Am I Crazy (Pricing)

Decorating By servingzero Updated 4 Apr 2008 , 1:49am by Tellis12

servingzero Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 4:36am
post #1 of 15

Hi everyone, I've read so many posts on pricing and it all makes my head spin. I've recently come up with a base cake price list, and just wanted to know if I'm nuts.

I had a lady call me today, who is a co-worker of my sister. She was wondering about cake pricing. I said it depended on the complexity etc of the cake. She said she wanted a birthday cake for her 93 yr old mom. And I quoted her the base price for a couple cake sizes that are regularly ordered from me.

9" round =$33 (11-22 servings)
10" round = $45 (15-30 servings)
9x13 (1 layer, no filling) = $45
9x13 (2 layer, with filling) = $90

Am I crazy? Are my prices way off? She had said 'can I just ask why you prices are so high?" and I replied, well it's about all the time and labour put into each cake. I have to bake, fill and decorate each cake, to create a custom piece for each customer. It's paying for my art and talent, quality ingredients, supplies, and utilities"
Does everyone have to 'justify' their pricing? I was a little offended that I was asked to justify it. Hubby overheard the conversation and said "did you just have to validate your pricing and talent? " "yes dear, I did" and he replied "that is ridiculous, and a little rude, in my opinion"

I just need a little support and advice. I don't feel that I'm off in my pricing, most people seem willing to pay it, and ecstatic to get a cake that isn't from walmart. But am I getting conceited and charging beyond what I should be?

Help!

14 replies
alicegop Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 4:57am
post #2 of 15

Not crazy, and just remember you do NOT feel bad for not competing with Walmart/costco. If that is what they are in the market for, then you did NOT lose a sale, they were looking for something you don't do.... c-rap.

waterlily Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 4:59am
post #3 of 15

It all really depends on the area you live in, and what other bakers are charging for their work. Im not talking about the discount grocery bakers either.

TandTHarrell Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 5:03am
post #4 of 15

To some you might be to expensive, and to others the price might be just right. However I think the prices are a little pricey but then again who am I to say. These are my prices...

1 layer 9x13.... $35.00

2 layer or 1/2 sheet (same thing) $45.00

Full sheet $90.00

The pics on the site are kinda old... My web site cakes are more up to date. Like they say, always go with your gut feeling.....

uschi1 Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 5:03am
post #5 of 15

I can't comment on the pricing because I have enough trouble in this regard. I usually charge too little...

I don't think it's rude for a customer to ask why your prices are what they are. There is a big difference when you use IMBC as opposed to a Crisco type buttercream, filling vs. no filling, and so on. I usually make sure my customers know that I use real butter, Philadelphia cream cheese instead of the generic brand, etc. All these things add to the cost and are reflected in the price.

Did you end up getting the order?

Ruth0209 Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 5:06am
post #6 of 15

Your prices seem very reasonable to me. I bake out of my home and have pretty modest pricing as well, but when people ask me "How much do your cakes cost?", after I give them the same speech about number of servings, complexity, etc., I add that my cakes generally START at $45. I just won't charge less than $40 for a cake anymore, and that is for a fairly simple 8" cake. I recommend that you simply say, "My cakes are custom pieces. You pay for the quality and freshness of the cake and for the artistic talent it takes to create a custom piece just for you." and leave it at that. Let the awkward pause after that statement speak for itself, then she can take it or leave it. I don't think you need to justify your price by giving her a breakdown of your costs. That's just insulting to you and REALLY rude of her. Do you suppose she'd ask that of a crafts person when she was buying a custom decoration or piece of furniture for her home. What a dolt.

mommyle Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 5:08am
post #7 of 15

I am glad that you justified yourself. Now she knows that you are worth it! And she will pass it on. "I KNOW it's a bit much, but it is SO worth it!"
Thanks for standing up for yourself!

servingzero Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 11:57am
post #8 of 15

Thanks everyone for responding.
She said that she'd get back to me after she talked to her sister etc. She had even asked if I could make a cruise ship cake (sculpted) for a wedding. I said of course. That much leads me to believe that she wants custom cakes, and hopefully she'll be willing to pay for a unique cake.

I'm just glad to hear that I'm not crazy. I must admit that the sheet prices always seem a little high to me, but if you price per serving, I'm low-balling it.

I just have to stick to my guns I suppose. Grow a pair, and be ready to say 'thats the price, accept it, or there's walmart over there'

tippyad Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 12:07pm
post #9 of 15

IMHO it looks like you're underpricing yourself on the 9" and 10" rounds if they are 2-layered cakes. I use as much batter in my 9" 2-layer rounds as I do my 9X13.

