How Do We Feel About Invoices Reflecting Discounts? Long :(

Business By CakeDiva73 Updated 11 Jun 2008 , 9:47pm by CakeDiva73

CakeDiva73 Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 7:11pm
post #1 of 26

Ok, this is long. If you don't want to read it, perhaps you could just give me your opinion as to whether or not you attach an invoice with original price minus any discount so your customers (who are lucky enough to get a discount) can see what the real price would be. thanks icon_smile.gif

_______________________________

I often give a 20% discount to the teachers at my kids school when they place large orders ~ not always, but sometimes. I got an order that evolved from one cake, to a cakes w/cakeballs to two cakes and then somehow ended up turning into two rather advanced teired cakes.

(Here is the link - can't get picture to attach)

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo_1230792.html


When we first started talking money, I told her I would give her 20% off. When at a school assembly, she stopped me and showed me a picture she had printed and wanted to know if I could do two of the same cakes with different colors.......I was standing in the hallway at the school with 150 kids running around, lol, and stupidly quoted a mere $60 per cake. (insert gasps here icon_lol.gif )

Ok, so when I get home, I realize I undercharged but no problem, what's done is done. I am not bitter, just try to learn from yet, another mistake! So I get going on these cakes, the day arrives for pick-up and I started thinking 'Oh crap! Does she think she is getting an additional 20% off?' So I am trying to come up with a way to show her that I gave her way more than 20% off. In fact, with all the fondant work, these would have been $296 for both rather then $120. Again, NOT trying to get more money.

So following friends advice, I handwrite an invoice on my business stationary summarizing the order at $296 minus the discount for a total of $120. When she comes to pick up, she has her checkbook and says she can't remember the total. I advise her is was $120..........she went to write the check but hesitated and I am thinking CRIPES! She thinks I am not giving her the discount.....

So I take her to the side and show her the invoice....she then says she feels like crap paying me only $120 - I tell her no, not at all. I was honest, told her I was concerned I hadn't been clear and didn't want her to think I hadn't given her a discount and also wanted her to know the real price in case anyone at the party had wanted one. (May sound tacky but this happened a while back, did a hugely discounted cake for someone at the school, who proceeded to tell everyone how cheap she got the cake and I ended up with 2 different people calling for that cake but were a bit taken back when I quoted them twice the price. Wanted to avoid this madness.)

So she says she wants to give me a tip....(my friend and I discussed this. I told her if she were to give me a tip without seeing the invoice, I would accept it. If she tried to give me more money after, no deal, as I would not have her feeling like I was asking for more money.) I told her no thank you, she tried to insist and I very bluntly told her no, I appreciate it but I would not accept any more money. Ok, so she takes the cakes but is acting weird.

Weekend goes by and I never hear anything. Monday comes, she is my daughters teacher and I asked my daughter if she said anything ( she was so excited about these cakes she told the whole class 'So & So's Mom is making my cakes'....talk about pressure! Anyway, she tells my daughter she will return supports and stuff......

So last night she dropped off the materials and beelines outta here....I am stunned. Couldn't figure out if she was mad or if the cake was bad or what. So I call her to see if she will be at school for the next couple days and then she is still acting weird and I am a blunt gal so I just said 'Why are you acting weird? What's wrong? Did I offend you?" She said she was pissed at herself for not giving me the tip first and then I wouldn't accept it after, etc.

So long story short, somehow, I think I offended her by NOT accepting a tip but to me. Does anyone understand that I am unwilling to shame this woman into paying more money, lol? I was trying to show her that I had given her a discount and couldn't take a chance of her feeling like she had to pay me more because I had given her a 60% discount instead of a 20%......we are fine - not fighting, but clearly I blundered.

Anyone what has taken the time to read this novel want to enlighten me as to how I should handle this in the future? (And I can already see all the post that say "NO MORE DISCOUNTS!!" I am talking about times when I do offer them) thanks

25 replies
JoAnnB Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 7:32pm
post #2 of 26

I am sure you have learned lots from this one.

never quote a cake on the fly, unless you have done one exactly like it, it takes a little time to quantify the variables (size, special ingredients, etc)

Always quote the full price, then say, I can discount it to _____ for you.

