I Charge More Than Mike Mccarey?!?

Decorating By BrandisBaked Updated 15 Jul 2008 , 4:16pm by LeanneW

BrandisBaked Posted 11 Jul 2008 , 6:06am
post #1 of 43

Has anyone looked at the prices on Mike McCarey's website (mikesamazingcakes.com)?

His base price per serving for 1-100 servings is $2.30, and if the cake is over 300 servings, the price drops to $1.95 per serving!!!!

Now I'm sure that's just for the basic buttercream cakes, etc... but my no-frills base price is $3.50 per serving!!

Is the market in his area that bad? He is so amazing (and so much better than Duff) - I don't understand why he's charging so little.

Go figure.

42 replies
twooten173 Posted 11 Jul 2008 , 6:45am
post #2 of 43

Is he a cc'er?

dragonflydreams Posted 11 Jul 2008 , 7:10am
post #3 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by twooten173

Is he a cc'er?


. . . if he visits this site . . . I'm sure it is anonymously . . . he is awesome . . . check out his website . . . http://www.mikesamazingcakes.com/

KoryAK Posted 11 Jul 2008 , 7:44am
post #4 of 43

Heck when you look at that, I would think a LOT of us charge more than him and I can't touch his level with a 10 foot pole! I don't care how basic the cake is, there is no way in he** he should be charging those prices, I don't. My thinking: if you want the brain surgeon to do your mole removal, be prepared to pay for it.

nicolepa Posted 11 Jul 2008 , 9:40am
post #5 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandisBaked


Is the market in his area that bad? He is so amazing (and so much better than Duff) - I don't understand why he's charging so little.

Go figure.




I live in the Seattle area. I actually grew up right near where his shop is. My dad still lives there. And no our economy is not bad. It is one of the strongest in the country. We have not been affected much by the housing crisis. Our malls are busier than ever. The lines at Starbucks are still out the door.

I also had my wedding cake made by Mike. It was âCinderellaâsâ castle. I paid $350 for 50 servings. This was 11 years ago. His shop had only been open a few years and he wasnât nearly as famous as he is today.

I donât know what the prices on his website are for. I really doubt you can get a cake from him for $2 a serving, maybe just cake with no frosting. LOL, icon_smile.gif

kicky Posted 11 Jul 2008 , 9:56am
post #6 of 43

I'm not sure what is is pricing there but none of his cakes could possible be that low for anything. His cakes are amazing.

thanks for sharing.

kansaslaura Posted 11 Jul 2008 , 10:46am
post #7 of 43

Those prices are listed as his "base starting prices" I'm sure you can't get anything designed for those prices, nor any of the awesome fillings, etc.

Lady_Phoenix Posted 11 Jul 2008 , 11:02am
post #8 of 43

If you read below the base price numbers, it says that is for a plain smooth butttercream, borders, one set of legs, and one plate. Flowers, fondant and all design elements are extra.

mgdqueen Posted 11 Jul 2008 , 11:20am
post #9 of 43

I'm surprised he would even list a price like that though. If you are going to upcharge on every single little element, what's the point of putting a low base price? I am NOT saying anything negative about Mike-I think he is phenomenal. He does things with cake that I only dream about. I just think maybe his website hasn't been updated in awhile. thumbs_up.gif

sugarcheryl Posted 11 Jul 2008 , 11:38am
post #10 of 43

I watched him one time and I think he has that price because of his staff they all do not design cakes like he does. He said they do the traditional style cakes also. So from a business stand point he is marketing to people who may have thought I can not afford to purchase one of your cakes. It's just business and he has a large customer base that he probably do that.

CakeInfatuation Posted 11 Jul 2008 , 11:57am
post #11 of 43

I am new to the Cake world and hadn't even heard of Mike. WOWZA!!! His cakes are beyond belief! In my wildest dreams I never imagined being that good. It's amazing!

Thanks for posting his site!

Launa Posted 11 Jul 2008 , 12:06pm
post #12 of 43

I love his website! His stuff is amazing! We've watched him win challenges on the Food Network. I'd love to be able to create like he does! Hey, BrandisBaked, I grew up in Twin and have a sister in Eagle! It's been 5 years since I've been back, though. My parents are still in Twin.

aligotmatt Posted 11 Jul 2008 , 12:10pm
post #13 of 43

I actually did know this about his prices. Before writing my price page I went and looked a lot of them - not for the actual prices, just to see how many people give details on pricing (like xx per flower, xx for this...)

