Looking for a Wholesale Soap Supplier? Read This First
Are you looking for a wholesale soap supplier? Great! But before you get your hands dirty, let’s take a few minutes to learn about some essentials when it comes to soap.
Finding a wholesale soap supplier might sound straightforward, but there are many things to consider, such as:
- What should you look for when choosing a wholesale soap supplier?
- What details and important information should you learn about?
- How can you tell if a wholesale soap supplier is trustworthy?
Honestly, it can be pretty overwhelming.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help. In it, you’ll learn about five vital things you need to consider when looking for a wholesale soap supplier.
Let’s get into it.
1. Choose a Supplier and Products That Match Your Target Market
There are so many different types of soap out there – organic, handmade, fair trade, vegan, antibacterial, liquid, bars, etc.
If you want to buy soap in bulk to sell for a profit, you need to find a product that your target market will love.
Many wholesale soap suppliers are geared toward specific target markets. For example, Mountain Girl Essentials creates skincare essentials for women who love nature.
And Shave Essentials creates simple shaving equipment and soap for men.
So, before choosing a supplier, you need to define who you plan to target.
When defining your target market, consider demographics such as age and gender, and psychographics like values and interests. For example, you might decide to sell to Millennial women in their early 30s who love the outdoors and are active environmentalists.
In which case, Etta + Billie may be a perfect choice, as the company doesn’t use palm oil and uses recycled packaging.
There’s another benefit to buying bulk soap from a supplier that sells many other products aimed at your target market. If you ever want to source new products, you already have a working relationship with the supplier.
In short, make sure to choose a wholesale soap supplier that caters to your target market.
2. Check Relevant and Important Product Information
Soap is soap, right? Nope.
Not only are there many different types of soap, there are also plenty of ways to make it as well as countless ingredients to consider.
For example, many soaps contain allergens that can be harmful to some users, such as:
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
- Coconut diethanolamide
- Nuts / coconut
What’s more, many soaps list the ingredient “fragrance.”
According to the FDA, the term “fragrance” can be used to list ingredients that could be considered trade secrets. In other words, when manufacturers want to include ingredients in soap without revealing them to the public, all they have to do is write “fragrance.”
Unsurprisingly, many synthetic fragrances often contain allergens – only, you don’t know which.
You may also want to check the grade of the oil used. For example, 76-degree coconut oil is commonly used in soap making – however, it’s refined, bleached, and deodorized. Olive oil is also used often, but should you use grade A, B, or pomace?
What’s more, you need to check the expiration date before you decide how much product to purchase as you don’t want to end up with goods you can’t sell.
All in all, there’s a lot to think about.
So, when communicating with wholesale soap suppliers, ask about the nitty-gritty details before you make a purchase.
Some wholesale soap companies make this easy. For example, Madison Soap Co. lists all of the necessary details on their Handshake wholesaler profile.
In essence, before you buy wholesale soap, make sure to find out precisely what you’re buying.
3. Factor In Import Fees
What are tariffs, and how will they affect you when purchasing soap wholesale? If you plan to work with a wholesale soap supplier from abroad, you need to find out.
Here’s the lowdown:
Tariffs are taxes that governments apply to imports and exports. Sometimes they’re referred to as import fees, export fees, duties, or customs.
The amount you’ll need to pay in import taxes depends on the product’s classification. Take this soap classification:
Organic surface-active products for wash skin, in liquid or cream, contain any aromatic/mod aromatic surface-active agent, put up for retail (HTS 34013010)
If you were to import this type of soap from China into the U.S., you’d need to pay a 4% tax.
Now, take this soap classification:
Soap; organic surface-active products used as soap, in bars, cakes, pieces; soap-impregnated paper, wadding, felt, not for toilet use (HTS 34011900)
If you import this type of soap from China into the U.S., you won’t have to pay any import fees.
Four percent may not sound like much, but it could have a massive effect on your margins.
Plus, you’ll also have to pay import fees upfront whenever you order more stock. This can make it challenging to manage cash flow.
So, how can you research what tariffs apply to the soap you plan to import? Here are the government websites to look up tariffs in the UK, the EU, and the U.S.
Alternatively, you could use an online calculator to help – there are many available, such as:
- Simply Duty (featured below)
Managing import fees, taxes, and shipping can be confusing. So, many businesses hire an expert customs broker to help manage the process.
