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Is It Cheaper to Make or Buy Candles?

  • 3 min read

Having made candles as a hobby you personally enjoy using and gifting to your loved ones, you’re now seriously thinking, can you turn this passion into a successful business? Everyone tells you your fragrance oil candles are just divine and that you should start to sell them rather than just give them to your nearest and dearest. 

You’re at the stage where it’s time to crunch the numbers. It’s time for you to do your due diligence and research as to whether or not you can turn this passion and dream into a candle business reality. The biggest question to ask is, are making candles cheaper than buying candles?

candles on white wooden background

Even though you love the process of making the  candles yourself, in order to create a successful business, is it going to be more economical for you to personally make the candles yourself with a candle making supplies kit or, engage a third party manufacturer and buy the candles wholesale? This will also depend on the size of candle business you are wanting to create.

Being familiar with the cost of candles, you would know that the prices of the candles can be as inexpensive as $5 or can cost $500 upwards. The quality of candles on the market can vary depending on the price. 

There is a great deal to consider when it comes to working out the cost of your candles and in turn - what the best way to manufacture them will be. Wax, wicks, candle fragrance oils, vessels, equipment, labour, packaging, branding, marketing, freight, selling business to business, selling direct to consumer, website, advertising, your time…the list goes on. All of these considerations will have an impact on the margin you will earn when selling the candles.

To help you make a more informed decision as to what is best for you in terms of your candle business vision, we have compiled a starting list of the pros and cons to either making your own candles or buying them from wholesale suppliers.

Make Your Own Candles

Pros

  • Quality Control: You can dedicate more attention to the end product.
  • Management: You are your own boss and can adjust the time as deemed necessary.
  • Flexibility: You can control the size of your business and scale up or scale down as necessary.
  • Reward: You’re doing what you love and what you have a passion for.

Cons

  • Overheads Costs: You have to buy all the equipment and have a manageable space to produce the candles.
  • Time Management: You are responsible for making the candles so you need to allocate the time.
  • A Steep Learning Curve: You need to know the ins and outs of every aspect of your candle business as you are in charge.
  • Pressure: It’s a big responsibility when you hold all the accountability so you need to be mindful of this.
woman smelling scented candle

Buy Your Candles

Pros

  • Less Overhead Cost: You don’t need to purchase candle making equipment, space to accommodate production, etc.
  • Professional: You have the advantage of engaging a professional supplier who knows exactly what is needed to produce a candle at a price point you require.
  • More than likely, the supplier will be exposed to a greater number of fragrance oils and therefore, you can experiment with your range more freely and test your customers and target market in terms of what they resonate with.

Cons

  • Finding the right suppliers you can trust and reply upon.
  • More touch-points to your business. There is a greater risk of things not going to plan at times.
  • Uncertainty: In terms of changes such as, the candle making wholesale supplier revises their prices, products availability, etc.
  • Timeline: You’re at the mercy of the suppliers and freights schedule and, that may not alway suit your buyer demands or needs.

The above is just a small snapshot of what you can expect when you’re either making or buying your candles.

Like any purchase you make, you most likely shop around for the best quote. When it comes to selecting your candle making supplies or supplier, we recommend researching online. Simply typing into your search engine ‘candle making supplies near me’ canl be a good starting point in locating potential business suppliers to partner with.

Trying to digest all the above can be overwhelming. From being a humble home-made candle maker to running a successful candle making business is a big step. However, when in doubt - seek advice from the experts. A great quote to keep in mind is that “it’s very important to surround yourself with people you can learn from. You’ll soon find a great network of contacts that will help your candle business grow and thrive.

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