Another Pricing Question - Please Help!

Decorating By janebrophy Updated 16 Jun 2008 , 1:44pm by janebrophy

janebrophy Posted 15 Jun 2008 , 9:33pm
post #1 of 24

I know I'm beating a dead horse w/ this question, but how much should I charge for this cake??? I wasn't given any parameters, except that it was for 40 people, and that she wanted a smash cake. I don't have a per person price, just because I have no idea where to start. This was delivered this afternoon, to my hairdresser, and when it was dropped off, she was told that I would invoice her (as I wasn't available to deliver) All help greatly appreciated!!!
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23 replies
sari66 Posted 15 Jun 2008 , 9:49pm
post #2 of 24

For Me I dont charge for smash cakes although it's just a large cupcake with whipped topping on it for the baby.
As for the cake itself I charge $3 per as this is the going rate where i live so the easiest way to do it is find the going rate in your area and charge that.

HTH

janebrophy Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 12:06am
post #3 of 24

Thanks! I agree with not charging for the smash cake, it's just a bonus as far as I'm concerned. There really aren't very many decorators in my area, just bakeries with generic cakes. Makes it that much more difficult, when there isn't much to compare to. icon_confused.gif

FromScratch Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 1:01am
post #4 of 24

That's a nice cake. I'd charge $5/serving for a cake like that.

Huge problem though.. not having a price ironed out before you bake can cause you a LOT of grief. Especially if she has no idea how much custom cakes run. Can you imagine the horror when she hears the price if she's thinking walmart prices?

It's always a good idea to have your price laid out and payment recieved before you bake. No money.. I don't turn on my oven. Good to keep in mind for the future. icon_smile.gif

Great cake.. I'm sure she wa thrilled with it. icon_biggrin.gif

janebrophy Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 1:07am
post #5 of 24

Thanks for the compliments! I agree, price really does need to be ironed out beforehand. I'm thinking I'll charge her about $1.50/person, so $60.00. Hopefully that's not too much. Somehow, I think it's too weird to take the hairstylist/client relationship to the cake level.... If that makes any sense! LOL, I just wish I'd been gutsier, and more prepared!

leah_s Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 1:10am
post #6 of 24

Looks like you're got a lot more than 40 servings there.

My price for basic bc is $3 per serving, +$10 for the smash and whatever I think I could get for all that custom work. $1 per letter on a wire.

Plus an equipment charge and a delivery charge.

Total in the $197 range.

FromScratch Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 1:18am
post #7 of 24

What sizes are your tiers? I think you have more than 40 servings there too. Remember that you have to charge for the numbers of servings you make.. not the amount they want. So if you make a cake that serves 50.. you charge for 50 servings no matter how many they are feeding. icon_smile.gif

The gutsy-ness will come in time.. your next order will be easier than this one.. and it gets easier everytime. I suggest you find a serving chart you like and then figure out what it costs you to make your cakes. I have gone through every recipe and figured out roughly what it costs.. you'll be surprised how it adds up. And don't forget to include the time it takes to shop, bake, fill, decorate, and clean up. icon_smile.gif

icer101 Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 1:21am
post #8 of 24

janebrophy..... please go more on leah's and jkalman's advice.... please don,t give that cake away for $60.00... it is beautiful and you have so much time and work in it.. and also the smash cake.... i do charge @10.00 for my smash cakes.... if it was a cupcake like someone else said.. then yes, i would give it to her too.... but my smash cakes always is a little replica of the big cake.... please don,t work that hard for nothing... i just have to tell you again what a fantastic cake you made

sassycleo Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 1:21am
post #9 of 24

You most definitely are short changing yourself if you are only going to charge a $1.50/svg - have you added up your costs all of them along with your time. You don't work for free ya know icon_wink.gif If you start out on the low end now then your going to run into an issue when you need to raise your prices to actually break even or make some money. I personally have run into this issue. Some of my regulars can't grasp the concept of cake costing $3/svg. Sorry I'm not Walmart, nothing is frozen nor do I offer a million other products to offset the money I am losing on cakes/cookies etc.

What were the sizes on the cake?

mjnj Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 1:34am
post #10 of 24

You also have to think about how many hours you put in. That looks like 8-10 hours to me. If you only charge $60 your hourly rate is pretty sad. Charge her more and let her know you are still giving her a great deal. Or see if she wants to work out a trade for some of your labor.

janebrophy Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 1:37am
post #11 of 24

Wow, thanks for the pep talk you guys! icon_lol.gif The sizes were a round 10'', a square 6, and a square 4. I think you are all so right, and that the problem lies in the fact that price was never once mentioned, and neither was a design. So, really, it is my own fault, but I feel bad shocking someone with a price that they didn't expect. She may have been content with a sheetcake for all I know, I just took advantage of the creative freedom I was given. I guess the lesson here is that I need to really sit down and come up with a price grid so I can avoid that uncomfortable price negotiation. It will be great to say, Here are my prices, take it or leave it. I do still love the practice though!
Thanks again for the compliments!

sassycleo Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 1:42am
post #12 of 24

I'm not sure what the serving size on a 4 in cake would be so if anything tell her that one is one you as your gift to her.

