CakeMommyTX Posted 8 May 2008 , 5:59pm
post #1 of

I was just at Sams and they have 30 cc's for 11$, a 6" and dz cupcakes for 9$, a 10" round "custom" cake for 12$!!!!

There were some ladies there picking out a premade graduation cake and I almost introduced myself but then I thought if they are about to pay less then 20$ for a 1/2 sheet than they are'nt the type of customers I want. They kept going on and on about how cute the cakes were!

I know Sam's customers are not the kind of customers I want or need but it makes it that much harder to sell truley custom cakes when Sam's is selling mass produced, assembly line frozen "custom" cakes for 12$

22 replies
deletedeletedelete Posted 8 May 2008 , 6:09pm
post #2 of

I am afraid I would have to whip out a business card and say "If you think those are cute, you should see mine. And they aren't frozen either!" while smiling. 'Cause trust me, if they like what Sam's did they would have LOVED what you could do. Whether they are willing to pay our prices is up to them and if they aren't then let them have a nasty 'ole mass produced cake, they would have deserved it.

Gloria

apetricek Posted 8 May 2008 , 6:10pm
post #3 of

That is true but think of it this way...you get what you pay for, and if they are ok with having a cake that is premade, frozen, and just plain gross...then let them eat that cake. icon_razz.gif Anyway like you said those types of people don't appreciate all the work and "love" we put into the cake. I know I don't mind them buying cakes at Sams it weeds out those cheap-O's that aren't willing to pay. I would have just said something anyway I have done that, and I always have business cards on me. Places like that and the party store are always great places. On the other hand they may be willling to pay, just figure that is all the option they have(to get it at Sams)......

jadak Posted 8 May 2008 , 6:12pm
post #4 of

I understand how you feel and what you are saying. It's been talked about a lot about how they mass produce and most of us can not compete with that.

I will say that I doubt the cakes are anywhere near delicious and I'd bet big bucks that those cupcakes are dry as bones. Someone got one for my FIL for his b-day from a local grocery chain. It was oversized. he didn't want it, so he gave it to my kids. It was soooooo dry they couldn't even swallow it...seriously. They ate the icing, but the cake was worthless.

People will admire those cakes and the prices. People will buy them. Many people will buy them once and look for an alternative for their next event. Less than $20 for 1/2 a sheet cake sounds great until you look in the trash can and see plate after plate pitched with lots of cake still on it. Want to throw away $20, or double it and give your guests a dessert they'll remember? Many people will pay more for quality. Some won't and, as you mentioned, they're not people you want as your customers.

judylynnturner Posted 8 May 2008 , 6:13pm
post #5 of

I always introduce myself. Some will probably say I am stealing customers, but I figure most people wouldn't buy a store bought cake if they realized they could get a homemade/scratch cake for about the same price. We are very limitted here for bakeries. Only one that has two locations, Wal Mart and HEB Grocey Store. If they call me after that, they call me. If they walk out with a cake from the store, I have atleast tried to assit them in picking a more perfect cake. Some are not decorated very nice.

I am not ashamed to admit, I have been in Hobby Lobby on many occasions and find the "first time ever gonna make a cake" and he/she is buying everything in sight they will probably never use again. I always offer my help or services to them as well.

I usually have some photos in my purse and if they ask, I will put them out.

I usually inform them, IF asked, that while I may charge a few dollars more, you are getting something fresh/from scratch/your colors and the design you want.

Now, don't get me wrong, I purchase Sam's cake son occasion for my family because I get tired of hearing I want a cake and if i have no time to bake because I am in town getting supplies.

Our Sam's doesn't have a bakery, but WalMart is just right next door. Earline is a God-send there.

KHalstead Posted 8 May 2008 , 6:13pm
post #6 of

some people just don't know that there are other cake options out there........I've been getting a lot of cake orders from people lately ( i live in a kind of impoverished small town) people here do NOT have a lot of excess money laying around...but these same people didn't realize that there was anyone in the area that could make the things they're seeing on t.v. (and no, I'm not saying I'm that good!!) but nobody else around here will even consider a 3-D or topsy turvy cake at all!!! Straight up round/square and buttercream........only one other lady does fondant here and she uses Wilton!! ICK!!!! And charges a fortune for it!

some people are just ignorant!

FromScratch Posted 8 May 2008 , 6:14pm
post #7 of

Totally... you should have done it. If they didn't want to spend the money they wouldn't call, but you never know.. they might have.

fondantfrenzy Posted 8 May 2008 , 6:23pm
post #8 of

That is too funny when i saw the subject, i immediately thought to myself, Sams Club..then i opened it and sure enough. You know whats funny is for the price the cupcakes are nice. They taste pretty good too. I have used them before to buy cupcakes for my kids classes. But I would never use them for an event.

