I Feel Ripped Off..and It's My Own Fault..

Decorating By sweetcravings Updated 20 May 2008 , 10:31pm by sweetcravings

sweetcravings Posted 16 May 2008 , 11:54pm
post #1 of 38

Today has been extremely busy. it was supposed to be a quiet day, but at 930am i get a call from my son's old school teacher. He wants to know if i can make him a cake for TOMORROW. icon_surprised.gif His sis is in town and they are celebrating her son's bday. He has a nut allergy and the teacher knew that my son does to and i make all kinds of cakes for him. So he asks if i can make him one, and if not where can he find a 'safe' one. I tell him i know of nowhere that is 'safe' that is why i make the cakes. I tell him I have no icing made up, and it would be very difficult to complete it in time. In the back of my mind i'm thinking..Hell NO!!! A days notice for a cake..is he crazy!! I would have to work like a mad women to finish it because i have no icing, no cake, no ideas, nothing. So i tell him no.

I should've left it at that tapedshut.gif ...BUT....

I start to feel guilty for not saying yes to the cake. Afterall i know how hard it is to find a 'safe' cake. That child deserves a cake..right. Well, i also think it woud probably be good word of mouth to make the cake becuase he is a school teacher and teachers talk. Even though i'm not selling my cakes at the moment, i've been seriously thinking about it. It would be good word of mouth. So I call him back and this is how it went. He was pleased i could make the cake. He says it needs to be indiana jones themed...WTF!! icon_eek.gif I know absolutely nothing about that movie and i certainly don't have the time to be sculpting figures etc.. So i frantically searched the net for some clipart related to the movie. I make up a tonne of icing, bake the cake, prepare the boards..then decorate. icon_cry.gif By now my kitchen is a mess, i haven't showered for the day and I'm exhausted. I call him to pick up the cake. He didn't need it till tomorrow but i wanted it out of the house this evening since we have plans early in the morning.
He picks it up...
He says, 'how much'.
I say, "i'm not sure. I've only made them for friends and family and haven't charged. What does a cake this size go for at the grocery store?". Meanwhile i'm thinking in the back of my head...this cake is waayyy better than what you'd get at the grocery store. I've pulled my hair out to finish this cake at last moments notice..it should cost BIG bucks.
He just shrugs his shoulders and says, "i have no idea what they charge"

I know the grocery store sells their half sheets for around 32.00 and they serve around 32people. My cake is 14x14x2inches choco fudge, iced in buttercream, design done in Kathyf's glaze method, should serve around 45 approx. So i say, "i dunno, does around 45.00 sound fair?" Now i heard those words come out of my mouth, but why in heck would i say it to be so low? I right away regretted what i said. icon_cry.gif
He says, "sure" and hands me 60.00. I tell him i have no change, but i will send it with my DS to school on monday.
As he is leaving he says yeah it's a big cake, it may even cost 50 or more dollars. i tell him i haven't yet sat down and figured out costs yet since i'm still in the planning phase, but he right it is worth more. Geesh, i thought he would've given me a nice tip for turning my life upside down today to help him out in a pinch. Guess not.
His reaction to the cake.."oh it's nice"...WTF icon_cry.gif I've never had such a pathetic response to one of my cakes before. Mind you he is quiet and well he is a MAN, so i guess i shouldn't expect a huge standing applause. But my DH and DS said it was wonderful, and they are very honest.

Never again will i agree to make a cake with only hours notice. thumbsdown.gif It's not fair to me or my family. I guess i learnt a valuable lesson today. I feel so used. Not to mention my back is killing me and my feet are aching. Thanks for letting me vent..now i must go rest.
Just out of curiousity what would you have charged? I know it's too late now to change things but i'd be curious to see what you all think. Did i charge too little or am i just being moody.

What a day!

Suz

37 replies
bethola Posted 17 May 2008 , 12:10am
post #2 of 38

Hey! Don't ask ME! Had something similar happen to me today only I charged LESS than what you did for MORE cake! It's the purse cake in my photos.

