Help! Am I Charging Too Much??

Decorating By tuffstuff Updated 6 Jul 2008 , 8:17pm by AmyGonzalez

tuffstuff Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 8:33am
post #1 of 11

The past few days I've been feeling really uneasy. I've had 2 or 3 recent cake inquiries (plus 1 or 2 within the past few months) that seem to have gone nowhere once I give my price range! But I don't really feel like I'm overcharging. Yes, I'm quite new (about 6 or 7 months of experience) but I think I'm pretty good. Why is 1.50 to 2.50 scaring people off?! Should I be emailing these people back to ask "so... uh... did you want that cake..?"
Gah... at this rate, I don't see how I'm gonna get off the ground. Of all the cakes in my photo gallery only one was done at full price. The rest were deeply discounted or just done at cost. Now that I see how much hard work it is, I really can't keep wearing myself out for free.
I keep obsessively checking my email waiting for these people to get back to me.
icon_cry.gif
Please assure me it's because it's 4th of july weekend. Please don't tell me I have to TEACH forever! It's not my calling! icon_sad.gif

10 replies
tyty Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 8:57am
post #2 of 11

I just took a look at your photos, your work is very good. No, you are not charging too much. To get the kind of work you produce, they will have to pay more that grocery bakery prices. Have your checked you local bakeries to see how your prices compare? You may not be charging enough. It may take a while before you get customers that will pay your price, but stick to it. With your level of skill and if your cakes taste good word will get around. If they really want special cakes they will come.

murf Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 9:48am
post #3 of 11

Hi Tuffstuff,
I'm with tyty on this, your work is beautiful and there is no way that you are overcharging. I think in this business, it is all about changing people's opinions on pricing. If customers want to pay a minimum for a cake, they will not get the beautiful standard of work you offer. I always say to people that the difference with my cakes to, say, the supermarkets, is that all my ingredients are organic and free-range and don't contain any preservatives. You know what you are getting in my cakes and they are all hand made individually to order.
I think that it will not do you any favours to price too low as paople will then expect that price but may also think, in the back of their minds, cheap = rubbish. Don't get me wrong, I have done cakes for free and low price but these were for family or because it made good business sense to do so!!
Hope you aren't offended by my comments
Jenny

MikeRowesHunny Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 10:20am
post #4 of 11

I'm sorry, but at 1.50-2.50 you are practically paying these people to take your cakes instead of them paying you what they are worth! NO, you are not charging too much, in fact I think you are under-pricing, and as strange as that sounds, that might be putting people off! You get what you pay for, so cheap price = cheap cake in both taste and decor terms, higher price = higher quality cake in both taste and workmanship in many people's minds. I would rather have fewer customers paying me what I am worth (and they appreciate that), than gaggles of ungrateful people expecting me to work for cost or less! JMO!

DoniB Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 11:38am
post #5 of 11

what they said... your work is great, so don't under-sell yourself! Price yourself at what you're worth, and the right clientele will find you. icon_smile.gif

Also, remember that a LOT of people do price inquiries, then have to think about it for a bit. Choosing a cake decorator is hard for a lot of people, and it's not just price that goes into it. I wouldn't worry about that part, except to charge more, because you are very much worth it. icon_smile.gif And like Bonjovibabe said, as strange as it may seem, raising your prices will actually encourage folks, rather than discourage them. The people you WANT to have as customers will expect to pay a certain amount, minimum, for a specialty cake. Meeting their expectations in that just means that you value your work as much as they do. icon_smile.gif

-K8memphis Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 12:44pm
post #6 of 11

If you charge it they will come. icon_biggrin.gif Man you're stuff is great.

CakeWhizz Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 12:56pm
post #7 of 11

Hi TuffStuff, excuse the pun but you need to be 'tuff' about your work which is great. A lot of us have gone through what you currently experiencing but please stand firm with regard to your pricing. You will then go on to develop a reputation for offering a quality product as in a lot of people's minds, high prices = quality.

indydebi Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 2:39pm
post #8 of 11

Any time I see a subject line of "Am I charging too much?", the answer is always NO!!!!!! Anytime I see a subject line of "Did I undercharge?", the answer is always YES!!!!!!!!!!

don't expect brides to respond within a day or two. They are comparison shopping ... they are talking to a number of vendors. They are information gathering. My average number of days to book from the sampling appt is 11.0 days. My average number of days to book from the day I send them the initial info pkt is 25.4 days. In 2007, that average time was 27.5 and 51.1 days respectively.

Dont' stress it. But RAISE YOUR PRICING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

tuffstuff Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 4:08pm
post #9 of 11

I must say... this advice to raise my prices seems very counter intuitive. icon_confused.gif Do I need to mention that I'm doing this out my home with no license? I would think people would think "she's not even a professional, how can she expect professional prices?".
I hadn't really planned to lower my prices. I told my husband that there's no way I'm doing it cheaper - if I had to it would just not be worth it. He sees how much I slave away at it. (And he's kind of jealous of this hobby, I might add).
Maybe I'm just rushing things. Right now with a full time job, I have the luxury of being picky and going at a relaxed pace, especially with having my summer free.
So yeah... maybe I'll start at 2.00 and go to 3.00 or 4.00.
I just keep thinking about how my boss upon finding out I did cakes said something like "oh, you can make really good money doing it - my relative had a quinceanera recently and the cake cost about $400! I had to fake some surprise there. icon_wink.gif

indydebi Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 4:17pm
post #10 of 11

lots of folks work out of their home with no license and they charge what their work is worth.

I have a photographer friend who just added a $10K package to his menu (he has very affordable packages, too!), but he lost a big wedding because the groom saw his $6000 package and said, "He must not be any good if he's that cheap." ( icon_eek.gif )

How many people was the quince for? If it was for 300 people, then that wasn't very much money for that cake. If it was for 100 people, then the cake decorator did ok. NEver look at just the grand total .... you have to put it in perspective on how many people it serves.

AmyGonzalez Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 8:17pm
post #11 of 11

I have just looked at your photos, and your work is very good! icon_biggrin.gif It's odd that people are not responding to you. icon_confused.gif I see that you are from Houston, it's a pretty large city. It seems that 1.50-2.50 would be ridiculously low in an area that large. I have the exact opposite problem. I live in Alice Texas (a very small town) and my costomers tell me I charge too little? icon_confused.gif I think I charge resonable, but with prices skyrocketing I just might have to increase them. I think you should charge more. If people want your cake they will pay for it, and if they don't, then they are problably not worth having as a customer. icon_biggrin.gif

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