THe other thing is you might want to say this...oh you know they have really nice cakes here for a really great price, if you ever are looking for a "Decorator" for a more extravagant event like a wedding or anniversary or sweet 16 here is my card!!! thumbs_up.gif No harm in that right. Cuz if you look through their book, they dont have anything that comes close to what is posted on here.

veronica970206 Posted 8 May 2008 , 6:25pm
post #9 of

It is amazing how low they can go on their prices, the only thing I can think of is that the cakes are close to the expiration date via freezer, so why not have a sale? (<-Sad and sick, but true) A lot of people I have talked too, do not realize that the commercial stores have the cakes frozen and frosted and sold, and before I took all of the classes that I have taken, I never knew that either, so to buy a cake from a local grocer paying $20 was a deal for me, because I never knew myself the whole commercial process, so I do not get mad at the people who purchase those cakes because majority of them do not know, and the rest either know and just choose to pay the $20 to save money, because of gas prices, increase in groceries and so on. If I was in that situation, I think I would have continued walking, because people in my area especially do not pay XXX amount for a cake that they can get for $20 at a local grocer, the way I make money off of my cakes is through family and friends, because of the economy. I just do not see people who are fighting over $20 deals taking cards from a quality cake artist and paying more, sad, but true. I am sorry, but from what I see in my area and other areas I travel too, a lot of our local bakeries who do bake fresh are losing money or not making enough because of the increase in cost on ingredients and so on, so the general public thinks, I need a cake, who cares about the source and how it is made and so on, and they hear $20, they are sold.

YAYI95 Posted 8 May 2008 , 6:26pm

I agree, I think alot of people just do not realize that there are other options in cake out there, and that bakeries are not just for wedding cakes or donuts...The funny part is once they have a birthday cake other than one done in sams etc..they never go back to store bought!!!!

fondantfrenzy Posted 8 May 2008 , 6:33pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by veronica970206

It is amazing how low they can go on their prices, the only thing I can think of is that the cakes are close to the expiration date via freezer, so why not have a sale? (<-Sad and sick, but true) A lot of people I have talked too, do not realize that the commercial stores have the cakes frozen and frosted and sold, and before I took all of the classes that I have taken, I never knew that either, so to buy a cake from a local grocer paying $20 was a deal for me, because I never knew myself the whole commercial process, so I do not get mad at the people who purchase those cakes because majority of them do not know, and the rest either know and just choose to pay the $20 to save money, because of gas prices, increase in groceries and so on. If I was in that situation, I think I would have continued walking, because people in my area especially do not pay XXX amount for a cake that they can get for $20 at a local grocer, the way I make money off of my cakes is through family and friends, because of the economy. I just do not see people who are fighting over $20 deals taking cards from a quality cake artist and paying more, sad, but true. I am sorry, but from what I see in my area and other areas I travel too, a lot of our local bakeries who do bake fresh are losing money or not making enough because of the increase in cost on ingredients and so on, so the general public thinks, I need a cake, who cares about the source and how it is made and so on, and they hear $20, they are sold.




Here is my thing, its not even just $20 anymore, the prices are going up I think I bought a mile high white chocolate/chocolate Raspberry 8 inch cake from Ralphs for like 26. On top of that I dont even think they made it, cuz she goes Oh i think i have one in the back and it was frozen. But the point is also, is that we are all forgetting that they buy the incredients in massive quantities, which mieans that the ingredients are also what they sell in the stores too, so they must be getting a HUGE deal. On top of that they are paying the people in the bakeries close to nothing, which all they do is bake bake bake, then asembel asembe asemble... So that's what they do they look at the way they can keep their costs down. That's what is the biggest money maker....there is absolutely no way we can even get or come close to the cost that they are getting their goods for.

juledcakes Posted 8 May 2008 , 11:04pm

i just have a question for you , how many of you have had a sams club cake recently? they actually taste really good considering and i love their cupcakes. one of the main reasons they can keep there cake prices as well as everything else is because of the membership you pay to shop there. i work for sams club and yes the cakes come in frozen but they come in within a week of being baked and are used no later than a week after we receive them, so yes they are frozen but i know a lot of the other custom bakerys in my town do the same thing for there big events and busy events, try imaging baking enough cake to do 5 to 15 cakes for one weekend let alone the 150 to 300 we do during graduation and yes i have a lot of repeat customers. thanks for letting me say my part.

