I Can't Believe I'm Asking A Pricing Question

Business By jsmith Updated 12 Jun 2008 , 9:53pm by MacsMom

jsmith Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 3:33am
post #1 of 23

This story is in no way bashing the bride or her mother. Both were very sweet. The problem is I need a good shaking or maybe a slap to the face. icon_lol.gif

People kept telling me my cakes were cheap so I kept raising them because I don't want people coming to me for cheap cakes. I especially don't want to be cheaper than the bakeries because that might tick them off. I'm totally ok when people call to get a price quote and then go somewhere else because I'm too expensive. It usually doesn't bother me.

But this MOB knew my prices and still wanted to come in for a consultation. It didn't go very well. I think it was a little tense because the bride and MOB seemed to be clashing. The MOB said $4.00 a serving seemed a little high and I tried to explain why it was that price but I was so nervous! I did encourage them to check out a couple of bakeries I like and let me know if they'd like to book with me.

It was all very polite but now my confidence is shaky. Do you think $4.00 per serving is too much for this cake (covered with fondant) at my skill level? What's ironic is the main reason I'm charging so much for cakes now is to discourage people from placing orders with me in the first place. I know, I feel totally stupid for worrying about it but I wanted to check here and see if ya'll thought this a fair price. The price includes delivery and set up.

22 replies
wgoat5 Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 3:38am
post #2 of 23

Oh wow.. MOB thought 4.00 a serv. was toooo high for that cake??? At your talent level.. at least 6.00 a serving.. that cake is gorgeous!!!!

Stick with it my friend. icon_smile.gif !! You do awesome work!

jsmith Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 3:42am
post #3 of 23

Thank you! I feel better now. It's just that sometimes people are so nice I wish I could do their cake for free or cost but I know better than that. The truth is, I decorate better when I get paid adequately for it.

wgoat5 Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 3:44am
post #4 of 23

Ohh yes doesn't everybody?

I sooo wish you luck and I hope you get the order... to show them how great your work is!!! icon_smile.gif

Ruth0209 Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 4:00am
post #5 of 23

I think $4/serving is completely reasonable for that cake, especially with fondant, set-up and delivery. Don't undersell yourself! Really beautiful cake, by the way!

FromScratch Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 4:02am
post #6 of 23

HA!!! Your price was in NO way too high. Is it fondant or BC? BC I'd charge no less than $5/serving and fondant no less than $6. Stick to your guns.. do not do this cake for cheap because their budget can't accomodate you. Send them off.

amy2197 Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 4:05am
post #7 of 23

It is a gorgeous cake and i'm sure you would do a beautiful job of it. don't sell yourself short

BakingGirl Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 4:13am
post #8 of 23

Judging by your photos your skill level is very high indeed. You do some beautiful work! $4 per serving for fondant is not high at all. No reason why you should price yourself low. As you said yourself, you price yourself at a level where you avoid doing cheap cakes. You should stick to your guns. If they decide to go elsewhere for their cake it might just be a blessing in disguise.

jsmith Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 5:19am
post #9 of 23

Thanks everyone! I'm ok now. I'm going to stick with my prices. I guess what threw me off was that she seemed to want to negotiate the price at the consultation. I try to give a price quote and other info before we even meet up for a consult so we don't waste each others time. I hate consultations. I get so nervous. I'm just glad I didn't budge on my price then. I did offer alternative cheaper designs but the bride really liked that one.
Sorry to bring up another pricing question! I try hard not to undersell other cake decorators around here.

LeanneW Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 5:47am
post #10 of 23
Originally Posted by jsmith

Do you think $4.00 per serving is too much for this cake (covered with fondant) at my skill level? What's ironic is the main reason I'm charging so much for cakes now is to discourage people from placing orders with me in the first place.

OK, it sounds to me like you are saying your skill level isn't worth $4. You have got to be kidding me. You got the "need a slap part right". That is a stunning cake and worth plenty more than what they paid.

I struggle with cake confidence too, I have no plan or advice for how to overcome it but I am guessing you feel better about yourself after looking at that stunning cake that you made.

I recently tried to discourage a customer from ordering a cake I didn't want to make so I quoted a price that I thought they would think was high and I didn't actually figure out how much the price would be. They wanted the cake so I ended up taking the order and when I sat down to figure out the price I had actually short changed myself. lesson learned.

I tell myself to be more confident in my cakes every day and it never gets better. The funny thing is that I am very confident in most every other thing I do.

I think we should start a cake confidence support group, does anyone know a good therapist?

bethmck Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 1:34pm
post #11 of 23

I am a public librarian and deal with people every hour of every day. Everyone knows there are late fines before they check out their first book, just as they know your prices for a cake. There are gracious patrons who will make you feel 10 feet tall, and no late fine is too big a price to pay. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are patrons who will fight, shout, argue and groan over every penny they owe and make you feel so small you could crawl into a hole. With the same amazing cake, you will experience as many reactions to parting with money as there are people in the world. It is really interesting to watch.

