briansbaker Posted 9 Feb 2005 , 6:42pm

Ok , here is my story. Before this wonderful site Thanks to Jackie. I have never been able to show my cakes. I just make them and give them out. But to really show them off. NO! I am scared of critism and get real icon_redface.gif to compliments. But after getting advice from cali4dawn,squirrellycakes, ladycake just a few to share with ya. I have been more bold more about "look at what I made!". I never taken any classes and I never charge for my cakes. I have always just made them for friends and family. Every cake I make is of course an experiment for me. Being I really don't know where I am going with the design or even how it's going to taste. Although I do taste test icing first. I've read alot on how much to charge, heck I've even given advice. Which I probably shouldn't have because I never charge. Well my friend emailed all my cake photos that I sent her to look at to all her friends. People I don't even know. I just recieved a call for 2 cakes. One with tinkerbell and the other with a powerpuff girl. Now I know I am not suppose to use these characters due to copyright laws, shhh.gif but I was excited and said yes. Just from the top of my head I charged her 28.00 for the cake after she asked how much do you charge? It will be 11x15x3. How did I do? Did I charge to much, to low, to excited.. icon_surprised.gif LOL boy am I nervous.. dunce.gif

15 replies
GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 9 Feb 2005 , 7:10pm

Personally, I would charge double. You really need to sit down and figure out your cost: ingredients, packaging, and labor.
As for Tinkerbell, I believe Disney holds all the rights to their characters (unless you find a commercially made pan or edible image). Then, when you pay for the pan or edible image, you are paying Disney for the use of the image. As for the Powerpuff Girls, there are licensed images and decorations (and maybe even pans) on the market, so you are safe with that situation.
A lot of this takes trial and error--and asking a lot of questions. Good luck!

cakeconfections Posted 9 Feb 2005 , 7:15pm

I would not charge any less then 30 for that size and that is probably low. I would think that if you are putting a a lot of work into the decorations that 40 would even be fair.

cakelady Posted 9 Feb 2005 , 7:33pm

Congratulations on your orders........like many of us, you're pricing too low.....think about your talent and the time you put in. Don't sell yourself short........you pay for the rights when you buy the pan/products......don't worry about that...you get an "atta girl" thumbs_up.gif

cakeconfections Posted 9 Feb 2005 , 8:04pm

[quote="cakelady"........you pay for the rights when you buy the pan/products......don't worry about that...you get an "atta girl" thumbs_up.gif[/quote]

Actually when you buy the pan you are paying for the right to use them at home and for personal use. You are not suppose to sell them or use them for commercial use.

this is taken from witltons website:

You can make any general Wilton design and sell the cake.

Following are the guidelines for Licensed products.

All licensed characters shaped cake pans, candy molds, Cake Top! Edible Cake Decorations and cookie cutters are for consumer home use only. Stores/shops cannot make cakes, cookies or candies from our licensed products and sell them to consumers. These "mold making items" are strictly prohibited for any type of commercial use since the licensor has neither the method to control the quality of the reproduction of the character nor the ability to earn royalties on sales of the "made" products. This applies to both baked and craft-type products.

Free-hand or copies character designs cannot be drawn or iced on top of a cake, cupcakes or cookies and sold for any type of commercial purpose. Once again, the licensor cannot control the quality and is not earning a royalty on product created around their characters.

Licensed pans cannot be rented to consumers by stores since, once again, the licensor is not earning a royalty from the transaction.

Generally, creating any type of image that looks like a licensed character that is sold for commercial purposes is prohibited unless there is specific licensing agreement with the licensor for that product and royalties are paid each time the product is sold.

http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=3&;threadid=73899&FTVAR_MSGDBTABLE=

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 9 Feb 2005 , 8:12pm

Woo-Hoo!! You're on your way!!!!

Alright now, niceties aside:

OK- you charged what you charged and there is no changing it now (don't be wishy-washy with your customer. Honor your quote). From now on use your matrix to get a base price then go from there. You know better then to pull a price out of the air. It is 100% acceptable to tell the potential customer that you will call her right back after you figure out a price based on her needs.

GET YOUR MONEY IN ADVANCE! No acceptation to this rule. At least a 50% non-refundable deposit. You are not a grocery store with enough profit margin to be able to afford being stood up. You must cover at least your costs in advance. Protect yourself first or you won't be able to continue.

I also want to point out the copyright issue. I have done EXTENSIVE research on this. So pay attention- all you newbies.

