Embarrassing Conversation About Prices

Baking By MichelleM77 Updated 27 May 2007 , 1:35am by Joanne914

debster Posted 17 May 2007 , 6:14pm
post #31 of 54

Those are nice cookies for 1.00 a piece, it kills me I too am from Ohio and I see people all the time in Giant Eagle buying their hard cookies for 1.29 a piece but bawk at something homemade that's even less. I'm to the place I'm more than the grocery store but less than the bakery if they don't want it they don't pay for it let them go to Giant Eagle or where ever. Your work is good and we can't buy in bulk like they do and our stuff is fresh. Don't feel bad, now come give me this talk in about a week ok? icon_lol.gif I feel guilty all the time too and we have to stop the insanity.

melysa Posted 17 May 2007 , 6:14pm
post #32 of 54
Originally Posted by Melvira

You know what might be fun??? Invite her over to make cookies sometime. Not in a mean way... but for fun! After she sees all the effort that goes into it, she'll undoubtedly say something about why they are worth so much! People just really don't know... until they see it first hand!!

i like that! i just taught a cake decorating class last night to a group of 8 women that i know from church. they always see my work and jaws drop when i tell them that i spend an average of 10-12+ hours on a cake. well, last night we had three hours and all we did was torte and fill our pre made cakes, make buttercream, ice and sprinkle a little glitter on top. man those cakes left something to be desired let me tell you icon_redface.gif ...and you know how it goes...they all brought 1" high cakes with tapered edges, lopsided and from a cake mix. anyway, after 3 hours, i think they all gained a new appreciation for what it REALLY take to put your best effort on all your cakes one at a time, and they have all agreed that it is best left to those who are motivated enough to stick with it and really learn and that have talent...as well as saying that "YES, we will buy our cakes from you one day when you have a shop and are famous." ha ha.

jeffer01 Posted 17 May 2007 , 6:15pm
post #33 of 54

Oh where to begin!!! You ladies are wonderful!!! icon_wink.gif Yes, keep your prices...you are SOOOO worth it, your cookies are wonderful! I have tried (yes tried) to decorate cookies and it takes patience and talent and I am laking in both right now. I would gladly pay for your product! You do wonderful work. You are a professional!!!!
I also agree that you can't buy a pack of Oreos for $1.00 a dozen!!!! I bought a pack yesterday for $2.50 plus tax!!! And you know they aren't fresh!.
And remember as mentioned here, your ingredients are much more than $1.00, then time, then electricity....adds up fast!!!!

That said, I know how you feel about pricing....I am terrible!!! I feel guilty when it comes to pricing and especially to people I know and end up losing money!!! So, I am going to take this thread to heart and not feel bad anymore and not be taken advantage of!!!!!

PLUS I love that you gave her a detailed invoice, with both prices, that is great!!!
Okay, don't feel bad anymore!!!

Janette Posted 17 May 2007 , 6:17pm
post #34 of 54

The cookie shop in a town close by charges $5 a cookie. My daughter rec'd a cookie bouquet when she had her son. No-one could eat them, not even me who will eat anything sweet.

FromScratch Posted 17 May 2007 , 6:23pm
post #35 of 54

You are so right Janette.. those edible arrangement cookies are gross. My brother got some when he first joined the Marines and I tried one and couldn't finish the bite I took.. just gross. Hard as a rock and no flavor.

DoniB Posted 17 May 2007 , 6:24pm
post #36 of 54
Originally Posted by indydebi

If YOU dont' believe in the value of your work, then how are you going to convey that value to your customer?

(I'll get off of my Mom-Soapbox now! icon_redface.gif )

Indydebi is exactly right. I have done craft shows for a number of years, and for awhile I was worried about selling my stuff for almost twice what other folks were selling. I thought about lowering my prices, but I stood firm in the end, realizing that a) I was using different materials than the others, b) I was using my own design, and not something everyone else was doing, nor was it something that you could get off a website anywhere... it was mine, and it was unique, and c) I calculated my time, materials, expenses, etc, and there wasn't much left over for 'because I deserve it' in the profit. Bottom line, I sold out the first year, even over the other folks who were making similar items, because I was proud of my work and my price reflected that I thought it was worth it.

