mgdqueen Posted 21 Jun 2007 , 9:29pm
post #1 of

I was contacted for a quote on a full double layer sheet cake-to easily feed 100 people for a large retirement party. I gave a very reasonable quote and the person let me know that Sam's had quoted $38!!!! WHAT??!! FOR 100 PEOPLE??!!

Instead of giving in or giving the "you get what you pay for" line, I simply stated I couldn't believe EVEN SAMS CAN DO IT THAT CHEAP. ARGH. I really can't believe they can go that low-even if we all know their cake stinks. (sorry Sam's "bakers"). I know this comes up all the time, but thanks for letting me vent. I simply told the person to feel free to contact me again when the budget allows. thumbs_up.gif

37 replies
cakesbyamym Posted 21 Jun 2007 , 9:33pm
post #2 of

Oh, I can believe it. I posted earlier in the week about a customer that was going to "throw a little business your way." She wanted a 1/2 sheet princess cake from my gallery..with a candy melt decorated, standing castle and tiara...for $20!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I told her that that wouldn't even cover my expenses! Geesh!!!

It takes all kinds...

Amy

mgdqueen Posted 21 Jun 2007 , 9:40pm
post #3 of

ugh...they surely had to be quoting a stacked half sheet though, weren't they?? By my calculations that would NOT feed 100+ people.

aundron Posted 21 Jun 2007 , 9:41pm
post #4 of

That sounds extremely low!! I betcha that's for a ONE-LAYER cake and not a two-layer!!

I just went to the Publix website and even they charge $62.00 for a full sheet cake!!

foots2 Posted 21 Jun 2007 , 9:43pm
post #5 of

I worked for Acme in the bakery dept and they got their cakes allready baked and frozen. All they had to do was throw icing on them ,a few roses and put in a box. Each frozen cake layer cost them about 50 cents. Highest was $1.Even decorated and in a box couldnt cost any more than $4.00.

oneprimalscream Posted 21 Jun 2007 , 9:46pm
post #6 of

I guess they consider one bite a 'serving size', heh...

MahalKita Posted 21 Jun 2007 , 10:00pm
post #7 of

If they are anything like Costco I kinda believe it. It has been a looong time since I bought a cake from a wharehouse but when I did it was full sheets for $13. Those fed a lot, so doubling that would probably feed 100. Not that I would ever go that route again but seems possible.

surfergina Posted 21 Jun 2007 , 10:01pm
post #8 of

I used to work for Food Lion bakery in Florida and we would normally charge $36 for that kind of cake. The cake is already made from frozen and all we did was to put icing and box it. It's very simple cake, nothing fancy.

Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 21 Jun 2007 , 10:18pm
post #9 of

I know BJ's and Costco have great prices on their sheet cakes, but that's because they're able to do them in bulk on a conveyor type formation when they bake and decorate. Though the taste isn't bad, they don't compare to a homemade cake.

mgdqueen Posted 21 Jun 2007 , 10:20pm

sigh...even Food Lion charges $42 for a full sheet...single layer. We must have quoted completely different cakes. I know I sound like a broken record...but when somebody asks about cake for 100, I would give them more than just a full sheet. That would certainly not feed 100 if I'm cutting. It doesn't even come close by Wilton's chart and we all know their party sizes are a little small.

Oh, well, so we quoted different cakes. Hope they have enough...and I hope they think it sucks. icon_biggrin.gif

leily Posted 21 Jun 2007 , 11:05pm

well sams' can do them so cheap for a quite a few reasons.

But the main one is because their cakes come in frozen. The wal-mart corporation buys all of their cakes made as 1/2 sheets (their size, I cant' remember exact dimensions but it is close to a 12x1icon_cool.gif from a company that mixes up batches larger than we can even imagine, then bakes them probably hundreds at a time, then puts them through a flash freezer, then wraps them loosely, boxes them up and then ships them.

Doing it like this I am sure wal-mart is only paying $1 or $2 dollars per cake by the time they buy so many for ALL of their wal-marts and sam's clubs.

Don't forget the premade icing - and the cakes that have filling in them? Well most of them are filled at the factory so there isn't even any human labor to fill cakes anymore.

They also say that their full sheets serve 64-96. If i remember correctly their high end servings are 1 1/2x2. And I believe the price of $38 is for a filled cake. The prices I have from wal-mart (which are pretty close to sam's) are 4 years ago but I know their prices don't go up that much.

