THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CANDLE DISTRIBUTION

If you read our blog Starting a Candle Business, you know we touched a bit on this subject of candle distribution, but with so many options, we think it’s worth a bit more detail.

For now, let’s just focus on a few of the most common options:

Our Favorite Candle Distribution Channels

Local Farmers’ Markets

This is a fantastic way to start! Not only is it usually a year round, ongoing way to sell and get established, but you get to be face to face with your customers. This allows you to get necessary feedback instantly, and be up close and personal with your customers! Have conversations with them and get to know what you are doing right and wrong.

Check your area to find out which farmer’s markets allow crafters and what the requirements are. Do you need a resale permit? Are there insurance requirements? How will you accept payment? Do you need to provide your own table? What is the cost? Do you get to keep the same space if you come each time?

Make sure to set up an attractive booth – keeping it simple and clean is usually the best way to go, let the focus be your product. Have a nice sign made so people can find you and know what you are selling just by quick glance. Have testers available and easily accessible for people to smell.

It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to have small fragrance giveaways so people can take them home and smell them where it’s easier than in a busy market with so many other smells happening!

Here is a link to ¼ oz tins that would work great for fragrance samples from SKS Bottle & Packaging. Just make sure they are labeled with all of your contact info and the scent of course!</p

Craft Fairs

Craft fairs are also year round, but the holiday season brings so many more opportunities for candle distribution. Some of the best craft fairs are “juried”, which means they will review your product to see if they feel you are up to the standards of their show. Some are small and easy to get into.

Just like farmers markets there is a lot to consider: cost, booth requirements, signage, how much inventory you will need, resale permit, insurance or other local business license, how will you accept payment?

For payment, please be sure to accept credit cards, otherwise you will lose a lot of sales. I personally love Square. It’s easy, the fees are reasonable and you get your money quickly. Craft fairs have the same benefits as farmer’s markets in that you get to be up close and personal with your customers.

It’s also a great way to see what others are doing and how it’s working for them. One of the best is Renegade Craft Fair and another favorite is Artists & Fleas. Of course, there are many smaller local craft fairs. Check out your city or town website or Chamber of Commerce for listings and information.

Pop Up Shops

So popular these days and during the holidays can be crazy busy!  Not unlike setting up for a craft fair and also having a lot of similar benefits and requirements. A pop up shop is basically like having a temporary shop – a lot of big metropolitan cities have some great pop up shop venues. Give a Google search for Pop-up shops and you’ll find all sorts of interesting things.

Etsy

A definite favorite for candle distribution. Who doesn’t love being part of a community where there are already 30 million buyers who spent $2.8 billion last year? Just keep in mind, there are also a lot of sellers so you better make sure you have outstanding photos and a well laid out page.  For more information go here Sell on Etsy

Website

Having your own website is a fantastic idea, just don’t forget to promote it!  There are many choices from hiring someone to put it together for you (this can be quite costly) to doing something simple, clean and relatively easy on sites like ShopifySquarespace or Wix  Same as Etsy, have amazing photography and promote the hell out of it.

Amazon

So, there is so much to learn about selling on Amazon and so many different ways to do it that we aren’t even going to pretend that we know how.  We’ll leave it to them to explain how it works:  Sell on Amazon. For an outside perspective that I found very interesting, read this blog post from the Online Selling Experiment

Home Parties

Exactly as it sounds, throw a little party with some friends and sell them some candles. Or, have a friend host a party for you, be creative and have fun!

Wholesale to Retailers 

If you are going to try a candle distribution route to wholesale to stores you must have a line sheet, know how to approach buyers, and have a basic understanding of retail. Thinking of tying a big pretty bow on top of that box? That doesn’t stack well on a retail shelf!

Do all of your boxes look the same at first glance even though there are 8 different fragrances? That’s a nightmare in a retail environment. How about that pretty wax seal? Disaster when customers open up boxes to smell what’s inside.

Stores are also going to want testers and they are going to want them for 50% off of the wholesale price. With so much to cover in selling wholesale, we’ll tackle this one in it’s own blog post!

Whatever you choose to do, just know you need to PROMOTE the heck out it. InstagramFacebookPinterest, throw the whole kitchen sink in!

Photos

Make sure you have excellent photos of your product and that means really excellent photos. With so much fantastically, amazingly, great content out there, you can’t afford to have your photos be anything less than superb! Honestly, this whole excellent photo thing cannot be stressed enough, but I think you probably get the idea!  Now go get selling and make some big bucks!!!

HERE’S EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO GET STARTED:

READ THE FULL CANDLE BUSINESS SCHOOL SERIES:
Help, I Need a Logo!
Choosing a Brand Name
What is the Best Mode of Distribution for my Candles?
How Should I Price My Candles?
Budget and Small Business Stuff
How To Sell Scented Product Online

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