We’ve been making natural supplements and selling them to the public for about 13 years. In the past few years we began to notice a lot of other folks doing the same, which is exciting. Unfortunately the laws required to sell homemade products are largely unknown to many sellers.
Here are some of the common myths you’ll need to tackle before you begin to sell your own.
Selling Homemade Products: Myths and Facts
MYTH: The Supplement Market is NOT Regulated
FALSE! Regulation is actually a big part of the supplement market. There are special rules for soap, cosmetics, dietary supplements, and drugs. These rules govern how you make these products, the licensing involved, and your labeling. They also cover what you put on your website, your marketing materials, and even making claims while selling.
MYTH: As Long As I Follow The Rules in My State I’m Fine
FALSE! You need to ensure you aren’t making a product that involves the FDA. The FDA is involved with any product not listed on the “cottage industry” or specific exemption list in your state. Also, any time you sell a product across state lines (such as on the internet) you must be complying with FDA guidelines.
MYTH: It’s Not Selling Online If I Share a Post on Facebook
FALSE! If you sell online in any venue, even if it is not a formal store, you are engaging in interstate commerce. At this point, you must know the laws within your state regarding your specific product and must also follow federal rules.
MYTH: I Can Make My Product In My Kitchen
DEPENDS. If you are making a product that your specific state deems in a “cottage industry” (in Ohio an example would be jelly), and you are ONLY selling within the state (this means nothing online) then, yes, you can make the product in your kitchen with your herd of cats roaming over the counters. (Joking! You must always use best practices in production.)
If you make a product that your state does not specifically have on their “cottage industry” list, and/or you put your product on the internet to sell, you must make it in a Certified Commercial Kitchen and follow all applicable laws and licensing requirements pertinent to your product.
Closing Thoughts on Selling Homemade Products
The truth is, homemade is better.
We want our friends and neighbors to be able to share their great stuff, but it is important to do it the right way. If you sell to your friends in a word of mouth way, you are most likely not going to encounter any problems. Once you go to the farmer’s market, or think about setting up a website, you must know the rules. Not following the rules can mean some pretty scary stuff like we hear about from time to time involving and the raiding of people’s home and folks going to jail over labeling.
If you want to know what your state rules are, start by contacting your local Department of Agriculture and ask about their cottage industry list.
If you’re thinking of selling your DIY products, check out another helpful article here: