Another...did I Charge Too Much For This One?? Long ...

Business By sweetsbyJ Updated 11 Jul 2008 , 5:27pm by loriana

sweetsbyJ Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 5:00pm
post #1 of 32

I had a lady call me a couple of weeks ago asking for a Baby Einstein cake. I told her to email me with the info and I would give her a price through email (i do it that way so that both parties have it in writing) Well we emailed back and forth and she sent me this picture. (attached)

She wanted it just like this for 40 people 2 tiers in fondant.

Im not that great giving prices since Im just starting out and I usually end up undercharging people icon_redface.gif ..anyways..I charged her as follows:
$2.75 per person plus a separate charge for each animal: Cat, Dog, Lizard @ $12 each. Duck @ $7 and the catepillar @ $5
The total was $158.00 ($110-cake $48-animals) icon_confused.gif

I think I was giving her a good deal..the cake giants here wouldnt charge less than $3 something per person and they would have proably charged like $100 something or more for the animals..

This was about 2 weeks ago and she never responded..I even wrote her back telling her that I was already getting orders for her date and that if she thought the price was too high I could do the cake at $1.35 per person out of buttercream and I could do the animals in 2d for cheaper....still no answer... icon_sad.gif

Now..honest opinions..do you think I charged her too much?? to little?? what would you gals/guys have charged?

TIA! icon_confused.gif
LL

31 replies
kelleym Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 6:07pm
post #2 of 32

Your price was more than fair. My local cake shop won't even DO 3-D molded figures for any price. Your "customer" probably was thinking she could get the cake for $40-$50, and suffered extreme sticker shock - NOT YOUR FAULT!!! If ya want the Cadillac of cakes (which that cake certainly is), then you have to pay the Cadillac price.

Just let her go - it wasn't meant to be. Certainly don't lower your price for her, like I said, the price was fair and most people here would probably tell you it's under-market.

To quote indydebi - "Who cares? Who's next??" icon_biggrin.gif

sari66 Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 6:20pm
post #3 of 32

You so didn't overcharge for this cake! Like Kelleym said she just had sticker shock and didn't know how to respond to your quote.
On to the next one!

Maria_Campos Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 6:39pm
post #4 of 32

I think thats a more than fair price, you want good paying customers that value your time, efforts and skills and know the value of an excellent cake. So you just weeded out a cheap cutomer and it leave your calendar open for a good paying returning customers.

chutzpah Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 6:42pm
post #5 of 32

My opinion? C'mon over here and let me slap you up!!! NEVER EVER NEVER reduce your prices to get an order. *whap*

It was NOT too much. Take other orders. If she snoozes, she loses.

You can bet she was expecting a quote of $19.99 including delivery.

jamalyn1 Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 6:49pm
post #6 of 32

It's like with most industries, people who are not involved don't understand. Your time & talent is worth every penny. This is also a lesson I'm learning for myself, but we have to take pride in our work. If we are not getting paid enough than we are not taking pride in what we do. We are saying that what we do is not as good as the others. But darn it we are! and we should get paid. So let her get a yucky, tacky grocery store cake...you have better things to get accomplished today!

poshcakedesigns Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 10:52pm
post #7 of 32

More than fair I would say. You know what your work and time are worth. Don't let the WM mentality shoppers get to you. I finally after a year have gotten some backbone about my prices. The price is what the price is and it's not up for debate.

sweetsbyJ Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 3:16am
post #8 of 32

THanks for all the replies icon_biggrin.gif I feel much better! You are all right ..I shouldnt have lowered the price....Chutzpah--I do need a little slapping!! LOL

I think you all are right..she was probably expecting for me to say $50...what? to make like 20 bucks and spend HOURS working on it? I dont think so...and I agree..my time and talent IS worth every penny...I just have to give myself a little more respect icon_razz.gif

Thanks soooo much!!!

indydebi Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 6:56pm
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by chutzpah

My opinion? C'mon over here and let me slap you up!!! NEVER EVER NEVER reduce your prices to get an order. *whap*




AGREE!! I never chase after an order. If they can't afford me, that's A-OK with me!! Many people can't and I consider that a status symbol!

ALso your email of offering to reduce the price reeked of desparation, which put the power in HER hands instead of in yours.

all4cake Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 7:16pm
post #10 of 32

I think your quote was fair.

I didn't think you had lowered your price on THAT cake...you just offered her another option at a lower price ...different design, different price.

Ruth0209 Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 7:16pm
post #11 of 32

I'm all for encouraging people to live within their means regardless of what they're buying. Your prices are set. If someone can't afford the cake they had in mind, they just need to adjust what they want to the budget they have to work with. If you can only afford a store cake, then you buy the prettiest one you can find and have a lovely event with it. There's no shame in that.

I'd like to have a lot of expensive things I can't afford, but so what? I shop for the nicest things I can afford and I'm content with them. That's called being a grown up. My mom taught me long ago that "deserving" something has nothing to do with what you can afford, and it's no excuse for overspending.

