Let’s learn how to make candles to sell. It is cheaper to make candles, and there are many ways to sell them online. So, it is not that risky to give it a shot.
In this article, we are going to talk about:
- What are the different types of candles that you can make easily
- How to select ingredients for candle making and where to find discounts
- How to make candles at home
- The most common issues of candle making and solution, and where to find support
- How to sell homemade candles online
- A few things you should know before selling homemade candles (like getting insurance to cover liabilities, etc.)
- How to expand your online candle business
Sounds interesting? Alright, let’s learn how to make candles to sell online.
Before you start making candles…
Starting an online business is a great way to make money from home or make a passive income. But I just wanted to make something clear first. Around 90% of the small businesses fail within just one year. The most common reason for these failures is the lack of marketing competency.
But don’t just think that your business is going to be a failure. If you don’t start, you will never know if it will be the next big thing or a failure.
So, to help you with this process, I will tell you where to find hidden discounts and coupons to buy candle wax, jars, wicks, and other ingredients. So, you can keep your costs down. Also, I will tell you some practical tips and tricks to get your first online sale and how to scale it up!
Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and for educational purposes only. And it does not constitute formal financial, investment, or business advice.
Online candle business fact sheet
- Consumers are usually purchasing candles as home decors, for aromatherapy, and stress reduction.
- People use candles to make their spaces more comfortable and cozy.
- Usually, people burn candles in the living room, kitchen, and bedrooms.
- Fragrance and looks are the most important purchasing influence for candles. So if you sell them online, it is all about looks and customer reviews.
- Both men and women consider candles a highly appreciated gift for many occasions, including holidays, house warming parties, thank you gifts, and birthdays.
What are the different types of candles that you can sell online?
When we start an online candle business, we have to make sure that there is a demand for the candles that we make. Otherwise, people won’t buy the candles we make. There are a few different types of candles that have a very high demand for online sales. So, let’s have a look.
Scented or aromatherapy candles
People use scented candles to bring in pleasant fragrances for their living spaces. They buy scented candles for special occasions. So, you can make candles with a wide array of fragrances, including;
- Vanilla and nutmeg
- Coconut and lemon etc.
Aromatherapy candles are a special type of scented candle. They contain hints of essential oils to soothe the mind and body. You can buy all these candles making scents as oils from local supplies stores or on Amazon. Don’t worry; we’ll give you all the links that you need in a bit.
Selling decorative candles
As we have discussed earlier, people buy candles just to decorate their living spaces. So, you can start making decorative candles as well. When you make decorative candles to sell, you have to focus more on the product’s looks.
Usually, decorative candles come in many different shapes, colours, and accessories. You can get design inspirations using the decorative candle photos on Pinterest and Instagram. Also, search on Amazon for decorative candles and see what type of candles have the highest demand.
Soy and Vegan candles
Soy and vegan candles have a very high demand in the candle market. Unlike the regular oil, paraffine, and beeswax candles, soy candles are made from wax extracted from soybeans. Also, soy candles usually burn longer and cleanly. Therefore, the best quality soy candles are usually sold for a higher price than regular candles. So, if you are thinking of making candles at home to sell online, it is worth giving it a try.
Other types of candles that you can sell
There are many other types of candles as well. For example, tapered candles, church candles, pillar candles are also there. Keep exploring and see for more opportunities to sell candles. However, when you do so, always cross-check for the demand of candle types on Amazon.
Here is a little tip about selling things online…
Not every product is suitable to sell online. When we talk about the marketing strategies (towards the end of this guide), you will learn that you need something special or intriguing to get your customers’ attention.
So, selling something like regular church candles might not be a wise idea. However, the candles like Decorative, Vegan, and Scented might have a better opportunity to sell via a simple Facebook ad campaign.
There are many new types and trends in candle making. Always keep in touch with the latest trends and keep your product line up to date.
Ingredients to make candles at home
Making candles is not hard. It is a simple and straightforward process. Let’s have a look at the ingredients that you would need to make candles.
But don’t just go ahead and purchase any of these ingredients right away. I will tell you where to find hidden discounts and coupons to buy them without having to spend a fortune!
