I am in dire need of your help, I have been making easter favors and bouquets that people are interested in ordering and when they ask how much I look like a deer in headlights...REALLY!
I have looked through out the internet and actually gone to a few stores that sell decorated cookies to do "reasearch" on taste, quality, and size. I live in NH 45 minutes north of Boston, and cookies by design sells their cookies for $7.50-$12.00 depending on size and quanity. However, if I was not doing research their would have been NO-WAY I would have spent $7.50 for a stale poorly decorated cookie that my daughter and I shared...I do admit their cookies are large! Other cookies in my area and on the internet go for $3.50-$8.00 each and then more for the bouquet container or wrapping in individual favors.
Here's my issue though, I make my cookies from scratch (as you all do) bake, decorate, and package them with ribbons and seaonal pails or boxes and I feel GUILTY charging people money for these...Yesterday I went so far to tell someone I would charge 3-7 cookies in a small pail for $15, 5-12 cookies in a larger pail for $25, and 13-20 cookies for $35. This of course is rediculous and actually cost me money since the packaging alone cost me over $6 and I spend hours to have a finished product that is to my satisfaction, which does not factor in electricity, cutter costs, licensing and registration with the state business cost etc. I know I have to charge a resonable rate or I will not have a successful business, but if I charge an "Introductory rate" then when I up the prices I feel no one will be willing to pay them. I am a cheap skate..I do not think I would ever spend $4-$5 for a sugar cookie no matter how pretty it is. So what should I do...charge? My cookies are 3-4 1/2 inches and then my hand-cut cookies are 4-6 1/2 inches.
Yesterday I was showing some people at my work my bouquets and one of them asked how much I stated to her $20 (for 7cookies) and $35 (for 17 cookies) and she rolled her eyes and said just send me a catalog. This has been a huge confidence killer and my family says I'm selling myself short and I should find out what you guys charged when you first started selling and what you moved up to with inflation.
If anyone is willing to share their info with me, I would really apreciate it.
Thank you in advance,
Heather, I feel your anguish. There was a thread that addessed this very issue. Yes location has a lot to do with what your market can bear. I guess the biggest thing is that you will have to educate your patrons. From all indication you are selling yourself short. The rule of thumb has pretty much been $1.00 per inch plus an additional fee for the bagging. I'm sure other CC members will weigh in on this topic as well.
You cannot base your pricing on what YOU would pay. My husband works for a Cadillac dealership. No way in this world would I EVER pay $50,000 for a car! But good thing the owners dont' share my philosophy! Good thing they realize that there ARE people out there who will pay it! The people who buy Saturns will never even walk onto this dealership's lot. And that's ok. This dealership is rated by GM as one of the Top Ten Cadillac dealerships in the country. They wouldn't have gotten there if they listened to people like me who would say, "$50,000 for a car!??? Are you freakin' kidding me?"
When my husband and I got married 20 years ago, we went to a very upscale restaurant and spent $150 for dinner for 2 ... TWENTY YEARS AGO!! A co-worker almost had a coronary when I told her what we spent. Good thing that restaurant didn't listen to people like her, who said, "I'D never pay that much for dinner!" Good thing they knew there were people out there willing to pay a nice price for a nice dinner with nice ambiance.
Do NOT base your pricing on YOUR spending habits. You may not have the disposable income that others have. You dont' know how long they've saved to have a "really nice" birthday party. You don't know.
If you anticipate running into pricing problems, print out C by D's pricing. When someone calls, you can tell them "C by D would charge you $87 for that order, plus shipping, but I can get it for you for only $60." Put them in the know right away by telling them what the market value for those cookies are.
If you have a C by D in your area, even if it's 45 mins away, then I say "If they can get it, YOU can get it." They dont' open stores in markets that won't support the cost of their product.
"If you anticipate running into pricing problems, print out C by D's pricing. When someone calls, you can tell them "C by D would charge you $87 for that order, plus shipping, but I can get it for you for only $60." Put them in the know right away by telling them what the market value for those cookies are. "
This is a great sales tool. I have printed the pricing list of Cakes Across America and have it stuck on the back of one of my acrylic stands that displays my cake menu at the shop.
When people walk in and ask for pricing ( I am strategically placed behind the stand, lol) and I see that they are shocked by my price.
3.00 pp buttercream
I quickly point out THOSE prices for the same cakes and all of a sudden I seem like a bargain.
I've been making a lot more sales lately since I started to use that sales pitch. lol
Cost out your cookie recipe.
Eggs ( cost of eggs divided by 12 lets you know what one egg cost for the recipe)
Cost out packaging
Bucket, filler, wrap, ribbon, etc.
If the recipe makes a dozen cookies and it cost 20.00
20.00 divided by 12= the cost of each cookie. This does not include the packaging.
Please let me know if I can help.
Remember cookies and cupcakes(individualized) are more time (labor intense) consuming than a whole cake.
Happy Baking and Decorating,