I Can't Figure Out Pricing...

Business By KadenandKorensMommy Updated 26 Mar 2008 , 9:30pm by amytracy1981

KadenandKorensMommy Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 8:59pm
post #1 of 23

Okay, so I'm new at "selling" my cakes, so I tend to undercharge or so I've been told. I did one of those cakes with the pregnant belly on the top, and my SIL's friend saw it and now wants me to make a pregnant belly cake for her, but I don't know how much to charge? I know a lot of people to it by the slice, but that seems like I would get too much money..I recently did a cake for my SIL and only charged $20 because she's family, but I was told later they could have gotten a cake cheaper at the groccery store so I don't want to overcharge..So I'm wondering what would you guys charge for one of those pregnant belly cakes..I've added a pic of my original cake (I hope! lol) to show you what the cake will most likely look like, just different colors..They want the same cake only the cake itself and the fondant dress to be a different color..Ok, I'm done rambling.

22 replies
Cakey1865 Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 9:12pm
post #2 of 23

You know what I am facing the exact same thing right now....I mean like for a 9x13 with just some roses and happy birthday wrote on it how much do you charge for something like that? Can someone please please please send me their priceing? If it matters what area I am in then I live in Gulfport Ms.
Thanks in advance,

tonimarie Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 9:14pm
post #3 of 23

Hi. I completely understand your dilema. I have many of the same problems. But lets face it, if they want to only spend $15-20 on a "store" bought rectangular cake that's their prerogative. If they want a cake that is special and hand made then there is a definite price difference they are going to have to pay.
Making cakes takes ALOT of time and the customeres need to take that into consideration. I would say the majority of people want a memorable special cake for the occasion, though you're always going to have a few that complain about price. I think you're cake is fab. Not to mention that ingredients are $$$ expecially the fondant that is on it. Your time and talent is worth something. I do think price probably depends a lot on location. I live in rural Montana and wouldn't hesitate to charge $50 -75 for that kind of cake. REMEMBER: Your time and obvious talent is worth something! thumbs_up.gif

deanwithana Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 9:15pm
post #4 of 23

I would charge the standard in your area as it really depends on where you live. I would call around to professional bakeries and see what they charge per person for BC, fondant, etc and then figure your time and any extras. Don't let anyone compare your work to the "grocery".......if they say this to you....then let them go to the grocery and you spend that valuable time with your family.....there is no comparison to a customized cake versus a grocery store cake.

Doug Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 9:22pm
post #5 of 23

really? the SAME cake? a sheet cake w/ a belly cake on top???? at a grocery store????

hmm....never seen one any of the stores around me.

rule 1 -- you are NOT in competition w/ the grocery stores. they are MASS merchandisers -- one size fits most. you make CUSTOM, one-of-a-kind cakes -- (tho' I prefer the British term: bespoke)

the comparison -- off the rack dress vs. one custom made and fitted to you and we all know how big $$ custom made is.

if they give you the "but I can get it so much cheaper at ...." fine -- go, get it there! remember you will get what you pay for (and it won't be as fresh, custom crafted w/ love as my cake, nor will match your vision as well as my custom made cake would!)

rule 2 -- do not LOW-ball your price -- it should be near the same as what the stand alone bakeries in your are charge.

rule 3 - set your price and stick to it for everyone -- even family (unless it is your one and ONLY gift in place of any/everything else -- as my niece's wedding cake will be -- the cake and that's it -- no other gift or $$ for her)

rule 4 -- charge by the serving. so if that cake serves 60 and you charge $2/serving, it's a $120 cake.

and that cake is really TWO cakes -- you've got the sheet cake and the belly cake on top of it. charge for both! -- see rule 4 above.

tippyad Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 9:24pm
post #6 of 23

I can't tell the size of your sheet cake that the belly is on. But for sheet cakes I charge:

9x13 $35
11x15 $45
12x18 $65

When you add something special like the belly cake I would charge an additonal $20-25. Remember, it's a lot of time you put into cakes. The ingredients are usually minimal in cost. Don't sell yourself short, even to family. I always charge my family the same as I would anyone else. Yes, I love my family, but I have to pay bills too.

diamondsonblackvelvet13 Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 9:26pm
post #7 of 23

I wonder if they could have gotten such an awesome cake at the grocery store for cheaper.....I mean c'mon. You're not a mass producer, you're a specialist! Charge accordingly. I live in a rural town with less than 10,000. for b/c only, I charge $2.25/ serving and for fondant I charge $3.25. If they want a spciality cake, they will pay. if it doesn't matter, let them go to the grocery store.

tiptop57 Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 9:26pm
post #8 of 23

Wow for the third time today.......here's pricing-lol.

There is not an easy answer for pricing cakes here especially since different parts of the country charge differently and before the crash we had loads and loads of threads on this subject. Also, I do not turn my oven on for that small and cheap cakes! Also I am stating the cakes as a 1 in. x 2 in.

There are programs out there that takes your cost of the recipe ingredients, plus box and board plus the energy of turning on your oven and price out the cake per recipe. You might want to start by figuring out that cost, then the rule of thumb is to times that cost by 3 for your labor.

I would also see the types of cake your competition has in your area and what they charge so your price accordingly.

After averaging in all that you can get a feel for the cost per slice depending on your design.