You handled the interview perfectly, graciously offering the choices of your competitors...Your cake is magnificent! Stick to your prices. Believe in yourself and your wonderful talent.

jsmith Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 1:50pm
post #12 of 23

Thank you. I guess I just get nervous charging so much for a cake. I know it's worth it and it will take me 30 hours to make but then I think there's no way I would be able to afford that myself. icon_lol.gif
Just to clarify, the picture of the cake above was made by Carries cakes and not me. I'm hoping mine would turn out as beautiful. But I hope the bride finds a cheaper baker somewhere and forgets all about me.

Edited to add: I know a good therapist! She told me to quit cakes because she saw all the stress it caused me. (she's my friend not my therapist.) icon_lol.gif

shalderman Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 6:21pm
post #13 of 23

I just wanted to chime in too and say you do excellent work and $4 is in NO way too much. I agree you could charge more too. And especially $4/serving for that cake. Lots of time involved.

kurn Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 6:57pm
post #14 of 23

I have the same problem with pricing. I'm not nearly as skilled as so many of the other members here, but in my local area I have a good reputation. My work has suffered over the last year or so because of I've had so many orders. I recently stopped doing all the smaller birthday cakes and sheet cakes because they are time consuming and people don't understand that just because it's "small" it still takes almost the same time to decorate. Now I'm going to concentrate on improving my skills and taking my time on just my wedding cakes. Then I'll be raising my prices too.

Kitchen_Witch Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 7:31pm
post #15 of 23
Originally Posted by jsmith

Sorry to bring up another pricing question! I try hard not to undersell other cake decorators around here.

I'm quite glad you did bring up "another pricing question". icon_biggrin.gif Not only did you get your question answered, but you helped answer mine too. So thank you!

From looking at your cakes I agree with the precious posters. $4 a server for your talent is a great deal. The MOB should've grabbed that price and run!

jsmith Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 9:19pm
post #16 of 23

Thanks again. Now that I think about it $4.00 a serving doesn't sound so high. I'm glad my question helped someone else too. icon_smile.gif

MacsMom Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 9:47pm
post #17 of 23

You have to know that you are one of my favorite decorators on this site! You're skill level is tops, whether or not you have had any formal training.

I haven't had any formal training and I charge $4 to $5 for my cakes, knowing that I should probably be asking for at least $6 since it seems the bakeries around are charging $8 for custom fondant cakes. I'm busier than I want to be, too.

jsmith Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 9:58pm
post #18 of 23

Oh, you just made my week! Thanks so much. icon_redface.gif I think your cakes are awesome. Ya'll have given me such a confidence boost I may even raise my prices. icon_lol.gif Thanks for being such a supportive group.

wgoat5 Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 10:11pm
post #19 of 23

I ditto what Macsmom says icon_smile.gif

I absolutely adore your work!

jsmith Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 10:32pm
post #20 of 23

Aw, thanks. icon_smile.gif

JulieB Posted 12 Jun 2008 , 6:18pm
post #21 of 23

Bless everyone's hearts, I get so aggravated when folks feel bad charging a low price per serving.

If you go to any restaurant, you pay approx $5 for a slice of cake. Frozen in most cases, and not decorated. I love O'Charley's, but their cake is not that great, and it's $5 a piece.

Somebody is throwing the party of their life when they throw a wedding. It will be talke about for years. They want to impress folks. So they fuss about the price? Wow.

If someone is out to get a "cheap" wedding cake, they sell those at Wal-Mart. You want a "nice" cake, or a "fancy" cake, or a "classy" cake, you ain't gonna find that at Wal-Mart or Sam's or Costco. You gotta find a good decorator. And you gotta pay her a good little piece of money.

Them's the facts, folks.

Karema Posted 12 Jun 2008 , 7:54pm
post #22 of 23

I recently did a wedding cake and I did a 14", 12",10",8", 6" and I only charged 650. I was a reasonable price but I couldnt have gotton a little more since I delivered it about 20 minutes away, set up and made her an aniversary layer to freeze that I will deliver. It's the wedding cake in my photos. I think I didnt an ok job. If I had added my cost a little more I would have raised it since she wanted an orange cremsicle cake and the orange peel and extract was really expensive. Oh well. I think I was fair with the price what do you think?

MacsMom Posted 12 Jun 2008 , 9:53pm
post #23 of 23

Fair price is what you make of it. No one can tell you different. I know that by charging $4 to $5 serving I am making tons more money than the cost of the product.

Hourly I haven't figuredout hoe to pay myself because some days the brain isn't clicking as quick as other's, and sometimes my body wants to be asleep not up until 2am meeting a deadline.

So I guess I charge the amount of money I would like to make it worth it to me to keep sellling cakes. The stress, the lack of sleep.

Otherwise, by the time I finish a cake I am so thrilled with how it turned out (usually) that I forget about what I went through and almost want to give it away.

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