First Paying Customer...price Too Much?

Business By lovetofrost Updated 17 May 2008 , 10:47pm by littlecake

lovetofrost Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 2:42pm
post #1 of 34

I need some advice. I am making a cake for my very first customer which happens to be my SIL. I am still debating on my price list for my business. So when I added up the total cost for this cake I'm doing for her I was a little sticker shocked. Am I charging too much or is it just me? I was planning on giving her a 40% discount for being family (DH suggestion). When I do the math it all adds up to $108.00. With the discount it is $65.00. This is for her daughters 1st birthday. She wants it exactly like the pic, but maybe different colors and less cupcakes (apx. 24) I just want to know if everybody else has prices like that or is it just me. This is the link for my inspriation. Thanks socake.

33 replies
beccakelly Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 2:48pm
post #2 of 34

i think what you should ask yourself is: after its over will you feel ripped off if you sell it for only $65.00? i would.

i would easily charge $72 just for the 24 cupcakes (those fondant lady bug heads and flowers are going to be a pain to do).

family members usually make terrible customers. i cater to people who want to spend hundreds of dollars on cake for their events. my family is not in that group, nor am i! i think most of our family/co workers aren't either. so, either charge her what you deserve, or offer it at cost as a gift because they're family. if you try to meet in the middle, you'll get frustrated because you are getting so underpaid and your family will probably still think your over priced.

goal4me Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 2:53pm
post #3 of 34

Would do as a gift....

aliciag Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 2:57pm
post #4 of 34

I'm with Beccakelly.
Do it for cost or full price not in the middle.
She will feel like she paid you good money and you will feel like you gave it away....

mom42ws Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 3:05pm
post #5 of 34

For me, I offer 20% off for family and 10% for friends. I had to do this becuase I had a friend always wanting a lot of cake for nothing. But, you can't just give cakes away to family and friends because initially they are going to be your main customer base. Well, at least that's how it's been for me.

I do agree, either do it as a gift or charge more. Good luck!

summernoelle Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 3:07pm
post #6 of 34

Wow. She is getting a deal! That is a lot of work....

woodthi32 Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 3:17pm
post #7 of 34

$65 is a STEAL. 40% is a huge discount. Will that cover your supplies?

woodthi32 Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 3:18pm
post #8 of 34

$65 is a STEAL. 40% is a huge discount. Will that cover your supplies?

Auryn Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 3:19pm
post #9 of 34

break it down to how much you would be making per hr after covering the costs
is it worth it to you??

that cake looks like a lot of work

and remind your husband that your not free labor- id be upset if he told me to give such a steep discount

im with everyone else
either do it as a gift or charge her full price- maybe a 10 to 15% disocunt

ccr03 Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 3:24pm
post #10 of 34

beccakelly brings up a good point. You need to figure out what you want your target market is. For me it's people who wants a good, creative, pretty cake for a reasonable price - a market I would be a part of.

So, being that this is my philosophy towards cakes, I would charge $2 a cupcake for the fondant (2x24=4icon_cool.gif and that cake looks like a 10" so that would be 30x$2=60 for a grand total of $108. I however would give a 40% discount. The most I give for family is 20% - so that would be $86.4, and I round up so $85.


mommycakediva Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 3:25pm
post #11 of 34

Ya family is hard to do cakes for, my one sister never wants to pay more than $20, the other wants to pay full price no matter what she says the cakes are so worth it. Its nice she says that, and she sees how much work a detailed cake can be!

terri76 Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 3:27pm
post #12 of 34

I would definately charge more. This is so cute, but lots of details and alot of your time taken to get it just right. I'm the same way you are, I feel like I'm over charging all the time and I'm always wanting to take some off the price for people I know. My husband keeps me grounded because he knows how much time I spend on a cake b/c I'm so anal and want it perfect.

So...charge what you feel is right but don't cut yourself short. If people (non cake people,family & friends) knew how much time and effort go into a cake especially one like this, they wouldn't expect anything less than regular paying customers.

Good Luck!

pastryjen Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 3:28pm
post #13 of 34

I'd do it for cost of the ingredients, the labour?...a gift.

Make sure to mention that the materials will cost X and then the x amount of hour will be my gift so that she gets the idea that cakes are not cheap.

Shyanne_Mommy Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 3:41pm
post #14 of 34

You know I have started to learn weather friends or family if they are will to pay...then have them pay for what they requested....I would only give a 10 to 15% discount....Your time is worth money too.....and considering you will be making that cake you posted....I would charge almost full, price and if you are second guessing take the picture to a bakery and see how much they would charge, and then compair your price to theirs and if SIL has a problem tell her what another baker is willing to charge. HTH


mezzaluna Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 3:46pm
post #15 of 34

Cute cake.

I'd kick my DH in the 'nads if he ever suggested such a hefty discount.

65$ is way low... look at all those futzy details on those cuppies!! If you really feel compelled to give such an enormous discount, write out an invoice for what you would really charge and then have a line where is says 40% discount... so she knows how much the cake was really worth.

mommarivera Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 3:53pm
post #16 of 34

When family members or GOOD friends ask me to make them a cake I have always just given the cake as the birthday gift. I want other potential clients at the party to see what I can do and I just got a REAL cake order that is not family or a friend from one of the gifted cakes. I am so EXCITED!!!

