Doesn't It Just Tick Ya Off...

Decorating By Irish245 Updated 16 Jun 2008 , 1:01am by indydebi

Irish245 Posted 14 Jun 2008 , 2:06am
post #1 of 17

...when someone contacts you, asks all about your prices, designs, etc., then meets with you and you work everything out and once you get to the end, they look at you like you're from another planet and say...."Oh, we can't afford that!" So you're nice and you say back, "That's ok, I'm willing to work with you to find something you can afford." So you try to find ways to help them and they tell you, "But we want THIS cake! You said you'd be willing to work with us."...and you have to tell them...."yes, that's what I'm doing, working with you to find an alternative that you can afford" and they look at you again and say, "Well, we figured you'd work on the price to help us out." Now, c'mon......do I have "STUPID" written across my forehead?????? Arrggghhhhh!!!!! I want soooo bad to tell them to go barter with Walmart!!!!!!

16 replies
playingwithsugar Posted 14 Jun 2008 , 2:34am
post #2 of 17

I do not sell cakes, but here's my opinion anyway -

Y'all need to start selling cakes like funeral directors sell caskets. The first thing they ask is what the price range is, then they show you what you can get for that amount of money.

They don't negotiate, they just give options at the price the client can afford.

Get some notebook divider tabs, write your prices on them ($100-200, $200-400, etc), and only show them what they can get for what they can spend.

And learn how to say the phrase "And for only $200 more, you can have ______________.


icon_smile.gif
LL

JanH Posted 14 Jun 2008 , 6:31am
post #3 of 17

Oh boy, another classic example of "champagne taste on a beer budget." icon_rolleyes.gif

playingwithsugar had some really helpful suggestions. thumbs_up.gif

I especially liked the following:

Quote:
Originally Posted by playingwithsugar

And learn how to say the phrase "And for only $200 more, you can have ______________. icon_smile.gif




Here's a thread on how not to lose the pricing war by indydebi:

http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-441093-.html

HTH

TexasSugar Posted 14 Jun 2008 , 3:27pm
post #4 of 17

I had a woman call me about a 1st birthday cake for her daughter, 2 weeks before her daughter's birthday. She saw a cake I did from someone else and just loved it. We did the whole covnversation about what she wanted, sizes needed and all that. In the end she asked how much I told her and got the I'll have to talk to my hubby about it. Okay fine. Asked me to email her all the information about the cake so she could show him. And also asked me if I did a cake for so and so. "Nope, sorry don't know her." I spent time writing out everything we discussed gave her flavor options, and all that other stuff.

Never, ever got a reply. I'm guessing she talked to so and so and found out that woman would do something for cheaper. Fine by me, I'll spend my first cake free weekend in over a month (I usually only do cakes for family and friends) doing something other than baking, making icing and cleaning up the mess. You didn't want to pay my $120 for a cake that would serve 60 people, two tiers with a fondant bow on top, fondant dots on the top tier and diamonds on the other. Not a problem, hope you enjoyed your cake you got from so and so or Walmart or what ever.

What irked me most about the whole thing in the end? It wasn't the fact that I didn't get to do the cake. It wasn't even the money I wouldn't make. It was the fact that I spent quite a bit of my time typing up everything we discussed plus some, even through in the offer of a free (small) smash cake for the birthday girl, when the girl didn't even read the email. She deleted it and never even said, "Hubby said we can't spend that much." "I've changed my mind." Not a word. UGH!!!

I have a feeling she had decided it was too much when I told her, I just wish she would have been honest so I could have spent my time sending her all the information doing something else.

There are alot of people in this world that want grand stuff for dollar store pricing. That's fine, we all like a deal. BUT while I enjoy making cakes I don't have the time or money to give away my cakes for a small fee so you can have your grand stuff on for a dollar store price. Now if you want to spend less, lets talk about how we can make you a very nice cake for the amount you want to spend. Cakes are priced by the cake, you don't get to pick what you want including the price tag.