Anyhow, his page used to be much more detailed about pricing and I thought it was a little obnoxious (jmo) it was like, base price :$2.30 add:$xx for each additional tier, add: $xx for colors, add:$xx for special filling, add $xx for anything other than basic cake, add $xx for ...., add$xx for ... - you get it. It was so confusing, now they have the paragraph on calling for custom cakes.

I saw him on some show a while ago and he said something like putting out over 100 cakes a week, maybe? For some reason I think it's closer to 300 a week, but that sounds so crazy! So, I'm thinking they have a shop with rounds and sheets available and if you are grabbing a simple "happy birthday to you" cake iced by an employee and non-custom, you may be able to get that for $2.30 a serving. Of course, that's just my speculation...

nicolepa Posted 11 Jul 2008 , 3:40pm
post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by aligotmatt



I saw him on some show a while ago and he said something like putting out over 100 cakes a week, maybe? For some reason I think it's closer to 300 a week, but that sounds so crazy! So, I'm thinking they have a shop with rounds and sheets available and if you are grabbing a simple "happy birthday to you" cake iced by an employee and non-custom, you may be able to get that for $2.30 a serving. Of course, that's just my speculation...




They do not have a walk in shop. All of his orders are custom orders. His shop is in a big warehouse, he has a very small area in the front to meet with customers and do samplings. It's not even somewhere you would drive by and see it. It's in the middle of a big warehouse "development".

BrandisBaked Posted 11 Jul 2008 , 4:05pm
post #15 of 43

I just can't believe that he would even list a price like that. If he's going to upcharge an outrageous amount for every minute detail (I only charge an extra $5 to turn a dessert cake into a birthday cake with the addition of some buttercream roses and an inscription) - then he's nickel and diming his customers which is an awful practice.

The only cakes I sell that are that low are my "loss leader dessert cakes". I sell a 9" round for $40 - basic buttercream, borders only - in white or chocolate.

Everything else STARTS at $3.50 per serving with me. I'm still just dumbfounded.

BrandisBaked Posted 11 Jul 2008 , 4:07pm
post #16 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Launa

I love his website! His stuff is amazing! We've watched him win challenges on the Food Network. I'd love to be able to create like he does! Hey, BrandisBaked, I grew up in Twin and have a sister in Eagle! It's been 5 years since I've been back, though. My parents are still in Twin.




Eagle's just right around the corner from me. In fact, I worked (very briefly) for a "bakery" there.

hellie0h Posted 12 Jul 2008 , 2:50am
post #17 of 43

I ran across this bakery site, in NYC. You would think they would be outrageous in price but they are quite reasonable.
Example, a 9" Chocolate Gianduja 3 layer filled cake is only $57.00 and includes crushed pralines on side of cake and marzipan flowers. Makes my mouth water just looking at the pic. Here is the site if you want to see some delightful desert cakes. Also note the number of servings for their 9" cake.
http://www.blackhoundny.com/cakes.cfm

Starr_Brite Posted 12 Jul 2008 , 3:01am
post #18 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by aligotmatt

Anyhow, his page used to be much more detailed about pricing and I thought it was a little obnoxious (jmo) it was like, base price :$2.30 add:$xx for each additional tier, add: $xx for colors, add:$xx for special filling, add $xx for anything other than basic cake, add $xx for ...., add$xx for ... - you get it. It was so confusing, now they have the paragraph on calling for custom cakes.

I saw him on some show a while ago and he said something like putting out over 100 cakes a week, maybe? For some reason I think it's closer to 300 a week, but that sounds so crazy! So, I'm thinking they have a shop with rounds and sheets available and if you are grabbing a simple "happy birthday to you" cake iced by an employee and non-custom, you may be able to get that for $2.30 a serving. Of course, that's just my speculation...





I bought my wedding cake at Mike's. I got a 4 tier round (120 servings). I didn't want it fancy at all. They were super helpful and sat with me for almost an hour explaining pricing, etc. I ended up getting it totally plain on the outside except for a swag border around the top edge of the top tier. The total for the basic cake was $252.00.