When my market and items changed, so did my prices, of course, but I still stand by what I charge. I do still get the occasional "I could get that at Walmart and paint it myself!' outraged comment, but I challenge them to find ANY hand-painted, personalized christmas ornament for $5 at walmart! You can barely get screen printed individual ornaments for that. icon_razz.gif

My cakes and other baked goods are the same, when I sell them... I charge what I need to charge, both to recoup my expenses and time, and to allow for the creativity that goes into them, when someone asks for something special. (example: plain lemon tarts have one price... the ones I made to look like drops of blood for a special occasion -really, don't ask!- were at least double, because i had to hand-shape the tarts into what looked like teardrops, instead of using a pan and tart shaper, and I had to color 250 tarts' worth of dough and lemon curd a bright, bloody red. That took a lot more than the simple lemon tarts I usually make, so I charged accordingly. The customer complained about the price, right up until they saw them! LOL The tarts were so perfect for what they were being used to celebrate, that I was paid, and gladly, with an additional tip from friends of the customer who appreciated the extra time and effort that went into it all.)

Remember also, that at the end of the day, while YOU might have no problem making beautiful cakes and desserts, there are a lot of people out there who either won't, can't, or don't have the time to do it themselves. You're not selling to other bakers... you're selling to people who really appreciate your time and energy, and your prices should reflect the respect they have for your work, whether you believe it's worth that much, or not. icon_smile.gif

Say it with me, folks:
I'm an artist, not just a baker, and my work is worth something wonderful.

Doni in NC
(who's apparently joining indydebi on her soapbox!)

MichelleM77 Posted 17 May 2007 , 6:30pm
post #37 of 54

Yep, we have a Cookies By Design about 15 minutes from here. $6.95 per cookie. They are a bit bigger than mine, but I have yet to meet someone that likes the taste. I think it's the look of the cookies and the prestige of giving someone such an expensive gift that gets people in their door.

She is a new friend, our sons our friends, so I wanted to pass on the discount to her. They were 3.5" rounds and 1/2" thick. They actually went to school for a party and the kids gobbled them up. I heard from one of the moms the other day...."My son said you have a cookie business.....ate the cookie at school......give me your card....office needs cookies....." Woohoo! My son is turning out to be good advertisement. He told all the kids and the teachers that his mom has a cookie business, even took them to my website. LOL!

THis business is definitely a learning experience. I'm a scaredy cat when it comes to talking money, but I've learned my lesson. It is mentioned before details of the order are finalized.

icing_fever Posted 17 May 2007 , 6:34pm
post #38 of 54

Boy do I feel your pain. I become sheepish when I have to tell someone the price. I thought it was just me icon_smile.gif BTW - Your cookies are AMAZING I would pay $2 a cookie for those hands down!

hillmn Posted 17 May 2007 , 6:35pm
post #39 of 54
Originally Posted by MichelleM77

I need a Mom-Soapbox right now, thank you! icon_smile.gif

Yep, I stink in the business world. The first thing I told my aunt in Florida was that she could have cookies anytime. Well, she said, "Michelle, you aren't going to be a good business woman if you give things away. I am a customer just like anyone else and I will place an order and pay for cookies just like anyone else." SHe is right, so why do I have a problem with it.

I believe my cookies taste great, decorating needs a little work, so maybe that's why I don't feel I can charge that much for them. I also am lacking a self-esteem gene. LOL! Never had it, probably never will. That's why hubby and I are such a good match....he is outgoing, I'm extremely, painfully shy. He has lots of self-esteem and confidence, I might have a good hair day once in a while.

I'll get over it. I've had repeat customers, so maybe it's just her and not me.

I just looked at your photos and your cookies are very nice. You should be very proud of yourself for the quality work that you do.

indydebi Posted 17 May 2007 , 7:13pm
post #40 of 54
Originally Posted by DoniB

.....I do still get the occasional "I could get that at Walmart and paint it myself!' outraged comment, but I challenge them to find ANY hand-painted, personalized christmas ornament for $5 at walmart!

My hubby is a woodworker, so we are at craft shows a lot. Saw a couple of signs that have stuck with us:

1) Don't mistake bad workmanship for "that rustic look".
2) Yes, you COULD make it yourself .... but will you?

Melvira Posted 17 May 2007 , 7:19pm
post #41 of 54
Originally Posted by indydebi

My hubby is a woodworker, so we are at craft shows a lot. Saw a couple of signs that have stuck with us:

1) Don't mistake bad workmanship for "that rustic look".
2) Yes, you COULD make it yourself .... but will you?

