the soap will cure quicker, place it on it's short side and rack or shelve it, exposed to air for 2-3 weeks. Once cured, keep it packaged in covered containers or wrapped in stretch wrap to keep it clean and dust-free. Also, keep the stored soap OUT OF DIRECT SUNLIGHT as this will fade the natural soap colors over time. Our recipes are very quick-curing and bars freshly sliced off a log on display in your retail establishment will be ready-for-use immediately, however you can optionally instruct your customers to allow the bar to air-dry further before use to create an even longer-lasting bar.
What affects cure times?
Weather. Humid climates and summer-like conditions can delay curing time. Keeping the soap exposed to air the first 2-4 weeks, especially in air-conditioning or under an oscillating fan accelerates cure time.
If I sell bulk soap, or private label bars, am I required to provide the customer with ingredient information?
No and yes. Our product is "true soap" by FDA standards, and therefore it does not require mandatory ingredients listing. However in our experience, many customers will not purchase, let alone pick-up a product that does not list ALL of it's ingredients. So we DO list all of our ingredients, we provide ingredients info. for you if you are private labeling or purchasing in bulk (we keep it on-file that we provided this information to you), and we strongly encourage you to supply this complete info. to your customers so that they can make informed choices about products they purchase and avoid anything they may potentially be allergic to. We take great care in the selection of pure and only high-quality ingredients we use and list them proudly! It's actually one of the soap's best selling points! But even with the most pure and high-quality ingredients, there is always "someone" somewhere in the world who will be allergic to those very high-quality ingredients! Accurate labeling gives them the informed opportunity to select and choose according to their skin needs.
Can I add my own marketing verbage on labels or display signs to help sell the soap?
That depends. You MAY NOT make unsubstantiated claims about the soap that may be untrue, or that would cause the soap to no longer be classified as "true soap". You cannot say things like "eradicates wrinkles", "cures diaper rash", "heals acne"--to make these type claims you need clinical laboratory tests to back them up. Do you have those tests? We don't! Also, our manufacturers liability insurance does not cover claims YOU make! If you wish to create marketing verbage, check it with us first so we may guide you. In general, you can say things like "Contains lavender essential oil, an oil known to be beneficial to all skin types."
About "private labeling"...how does that work?
We make the soap. You put YOUR company logo/label on the soap and sell it. Due to time constraints we are unable to design and create labels for customers beyond our pre-templated custom bridal party soap labels that we just put names and date into. Designing and producing your own private label is your responsibility and can be accomplished easily on your own computer, if you wish! It can be quite fun letting your imagination run wild in creating your own unique "look"! There's plenty of label designers who you can contract to create your labels, however be aware that usually to obtain a good price on these you need to order large quantities of each...which you are then stuck with. If a soap ends up not selling well for you, you may then still have 800 labels for it! Designing/producing the labels yourself can be beneficial and cost-effective when you're first starting out till you establish what your soap line will be!
If I choose to have a custom soap made, can I have you sign an agreement not to divulge the recipe or design to any other living soul?
It goes without saying that I do not discuss any customer orders or ANY of YOUR information with another customer. I just do not, never would. The problem with this "agreement" scenario is, I hear this request often and I've lost track of how many times the very scent blend that someone is telling me is exclusively "their concoction" is something that another wholesale client has asked me to custom make for them just two weeks ago, which, t'were I to sign an exclusivity agreement, puts me in the position of either having to tell them that their masterpiece has already been thought of, yet I cannot reveal who the other company is. Or if I make it for one, does that mean I cannot now continue to make it for the other who I already made it for? Too complicated. Thus, my position on this is, I politely decline to sign exclusivity agreements...unless someone should present an entire line of soap products they want me to custom make for them and it happens to identically replicate another line I've already created...and fortunately that never happens. But be assured I do not make suggestions to customers that include a custom blend made for another customer. I DO make suggestions about which of the soaps from my Regular Line would fit in well with specific needs you may have or express an interest in.
Where I rent retail space I'm required to have prove of liability insurance from my merchandise vendors/manufacturers...can you provide that to me?
Certainly. We carry liability insurance. Contact us via phone or e-mail us if you are a legitimate retailer, and we will supply the name and number of our carrier and a certificate of insurance coverage.
Can I use YOUR soap names to name my private label soap, even though I'm using my own design label and logo, etc.?
Like most businesses, we've gone to great pains to create a soap line that is uniquely our own! Many of our soap names are indeed uniquely ours and we wish to keep it that way to continue our identity. Some names, such as "Plumeria", or "Lemon Aloe" are obviously not of a unique quality, are generic, and therefore we have no problem with you using those type generic, scent-specific soap names. But if you wish to use all of our other soap names, you will need to market the soap as our products, not under a private label name/logo...otherwise you are in copyright violation. We have copyrighted all of our material.
