Stupid Rookie Mistake

Business By NickiKR Updated 19 Jun 2008 , 7:11pm by Solecito

NickiKR Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 3:30am
post #1 of 33

So I am very new to this business and I have only accepted a few orders. I had a call tonight and the lady said that a friend of mine had shown her my cake photos and she fell in love with my pink and yellow ladybug cake. She wondered how much it was. I asked how many servings. She said that she wants the exact same cake. I *assumed* it was a birthday cake because of the design, so I gave her a quote. She accepted and I was thrilled because it was $30 more than I charged last time (which was way too little).

I got off the phone and start doing a little dance because it was my first kinda random stranger order. I was thrilled that I increased the price and she accepted without hesitation.

Then my friend who recommended me called. This cake is for a wedding! Not a child's birthday party. I charged what I did based on what the birthday cake market would bear. Not the wedding cake market. Crap.

I am a big idiot. She is probably calling all of her friends to tell them what an amazing cake deal she is getting for her wedding.

Bah! I need to tone down my excitement at getting an order and make sure that I am not giving my cakes away.

Doh! Live and learn. At least it is a wedding! Yay! My first one. Woohoo!

32 replies
melodyscakes Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 3:44am
post #2 of 33

right. at least its a paying order.
mention to her its a one time deal on the price and ask her not to tell her friends what she paid.

KHalstead Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 3:56am
post #3 of 33

I have the same prices for wedding cakes and birthday cakes! I charge a separate price for tiered cakes , carved cakes and individual double layered cakes. So for me it doesn't matter WHAT my customer is ordering it for...if it's tiered, it's X.XX /serv. if it's a 12" round it's x.xx amount and so on.

cheeseball Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 4:03am
post #4 of 33

I feel ya. That's why I learned to charge a "per serving price" for all tiered cakes, no matter what they plan to do with it (that's a really cute cake, by the way). Plus, there's no "I bought the same cake as ____and you charged me three times as much for the same size, flavors, everything!" If dowels are involved, there's my clue! icon_lol.gif

BrandisBaked Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 4:04am
post #5 of 33

It bugs the snot out of me when people charge more simply because it's a "wedding cake". If it is the same size and the same amount of work, it should be the same price. Otherwise, you're helping perpetuate the "us vs. them" mentality between brides and bakers.

BrandisBaked Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 4:11am
post #6 of 33

GAH!

Trying to keep up with two forums at once... didn't mean that to sound so abrupt.

NickiKR Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 4:18am
post #7 of 33

I know what you are all saying, however, I should be charging more for this cake to start with, but I know that I would never get the order. I am not making money on this cake. I am just starting out and I am trying to build a business. I have very little experience.

I am not wanting to charge more because it is a weddign cake. It is a 3-tiered cake and I am charging her $70.

Had I known it was for a wedding than I would have charged what I think I am worth instead of low-balling to get the order.

So I am not charging more for a wedding cake, I am charging less for a birthday cake.

Sorry if I offended anyone.

BrandisBaked Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 4:25am
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickiKR

I know what you are all saying, however, I should be charging more for this cake to start with, but I know that I would never get the order. I am not making money on this cake. I am just starting out and I am trying to build a business. I have very little experience.

I am not wanting to charge more because it is a weddign cake. It is a 3-tiered cake and I am charging her $70.

Had I known it was for a wedding than I would have charged what I think I am worth instead of low-balling to get the order.

So I am not charging more for a wedding cake, I am charging less for a birthday cake.

Sorry if I offended anyone.




That's what my daddy used to tell me was being "penny wise and pound foolish". You might start out getting orders, but if you charge so little - it will be impossible to raise your prices. Sit down and figure out a fair price, and the next time someone calls you for a quote, don't give them one during that conversation. Ask for the details of your order, and tell them you will call them back within 15 minutes with a quote (tell them you aren't at your desk, don't have your price info in front of you, or whatever). This will eliminate those on the spot jitters.

And trust me, I wasn't trying to jump on you... just venting a frustration. I wish we could all get on the same page so we all could benefit. lol

twooten173 Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 4:40am
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandisBaked

It bugs the snot out of me when people charge more simply because it's a "wedding cake". If it is the same size and the same amount of work, it should be the same price. Otherwise, you're helping perpetuate the "us vs. them" mentality between brides and bakers.