Kitagrl Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 7:24pm
post #12 of 32

The fastest way to hate cake decorating is to undercharge...and I've accidentally done that a few times (misjudging the time it would take to do a project). Would be better to charge a little too much (and I've done that before too) and be glad to see your profit when you are done, than to say "Man I hate this, I stayed up all night long for a lousy $25 profit."

I would have charged probably no less than $160 for that cake, Philly area...about $4/serving.

Lady_Phoenix Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 7:29pm
post #13 of 32

I had someone ask me for a price not long ago. The price I quoted was more than fair, and he asked why it was so expensive. He said "its a cake for heavens sake!" I reminded him he is not only paying for the cake baking itself but for the artistry used to create his custom creation. Once he thought about it that way, he changed his tune about the price.

Omicake Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 7:32pm
post #14 of 32

All4cake made me re-read the OP and she's right. Another option was offered in BC and 2d figures.
The new offer was for a another type of cake.

Kitagrl Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 7:39pm
post #15 of 32

....and supplies are surprisingly expensive. Once I purchase a nice wooden board (for a larger or 3D cake), ingredients, fondant, and etc, we are talking big bucks. I recently sold a $300 3D cake (one of my undercharges, frankly) and it costed over $100 out of pocket and plenty of hours of tedious hand painting. I bet nobody would ever guess cake actually COSTS that much.

I bet some of these people, you could quote them the "at cost" price (without telling them) and they would still say "That's too much just for CAKE..."

Doug Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 7:44pm
post #16 of 32

maybe we should all have a little basket to give to clients who do the "but it's only cake"

basket contents -- 1 box cake mix, 1 can frosting or small can of cricso and PS along w/ BC recipe.

us to client -- well then, here...make it yourself. That will be $10 for ingredients, $10 for my doing the shopping and $30 for my consulting fee.

---

price MORE than fair.

and she wanted "exactly" that but as a 2-tier?

well besides the lack of logic inherent in that request...cake redesign fee aka PITA fee could be invoked to jack the price up to $200!!!

sweetsbyJ Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 8:16pm
post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by all4cake

I think your quote was fair.

I didn't think you had lowered your price on THAT cake...you just offered her another option at a lower price ...different design, different price.




You are right..I was offering her another option but apparently she didnt like that one either ...too bad for her..I wasnt going to do it for peanuts either ! icon_lol.gif

sweetsbyJ Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 8:20pm
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug

maybe we should all have a little basket to give to clients who do the "but it's only cake"

basket contents -- 1 box cake mix, 1 can frosting or small can of cricso and PS along w/ BC recipe.

us to client -- well then, here...make it yourself. That will be $10 for ingredients, $10 for my doing the shopping and $30 for my consulting fee.

---

price MORE than fair.

and she wanted "exactly" that but as a 2-tier?

well besides the lack of logic inherent in that request...cake redesign fee aka PITA fee could be invoked to jack the price up to $200!!!





LOL...very TRUE!!!! (and yes, she wanted it just like that 2 tier! icon_rolleyes.gif )

sweetsbyJ Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 8:23pm
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by chutzpah

My opinion? C'mon over here and let me slap you up!!! NEVER EVER NEVER reduce your prices to get an order. *whap*



AGREE!! I never chase after an order. If they can't afford me, that's A-OK with me!! Many people can't and I consider that a status symbol!

ALso your email of offering to reduce the price reeked of desparation, which put the power in HER hands instead of in yours.




You are right! icon_confused.gif My Fiancee told me not too and his exact words were "you are going to look desperate" but I went ahead and did it anyways icon_redface.gif ....oh well..Live and learn...

indydebi Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 8:25pm
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady_Phoenix

He said "its a cake for heavens sake!"




My response to the "It's just a cake!" people:

"Oh!!! You want JUST A CAKE! Aisle 8 at walmart ... knock yourself out."

-K8memphis Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 8:44pm
post #21 of 32

I think you priced it right on. However I would not have broken it down to the client. I'd a just said four bucks per. Which maybe you did and it's just a fine point a random detail.

Indy Indy, I think you're spending way too much time at Walmart if you have the section numbers memorized!!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

indydebi Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 9:30pm
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

I think you priced it right on. However I would not have broken it down to the client. I'd a just said four bucks per. Which maybe you did and it's just a fine point a random detail.

Indy Indy, I think you're spending way too much time at Walmart if you have the section numbers memorized!!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif




It's the only aisle I ever go into! icon_cry.gif

loriana Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 1:29am
post #23 of 32

IMO, I probably wouldnt have charged so much since it wasn't a two tiered + cake, but I am with all the other posters that say, don't undersell yourself. Your $2.75 per person is a very fair price in this economy but I guess I could see why a customer would still see this as a high price for a single cake (double layer but still a single cake).