Disney, WB all of those people do not allow us to use/recreate their characters ever without express permission. This includes for home use. We cannot make a Tinkerbell transfer cake even for home use for our daughter. Every time we do this (myself included) we are breaking the law and risk a huge fine. These companies are very plain about this. Character pans can only be used for home use. You may not sell the cake you made with the character pan.

All that said, only you can make the decision whether or not to make these cakes. Some decorators do, some don't don't. But know your facts and make a qualified decision.

MrsMissey Posted 9 Feb 2005 , 10:52pm

Now briansbaker.....I am surprised at you! You do not at all sound like the type that would be nervous about doing a cake. Based on the photos you have posted, you have no reason to be nervous. Your cakes look great! thumbs_up.gif Personally I think your price is fair, given that fact that you are just getting started...maybe a little on the low side but you have to start somewhere...right? Right! You can always up your prices after you feel more confident! I'm not touching the legal issue stuff...I'll leave that to someone else! Good luck to you and let us know how it goes! Happy baking, Missey

briansbaker Posted 10 Feb 2005 , 12:52am

WOW, so many responses.. Thank you all for the info., confidents and most precious friendship. I will consider all you have said. Especially the legal stuff. Lord knows I would be really,really mad to be locked up over a darn tinkerbell!!! icon_mad.gif One more thing, if I buy the characters considered (cake top) decorations can I sell them on the cake? Alot of people (friends and family) want character cakes. Believe me I understand the laws, I would be mad too if someone was making money from my idea. I have alot to think about and to keep in mind. Thank You again!!!!!!!! icon_biggrin.gif

cakeconfections Posted 10 Feb 2005 , 12:58am

From the way I have understood it and read, you can buy candles, or cake top figurines to put on a cake and sell it that way. I think if you buy a liscensed edible picture, not copied yourself, you can also sell a cake with it on it. From all the reading that i have done, and according to a lot of cake sites of legal businesses, this is what they state.

briansbaker Posted 10 Feb 2005 , 1:15am
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMissey

Now briansbaker.....I am surprised at you! You do not at all sound like the type that would be nervous about doing a cake. Based on the photos you have posted, you have no reason to be nervous. Your cakes look great! thumbs_up.gif




Thank you so much!!!

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 10 Feb 2005 , 6:17am

You can use licensed characters (plastic, edible images, etc) as long as you are purchasing the item from a source that is paying it's royalty fees. So anything you purchase from Michael's, your local cake store, places like this, you are safe.

If you don't want to do the actual character itself, you can still make a complimentary cake. With all the other decorations (plates, cups, banners), you can really get away this on the cake. Let's think here... for Tinkerbell you could do a wand with pixie dust, or something else that represents her, just not her. Power Puff girls, hmmm... I don't know much about them. But I'm sure you can come up with something. Don't they go POW and stuff like that? You could focus on that.

There are legal ways around this. You just have to be very creative. I personally hate those plastic figurines. They absolutely take away from the cake.

thecakemaker Posted 10 Feb 2005 , 1:44pm

You could also have the person receiving the cake provide figures for you to place on the cake and then there would be no re-sale issue. You could design the cake around the figures...

Debbie

trisha1972 Posted 10 Feb 2005 , 3:28pm

I charge $28 for a plain (minimally decorated) 11x15x2. I should probably up my prices to $32, but I have to wait for a bit since I have cakes ordered and quoted until May.

There are ALOT of ways to use the little figurines to add to your cakes. Look at Big Lots, if you have one, and the Dollar Tree. I get my kids licensed character figurines there all the time for $1 or less. You could easily use these to decorate your cakes.

MrsMissey Posted 17 Feb 2005 , 3:27am
Quote:
Originally Posted by briansbaker

... I just recieved a call for 2 cakes. One with tinkerbell and the other with a powerpuff girl. .. icon_surprised.gif LOL boy am I nervous.. dunce.gif




Ok...so how did it go? Were they happy with the price? Happy with the cakes? Detials, details!!!??? icon_lol.gif

katie Posted 22 Feb 2005 , 7:05pm

I can't obtain the Matrix yet so I do not know pricing. If a cake costs me 50 dollars to make, what should I charge? Any advice would be greatful.

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 24 Feb 2005 , 9:02pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by katie

I can't obtain the Matrix yet so I do not know pricing. If a cake costs me 50 dollars to make, what should I charge? Any advice would be greatful.




Why can't you obtain it? I give mine out for free. Email me cali4dawn@sisp.net. Tell me if you use Works or Excel.

I would charge $125-150 for a $50 cost cake.

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