I charge more for wedding cakes because they are more work. They typically are larger than a standard cake, have more detail work, and require more work done in advance. Also, I don't transport my cakes stacked so I have to compensate myself for the time spent setting up. Lastly, there is more equipment that they are paying to use... fountains, plates, pillars, etc. Oh yeah, I spend way more time making sure they are perfectly smooth, level, etc. JMHO.

NickiKR Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 4:42am
post #10 of 33

No worries. Like I said, I as just so excited to get an order from someone other than a friend that I quoted a price on the spot and realized how dumb it was as soon as I hung up the phone.

The only good thing is that it turns out that the MOB owns a flower shop in town and she is willing to send work my way.

We are calling it a wedding vendor discount.

I am just so darned nervous to quote what I am worth. Foolish, but true.

indydebi Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 10:35am
post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandisBaked

It bugs the snot out of me when people charge more simply because it's a "wedding cake". If it is the same size and the same amount of work, it should be the same price. Otherwise, you're helping perpetuate the "us vs. them" mentality between brides and bakers.




I agree. It's the ONE piece of advice the wedding magz tell brides that I agree with.

Not all wedding cakes are more ornate than birthday cakes. A 3-tier with a simple ribbon around the border is WAY simpler than most of the birthday cakes I see on here. Heck, throw in some scrolls and dots and a few BC roses and it's STILL simpler than most birthday cakes!

If a cake has lots of extra detail that you would charge extra for regardless of if it's a birthday or wedding, I udnerstand that. But a 10/6 tiered cake iced in pink icing with a fuschia ribbon should be the same price no matter if it's birthday or wedding ..... unless you want to charge extra to write "Happy Birthday Sally Sue" on the top of it! icon_rolleyes.gif

You can call it a birthday, wedding, anniversary, celebration, bite my butt cake ... whatever .... same cake, same work, same price.

ccr03 Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 1:07pm
post #12 of 33

I am going to wholeheartedly agree with indydebi - is she ever wrong? icon_wink.gif

My BASE price is the same for WHATEVER kind of cake it is. Do a charge extra for intricate details? You bet a do and I don't care if it's for a wedding or birthday. Because just as indydebi said, some wedding cakes are much easier to do than birthday ones.

Parable Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 1:22pm
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

bite my butt cake ...






icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_surprised.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif Deb, do you get many orders for these????????

-K8memphis Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 1:32pm
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickiKR

...We are calling it a wedding vendor discount.




Idea for you. When you write up the ticket for this, show the real price and then the discount.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickiKR

...I am just so darned nervous to quote what I am worth. Foolish, but true.




Honestly, practice in the mirror. I mean it can be a total nerve fest to say "That's one thousand nine hundred dollars" with a straight face. So seriously practice in the mirror. You know how car dealers always do it? They write it on a piece of paper--you can do that too. But learn to distance yourself emotionally from the money part. It's not personal it's business. (like Trump says-ha!)

Rejoice later of course. icon_biggrin.gif

NickiKR Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 2:43pm
post #15 of 33

And I will repeat that I am not trying to charge "extra" because it is a wedding cake. I am just trying to charge what I think it is worth.

mcelromi1 Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 3:03pm
post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickiKR

And I will repeat that I am not trying to charge "extra" because it is a wedding cake. I am just trying to charge what I think it is worth.




But you said that you were excited until you found out it was for a wedding.
If you're happy you sold what you consider a birthday cake for $70, be happy.
If she decides to use the cake for a wedding it doesn't make the cake worth any more.

BrandisBaked Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 3:10pm
post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcelromi1

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickiKR

And I will repeat that I am not trying to charge "extra" because it is a wedding cake. I am just trying to charge what I think it is worth.



But you said that you were excited until you found out it was for a wedding.
If you're happy you sold what you consider a birthday cake for $70, be happy.
If she decides to use the cake for a wedding it doesn't make the cake worth any more.




That's how I interpreted it too. Sounded like the exact same cake but you would have charged more for it if you had known up front it was for a wedding.

