Legal To Advertise On Craigslist?

Business By brogi2baker Updated 5 Jun 2008 , 7:21pm by mekaclayton

brogi2baker Posted 18 May 2008 , 3:11am
post #1 of 62

I was browsing craigslist looking for pans when I ran across a woman selling kids birthday cakes. I am assuming from the look of her photos and cakes that she works out of her home and does not have a legal business. Is it legal to advertise on craigs list if you do not have a legal kitchen?

61 replies
PieceofCakeAZ Posted 18 May 2008 , 3:16am
post #2 of 62

In most cases, It is illegal to sell food items at all if they are not prepared in a licensed kitchen. Advertising doesn't make it any more or less legal.

FromScratch Posted 18 May 2008 , 3:17am
post #3 of 62

If you aren't licensed.. and your state doesn't have cottage food laws.. then no.. it's not legal to advertise anywhere.

poshcakedesigns Posted 18 May 2008 , 3:21am
post #4 of 62

She could be renting kitchen space and not doing this from home.

indydebi Posted 18 May 2008 , 3:21am
post #5 of 62

It is legal to place an ad. you will not be fined or penalized for placing an ad. You WILL be fined/penalized for selling food without a legal license and health dept approval, and the ad may direct those in authority to your doorstep.

The end result is the same, but i wanted to clarify the difference.

brogi2baker Posted 18 May 2008 , 6:36pm
post #6 of 62

Just to clarify, I am not trying to get who ever it was in trouble with anyone. She may be baking legal for all I know.

However, I am not licensed and know it is not legal to advertise anywhere unless you are. I only do cakes for family and friends now, but would like to get licensed someday. But for now, I was just wondering if it was legal on craigslist, etsy, farmers markets, etc... and other places where things are "home made".

Thanks for your help!

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 18 May 2008 , 8:32pm
post #7 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by brogi2baker

Just to clarify, I am not trying to get who ever it was in trouble with anyone. She may be baking legal for all I know.

However, I am not licensed and know it is not legal to advertise anywhere unless you are. I only do cakes for family and friends now, but would like to get licensed someday. But for now, I was just wondering if it was legal on craigslist, etsy, farmers markets, etc... and other places where things are "home made".

Thanks for your help!




You can advertise anywhere you want....advertising is NOT illegal. Not getting the proper permits from the HD and IRS is what is illegal.

Iloveweddings Posted 20 May 2008 , 5:51am
post #8 of 62

Hi. I have seen people talk about the "laws" about copyrights and here now about advertising. Personally, I consider these things very minor infractions. Nothing to get worked up about. I don't understand people concerning themselves with these issues. Don't you think tha if Disney was concerned about people doing their copyrighted images on cakes they would deal with it? Why do little people ( compared to Disney big wigs)on CC care if Disney doesn't?

There are many people out there doing cakes that are not licensed. Some businesses will not allow a non-commercial "bakery" to not bring in a cake. Fair enough.

About your specific question. No it is not actually illegal to advertise. It is not illegal to have a website, which is a form of advertising, about your cakes if you are not licensed.

Don't concern yourself with such things.

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 20 May 2008 , 12:32pm
post #9 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iloveweddings

Hi. I have seen people talk about the "laws" about copyrights and here now about advertising. Personally, I consider these things very minor infractions. Nothing to get worked up about. I don't understand people concerning themselves with these issues. Don't you think tha if Disney was concerned about people doing their copyrighted images on cakes they would deal with it? Why do little people ( compared to Disney big wigs)on CC care if Disney doesn't?

There are many people out there doing cakes that are not licensed. Some businesses will not allow a non-commercial "bakery" to not bring in a cake. Fair enough.

About your specific question. No it is not actually illegal to advertise. It is not illegal to have a website, which is a form of advertising, about your cakes if you are not licensed.

Don't concern yourself with such things.




icon_eek.gificon_eek.gificon_eek.gif
I am not going to get into the licensed vs unlicensed debate and high jack this post but I will say that you are reckless in giving someone bad advice that could potentially get them into a lot of trouble!

indydebi Posted 20 May 2008 , 2:26pm
post #10 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iloveweddings

Don't concern yourself with such things.