Then they already know what the cake costs and whether or not they should offer to tip you (take it, if offered)

Your 'regular' pricing should be consistant. easy cakes can have lower pricing, but still, your customers will be able to adjust their expectations.

CakeDiva73 Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 7:54pm
post #3 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoAnnB

I am sure you have learned lots from this one.

never quote a cake on the fly, unless you have done one exactly like it, it takes a little time to quantify the variables (size, special ingredients, etc)

Always quote the full price, then say, I can discount it to _____ for you.

Then they already know what the cake costs and whether or not they should offer to tip you (take it, if offered)

Your 'regular' pricing should be consistant. easy cakes can have lower pricing, but still, your customers will be able to adjust their expectations.




You are right, of course. I was thinking 'she can't afford my cakes and I should lower the price' instead of, 'if you cant afford my cakes, order less cake!' icon_smile.gif

** edited to add:

In the cases where I do give a discount, should I attach an invoice with a summary and the discounted price? Or is that bad as well? thx

jewelykaye Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 8:24pm
post #4 of 26

I do discounts for my church friends and I always show the discount on the invoice. For the exact same reason you stated, you never know when someone is going to ask them how much they paid, etc. So I like to make it very clear.

I don't think you will have this problem again in the future because now you know to take the time to work up a quote.

It's okay because I've done that so many times as well and now lesson learned. Never directly respond to "How much?" just say well my prices START at $__ per serving but I'll work up a quote and send it to you or get back with you.

jsmith Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 9:15pm
post #5 of 26

I think it's great you have a customer who thinks you deserve more! I would tell her you appreciate her offer because it was considerate. Some people are uncomfortable accepting generous discounts. (I'm one of them) I think I would have accepted her tip out of politeness but maybe reemphasize that you were happy to give the discount and it's not necessary to feel bad about it. I hope she doesn't feel uncomfortable ordering from you again out of fear you'll give another huge discount. I know I try to avoid generous people sometimes because I know if they see me they'll give me something! icon_lol.gif

Oh yeah, as for your original question, I think I would note a discount on the invoice and maybe a "thank you for your business" so they don't feel like they're short changing you.

michellenj Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 9:59pm
post #6 of 26

Even if I give someting away for $0 or if it's a barter situation, I ALWAYS put the original price, less the discount/donation. Just so everyone is on the same page.

Doug Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 10:06pm
post #7 of 26

a tip is a THANK YOU!

she had her "thank your" rejected, in essence shoved back in her face.

I'd be acting weird too if anyone did that to me.

----

and yes -- I show applicable discounts

Relznik Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 10:27pm
post #8 of 26

I recently quoted a friend for a cake.

It was £x for a 9" cake and £y for a 10".

She said that she'd go with the 9"

When I emailed her the order form to check, I told her that I'd do the larger cake, for the same price as the smaller. She was really appreciative. But at least she knows my regular prices. I don't mind upping a cake by 1". The difference in cost is negligable, really, but they feel like they're getting something extra (which always goes down well!)

But I think that, yes, I would give an invoice which shows - for example:

Cake - £100


Less 10% discount -£10
Total Payable £90

indydebi Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 10:38pm
post #9 of 26

I show discounts AND I add all add'l fees, then deduct them if I'm waiving them. I also put the discounts in red.

Example:

Cake .................... $100.00
Plastic Toys ............ $ 10.00
Plastic Toys Waived <$10.00>

Total: ................$100.00

CakeDiva73 Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 10:39pm
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug

a tip is a THANK YOU!

she had her "thank your" rejected, in essence shoved back in her face.

I'd be acting weird too if anyone did that to me.

----

and yes -- I show applicable discounts




This is how it went down.....

I charge her $60 for each cake.

She comes and picks up cakes asking how much she owes, at which point I show her an invoice where it shows a huge discount of $180.

She then says 'she feels like crap paying me so little and feels she should pay me more'.

I refuse..............



That is not a 'tip'.