But if you take the 10 which is 38 servings + 6 which is 18 servings you've got a 56 serving cake. Even at $2/svg that is $112 which is still low balling it but very fair and reasonable to charge. I personally still say go with $3 again your not working for free! That would be $168 - oh and don't forget your delivery charge gas ain't cheap!!!!!

janebrophy Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 1:50am
post #13 of 24

I went by the Wilton chart, and figured I had 40 servings plus the 4 inch, which I just added to make a third tier. What chart do you use for servings?

pinklesley1 Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 1:57am
post #14 of 24

she was using the wilton chart bc she got the same number that i got.. you gave her way more than 40

sassycleo Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 2:01am
post #15 of 24

Did you use the party servings? That would give you 42. It's the same amount of cake whether your using party or wedding servings. So I would keep that in mind when your doing larger cakes. Charge $3 to start out. I started low and recently had to increase. One of my regulars said why are the cakes so much. I simply put, my costs have sky rocketed. Sit down and actually figure out how much each ingredient costs. It's a lot of work but well worth it when you realize that the cake if using a mix (which alone is 1.89) plus the doctored ingredients (sugar and flour adds up and sour cream isn't cheap either) then take how much your icing costs and figure out how many cups you've used. All of this factors in to how much your going to charge for your cake. Don't forget to factor overhead, your board, foil to cover board, box the electricity and or gas that you use while baking and decorating your gas and wear and tear on the car along with whatever material you used for the support system all adds up. Then take a look at how much you want to get paid an hour for making cakes. I say Minimum $10 - $15/hr. If you want to do this eventually full time, you are going to need to pay your bills, personal and business insurances etc. You need to take all of it into consideration icon_smile.gif

icer101 Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 2:09am
post #16 of 24

we ALL have underpriced ourselves... so don,t feel bad..... we learn from that though..... cake decorating is hard .. but so rewarding... some people think it is easy.... the ones that don,t do it.... again it is rewarding.... not just the money..... but the fact... that we actually created this pretty cake and cookies or whatever... i think we all agree on that.. hth

sassycleo Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 2:18am
post #17 of 24

Oh Icer101 so true are your words. That is why I gave the advice I did. I thought I was doing ok with what I was charging. Then I got CakeBoss and boy was that an eye opener for sure!!

janebrophy Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 10:47am
post #18 of 24

So, do you all agree that the wedding portions are ok to use as party portions? I'm confused...sorry for the lag, I had to go to sleep! icon_smile.gif

foxymomma521 Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 11:59am
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by janebrophy

So, do you all agree that the wedding portions are ok to use as party portions? I'm confused...sorry for the lag, I had to go to sleep! icon_smile.gif



I personally prefer this chart... and I'll get stoned for this, but I charge by party servings... icon_smile.gif

Maria_Campos Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 12:25pm
post #20 of 24

All my cakes start at $100, and I charge 3.50 $per serving, and I charge extra for details & designs with gumpaste, fondant details dragees RI, etc..
my Order Form has all the details onit so they are not surprised with sticker shock when they get the invoice. Right now this is what I think my cakes are worth untilI improved. I don't go under $100 because I know at least my expenses are covered, and the cake is worth my time doing.

foxymomma521 Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 12:50pm
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maria_Campos

All my cakes start at $100, and I charge 3.50 $per serving, and I charge extra for details & designs with gumpaste, fondant details dragees RI, etc..
my Order Form has all the details onit so they are not surprised with sticker shock when they get the invoice. Right now this is what I think my cakes are worth untilI improved. I don't go under $100 because I know at least my expenses are covered, and the cake is worth my time doing.



your form is thorough and well thought out, thanks for posting icon_smile.gif

Maria_Campos Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 1:13pm
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxymomma521

your form is thorough and well thought out, thanks for posting icon_smile.gif


Thanks, I am constantly tweaking it, and do a lot of research to make sure nothing is left out, I know I can add more in there, but I think I am going to make 2 more forms for specific items like cupcakes, cookies and wedding cakes, so I can be more exacting. And on my invoice I always make them sign it so there is a written agreement, so nothing can come back to bite me in the @&% later

FromScratch Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 1:34pm
post #23 of 24

I sell all of my cakes at pretty close to the wedding serving charts..

a 4" would be 5, a 6" is 10, a 10" is 35.. so you have 50 servings. The party servings are big.. and you will lose money. I used to have it all priced out.. wedding, party, and family.. but you have to think about it like this.. a party serving is 50% more cake than a wedding and a family sized slice is 100% bigger than a wedding slice.. so you actually should charge MORE for the party servings.. so I just did away with it. I charged (at the time) $3/serv wedding, $4.50/serv party, and $6/serv family.. it all added up the same in the servings though.. so now I charge wedding slices and include a diagram of how to cut your cake to get the the proper servings. Remember.. an 8" cake is the same amount of cake no matter if you cut it into 40 coffee sized sevings (that's 1/2 of a wedding serving) or 2 GIGUNDO servings.. icon_smile.gif FIgure out how much it costs you to make an 8" cake and then figure how much profit you want to make and figure out your per serving price. Rememebr too that with wedding cakes especially, the caterer is going to cut wedding slices. I serve all of my cakes wedding style.. if they want more then they will come get more. A 1x2x4 slice of cake is bigger than it sounds.

I just like nice round numbers so I went through the charts and made my own.. if you want it I can send it to you. icon_smile.gif

janebrophy Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 1:44pm
post #24 of 24

You guys are awesome! I really appreciate all of your pricing info, it's going to be a huge project to get it all in place. I sometimes wonder if I should bother, but I just can't shake this Obsession I have with all things cake, and figure I'll never beat it, so I may as well be prepared! icon_smile.gif

Jkalman, I would love it if you would send me that! My email is [email protected]

I think I'll put aside my next few evenings and really buckle down on this, and get it done! Thanks again!

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