Ouch! Dont' concern yourself with things that may or may not be illegal as you run your business? icon_confused.gif Not exactly what I would call good advice.

littlecake Posted 20 May 2008 , 3:25pm
post #11 of 62

I think it would be stupid to advertise on craigslist if you were trying to fly under the radar...good way to tell the health dept..."hey come check me out".

costumeczar Posted 20 May 2008 , 5:34pm
post #12 of 62
Quote:
Quote:

Don't you think tha if Disney was concerned about people doing their copyrighted images on cakes they would deal with it? Why do little people ( compared to Disney big wigs)on CC care if Disney doesn't?




Uh...Ask my friend who owns a bakery and who has people coming in on a regular basis to specifically ask for copyright-protected designs if Disney cares or not. Of course they do! My friend says that he can tell who's a regular customer and who's there fishing for violations a mile away now, because it happens so often.

I also had a client ask for a Pooh cake, and I called her back, but her father answered. I gave him a message to give to her, that I could do the colors or something, but that I wouldn't do Pooh becasue it's copyrighted, and he said "That's good, because I'm an attorney, and I specialize in copyright law." icon_eek.gif

littlecake Posted 20 May 2008 , 7:24pm
post #13 of 62

"That's good, because I'm an attorney, and I specialize in copyright law."

YIKES!

Iloveweddings Posted 20 May 2008 , 9:09pm
post #14 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iloveweddings

Don't concern yourself with such things.



Ouch! Dont' concern yourself with things that may or may not be illegal as you run your business? icon_confused.gif Not exactly what I would call good advice.




The original poster said it wasn't her advertising but someone else. It was someone else's business. Basically, you can hate me for it, but I firmly believe in mind your own business and leave others alone, epecially when it is someones livelihood. As I said, please don't hate. It is merely how I view things and do things.

costumeczar Posted 20 May 2008 , 10:01pm
post #15 of 62

Nobody said anything about hating anybody, so feel free to live and let live, but don't toss the word "hate" around either.

indydebi Posted 20 May 2008 , 11:19pm
post #16 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iloveweddings

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iloveweddings

Don't concern yourself with such things.



Ouch! Dont' concern yourself with things that may or may not be illegal as you run your business? icon_confused.gif Not exactly what I would call good advice.



The original poster said it wasn't her advertising but someone else. It was someone else's business. Basically, you can hate me for it, but I firmly believe in mind your own business and leave others alone, epecially when it is someones livelihood. As I said, please don't hate. It is merely how I view things and do things.




No hating involved ..... and I understand the OP was asking a general question that may or may not specifically apply to her. icon_smile.gif I was just expressing my concern about advice being given about not concerning one's self with what may or may not be illegal as they apply it to their own business.

No offense taken or given .... just a little surprise.

We're still friends, though, right?! thumbs_up.gif

FromScratch Posted 20 May 2008 , 11:40pm
post #17 of 62

The way I see it is everytime someone asks about is this or that okay/legal it is an opportunity to educate people on the whole. Others will read it and maybe they will learn something about what is okay or not okay to do.

No one here is going to go on a witch hunt or anything.. but it's not really a "mind your own P's and Q's" sort of a thing. People come here looking for advice about how to run their business or how to turn their hobby into a business.. they should get sound advice. Not just "mind your own business". icon_confused.gif

No one is hating anyone here.. but come on now.. people deserve to know the truth.. and not just be told to go and do whatever minor infraction you may want.. it only matters if you get caught after all. It's only right to let them know what they are up against should they get caught. It's all about giving info. Now.. what people do with that info is their business.

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 21 May 2008 , 1:25am
post #18 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

The way I see it is everytime someone asks about is this or that okay/legal it is an opportunity to educate people on the whole. Others will read it and maybe they will learn something about what is okay or not okay to do.

No one here is going to go on a witch hunt or anything.. but it's not really a "mind your own P's and Q's" sort of a thing. People come here looking for advice about how to run their business or how to turn their hobby into a business.. they should get sound advice. Not just "mind your own business". icon_confused.gif

No one is hating anyone here.. but come on now.. people deserve to know the truth.. and not just be told to go and do whatever minor infraction you may want.. it only matters if you get caught after all. It's only right to let them know what they are up against should they get caught. It's all about giving info. Now.. what people do with that info is their business.





That is so well put if we had a clapping emoticon I'd use it! Thanks for laying it out in a nice manner! Very well spoken! thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

Iloveweddings Posted 21 May 2008 , 2:02am
post #19 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman



No one is hating anyone here.. but come on now.. people deserve to know the truth.. and not just be told to go and do whatever minor infraction you may want.. it only matters if you get caught after all. It's only right to let them know what they are up against should they get caught. It's all about giving info. Now.. what people do with that info is their business.




