I think labor + materials + packaging + transportation + marketing + profit, etc. = price. nothing new there.
here is a link that might give more information then you will ever need on the process of making candles.
my cousin and I would make ours on her big stove. mostly for ourselves and friends. never put any up for sale. it's fun and not hard to do.
I agree with why you give them as gifts.
safety tip: avoid burning at both ends.
I buy candles now and then as gifts, they seem so neutral yet a caring gift that seems to appease many. I have found that crafted candles are very expensive even to the point of not buying. I realize some care and extra effort is put in but the cost is too much for this buyer. In other words is above $10 range too much? I have seen $15-20 become common, excludes any fancy candles, just simple filled jarred and very possibility scented soy candles. Come on, is placing a bow, some scent and using Mason jars(or fancy glass containers) going too far in cost. Yes, there are discounts for volume, but it does add up. Comments? -----Willy