khoudek Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 3:22pm
post #1 of

Ok, actually down right angry is more like it!! I made a garden themed cake for a fellow Master Gardener. This is the link - http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1204084 Granted it was't a big cake, a carved 9" x 4" x 4" container planter with gumpaste flowers and leaves. Serves 10 to 12. I charged $3.00 per serving for the actual cake and then $31.00 for the gumpaste flowers and leaves for a total of $67.00 ( there were 12 flowers and over 50 leaves, half were wired ). She liked the cake a lot, but left with a comment that she didn't "realize it would cost so much for just 12 slices of cake"!! I very "sweetly" replied it wasn't the cake that costs so much, but my time and talent to make a lifelike planter and plants. That was about all I could think of at the time as she totally hit me from left field. I wish I would have told her if all she wanted was 12 slices of cake she could get a 1/4 sheet from Krogers!

40 replies
kakeladi Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 3:47pm
post #2 of

Well I would NOT have been able to afford that much eithericon_sad.gif
I just don't believe we should charge for gp flowers & cake seperately. $3 per serving should include the decorating.....JMHO

JenniferMI Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 3:49pm
post #3 of

I've said it before, will say it again.... people have NO clue how much time/effort/skill go into making a cake! I had a bride ask me why the lady is X town charges 1.75 per serving and mine is over a dollar more....
she stunned me that someone would even ask that question! I told her skill level, location, experience all factor into one's price. Sheesshhhh!!!

indydebi Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 3:56pm
post #4 of

You cannot base your pricing on what YOU are willing to spend. I'd never spend $60,000 for a car, but Cadillac salesmen are making a great living selling cars at that price to people every single day.

$3 is my base price for buttercream. I've never explored the world of gumpaste, but I understand it is VERY time consuming. My standard measuring tool is "If you had to pay an employee to make all of those gumpaste flowers, what would your expense be?" I'll bet you it would be way more than the $36 you'd get for 12 slices of cake at $3 each.

My answer would have been, "Oh, well, if you wanted JUST CAKE, then you should called walmart. I thought you ordered a custom designed one-of-a-kind cake that you can't get anywhere else. If I had known you wanted JUST CAKE, I would have slapped some icing on a sheet cake for you."

khoudek Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 4:00pm
post #5 of

I guess I don't bundle in the charge my gumpaste flowers and figures because each takes a different skill level and time element. This cake took about 6 hours to make, factoring in the gumpaste flowers and leaves. If I charged $3.00 per serving it would price out at $36.00. Definitely not even worth doing it then. She knew the price up front and she knows my work as I done many cakes for fellow Master Gardeners and even past cakes for her, so I don't know why the comment. She didn't have any issues when she ordered it.

fluttercakes Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 4:11pm
post #6 of

I don't and won't bundle my gumpaste prices with my cake prices since the two are done completely independent of each other until the final presentation...so if you want realistic flowers without pesticides then unfortunately you are going to after to pay for my time and skill...not just the cake ingredients.

Don't let her get you down...I bet if she had to do gp by herself she would charge WAY over what you did!

rozdei Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 4:12pm
post #7 of

khoudek,

I wouldn't take it too personal. I think people don't realize how tacky they are being when they complain to you about the price. I hear people all of the time complain about price at stores to cashiers', etc. It makes me feel uncomfortable...I can't imagine how uncomfortable the cashier is feeling. I'm sorry you had to go through this.

I do think it's tacky because they could say it better by asking, what goes into the price of a cake, how do you break down the price? Then you would have told her that it took x amount of hours and the materials are expensive, etc.

uschi1 Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 4:12pm
post #8 of

I had a call last week from a potential customer saying that if I could make her a cake for the same price Loblaws charges (local grocery store), she would be interested in ordering. I had to explain to her that Loblaws cakes are mass produced and there is no way I will sell my custom cakes for the same price.... Some people have no clue what it takes to put a cake together like the one you made.

rozdei Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 4:16pm
post #9 of

khoudek,

I just went and looked at your cake. It's beautiful!!! Definitely worth the $67 you charged for it and more!

mixinvixen Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 4:18pm

i think that is absolutely phenomenal, and $67 for that cake is a STEAL!!! i would be thinking God that i had this beautiful one of a kind floral arrangement that would be the hit of my party!! in no way do i think you should bundle your prices.

my husband and i always fight over whether i should give extra cake because in my husbands words "no one knows that they're only supposed to eat that tiny little bit" or "what about if someone wants a second piece"....my retort is always "why do i need to pay for someone else's ignorance???? same thing with you...jsut because she didn't think it would cost that much (although you said you told her) and serve that many, that's not your problem!!!

