Discounting?

Business By FlowerGirlMN Updated 3 Apr 2008 , 6:14pm by indydebi

FlowerGirlMN Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 1:26pm
post #1 of 28

Hey everyone,

Just received an email from someone asking if I would discount for a November wedding. Given the interest in October and November weddings this year, I definitely wouldn't consider those months to be slow or whatever.. I only have 1 spot available on her date as it is. The only months I'm not getting many bookings for are February-April.

Anyway, I was wondering.. do you discount for any reason, and if so, what?

If we get a really cool couple who would be open for something REALLY crazy, we sometimes discount the extra design charges a bit so they can afford it (and we can do a really cool cake!). That's about it.

Thoughts?

27 replies
indydebi Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 2:05pm
post #2 of 28

Not me. I've had them ask me "how much of a discount will I get if it's ONLY for 50 people?" to which I've explained that they will most likely pay MORE because it's "only" 50 people (a tablecloth/skirting still costs $25 to rent no matter if there is food for 50 or food for 100 sitting on it. Takes the same amount of gas to get to the venue, no matter if there is food for 50 or food for 100 in the van. It's called overhead!)

I've had them ask if I discount for a Friday or Sunday wedding, to which I've had to explain that it actually costs me more because my staff works part time for me .... they have day jobs, so it's hard for me to staff Friday weddings, ergo I have to pay them more to get them to be there. Sunday are not only the traditional double-time pay days, but my staff is already worn out from the Friday and Saturday events they worked, so I have to pay them more to get them to be there. (and it's not a blackmail thing where they are holding me hostage .... I pay them what they are worth and they are worth every penny to me!)

You can also point out that Nov/Dec may not be peak for weddings, but it's peak for holiday events, putting you in high demand and your oven time is at a premium, so if they want squeezed in on the baking schedule, they need to book quickly.

Never imply you are not busy at any time. If anyone asks me "how's business?" my answer is ALWAYS, "I'm covered up! Going great!" No one wants to deal with a company that isn't busy .... it implies they aren't any good. Regardless ... you are ALWAYS busy!!

Ignore anything else I've ever said, but remember this one ... you are ALWAYS "busy"!"

marmalade1687 Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 2:17pm
post #3 of 28

Nope, no discounts here either! I may have slower periods throughout the winter when I am not baking fulltime, but I fill those times with inventory, taxes, paperwork, marketing, consultations for the next year (perhaps even a teeny well-deserved vacation!!) - I always have something to do!

ccr03 Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 3:42pm
post #4 of 28

ha! discount because it's the winter! under that theory I should get a b-day cake for free!

Anyway, I'm like you FlowerGirlMN, if it's a cool design I won't charge as much or I'll put in the discount on the invoice. I'll always discount for loyal customers. A friend of mine actually ordered a cake for 50 ppl. this weekend and I gave him a 20% discount. He's a GREAT friend and is one of the first people to support me in all this.

edited: I should correct myself. I don't ALWAYS discount for loyal customers, but if I've had a good week or in a good mood I'll take a LITTLE off - just like a couple of buck or soemthing.

Wendl Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 4:44pm
post #5 of 28

A sales guru once told my company (office job, not cake, but it still applies) - NEVER discount your work. If they don't want to pay what it's worth - they can move on and get shoddy product for shoddy payment.
Last fall, a fellow saw my gumbo cake pic and told my friend "I'll pay anything for it!" and needed it 4 days later (during a work week where I have an office job 40+hours). I gave him a quote (it was still a deal under $100, but still not a walmart (ICK!!!) price) and he said it was too expensive. I wanted to make the cake but not for less than I quoted and I told him why I priced it as I did, that maybe another time when I had a more open schedule...but I did NOT drop the price, NOR did I apologize for it, either. Granted, w/more experience under my belt and improved skills, he won't be getting it under $100 anymore, either! His window of opportunity for beginner bargain basement is shut! icon_smile.gif
Wendl

aliciag Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 4:59pm
post #6 of 28

I'm not in the cake business, to me cakes are just for fun.