And, in your business interests, we find that customers who have ignored our request to not private label our soaps using our own soap names, especially those vendors with an online internet presence, often end up being noticed by "our" regular customers or shoppers in general, who report to us saying "Did you know that so-and-so at such-and-such web address, or store is copying your soap names?" We've been in business since 1994, so this tends to make the copier look like...well, a copier. Not good for you. Be unique, create your OWN identity!
If a soap I've bought wholesale from you doesn't sell well for me for some reason, can I exchange it for another soap variety? What is your return policy?
We cannot accept exchanges, for quality as well as hygiene reasons. Due to the handcrafted natural aspect of our products, we are unable to offer any exchanges, nor returns or refunds. We cannot verify the age, or conditions of handling, or storage conditions of the soap once it's left our hands and has become your property, or merchandise sitting on a shelf possibly being handled by many people, therefore we cannot take it back under any circumstances. All of our soaps are handmade, and due to this handmade nature, design, texture, and color variations may occur, but that is part of the soap's character and charm; it's NOT perfect or popped-out of a machine! Some soaps contain ingredients (specifically fragranced soaps) that can accelerate thickening of the soap in production, and affect design techniques such as swirling. We cannot always achieve an identical swirl design in every batch. Some of our soaps contain colorants (as listed per each) and some can run when wetted, or appear on wash tools, may tint lather. They DO NOT stain and rinse right away. If you do not like this, do not order colored soaps.
If product you receive upon us shipping an order to you appears defective to you in any way upon receipt of the shipment, contact us immediately for further instruction. If product appears damaged via transit, save any and all packing materials and contact us immediately as well as your USPS or UPS carrier so that a damage/ins. report can be taken and filed. Time is very important with this--do not wait to report damage!
What do I do with leftover holiday-specific soaps?
We recognized this potential dilemma early in our soap selling days and came up with the following solution: Especially during the winter holiday season, we take soaps that are usually part of our Regular Line and make them into Holiday soaps simply by re-naming them so they can go back to their usual identity post-holiday, or roll over into the next holiday. EXAMPLE: At Christmas time, our Tuscany Wine Spice (deep red, wine-spice soap) becomes Wassail for the holiday, and rolls over nicely into Valentines season as a romantic wine soap! We try to do this with several holiday soaps so that you never get stuck with something that is SO Christmas-specific that you can't sell it easily AFTER Xmas Eve has passed, should you happen to not sell it--although in our experience, most of our customers are more prone to experiencing running out of stock pre-Xmas Eve than being stuck with leftovers!
What are your lead times so so we get on a timely schedule for placing re-orders?
It really depends upon order size. We can obviously complete a $200 order much quicker than a $2000, or $20,000 order that we need to work in around our usual production schedule. Give us your proposed order and we'll give you a proposed lead time, at that time! But a general rule of thumb is two weeks notice for average re-stocking orders. The worst that could happen is you'll be pleasantly happy to receive your order sooner...which usually is the case. However occasionally we WILL get simultaneous larger orders all at once that keep up hopping and that is what can cause delays or longer lead times. We are committed to always keeping you apprised of your order status though so you know what to expect. We put ourselves in your shoes in that regard and know that's how we'd appreciate being treated! By the same token, with customers who call with orders they demand they need "yesterday" or "last week", we do our best to be as quick as possible, but we can't take responsibility if assessment of your merchandise needs is not done in a timely manner. Thanks for working together with us on this!If setting up a set merchandise fulfillment schedule for re-stocking orders would work better for you, let us know!
What do you recommend I do to let my customers know I've added handmade soap to my merchandise offerings? And what are some unique ways to offer and display your soap?
Gosh, there's so many ways to market soap! Let your imagine fly! Send out e-newsletters, postcards to your mailing list, post signs in your shop windows, and don't neglect the sure bet sale-maker--hand out FREE SAMPLES! Even skeptics who take home a free sample are sure to return to BUY more once they experience how the soap makes their skin feel! When I first started, I often sold at craft shows and encountered quite a few male companions of women shoppers who begrudgingly, and out of boredom it seemed, would heft a bar of my soap, mutter about how a bar of such-at-such soap at the grocery store only costs a fraction of what my soap costs. A smiling face, a brief explanation of why my soap is considered better by many, and a free sample and brochure later, that customer would leave....only to call or return another time ready to order and order a lot! I obtained one of my longest-time and most faithful customers in just that manner. He was vacationing in our fair city, was dragged to a craft show by his wife, we met, and when he returned to his city he called me to tell me how impressed he was with my soap--"the best my skin has ever felt", he said! He just so happened to be a president of a Merrill Lynch and ended up ordering soap baskets for ALL of his staff and co-workers for Christmas, and turned several of them on to ordering from me as well! He has been at least a $1500 retail customer each year ever since. So, it goes to demonstrate, you never know WHO or WHERE you'll encounter your next best customer...even if he's disguised as as a curmudgeonly skeptic. Use the opportunity to TEACH customers, be knowledgeable about your products!!