Kitagrl Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 4:19pm

I would never pay my own prices...however I won't work for less! icon_lol.gif

I do lump my prices into one per-serving cost...however for that (BEAUTIFUL!!!!) cake I probably would have gone $4-$5/serving for my area, for all handmade floral stuff. So for 12 servings would be about what you charged...Only I probably would have upped it to $75 because I rarely sell cakes under 15-20 servings. The cheapest cakes I even sell are around $60 in general, usually something in buttercream, and I'm trying to slowly get away from those.

That was kind of a low blow, the post that said "I could never afford that much either".... people can afford what they want to afford. Someone who wants a cake to look a certain way can afford to pay for it. If they can't afford to pay for it, then they don't get the cake to look a certain way. I like a Porsche but I can't afford to pay for it (and can't fit my kids in it!) so instead I have a Kia Sedona minivan. We as decorators are not looking to serve everybody a birthday cake...we are looking for people who want a cake they can't get anywhere else...so they are willing to pay more to get exactly the custom design they want. Custom work always costs more, and it should not be any different with cake.

VannaD Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 4:23pm

I took a look at the cake and wow, what a bargain! I agree with many of the others dont let her get you down, people have no idea the time it takes to custom make very single detail! You did a wonderful job and could've easily charged more! It is beautiful!! If people are worried about the price they should ask up front and if they dont like it, i think walmart does 1/4 sheet for like $17.

CakeMommyTX Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 4:25pm

Its the same in almost any industry, you can go to Wal-Mart and buy a full living room set, in boxes that all require a Engineering degree to put together, and all for under a $1000 bucks. Or you can go to a upscale furniture store and by famous name brand furniture, thatâs solid wood with intricate carving and professional upholstery, and beveled glass and get one end table for $1000.
You have to pay for quality, thatâs the bottom line. A double cheeseburger at McDonalds is a dollar for a reason!

With that said, sorry you had to hear a comment like that, your cake and flowers are gorgeuos! She could'nt have bought that as a silk arrangement for that price!

adonisthegreek1 Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 4:27pm

I just peeked at your cake and it is amazing. I do believe you are correct in pricing gumpaste separately. I don't think you charged too much.

I stay away from gumpaste as much as possible. Not only is it extremely time consuming, but for me when ever I've done a lot of gumpaste work I always end up with Carpal Tunnel's Syndrome and have to get a cortisone injection. Not worth it at any cost for me. Sometimes for my kids, I'll do a few gumpaste accents, but nothing on a large scale like you did.

Again, beautiful cake.

Kitagrl Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 4:29pm

Thinking back...I probably would charge seperately for a large amt of gumpaste flowers on a wedding cake...but for a party cake like that I would have just charged more per serving.

Either way you did fine and I think the lady got a good deal for such a lovely cake.

Jazz2U Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 4:31pm

Actually, when you think of the time plus the cost of ingredients, that's a bargain. That was a beautiful cake! I never really knew the work involved in making decorated cakes until I got started it myself and obviously, she doesn't either. I'm sure she was happy when she got the oohs & ahhs from her guests! People are becoming more aware of the cost nowadays. There are cakes and there are cakes. She got the Lexus, not the Ford.

tonedna Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 4:43pm

I actually think that the price for the cake was low..I dont like to add my flower prices to my servings cause it reallly depends on the amount of flowers and the type of flowers that I am using. Usually I charge people, and the cake have to be paid before hand..That way no surprises and no excuses..
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

Wendl Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 4:44pm

The client/friend/fellow gardener should be thanking her lucky stars it wasn't more! Your cake is a delight and beautiful!
Your price is right on the money (ha!) and worth every cent!
I dont' have my own biz yet, but am starting to do more as a hobby and there's no way my specialty cakes will be under $50.
I am not a grocery store, I am an artist, my medium happens to be edible, but quality and talent cost!
Keep on trucking! icon_smile.gif Just smile knowing your talent is awesome!!!
Peace,
Wendl

kansaslaura Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 4:44pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by uschi1

I had a call last week from a potential customer saying that if I could make her a cake for the same price Loblaws charges (local grocery store), she would be interested in ordering. I had to explain (NO, frankly you didn't!!) to her that Loblaws cakes are mass produced and there is no way I will sell my custom cakes for the same price.... Some people have no clue what it takes to put a cake together like the one you made.




Gee, did she think she was doing you a favor by CONSIDERING ordering from you??

I'd have told her I'm not only NOT interested in what Loblaws charges, I'm not interested in taking her order.

khoudek Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 4:52pm

Thank you everyone. You've made me feel much better. I'm going to continue pricing separately and not feel guilty about it. I'm sure she didn't mean anything as she is always complimenting my work. Maybe her hubby gave her grief about what she was going to spend before she came to pick it up.

superstar Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 4:58pm

I think your cake is beautiful, she got her money's worth. If you want to pay peanuts, you will only get monkey's. A custome cake like that one is worth every penny.