Or are these only 1-layer cakes?

2sdae Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 12:08pm
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by servingzero

Thanks everyone for responding.
She said that she'd get back to me after she talked to her sister etc. She had even asked if I could make a cruise ship cake (sculpted) for a wedding. I said of course. That much leads me to believe that she wants custom cakes, and hopefully she'll be willing to pay for a unique cake.

I'm just glad to hear that I'm not crazy. I must admit that the sheet prices always seem a little high to me, but if you price per serving, I'm low-balling it.

I just have to stick to my guns I suppose. Grow a pair, and be ready to say 'thats the price, accept it, or there's walmart over there'



It's a hard lesson at first, but it does pay off in long run. thumbs_up.gif

mom42ws Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 12:09pm
post #11 of 15

hmmm, i think i charge way too much but people seem to pay it and be pleased with my cakes, although i feel there is much room for improvement. based on what others are charging in my area and posts i have read here i charge 2.50 a serv. for bc and 3.00 for fondant. if it's a sheet cake 1 layer, i charge 1.50 per serving.

i'm completely lost on charging for cupcakes right now. some posts have said they are the same size as a serving of cake so why not charge the same? so i have booked a wedding in october for 150 cupcakes at 2.50 each (each of them have a fondant flower on them) and i also charged them the 2.50/serv. for their 6" round on the top.

doing everthing from scratch takes a lot of time and if it's not at least a $35-40 order i don't do it.

indydebi Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 1:26pm
post #12 of 15

In the couple of times I've had people question my pricing like that, I've told them, "Because I'm not Walmart. I dont' buy billions of pounds of ingredients at one time to get lower than rock bottom pricing. I also don't order my cakes from some mass-producing bakery and have them shipped in already baked, iced and frozen. Mine are custom made to-order only." I then suggest if they are looking for a mass produced "regular" cake, they might check out walmart, which is just 3 minutes down the road from me.

servingzero Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 7:02pm
post #13 of 15

Haha, indydebi that is perfect! I'm going to start slipping in those facts!

I will also point out that I've had quite a few people order from me, and RAVE about the cakes. They love how tasty they are, and how well executed they are. So I know that alot of people are certainly willing to pay this price... I just have to realize that not everyone will want to. Some people just look at the price tag, not the taste, quality, or workmanship.

Thanks everyone for the help. I'm feeling much less 'crazy' today now that I can reflect on the fact that I'm not overcharging.

tippyad, my 9 and 10" round are 2 layers, normally 2" layers. You think I'm underpricing them? I've been charging 1.50/serving and it says a 9" serves 22, but a 9x13 serves 60.
I don't know, I get confused sometimes. is 1.50/serving of a 4" high cake too litte??

alicegop Posted 3 Apr 2008 , 9:46pm
post #14 of 15

No matter the size of the cake = 3 HOURS MINIMUM of my time.

Walmart.... 10 minutes I hear.... even if I'm not accurate on that time, still not 3 hours!


3 hours times minimum wage plus ingredients = ....

Minimum wage in CA is $8 an hour so 8x3=24 + maybe $20 in ingredients makes a MINIMUM $44 order. Are you going to deliver that cake? How about gas and wear and tear on your car? Are you going to have to order happy meals for your kids because you are tearing up the kitchen? What is the price you need to pay your family and kids for the time they don't get to spend with you and the mess you've made of your kitchen? What about electricity and soap to bake and wash all the pans and tips, etc... What about all the capital you put into your business in terms of pans, tips, luster dust, plunger cutters, AGBAY slicer, cake plates, decorating bags, cake stands, etc.... How much room of your house does all of this take up, the IRS allows you to deduct dedicated space out of your house because that is unusable space for other purposes.....

HOWEVER, I feel very strongly we should make a lot more than minimum wage!!! What minimum wage worker needs to spend massive hours practicing their skills, pay for their own training, buy their own equipment, etc..... Hey, we have mad skills here people!!!

Now I don't expect to be paid the same as I do for my job that requires a college degree and significant additional training.... but I don't think that at least twice minimum wage is asking too much!!!

Sooooo.....

3x$16 + $20 + electricity + soap + loss of family time + gas + delivery time + cost of eating out because you were baking......means that you should not even think of doing a cake for less than $50!

Tellis12 Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 1:49am
post #15 of 15

I've just started selling cakes and I've put my price for buttercream at 2.25 a serving. I do a 9" round, 3 layers, which serves 20 and it's $45. I think thats a little low but I want people to keep buying and put the word out. It barely covers my time and ingredients but it's just a little bit under what other cakes are selling for in my area. Good luck figuring it out. But you are definitely not expensive and I would say "underpriced."

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