Customers have shared all kinds of tips and tricks they use to draw customers to their soap displays, including use of a DJ's bubble machine strategically placed in or outside of their shop (bubbles indoors may stain ceilings), decorating and displaying with antique bathtubs, washtubs and accessories. One shop owner had a row of tester sinks installed in her shop so customers could sample soap right there and feel the difference--her husband was a plumber! Incorporate hiring (or bartering services/products) with a day spa massage therapist with ancillary products to demo on customers in-store. Offer complimenting products, accessories, sanctum enhancing items to help customers create an experience at-home with candles, perfumes, skin products, bath brushes, quality towels, yoga or relaxation techniques etc.
Some of our customers share that they have chosen setting-up a deli style setting in their soap stores, buying our soap in-bulk and cutting it up into random, chunky sizes, either pre-cut or cut-on-request, wrapping it in stretchwrap (much like blocks of cheese!), and selling it by the ounce on old-fashioned scales.
Some adopt " themes", such as beverage or drink themes and offer soap in these styles--i.e. Pink Lady soap, Root Beer soap, Margarita soap, Daiquiri soap, etc. Or sports themes, country kitchen themes, food-like themes (pie-wedge soap), etc....
Overall many stick with the bulk slice-by-the-inch method of attractively offering logs of soap stacked on a cutting board for customers to select their favorites and have a fresh slice of soap cut off for them!The slice can be popped into an inexpensive cello bag and an Avery sticky label with ingredients applied, tied with raffia or ribbon.
However, whatever your theme or idea is, we encourage you to offer the soap in some ready-to-grab, ready-made-gift packaging ideas since MANY customers who may not have been thinking of buying soap, suddenly remember that it's so-and-so's birthday in two days and they've forgot to get a gift...and there it is, ready to buy!
Customers handle the soap a lot and it can get dirty-looking and shop-worn. Plus, it's hard to stop people from wanting to smell the soap and touch it to their noses. How can I avoid this hygiene issue?
Use small or full-size tester bars for each variety. Many of our wholesale customers with high-traffic shop lay-outs report they have success with keeping the soap stored behind a counter where they need to be assisted to obtain the soap, but have tester bars out to be smelled and touched to customers content! But you may want to keep testers in-view...some report that tester bars disappear regularly!
Customers sometimes comment in-store about the price of handmade soap vs. a stack of regular soap at a grocery store and seem to expect an explanation from me...what should I tell them? Why DOES it cost more?
You may have an inclination to react by saying, "If you have to ask, then you don't want what I have to offer you"...but that doesn't exactly inspire a customer to try something new now, does it? Become familiar with our products inside and out; this is why we provide so much info. for you on our website in particular! We've found that an intrinsic part of this business is also being an educator, and by default, so will you need to be! Our soap costs more because it is made with only the best quality ingredients and we have to charge for those ingredients." You'll feel the difference when you use the soap...here, try a sample!" It's also great to point out that since our soap does not dry out skin like regular detergent bars do, what you pay more for soap, you save money from not having to buy lotions and remedies for what detergent bars DO to your skin.
The economy isn't doing well in my region. What are some ways I can boost soap sales?
"The economy" can work both ways for soap sales, funny enough! While some may notice customers hanging more tightly onto their dollar, depending on region (again), others will notice them spending more freely than ever with an attitude of "I need this as a little reward FOR ME today!", very much having a "live for today" or "back to the simple, pure things in life" mindset. Plus, people ALWAYS need to buy gifts regardless of economy, and everyone needs SOAP. We find ourselves more and more, during economic downturn times, encouraging wholesale clients to get into the heads of their customers and offer all the things they need to create not just a product sale...but AN EXPERIENCE sale! And do it in a way that is not jump-down-your-throat salesman dogging them. Create a quiet, ambiance, ....a bath-lovers sanctuary within your shop, on the pages of your catalog, on your inviting website! More than ever, people want to get away, if even for only a short while.....people will pay almost anything to feel escape, even if it means trading an economy meal that night for the luxury of spending more on their bath products. YOU can create that feeling, that attitude for them!
I'm an international customer...what's the best, least expensive method of shipping?
It can depend upon the size of your order. Some carriers offer "freight charges" but certain weight requirements must be met. Contact us and we'll assess what will afford you the best pricing based on your order size. We compare shipping costs and use either UPS International, USPS, or Airborne. If shipping Airborne, we encourage you to open your own Airborne account (SIMPLE to do!) so you can pay shipping costs directly on your end and we can bypass having to accurately assess exact shipping charges that can often be difficult to figure precisely prior to packing the order. Out of US shipment recipients are responsible for any tariff or VAT charges incurred upon arrival to your country.
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