CakeDiva73 Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 10:44pm
post #11 of 26

(oops....hit enter too soon)

It felt like I was inadvertently shaming her into paying me more than we agreed upon and I couldn't live with that. As it turns out, she had wanted to tip me all along but I didn't know that and she didn't say so. All I knew was as soon as she saw the original price, she looked like she was going to puke and then said the bit about feeling bad.

It is unfortunate that now she probably thinks I was rude, when in fact, my whole point was to NOT be rude. I am still new and therefore screwing up left and right...... icon_sad.gif

I will be delivering cakeballs to her tomorrow, as they are (and I quote) 'Addictive like crack!'. icon_lol.gif

melodyscakes Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 10:52pm
post #12 of 26

I say, NEVER TURN DOWN MONEY!!

CakeDiva73 Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 10:54pm
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by melodyscakes

I say, NEVER TURN DOWN MONEY!!




LOL, yeah, that's pretty much what everyone is saying. icon_smile.gif

Malakin Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 11:11pm
post #14 of 26

Wow, I'm confused??? Anyway, I feel funny about taking tips when they are offered to me. First, I would definitely not tell them straight away how much without knowing exactly what my price for an item would be. Second, I was always told by my elders so to speak, that the owner of a business should not expect, nor receive, nor be given tips over the cost of the item. Third, tell her the best tip you could receive from her is for her to pass the word along to other potential customers about how great a job you do.

DoniB Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 11:15pm
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by melodyscakes

I say, NEVER TURN DOWN MONEY!!




i"m doing cakes right now just for supplies money, and actually taking a loss on them at that. icon_razz.gif But when I deliver them, the folks (who are just family and friends at this point) are asking what the cake SHOULD cost, at a specialty bakery. I either tell them, or I write it up when e-mailing about what they want, so that they know.

As for the tip... always accept a tip. You never know the person's reasoning, or how greatful they are for what you've done. We charge certain prices as an industry standard, but it's kinda like those Mastercard commercials... we don't know when a cake we've made will make an event 'priceless' to the people attending it. We can't put a price on that, so we have to rely on the people involved to do that for us. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won't, but I for one will never turn it down! icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 11:18pm
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malakin

..... the owner of a business should not expect, nor receive, nor be given tips over the cost of the item.



True. Whenever we are given a tip, I always divide it up among my staff. I never keep any of it. They usually end up with anywhere between $50-$100 each for an event.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malakin

Third, tell her the best tip you could receive from her is for her to pass the word along to other potential customers about how great a job you do.



Absolutely Agree !!!!!! thumbs_up.gif

CakeDiva73 Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 11:27pm
post #17 of 26

May I ask a question to everyone who has read or posted on this so far? No snottiness intended, btw, I am baffled.

I am confused as to why you all referring to what happened as a 'tip'. If she had walked in, took one look at the cakes and said what a great job I did, how good they looked, whatever...and then said she was going to give me a bit extra, that would be a tip.

Looking at the invoice where the discount that you didn't realize you had recieved is all spelled out in black and white and then saying "I feel like crap only paying you this much.....I should pay you more." is not, IMHO, a 'tip'.

Am I misunderstanding something? Those two situations are not the same. I realize it's my bad because I fouled it from the get go by undercharging and not being clear, I totally take that responsibility. But if I had presented her with that invoice and then said "Okay" when she said she felt like crap and should be paying me more, I think that would have been so tacky. I must be the only one who thinks that........ icon_confused.gif

I'm totally fine with everyone disagreeing with me, LOL, t'aint the first time!! icon_lol.gif I just can't figure out why everyone is calling that a tip.

thems_my_kids Posted 10 Jun 2008 , 11:27pm
post #18 of 26

Personally I think it was very nice of her to want to pay you more after realizing what a deal she was getting. I don't think she thought you were asking for more money, she just seems like an honest person. Most would just me like, "Alright! Something for nothing." KWIM?

The cake that is my avatar, I only charged $65. I delivered it and she said, "What was it, $80?" And I told her it was $65 and she wrote the check, folded it, handed it to me and I drove away. Later, I looked at the check and she gave me $80 anyway. That's just nice folks that know what your time and talent is worth.