julia

CakeMommyTX Posted 9 May 2008 , 2:18am

I'm not saying everyone who buys a store bought cake is bad, I'm just saying how can I compete with 36 cent cupcakes and 10$ "custom" cakes!
Sam's cakes are'nt horrible tasting I just don't think they fall into the "custom" catagory.

tlreetz Posted 9 May 2008 , 2:42am

I completely agree with Judy, I always pass out biz cards to people looking at the bakery counter at Wal-Mart while I'm grocery shopping!! I hand them a card and say, "what kind of cake are you looking for? I can make any cake you desire!" Stike up a conversation and viola...I just made a new customer! You just have to step out of your box and out of your comfort zone (for some people) and be proud of what you do and what you have to offer (quality, artistry, etc....) Don't ever feel like you can't talk to them just because they aren't asking for information regarding your cakes or just because they are in a different store. Large companies have been squeezing out small biz owners for decades now....if we want to survive and prosper, we need to fight back!!

Boy, I just realized that turned into a rant....so sorry! Just my 2 cents worth!

newlywedws Posted 9 May 2008 , 2:43am

I was just at Sam's club tonight, and to be honest...you get what you pay for - their cakes are not fancy, they are simple at best. The prices aren't always on the "low" end either...I saw two slice of chocolate cake (forget what they called it) but they were charging $6.95 (if I remember right) for two slices...that's upwards of $3 per serving - not cheap IMO.

FromScratch Posted 9 May 2008 , 2:58am

I have had a Sam's cake lately and I don't like them.. but I am a scratch cake girl.. and I hate that bucket icing they use. I don't think anyone is saying that the cakes that come out of Sam's is going to make you throw up or anything. For a frozen grocery store cake they aren't horrid. I could eat a piece, but I'd rather not. Above all though, no one is knocking the people who work tirelessly to make the cakes in the Sam's (or any other chain store's) bakery case. We know that they work hard to meet their daily quota and do the custom cakes that are requested.

The main reason that Sam's and all of the big chains can charge so little for their cakes is they buy all of their ingredients in SUPER bulk. Most of the grocery store cakes come from very large manufacturers and when you are buying thousands of cakes.. you get a deal. A better deal than any custom shop or homebaker could ever dream of seeing. It's not because the cakes are made of cardboard and glue or something like that icon_lol.gif..

I just hate to see grocery store decorators thinking that we are all kocking their work.. I know that I am not. icon_biggrin.gif

Momof4luvscakes Posted 9 May 2008 , 3:17am

I bought some Sam's cupcakes for an Easter Egg hunt, because I had 4 other orders and could not squeeze in the 250 cupcakes we needed. I don't know what is in that icing, but it was horrid! Even my kids who will eat just about anything, said it was nasty. I was so embarrased, cause everyone said I know this is not your cupcakes, because I usually do all the cakes and things. It does not hurt my feelings if someone goes to Sam's or whatever, because I have more than enough customers who buy from me.

andpotts Posted 9 May 2008 , 8:50am

You know what I just have to say, I truly love and respect all of the decorators here for their knowledge, support, help and just the joy of looking at some absolutely beautiful creations.

That being said everyone can't afford what custom work cost/is worth. There is nothing wrong with being excited about a great deal on cupcakes or a cake at Sams or any of the other chains everyone is always bashing. To each his own, as it has been stated people aren't always aware of the options out there and running to the store to order a cake is all they have ever done, that doesn't make them horrible people. I make fresh bread at home all the time, it is so much better than store bought IMO, but that doesn't mean I don't grab a couple loaves when it's on sale. I was "one of those" insert the grocery store customers and until a girlfriend at work introduced me t the wonderful world of cake decorating, I had no idea and I have spent a good bit of money on custom cakes since then before moving on to making my own icon_smile.gif

Ok I have really thought about posting this I'm not saying anyone has the intent of hurting anyone's feelings, but holy cow if I were new here and this was one of the first post I had read I would have felt horrible about myself for ever buying a grocery cake and probably would have never started posting. I know that's not the intent I just think that should be made clear, I just don't understand the rage against grocery store bakeries, of course they aren't custom, that's why they are at the grocery store. That's it I really hope that came out right, I mean no harm. Andrea

FromScratch Posted 9 May 2008 , 12:32pm

The rage against the grocery store cake is that people come to us expecting the same prices. It's frustrating to the custom baker that someone thinks that a cake made from a bulk mix in a factory.. iced with crisco and powdered sugar that was made in a factory and shipped in a big bucket by a machine.. frozen for up to a couple months.. thawed out and a few roses and happy birthday put on it is put in the same category with a custom cake. It's not that we think they are evil.. just that it makes it harder for us sometimes. And people look at us like we are evil for thinking about charging the prices we do. I have NO problem with someone getting a grocery store cake and loving it. Just don't compare it to mine. icon_smile.gif

and there is no animosity in this post.. simply trying to have both sides of the coin out there. It stings a bit when someone says "Oh I can just get something like that from the grocery store much cheaper." Well no.. you can't. But you can get a cake.. and there's nothing wrong with that. icon_smile.gif