Guera Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 4:11pm
post #17 of 34
Originally Posted by pastryjen

I'd do it for cost of the ingredients, the labour?...a gift.

Make sure to mention that the materials will cost X and then the x amount of hour will be my gift so that she gets the idea that cakes are not cheap.

I'm with her. My sister tells me I charge too much to her friends, and next week I have to make a cake for her and i asked her to go and buy the ingredients and supplies herself so she would realize they are not cheap and you have to invest time in that also.

I would defenitely charge for the ingredients and tell her you won't charge the x dlls. for your labour.

amytracy1981 Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 4:15pm
post #18 of 34

Oh Gosh! I only make cakes for family and I just hate telling them how much it's going to cost them. I only charge for supplies and for some reason I can not bring myself to quote any price over $40. I'm such a wimp icon_redface.gificon_cry.gif
The last cake I made ended up costing me $50 to make. I told my MIL it would be $40 and she only ended up giving me $30 for it! icon_mad.gificon_cry.gif
I have another cake coming up this weekend again for my MIL and I am just dreading telling her the cost.

I say at least charge her what it is going to cost you to make it. Don't end up losing money on your cakes like I do.

mezzaluna Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 4:18pm
post #19 of 34

well, amytracy.... stop paying your customers to order your cakes. Look in the mirror and practice saying no. No one, even MIL, can take advantage of you without your permission.

amytracy1981 Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 4:19pm
post #20 of 34

Good Idea! That is what I should do. Make my family buy the supplies for their own cakes! Then they'll see that I am not trying to just make money off them. Because I am not making any. I'm losing money icon_cry.gif

slb1956 Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 4:39pm
post #21 of 34

I've had the same problem, familyand friends are the
worst. My daughter's best friend asked for a birthday cake, to serve 20 with an edible image..I quoted $30 which is $1.50/serving and she said it was to much..My daughter then got upset with me. because she said she wouldn't pay that either Well, its because she gets all her family birthday cakes free from me..My daughter felt I should have given her a discount since she was her best friend..Can't win for loosing....

poshcakedesigns Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 4:46pm
post #22 of 34

Wow that's a huge discount.

I agree with the others either do it as a gift or charge a little more. That's going to be a lot of work.

CakeDiva73 Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 6:01pm
post #23 of 34

That is an incredibly cute but labor intensive cake....I'm sorry but I think your regular price was way too low. And maybe I am a "B" but I wouldn't do it as a gift. It's just too much work...she obviously wants the best so she should be willing to pay for the best.

I think it's nice you want to discount buy OY! Those cupcakes should be $2.50 - $3 a piece and the cake about $65. I am just pulling these prices out of my you-know-what but when I look at that picture, I see HOURS AND HOURS of work.

Auryn Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 10:53am
post #24 of 34

when you guys charge your families only the cost of the ingredients
are you considering the cost of electricity for running the oven? what about the fuel to get to the store and back??

FromScratch Posted 9 Apr 2008 , 12:09am
post #25 of 34

I'm with Mezzaluna.. DH would get a swift kick in the short and hairy's and I would charge more. Now being that it's for family.. that's a little different. I do immediate family for free if I offer to make a cake. If they ask then they will pay for the ingredients. I often give discounts for friends, but not 40% I'd charge $5/cuppie and $6/serving for the cake.

Make sure that you aren't paying them to order a cake from you.

indydebi Posted 9 Apr 2008 , 2:31am
post #26 of 34

You guys will remember my story about when my husband wanted me to give a chocolate fountain free to a bride/groom who were friends of ours? I'd already discounted them a lot and I couldn't do it. He volunteered to pay for it. I said sure. Told him $750. His face went white and he said, "You're not going to really make me pay that are you?"

I said.......

"Get your checkbook, babycakes, and I also take credit cards."

When hubby wants you to discount, you look him in the eye and tell him how WONDERFUL he is to volunteer to pay the difference ... hold out your hand and say "$43, please!"

lovetofrost Posted 17 May 2008 , 11:56am
post #27 of 34

Here is my version of the cake my SIL requested, but not as fancy of course. I will be charging $42 does that sound about right? I did 24 cupcakes. Thanks for all your advice.

MikeRowesHunny Posted 17 May 2008 , 12:46pm
post #28 of 34
Originally Posted by lovetofrost

Here is my version of the cake my SIL requested, but not as fancy of course. I will be charging $42 does that sound about right? I did 24 cupcakes. Thanks for all your advice.

It sounds about right if you are doing it at cost only! That's a cute cake combo! If I were doing that and charging full price, I would charge $3 for the cupcakes and $3 per serving for the other cake (and I have a minimum of $50 for any cake). I only give 10% discount for friends & family too - my time & talent cost money!

pastryjen Posted 17 May 2008 , 1:46pm
post #29 of 34

If you are happy with the fee then you charged the right...if you are bitter about all the work you did then you need to charge more next time.

Very cute cakes.

cakesbycathy Posted 17 May 2008 , 8:57pm
post #30 of 34

IMO, the problem with doing cakes for cost (whether it is for family or friends or whoever) is that people often do not recognize what the value of your labor is. It can be hard for someone to really appreciate all the time and hard work that goes into a cake, especially if all they think is "This cake costs $25."
Any time I make a cake for cost (which is almost never), I give the customer an invoice showing them what the cake would have cost them if they paid full price.

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