Solecito Posted 11 Jun 2008 , 6:43pm
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by thems_my_kids

Personally I think it was very nice of her to want to pay you more after realizing what a deal she was getting. I don't think she thought you were asking for more money, she just seems like an honest person. Most would just me like, "Alright! Something for nothing." KWIM?

The cake that is my avatar, I only charged $65. I delivered it and she said, "What was it, $80?" And I told her it was $65 and she wrote the check, folded it, handed it to me and I drove away. Later, I looked at the check and she gave me $80 anyway. That's just nice folks that know what your time and talent is worth.




I agree, maybe she felt bad because she hadn't realized the cakes take more ingredients or work until she saw the invoice, and she just wanted to pay more because she though it was fair.
Next time you can tell them something like "it's not necesary" but take the money if they insist. I don't like to accept tips or extra money, but if people offer I take it as as thank you just as Doug said.

Ironbaker Posted 11 Jun 2008 , 6:59pm
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeDiva73

May I ask a question to everyone who has read or posted on this so far? No snottiness intended, btw, I am baffled.

I am confused as to why you all referring to what happened as a 'tip'. If she had walked in, took one look at the cakes and said what a great job I did, how good they looked, whatever...and then said she was going to give me a bit extra, that would be a tip.

Looking at the invoice where the discount that you didn't realize you had recieved is all spelled out in black and white and then saying "I feel like crap only paying you this much.....I should pay you more." is not, IMHO, a 'tip'.

Am I misunderstanding something? Those two situations are not the same. I realize it's my bad because I fouled it from the get go by undercharging and not being clear, I totally take that responsibility. But if I had presented her with that invoice and then said "Okay" when she said she felt like crap and should be paying me more, I think that would have been so tacky. I must be the only one who thinks that........ icon_confused.gif

I'm totally fine with everyone disagreeing with me, LOL, t'aint the first time!! icon_lol.gif I just can't figure out why everyone is calling that a tip.




CakeDiva, I think everyone is referring to it as a "tip" because that's what you called it in your initial post:

Quote:
Quote:

So she says she wants to give me a tip....(my friend and I discussed this. I told her if she were to give me a tip without seeing the invoice, I would accept it. If she tried to give me more money after, no deal, as I would not have her feeling like I was asking for more money.) I told her no thank you, she tried to insist and I very bluntly told her no, I appreciate it but I would not accept any more money. Ok, so she takes the cakes but is acting weird.




So I'm confused now. icon_lol.gif If she called it a tip, then I sort of agree with Doug. If she didn't call it a tip, I completely understand why you turned it down.

When you say you discussed it with your friend, are you talking about the client or someone else?

NickiKR Posted 11 Jun 2008 , 7:02pm
post #21 of 26

I honestly don't think she is upset that you refused the extra money (be it a tip or what have you).

I think I would feel awful if someone pulled out an invoice and showed me a 60% discount that I neither asked for or expected. I would feel like it was a 'lure' to get me to pay more.

So when the offer of more money was turned down, I would be left feeling confused.

twindees Posted 11 Jun 2008 , 7:17pm
post #22 of 26

I agree, I would show the discount in the invoice.


I understand what you are saying by it not being a tip. I still would have taken the money. LOL After all she did get a huge discount. icon_biggrin.gif

jadak Posted 11 Jun 2008 , 8:00pm
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironbaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeDiva73

May I ask a question to everyone who has read or posted on this so far? No snottiness intended, btw, I am baffled.

I am confused as to why you all referring to what happened as a 'tip'. If she had walked in, took one look at the cakes and said what a great job I did, how good they looked, whatever...and then said she was going to give me a bit extra, that would be a tip.

Looking at the invoice where the discount that you didn't realize you had recieved is all spelled out in black and white and then saying "I feel like crap only paying you this much.....I should pay you more." is not, IMHO, a 'tip'.

