Can't Afford Me!! How Do I Respond??? Please Help!! Indy?

Decorating By christeena Updated 7 May 2008 , 2:03pm by mbh724

christeena Posted 5 May 2008 , 8:16pm
post #1 of 53

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later! icon_cool.gif This is what I get for accepting an order from someone I don't know. A periphial (?) friend of an acquaintance wanted to order combo grad cakes for an open house for 3 grads. Attached is the picture inspired by another CC member that I e-mailed her along with a chocolate fudge sheet cake so that they would get the requested 200 servings. Mind you this is as much cake as an average wedding and I charge $2 a serving even with fondant accents, delivery and set-up. The rounds were going to be 12" WASC and pumpkin spice. I quoted her $400! Was this too much?? I guess I have a hard time coming down in price even for sheet cakes, as in my opinion, a serving of cake is a serving of cake. I still have to bake, frost and decorate! icon_rolleyes.gif Here is the e-mail I came home to and I'm not sure how to respond to. How would you handle this? I had counted on this order and now it's going to disappear from my calendar! icon_cry.gif

Hi, Chris. I ran your information past the other two parents and they have some concerns. They are thinking we may have a lot more people than you planned - maybe 300 because we are each sending out 100 invitations. I know we had about 100 people for our oldest son's open house when we sent out 100 invitations. The bottom line is we are afraid we can't afford you! After discussing it, we all would prefer the sheet cake to the layer cake because we think it will be too hard to cut and serve. They really want to stick to the sports theme, too. I'm afraid we might have to look at alternatives because the cost will be a lot more than $400 if we plan for more people ($400 is all ready a whole lot more than I thought we would be spending - I was going to pay for 1/2 and let them split the other half of the cost, because they didn't want to put that much money into cake). We might have to go with ordering from Krogers or Miller's Super Valu. I'm sorry. I'm sure you make a very delicious cake with unique decorations. Sorry for any inconvenience.


What do I say back? I'm really disappointed!
>>>
LL

52 replies
CakeDiva73 Posted 5 May 2008 , 8:21pm
post #2 of 53

Well, they certainly can't get anything from Walmart or Krogers that look anywhere near your beautiful sketches!

I actually can't afford me....you are not doing custom designed cakes for people who would be just as happy with a frozen slice of store bakery cake! I would respond with a polite and civilized email, wish them well. They clearly want to feed people cake for .50 a person and it just isn't going to happen.

Under no circumstances do you lower your prices. They have some serious champagne dreams on a kegger budget.

FromScratch Posted 5 May 2008 , 8:27pm
post #3 of 53

You know what you tell them. Thank you for considering me and maybe we can work together in the future. Simple as that.. really. You don't owe them an explaination and you do not come down on your prices. If they are okay with nasty Kroger cakes then let them have them. Move on to the next customer. icon_smile.gif

ctackett Posted 5 May 2008 , 8:27pm
post #4 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeDiva73

Well, they certainly can't get anything from Walmart or Krogers that look anywhere near your beautiful sketches!

I actually can't afford me....you are not doing custom designed cakes for people who would be just as happy with a frozen slice of store bakery cake! I would respond with a polite and civilized email, wish them well. They clearly want to feed people cake for .50 a person and it just isn't going to happen.

Under no circumstances do you lower your prices. They have some serious champagne dreams on a kegger budget.


Have you priced a kegger lately? Just kidding. I too have the same responses here in this town. For now I am trying to keep prices low. I notice Walmart was charging 15.95 for a 1/4 sheet I charge 30 for mine b/c of the work it takes.

CakeDiva73 Posted 5 May 2008 , 8:30pm
post #5 of 53

You're right! A keggar ain't cheap......these people can barely afford a 40! icon_biggrin.gif

shisharka Posted 5 May 2008 , 8:37pm
post #6 of 53

âI understand your concerns⦠Unfortunately, I cannot compete with grocery store, mass-produced, template-based frozen sheet cakes â the ones I make are fresh, custom, with quality ingredients and a lot of time is spent baking and decorating them. I can easily accommodate a sports theme, however it is impossible to increase the number of servings without adequately reflecting it in the price. Iâd still love to make the cakes for your event, just please let me know your decision in the next couple of days, so I can plan my schedule accordingly.â

diane Posted 5 May 2008 , 8:38pm
post #7 of 53

you have two kinds of people when it comes to cake. those who don't care what their cake tastes like, so won't fork out the dough for quality stuff, and those who will pay what a cake is worth...flavor and all. you don't owe them any explanation...in fact, their probably wanting you to call and say that you lowered your price. you're not producing assembly line cakes and that's what they want...so let them go to a supermarket and get it. your prices are reasonable.
thumbs_up.gif

ziggytarheel Posted 5 May 2008 , 8:39pm
post #8 of 53

It really is okay that they can't afford you. Your cakes are beautiful and you should probably charge even more. Although it isn't good for you, it is probably good for them that they aren't willing to spend $600 (for the new head count) for cake for teenagers. icon_smile.gif

Tamara981 Posted 5 May 2008 , 8:43pm
post #9 of 53

it's sad really, people now days want something for nothing. I had an order for a child's birthday not too long ago. They wanted a large sheet cake, a smash cake for the child and 2 dozen cupcakes. I quoted her $60 because we have some mutual friends, which I think was way less than she would have been able to get all that anywhere else. And she thought it was too much. I definately would not lower your prices because there are plenty of people out there that know GOOD cake is worth the money charged for it.