I own a grooming salon, my slow month is january (95% get their pet groomed right before christmas).

I can only imagine my face if someone asked for a discount because it's january.

It doesn't make sense, my shampoo and conditioner (your flour, sugar...)never costs less. Why would you do it??

Chef_Stef Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 5:22pm
post #7 of 28

Well, I can tell you exactly *why* brides will ask that.

It's because they've watched every "How to get an expensive wedding for nothing" show on Good Morning America, etc.

I actually have saved a video link from a morning show who had a guest wedding expert who flatly stated that "You should definitely book your wedding in the *off* season, because ALL your vendors, from the dress to the cake, will discount 50-70% for wedding during these *off season* dates."

I was like icon_eek.gif! On what planet?? I know you can get bargains on wedding dresses from last season off the rack, etc., but for a cake or catered meal, that's just ridiculous!

TexasSugar Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 6:03pm
post #8 of 28

I have a real problem with people asking for a discount. If I want to give you one that is one thing, but for you to flat out ask? Umm nope! You pay full price.

ccr03 Posted 28 Mar 2008 , 8:00pm
post #9 of 28

Exactly!!! Couldn't agree with you more TexasSugar!!!!

littlecake Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 9:00am
post #10 of 28

i'll give them a discount if I decide to .....never if they ask.

if it's january, and something breaks down that i need money for, i'll discount if i decide too...but cakes are my only income...and i still have lean times...and girl gotta do what a girl gotta do.....to bad i aint got a husband,dad mom or a rich uncle bob...ha ha...i know i need a sugar daddy!

indydebi Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 1:50pm
post #11 of 28

homecook is absolutely right! It's why I start lots of conversations with "Contrary to all of the lies the wedding magz and websites tell you ..... "

costumeczar Posted 2 Apr 2008 , 12:41pm
post #12 of 28

A lot of reception sites around my area do discount for "off-season" weddings (whatever that is these days) so I think that brides assume everything will be discounted the same way. I've never had a bride ask for a discount for off-season, and I'm so busy all year anyway I don't think I'd know what the off-season is.

springlakecake Posted 2 Apr 2008 , 12:57pm
post #13 of 28

Hey, well you can't blame a guy/girl for tryin! But you don't need to feel badly about saying "no" either.

If you gave everyone a discount, then you would have to raise your prices in order to accomodate for all the discount! LOL. It doesnt make any sense.

Mandica12182 Posted 2 Apr 2008 , 12:58pm
post #14 of 28

People crack me up...I got an e-mail from someone wanting a discount because they wanted a cake for friday and then another for saturday!! I e-maield them back...no discount, it actually would be MORE trouble for me to make 2 cakes and 2 deliveries...ha! They never responded.

yummymummy Posted 2 Apr 2008 , 12:58pm
post #15 of 28

I say, "Yeah, I'll give you a discount...if you watch my 5 kids everyday for the next couple of months." icon_twisted.gif TOTAL VACATION!!!!! icon_wink.gificon_biggrin.gif

yh9080 Posted 2 Apr 2008 , 1:08pm
post #16 of 28

No discount unless I want to do so. The grocery store doesn't give me "off season" discounts on flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and milk and neither do the stores where I buy cake boards, etc.

I recently had some people ask my prices for a wedding cake. They told me it was too much and they would go the Piggly Wiggly. I just smiled sweetly and told them that was fine. But what I wanted to say was "have you bought eggs and milk lately???"

FlowerGirlMN Posted 2 Apr 2008 , 3:42pm
post #17 of 28

I don't get the "do you discount for Sunday?" thing, either. That just means me giving up a day off with the family, ya know?

CambriasCakes Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 12:42am
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by homecook

Well, I can tell you exactly *why* brides will ask that.

It's because they've watched every "How to get an expensive wedding for nothing" show on Good Morning America, etc.

I actually have saved a video link from a morning show who had a guest wedding expert who flatly stated that "You should definitely book your wedding in the *off* season, because ALL your vendors, from the dress to the cake, will discount 50-70% for wedding during these *off season* dates."