CakeMommyTX Posted 9 May 2008 , 1:33pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

The rage against the grocery store cake is that people come to us expecting the same prices. It's frustrating to the custom baker that someone thinks that a cake made from a bulk mix in a factory.. iced with crisco and powdered sugar that was made in a factory and shipped in a big bucket by a machine.. frozen for up to a couple months.. thawed out and a few roses and happy birthday put on it is put in the same category with a custom cake. It's not that we think they are evil.. just that it makes it harder for us sometimes. And people look at us like we are evil for thinking about charging the prices we do. I have NO problem with someone getting a grocery store cake and loving it. Just don't compare it to mine. icon_smile.gif

and there is no animosity in this post.. simply trying to have both sides of the coin out there. It stings a bit when someone says "Oh I can just get something like that from the grocery store much cheaper." Well no.. you can't. But you can get a cake.. and there's nothing wrong with that. icon_smile.gif





My point exactly, although you wording is much better thumbs_up.gif
I have no problem with the store bought cakes; Iâve bought them before.

I just didnât like the fact that the cakes where being advertised as "custom". Even the whole entire table setup with Mothers day cakes that have already been iced and decorated where being sold as" custom", how is that custom? icon_confused.gif

People see that and then they want to know why I (and other decorators) charge so much for our custom cakes when they can get one for 10$.

andpotts Posted 9 May 2008 , 2:23pm

Sorry I missed that they were advertising them as "custom" but to the average person that means picking the border color and name to be written on it.

I completely understand your frustration with people not wanting to pay and having to justify your prices. Believe me I so 'get it'. I do party planning on the side and people often want some spectacular stuff and then balk at the prices when they could just go to Chuck E Cheese for XX dollars. So please don't get me wrong I know where that frustration comes from.

What I was trying to say was in some of these post (not just this thread, so sorry for finally saying something here) when people really get going insulting the cakes and why would people want them, that starts to transfer to the people who buy them. I just didn't want people getting the wrong idea. I believe all members here need a new mission "Operation Enlighten Cake Muggles" icon_smile.gif I really hope someone understands what I'm trying to say here, I'm not trying to be the itchy foot icon_cry.gif

FromScratch Posted 9 May 2008 , 7:03pm

No itchy foot at all.. icon_wink.gif

I think what ends up happening is that we (the collective frustrated custom baker) get frustrated and come here to vent sometimes and that's when it can get overboard, but know that no one thinks that grocery store cakes are the anit-christ. icon_smile.gif Not everyone wants or can pay for a custom cake from a baker.. though they should.. icon_wink.gif .

indydebi Posted 11 May 2008 , 2:15am
Quote:
Originally Posted by KHalstead

some people just don't know that there are other cake options out there



Agree. âWeâve always gotten our cakes from blah-blah bakeryâ without REALLY tasting what they taste like. Or theyâve eaten them for so long they think cake is SUPPOSE to taste that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jadak

⦠and I'd bet big bucks that those cupcakes are dry as bones. Someone got one for my FIL for his b-day from a local grocery chain. It was oversized. he didn't want it, so he gave it to my kids. It was soooooo dry they couldn't even swallow it...seriously. They ate the icing, but the cake was worthless.



Agree. I made a cake wrong one day and stuck it in my refrigerator, thinking Iâd give it to the neighbor or something. I kept forgetting to take it home and after 3 weeks, I thought it was time to throw that sucker out. Just for pits and giggles, I decided to cut into it to see what a 3 week old cake is like. The icing had started tto separate a bit but the cake âlookedâ ok. I tasted it â¦.. and it tasted like every grocery store cake Iâd ever had in my life!!!! icon_surprised.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Momof4luvscakes

It does not hurt my feelings if someone goes to Sam's or whatever, because I have more than enough customers who buy from me.



Yep! Me, too! I send people to Walmart and Samâs when their budget just wonât fit my pricing. I always joke with âwell, thatâs the downside of only offering freshly made to order cakes!â
icon_biggrin.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by andpotts

Sorry I missed that they were advertising them as "custom" but to the average person that means picking the border color and name to be written on it.



Cake Civilians .... I guess ya gotta luv 'em! thumbs_up.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%