Saturday, July 7, 2018

Producing 1000 bottles of perfume

     The original version of Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup! was about nothing more than producing 1,000 bottles of perfume (all of which were sold successfully at full price.)

    Selling 1,000 bottles of a perfume of your own can be wonderfully profitable if you've kept your production costs in check. But there are a few special issues about producing this number of bottles. You're over the limit for a "crafts" project perfume that makes use of decorative bottles that were never designed for the controlled dispensing of perfume; no spray and often no dabber.

    And you are, for the most part, under the minimum for commercial assembly by automated equipment (although you might find a contract packager willing to undertake your "small" job by doing by hand what you could do by hand yourself.)

    Producing 1,000 bottles of perfume almost begs for hands on desktop or kitchen table top assembly by you, the boss, the owner, the chief engineer, bottle washer and promoter. The "putting it together" isn't really difficult. The real hurdle is locating the components in the quantities needed. To accomplish this you must know something about each of the required components: fragrance, alcohol, water, bottles, closures, labels, and boxes.

    The fragrance itself is the most complex issue. It can be stock or custom but either way it will be a very important part of what sells your product. Obtaining the "right" fragrance is both a marketing and a creative project but, if you think you know what smell will sell, you can work out the fragrance issue.

    Alcohol and water are not major issues. Real perfumery alcohol is available if you're willing to hunt for it. You don't have to resort to substitutes such as using vodka (no!) or going for a non-alcoholic perfume (which can be fine but is not the kind of perfume I'm writing about here.)

    Bottles, in my mind, are what separates the professional/commercial perfume from the hobby project. You want to put your perfume in real perfume bottles, 1,000 of them. Your problem is finding a bottle you like available in the quantity you want (1,000 bottles) with a neck that will mate with the closure you want.

    While bottles, in small quantities, may be sold by the dozen, when you want 1,000 bottles it is unlikely you'll be able to buy this exact amount. Distributors sell bottles by the case and the number of bottles in a case is not a fixed number. The count will depend on the size of the bottle and on how much weight the manufacturer wants to pack into each case. Glass is heavy.

    To get your 1,000 bottles you'll have to buy a certain number of cases. For example, if your bottle is packed 426 bottles to the case, to get your 1,000 bottles you'll have to order three cases, which will give you 1278 bottles -- 278 more than you want. But the alternative -- ordering two cases -- would give you only 852 bottles, 148 short of what you need.

    At this point you may want to reevaluate your production quantity. 1,000 now looks like an oddball number in terns of ordering. But there is yet another issue to deal with: minimum order size. Most distributors have a minimum order size, say $500. Sometimes you can get around this by talking to the distributor heart to heart.

    Now you can go out and buy the closures, usually a spray pump and overshell. Again the offerings will not give you an exact 1,000 but here having a few extra on hand shouldn't be a problem.

    Labels offer some complications in that you'll want labels that fit your bottles and this may require ordering a custom size which will involve setup charges. You'll also confront the issue of the printing -- a simple one-color job or a multi-color job with detailed artwork. Here it's easy to see your potential cost by going to label printers' websites and getting quotes or just looking up available label sizes and costs for your 1,000 quantity.

    Finally there are the boxes. 1,000 is not a good number for boxes but, if you're planning to sell your fragrance through retailers, boxes are important. Many, perhaps most, printers have a 5,000 box minimum. There are exceptions. In all likelihood if you want a box you'll find yourself with many more than 1,000. But think positively. Your project may be a big success and 1,000 bottles could simply be a starting point that finances a larger venture.

    Vendors for all these items can be found at the Vendors pages of our website. My book about all this is Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup!