Is It Rude To Ask For (Mdf) Cakeboards Back???

Decorating By SarahsSweets2006 Updated 24 Mar 2008 , 8:10am by mezzaluna

SarahsSweets2006 Posted 21 Mar 2008 , 3:14am
post #1 of 22

I have an issue...

I don't do too many cakes BUT, when I do, I ask the individual if I could get the cake board back... and I never (or rarely ever) get them back. I mean, I am not making much money on these things and it's kind of a pain in the butt to keep having my boyfriend cut me some new ones. These aren't those cardboard throw out ones, they are thick, 1 inch+ MDF boards! Just wondering what other people think/do/etc. Thanks!


21 replies
alanahodgson Posted 21 Mar 2008 , 3:16am
post #2 of 22

What about charging a deposit?

SarahsSweets2006 Posted 21 Mar 2008 , 3:20am
post #3 of 22

Yeah, I have thought about charging a deposit... Hmmm... $5? $10. Does anyone else do this? I mean, if they want to keep it, hey their $10 will be enough for me to make like, 5-6 more? Perhaps I will start. Thanks alanahodgson.

weirkd Posted 21 Mar 2008 , 3:25am
post #4 of 22

I got the idea from another member on here but I write on the back of the board that if it is not returned that there is a $20 fee. I rarely can get my husband to do anything for me, and cutting cake boards is the last thing he would do so I usually have to order them which costs me shipping and all. So when people see that, they usually have no problem with returning it. Make sure you also mention it to them to return that and any other type of stacking systems beforehand. That way they cant say they didnt know about it and they will take every opportunity to get it back to you if they know their going to pay for it in the end. I tell them that I have to do this in order to keep my cake costs down and most of them are very understanding.

alanahodgson Posted 21 Mar 2008 , 3:29am
post #5 of 22

Yeah, its not so much the cost of the board you're charging for, but your time and energy to go get the board and have your bf or husband cut it. That's valuable!!!

funbun Posted 21 Mar 2008 , 3:30am
post #6 of 22

I write it into my orders right from the beginning. i have never had a client complain about it. I have even offered to go pick it up after the fact.

SarahsSweets2006 Posted 21 Mar 2008 , 3:45am
post #7 of 22

icon_smile.gif Yeah, I tell them to return the boards... write on back of the boards "Please return to Sarah. Phone Number_____" and yet, here I sit, down like, 5 boards including one that is 3 feet long (for my hannah montana guitar cake).

The thing about telling them if it's not returned there is a fee... well most people pay when I drop off the cake, I am not sure how I would go about getting the $20. Hmm... But yeah, I definitely think I will start charging a deposit and that way THEY have to get the board back to me. I don't charge to deliver my cakes and I am not about to make 2 trips out to go pick up the board. If they want their money back, I think they will be willing to get it back to meicon_smile.gif And if not, I will pocket the difference. icon_smile.gif

And maybe my man can give me a lesson on his power tools so I can cut my own boards as to not bother him. Haha. icon_smile.gif

Thanks for all the replies!!!

mezzaluna Posted 21 Mar 2008 , 7:50am
post #8 of 22

I take a cash deposit. A big fat CASH one, 'cause I KNOW that money talks. I charge about 40-50 for the deposit.

And gals....... learn how to work the saws your ownselves. It ain't hard, it just takes some common sense.

MikeRowesHunny Posted 21 Mar 2008 , 8:46am
post #9 of 22

Rude?! No!!!! I have sent some of my modelled/wired topper birthday cakes that end up being 10in tall out in my stacked wedding cake boxes. Those puppies cost me $10 each, so you can be sure I charge a deposit and ask for them to be returned. If they don't return them (and most do), then I have the money to replace said box. That's common business sense, not rude!

cambo Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 1:22pm
post #10 of 22

I must have lazy clients too! Long ago when I knew I wanted to use MDF for my boards, it only took a couple of times of not rec'g them back for me to revert back to cardboard rounds! I still use them for wedding cakes because there's usually other items that need to be returned that were written into their contract, but, for party cakes, I don't want to worry about charging a deposit and getting anything back from them! So, I just triple the cardboard rounds, figure it into my cost/price and that's the end of it!

beachcakes Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 3:10pm
post #11 of 22

How about using foamcore? They make it in different thicknesses and it routinely goes on sale at Michaels for $1 per sheet. It's easier to cut and not so heavy!

Melan Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 3:25pm
post #12 of 22

Foamcore? What is that? Could you explain?

justme50 Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 3:36pm
post #13 of 22

The only cakes I use the heavy boards for are really large. stacked cakes and I charge a hefty deposit for those, much more than they cost me in material and time.

Otherwise, I use foam core board and figure it into my costs..if you buy the larger sheets and cut them yourself, they're nearly as cheap as the flimsy cardboard.

I'm sitting here now with $75 in deposits for a recent cake that the customer never came to pick up. The items cost me less than $20. For $55, I'll make some more!

I sure wish I had that kind of money to throw away!

uschi1 Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 3:41pm
post #14 of 22

I think a deposit is the way to go!

pjmw Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 3:43pm
post #15 of 22

I only use boards that I don't want back...unless I'm going to be at the event and then I use plywood that my DH cut for me. Otherwise, I would have to charge a deposit.

gandelmom Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 3:54pm
post #16 of 22

I have my first cake order that requires 1 plastic plate-After reading this I'm going to charge a little extra to my quote and let her keep the plate-

ssunshine564 Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 3:55pm
post #17 of 22

I always add the price of the board to the price of the cake, because they never return them, not that I would want them back. Same thing with my plastic wilton plates, which I would like to have back. After not receiving them back twice I started adding the price of those as well.

SugarplumStudio Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 4:26pm
post #18 of 22

Rude? No. Gross? Yes!

Maybe it's just me, but I would never reuse them, even if they are wrapped. I'm just funny about stuff like that. Pillars, plates, boards, I don't re-use them. If a customer wants them, the charge is built in. Almost everyone asks if they can return them or pay a deposit rather than purchase, but when I pose the question, " Do you want me to place your cake on a board that someone else's cake was on?" The answer is always a resounding "No!"

I tell them if they want to sell them on ebay or a garage sale, it is their prerogative, but they buy it with the cake. I don't mark up those materials. Customers pay actual cost and I buy wholesale, so I rarely have a complaint about it.

beachcakes Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 6:59pm
post #19 of 22

melan - foamcore is basically posterboard with a foamcore layer sandwiched in the middle. You can get it at any craft store. here is a picture

michellenj Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 9:21pm
post #20 of 22

OMG you would not believe the things that have been left behind at my hotel. We had a big stack of nice boards that were collecting dust in the sales office, and all sorts of other cake goodies. My boss got pissed b/c the bakers weren't picking them up in a timely fashion and threw it all away! We called the bakeries and they said they'd come get them, but months later they were still in our office. This was before I was a caker, or I'd have kept them, or given them to one of you!

JulieB Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 8:02am
post #21 of 22
Originally Posted by SarahsSweets2006

icon_smile.gif And maybe my man can give me a lesson on his power tools so I can cut my own boards as to not bother him. Haha. icon_smile.gif

Thanks for all the replies!!!

Girl, it ain't hard to work them power tools. Personally, I know a lot of men who are scared of sewing machines, they can be pretty wicked.

I have my own power tools, and I know how to use them, too.

mezzaluna Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 8:10am
post #22 of 22

I agree.... if I waited around for DH to cut stuff for me, I'd still be waiting. Don't be such wimps! Power tools require common sense, not a PhD in powertooling.

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