BEEKEEPING LEARNING CENTER > CRAFTING CORNER

Wax candles

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rookie2531:
Maybe your wife could make smaller ones. I know if I wanted the best, but can't afford it, I do settle for something the like that I can afford.

Ben Framed:
BUMP

Keep in mind this thread is 5 years old. Is there anyone here that can offer updates on this subject along with pricing? 

The15thMember:
I can't speak to the price of a candle, but the thing I've found so cost-prohibitive is the molds.  We tend to use candles around Christmastime, and I'd love to make some with my own beeswax, but $50 for a reusable 15 count tealight mold seems outrageous.  Even a 10 in. taper mold is like $30.   

JurassicApiary:
I've been using silicone molds with good success to produce candles and wax bars.  Also making a lip balm in tubes.  Molds are an in investment--they're equipment.  If you're not going to make a lot of product, then they may be viewed as expensive.  Because they're reusable and can generate a lot of product before they fail, I believe this is why manufacturers charge a fair amount for them--particularly metal molds.  The silicone molds are able to yield more intricate designs, however, they will fail long before the metal ones typically.  Also, the silicone molds are very easy to use and don't require a releasing agent to be applied--you literally just pop the candle out once cool (carefully extract it for the complicated designs.)

When I calculate my cost on a product I include a small figure to recover the cost of the mold.  For example, I buy a simple silicone mold for $15 and can reasonably expect to get 250 candles from it before it fails or becomes unusable.  $15/250= $0.06.  I add this 6 cents to my hard-cost to make the candle, which I will later use to determine a sale price.  So, in the long run, I've already accounted for the mold-investment and I recover the cost over it's production life.

As to pricing, I like to search around and see what the market price is before setting my prices.  I will weigh this when pricing my wax products.  While I'm in the production phase, I currently see Tea-lights go for around $0.75-$1.00 each and pillars sell for around $1.50-$2.00/ounce.  I myself don't plan to sell solely based on weight.  Some types or designs may require more attention to produce, or greater risk of failure due to mold or other production challenges. I will adjust price on these in accordance with their value and my time; Don't undervalue your time.  People are willing to pay a more for hand-crafted, locally produced products.  It's a premium.  And, in this case, we all know that beeswax is the best material.  The buyer knows they're getting straight from the beekeeper, so it's the real deal, and they trust us.  I tend to start with pricing that is on the higher end for jewelry and other products that I sell to test the market.  You can always lower your price if something isn't moving.  But, people will him-and-haw if you start raising prices.

As to a brief lesson in the value of time valuation... My mother has learned to blow glass leading in to her retirement and it's definitely a skill that takes time to refine.  She once had a customer ask her how long it took her to to make a particular pendant she was selling, and my mother said about 10 minutes.  The customer replied asking why she was charging $45 for it then if it only took ten minutes to make...to which my mother replied without missing a beat, "it may have only taken ten minutes to make, but it took me 8-years to figure out how to make it."  Again, never undervalue your time; It's in investment that should yield a worthwhile return.

The15thMember:

--- Quote from: JurassicApiary on May 27, 2020, 02:05:12 pm ---I've been using silicone molds with good success to produce candles and wax bars.  Also making a lip balm in tubes.  Molds are an in investment--they're equipment.  If you're not going to make a lot of product, then they may be viewed as expensive.  Because they're reusable and can generate a lot of product before they fail, I believe this is why manufacturers charge a fair amount for them--particularly metal molds.  The silicone molds are able to yield more intricate designs, however, they will fail long before the metal ones typically.  Also, the silicone molds are very easy to use and don't require a releasing agent to be applied--you literally just pop the candle out once cool (carefully extract it for the complicated designs.)

--- End quote ---
I guess it makes more sense when you look at it that way.  It is a one time purchase after all.  I have been making lip balms as well.  My mom found a really good deal on like 100 of them over Christmas and gave them to me for a present.  I've been so happy with the lip balms I've made; they are much better than any ones you can buy. 


--- Quote from: JurassicApiary on May 27, 2020, 02:05:12 pm ---As to a brief lesson in the value of time valuation... My mother has learned to blow glass leading in to her retirement and it's definitely a skill that takes time to refine.  She once had a customer ask her how long it took her to to make a particular pendant she was selling, and my mother said about 10 minutes.  The customer replied asking why she was charging $45 for it then if it only took ten minutes to make...to which my mother replied without missing a beat, "it may have only taken ten minutes to make, but it took me 8-years to figure out how to make it."  Again, never undervalue your time; It's in investment that should yield a worthwhile return.

--- End quote ---

Great story, and that's absolutely amazing that your mother can glass blow.  I had the pleasure of visiting the Corning Glass Museum in NY when I was a kid and it was amazing!   

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