How Much To Charge???

Decorating By serenelui Updated 4 Apr 2008 , 4:36pm by darjeelingjane

serenelui Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 9:23am
post #1 of 8

hi all.. could anyone tell me how much i should charge if i do little toppers for cupcakes?

I recently did 9 bears and 16 small bees to put on 9 regular sized cupcakes and 16 mini cupcakes. However, i actually didn't charge anything for doing up the cupcake toppers.. only charged the person the cupcakes. At present, I'm charging about $3 for regular sized cupcakes and $1.50 for mini ones. Can anyone tell me how much i should charge for the toppers?

Here's the link to the cupcakes i did...

Please can anyone help me with a pricing guideline.. cos I've gotten additional orders for these cupcakes and i really don't know what to charge for them.. please help!!

7 replies
serenelui Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 2:33pm
post #2 of 8


kelleym Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 2:56pm
post #3 of 8

Those are absolutely adorable, and they look extremely labor intensive. My suggestion is to figure out how much the materials cost you, and then see how many bears/bees you can make in an hour, and apply an hourly rate. If you can make 5 bears in an hour and you want to make $15/hr, then the bears should be at least $3/each (plus cost). Make sense? icon_smile.gif

serenelui Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 3:41pm
post #4 of 8

Hi kelleym... thanks for the compliment on my cupcakes.. problem is i'm still a newbie at doing these toppers and as such, i take pretty long to make one bear :p so.... if i were to charge per man hours.. the cost would probably be exorbitant considering how slow i am.. icon_redface.gif

I get what you mean though about the man hour cost... icon_smile.gif When i get better i probably will use the man hour as a guideline. Thanks so much icon_smile.gif

However, for my present scenario... can i assume that making 5 bears in an hour is pretty standard in terms of the timing.. :p cos i seriously have no idea how fast a professional for example can make these :p and i don't want to overcharge anyone icon_smile.gif

darjeelingjane Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 4:03pm
post #5 of 8

one general rule of thumb is to charge three times the ingredient cost. then i add on if it is something that is extra time consuming or i don't want to do too often! if you enjoy doing them and like being paid even a little to learn something new, keep them relatively cheap, but if they are a big PAIN make sure you are charging enough. my take, too, is that this sort of thing really depends on the market. what people in one town are willing to pay might be completely out of whack with what folks in another town think is reasonable, so scope out the competition!

serenelui Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 4:11pm
post #6 of 8

Hi darjeelingjane... haha.. that's so true about charging lots if you find it a pain to do.. icon_smile.gif as for the competition, I haven't really seen such toppers where I'm from so I can't really do a comparison to competitors. However your rule of thumb was really helpful!!! icon_smile.gif Thanks so much icon_smile.gif

kelleym Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 4:11pm
post #7 of 8

The problem is, you won't find any "competition" doing figurines like these, because they are so time-intensive. Even my local custom bakery refuses to do hand-molded fondant figures - they will pipe an animal in buttercream instead. You might find Charm City Cakes or Colette Peters doing hand-molded figures, but with the $$price tag$$ to match. If you find you can't do them fast enough to make them profitable, it's probably a good idea to only do them if you want to, and enjoy it. Yes, most people would get sticker shock if you charged what they were worth, which I personally think is $4-5/each for the bears, and $2/each for the bees. (Btw, the book Icing on the Cake by Shalini LaTour has wonderful instructions for piping royal icing bees that would be much, much faster than hand-molding, and look very similar to yours!)

The "multiply the cost times 3" method of pricing I find to be random and highly unprofitable, especially for skilled, labor-intensive work like hand-molding. If the fondant costs you $.25/each for the bears, does that mean they're worth $.75? No, no, no. You can find more of my extensive thoughts on pricing here. icon_smile.gif

darjeelingjane Posted 4 Apr 2008 , 4:36pm
post #8 of 8

"If the fondant costs you $.25/each for the bears, does that mean they're worth $.75?"

that's why i add on for fussy stuff. i agree they are worth about $4/$2. but in my nack of the woods we couldn't sell a cupcake for $3, only abut 1.50. so the price of the original cupcake effects it, too. myabe you could compromise on $3 for the bears and $1.50 for the bees, which in actuallity might take just as long. (smaller does not mean faster!!!) in the end it has to be a price that makes it worth your time and money. the fact that no one else is doing them might be a key that it can't really be done for a price that anyone is willing to pay!! but if you LIKE doing them, than it is worth it to you to do them for less.

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