indydebi Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 3:12am
post #1 of

I made a 20-cookie bouquet ... cookies were about 4" tall, between 2-3" wide and a simple decoration of balloons for birthdays (monthly office birthday thing). I made 6 different colored balloons, bagged and tied each one, found a great wire basket container at Dollar General for $2 .. and spent $9 ( icon_eek.gif ) on a styrofoam ball to hold these things. (And I forgot the camera so I don't have a pic of this super colorful arrangement! icon_cry.gif )

I gave my friend my lowest bouquet price per cookie ($5.50), plus a 20% discount, plus waived the $25 delivery fee that I would have charged for her location. Grand total came to about $96 after adding sales tax 'n such.

She told me everyone luv'd 'em and was wanting my card "....until they found out how expensive they were!"

Oh, I was so ready for this one because I had just visited "that other nat'l cookie chain's" website just 2 days prior. I said, "Wow, if they think 20 cookies for $100 is a lot, then they'd REALLY hate buying from (that other place) .... they only give you 10 cookies for about $75!" (overall, I'm about 20% cheaper than this place)

She said, "Oh, really???" I said, "oh heck yeah! AND they charge you for a fancy container. And they dont' deliver to your place for free. So be sure to pass that along for me!" icon_biggrin.gif

She laughed and said, "well I know they're thinking walmart cookies and if that's what they want, then that's where they need to go!" I said, "I totally and completely agree!"

I guess I can say I know at least 20 people who have been educated a little bit! icon_rolleyes.gif

57 replies
JanH Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 4:11am
post #2 of

Your cookie bouquet sounds beautiful. icon_biggrin.gif

I know exactly what those "other" folks were thinking.... "it's only flour, sugar and eggs - how expensive can those be?" icon_surprised.gif

Well, actually the price of ingredients has been going up!!!! icon_eek.gif
(But that's another thread.) icon_lol.gif

No one stops to think about the LABOR involved in making, baking (and the most time consuming) decorating, packaging, etc. of these beautiful bouquets. icon_mad.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

She laughed and said, "well I know they're thinking walmart cookies and if that's what they want, then that's where they need to go!" I said, "I totally and completely agree!"




Wal-Mart only sells products that can be mass produced and sold cheaply. You'll never see fresh baked, custom cookie bouquets there!

Edited to repair broken quote.

Love your comparison, Gefion. icon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gif

Gefion Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 6:39am
post #3 of

Yeah I never get how they can just look at the price of the ingredients and not once stop to think about how the ingredients gets turned into a beautiful confection.

It's not like you can hire a secretary to do your paperwork, and only pay for the paper and ink involved icon_lol.gif

OCakes Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 7:00am
post #4 of

I'm so sorry you didn't get a picture! How frustrating... and I can relate to your issue totally!! I have some people mention how they can get it at the grocery store for so much less, and I'm always ready to say, "I completely understand if you have to go that route.{etc}"........ AND, just today I was asked for a wedding cake quote. She looked at my website's regular cake pricing & came to the sum of $271 to serve 250!! Her price did include a sheet cake to reduce her 3-to-4 tier cake, but I don't know what people think sometimes. Oh ya, she had been searching for a yellow cake & said I was the only one who offered it.... so I think she's aware of pricing as well!

Those people will remember you when they want a special dessert, or if they know anyone with an even coming-up. They sound like they were wonderful!

dragonflydreams Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 7:01am
post #5 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gefion

It's not like you can hire a secretary to do your paperwork, and only pay for the paper and ink involved icon_lol.gif




well said . . . thumbs_up.gificon_lol.gif

Peeverly Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 12:38pm
post #6 of

Isn't it amazing how people just think we whip a batch of these decorated cookies. They think we just mix the ingredients, bake them (how long can that take??) and then magically the icing is made and is just slapped on to make a beautiful cookie. Then the packaging, how easy is that? And, it can't cost anything. I can't begin to tell you how many times I have explained why the cookies cost so much. I am not an official business but people do call me. A few have said "Really, that much?". Then I go on to explain why. I think sending them to websites online is a good idea because they can see that we are not trying to rip them off that our price is at or below market value. It can be very frustrating.

