Should I Have Charged More For This Cake?

Business By Trixyinaz Updated 26 Apr 2008 , 2:03am by yaadie

Trixyinaz Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 1:53pm
post #1 of 24

I've never done a sheet cake before so I was a bit clueless. I did my pricing in excel and it came to around $31 (all scratch), which includes electricty, supplies, ingredients, etc. My customer paid me $75. So when I initially asked when I first got the order, some people on CC thought I should sell it for around 40 or 45 dollars, but that just seemed too low (that wouldn't even be a $1 per serving). I'd be making like a dollar an hour on top of that. This is a 9 x 13 double layer scratch cake (chocolate) with scratch raspberry filling (fresh fruit, not frozen) with buttercream icing and decorations with royal icing trees and then the plastic golf guy and flag. Depending on how she cuts it, it can feed up to 54 people - even tho they are only serving 25-30 ppl. If I went by my $2.00 a serving rule, I should have sold this cake for $108. But, I felt that was too high.

Then I got to work this morning after delivering the cake (she works with me) and emailed the pics to my cake supporters, and one of the ladies thought I undersold myself and that she was thinking a cake this size with all the decorations that I did should go for at least $100. Now I'm second guessing myself - I should have stuck with my $2.00 per serving matrix. icon_confused.gif

Thoughts?
LL

23 replies
ccr03 Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 3:39pm
post #2 of 24

I guess technically, yeah it does feed 54 (4x2x1) and at $2 a serving you could charge $108.

Personally, though, consider that a quarter sheet cake and I think that's too high. I would have charged $35 - but I calculated bigger slice and have a flat rate for sheet cakes.
I am also of the philosophy that 1. I like a lot of cake and 2. beautiful, customized cakes can be affordable to all. This isn't to say I'm going to cut myself short, but that is my philosophy. Also, I'm a mix baker - which I know makes a difference.

leily Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 5:34pm
post #3 of 24

Did you charge enough? that all depends on how much you want to earn per hour.

You said your supplies were around $30. So you have $45 left over after paying for supplies, but what about gas to go to the store, electricity and gas to run your appliances and the water to wash your dishes?

Then how many hours did you work on it? even at $10/hr you would have only been able to spend 4.5 hrs on it (that includes going to the store, making the cake AND waiting for it to bake and cool, then decorating it and cleaning up)

So I would break it down per hour and see if you are happy with what you earned per hour. If you aren't then no you didn't charge enough.

lovetofrost Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 5:54pm
post #4 of 24

I charge $40 for a basic 1/4 sheet with all buttercream icing decorations and I bake from box mixes as well. I think you should have charged more for it. I would have charged $2 a serving since it is more of a custom cake. The cake looks great though.

delisa01 Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 6:09pm
post #5 of 24

Okay- I don't have alot of experience selling cakes, but you said that this is a double layer 9 x 13 with scratch ingredients. So it is about 4 inches high and serves 54. I would stick to my price per serving matrix. It doesn't matter if it is a sheet cake or round. It is the same to me. Don't cut yourself short.

Delia

springlakecake Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 6:16pm
post #6 of 24

I think you charged a pretty good price. For me, I would probably charge for party size servings (rather than wedding slices) Maybe a 1x3x4 inch piece, which would be about 39 pieces...so total of $78 at $2 at serving.

cerobs Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 6:24pm
post #7 of 24

SO NOW I NEED TO KNOW HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE FOR A 9X13 OR 11X14 OR 10ROUND(3IN) PAN
ALL MY PANS ARE 3IN ROUND OR SQ
6IN
8IN
10IN
12IN

aswartzw Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 6:26pm
post #8 of 24

Something else to consider: Did you use a serving chart for wedding cakes or birthday cakes? In general, birthday cake slices are larger than wedding cakes.

In my opinion, I think you charged a pretty good deal. I agree with the others that $40 would probably be closer because you did do a double layer and a special filling but I definitely wouldn't have charged more than $50.

bakincakin Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 6:56pm
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccr03

I guess technically, yeah it does feed 54 (4x2x1) and at $2 a serving you could charge $108.

