Everything you need to know about the Bath and Body Works candle sale
The Bath and Body Works candle sale has a cult following. As you can see from the performance of that tweet, people LOVE their candle sale. I'm not here to poo-poo on your Bath and Body Works candle sale, but I would absolutely love to shed some light on it as a small business owner.
1. Bath and Body Works barely breaks even or loses money (especially when you factor in shipping costs) when they sell candles to you at this price. Same with your beloved Target candles (looking at you Hearth And Home Magnolia). They can afford to do it because they have a robust product offering and sell in mass volume.
2. They do this to price anchor you into thinking all other candles are overpriced. Price anchoring works to create demand for a lower-priced item when compared to a higher-priced item. When you buy a candle at $9.95, you think they must still be making money when they sell them at this price and all other candles are a rip off. Big retailers do this to make you think that Bath and Body Works is somehow benevolent compared to the work of small businesses. They're not.
3. They know you're going to stock up, which leaves less opportunity on the table for small businesses. When you buy 15 candles from Bath and Body Works, you see candles made by small businesses and think "Eh, I've already got so many candles at home. And they were only $9.95! What a bargain!"
4. They pay their employees next to nothing instead of charging you a fair price on their products. We've priced our products with growth, scalability, fair pay, benefits, and PTO in mind. We do not take on any opportunities that undermine our product, our time, or our expertise. Period. When we hire employees, we want to be able to pay them a living wage with reasonable, if not attractive, benefits.
5. If you buy candles from Bath and Body Works it's okay. As a small business owner, I get it. Sometimes you just can't pass up a good sale. You can and should buy candles that spark joy. But please think about the advantages that big businesses have over small businesses (money, resources, high volume purchases, cheap labor) and how they try to gobble up as many opportunities as possible so we don't exist.