Wow! I just placed my big order for oils and butters to make soap for the holidays and the prices have gone through the roof. Olive Oil has DOUBLED since last year. Since olive oil is at least 35% of my soap, that represents quite a cost increase. Essential oils, particularly lavender and patchouli, have also shown huge increases.
I am struggling with the decision about whether or not to raise the price of my soap, because I want it to be affordable. But I want to be able to afford to keep making it. My cost have increased about 75% over the last 5 years, and I've raised my soap price from the original $4 to $5 - which is a 25% increase. Not quite keeping pace with my costs, but I don't know if I'm comfortable going much higher.
There are many folks who wouldn't consider paying $5 a bar (my current price) for soap, but there are quite a few who will pay a little extra for something hand made with care using good ingredients. I'm blessed that some have found Violet Crown Soap and I can count them as my customers.
I'm considering a 50 cent per bar increase. One thing that I will have to do is reduce the amount of discount I give for the 3-bar price at shows.
If you have any thoughts, let me know.