Personally, though, consider that a quarter sheet cake and I think that's too high. I would have charged $35 - but I calculated bigger slice and have a flat rate for sheet cakes.
I am also of the philosophy that 1. I like a lot of cake and 2. beautiful, customized cakes can be affordable to all. This isn't to say I'm going to cut myself short, but that is my philosophy. Also, I'm a mix baker - which I know makes a difference.




I agree. I would have charged $40-$45 for the cake. It is beautiful by the way.

sweetcakes Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 7:08pm
post #10 of 24

i would have charged $35- $40, thats one layer split and filled, i bake in 3" pans, so they generally end up abut 3" once decorated. personally i feel a 9x13 cake thats 4" high is too high, but thats just me. so id say your pricing was pretty fair.

mommycakediva Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 7:14pm
post #11 of 24

I would have charged a bit less, but ppl. here don't like to pay much so I can't charge any higher! But I think that is a fair price.

Iheartcake Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 7:21pm
post #12 of 24

I think if you can get $75, and feel confident that you are not over-pricing/under-pricing.. then go for it! I personally do not think I could get $75 for a 9X13 double layer.. but that's just me. I would be charging around the $40 mark.

dinas27 Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 7:26pm
post #13 of 24

I think that you should stick to your original pricing. Cake is cake, it does not make a difference what shape it is! despite what people say a 4x2x1 slice of cake is a pretty decent size. Cake is not meant to be a meal... dont get me wrong, I love big slices of cake but I find that if I cut myself a regular slice I dont miss the extra that I would have cut previously. Our society is too obsessed with supersizing things! I have decided to set my pricing at $2.50 per serving for family and friends (I dont sell out of that group). I estimate my costs at $1 per serving (I bake from scratch all fresh high quality ingredients and cake boards, dusts,gas etc), then i figured out how much I would need to be paid to make it worth giving up time with my husband.

My COSTS would have been about as much as some people are suggesting you charge... I am not going to work for free! And you need to look at your market.. you've already had someone tell you that it was worth at least $100, thats the clientele you want.[/i]

Edit Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 7:29pm
post #14 of 24

It doesn't matter if it is a rectangular shaped cake, if you put a lot of work into it, you have to charge accordingly. I don't think you charged too much for it, especially if you put quality ingredients into the cake, it can add up. (fresh raspberries for instance).
Before I take an order, I give the customer a couple options to choose from (cheaper and more expensive ideas too, depending on the time I would spend with her cake) and let her decide which one she chooses. No surprises at delivery. I figured out, if I always give them a price only for the cheapest cake, I would never get to make any chalenging or more elegantly decorated cakes. Sometimes they pick the cheapest option, sometimes the priciest. It depends on the occasion and they wallet.
I offer sheetcakes as an option (cheaper) but I say it's one layer and minimally decorated. If they want a more complicated desing on it, the price will be calculated accordingly.

hubermomof4 Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 7:45pm
post #15 of 24

i try to look at the prices at local bakeries. we have a really nice one that does rect, round, and 3D cakes (not just your basic grocery store bakery prices) and i try to make mine comparable to those. OR you can look online at what the avg. baker in your area makes per hour and charge that, but i personally prefer flat rate prices.

Trixyinaz Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 7:45pm
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcakes

i would have charged $35- $40, thats one layer split and filled, i bake in 3" pans, so they generally end up abut 3" once decorated. personally i feel a 9x13 cake thats 4" high is too high, but thats just me. so id say your pricing was pretty fair.




No, mine are not one layer split and filled. I make two 2" cakes and use about 1.5 batches of icing. This stuff aint cheap! I just don't know how anyone can may any money this type of cake for 35 or 45 dollars. Again, I bake from scratch.

I guess I do need to go with my original matrix. I'll go off the advise I once got...a cake is cake no matter what shape it is in. Charge for the maximum number of slices that cake can cut and charge per serving. Apparently there are people out there willing to pay $100 for a cake like this....so that's what I'm gonna do.

Quote:
Quote:

My COSTS would have been about as much as some people are suggesting you charge... I am not going to work for free! And you need to look at your market.. you've already had someone tell you that it was worth at least $100, thats the clientele you want.