Kind of like this:




Heh. icon_wink.gif

yelle66 Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 3:11pm
post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parable

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

bite my butt cake ...





icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_surprised.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif Deb, do you get many orders for these????????




LMBO!! This whole thread is just making me laugh. No, Indydebi is never wrong. icon_wink.gif And Nikki, I am the very same way. I hope it gets better. I totally know exactly what you are saying. I think Brandi has a very good point that calling them back would be a good way to get your nerves together and give them the correct price. You are worth it. I love your stuff!

NickiKR Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 3:16pm
post #19 of 33

True, I was excited because I didin't think that anyone would buy a birthday cake for $70. I am still excited that I got the order, but I still thought the cake was worth more than $70 even as a birthday cake.

I just wish that I had taken my time and got more information instead of selling myself short based on assumptions.

Wow, I certainly didn't expect to be flamed for admitting to being a stupid rookie.

I am not trying to rip anyone off by charging more. I am not trying to be one of "those evil bakers" who rubs my hands together with an evil laugh when I hear wedding and charge more.

I am just trying to learn how to build a business. I never expected to be getting wedding orders so soon. I never thought someone would be booking a wedding cake for next June with me. I was completely unprepared for it. I had no idea how to handle it. I still have no clue how to handle it. I haven't thought everythig through yet. And this order made that quite apparent to me.

I was just admitting that I was taken off guard by getting a real order from someone other than friends or family.

Now I feel like a big turd for wanting to be paid what I am worth.

twooten173 Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 3:17pm
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

A 3-tier with a simple ribbon around the border is WAY simpler than most of the birthday cakes I see on here. Heck, throw in some scrolls and dots and a few BC roses and it's STILL simpler than most birthday cakes!

If a cake has lots of extra detail that you would charge extra for regardless of if it's a birthday or wedding, I udnerstand that. But a 10/6 tiered cake iced in pink icing with a fuschia ribbon should be the same price no matter if it's birthday or wedding ..... unless you want to charge extra to write "Happy Birthday Sally Sue" on the top of it! icon_rolleyes.gif




Let me clarify, I have a base price for cakes - regardless of the occassion - and charge extra for colorflow pieces, edible images, large fondant, etc. The reason why my wedding cakes typically cost more is because my wedding customers ask for more add ins than non-wedding customers. I also charge them for delivery, setup, and rental fees for items like fountains.

BrandisBaked Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 3:22pm
post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickiKR

True, I was excited because I didin't think that anyone would buy a birthday cake for $70. I am still excited that I got the order, but I still thought the cake was worth more than $70 even as a birthday cake.

I just wish that I had taken my time and got more information instead of selling myself short based on assumptions.

Wow, I certainly didn't expect to be flamed for admitting to being a stupid rookie.

I am not trying to rip anyone off by charging more. I am not trying to be one of "those evil bakers" who rubs my hands together with an evil laugh when I hear wedding and charge more.

I am just trying to learn how to build a business. I never expected to be getting wedding orders so soon. I never thought someone would be booking a wedding cake for next June with me. I was completely unprepared for it. I had no idea how to handle it. I still have no clue how to handle it. I haven't thought everythig through yet. And this order made that quite apparent to me.

I was just admitting that I was taken off guard by getting a real order from someone other than friends or family.

Now I feel like a big turd for wanting to be paid what I am worth.




Nobody's flaming you hon... just a little friendly chiding. icon_wink.gif

We want you to be paid what you're worth too.

NickiKR Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 3:31pm
post #22 of 33

Well, I was still typing my tirade when you posted. icon_wink.gif That clip is hilarious!

I clearly didn't explain myself very well the first time. I decorated my first cake 6 weeks ago. So this is all new to me. I am clueless. icon_smile.gif

mcelromi1 Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 3:42pm
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandisBaked

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcelromi1

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickiKR

And I will repeat that I am not trying to charge "extra" because it is a wedding cake. I am just trying to charge what I think it is worth.



But you said that you were excited until you found out it was for a wedding.
If you're happy you sold what you consider a birthday cake for $70, be happy.
If she decides to use the cake for a wedding it doesn't make the cake worth any more.



