How to Decide on The Amount of Soap Making Products to Bring to a Craft Show
Preparing to sell soap and bath products during the busy craft show season is always a challenge.
How much soap, lotion, baths salts, body mist, night cream etc. do you need to prepare?
I have heard so many different ways to work out this amount from every type of crafter I have talked to. Many say five times the booth fee amount is their number.
If you make several products, how do you know how to allocate that amount of product?
What about your lotions and creams that have expiry dates? If you do not have a backup plan for those products that have a short shelf life ? What will happen to them?
As craft show participants with several products including expiry sensitive creams and lotions, we need a whole new way to work out
the amount of product to bring. We need a practical solution.
After several years of following this five times my booth rate, I have thrown out that whole idea and have come up with a better way
for me to decide on the quantity of each product that I will be preparing to make and take.
Here is my process broken down into steps.
1. Write down and list every item you are planning to make and take to your craft fair.
2. Next to each item write down whether it has a short shelf life (six months) or not.
For example lotion – yes, bar soap – no, natural shampoo – no, conditioner – yes, Bath Tea – no, night serum – yes.
3. For all of the products you have yes next to, you need to answer the following questions.
*If I don’t sell all of these items at the craft fair, do I have another outlet to sell them?
A. Several crafts craft fairs in a row that you were going to attend as a vendor.
B. Your product can be taken to a consignment account or a wholesale account to sell shortly after the craft show.
C. You have a long gift giving list, and the left over products can be given as gifts.
If any of those situations apply to you, and you have an outlet for the left over short let shelf life products, then make as much as you like within reason.
*If you do not sell all of the short shelf life products and do not have an outlet, once the craft fair is over, here are your options.
How big is the craft show you are attending?
– A little gymnasium in a school that gets a few hundred people attending each year with a low booth cost of $50 or last.
– A medium-size show with a few thousand attendees. $100 plus for booth fees.
– A large show that has enormous attendance (10,000 + people attending). Expensive booths costing 600+.
With this information both the booth fees and the approximate attendance, decide on how much of each short shelf life product you will bring.
Here is how I decide:
is this a popular item that you generally sell many of?
How much of this product do you need to sell in order to be satisfied with your sales of that particular product,
even if you were to sell out of it?
For example, one of my top selling lotions sells for $12 per tube.
For a small craft show, with a $50 entry fee and low attendance, I would make and bring 15 tubes.
For a midsized show, $200 entry fee. I might bring 30 tubes.
For a big show, big attendance, $2500 entry fee, I would bring 100 tubes.
Even if this amount does not cover my booth cost, for this large show, I do not want to risk throwing away dead stock.
If I sell out of this particular item, then great for me.
If this is a five day show, maybe I will have time to whip up another smaller batch.
maybe another 30 tubes. Or maybe I will just rearrange my booth a bit, and congratulate myself for selling out of the product.
This is something you will need to decide on your own.
For less popular items that are not going to be the highlight of the craft fair,
keep your stock low.
For example, a cuticle cream, not a huge seller, I would bring
one half of what you would bring of the more popular short shelf life products.
If you sell out, then great!
When it comes to your bar soap, liquid soap, shampoo, Bath Tea, essential oil blends, Bath salts etc.
Bring as much as you would like to sell. Make these your highlights.
Ask yourself how much product in total you would like to sell at this particular show
in order to feel like it was a successful venture.
Would $500 be enough for the little school craft show to make you happy?
Would $8000 be enough for the $500 entry fee show? Maybe you would be happy with $2000?
For the big show, that would take months to prepare for, would $20,000 be enough for a $2500 show?
You really do need to decide how much money you want to invest in that particular craft show that you will be entering into.
All of the above information are things to think about.
Good luck with your upcoming shows and try not to burn yourselves out.
This is the time of year to spend with friends and family, so carve out some time for the important people in your life.
There is always next year, and you don’t have to enter every craft show that comes your way.