Fans can’t believe how much Melanie Martinez is charging for ‘hand-painted’ candles, other merch

melanie martinez/Youtube @grecias0fi/TikTok

‘They are entirely a scam’: Fans can’t believe how much Melanie Martinez is charging for ‘hand-painted’ candles, other merch

‘If she was the one pricing things like this, I would feel seriously betrayed.’


Charlotte Colombo


Some fans will go to the ends of the earth for their idols—but spending $75 on a single, four-ounce candle is, for some Melanie Martinez fans, a step too far. To complement her 20023 album Portals, Martinez released a range of scented candles named after songs on the album. However, when consumers got wind of the price, outrage sparked on social media platforms like Reddit and TikTok. “I’m gonna keep it real with y’all about the Portals candles,” fan @grecias0fi said. “They are entirely a scam.”

In a now-viral video, which has amassed 450,500 views, the TikToker explained why she doesn’t think the candles justify the cost. “I get where she was coming from promoting that they were hand-painted and all that good stuff,” she said. “But if you literally see that they’re just speckled eggs, then I think that completely changes everything because if it was some, like, crazy design, then I kind of get it because it’s art. You know, it’s something beautiful. It took a lot of time and effort to create that. And, well, I’m not trying to, like, devalue the art in this; they’re just speckled.”

The TikToker then speculated that the reason the candles are priced so high is because of Martinez’s 2019 movie, K-12. According to Variety, the film, which shares its name with one of Martinez’s studio albums, cost $5-6 million to make and had a one-night-only release. Box Office Mojo states it amassed only $359,377 at the global box office. “She lost millions,” the TikToker said. “Several millions from just having it air one night. I honestly don’t know what we’re going to see next.” The TikToker didn’t immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment via TikTok comment.

@grecias0fi lost alot of respect for her fr lowk #melaniemartinez #k12 #portals #trilogytour #crybaby ♬ original sound – grecia?

Meanwhile, fan and creator Lainey (@luvlainey11) compared Martinez to Taylor Swift, asking viewers who they thought the “greediest” celebrity was. “It’s fine if you like their music, but we’re allowed to call out ridiculous things,” she argued. “No, Taylor, the world doesn’t need the 24th version of the same album on vinyl … and then the Melanie stuff. Girl, your fan base is mostly children. Why are you selling candles like this big for $100?” Lainey didn’t immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment via TikTok comment and Instagram direct message.

How much do these candles cost to make?

Fellow musician and candle creator @marcellagflowers then joined in the discourse by breaking down how much a candle of that size would cost to make.

She says the egg vessels would cost around $20, and an additional $6 in materials would make the candles cost $26 in total to make, which you would then double to account for labor, for a total price of $52. But even that, Marcella added, was “being generous to what the materials cost.”

“If [Martinez, rather than her team] was the one pricing things like this, I would feel seriously betrayed,” she said. “It just feels like a slap in the face to charge something so small and so easy to make $75.”

In an email statement to Daily Dot, Marcella said, “Alot of the defenses for the candles being expensive don’t make much sense to me. It’s not for a Portals movie (Melanie Martinez has said so herself that is not happening), and if she is truly in debt, that’s no excuse to pass the cost onto your fans. I don’t understand the choice to make a collectible out of something meant to be used up, when more money could have been made from pricing more affordably and selling long-term to those who burn their first candles and come back to buy more.”


theres a ton of other celebs that are guilty of this as well. its so tiring cause bro yall are already wealthy enough just stop

♬ original sound – luvlainey

She continued, “Now, we’re seeing customers who bought a $75 candle receive them completely melted, ruining the keepsake box as well. It’s clear to me that Melanie’s team was not at all prepared for what all goes into selling & shipping candles in the hottest record summer in history (so far). Plenty of companies sell candles year round, it’s not impossible to sell candles in summer. This whole release was just botched from beginning to end in my opinion.”

This isn’t the first time Martinez has sparked debate due to the price of her merch. Her Portals perfume collection, released last year, costs $275 for a set of four 15 ml (~0.51 oz) fragrances. Given the size of the perfumes, fans were outraged on Reddit, but if these complaints are anything to go by, the candles might spark more controversy than the perfumes.

The Daily Dot reached out to representatives of Melanie Martinez and Taylor Swift via email.

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