I guess, honestly I would have charged the $2.75 per person but just explained that 3-D figuring takes a lot of time so she could choose a 2-D design for that price per serving OR you will need to charge an additional $40 for the models, which, by the way, will last forever and are keepsakes icon_lol.gif

The other thing is, since you asked for honesty, your difference in price between fondant and buttercream makes you seem overpriced even though you are not. Since you charge SO much less for buttercream you may want to re-think that and raise your buttercream prices so they are in line with each other, or tell customers upfront that your "buttercream prices are ## per serving and fondant is ## per serving." then when you respond to the picture she send you of this cake you can say, right up front, "this is a fondant design" and explain your 3-D fees.

A pricing story: This might sound silly, but recently we went to a Chinese restaurant that just opened in our neighborhood. I could tell they didnt have someone help review their pricing structure on their dishes or get some good advice. This is how some of it read:

Vegetable chow mein (description here) $5.75
Chicken chow mein (description here, same as above plus chicken) $9.25

I thought, "who in their right mind charges $3.50 more for chicken???" even our fancy restaurants in our area charge maybe $1.00 more for extra meat, etc... so I havent wanted to go back. I have been tempted to order their cheaper dishes but with the differential between meat and vegetable, it is obvious they don't know the worth of their dishes and what it cost them to make versus selling price, etc...

Sorry for the long post. Thanks for reading. You do beautiful work by the way icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 1:34am
post #24 of 32

loriana, I have another funny pricing story. My mom and cousin made fun of me for ordering this way, but it was cheaper!! I was about 15 at the time.....

A hamburger platter was (let's say) $3.50
A cheeseburger platter was (let's say) $3.65
Note on the menu: "cheeseburger platter without cheese: $3.40"

They were deducting 25 cents for the cheese, but I ordered a "Cheeseburger platter without the cheese" because it was 10 cents cheaper than just ordering the hamburger platter! icon_lol.gif

loriana Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 1:52am
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

loriana, I have another funny pricing story. My mom and cousin made fun of me for ordering this way, but it was cheaper!! I was about 15 at the time.....

A hamburger platter was (let's say) $3.50
A cheeseburger platter was (let's say) $3.65
Note on the menu: "cheeseburger platter without cheese: $3.40"

They were deducting 25 cents for the cheese, but I ordered a "Cheeseburger platter without the cheese" because it was 10 cents cheaper than just ordering the hamburger platter! icon_lol.gif




Haha funny!! That reminds me of some movie somewhere, can't remember which movie, but the guy asks for a vegetable sandwich and they say, "we don't have one". So he says something like "what is on your hamburger?" and the waitress says "burger patty, tomato, lettuce, onion (etc)" so he says "ok, make me a hamburger without the patty" Maybe someone here will know which movie and how it went.

sweetsbyJ Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 3:30am
post #26 of 32

Loriana,
icon_smile.gif
Thanks for your input! It actually was a 2 tier cake that she wanted..I just think she was expecting me to say $50-$60 or maybe even less.I never thought about the difference between my fondant and buttercream prices...Great point..maybe it would've sounded better if I would have said $2.00 per person for buttercream (or something like that) ...Thank you soooo much!

I really value what everyone on here has told me..I am very inexperienced when it comes to giving prices icon_redface.gif

thnx for the compliment btw icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

loriana Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 3:56am
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetsbyJ

Loriana,
icon_smile.gif
Thanks for your input! It actually was a 2 tier cake that she wanted..I just think she was expecting me to say $50-$60 or maybe even less.I never thought about the difference between my fondant and buttercream prices...Great point..maybe it would've sounded better if I would have said $2.00 per person for buttercream (or something like that) ...Thank you soooo much!

I really value what everyone on here has told me..I am very inexperienced when it comes to giving prices icon_redface.gif

thnx for the compliment btw icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif




Awesome! I think your potential customer would understand your price for a 2-tier cake. It is so great you do beautiful work and can charge $2.75. It is very good for our area LOL.

summernoelle Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 4:10am
post #28 of 32

OK. this post really made me think.
I make zoo animal cakes ALL the time. At least 3 a month. I charge: $2.50 fondant. For the animals, it is 1 free per tier, then after that they are only $5 each. So my price would have been $100, plus $15 for all the animals (since you get 2 free), so a total of $115. Hmmmm. Compaired to you, I am way undercharging. I need to do something about that!

sweetsbyJ Posted 10 Jul 2008 , 4:43am
post #29 of 32

well in case anyone is still watching this...the lady emailed me earlier this week telling me she was sorry she took so long to email me and that she liked the price I gave her (I think she was shopping around..and I dont blame her..I do the same) She even wants me to make cupcakes as well..I think maybe I jumped to conclusions too quickly icon_redface.gif
As you can all tell..Im super new at this.. icon_rolleyes.gif

thanks for letting me share..

all4cake Posted 10 Jul 2008 , 4:47am
post #30 of 32

I'm glad it worked out for you.

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