I was like icon_eek.gif! On what planet?? I know you can get bargains on wedding dresses from last season off the rack, etc., but for a cake or catered meal, that's just ridiculous!




50-70%???????? WHERE did they get their information from?? That is completely ignorant on their part to even say that and on national television no less!!!!

mezzaluna Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 5:09am
post #19 of 28

I had someone call once and ask if there was a discount if they ordered ALOT of cupcakes. I was like, well that depends, how many cupcakes are we talking about here (thinking like at least a couple hundred!)?

The gal says 10 (yup, you read that right.... TEN).

After I choked down my laughter I told her that our minimum order is 12 cuppies.

She hung up on me.

cakesbyamym Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 6:58am
post #20 of 28

Nope, no discount here either. I had a consultation with the MOB last weekend. She and her daughter (NOT the bride) came in (10 minutes late) and were gone in less than 15 minutes! icon_eek.gif Why??? She wanted a cake for 200 for $350!!!!! icon_surprised.gificon_surprised.gificon_surprised.gif She said that they were on a tight budget (isn't everyone?) and that another baker had already quoted her that price. I said, "$3.50 per person?". She commented back, "NO, $350 for the entire cake." I charge $2.75 per serving for butter cream. When I told her that the very best I could do was $412.50 plus tax (not including OOT delivery and my equipment deposit) that seemed to end it all.

I won't comprimise my prices. I've learned that if you give someone a discount, they'll tell it to others, and eventually, everyone has a sad story to tell you in hopes of a discount, as well. Name one place that you can go to, and say, I want this, but I'm not paying a dime over ____ for it. I don't know of one other than the possibility of a yard sale or something along those lines. I'm in the business to make money not offer freebies.

I will say that I HAVE given discounts. I had a bride place a large wedding order several months back....cake, cookie favors, chocolate tuxedo berries...and I KNEW that they were strapped. She paid for her wedding order in full within two weeks, so I waived the tax...a good $50+. She just called back and added on another 70 cookie favors. Because she was so sweet the whole time I've dealt with her, I again waived the tax. Some people, you don't mind helping out. Others....well....you know what I mean.

Sorry for the novel on this topic!!!! LOL.

Amy

FlowerGirlMN Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 11:09am
post #21 of 28

NKOTB... LMAO!! (Sorry!)

As for where they get the 50% or more thing.. I'm betting from "photographers". With the quotes.

There are is a total glut of wannabe wedding photographers in the market, and they act TOTALLY desperate. Shooting a wedding for $200 and worse. I wouldn't be surprised if some of them do the 50-75% thing.

The real pros sure don't. I feel bad for them, what they're going through with that.

indydebi Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 12:29pm
post #22 of 28

I'm sharing these stories with hubby, especially mezz's story about "a LOT" of cupcakes. I get that frequently with cookies. My biggest customer does 26 dozen every single day and someone tries to bribe me with the promise of a "BIG" order of 4 dozen or something! Pul-lease!

Anyway .... hubby did some math and came up with a great realization.

In ONE of my ovens, I can bake 4 cookies trays of 40 cookies each. That's 160 cookies (13+ dozen). So it costs me the same amount of electricity to bake 1 dozen as it does to bake 13+ dozen.

It's not that it's cheaper for me to bake 13 dozen ... it's more that it costs me MORE to bake only 1 or 2 dozen.

TheButterWench Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 1:34pm
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlowerGirlMN

NKOTB... LMAO!! (Sorry!)



There are is a total glut of wannabe wedding photographers in the market, and they act TOTALLY desperate. Shooting a wedding for $200 and worse. I wouldn't be surprised if some of them do the 50-75% thing.

.




I feel the same way about some cake decorators, they decide to take the Wilton courses, get a lot of positive feedback from family and friends, you know how we do with family and friends even if the cakes are a mess, lol.

They decide to put up some website, prices and then because they are working from home they will try to undercut other bakers so they can get a portfolio or pics for their website going.

I feel they are riding on the backs of other decorators, their customes, who actually most won't complain with a cake that looks like Poo because it was so cheap!

