What Do You Charge For 3D Sugarpaste Figures?

Business By Trixyinaz Updated 18 Jul 2008 , 5:33pm by akgirl10

Trixyinaz Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 1:55am
post #1 of 19

I'd like to get a range of what you charge for your 3D figures. I just made my first two, which were pretty detailed.

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo_1242435.html - 4 hours to make


http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo_1243049.html - 5 hours to make

Also, for something like these two, how long "should" it take to make once you get the hang of everything? Do you get faster making these figures?

Thanks for any insight.

18 replies
kelleym Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 4:33pm
post #2 of 19

For a simple animal I charge at least $10. For figures as complex and detailed as yours, I'm sorry to say that for me, there really isn't a market of people who are willing to pay what they're worth. If you spend 5 hours on it, IMO you should be compensated at least $75 - $100, but who is going to pay that? My local custom cake shop won't even do 3-D figures - too time consuming.

Yes, Duff and his staff do them, but they also have a $1,000 minimum order.

p.s. not to open another can of worms - your figures are GREAT, very realistic, but of course Buzz and Woody are copyrighted characters so you wouldn't want to run the risk of "selling" them anyway. icon_wink.gif

Trixyinaz Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 6:47pm
post #3 of 19

Thanks Kelly - I seriusly doubt there would be a market for it over here also - I know I wouldn't spend $100. Maybe some day when I get big like Duff, I can, too, can charge an exorbenent (sp) amount.

Do you make people at all? How much do you sell those for. I was thinking $10, but think that might be too little.

As for Woody and Buzz, they were freebies that I am doing for a co-worker. She's paying for the cake and I'm throwing this in as my gift to her. I've been wanting to do some 3D figures and took this opportunity to try. Since the were not sold, am I okay with giving them away (not that I intend to do this all the time icon_wink.gif)?

jess85 Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 1:14pm
post #4 of 19

you will definitly get faster at it, i like to aim for 1-2 hours per figure depending on drying times inbetween. sometimes get there/sometimes dont but i find its good to push myself. you will never get what they are worth though unless you do bride/groom toppers as peopl will pay more.

Trixyinaz Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 1:41pm
post #5 of 19

Thanks Jess! How much to you sell your people for? I did a simple man last night and he took me 1.5 hours. I surely do hope I get faster at this. I really love doing them!

loriemoms Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 2:09pm
post #6 of 19

I wont do figurines of people ever again! I did a bride and groom for a cake, that everyone just loved, but got a very nasty email from the mother of the bride that it wasn't "what she expected"...I had never met her, she was never at any of the consultations, so I basically ignored her comments on it. I think part of it was she didn't realize how much wedding cake would cost when her daughter brought her the bill (she said she paid more then she had wanted too in her email, but to me again, that is between her and her daughter. So I think she was trying to get some money out of me. I told her sorry she was disapointed, but it is what her daughter ordered) But people just don't have realistic ideas on how time consuming they are and that they are GUM PASTE for gods sake! So I now send them to those web sites that charge a few thousand dollars for cake toppers and tell them I don't do them.

I do agree though, I would be a little afraid of doing any pixar characters...(I did a winnie the pooh one time and that made me nervous just doing that!)

BrandisBaked Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 5:35am
post #7 of 19

I charge anywhere from $10 - $50 (I think it would be rare for me to charge more than $50)

You do get much quicker. All the Mr. Men characters I did took about 15-20 min. each, and there were 25 of them. Granted, they weren't nearly as detailed as yours are - and if I had been charging for them (it was for my daughter - no copyright issues guys), they'd have been only $25 ea. For a Woody and Buzz like you did, they would be $50 ea.

donnalane Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 6:19am
post #8 of 19


I just wanted to give you my 2 cents. First I have to say you did an awesome job WoW, I loved them. I do very detailed figurines. babies, people and animals. I have recently started getting orders from the internet for my figurines which surprised me greatly I was not trying to sell them but people have been seeing them and wanted to order them. I was told I would never be able to sell them because no one would pay me for them. Pricing is the hardest part. I have been selling my people figurines at $35-50 a piece. I have been shipping them across the US. I charge the cust for shipping and handling as well. Hopefully this helps, if you can sell them then I say go for it, you just never know what will happen, best of luck to you.

MikeRowesHunny Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 6:38am
post #9 of 19

They are great, and I agree with $50 EACH!

Dru329 Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 6:55am
post #10 of 19

Good to know icon_smile.gif

loriemoms Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 11:41am
post #11 of 19


Would you sell to CCers? (and I am not even asking for a discount...its just hard to find figurines pre-made online at a decent price!)

strawberry0121 Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 11:57am
post #12 of 19

Seriously dlane, it would be so nice to have a go to for figures. I don't like making them, probably because I'm no good at them and I don't have time or patience to practice.

Maybe CC could start advertising you?