The plain cake was $2.10 per serving, and then I paid $1.05 per serving for the design on the top tier (added $10.50). They told me that was the price for their "standard" designs, and there were like 7 or 8 different "standard" designs I could choose from for the same cost.

I got to have 3 different flavors of cake and filling. I got to pick from a HUGE list of choices. They told me that they ony charge extra for cheesecake or carrot cake. I did want carrot cake, and paid $10.00 extra to have it as the bottom tier.

I also wanted real ribbon around each tier, and they had me bring it and they added it... no charge.

SO... my 120 serving cake cost a grand total of $272.50.

On the other hand... the 20 serving sculpted car cake I got for my DH cost me $350.00.

And I remember the woman saying that they max-out at about 40 or 50 cakes a week. She said that there are only like 3 decorators there, including Mike.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandisBaked

I just can't believe that he would even list a price like that. If he's going to upcharge an outrageous amount for every minute detail (I only charge an extra $5 to turn a dessert cake into a birthday cake with the addition of some buttercream roses and an inscription) - then he's nickel and diming his customers which is an awful practice.

The only cakes I sell that are that low are my "loss leader dessert cakes". I sell a 9" round for $40 - basic buttercream, borders only - in white or chocolate.




I also got a birthday cake for a friend (cuz I was too busy to make it). I ordered what they called a "confetti" cake. I didn't quite understand what they were describing, and figured that it would be like a slightly nicer version of what I get at the grocery store... a couple of borders and "Happy Birthday" and some of those sprinkle things scattered on top.

The cake was really cool! They took bits of colored modeling chocolate that were cut up in circles and squares and even curliqued ribbons and placed them all over the cake. And they made a wide ribbon out of the same stuff and put it across the top of the cake and wrote the "Happy Birthday" on that.

I got an 8 inch round cake... I don't remember the exact total, but I know it was less than $35.


I have to say... if the brain surgeon can remove my mole better and cheaper than someone else... I'll go to the brain surgeon!

bwonderful Posted 12 Jul 2008 , 3:41am
post #19 of 43

I love Mike's work, it is beyond awesome. If that are his real prices than I am really glad to see that there are still people out there that don't let fame get to their heads. I think some cakes by Toba Garrett, with the very intricate designs and piping, is well worth the thousands of dollars that she charges but a simple design would not be worth it.

So if Mike still charges low prices for simple cakes it tell me that he does it more for the love of cake than padding his pockets.

I will be ordering his teaching DVD's when they come out.

Starr_Brite Posted 12 Jul 2008 , 5:37am
post #20 of 43

I love to decorate, but honestly I happily order my cakes. I don't have time to do much decorating right now. I can get a cake at Mike's for a fairly reasonable price, especially compared with other comparable custom bakeries in the area (not that anyone really compares to Mike's) My wedding cake was cheaper than I could have bought it at Safeway! Plus it tasted a million times better, and I got to have way better flavors than just chocolate and white with gooey, sticky "fruit" fillings!

You definately have to plan ahead and order at least a few weeks before you want the cake, and the place is a bit hard to find. But it's worth my money, that's for sure!

mgdqueen Posted 12 Jul 2008 , 11:50am
post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwonderful

I love Mike's work, it is beyond awesome. If that are his real prices than I am really glad to see that there are still people out there that don't let fame get to their heads. I think some cakes by Toba Garrett, with the very intricate designs and piping, is well worth the thousands of dollars that she charges but a simple design would not be worth it.

So if Mike still charges low prices for simple cakes it tell me that he does it more for the love of cake than padding his pockets.

I will be ordering his teaching DVD's when they come out.




I couldn't agree more. I am shocked that the pricing is THAT cheap, especially as Starr_Brite described her wedding cake. Most people on here get ripped when they admit they sold a wedding cake for less than $2/serving! WOW But then again the sculpted car was $17.50/serving so I guess it all evens out.

littlecake Posted 12 Jul 2008 , 11:56am
post #22 of 43

could you imagine how fast they could whoop out an ordinary cake?

prolly the amount of time it takes most people to do a 1/4 sheet....or less

aligotmatt Posted 12 Jul 2008 , 1:24pm
post #23 of 43

Well, I don't know about you all, but I really had to decide what I wanted my business to be. There was one bakery in town that did like 15 weddings and an additional 30 or so small party cakes per week and they were just around $2 a serving. They got so much business because of the prices. They closed and now there is nothing like that at all. I've really contemplated if I want to fill that role. 50 cakes a week at $2 a serving is a lot of money. But, in the end I decided that I like art, and I like to create art, and I would rather do less more specialized cakes.