I think this is one of those reasons (there are a few of them) that I don't just jump into the whole cake business and look at it as something more than a paying hobby.

Kitagrl Posted 14 Jun 2008 , 3:37pm
post #5 of 17

I've recently made a "rule" that I don't sketch designs or work an incredible amount of time researching designs or working with a person until I get a deposit. I mean I'll answer questions or work on pricing, etc, but tastings come with a price (or a deposit reserving a date) and I do not sketch until I get a deposit either. I have four boys and spend so much time on the computer as it is, I can't afford to waste alot of time on window shoppers. I don't think people realize not only how much money it costs to make cake (I made a $300 cake, and $100 of it was out of pocket costs!), but how much organizational time it takes to take orders and keep them straight. "Its just cake...." Yeah...right.

loriemoms Posted 14 Jun 2008 , 3:45pm
post #6 of 17

I am the same way. They do not get any kind of drawing or time spent until I get a deposit. The deposit covers my costs, as beleive it or not, I have had people not show up!

I am starting to also think about taking a deposit to do wedding tastings, as I am sick of brides not showing up. They dont realize how much time and money went into putting together thier tastings!

canoewoman Posted 14 Jun 2008 , 3:46pm
post #7 of 17

I have found out the hard way NOT to design anything for a customer until they have given a deposit. One person came and asked me to do a cake and if I wouldn't mind doing up a sketch what it may look like. Did the sketch and never heard from them again. They may have given the design to someone else to do or they may have done it themselves, regardless of what happened, it all takes time and as we all know time is money.

tcturtleshell Posted 14 Jun 2008 , 3:48pm
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by playingwithsugar

I do not sell cakes, but here's my opinion anyway -

Y'all need to start selling cakes like funeral directors sell caskets. The first thing they ask is what the price range is, then they show you what you can get for that amount of money.

They don't negotiate, they just give options at the price the client can afford.

Get some notebook divider tabs, write your prices on them ($100-200, $200-400, etc), and only show them what they can get for what they can spend.

And learn how to say the phrase "And for only $200 more, you can have ______________.


icon_smile.gif




DITTO!!!! I totally agree with you!! Do not barter with people! You have a business & there's no negotiating!

Kitagrl Posted 14 Jun 2008 , 3:58pm
post #9 of 17

Lorie I just say tastings are $25, or free with deposit (made during tasting or before).

I bartered with ONE person recently for candy favors, only because I made a mistake in quote and I do not do candy favors often so I was unfamiliar with costs, and it was a repeat customer with a relatively last minute order. I regretted doing those things for sure, too much time, not enough profit. Anyway I just felt so icky after we went back and forth and "agreed" on a price. Its not that she is usually like that, but as they were an item I wasn't used to pricing, I let my guard down and had to backtrack and it turned into us agreeing on a price.

I can't imagine doing that every single cake. No way....

I had a bride tell me "I want this cake and my budget is $XXX. I said "That cake will be $XXX" (More than her budget). Never heard back.

tcturtleshell Posted 14 Jun 2008 , 4:03pm
post #10 of 17

Good for you Kitagrl!! That's how you will have a successful business!!

playingwithsugar Posted 14 Jun 2008 , 4:31pm
post #11 of 17

If I were in business, I would not even risk a free tasting with a deposit, because the customer can call you two weeks later and cancel the order.

My decision, should I start selling wedding cakes, is to require a tasting fee of $25, which would then be rebated to the client after full payment and delivery.

I would write them a thank you letter or send them a thank you card for their patronage, anyway, so there's no inconvenience to include a rebate check to them for the price of the tasting.

Also, for tastings, I would limit the number of people to 2, with an additional person fee of $15 per person, which then would not be rebated at the time the letter and rebate are sent.

