How to Plan Your Wholesale Pricing Strategy

Posted by Lauren Thompson on May 3, 2022 4:47:40 PM

So, you want to start selling wholesale. Whether you’re making or sourcing your products for resale and wholesale purposes, one of the most important steps is determining your pricing strategy to make it all worthwhile. There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind, which we’ve broken down into the following sections below.

  1. Market Costs
  2. Cost of Production & Labour
  3. Overhead Costs
  4. Making a Profit
  5. Pricing Formulas
  6. Going Forward

Researching Market Costs

Make sure you’re clear on the average cost of similar products in your market. Do your research and keep an eye on what your competitors are doing, and how it compares to the kind of prices you’d like to set. Don’t be discouraged if your estimation is slightly off, as ultimately only you know what goes into your product and how your process may differ. Nonetheless, it’s important to know where you sit within your category and niche.


Consider value, as well as your target audience. Just because you can sell your product for less, does not mean you should. A mistake many small businesses make is to go in low to encourage initial sales, then struggling to maintain those sales with the same audience when the time comes to raise prices. Price your products to align with your ideal customer, and other aspirational brands that share the same demographic.

Calculating Your Variable Costs

Upfront, what are your material costs per unit? Crunch the numbers on every aspect of your product, including packaging so you can deduce the final cost of your finished product once it’s ready to be shipped out to retailers.

How much is your time worth? This is something a lot of makers struggle with, but it’s an important part of developing your pricing strategy as the final cost of your product will include the value of your time and labour. Decide on a personal rate of pay based on your availability and skillset. Is the process of creating your products time-consuming or especially labour intensive? Perhaps making your product requires highly specialised skills or tools.

Knowing the cost per item when running your own business is crucial. Here’s what Alex of skincare brand Lizush had to say: 

‘We calculate the cost of every product we make. We make a body oil, we know exactly how long it needs to take to put a sticker on it, how long it takes to put it in a plastic bubble bag. We have to. We’ve had people that were very nice, but they’re too slow. Instead of costing us a dollar to make a product, it’s costing us 2 dollars. That’s nothing, I spend that on my coffee in the morning. But, when you’re making thousands, and millions of products, each dollar, every ten cents, every 4 cents is important.’

If you work with a small team, factor in how much you pay them per hour. As an example, let’s say your product is candles. You pay your employee £25 per hour, and they are able to prepare a batch of 20 candles per hour. Based on this, you know that at a minimum the labour cost for your candles is £1.25. If the cost of materials per candle comes to roughly £4, you’ll be looking at a roundabout cost of £5.25 per candle.

Overhead Costs

You should include any overhead costs in your final price where necessary for the most accurate calculation. Overhead costs refer to any ongoing expenses required to run your business. This may include everything from bills & utilities, to insurance, taxes, rent, any maintenance and repairs, as well as the cost of any tools you use to make your products.

Making Profit

Again, looking into how much your competitors’ products retail for will give you a good idea of how much customers are accustomed to, and willing to pay. Research is key here to find out the typical markup for your products and industry. If candles of the size and type you make sell for up to £21 at retailers, you could agree on a wholesale price of £10.50 per candle, meaning you make £5.25 in profit per candle. Your wholesale profit margin is at 50%, and if the retailer uses your suggested retail price (SRP), they too will be making a 50% profit.

Of course, this is just an example, and why competitor research is absolutely crucial. If your prices are higher than average, you may miss out on sales, and it could be a sign that either your material costs are too high, or the process of making your products isn’t as efficient as it needs to be. Equally, if the cost of your product is too low, you could be underselling your labour, and retailers may question the quality of your products. As ever, balance is key when it comes to ensuring the quality of your products, and not underselling your labour, whilst also turning a profit that makes your business worthwhile. 

Just remember that it’s never too late to adjust your prices where necessary, and that navigating pricing when starting out as a wholesaler is always a massive learning curve. For a little perspective, here are the margins we recommend you leave for retailers in order to be competitive in your sector on CREOATE:

Category The suggested margin for retailers (minimum)
Beauty and wellbeing  35 – 40%
Homeware and home decor 45 – 50%
Kids’ clothing and items 50 – 60%
Stationery 45 – 55%
Fashion and accessories 45 – 55%
Pet accessories 30 – 40%
Food and drink 30 – 40%

Pricing Formulas

There are a few handy formulas out you can use to help determine your final wholesale product costs. The most simple being:

Wholesale Price = Cost Price + Profit Margin

For this formula, simply calculate your labour, overhead, and material costs. Add this total to your agreed profit margin, and once you have your number, you’ll get your wholesale price.

However, remember pricing formulas are often highly subjective. Your core strategy will be personal to you and your product.

Going Forward

If you also sell direct to customers (DTC), selling wholesale is a way of diversifying your income, meaning you’ll be less reliant on seasonal sales. 

Whilst your profit margin may be less than in your DTC sales, the benefit of selling wholesale is the sheer volume of product you’re selling, and the exposure that affords your brand when your products are potentially being stocked nationwide, and internationally. 

Pricing, and the decision of whether or not to go wholesale is highly dependent on your situation and business. To learn more about whether wholesale is right for your business, as well as sales and marketing tips for small businesses, explore our blog today. Ready to sell wholesale? Join CREOATE as a brand today.

Tags: Selling Wholesale


Lauren Thompson

Written by Lauren Thompson





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