That's how I interpreted it too. Sounded like the exact same cake but you would have charged more for it if you had known up front it was for a wedding.

Kind of like this:




Heh. icon_wink.gif





That clip is simlpy hilarious. Thanks for posting it. thumbs_up.gif

snarkybaker Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 4:06pm
post #24 of 33

I will defend charging more for a wedding cake than for an occasion cake. My shop has wedding cake tasting events which brides and grooms attend. We make up to 10 cakes and it takes my staff a lot of hours to prep. That needs to be rolled into the cost of doing business. Should the woman who takes 2 minutes on the phone ordering her office worker a cake subsidize the wedding cake business?
Wedding cake packages ( and our wedding cake minimum is $350) include three 6 inch samples. It includes delivery. It includes fresh flowers. It includes the 27 conversations I am going to have to have about the taste of fondant, and all the other extra attention paid to a wedding cake.
My interns can all make birthday cakes,who work for about $10 an hour less than my other pastry chefs, so the labor cost is higher.

Wedding cakes are just flat out more work, so they cost more.

Bettycrockermommy Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 4:22pm
post #25 of 33

That clip is hilarious!

mcelromi1 Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 4:28pm
post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by txkat

I will defend charging more for a wedding cake than for an occasion cake. My shop has wedding cake tasting events which brides and grooms attend. We make up to 10 cakes and it takes my staff a lot of hours to prep. That needs to be rolled into the cost of doing business. Should the woman who takes 2 minutes on the phone ordering her office worker a cake subsidize the wedding cake business?
Wedding cake packages ( and our wedding cake minimum is $350) include three 6 inch samples. It includes delivery. It includes fresh flowers. It includes the 27 conversations I am going to have to have about the taste of fondant, and all the other extra attention paid to a wedding cake.
My interns can all make birthday cakes,who work for about $10 an hour less than my other pastry chefs, so the labor cost is higher.

Wedding cakes are just flat out more work, so they cost more.




My point is that...If I come into your shop and pick a birthday cake out of your portfolio and decide to use it for my wedding, why would you charge me more than the person who used it for a birthday.
No ones talking about specialty orders and packages. This cutomer saw a picture of a birthday cake and decided she wanted it for her wedding.
They rightfully don't have to tell you what the cake is being used for. Once the cake is paid for, it's theirs to do with as they please.
Not all people want 'formal' wedding cakes for their wedding.

snarkybaker Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 4:39pm
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Quote:


My point is that...If I come into your shop and pick a birthday cake out of your portfolio and decide to use it for my wedding, why would you charge me more than the person who used it for a birthday.
No ones talking about specialty orders and packages. This customer saw a picture of a birthday cake and decided she wanted it for her wedding.
They rightfully don't have to tell you what the cake is being used for. Once the cake is paid for, it's theirs to do with as they please.
Not all people want 'formal' wedding cakes for their wedding.




That wouldn't happen at my store, because my "wedding cakes" begin at $350. We encourage people with weddings of 75 people or less to book a "party cake" which is a la carte, not delivered, and you buy your own samples. We get a lot of people with small casual weddings who do just that.

MeMo07 Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 11:27pm
post #28 of 33

I am totally LMAO! icon_smile.gif LOVE it!

jammjenks Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 3:44am
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickiKR

Well, I was still typing my tirade when you posted. icon_wink.gif That clip is hilarious!

I clearly didn't explain myself very well the first time. I decorated my first cake 6 weeks ago. So this is all new to me. I am clueless. icon_smile.gif




Just wanted to say that after reading this post from you, I checked out your gallery. If you've only been doing cakes for 6 weeks and they already look like that...good Lord! I may just need to tip my measuring cups to you!

mommyle Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 4:10am
post #30 of 33

OMG!!!! That is Way too funny!!!!
I charge $3.00 per serving (wilton wedding size) as a base price. for carved cakes they pay $3.00 per serving of the cake that I have to MAKE to carve the whatever they want. You want a horse cake that serves 10? It's STILL $200, and I don't care if you ARE my first-born. You don't want that? Then I can do a picture of a horse on a 6" square for $30. Take it or go buy a Wal-Mart cake. That tastes like saw-dust. And doesn't have ANY real butter in their buttercream. =P~

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