Anyway, the woman called a month ago and said her daughter said she didn't care what she did for her 16th birthday just as long as Sister Beth (that would be ME) made her cake! I didn't WANT to make the cake. I don't have TIME to make the cake. Sound familiar?

Soooo fast forward to today. Got the cake finished. It is a 12" round cut in half and decorated to look like a purse. Sits on a 14 x 14 x 2 base with a solid chocolate 3D shoe and chocolate purse and shoe molds at each corner. Fondant accents. I charged her $35.00!! Her reaction to my cake was "It's nice, Thank You" Of course, that was AFTER she called me last night and said "It IS going to be a great cake, Right?"

In the famous or infamous words of a former CC member

NO CAKE FOR YOU!!! Anymore....no birthdays, and esp. NO FREE WEDDING CAKE for your daughters! That's what I told her "on my way home in the car"! LOL

Sorry your day was so crazy! But, maybe he WILL tell others and you can get some real business out of it!

Good Luck....and now.....REST!

Beth in KY

sweetcravings Posted 17 May 2008 , 12:19am
post #3 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bethola

Hey! Don't ask ME! Had something similar happen to me today only I charged LESS than what you did for MORE cake! It's the purse cake in my photos.

Anyway, the woman called a month ago and said her daughter said she didn't care what she did for her 16th birthday just as long as Sister Beth (that would be ME) made her cake! I didn't WANT to make the cake. I don't have TIME to make the cake. Sound familiar?

Soooo fast forward to today. Got the cake finished. It is a 12" round cut in half and decorated to look like a purse. Sits on a 14 x 14 x 2 base with a solid chocolate 3D shoe and chocolate purse and shoe molds at each corner. Fondant accents. I charged her $35.00!! Her reaction to my cake was "It's nice, Thank You" Of course, that was AFTER she called me last night and said "It IS going to be a great cake, Right?"

In the famous or infamous words of a former CC member

NO CAKE FOR YOU!!! Anymore....no birthdays, and esp. NO FREE WEDDING CAKE for your daughters! That's what I told her "on my way home in the car"! LOL

Sorry your day was so crazy! But, maybe he WILL tell others and you can get some real business out of it!

Good Luck....and now.....REST!

Beth in KY




Thanks Beth...you made me feel better. I'm sorry you had that happen to you. It sounds like a whole heck of alot of work. I'm glad i'm not alone on this one. I find it so hard to charge my family as well. I make all of the birthday celebration cakes and often don't get reimbursed for them. I've stopped offerring to make them. If one of my sisters asks me to make them i tell them they can pay me what it costs to make the cake. They've gotton better and actually pay me more than that because they know how much work is involved. But i'm still not getting what i should for them and it's my own fault. I should demand fair cost on the cake, but my heart gets in the way.
I think part of what has stopped me from selling them is not knowing what to charge. I think i should charge big bucks but i don't know if people will pay that.
I know i'm crazy.

pugmama1 Posted 17 May 2008 , 12:20am
post #4 of 38

I think you're amazing to do this at the last minute! I, like you, do cakes for family and friends and always feel guilty about charging, and then when I do it's always too little, barely covering expenses. Why is it we devalue ourselves so much? If we had a regular business, there would be no question about price. Maybe I will state price up front from now on and tell them to think about it. That way, they can look for that "Bargain" elsewhere. I hope he sends alot of business your way to make up for it- really, what you have done is the mark of a very nice person!

diane Posted 17 May 2008 , 12:24am
post #5 of 38

i use to do that...give in to last minute orders icon_cool.gif ...but no more. if you continue to do it, then word will get around and people will take advantage of you knowing that they can wait 'til the last minute to order a cake.

pinklesley1 Posted 17 May 2008 , 12:25am
post #6 of 38

i had the same thing happen though mine was a ROYAL PAIN...
i had a fifteens cake to do (its inthe quince section) all she wanted was a white cake to look like boxes, with a black edible ribbon w polka dots... and she was calling me on a monday and the cake was for friday....