You are right. Thanks everyone for your replies.

yaadie Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 7:48pm
post #17 of 24

I did a very similiar cake recently and I had created my own price sheet on excel based on my supply (I am a mix baker right now). my cake was the same size and my fee for that was $59.85CAD. This is based on MY supply cost. I work ina small company and my boss advised me to take your supply cost and triple it, 1/3 for supplies, 1/3 labour and 1/3 toward profit. As a beginner it is a fair markup until you establish a client base and a reputation and then you can charge higher based on your name. I don't know what your situation is so it is something you have to think about yourself, if you are going to use dthat same markup, make sure it is YOUR supply cost as a scratch baker!!! I attached the pic of my cake that was chocolate and buttercream
LL

Trixyinaz Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 9:04pm
post #18 of 24

I love your cake! It turned out GREAT!!!! Are your trees buttercream?

mkolmar Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 10:34pm
post #19 of 24

Honestly, I think your pricing is fine. Scratch cakes cost more and you made 2 layers plus decorated it awesome. With it being a 2 layer the slices of cake would and should be cut smaller than a single layer. If you only charged $45 you might as well close up shop because you would have made only $10 in profit for hours worth of work, that's just bad business. You priced this out fine for yourself and that's what matters. If the customer didn't complain that don't worry about it. I see that you are in MI also. Where I'm at people are cheap but I'm not catering to them. I cater to the people who are willing to pay my prices. What do you want to make per hour? That's the main question.

FromScratch Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 11:42pm
post #20 of 24

Yes.. stick with your prices. That's a good sized cake. It's not a 1/4 sheet cake.. it's 2.. sheetcakes are generally one layer of cake with icing.. yours is 2 layers with homemade filling and a lot of custom decoration. I wold have charged $200 for a cake that size.. I like round numbers so I'd say 50 servings and $4/serving. That cake would cost me $50 to make.. I bake from scratch too so I understand. Your price from your matrix is more than fair. If people want a cheap sheetcake they can go to walmart.

And anyone who thinks that they CAN'T get better prices for their cakes can blame themselves.. you sell yourself short and people aren't going to value what you do. I price my cakes in the upper price bracket.. do I have people hear the price and never call back? Sure do.. but I do get business.. and I'd rather make one cake for $200 than 10 cakes for $20..

Amy729 Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 11:52pm
post #21 of 24

jkalman,

I totally agree. A friend of mine said she overheard someone talking about my cakes to another person. They were saying that my cakes were really good and beautiful but I was expensive.

When she told me that, I just smiled and said "that's right". That is how I want to be perceived.

Charging what I feel my work is worth hasn't left me without cakes to make. I still have to turn down cakes because I am so busy.

People will be willing to spend if you find the right ones that really appriciate what you do.

costumeczar Posted 26 Apr 2008 , 12:06am
post #22 of 24

I bake from scratch, too...For a 2-layered 9x13 I'd calculate that it would serve 52, and I'd charge 3.25 a serving for something that I'd decorated. If it was just iced smooth (like a sheet for the kitchen at a wedding) I'd charge the discount price of $3 a serving icon_lol.gif So I'd be charging $169 for the cake that you made. I don't care if they cut the pieces huge, I calculate that it's a certain number of servings so that I can cover my costs of ingredients, time, insurance, advertising, etc etc that also need to be covered. If they think it's too expensive that's fine, because there will always be someone coming along who enjoys quality instead of walmart. I did a teapot cake today that served 15, and I charged $65 for it, so just stick to your pricing and don't apologize for it.

apclassicwed Posted 26 Apr 2008 , 1:08am
post #23 of 24

Vickie--
First: Nice cake! love the golf theme and your execution is great
Second: If you are getting feedback to raise your price then do so! It's best to start out getting what your talent is worth than to raise your prices a tiny bit at a time!
I like costumeczar's pricing : a base price for just iced smooth and an additional price for the extra details (because the details can vay)
I've just raised my prices and the people who are my regulars were fine with it and continue to place orders!

yaadie Posted 26 Apr 2008 , 2:03am
post #24 of 24

glad you liked my cake. yes, my trees were butter cream, but with a fondant cone base for stability, then I piped #16 stars by pulling them out a bit long. There is a close up pic of the green in my photos, I think you may see the trees a bit better...

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