We are looking into expanding into a fairly large space, and I've been talking to some people about bringing in someone to pump out easier designs, but still provide our high quality and tasty cake underneath. who knows...

loriemoms Posted 12 Jul 2008 , 2:42pm
post #24 of 43

I saw him on a show and his average cake runs in the thousands...(depends if you want it shipped or not) But he does have a different side of his business where they do "normal" cakes and I think that is where the price comes from. I am sure its not the modeled chocolate cakes!

Winter1979 Posted 12 Jul 2008 , 2:52pm
post #25 of 43

I had never heard of Mike before this post - thank you for posting the website, his work is MUCH better than Duff's - much more realistic looking than Duff's. I have no comment on the price...but think his work is worth much more than a lot of other "celebrity" decorators.

elainec Posted 12 Jul 2008 , 3:04pm
post #26 of 43

I love to watch Mike work, he is amazing. And to think that he loves his work so much that he prices a simple cake so that more people(average joe) can afford to eat his cake- wow that is like a ministry for him! Good for Mike- he makes up the difference in his custom cakes. icon_smile.gif

littlecake Posted 12 Jul 2008 , 10:18pm
post #27 of 43

i have a confession....i got a lil crush on mike.....not just because he is such a fabulous artist....he is just so sweet and kind, have you ever seen him judge?

and now to learn he is so good to let the average guy afford his stuff....GEEZE I THINK I'M IN LOVE WITH HIM NOW.

I LOVE YOU MIKE!!!!!

there i said it.

keyshia Posted 12 Jul 2008 , 10:34pm
post #28 of 43

I'm thinking that perhaps they wanted to have something that they could offer those that see them, but couldn't afford to pay the bigger prices? How many of us love Duff's cakes and would love to have one? I for one couldn't afford to pay the minimum $1000 that he wants for a cake order. This way, he's still the master of his craft and if you request a cake from him that is super detailed etc you're going to pay, but if a person is just star struck and wants to say they had one of "Mike's cakes" they can do that too without taking out a 2nd mortgage on their home?? JMO... icon_smile.gif

Starr_Brite Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 12:33am
post #29 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms

I saw him on a show and his average cake runs in the thousands...(depends if you want it shipped or not) But he does have a different side of his business where they do "normal" cakes and I think that is where the price comes from. I am sure its not the modeled chocolate cakes!




I think it was on the Wedding Cake Masters show on the WE channel that he says that his cakes range from $17.00 for a plain 6" round up to several thousand dollars for a huge sculpted cake. I'd bet that a big part of his business is wedding cakes, so I'd be shocked if his "average cost" is in the thousands of dollars.

Like I said before, I got a sculpted car as a groom's cake. I got the smallest size Mike makes (20 servings), and it was $350.00. I just checked the pricing they gave me at my consultation, and it was $4.50 for each extra serving for the car cake. We got married in June, so I'm guessing that his pricing hasn't changed too much since I ordered earlier this year.

I called yesterday and asked them about shipping because my DH's only nephew is getting married later this year in Arkansas and DH wants to get him a groom's cake. They said that the shipping fee is a minimum of $175 on top of the cost of the cake and that the shipping fee is based on weight and size of the cake and the box it's in.

keyshia Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 5:08am
post #30 of 43
Quote:
Quote:

I called yesterday and asked them about shipping because my DH's only nephew is getting married later this year in Arkansas and DH wants to get him a groom's cake. They said that the shipping fee is a minimum of $175 on top of the cost of the cake and that the shipping fee is based on weight and size of the cake and the box it's in.




Holy Smokes...he ships cakes? I wonder how he does that?! I have a couple friends that are chomping at the bit for me to be able to ship cakes (not that they are that great, but they like 'em icon_smile.gif)[/quote]

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