A complete list of candle making supplies
First, I will give you a full list of candle making supplies. Remember, you don’t have to buy everything that is mentioned down here. Next, I will explain a little more about how to select some of the ingredients. Then, I will tell you where to find discounts and coupons to cut down your costs.
- Candle wax
- Fragrance oils
- Metal, glass, or ceremic jars or moulds
- Candle Wick Stickers, Heat Resistance Double-Sided
- Pouring pot
- Wax melt clamshells
- Metal Candle Wick Holders
- Wax melter
- Wick trimmer
- Heat gun
- Label printer
- Food scale
- Light box and display risers
1. Candle Wax
You can select paraffine, soy, or beeswax as options. For example, if you decide to sell vegan candles, you can use soy wax to make candles.
Paraffine gives a perfect surface finish for your candles and is a bit easier to handle. Soy wax, on the other hand, can give a bit of imperfection to the surface finish. But, it has its own aesthetic to that finish. So, it depends mostly on your target market.
Every candle maker has their preferred type of candle wax based on the purpose.
The selection is a bit tricker for soy wax types. And, natural soy 464 is good to get started. It is soft and good for jar candles. But, if you are planning to use moulding, use a much harder type of wax, like pillar wax BW921.
It won’t matter if you buy wax beads, flakes, or larges chunks. You will have to do a bit of prep work if you buy large chunks.
Also, now you can buy beeswax sheets for candle making. It is a non-messy way of making some beautiful candles with amazing textures.
Selecting the right wick size is crucial for homemade candles. Otherwise, your candles won’t burn properly.
Wicks are usually sized as “small, medium, or large”. So, when you select candle wicks, make sure to choose a suitable size based on the diameter of your candles. Sometimes you will also have to consider the melting point of the wax and fragrance oils you use when selecting the wicks.
It is all trial and error. You will have to change the size and the number of wicks by testing your candles to get a perfect burn.
There are different types of candle wicks, like cotton wicks and wooden wicks. And even wooden wicks come in different shapes like straight or curved ones. So, it all depends on your preference about the final looks of your candles.
3. Fragrance oils
As we have discussed, scented candles have a very high demand for online sales. You can choose any of the popular fragrances to include in your candles. Usually, it will cost you around $15 for 100ml of Sandlewood oil.
Sometimes the type and amount of the fragrance oils that you use can alter the properties of the burn and the looks of the candle. So, it is essential to test your candles with different compositions.
4. Metal, glass, or ceramic containers
You can use any glassware that can withstand heat as the mould to make candles at home. If you are just trying, you can even use a coffee mug for this purpose. However, if you plan to sell candles, it’s worth investing in buying a mould to make candles. There are cheap silicon moulds and glass jars under $10.
Glass and Ceramic containers don’t dissipate heat like metal containers. So, the wax might tend to crack or get some imperfections when it gets cured. Therefore, if you plan to use glass or ceramic jars, it is worth buying a heat gun to repair such imperfection.
5. Other candle making accessories
You can buy a professional wax melter if you want. Otherwise, you can even make your own double-boiler using a couple of old kitchen pots.
Also, you will need a spatula for mixing and a thermometer for measuring temperature for pouring and adding fragrances. Some oils come with instructions saying that they should be mixed at certain temperatures. So, having a good thermometer will come in handy.
In addition, you might need to have a printer to print your labels and packing boxes as well.
One additional thing is to have a good lightbox for candle photography. When you make candles to sell online, the quality of your candle photos is vital, and it is worth investing in a cheap lightbox to get some good quality photos.
Where to find discounts and coupons for candle making supplies
There are a ton of hidden discounts and coupons on Amazon for almost everything you want to buy. But, it is not that easy to find them without the use of special discount scavenging software. So, to help you with this, I have just created a Facebook group where I post daily discounts and coupons for arts and crafts supplies. Also, you can ask questions and seek support in this group as well.
How to make candles at home?
Safety is the number one priority! We are going to work with boiling wax!!! Keep everything you need in your reach before getting started.
- Prepare wax
Usually, the candle wax comes as pellets. However, if you bought a block of wax, chop it into smaller pieces using a sharp knife or use a grater or a mallet.
- Fix the wick into the mold
If you bought standard candle wicks, they come with a little tab attached to one end. Sometimes, it also comes with a sticker to stick that tab to the bottom of the container. If not, you can always use a dot of super glue to keep it in place.
