Selling Cakes To Friends...

Decorating By Kay_NL Updated 28 Apr 2008 , 5:32pm by yellobutterfly

Kay_NL Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 12:28pm
post #1 of 13

I've had really god luck with selling cakes to friends up to this point, they've always paid me what I charged, never questioned, gave very positive feedback.

So now I have a very very good friend who asked me to make her daughter's cake. She wanted a teddy bear picnic cake like the wilton one (2 mini stand up bear pans with square pan in middle) but I sent her some design options and she selected a tiered (10 inch, 6 inch) cake with buttercream, fondant accents, fondant bears having a picnic on top.

When I told her it would be $50 she was shocked and told me the guy she used last year (for a standard sheet cake with a picture drawn on it) was $30. ARRRGGHHH. She asked if the price was mostly to pay for my time and I told her I would barely make a profit at that price.

I'm starting to see that business between friends is not always a good idea.

12 replies
indydebi Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 12:40pm
post #2 of 13

ask her how much her gas and eggs cost her last year? icon_confused.gif

HerBoudoir Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 2:18pm
post #3 of 13

The $50 "friend" price from me only gets you an 8 inch BC cake with simple BC designs.

Folks are too used to thinking cake = $2 for the box mix and $2 for canned frosting.

indydebi Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 2:25pm
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kay_NL

....she selected a tiered (10 inch, 6 inch) cake with buttercream, fondant accents, fondant bears having a picnic on top.
...... and told me the guy she used last year (for a standard sheet cake with a picture drawn on it) was $30.




debi: I'd like to order a ribeye steak. how much is that?
waiter: $17
debi: What? I got a hamburger here last year and it was only $6!

When you order something different, you pay a different price. DUH!!!!!!!!!

HerBoudoir Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 2:29pm
post #5 of 13

$17 for a ribeye? Where I work, it's $34. Of course, that gets you an 18 ounce fire grilled prime ribeye at a table with a waterview.

TexasSugar Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 3:51pm
post #6 of 13

You have to train them and explain to them that a sheet cake with a picture on it is NOT the same cake as a tiered cake with fondant on it.

If she wants a $30 sheet cake tell her to go back to that guy and get one! Then you would get to enjoy your day.

If she wants a fondant tiered cake then that costs more, and frankly hun, your time to do it is worth alot more than $50 that would barely cover your supplies.

I think it is time you educate your friend on the cost of items that go into the cake. A double layer 10 in and a double layer 6in takes 3 cakes mixes, plus everything that goes in them, plus how many batches of icing, and the cake boards, dowels or pillars, fondant and all the little things. I wouldn't give her a price list of what it costs you but I'd tell her that you were losing money making the cake and that price does not cover the time away from YOUR family while you are baking, icing and decorating the cake.

I've heard of people asking someone who balked at the price how much they made per hour and why they weren't allowed to make the same thing or why they should make only $2 an hour.

Even if you are just starting out, you have to figure your prices including your time. One of the biggest things that lead to burn out is a cake decorator spending hours of their time on a cake and getting only enough to cover the ingredients. You will start to resent doing cakes and hate being in the kitchen giving away your product.

My brother is my best customer. What ever I tell him the cake costs he always pays me more, because he understand that time and work I put into them. 90% of the time though people aren't going to pay you more if you keep asking for less.

Kay_NL Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 3:58pm
post #7 of 13

I told her I didn't feel that I had to defend the price and that it was unlikely I would make any profit on this one. icon_sad.gif I'm a little bitter about the whole thing because I got a request for a cake from a stranger! So far I have only made them for people that I've met along the way, not close friends...

Thanks for understanding everybody!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar


I think it is time you educate your friend on the cost of items that go into the cake. A double layer 10 in and a double layer 6in takes 3 cakes mixes, plus everything that goes in them, plus how many batches of icing, and the cake boards, dowels or pillars, fondant and all the little things. I wouldn't give her a price list of what it costs you but I'd tell her that you were losing money making the cake and that price does not cover the time away from YOUR family while you are baking, icing and decorating the cake.


Dutch204 Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 4:30pm
post #8 of 13

I learned a long time ago not to feel guilty about what I charge for cakes (even though I occassionally still do guilt myself). When I took the Wilton class years ago, the instructor told us that we should charge more because bakeries, etc. have the advantage of quantity discounts for supplies and materials that we do not have as individuals. Over the weekend, I sold 60 petit fours for $120.00 ($2.00 each) that I literally spent hours on with my cost coming to $84.00!! Do the math.....

doreenre Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 4:56pm
post #9 of 13

Don't short yourself and if she does decide to use your cake, give her an itemized bill with all your ingredients and include your time. It will probably more than what you're actually charging her and she'll realize that she's getting a great deal from a talented and generous friend.

TexasSugar Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 4:58pm
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kay_NL

I told her I didn't feel that I had to defend the price and that it was unlikely I would make any profit on this one. icon_sad.gif I'm a little bitter about the whole thing because I got a request for a cake from a stranger!




If you are feeling a little bitter before you even started it, imagine how you would feel after spending all the time doing it. I do believe sometimes it is better for us to pass up orders than it is to give it away practically free and hate doing it. And when you give it away for cheap they except it to always be cheap.

I do agree with not defending the price. That is why I said don't give her a price list for what you spend because they just see that number and don't factor in the time it takes you. But 90% of the people have no clue how much time it takes to do a cake.

When I first started I would have my brothers call me in the morning for a cake and wanted it 4 or 5 hours later. I had to teach them that they had to give me some advance notice and they learned. If I would have kept doing them with out saying anything they would never have thought about the time it actually takes me.

rhopar33 Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 4:59pm
post #11 of 13

Yeah, it took me a while to really start charging what I should for my cakes. Now with friends, here's what I do- When someone calls and says, "Hey, I need you to make me a cake for so-and-so's birthday", the first thing I say is, "Sure! what price range do you want to stay in?" That way, they set the price, and then you give them a cake in that pice range. Naturally, when most folks realize they won't have enough cake, they are usually willing to increase their budget!

I just think asking them to set the price helps you wiggle out of having to price it yourself.

Rhonda

indydebi Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 5:12pm
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhopar33

I just think asking them to set the price helps you wiggle out of having to price it yourself.



Plus when they give you a ridiculously low figure, you can right away say, "Oh, well you might do better just to call walmart, then." icon_wink.gif

yellobutterfly Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 5:32pm
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhopar33

Yeah, it took me a while to really start charging what I should for my cakes. Now with friends, here's what I do- When someone calls and says, "Hey, I need you to make me a cake for so-and-so's birthday", the first thing I say is, "Sure! what price range do you want to stay in?" That way, they set the price, and then you give them a cake in that pice range. Naturally, when most folks realize they won't have enough cake, they are usually willing to increase their budget!

I just think asking them to set the price helps you wiggle out of having to price it yourself.

Rhonda




I just figured this out this past weekend - what a stress saver! Instead of saying how many people do you want to feed 1x2x4 servings that'll cost $xx" (and her saying that's more than she wanted to spend,) I need to say how much can you spend? That'll feed x people 1x2x4 sized slices, if you want bigger slices, buy more cake!

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