PennySue Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 5:02pm

Your cake is just beautiful and that woman is just nuts to think that it was too expensive. Don't underestimate your talent or the quality of your cakes. I would have charged more.
P.S.
How exciting about becoming a grandmother in a few months! I never thought I would love being one until our grandson came along. Oh my goodness, it is sooooo much fun! They live in another state so we don't get to see them as often as we would like. We also have a grandaughter coming in June. Blessings to you and your family!

ShirleyW Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 5:05pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by khoudek

Thank you everyone. You've made me feel much better. I'm going to continue pricing separately and not feel guilty about it. I'm sure she didn't mean anything as she is always complimenting my work. Maybe her hubby gave her grief about what she was going to spend before she came to pick it up.




Absolutely! Don't even think about bundling your flowers into a cake price of $3.00 per serving. I am shocked to think anyone would do that. The amount of time it takes to make those flowers and the dedication it takes to have them look as close to the real thing as possible has to be taken into account. If these flowers take as much as three days to complete I am not going to give them away and I am not going to feel guilty about charging what they are worth.

FromScratch Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 5:19pm

Great cake.. your price is right on.. probably on the cheaper side. Don't lump your GP flowers into the per serving price. They are a totally separate monster. And they aren't easy and they definitely call for a charge all their own to help your customers see what they are getting.

That comment about your $3/serving should include all decorating is a crock.. NO WAY IN HELL should you spend hours on GP flowers and not get compensated for it. Makes me wonder if the one who posted that has ever made a gumpaste flower? Most likely not.

Did she know how much the cake was going to cost her from the get go? If she didn't then she may have been shocked, but if she did.. she had no right to act the way she did.

mezzaluna Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 5:42pm

I totally agree with my ssester.

Khoudek, I'll come over there and slap up your asshole customer for ya!

imaginecakes Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 5:47pm

Very beautiful cake!!! Yeah, I think this is probably an issue that we will always deal with!! Unless it is for someone who has actually sat by your side watching you attempt to preform magic at times!!!! icon_smile.gif

Cakepro Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 6:05pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

That comment about your $3/serving should include all decorating is a crock.. [b]NO WAY IN HELL should you spend hours on GP flowers and not get compensated for it. Makes me wonder if the one who posted that has ever made a gumpaste flower? Most likely not.




After reading the post about not charging separately for GP flowers, I had to pick my jaw and eyeballs up off the floor. I was going to say what you already said, jkalman, but I couldn't have said it any better, so I'm just going to quote you.

Good LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!

---------------------------------

You did an awesome job, khoudek, and the lady got a good deal. Be proud and don't second guess your pricing!! icon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gif

Sherri

tonedna Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 10:26pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman


That comment about your $3/serving should include all decorating is a crock.. NO WAY IN HELL should you spend hours on GP flowers and not get compensated for it. Makes me wonder if the one who posted that has ever made a gumpaste flower? Most likely not.




tapedshut.gif I didnt want to say anything ...but this is true...I charge my flowers separetly..sorry..they are way too time consuming!!!
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 11:42pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by mixinvixen

my husband and i always fight over whether i should give extra cake because in my husbands words "no one knows that they're only supposed to eat that tiny little bit" or "what about if someone wants a second piece?"...




Has he heard my KFC stories???

A family bucket of 16 pieces is designed to serve 8 people (based on 2 pieces of chicken each). Under this illogical logic of "What if they eat like Jethro Bodine and someone wants 4 pieces instead of just 2?" Does he really think that KFC is going to just "throw in" 4 or 6 extra pieces for them? Or is it THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CUSTOMER to know how many pieces of chicken (or how big of a piece of cake) they tend to eat and to order accordingly.

I come from a German family of big eaters. If something said it served 6, my mom bought 3 of them. She didn't expect the seller to "throw in" extra just because we had hearty appetites ... she planned appropriately.

Obviously your husband has no connection to the financial side of business ... and if he does, he should be ashamed of himself saying that to you.

iamlis Posted 29 Mar 2008 , 11:54pm

This is nuts, I would not take another order from her. If she would say that to you, imagine what she says to guests! That is insane...and lets go further than saying how long it takes to make...how long did it take to learn the flowers and leaves? Did you take classes, did you travel to take classes? Did you have to buy...wire and floral tape, cutters, impression molds, cutters, ETC. Thats nuts to say you DON'T charge per flower...in logic it would have taken 1/4 of the time to make the cake, the flowers are HOURS of extra TIME & MONEY! Your cake is gorgeous...you obviously are a master gardener! I have always wanted to take those courses, and for someone who knows the labor that those things bloom in nature, for you to make the botanically correct out of sugar...just makes me mad! icon_smile.gif I love your cake, you did a great job, I hope she finds another baker icon_smile.gif Your loyal customers will always appreciate your talent! The rest ...let them eat MASS-PRODUCED cake!

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