Then, wrap the other end to a pencil or a toothpick and keep it on the mold to place the wick at the center. You can adjust this again after pouring wax.
- Melt the wax
Use a double boiler to melt the wax. You can always reuse the melted wax. So, add a little more than you need for the candle mold. And, make sure to keep notes of how much wax you added for each trial. Also, stir the pot to break the chunks that stick together.
- Keep an eye on the temperature
Usually, wax melts around 150-160 degrees. If it gets too high, take it off the boiler.
- Add fragrances
Once the wax is completely melted, start adding fragrance oils. Each type of wax would need a different amount of fragrance oil. So, follow the instructions that came with the wax or fragrances. You can always follow a trial and error method to find the right proportions. Again, make sure to keep notes! After adding fragrances, mix it for 30 seconds.
- Pour it into the mold
After adding fragrances, take it off the heat and let it cool for a couple of minutes. Once the temperature is dropped down to a value of around 130 degrees, pour the wax mixture into the mold. Save a little bit of wax in the pot to use a little later. Once hardened, the candle will get a sinkhole at the center. So, you can use this extra wax to fill it up.
- Adjust the wick
Make sure to keep and secure the wick at the center. If it goes off-center, the candle won’t burn properly and flame can even break the glass. And, you will get a ton of bad reviews from your buyers.
- Let it cool for a couple of hours and top up
Let the candle you just made sit there for at least a couple of hours. Once it gets cold, you will notice a few deformities at the top. So, you can reheat the wax you have saved in the pot and top up the candle to get a perfect finish.
- Take it off the mold (if needed) and trim the wick
Unless you are making jar candles, now you will have to remove the candle from the mold. If you are using silicone molds, this will be a lot easier.
Most common problems with candle making
Here are some answers to the most common issues that you will face when making candles at home.
1. Sinkholes at the top
Having a small sinkhole after curing wax is common, which you can top up to have a perfect finish.
However, if a sinkhole occurs when burning the candle, having an air pocket is the most common culprit. Practice your pouring technique to get the best results.
Also, if the wick size is too small, you can get a sinkhole around the burn. If so, you will have to either increase the size of the wick or use multiple wicks to get a perfect burn.
2. Uneven burn
For a perfect burn, candle wax should be melted and create an even wax pool to the edges of the container. If you are getting a deep puddle around the wick, you will have to either increase the size of the wick or use multiple wicks to get a perfect burn.
3. Candle burning too fast
A rule of thumb is to have a candle burning speed of 1inch per hour. If your candles are burning faster than that, try reducing the wick size to get a perfect burn.
4. Imperfect surface finish
If you are using soy or beeswax, it is normal to have an imperfect surface finish. Sometimes adding a bit of coconut oil would smoothen it up. However, it is part of the aesthetic of such candle types, and you can say it upfront to your customers.
Also, if you pour too cold (wax, vessel, or environment), it can cause an imperfect surface finish on your candle. So, make sure to heat the wax to the right temperature and pre-heat the mould in a microwave oven before pouring. Then you can use your heat gun to re-heat wax to smoothen up the surface.
5. Shattered glass
Having a deep sinkhole or burn puddle around the wick can cause your wick to drift to a side of the vessel. And, if it is glassware, having the flame closer to the wall can cause the glass to shatter.
Also, if your glassware cannot handle the heat, it can break the glass. Sometimes you will have to prescribe the max burning time so that the glass can withstand the heat.
Where you can sell candles
Now you know how to make candles at home. Next, we’ll see how to sell them online.
Selling homemade candles on Facebook
The easiest way to get started is using Facebook to sell candles. However, if you want to give it a try, you can start a Facebook page for your candle business and take orders manually. Also, you can run paid advertisements and expand your business on Facebook without any hassles.
However, when your business grows, it can be hard to manage and track all the orders you will get. So then, you might want to consider moving to a dedicated selling platform for your online homemade candle business.
Selling candles on online marketplaces
The second way to start selling candles is to sell them on popular online marketplaces. For example, you can use eBay, Amazon, or Etsy to sell homemade candles. These platforms don’t charge you for listing. Instead, they take commissions as you make sales. If you like to sell candles on eBay, check How to sell on eBay.