Am I misunderstanding something? Those two situations are not the same. I realize it's my bad because I fouled it from the get go by undercharging and not being clear, I totally take that responsibility. But if I had presented her with that invoice and then said "Okay" when she said she felt like crap and should be paying me more, I think that would have been so tacky. I must be the only one who thinks that........ icon_confused.gif

I'm totally fine with everyone disagreeing with me, LOL, t'aint the first time!! icon_lol.gif I just can't figure out why everyone is calling that a tip.



CakeDiva, I think everyone is referring to it as a "tip" because that's what you called it in your initial post:

Quote:
Quote:

So she says she wants to give me a tip....(my friend and I discussed this. I told her if she were to give me a tip without seeing the invoice, I would accept it. If she tried to give me more money after, no deal, as I would not have her feeling like I was asking for more money.) I told her no thank you, she tried to insist and I very bluntly told her no, I appreciate it but I would not accept any more money. Ok, so she takes the cakes but is acting weird.



So I'm confused now. icon_lol.gif If she called it a tip, then I sort of agree with Doug. If she didn't call it a tip, I completely understand why you turned it down.

When you say you discussed it with your friend, are you talking about the client or someone else?





I agree. All along, as I was reading this, I was thinking you turned down a "tip" because that's what you said in you first post. I can see if she said, "Oh, well I want to pay your regular price," after seeing the invoice you saying, "Oh no. I don't want that. I just like customers to see the reg. prices so there's no confusion for those who do not receive a discount." I think she would have understood and appreciated that....and probably THEN offered a tip, which would have been completely separate from the discount on the invoice issue.

Now, if she saw the invoice and thanked you and said, "I want to give you a tip," then I would think it'd be appropriate to say, "well, that is truly not necessary." Then, when she insists, to say, "I appreciate it very much. Thank you." And also ask her to "spread the word about you. icon_smile.gif

I hope the misunderstanding is all OK now and you two fine.

mmgiles Posted 11 Jun 2008 , 8:43pm
post #24 of 26

obviously its too late now, but this is how I would have handled the situation. I'm blunt too but pretty unconfrontational especially when money is involved so this is what I would have done.

When she bagan to look sick, I would have acted like I didnt notice (lol well I would). I would have just sent the invoice with the discount shown with her where she was sure to see it later. At that point, she would see it and feel better about having paid $120 if she felt that was a lot (which I'm sure wasn a great deal, but I'm guessing you thought, she thought, it was a lot by the look on her face).

Now I've only had it happen once, but when the customer came to return the plates she gave me an additonal check for $40. I asked what it was and she just said "its for you". I just said you didnt have to do that, but never turned it down. lol.

Marysmom Posted 11 Jun 2008 , 8:43pm
post #25 of 26

I would have accepted her "extra" money. She knew you deserved more, and you knew it too.

Of course she felt bad, seeing that you gave her a more than 50% discount. She agreed to a 20% discount, not a 50% discount. Look at it that way. She was also trying to stick to the original agreement. I'm sure her extra money would have met you both somewhere in the middle and would have been fair to both of you.

People don't like to feel as if they are taking advantage of someone. Or like they are getting a handout. Especially if they can afford the real amount.

However, I think she shouldn't have said anything. She should have written the check for the amount she saw fit and folded it up and handed it to you. By talking about the tip and making a deal out of it, she blundered. In essence she was asking you if you wanted the tip by speaking about it. You don't talk about tips with your waitress or the hotel bag carrier. You just do it.

CakeDiva73 Posted 11 Jun 2008 , 9:47pm
post #26 of 26

Ok, I think I understand now. Again, I wasn't being clear! icon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

It was never referred to as a 'tip' until several days later when we discused it - then she said she had been planning to give me a tip all along. At the time of the pick-up, the word tip had never been mentioned but now I see how I confused everyone, I am sorry! icon_redface.gif

Just wanted to thank everyone for taking the time to respond. I am still learning and am sick to my stomach thinking about how I screwed this up but I know it's not the end of the world.

I just brought her a package of cakeballs decorated in the school colors and she was happy so hopefully all is well! thanks again icon_smile.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%