I read the trade journals, both in hard copy and online, and the cost of ingredients is just going up way too much to not charge those fees.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

BrandisBaked Posted 14 Jun 2008 , 6:45pm
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by playingwithsugar

If I were in business, I would not even risk a free tasting with a deposit, because the customer can call you two weeks later and cancel the order.

My decision, should I start selling wedding cakes, is to require a tasting fee of $25, which would then be rebated to the client after full payment and delivery.

I would write them a thank you letter or send them a thank you card for their patronage, anyway, so there's no inconvenience to include a rebate check to them for the price of the tasting.

Also, for tastings, I would limit the number of people to 2, with an additional person fee of $15 per person, which then would not be rebated at the time the letter and rebate are sent.

I read the trade journals, both in hard copy and online, and the cost of ingredients is just going up way too much to not charge those fees.

Theresa icon_smile.gif




That is why I require a 50% NON-REFUNDABLE deposit. I would consider giving back some money under certain circumstances (never had to refund anyone anything thus far), but I am under no obligation to.

indydebi Posted 14 Jun 2008 , 10:16pm
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcturtleshell

Quote:
Originally Posted by playingwithsugar

I do not sell cakes, but here's my opinion anyway -

Y'all need to start selling cakes like funeral directors sell caskets. The first thing they ask is what the price range is, then they show you what you can get for that amount of money.

They don't negotiate, they just give options at the price the client can afford.

Get some notebook divider tabs, write your prices on them ($100-200, $200-400, etc), and only show them what they can get for what they can spend.

And learn how to say the phrase "And for only $200 more, you can have ______________.


icon_smile.gif



DITTO!!!! I totally agree with you!! Do not barter with people! You have a business & there's no negotiating!




Ditto your ditto! I've so often heard the phrase "He who mentions price first, loses" and I just don't get that. What archaic, used-car thinking! I'm not selling a used car. I need to know what your budget is so I can direct you to which of my catering packages will fit your budget.

My prices are posted front and center in black and white, so I dont' have to "mention price first" ...... the bride knows what it is before she even calls me.

funcakes Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 12:33am
post #14 of 17

I don't sell wedding cakes, but I do make them as gifts for special people in my life.

I have married off both my kids so I know whoever comes to you for a cake has certainly been to the florist, caterer and wedding dress shop. I doubt if they have had the nerve to pick out the most expensive of the choices there and then said "this is what I want, work with me and give it to me for what I budgeted" If they have said that, they have just come across a firm NO. Trust me, you don't pick out a $3000 dress and ask for a discount and get it for $800 because you love it and want it.

Loving sarcasm-wouldn't you love to tell them: I understand you don't have the money for the gourmet cake-go get a discount on the flowers, hall, dress and food-then use that extra money to pay for the cake you desire.

I have become very confused lately. Are people asking everyone for special prices or are they seeing some vendors as "professionals-I need to pay the going rate" and others as "semi-professionals-they should barter with me for my business?" I'm sure some of you in the cake business know what the attitude is towards caterers, florists and reception hall managers. What's up?

indydebi Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 12:38am
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by funcakes

I'm sure some of you in the cake business know what the attitude is towards caterers, florists and reception hall managers. What's up?




wedding magz and websites who tell brides if they mention the "W" word, then they WILL get ripped off. icon_mad.gif

funcakes Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 12:57am
post #16 of 17

I am very sorry to say that where I live-sometimes you do get ripped off if you say Wedding. My sister used a lovely site quite often because it was her task to arrange retirement, Christmas etc. events for the place where she works. She knew exactly what the hall and food cost at this place. When she went there to possibly book her daughters wedding the quote was 3 times what the other events cost. And the time for the dinner, the food everything was the same. We would understand if a retirement dinner was 3 hours and a wedding 5 hours, but that was not the case.

I don't understand that. I think that ends up hurting everyone.

indydebi Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 1:01am
post #17 of 17

funcakes, I hope she called them on it! I'd be asking what "three times the service" am I going to get for three times the price! icon_mad.gif

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