However, there’s an easy way to avoid these fees and the hassle associated with them: buy bulk soap from the country you plan to sell in.
For example, if you plan to sell soap in America, find a US-based wholesale soap supplier using a platform like Handshake. Every supplier on the platform is based in the U.S., and you can even find a soap supplier in your State to save on shipping costs.
Bottom line, it’s crucial to research and plan for any import fees ahead of time.
4. Verify Your Supplier
Your business depends on good relationships with quality suppliers. But unfortunately, not every supplier is trustworthy and reliable.
So, how can you find a wholesale soap supplier you can trust?
First things first: Ask for documents that prove the businesses’ legitimacy. For example, you could ask to see documents such as:
- Business license / registration
- Compliance certificates
- Patent certificates
You can also ask for verifiable references from current customers. Make sure to follow up with the customers to ensure the references are genuine.
Also, don’t forget to stalk the wholesale soap supplier online. Make sure there are no questionable reviews or warnings from previous customers who got burned. For example, you could search the supplier’s name along with words like “ripoff” and “unhappy.”
Finally, make sure to get answers to vital questions, such as:
- Do you offer a guarantee?
- What happens if shipments arrive late?
- What happens if there are quality issues?
Verifying a supplier’s professionalism and trustworthiness can be tricky. Still, there are many wholesale marketplaces out there that handle the verification process for you. For example, every supplier listed here on Handshake has been handpicked for its quality and professionalism.
In summary, make sure you’re dealing with a reputable wholesale soap supplier before you hand over your hard-earned money.
5. Choose a Supplier That Can Scale to Your Needs
If you want to grow your business, you need a wholesale soap supplier that can grow with you – in a bunch of ways.
Firstly, as your business grows, your orders will increase.
So, you’ll need to work with a supplier that can handle the increase in order size. Suppliers often list their minimum order size – Moxxie Essential Care has a minimum order of $200 – but ask what the maximum order size is.
Plus, make sure to ask wholesale soap suppliers how much time they need to adapt to larger orders. You need to ensure that the turnaround and shipping times work for you.
Also, as your business grows, working with multiple suppliers could become time consuming.
For example, say that you start a boutique that curates and sells beautiful handcrafted products. You may start with just two or three suppliers then grow to work with 10 or 20 suppliers.
In this situation, you would need to streamline each supplier’s communications and logistics to make the workload manageable. Some suppliers still fax orders, or prefer payment by check sent in the mail. These inefficiencies could quickly add up to become a considerable time-suck.
These issues are even more significant if you plan to work with a foreign wholesale soap supplier, thanks to language barriers and time zones.
What’s more, you also need to take into account any specific ideas you have when it comes to growing your business.
For example, you may have plans to brand products yourself in the future. In which case, it would help to work with a wholesale soap supplier who also offers private labeling services, such as Stoney River.
Before you choose a wholesale soap supplier, create a list of questions to make sure that they can cater to your needs now and as your business develops. Here are some examples:
- What is your minimum order quantity?
- Do you have a maximum order quantity?
- What is the turnaround time, from order to delivery?
- What is the price per unit for 10, 100, and 250 units?
- Are you able to increase production over the next year? How much?
- Do you offer private labeling services?
In conclusion, make sure you choose a communicative, reliable wholesale soap supplier who can support your business’s growth.
Summary: Finding a Wholesale Soap Supplier
It can be challenging to find a wholesale supplier. To help, here are five essential things to consider before choosing a wholesale soap supplier.
- First, define your target market. Then, make sure to choose a wholesale soap supplier that has multiple products that fit your target market.
- Learn about the ingredients in the soap and know what you’re buying. Make sure to ask about allergens and other important information.
- Research the import fees associated with products before you purchase them. Then, factor in these additional costs to ensure you can still make a profit.
- Ask for documents, certifications, and verifiable references to ensure the wholesale soap supplier is reputable, reliable, and trustworthy.
- Plan ahead and ensure the wholesale soap supplier can support your business as it grows.
Plan ahead and ensure the wholesale soap supplier can support your business as it grows.
There’s a lot to think about – and a lot at stake. So, take the time to do your due diligence and ensure that you purchase great products from verified, communicative suppliers.