Create an online store to sell candles
However, if you are serious about your homemade candle business, creating an online store is worth investing in. And, it won’t cost you a fortune to start an online store to sell candles. You can have your very own online store by paying less than $30 a month.
As your business grows, you can get greater benefits by moving the candle sales onto your very own online store. So, while you are developing your online candle business, why shouldn’t we start working on a website for your business too.
There are many ways to start an online eCommerce store to sell candles online. For example, if you choose Shopify, you can make an online store easily and quickly without any technical knowledge. There are plenty of themes, templates, and plugins that make the whole process a lot easier.
Marketing tips to sell candles online
Before you go ahead and start making candles to sell, you need to consider a little bit about how you are going to sell these candles. So, next, we’ll talk more about these special marketing tactics to start selling homemade candles.
Making candles is pretty much straightforward. Everyone can do that. Starting a website or listing the candles to sell on eBay? Simple, and everyone can do that too.
So, what is the tricky part?
Yes, marketing. The only way to build a successful online candle business is by creating proper marketing strategies for your candle sales. So, let’s have a look at the best marketing tactics that you can use to sell candles online.
The importance of having intriguing products and packaging
Now, you know that there are many different ways to sell candles online. For example, you can sell candles on Amazon, eBay, or your own online store. So, wherever we list our candles to sell online, first, we need to tell our potential customers about our candles. Otherwise, our listing will be hidden down on the last page of Amazon, eBay, or Google search results.
Therefore, the easiest and cheapest way to find customers to sell candles is through Facebook ads. So, we can run a Facebook ad campaign to reach our potential customers. But, we know that people don’t come to Facebook to buy candles. People use social media for an entirely different purpose. So, if we want to grab their attention to our ads, we need to show them an intriguing product. And it should be able to trigger impulse buyers on social media.
So, before you start making candles, go through Pinterest boards and see what the most enticing candle images are. Then carefully design your candles in a way that can attract potential buyers from first sight.
Pro tip! Hire a professional graphic designer to get your labels and packaging designs done. It won’t cost you a lot, but it would definitely help you build some brand authority. Check these services on Fiverr.
Facebook and Instagram marketing to sell candles online
As we have discussed, you can make Facebook and Instagram the cash cow of your homemade candle business. Those platforms have a tremendous audience for you to reach and sell candles. Also, they provide precise demographic data to build your marketing campaign.
Therefore, start working on building a powerful Facebook marketing strategy and a strong Instagram marketing strategy from day one. Start a Facebook page and an Instagram account for your business and start posting right now.
You can even post about the initial phases of your business too. Create videos of how you are trying to perfect the candle making and post them on your Facebook page. These types of videos can bring in more engagement and a human touch to your business. Sometimes, these posts can help you to get some early bird customers and investors as well.
Using content marketing to sell candles
Content marketing is another powerful way to reach a hot audience for your products. For example, you can start writing blog posts about candles on your websites to get the attention of your customers in the early stages of their purchasing journey.
Here are some content ideas to sell candles
- The 10 Best Scented Candles for a Cozy Home
- How to select the aromatherapy candles
- 10 home decorating ideas with candles
- How candles can help you to relax after a hefty workday
So, when people come to read these posts, you can subtly show your candles and influence them to buy candles from you. For example, in the “10 Best Scented Candles” article, you can give them the purchasing links to the scented candles you sell.
Also, you can start making videos for the same content topics and publish them on your blog and YouTube. This content can drive traffic and sales to your listings.
Other marketing tactics to sell candles
Even though we have discussed only Facebook, Instagram, and Content marketing strategies, there are many other marketing skills that you can use to sell candles. Check our digital marketing section for more information about Ad strategies and other digital marketing strategies to sell candles.
Do 10 times better than your top competitor
If you want to establish a successful candle business, I would suggest that you need to do at least 10 times better than your top competitor within the first year. This brute force, passion, and dedication will help you to climb up the ladder in no time and start selling candles better than the other competitors.
You can make candles at home to sell online and make an extra income. The process is pretty much straightforward. The only tricky part is creating marketing strategies to sell candles.
There are plenty of free resources to learn how to handle marketing on YouTube, Google, and EcommerceBuff. So, keep in touch with us. We’ll share more tactics to better your candle sales in the future.