CakeDiva73 Posted 5 May 2008 , 8:43pm
post #10 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by shisharka

âI understand your concerns⦠Unfortunately, I cannot compete with grocery store, mass-produced, template-based frozen sheet cakes â the ones I make are fresh, custom, with quality ingredients and a lot of time is spent baking and decorating them. I can easily accommodate a sports theme, however it is impossible to increase the number of servings without adequately reflecting it in the price. Iâd still love to make the cakes for your event, just please let me know your decision in the next couple of days, so I can plan my schedule accordingly.â




Your wording is impecable icon_smile.gif

foxymomma521 Posted 5 May 2008 , 8:43pm
post #11 of 53

If they can afford everything else for a party of 300 then they can afford you too. I mean really, taking the whole budget into consideration, how much will it REALLY push it to get your cake? I think they are just trying to see if you'll lower your price... icon_smile.gif

costumeczar Posted 5 May 2008 , 8:47pm
post #12 of 53

I would have charged much more for the 200 servings than you would have, so don't feel like you were overcharging. If they can't afford it that's fine, but don't lower your prices. Just email back and say that you're sorry that you won't be able to help them, and to let you know if there's anything that you can do for them in the future.

lanna82 Posted 5 May 2008 , 8:48pm
post #13 of 53

you most certainly did not price too high. People have no idea the amount of time and hard work that goes into making cakes like these.

dreamn900 Posted 5 May 2008 , 8:55pm
post #14 of 53

It sounds like they're banking on you lowering your prices while they increase the # of guests. If they really didn't want the cake they could've stated so in this email and called it quits icon_rolleyes.gif. If you do lower your price, they will probably continue to come to you hoping to have an extravagant cake for cheap. Good luck in your decision, but I say stick to your guns thumbs_up.gif

BrandisBaked Posted 5 May 2008 , 9:03pm
post #15 of 53

Sometimes, if I really need an order, I won't lower my prices, but I will offer 15% off their next order. (I will never lower prices for a new customer. EVER!) Sometimes, that is enough to get them to commit.

christeena Posted 5 May 2008 , 9:03pm
post #16 of 53

I like shisharka's response because this is exactly how I feel right now but I don't want to make the potential client feel like they are a crappy parent for buying a mass produced sheet cake over my fresh baked quality cakes.
She wrote:
âI understand your concerns⦠Unfortunately, I cannot compete with grocery store, mass-produced, template-based frozen sheet cakes â the ones I make are fresh, custom, with quality ingredients and a lot of time is spent baking and decorating them. I can easily accommodate a sports theme, however it is impossible to increase the number of servings without adequately reflecting it in the price. Iâd still love to make the cakes for your event, just please let me know your decision in the next couple of days, so I can plan my schedule accordingly.â

Do you think this would be acceptable to send these people??
Thanks everyone for the responses! I'm beginning to feel a little more validated!! icon_wink.gif

ladyonzlake Posted 5 May 2008 , 9:04pm
post #17 of 53

I know how you feel Christeena, you hate to turned down business...I've been there but on the other hand you create "specialty" cakes...not run of the mill grocery store cakes which is what they sound like they are looking for (price wise anyway).

I would just reply back thanking them for considering you and that if they need a custom specialty cake in the future to keep you in mind.

BARBARAJEAN Posted 5 May 2008 , 9:20pm
post #18 of 53

First let me say DON'T SHOOT ME, BUT I think $400 is a bit much for Graduation cake for 200 people. Perhaps not for your design or for your talent, but certainly for our area it would be a lot. They may have put their parties together in order to save a little money too, I don't know. I think you could offer to make 2 full sheet cakes at 100 dollars apiece if you really want to keep the business. I am not saying do your sketch, I am saying accomodate them with sheetcakes that are not as ornate or time consuming. I thought her e-mail was nice and she had no way to know your pricing if she has never ordered from you before.

melysa Posted 5 May 2008 , 9:20pm
post #19 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

You know what you tell them. Thank you for considering me and maybe we can work together in the future. Simple as that.. really. You don't owe them an explaination and you do not come down on your prices. If they are okay with nasty Kroger cakes then let them have them. Move on to the next customer. icon_smile.gif




well said.

i was just looking at a walmart bakery brochure and they charge 1$ per cupcake with a plastic pic on top. dont worry. move on, move on. PLEASE dont budge.

melysa Posted 5 May 2008 , 9:26pm
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by BARBARAJEAN

First let me say DON'T SHOOT ME, BUT I think $400 is a bit much for Graduation cake for 200 people.