Before I posted my view the OP had already been told the legal answer. I just don't want to see anyone lose their possible livelihood. I think that most people get what I meant when I said not to hate me for my view of things. I am sorry that my "mind your own business" is not met with agreement. I want people to mind there own business when it comes to me, so I mind mine when it comes to someone else. You know, do unto others. If someone talks about it and asks questions, then that brings you into their business. Live and let live.

indydebi - I am glad you were not offended as I was not trying to be nasty. I think you know what I meant by "don't hate me". We are friends no doubt! thumbs_up.gif

FromScratch Posted 21 May 2008 , 2:55am
post #20 of 62

The thing is.. I don't honestly mind what you do with your own business. I think you are taking this as I think everyone should do what I do and that's not really the case. Also you say you don't want anyone to lose their livelyhood, and that's all well and good, but to just tell people to do whatever they want to do could end up losing them their livelyhood and more. A person gets sick from your cake and you could be sued. If you aren't legal you can't have liability insurance and have no real protection. You stand to lose a lot.

Like I said.. what you do with the information is your own business.. but this question was posted in the Cake Decorating Business forum and here, if nowhere else, you should get sound business advice.

I know exactly what you are saying when you say "don't hate me".. I am in no way offended by your comments and I certainly don't think you are/were being nasty in anyway, but I also don't want someone to confuse your views with sound business advice. I guess I could never tell someone it's okay to do something that really isn't because in the end.. that advice could get them in a world of trouble.. especially when it concerns preparing food for the public. Many don't think of the ramifications.. and they are worth thinking about.

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 21 May 2008 , 12:22pm
post #21 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iloveweddings

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman



No one is hating anyone here.. but come on now.. people deserve to know the truth.. and not just be told to go and do whatever minor infraction you may want.. it only matters if you get caught after all. It's only right to let them know what they are up against should they get caught. It's all about giving info. Now.. what people do with that info is their business.



Before I posted my view the OP had already been told the legal answer. I just don't want to see anyone lose their possible livelihood. I think that most people get what I meant when I said not to hate me for my view of things. I am sorry that my "mind your own business" is not met with agreement. I want people to mind there own business when it comes to me, so I mind mine when it comes to someone else. You know, do unto others. If someone talks about it and asks questions, then that brings you into their business. Live and let live.

indydebi - I am glad you were not offended as I was not trying to be nasty. I think you know what I meant by "don't hate me". We are friends no doubt! thumbs_up.gif




IMO telling someone to ignore the law and do what they want to is not "minding your own business"...it's being reckless in giving bad advice. Livelihood? What do you think happens when the HD, IRS, Comptroller, & Copyright holder find out you just sold a Mickey cake for $50??? Do you realize how many laws are violated just by selling that ONE cake? Obviously not, or you might not have told some one to just go ahead and do it! And just for the record I'm not totally against homebakers...but I would never encourage someone to do so if it could get them into trouble.

FromScratch Posted 22 May 2008 , 12:19am
post #22 of 62

Oooh.. and for the record.. I *am* a homebaker.. legal and licensed, but a homebaker none-the-less.

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 22 May 2008 , 4:41am
post #23 of 62

I meant illegal homebakers as it pertains to this situation. Sorry if I offended you!

Iloveweddings Posted 22 May 2008 , 5:58am
post #24 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetConfectionsChef



IMO telling someone to ignore the law and do what they want to is not "minding your own business"...it's being reckless in giving bad advice. Livelihood? What do you think happens when the HD, IRS, Comptroller, & Copyright holder find out you just sold a Mickey cake for $50??? Do you realize how many laws are violated just by selling that ONE cake? Obviously not, or you might not have told some one to just go ahead and do it! And just for the record I'm not totally against homebakers...but I would never encourage someone to do so if it could get them into trouble.




Hey, I am being blasted here for something I was never was really saying. My "advice" has been misunderstood. My advice is to leave people that ignore the legalities alone. It could be their livelihood. That is what I mean by "mind your own business". I am "encouraging" people to leave people alone. Don't go and stir up trouble. When I said in my first post "Don't concern yourself with such things" I meant to leave the person advertising alone. And the OP was asking about legalities of advertising NOT about making cakes.