the cake fed 250 people.... or maybe more... and i only charged her 200.00... bc my mom felt bad that it was for her daughter.... and the lady is a friend of hers... not only did i hve to take a day off of work and pay one of my employees 60.00 to work for me....
i lost money, and time.. and when i took it to the venue... i started to set it up and she tells me .. oh i wanted to ribbon to be like streched out... not on the cake...
what the F*$& lady its fondant not real ribbon....
i think it came out nice... but it was my first BIG CAKE and a big lesson learned...
i dont care who you are... no cheap cakes... no free cakes.. my prices or my prices....take it or leave...
thats it.... i like to vent...

Ruth0209 Posted 17 May 2008 , 12:26am
post #7 of 38

It must be going around. My husband asked how much I charged for a cake I finished today. When I told him $50, he said, "Are you kidding? That cake's worth $200!" When I said, "Well, it's not that big of a cake," he said, "It's not the cake, honey, it's the time you put into it!" Geez, I love that man!!

sweetcravings Posted 17 May 2008 , 12:27am
post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by pugmama1

I think you're amazing to do this at the last minute! I, like you, do cakes for family and friends and always feel guilty about charging, and then when I do it's always too little, barely covering expenses. Why is it we devalue ourselves so much? If we had a regular business, there would be no question about price. Maybe I will state price up front from now on and tell them to think about it. That way, they can look for that "Bargain" elsewhere. I hope he sends alot of business your way to make up for it- really, what you have done is the mark of a very nice person!




Awhh thanks for the kind words. I just know how hard it is to find a cake when you have an child with a nut allergy. It was so frustrating for me, so i totally understand it. I guess his sister is from out of town and didn't know where to get a cake around here. My only thinking was..they had to have known they were having this party some time ago..40people..why did they leave it till the last minute...poor planning. It just would've been nice to had more of a enthusiastic response to the cake. Maybe he appreciated it more than he led on..who knows. When i told my mom about it, she said that is typical male behaviour.."yup it's nice". She says they don't care about cake design, just that they have a cake. icon_biggrin.gif

At least i've done my good dead for the day.

While i was stressing over the whole thing today, I kept saying to myself.."this too shall pass". and the stress did pass, and i got it done. I just kinda feel lousy in the end and i shouldn't becuase like you said it was nice of me to do it, i just wanted to be paid fairly.

suz

sweetcravings Posted 17 May 2008 , 12:35am
post #9 of 38

Diane..I've learned my lesson..no last minute cakes! I won't do that again. I should write that on my fridge so that i won't forget it. lol

Awwhhh Ruth..sweet husband. My DH thinks mine are worth alot too. don't you just love 'em. They know just what to say to make us feel better.

pinklesley..thanks for sharing your situation. Some people are sooo unbelievebly rude. It sounds like there are people like that everywhere. They want it cheap. I guess i had to experience this to learn my lessen. I'm with you on this one now. No last minute cakes, no cheap cakes.

bethola Posted 17 May 2008 , 12:35am
post #10 of 38

So many times.....we are our own worst enemies! LOL

I TRY....I really TRY to say "This cake is going to cost $65.00" But somehow between my brain and my mouth it comes out
"Oh, $35.00 will cover it" and it DOES cover the cost most of the time. Now the 8 hours out of my life is "anuther thang in-tar" as Gomer would say! LOL

Sweetcravings you have a big heart and what goes around, comes around. You will be rewarded with lots of orders and lots of PAYING customers who may even TIP you! LOL

Beth

mayamia Posted 17 May 2008 , 12:41am
post #11 of 38

do not worry there is always someone out there who totally does not appreciate cake making, if they would just know the hours of brainstorming for ideas, flavors, fillings etc icon_mad.gif , they would be a little more sensitive, and you are an angel for doing that cake last minute for that price, then again what can you expect from a guy icon_razz.gif

susgene Posted 17 May 2008 , 12:47am
post #12 of 38

You did something wonderful for someone. Don't forget that. And that child will have a safe birthday cake that he'll love. You have a heart of gold.