If the customer is worried about price then you didn't want them as a customer anyways. You want a customer that is more interested in the quality of the cake.

bitofsnshn Posted 21 Jun 2007 , 11:37pm

I believe it. The bakery is not a money driving department it is strictly there to draw a weekly shopping crowd. Then while you are there bam they get you shopping for other items. Why do you think they sell things like milk, eggs, bannana's so cheap all to draw you in weekly.

kelleym Posted 21 Jun 2007 , 11:58pm

I believe it. Our local Costco sells 1/2 sheets for $16, filled. And they taste pretty darn good, although there are only a few stock designs you can choose from. That's one of the reasons I don't do sheet cakes any more...I can't even begin to compete with Costco on price, so I choose to make a completely different product.

GenGen Posted 22 Jun 2007 , 12:24am
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

I believe it. Our local Costco sells 1/2 sheets for $16, filled. And they taste pretty darn good, although there are only a few stock designs you can choose from. That's one of the reasons I don't do sheet cakes any more...I can't even begin to compete with Costco on price, so I choose to make a completely different product.




thats one of the reasons my "business" has declined over the last few years. some of its because its a small town etc so any one who works anywhere is a relative friend inlaw etc even the next towns up and down the river etc..

some folks i know here their brother or inlaw etc or relative of a friend works at a costco an hour away from here and she says they bake their cakes there make them etc. but i agree their designs are limited. but i dont mind Too much when they opt for a costco cake over mine as i 've never been very good at roses and if they come to me to do the cake in less time then i would normaly have for it ; i end up doing a simple buttercream filling as i dont normally have room to keep extra supplies just sitting around for fillings like cream cheese bavarian cream etc.

I never tried to get in to fondant beyond a few attempts as my first experiences were with wiltons lol and no one liked it.

this of course was beforei found here and plan on trying my hand with the mmf etc soon as finances allow me to splurge icon_smile.gif lol.

i get quite a bit of special requests for sheet cakes mostly becaue folks here want custom designs that most places here including the nearest costco can't or wont do.

i've had some crazy requests lol but they were all fun to do. i used to do cakes for school occassions when i worked there and had some teachers as customers also.

soon as i can find them i have a couple pics of cakes i've done for the local search and rescue org dinners. I used their seal and copied it on to the cake.

anyways i rambled,, sorry. its a curse.

Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 22 Jun 2007 , 12:32am

I wonder if the sheet cakes at Sam's/Walmart and Costco and BJ's are all the same size or if they vary. Does anyone know? Just curious since there seems to be no industry standard on sheet cake sizes.

vww104 Posted 22 Jun 2007 , 3:10pm

I read in consumer reports that Costo/BJ's etc. make most of their profits on membership fees rather than on specific items. That's why they always want you to upgrade to the next level of membership. Or if you don't have a membership you can shop but you generally pay a 5% fee.

Kitagrl Posted 23 Jun 2007 , 3:13am

I recently raised my prices on sheet cakes, partially to discourage people buying them and partially just to pay myself well for the pain that they can be.

However then I feel guilty for getting "so much" for a sheet, compared to regular bakeries.

Just made a full sheet tonight...of course its homemade carrot cake with cream cheese icing and some edible images... but I charged $140 for 60 servings and feel kinda bad...but my husband says its worth it since its more of a "gourmet" flavor. I hope so.

all4cake Posted 23 Jun 2007 , 3:24am

mgdqueen, someone lied to you. Sam's does a full sheet single layer---approx 96 2x2 servings for 26.95(basic), 30.87(custom(their offerings, not a member's own creation)), 33.87(double custom=2 full size edible images, 2 gumpaste sprays...again, not a member's custom creation)... They don't even offer a double layer full sheet and if someone at Sam's is saying they can do that they are not in compliance with company policy.

noley Posted 23 Jun 2007 , 3:25am

I think that anything anyone makes on here is going to be better then what sams pumps out mass produced. Yea the flavor isn't "bad" but it sure isn't as good as a home made WASC cake, which is way more home made even with a box base then anything that sams/walmart/ costco can pop out. The reason everything is so cheap there, is because that is what their business is.. to buy in bulk UNDERSELL every single business in a fiftey mile radius and take them all down. Walmart often sells items at a loss, because it brings in people to buy other items and I've noticed that over time the things that used to be real inexpensive at the bulk clubs go up in price, but people don't notice because they think WOW i can get fifty cans of... whatever for... this price, never mind that they can get fifty seperate cans for two dollars less some place else, it seems like it's in bulk or its huge and it's a discount club sooo it must be a savings!! RIGHT?! not always.. some people need to shop with a calculator.. or well at least try a real cake before they go for cheap cheap cheap...
Jen

all4cake Posted 23 Jun 2007 , 3:58am

Let me rephrase that...either someone lied to you or someone lied to the person that told you that or the person that told you that simply misunderstood information that was given to her and passed on that misunderstood information onto you.

sweetcakes Posted 23 Jun 2007 , 4:37am

maybe you should have replied with 'well i have that size cake thats been frozen for a month, i can decorate that for you if you would like', then if she complained tell her thats how sams does it. she may think twice next time!! people just dont realize how bakeries work.