LeanneW Posted 22 May 2008 , 6:35am
post #25 of 62

wow, this place is heated tonight.

in my small opinion... unlisenced bakers could be taking the livelihood from a legit lisenced baker who has truly invested in thier business

I would never rat someone out but certainly I would be upset if they were taking my customers

fondantfrenzy Posted 22 May 2008 , 6:59am
post #26 of 62

So what exactly is an unlicensed baker? I bake cakes out of my home, never taken one single penny for a cake. But there was a previous post where someone baked a cake for a coworker that didnt pay them i think the amount was like $150.

So if i was to bake a cake for my friend, and they said they would pay me $75 is that illegal? I just would like to understand exactly what you can and can't do!

Thanks!!!

Texas_Rose Posted 22 May 2008 , 7:13am
post #27 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by leannewinslow

in my small opinion... unlisenced bakers could be taking the livelihood from a legit lisenced baker who has truly invested in thier business

I would never rat someone out but certainly I would be upset if they were taking my customers




It may be different in other cities, but the unlicensed bakers selling on Craigslist in my city really aren't selling cakes that compete with the bakeries here. If any bakeries are losing business to unlicensed bakers on craigslist, all that they're losing are the cheap people who would walk out when they got a price quote. Think about it...I bet you've seen ads on Craigslist where someone wants a wedding cake on a budget...the last one I saw was a cake to feed 150, red velvet cake, cream cheese icing, fondant...and they wanted it for $100 or less, delivered and set up. That's not a customer anyone would be sad to lose.

Iloveweddings Posted 22 May 2008 , 7:50am
post #28 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose



It may be different in other cities, but the unlicensed bakers selling on Craigslist in my city really aren't selling cakes that compete with the bakeries here. If any bakeries are losing business to unlicensed bakers on craigslist, all that they're losing are the cheap people who would walk out when they got a price quote.




Very true. Many bakeries do not want to be bothered with the smaller cakes and the cakes with a lot of details. Many do not want to do fondant. Many do not want to make sugar roses. As soon as a couple on a tiny budget hear the prices, they leave.

FromScratch Posted 22 May 2008 , 12:01pm
post #29 of 62

To clarify.. No one offended me. I just wanted to point out that I am a homebaker so people knew where I was coming from. icon_smile.gif

Secondly.. I certainly wasn't blasting anyone. icon_smile.gif You'd know if I was blasting you.. I tend to not hold back and be a real beeotch when someone has ruffled my feathers beyond preening. I understand what you are saying (iloveweddings).. I just think it's poor form to not inform people of the laws. I'd think that being from Cali you of all people would understand how hard it can be to get licensed.. I understand the temptation to fly under the radar.. but I could never tell someone to do it.

Fondantfenzy.. the only time you need to worry about getting licensed is when you begin selling your cakes. You cannot accept any monies for a cake if you are not licensed.. not even just for ingredients.. or you are breaking the law and putting yourself at risk.

WHat also burns me about the unlicensed and SUPER cheap priced homebaker is that they perpetuate the Wal*Mart train of thought on pricing a custom cake. "If Suzie-Cheap-Baker down the road can make me a completely custom cake with all the bells and whistles for $0.80 per serving why can't you?" Well because I'd be paying you to take my cake that's why.

I can only speak for myself, but I have a feeling it's true of most here.. when I am talking about the laws and the things that have been brought up here I am mainly speaking in generalities rather than directing it at one person. icon_smile.gif

LeanneW Posted 22 May 2008 , 2:51pm
post #30 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by fondantfrenzy

So what exactly is an unlicensed baker? I bake cakes out of my home, never taken one single penny for a cake. But there was a previous post where someone baked a cake for a coworker that didnt pay them i think the amount was like $150.

So if i was to bake a cake for my friend, and they said they would pay me $75 is that illegal? I just would like to understand exactly what you can and can't do!

Thanks!!!




I think every state, or even county, can have different rules but... here in washington you need to be lisenced to sell food that is not for your personal consumption. So this means if you attend the party and eat your own cake that it is not a commercial product.

Not sure if this applies to other states and also not sure if this does or doesn't mean you can make a profit.

I wouldn't even risk getting caught but I suppose if you bake from home by word of mouth the only way you will be investigated is if the DOH gets a complaint or the word of mouth spreads to the wrong person.

I agree with the comments about the customers who buy home bakers cakes are not the same customers who are willing to pay what a custom cake is worth. I can tell you crazy stories about people asking for multiple cakes, not just one wedding cake, but 3, for $100.00, oh and could I please be sure I don't use any hydrogenated oil (yes this means no chocolate)

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