Of course you didn't charge enough - but hey it's done and overwith. Now just feel good about being such a nice person (and maybe get a good foot massage?!)

Cheers to you!

Susgene

dahir Posted 17 May 2008 , 12:52am
post #13 of 38

Sorry to hear that. It does take a while for you to build your confidence to charge what you are worth. It will also take a while for the clients who are used to getting a price break to start paying more. Some of them simply go back to grocery store cakes. You heard it before on cc "stand your ground" they will either pay it or go somewhere else.



What is [Kathy's glaze method? ] Couldnt find anything in the search
T.

pinklesley1 Posted 17 May 2008 , 1:03am
post #14 of 38

and the funny thing SWEETCRAVINGS... the one that had originally told me to charge her cheap ( MY DEAREST MOTHER) was the one that told me AFTER THE FACT that... i charged her too cheap and should have charged her more... that is why now.. i tell people upfront what are my prices.... if you want one of my cakes, if you want to shop around
i know that the other BIG FISH in Miami will charge her an arm and a leg...
i still take those last minute orders, but never ever for a cake that big...
you are an angel, bc i probably wouldve turned him down.... and its true it wasnt for him, it was for the kid... i will do anything for kids, too see the smile,and make their day better.

sweetcravings Posted 17 May 2008 , 1:13am
post #15 of 38

It's so nice to talk with people who totally understand how i'm feeling. You guys are so great. I'm going to put the negative behind me and focus on my good deed.

Dahir..kathy glaze method..i first heard of if from another website..then kathy filled me in on the how to's. It is basically like a buttercream transfer but you do it straight on the cake. I have a projector that displays the image on the cake. I outline it, the fill it in with the colors it needs. Kinda like doing a sugar cookie. The glaze consistency is thickened or loosened with water. It's made of icing sugar, salt, h2o, vanilla and that's it. Very fast to make. It doesnt' dry rock hard, just crusts over. If i can figure out how to post a picture i will try and post the cake. If you want exact measurments of the glaze let me know and i'll post it.

suz
suz

dahir Posted 17 May 2008 , 1:18am
post #16 of 38

thanks for the info. I do not have a projector. I havent heard of that method but sounds interesting. I love trying new things. Thank's for sharing.
T

fiddlesticks Posted 17 May 2008 , 1:25am
post #17 of 38

sweetcravings I would love the measurments of the glaze?.. I have a projector. I do have a hard time keeping my hands out of the way and also not making shadows when using it though ! I would also love to see a cake done in that method ? Thanks!!

sweetcravings Posted 17 May 2008 , 1:30am
post #18 of 38

Ok...i figured out how to post pics..the cake is in childrens birthday cake area.
Thanks for looking

sweetcravings Posted 17 May 2008 , 1:45am
post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by dahir

thanks for the info. I do not have a projector. I havent heard of that method but sounds interesting. I love trying new things. Thank's for sharing.
T



You could probably do the same technique by tracing the image on wax paper, flip it over so it's the reverse side, go over your lines with piping gel, flip the paper onto cake and gently go over you lines. this will leave the image on the cake once you remove the paper. Then trace and fill as desired.
suz

sweetcravings Posted 17 May 2008 , 1:51am
post #20 of 38

Here's the glaze recipe..

