Airbnb and VRBO: One-Ounce Bars Revisited

Just as the bar soap and overall skincare market is being changed by the entrance of more and more men, the amenities market is being changed by the entrance of more and more customers needing single-use soaps.

A surprising number of these new customers are renting out space for the first time, and it’s a single space they’re renting out – whether it’s shared or stand-alone –  not one of many. This influx of Airbnb-ers and WRBO-ers means there are new eyes examining the standard ways of doing things. One of the main points of emphasis is this: don’t spend money where you don’t have to.

Outdated Standards

Bar soap is one of those places being looked at. For years, the standard handed down to B&Bs and resorts was the amenity bars found in hotels and motels. The reason for following the standard seemed pretty simple. This thin version of a full-sized bar was what people staying overnight expected. It was everywhere, and because the bars were inexpensively made and bought by the ton, the size wasn’t much of an issue.

Things change with higher quality and single spaces. The competition for vacation rentals is tougher all the time, and reviews are crucial to compete. Stressing quality for the small details (which leads to better reviews) while not overspending is a driving concern.

The Better-Sized Bar for Single Use

What makes the most sense for bar soap is a smaller, higher-quality bar that impresses renters, but being single-use, leaves less to throw away. The two-ounce, 1.75 oz and 1.50 oz bars –  all of which tended to emulate the 4-oz bar in length and width – are no longer the default sizes. One-ounce bars have always been a size unto themselves. If increasing sales are any indication, that size seems to be the perfect one for more and more people.

We’ve Known for a While

In 2015, we published a blog extolling the virtues of 1-oz bars beyond motels and B&Bs. We pointed out they are the perfect travel-sized soap for purses, backpacks and glove compartments. We also mentioned them as ideal gifts for bridal showers, wedding parties, and reunions, as donations for food banks and better soap to take to work. We even suggested them as stocking stuffers at Christmas.
To be honest, we weren’t the only ones offering soap this size, but we were among very few spreading the word. One-ounce bars themselves aren’t breaking news, but their increased visibility in thousands of single-unit rentals is, and it means they’ll become more and more the norm to hosts and renters and will be in greater demand as a result. Not that we’d say anything like this out loud, but it seems we were right all along.

3 thoughts on “Airbnb and VRBO: One-Ounce Bars Revisited

    • U are so right on. I have started selling them as sample soaps in my shop and people buy them to try. I live in the Poconos and people love good soap this way they can buy and try samples and come back either on line or the next day for more. It has been one of the best add ins in a long time.

    • Thanks, Corliss. The subject seemed very timely and worth passing on, based as it is on recent phone calls with customers and increased sales.

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