(not shooting)... however, if they are going to invite THREE HUNDRED people, this is not going to be a cheap party. unless they plan on not serving drinks or food or decorating. if the budget is low, the guest list should reflect just how much they CAN afford.

one can barely get an ice cream cone these days for two dollars. if someone wants to feed dessert to 300 people, they will have to realize that its going to cost accordingly.

(i think they just want gifts. hahahaha) 300 people? wow.

FromScratch Posted 5 May 2008 , 9:38pm
post #21 of 53

DItto Melysa.. it's not a $400 cake.. it's dessert for 200 people for $2 per person. That's CHEAP.

julzs71 Posted 5 May 2008 , 9:37pm
post #22 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

Thank you for considering me and maybe we can work together in the future.



I think this is best.
I think the one by shisharka is a tad offensive if read by a customer. (Sorry) Altough it is completely true, a costumer will get offended.

FromScratch Posted 5 May 2008 , 9:39pm
post #23 of 53

Well the party is for 3 kids.. not just one.. so I can see the higher number of guests I suppose. icon_smile.gif They still need to pay for the cake though.. LOL.

katiecake Posted 5 May 2008 , 9:47pm
post #24 of 53

Hi I did a nice b day cake for 60 people for a friend and charged $40.00. I think she thought that was a little much so I included a list of ingredients and cost, came out to $40.00 without adding in anything for labour!! Cakes are expensive, yes a box mix is .99cents but add in everything else to make it edible, icing ect it really adds up!

melysa Posted 5 May 2008 , 9:48pm
post #25 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

Well the party is for 3 kids.. not just one.. so I can see the higher number of guests I suppose. icon_smile.gif They still need to pay for the cake though.. LOL.




sure. but then divide that by three responsible sets of parents. icon_wink.gif

rmelendrez Posted 5 May 2008 , 9:51pm
post #26 of 53

shisharka wrote:

âI understand your concerns⦠Unfortunately, I cannot compete with grocery store, mass-produced, template-based frozen sheet cakes â the ones I make are fresh, custom, with quality ingredients and a lot of time is spent baking and decorating them. I can easily accommodate a sports theme, however it is impossible to increase the number of servings without adequately reflecting it in the price. Iâd still love to make the cakes for your event, just please let me know your decision in the next couple of days, so I can plan my schedule accordingly.â

Professionally and perfectly stated!!!

nicki9774 Posted 5 May 2008 , 9:53pm
post #27 of 53

I agree, I have a hard time pricing cakes, but I don't lower my price because they can't afford it or someone under bids me. I work hard to deliver what they are looking for. I think if you drop the price they will still go some where else. I've seen the work done here @ Walmart & Kroger and I'm a WMI. I'm not impressed. They hire people who have no qualification to decorate. I teach quite a few through my classes that get jobs @ Walmart or Kroger. Good Luck with your decision! Your worth the money. This is not a cheap job. It all costs money.

Nicki

christeena Posted 5 May 2008 , 9:53pm
post #28 of 53

Exactly!! Divide that $600 by 3 and each set of parent would only have to pay $200! They are having other food and renting a hall!

melysa Posted 5 May 2008 , 9:54pm
post #29 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiecake

Hi I did a nice b day cake for 60 people for a friend and charged $40.00. I think she thought that was a little much so I included a list of ingredients and cost, came out to $40.00 without adding in anything for labour!! Cakes are expensive, yes a box mix is .99cents but add in everything else to make it edible, icing ect it really adds up!




i agree. even if they did buy their own supplies to do the cake, lets say they go straight mix, nothing elaborate. well at 12 servings (according to a box) a box, thats 21 mixes, plus eggs and oil (EXPENSIVE these days), plus enough canned frosting at $2 each to cover twenty one cakes, cake boxes and cardboard rounds (who in a "normal" un cakey household, has enough trays or pedestals to place cake for 3 hundred on?), plus pans (cause they'll have to bake 42 eight inch round cakes ) , pan no stick spray etc... they'd still easily spend well over a hundred dollars.

but of course, only us cake gals will think of all those details.

let them order from the store and i'm sure they'll spend closer to what you originally quoted them anyway.

nicki9774 Posted 5 May 2008 , 9:58pm
post #30 of 53

Have them figure it out. If they bought the pans, the ingredients, utlilites and the time spent into it. They would figure out that you really don't make that much more profit.

Nicki

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