notjustcake Posted 23 Jun 2007 , 5:28am
Quote:
Originally Posted by all4cake

Let me rephrase that...either someone lied to you or someone lied to the person that told you that or the person that told you that simply misunderstood information that was given to her and passed on that misunderstood information onto you.




what?

mekaclayton Posted 23 Jun 2007 , 5:47am

Kitagrl, I feel ya...but you have to realize, your cake is more than just something flash frozen and slapped with prepackaged icing. I charge $90 for just a plain full sheet, basic design. They can get 2 different flavors for now without paying extra. Most people don't mind...'cause of what other people charge that don't operate out of Walmart, Sams etc. There's people here that charge up to $15 per serving for cakes. Can you imagine that? Wow. So I would pay your prices 'cause I know you HAVE to be good, it is sorta gourmet and...you're still in business, so you're doing something SOOOOOOOOO right thumbs_up.gif

Kitagrl Posted 23 Jun 2007 , 12:58pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by mekaclayton

Kitagrl, I feel ya...but you have to realize, your cake is more than just something flash frozen and slapped with prepackaged icing. I charge $90 for just a plain full sheet, basic design. They can get 2 different flavors for now without paying extra. Most people don't mind...'cause of what other people charge that don't operate out of Walmart, Sams etc. There's people here that charge up to $15 per serving for cakes. Can you imagine that? Wow. So I would pay your prices 'cause I know you HAVE to be good, it is sorta gourmet and...you're still in business, so you're doing something SOOOOOOOOO right thumbs_up.gif




LOL well thanks! I tried to dress it up a little with some gold and some disco dust too... I was just nervous because its for a friend of a friend and I don't like baking for acquaintences because sometimes I think they have higher expectations.

mgdqueen Posted 23 Jun 2007 , 1:14pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by all4cake

Let me rephrase that...either someone lied to you or someone lied to the person that told you that or the person that told you that simply misunderstood information that was given to her and passed on that misunderstood information onto you.




I know what you mean. My concern is that Sam's told the customer that their full sheet would easily feed 100 people, and yet it's only a single layer cake. When a customer doesn't know the size of cakes, they rely on the bakers to tell them how many people it will feed. I'm frustrated with Sam's for allowing her to believe she can get 100 pieces out of a single later sheet cake, which makes my price look INSANE in comparison...I guess they will find out when they pick it up! They might be happy they only have to eat a tiny piece of that cake!!! icon_evil.gif

CarolAnn Posted 23 Jun 2007 , 1:48pm

I can get 110 servings from a torted and filled full sheet cake. I've never heard of a store bakery even offering a two layer sheet cake. Only once have I had someone quote a grocery store bakery after hearing my price. I suggested she go for theirs then. That was a friend of mine. She told me she was kidding about buying from the store and I told her I wasn't. She's bought numerous cakes from me since she found out was fresh and delicious tastes like. Not to mention custom decorating.

mgdqueen Posted 23 Jun 2007 , 2:14pm

LOL-thank you CarolAnn-this was my first experience with the whole "Sam's is SO much cheaper" so I guess that's why it feels raw...if that's the right word for it. I am VERY reasonably priced...too low in most cases so I was caught WAY off guard!

ladyonzlake Posted 23 Jun 2007 , 2:32pm

I personally do not consider Sam's Club, Walmart, Costco ect to be a competitior for me. I tell my customers that I specialize in "custom" cakes. Custom flavors as well as designs and that's why my cakes cost more. I know there are people out there that want a quick simple cheap cake and that's fine but when they want something "special" they come to me and pay my prices.
Jacqui

Kitagrl Posted 23 Jun 2007 , 4:10pm

Right...I even encourage people "on a budget" to use Sam's. The lady I'm making the full sheet for today, she wanted several full sheets but wanted to keep her costs down. So we decided together she would get a homemade carrot cake/cream cheese with edible photos for the main sheet, and then she would order cheap ones from Sam's for the rest. (Its her budget, and up to her to keep fights from breaking out over the carrot cake LOL j/k)

I know many of you don't like to mix cake at a party but I think there will be an obvious enough difference that I'm not really worried about it. Anyway I don't need word of mouth business for more sheet cakes!

all4cake Posted 23 Jun 2007 , 5:04pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by notjustcake

Quote:
Originally Posted by all4cake

Let me rephrase that...either someone lied to you or someone lied to the person that told you that or the person that told you that simply misunderstood information that was given to her and passed on that misunderstood information onto you.



what?




LOL...what? what? I was just trying to clear up what I stated on an earlier post. I reckon, the above statement seems a bit like one of those "who's on 1st?" jokes.

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