2lbs powdered sugar, 1Tbsp clear vanilla, 1/4tsp salt, and 3/4cup of water (may need more to thin the glaze for filling in.)
Just put all of this in a bowl and mix until it is well blended. I find i have to add more water so that it isn't so hard to pipe the outline. Then when i mix the colors, i have to add even more water to make it thinner. But be sure only to add a drop at a time, it doesn't take much to thin it. Does that make sense. HTH If you have any further questions let me know. This doesnt' dry hard, just crusts.

fiddlesticks Posted 17 May 2008 , 1:52am
post #21 of 38

sweetcravings,, You cake is very cute ! Please share the measurments of the glaze?

fiddlesticks Posted 17 May 2008 , 1:56am
post #22 of 38

sweetcravings Thanks ! I really like the look of that method ! We must of been posting at the same time !

inspireddecorator Posted 17 May 2008 , 4:18am
post #23 of 38

I am the same. I never end up charging enough either and it can take hours of planning, baking, designing, etc etc. They are always appreciative, but you quote a price that isn't that high because you feel quilty and don't want to gouge them. I also keep agreeing to do cakes on a moments notice. I finally said no. I need a darn break. The attached cake, I only charged $50 and I know I way undercharged. But lesson learned I guess. But for me it would have to take someone to hit me over the head to keep the guilt felling aside.
LL

2waystodo Posted 17 May 2008 , 4:49am
post #24 of 38

I know how you feel about not charging enough and feeling guilty for the price you do charge.

I just made my mine up...I called some local Bakerys in my area to compare my price with theres... First of all they do not decorate cakes like I do..and there prices are higher than mine...

I just decided to charge as fairly as I can...and with God's help I'm sticking to it...

I hope this helps...Your cake is absoutely awesome...

I took some cake classes and I talked to my instructor and she told me not to be too cheap on my prices because, people will unintentionally take advantage of you...She said unless your a 'cake decorator' you will not understand nor appreciate the work that is involved...

Syl thumbs_up.gif

wgoat5 Posted 17 May 2008 , 10:53am
post #25 of 38

you know its times like these (the same scenario like yours) is when I beat myself up for days.

I quit being a cake maker that loses money.

I got a phone call the other day... here is how it went..

"Hello, this is xxxx.. you did a cake for xxxx and I loved the taste and the look. How much would you charge to do a 1/4 sheet?"

Me: "50.00 dollars ... and that depends on what style.. what you want done.. etc."

Her: "Well I really don't know what she wants on this cake so .. I'll call you back"

Ya think she called me back? Nope.. ya know what? I don't care. It costs to turn on my oven. It costs me time with my family.. time on the road.. GAS.. etc. etc. If they don't like my prices I weed them out as cheapskates.

I have several "regulars" who order at least 5 times a year. And I am proud of those. They constantly talk about my cakes.

My time is worth as much as theirs!

Don't give anymore discounts and ALWAYS account for your time!!

(((hugs))) to you my friend!

pamconn Posted 17 May 2008 , 12:43pm
post #26 of 38

Suz,
My gosh girl-that's a last minute cake?! It looks great! And thanks for the glaze idea.

fiddlesticks Posted 17 May 2008 , 4:29pm
post #27 of 38

wgoat5... Christi ... Well said !I had the same thing with an order for a 12x18 for a b/day ! They didnt like my price !I wasent about to lower it at all ! But they really love my cakes etc !! Ok then either pay or go to wallyworld ! Funny thing ! They pay me whatever I want on the smaller size cakes , Guess they just didnt understand the larger cake price ! Oh well !

sweetcravings Posted 18 May 2008 , 5:46pm
post #28 of 38

So now that some of you have seen the cake, what would you have charged?
suz

veejaytx Posted 18 May 2008 , 6:57pm
post #29 of 38

Looks like a million bucks to me!

Really, I would think $200+ easily. Beautiful cake and great work!

TexasSugar Posted 18 May 2008 , 7:09pm
post #30 of 38

Sounds like it is time for you to sit down and make out a basic price list. Atleast find out how much you are spending on your cakes so you have an idea of what you need to chrage to get that back and then some.

Since you are offering a nut free cake you could actually add in a little more because that is something they can't get everywhere they go. And of course for the last minute order...

To me it is always best to discuss price upfront. Because when it comes to pick up and you just have to throw out a number you almost always cheat yourself because at that point you have a cake you want to get out of the house, but you are scared to offend them with the price as well.

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