Once again I must ask myself... why aren't we hanging out? That is too hilarious, and reflects my mindset completely!

ladefly Posted 17 May 2007 , 7:54pm
post #42 of 54

I will also repeat ....glad that you gave the real price, showing the discount .......
hopefully these people will learn!!!!!!!!!
fat chance huh????

indydebi Posted 17 May 2007 , 8:21pm
post #43 of 54
Originally Posted by Melvira

Once again I must ask myself... why aren't we hanging out? That is too hilarious, and reflects my mindset completely!

And if remember right, we're also both Halloween fanatics! I am THE house in my neighborhood! I spend more on Halloween than I do on Christmas and Easter combined.

Melvira Posted 17 May 2007 , 8:25pm
post #44 of 54

Oh yes Debi... we were meant to be friends! icon_wink.gif

Janette Posted 17 May 2007 , 10:09pm
post #45 of 54

indy, we could be sisters.

I LOVE Halloween. I will have to send you pics. I also collect Department 56 Halooween Village. I got a few pieces for Mothers Day.

I have got my children so into it too.

Everyone knows the last Saturday of Oct is our Halloween party. And we go all out.

michelle, I think I need to borrow your son.

Tscookies Posted 17 May 2007 , 10:27pm
post #46 of 54

Your pricing was more than fair and the picture of your cookies shows that your work was very nicely done. You should not be embarrased at all - you gave her a great product at a great price. It was more than a fair deal for her.

7yyrt Posted 18 May 2007 , 1:30pm
post #47 of 54

Well I'll tell you - I'm CHEAP! Really cheap, dollars run squealing when they know they're coming to me...

I would pay that for your cookies. It sounds as if she just hadn't thought about it much.

colleenventura Posted 18 May 2007 , 2:05pm
post #48 of 54

I have to agree with all of these posts! First of all these cookies are beautiful! I always have the same problem regarding pricing - I feel bad asking for too much, but a friend of mine told me, don't be a friend, be a business woman! and it's too true, we need to value ourselves & our products! thanks to all of you for reminding me of that fact! thumbs_up.gif

cassman Posted 20 May 2007 , 10:56pm
post #49 of 54

Your cookies are great. That lady is crazy thinking you would give them to her for $1-$2 a dozen.

MissLady85 Posted 21 May 2007 , 4:19am
post #50 of 54

seriously $1 or $2 per dozen... you cant even get them at walmart that cheap and they arent near as cute as yours are... plus if everone had the tallent to decorate they wouldnt pay people like us to do it for them.. hope you feel better about it!!

ShyannAutumn Posted 22 May 2007 , 4:15am
post #51 of 54

I just purchased a package of the pre-mixed cookie mix (too lazy to stand in the kitchen that long today) and the mix alone was $2.19. That didn't include the egg or butter that it calls for. Not including the cost of frosting. The dozen I squeezed out of it was only a bite size cookie. Thank heaven it was only for the family.

Sheesh, and she thought they would only cost $1.00 a tray for larger cookies with decorated frosting? Holy Cow!!!!

keep your head held high you have nothing to be embarassed about. The red face should be looking at you when she made such a comment.

MichelleM77 Posted 22 May 2007 , 1:21pm
post #52 of 54

Thanks everyone!! You have really made me feel better. I have a thing about money, don't like taking it (better get over that one real quick!) and this situation just made me feel bad. I guess I really need to emphasize the 'business' part of it when I talk to people in the future. geez.

MichelleM77 Posted 24 May 2007 , 12:16am
post #53 of 54

Just a little update.....finally got an order from a complete stranger. Hesitated just a bit when figuring cost because I was so nervous and forget to charge my tray fee for 2 of them, but for the most part I actually charged what I advertised on my website! Maybe I won't go broke selling cookies after all. LOL!

Joanne914 Posted 27 May 2007 , 1:35am
post #54 of 54

Just wanted to echo everyone else's sentiments.....Don't feel bad!!!! I just
delivered an order for 3 dozen pirate cookies and only charged $2.00 a cookie. Even though I made 72.00 on the order....It took FOREVER to make those cookies! And even making 72.00 now doesn't even seem worth it!
I made one dozen each of pirate, treasure chest, and sword. The detail
was extremely time consuming, and I will not make them again for only
2.00 a piece. I don't think people realize the amount of time and work that goes into making these "works of art" and if they want dollar cookies, they
can buy a package from the grocery store and put them out on a tray! icon_smile.gif

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