Trixyinaz Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 1:03pm
post #13 of 19

Thanks for all the info. This is great to know.

Well, if I "could" sell Woody and Buzz, $50 seems reasonable.

I'll have to work on more figures and practice so I can get my time down. I made a man the other night and he took about an hour - but that is with no intricate detail other than hair, sunglasses, eybrows, nose and ears. Last night I made the web to go under his one foot and that took about 20 minutes (all those little lines were time consuming). I have two more webs to make so I'm thinking this little guy will take me about 2.5 hours total. But, I'm having fun regardless.

Dlane - do you make your figures ahead of time with designs you think will sell or are your figures all custom orders? I totally think there is a market for them so I'm not sure why people think there isn't. Obviously 2 CC's have an interest and your pricing sounds reasonable.

Loriemoms - where have you seen other figures for sale? I would love to scope out their sites and see what they are selling for. Thanks!

alanahodgson Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 2:23am
post #14 of 19

Hey Trixie!! How're things going in Canton??? Your figures are AWESOME!!! I just have to share a story. I got an "urgent" e-mail the other day stating that I was referred by Charm City Cakes. The person was looking for a topper that had a bride, groom, cake and child on it for their wedding (which was 2 weeks away). She said NOBODY would be willing to do it for her and she was hoping I would. First I had to check out the referral (it was the second e-mail I've gotten saying CCC referred them to me-the first time I blew it off thinking it was a scam) Yep-they referred her to me (how cool is that!). So I quoted her a price of $150. I asked at a flickr group if $125 was a reasonable price and they thought it was far too low. Well, I haven't heard back. No sweat, I was already too busy anyway, but honestly, what did she expect to pay for a custom, hand-made, detailed topper? I would quote the same price if I was asked again to do one like that. That thing was going to take hours!

bobwonderbuns Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 2:31am
post #15 of 19

Trixie, in this area it's difficult to get command prices. Often times I throw in a few fondant animals or something and don't charge fully what they're worth but with word of mouth advertising my reputation grows and I can get a bit more with the next cake. This area you can get $5.00/per animal (like a penguin or monkey) but you're looking at $20-$25 for a Buzz or Woody only because Michigan is depressed right now. However if you get into a higher priced clientel, then by all means $30-$45 per Woody or Buzz. Also if you are a member of Michigan Ices, ask some of the members, they're good about pricing issues. Hope that helps some! icon_biggrin.gif

Price Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 2:58am
post #16 of 19

I love playing around with making fondant figures. I've had people tell me I should approach a local bakery about buying my figures, but I haven't had the nerve to do it. Don't want to get laughed out of the bakery!!! icon_redface.gif I wouldn't even begin to know what to charge.

Trixyinaz - your figures are great! Love Buzz!

donnalane Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 7:56am
post #17 of 19


I make all different kinds of figurines just to try different things, and teach myslef different things. I usually do not make my figurines up ahead of time. The ones I do for others are made according to what others ask me to make so they are all custom made.

Just so you know I have never sold any of my figurines to anyone in my local area. I live in an area that is mostly country like and the people here think that I am drugs when they hear my cake prices which are comparable to those locally, but most are just so used to buying cakes at Kroger and Walmart. But I am not walmart and I work very hard on my cakes and figurines.

Strawberry and loriemoms I would not have any problem selling my figurines to you, I love to make them. Working with fondant and gumpaste are my big thing I love working with both. Feel free to pm me anytime and we can talk.

A word about pricing and figurines, after talking with many people since I have started making them, most people have never heard of gumpaste figurines and I think it is one of those things that the more people see and hear about them the more they would be willing to pay for them. This is one of the biggest things people say so I take the time to educate them about custom figurines and how you can pretty much make any design that tells a story about the person whom their created for and once I share that with people they get all excited. So I guess it's just one of those things in life. I know the figurines are huge in other countries but here in the US we have not seen them on cakes all over the place. So I really feel in time they will become a huge part of cake decorating and people will begin to order and pay us for the time we have in customizing them.

BakingJeannie Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 1:03pm
post #18 of 19

I wish I had read this string earlier because I made the biggest mistake ever in quoting a price for 25 - 30 cakes (8 inch with a figure of a pastor on top of each cake). The cakes will be yellow cakes with BC icing and silver dragees around cake. For the figure I'm charging $10 each, but boy oh boy it's a whole lot harder than I thought. Plus around the sides of each cake, there will be cake art titles of the pastor's message. I quoted...$1 for each cake art! It's costing me $8 each!! The owner of a cake supply store told me, next time quote for figures $35 and they will find another alternative because it's too time consuming and people won't pay you to have them done.

So this project is a big learning curve for me. icon_sad.gif

Heads up thumbs_up.gif I'll be OK.


akgirl10 Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 5:33pm
post #19 of 19

Has ever tried etsy.com? It seems like the perfect place to sell figures.

Quote by @%username% on %date%