I have a minimum and I'm also in a metro area and charge anywhere from $3.50 per slice for plan 'ol BC without any fancy dancy decoration to $5 for fondant. Then I add additional costs for gumpaste bouquets, extension, lace points etc. If it is a carved cake then I charge for the cake not the slice and have preworked out my designs and the timing and cost of ingredients and charge accordingly. BTW wedding and sheet. Both are equal in my eyes.

And remember, that you make custom cakes and not cheap cakes and depending upon your talent level you can charge more for customizing.


kelleym Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 9:55pm
post #9 of 23

I keep seeing this question come up today, so here are my lengthy thoughts on pricing. icon_biggrin.gif

dinas27 Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 10:20pm
post #10 of 23

thats great advice kelleym!

Just because they can get a cheaper cake at a grocery store does not mean that you should charge that much. Some things to think about...

You should not be paying for their cake! Be sure to charge at least enough to cover all you costs, ingredients, gas to the store, gas for delivery, electricity, cake boards etc etc

your time is worth something! we all love baking here (well most of us anyway icon_razz.gif ) but wouldn't you rather spend time with your family? or enjoying the fruits of your own labour?

its OK to say no. let them eat [email protected] frozen decorated by machine cake and save your talents for those that appreciate them.

set your limits right from the start, its great that you are figuring out what to charge now! stick to it, make family pay before they receive the cake or chances are good you will never see the $$$$, funny how those things just seem to slip the mind!

happy decorating!

pjmw Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 10:34pm
post #11 of 23

Amen, dinas27! Amazing how family and sadly some friends can "forget" to pay you. I've just got to redo my price list with the increases or I'm not going to make anything this spring!

KadenandKorensMommy Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 10:37pm
post #12 of 23

Thank you everyone. And my SIL had no problem paying for the cake...They thought I shortcharged them as well, but they are helping to put my name out there, and it was my first cake charging...

I'm about to go look at your link kellym...I apprecaite all the responses, thank you !!

KadenandKorensMommy Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 10:42pm
post #13 of 23

Thank you for the link!! I'm going to beg my hubby to buy me the software now!!

indydebi Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 10:46pm
post #14 of 23

First .....
what Doug said. All of it. Every word.

Second .....

Originally Posted by KadenandKorensMommy

I know a lot of people to it by the slice, but that seems like I would get too much money..

Huh???? icon_confused.gif

tlreetz Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 10:47pm
post #15 of 23

I use to have this problem...."what should I charge...?" I finally bought the Cake Boss program and now it does it all for me!! I HIGHLY recommend this program to ANYONE who sells cakes, no matter how many you sell in a year...this program does it all for you!

amytracy1981 Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 11:10pm
post #16 of 23

dinas27 said
"set your limits right from the start, its great that you are figuring out what to charge now! stick to it, make family pay before they receive the cake or chances are good you will never see the $$$$, funny how those things just seem to slip the mind!"

Oh do I know what you are talking about! I only make cakes for family members right now and I am always paying for my own cakes. Great example: I just made the cake below for SIL' s Baby Shower last Saturday. I told my MIL it would be $40 ( I was just charging for ingredients, trying to be nice). Well she only gave me $30 dollars for it and after I bought all of the ingredients for it. I ended up spending about $50 bucks (I had to buy a the pans for it, didn't already have them and fondant). So I ended up paying for like $20 of it!! If I didn't enjoy making the cakes so much I would start saying no!

tlreetz Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 1:27pm
post #17 of 23

That cake is SO CUTE!!! Is it posted in the forum?? If so, please post the link so that I can add it to my favs!

Mizuki Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 3:53pm
post #18 of 23

CakeBoss, do you think you'll ever do a mac version? It looks awesome! I was all ready to buy... icon_cry.gif

kelleym Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 4:08pm
post #19 of 23
Originally Posted by jam7

CakeBoss, do you think you'll ever do a mac version? It looks awesome! I was all ready to buy... icon_cry.gif

We hope, in the next year or so, to release an online version utilizing Microsoft Silverlight, which would be accessible to people with any kind of operating system. I am so sorry that we aren't able to accommodate Mac users right now!!!

However, we do have a friend who uses a Mac and runs WinXP inside the program Parallels, which mimics a PC, and she was able to successfully install CakeBoss on her Mac. We do realize that this is an additional expense and not feasible for everyone.

Our sincere apologies - it's nothing against Mac's, AT ALL, it's just that Jon (my DH) is a PC programmer!

pjmw Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 4:14pm
post #20 of 23

I would have this on my Christmas list immediately if a Mac version was available!

Claire86navy Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 4:20pm
post #21 of 23

Question: How much do I charge for other decorations, like chocolate roses or other modeling, draped fondant, carved cakes etc.?

tirby Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 4:40pm
post #22 of 23

I do have cake boss and love it but have a hard time figuring out TIME. How much time does it take. I usually charge 3-4 hours per cake. (unless it is VERY hard like my tractor cake then I charge like 6 is that close or am I still undercharging. As far as use for equipment how do you figure that.
Is there a pricing guide or one of the matrics that can help me with a referance to start?

amytracy1981 Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 9:30pm
post #23 of 23

here is a link to the my cake.
Thanks! I'm glad you like it!


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