The Candle Cauldron - Everything You Want to Know About Candlemaking!
  Pricing & Selling 
 Your Candles 

written by Doneen St.John, The Candle Cauldron©
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The first step to pricing your candles is to figure out your cost on the product.  Do this by figuring out the cost per ounce of your wax and any additives such as color, scent, stearic acid, vybar, petro, etc.  Once you have your cost per ounce, figure the number of ounces in a particular candle you make and multiply that by your cost per ounce.  If the candle is in a container, add the cost of the container to that figure.  Also try to add in at least an approximate cost of your wick and packaging.  This should give you the total cost of the candle.

A general rule of thumb is to mark up your total cost 3 or 4 times for retail, and 2 times for wholesale.  This will vary in some cases.  Sometimes you may be able to mark your price up higher than that, and sometimes you may need to lower it.  Buying your supplies in bulk and at wholesale prices will help you to keep your costs down and enable you to make a good profit.  Remember to take into account the time you spend getting your supplies, producing the candles, packaging them, shipping or delivering and selling them.  You need to make enough of a profit to make all of your invested time worthwhile.

Pricing can be tricky.  You don't want to under price your products, but you don't want to be so high priced that nobody will buy.  Keep yourself aware of the candle market by shopping around and keeping notes on what sizes and types of candles are selling for in the stores.  Many people will pay more for a unique hand crafted candle, and creative marketing and eye catching packaging can really help your sales.  A good company name, slogan & unique names for your products can help.  Let customers know why your products are special and create an image for them and your company.  If you show customers value, quality and give them a good reason to buy, they will buy.  Most of all, don't get discouraged by the occasional bargain shopper who doesn't make a purchase.  The customers you want are the ones who appreciate your products and are willing to pay to be one of your satisfied customers!


There are many ways to sell your candles.  Here are a few ideas:

~ Craft shows and craft fairs.  Click here to search for shows in your state!
~ Sell to local gift shops, flower shops, etc. (consignment or straight wholesale)
~ Do home candle parties (similar to Tupperware parties) Click here for party info!
~ Fundraisers for schools, churches, etc.  Click here for example fundraiser forms you can download!
~ Host candle parties in retirement homes, trailer parks, recreation halls, etc.
~ Rent a booth at a local flea market or craft mall
~ Open a retail candle shop
~ Sell by mail order catalog or off a website. Click here for info on websites!
~ Obtain contracts for private label candles with large companies


  • Display your candles so they are neat and organized, but eye catching and creative.  If your company or shop has a particular theme such as "country", add other decorative items that go with your theme.
  • Make sure your candles aren't too crowded and can all be seen fairly easily.  Make sure the customers can easily get to the candle they want to look at.
  • Make sure customers can smell the candle fragrances thru the packaging.  Scent is a big selling tool!  Also, have a jar of instant coffee or coffee grounds on hand for clearing the sinuses between sniffs.     After smelling several fragrances in a row, it becomes difficult to distinguish between scents and that could lose you sales.
  • Have business cards and/or flyers or brochures easily accessible for customers to take, and include one in their bag when they purchase so they will have your phone number for reordering.
  • Gimmicks sometimes help, such as a "candle of the month club" or a discount punch card, coupon, buy 2 get 1 free, etc.  These types of marketing strategies encourage repeat business.
  • If selling to shops, call on them in person and ask if you can see the store owner for just a second.  Be friendly and upbeat, shake their hand and congratulate them on their nice shop, then introduce yourself and breifly let them know that you have a line of hand crafted premium candles & products you'd like them to try out and that you've brought them some free samples.  Leave the samples and a brochure and your business card with them, and thank them for seeing you.  Then wait a week and come back to follow up and see if they've had a chance to try your samples yet.  Follow up is important, but remember never to be too pushy!  That can turn off a store owner fast!  You have to kind of use your judgement on each individual, some people don't like salespeople calling on them or bugging them, so if you sense that just back off and give them more time.  Convey to them that you know they're very busy so you don't want to bug them, but that you're sure they will love the samples once they try them.  You could even ask if they would burn one of your candles in the shop at the front counter and see if their customers notice the great smell and indicate that they'd be interested in you carrying them.  That way they're getting free and easy test marketing!  Once you've sold them on your products, negotiate your sales terms.  Make sure when you enter into this deal, that you can produce the volume they will need in a timely manner to fulfill their orders.  Some shops may want only private label products, so it's up to you if you want to do that.  
  • Cater to your market:  If you are in an area that is big on "country"... sell plenty of country products.  If "new age" is big in your area, then highlight any new age type candles you sell.  Study your customers and keep mental notes on what type of people are your top buyers.  Find out why they're buying...for themselves or for gift giving?  Cater to the age groups you most often see in your shop.  If you get many customers who are concerned about the environment or recycling, you could offer a discount on refilling their containers if they bring them back to you.  This also encourages customers to actually burn their candles instead of just using them as decorations, in turn giving you    more repeat business!

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