NTM Session #2: Maker Business Tips With Lex at Vibes Candles

Our Next Top Maker sessions are in full swing with Lex, creator of Vibes Candles!

These sessions are meant to really help our Next Top Maker learn the business side of things and we’re super excited to share the highlights of Lex’s most recent session with Charlotte, one of our in-house Maker Experts. They discussed shipping rates, wholesale pricing, and selling internationally.


Check out the top four takeaways that Lex learned during this session:


  • SELLING INTERNATIONALLY
    I learned that I shouldn’t be afraid of selling my products internationally, which is something I have been nervous about doing just because I’m unsure of the shipping process. I use Shopify to sell my products online, so Charlotte encouraged me to turn on the “shipping internationally” feature and just go for it! Opening up my audience to others across the globe is a great way to get more eyes on my products and my next takeaway helped me feel more comfortable with taking the leap to shipping internationally.

  • SHIPPING INTERNATIONALLY
  • It’s really not as difficult of a process as people might think it is to ship products internationally. There are a few things I need to make sure of when doing so like including a commercial invoice that includes my company name, the currency that the order was paid in (example: Paid in USD), the origin of the product I am selling, (example: made in the USA), and the value of the product (fun fact: any products shipping internationally must be above $1). Charlotte recommended I use DHL, FedEx, or UPS for international shipping and to make sure I let customers know about potential duties and taxes they may be responsible for by simply stating that on my site. 


    For more information on international shipping, you can visit this blog here: How to Ship Your Products Internationally


  • DOMESTIC SHIPPING
  • I let Charlotte know that I spoke with a representative at FedEx about having them be my go-to shipping carrier and she had some great tips! She told me that if I don’t want to use their “flat rate boxes” I can use another one as long as it’s the same dimensions as the one FedEx offers. She also told me to reach out to UPS and ask them to match or beat FedEx’s prices for shipping, especially if I am a growing business. Oftentimes they are willing to work with new customers to gain their loyalty so I will be trying to negotiate those costs to help with shipping rates since they can be A LOT.


  • WHOLESALE PRICING
  • Since my business is growing and retail stores are interested in selling my products (so exciting!), I needed to learn a little more about how to price my products when discussing logistics with a potential retailer. I learned a formula that will help me figure out my “margin,” which is the difference between what I sell my products for and how much it costs me to make each one: 


    Margin = Retail Cost - Cost to Make / Retail Cost


    As Charlotte and I went through these numbers, I discovered my margins are actually really good and that I have room to play around with. It was suggested that I come up with a “tier” system where I consider offering big retailers a larger discounted rate on my products like 50% and boutique style shops a smaller discount like 30%. If my candles are getting exposed to larger audiences it would be worth the larger discount, and if they’re in smaller shops, a smaller discount makes sense.


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    We are so pumped that Lex learned a whole lot of Maker biz tips and can’t wait to see how much Vibes Candles grows over the next year! Stay on the lookout for more upcoming sessions with Lex and keep checking our Instagram @woodenwick for fun projects we have in the works.


    Happy Making + Selling!