If I was giving people a discount, I'd for sure have to close the doors.

I feel this way, someone that is ordering a cake from me is probably having a steady paycheck comin in even if it's a small one.

With me, it's feast of famine. Some days good, some days great, some days it's OMG! lol

Like Debi says, it costs me the same to open my door for a doz cupcakes as it does for a 5 tiered wedding cake.

My favorite is this question.

I have prices 30 dollars for an 1/8 of a sheet and about 25 for 8" cake and sculpted cakes start at $50.00.

The question is this ALL the time: "How much is a sculpted cake?" I only need a small one for like 10 to 15 people". Duh, what part of "Sculped cakes start at $50.00" don't you understand?

sugar , flour , eggs and butter will still cost the same. lol

I also get suspicious when they are all over the place with pricing, "how much for this, how much for that and if you put this on the cake and that and if it's this flavor, what about this other thing..." I stopped doing this over the phone. I give them my email address and ask them to send me a picture of something they liked or with all their questions, because when the next question is : "Are you working out of a house or do you have a storefront?" I get my spidey tingle up and wonder if this is a home baker having me price their latest cake order! lol

FlowerGirlMN Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 1:55pm
post #24 of 28

I don't see a ton of the "photographer" thing with cake people locally.. luckily most places here are pretty stringent on the legality issues, and make SURE that a bride's cake is coming from licensed/insured bakers.

indydebi Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 1:59pm
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheButterWench


I also get suspicious when they are all over the place with pricing, "how much for this, how much for that and if you put this on the cake and that and if it's this flavor, what about this other thing..." I stopped doing this over the phone. I give them my email address and ask them to send me a picture of something they liked or with all their questions, because when the next question is : "Are you working out of a house or do you have a storefront?" I get my spidey tingle up and wonder if this is a home baker having me price their latest cake order! lol




When I do price checks in the local market, it's actually hard to try to sound like a cake-civilian! Most people don't know cake is sold by the slice, or that there are extra charges for certain design elements, so if I get a call that sounds like someone is REALLY educated on how a cake is priced, I ALWAYS assume I'm being price checked by competition.

TheButterWench Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 3:41pm
post #26 of 28

on the way in we passed a Ferrari dealer and this thread came to mind. I told my hubby that we needed to stop in and see the salesman with the least amount of sales in this slow economy and tell him that we were going to purchase one but we wanted 70% off since we knew it was slow right now.



We cracked up!

I was also telling him that the only way you can get any discount on the wedding dress is if you have a Couture Naive Bride that will take a dress several seasons out of date.

I told him that I was going to keep frozen cakes in the freezer for those customers that ask for discounts, lol.

I will say. Oh yeah I can give you a nice discount on this cake that's been in my freezer for six months, I'll just scrape these blue roses off and put pink ones on and you're good to go.

hahahaa

cinjam Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 4:28pm
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by homecook

Well, I can tell you exactly *why* brides will ask that.

It's because they've watched every "How to get an expensive wedding for nothing" show on Good Morning America, etc.

I actually have saved a video link from a morning show who had a guest wedding expert who flatly stated that "You should definitely book your wedding in the *off* season, because ALL your vendors, from the dress to the cake, will discount 50-70% for wedding during these *off season* dates."




Reminds me of my own wedding (15+ years ago). I chose a Friday evening in August because the price (at the venue I selected) was cheaper than a Saturday night. During the consultation, I off-handedly said to my DH, "we are getting a discount because it's a friday in August". The lady interupted and clarified, "No, you are paying our regular price. Saturdays and any day in months X Y & Z (can't remember which months she said) pay EXTRA on top of our regular prices"

Just another way to look at it.

indydebi Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 6:14pm
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinjam

The lady interupted and clarified, "No, you are paying our regular price. Saturdays and any day in months X Y & Z (can't remember which months she said) pay EXTRA on top of our regular prices" Just another way to look at it.




EXACTLY what my husband says!! When you buy advertising give-aways ... magnets, ink pens, etc., ..... it's not that it's cheaper to buy 10,000, but it's more expensive to buy only 100!!

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%