Kiddiekakes Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 2:09pm
post #7 of

I totally understand!!! I stopped offering cookies for sale on my website and took down all my pics because I just can't make any money on the time/ingredients I was charging.It was taking me triple the time and 3 times less money than cakes.I of course made the cookie dough from scratch....baked....decoarted about 3-4 days before event...packaged...ribbon.And I was charging $1.50 each....I know...don't say it.....stupid...It was taking over my cakes...so I decided something had to go!! Now..If someone wants cookies they will be $5.00 each and if they don't want to pay that...no skin off of my back!!I really admire those who do cookies well and get a good price for them!!!By the way those ugly decorated Disney cookies in the grocery store in the bakery here are now $1.89 each and they taste gross!

yankeegal Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 9:14pm
post #8 of

This post is very timely for me.
Indydebi-I say good for you for sticking to your guns(as usual)-your bouquet sounds beautiful.
I totally agree with everything said. I am about to raise my prices-long overdue-and if people don't want to pay it, oh well...settle for a stale, ill-tasting cookie, without the personal touches I would put on it.

Cake_Princess Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 7:04am
post #9 of

Cookies are a heck more work then just doing a cake. For my hand painted flower collection I charge upwards of $8 per cookie depending on the flower and the size.

My tulip cookie in my album is $10 per cookie. Like you guys said, if you don't like the price there's always Walmart.

deetmar Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 12:32am

I just got yelled at for $1 per cookie by a customer. Get this, I did 70 cookies, bagged them made a cute little label, did a monogram on all 70, decorated if five different 4th of July motif, and they complained about $70. I couldn't believe it. She even argued with me. I told her to check out our local grocery store who sells them for $2.50 each. I gave her a discount because her sister-in-law is one of my best customers. And get this, she is from Chicago. I bet she can't get them for $1 in Chicago.

NO MORE!

Chefperl Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 11:50am

after reading this i feel like an idiot. I am WAY underpricing my cookies. (i think there is a pic in my photos) i know that i didn't charge her enough for the cookies i made, but i was thinking i should have charged her $2 a cookie instead of $1.60. They where my first cookies, so i had no idea how much time they take....
then i did it again and gave a women a cheap price just so i can get my name out there. and now i don;t want to do all that work for free (almost).

indydebi Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 11:58am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gefion

It's not like you can hire a secretary to do your paperwork, and only pay for the paper and ink involved icon_lol.gif




Just wanted to share that I've been using this line for that past few days and PEOPLE GET IT!!! Great analogy!!

mgdqueen Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 12:15pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by deetmar

I just got yelled at for $1 per cookie by a customer. Get this, I did 70 cookies, bagged them made a cute little label, did a monogram on all 70, decorated if five different 4th of July motif, and they complained about $70. I couldn't believe it. She even argued with me. I told her to check out our local grocery store who sells them for $2.50 each. I gave her a discount because her sister-in-law is one of my best customers. And get this, she is from Chicago. I bet she can't get them for $1 in Chicago.

NO MORE!




Good gosh-my prices are going up to $1 each for plain, undecorated, drop cookies! She would really have a fit to pay $70 for 6 dozen chocolate chip cookies! icon_biggrin.gif

Jenn2179 Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 12:46pm

Yes I get calls all the time. I tell them how much and silence. Oh well. I am not working for free and there are people who will pay my prices.

NikkiDoc Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 12:53pm

These stories are so widespread! People in my area are fine paying for WalMart and grocery store cakes and cookies. We live in a small town. They seem to be more interested in a low price than in homemade personalized treats. I am beginning to think it's that way almost everywhere with the general population due to the posts I've been reading. They just don't unde rstand that those places have ready-made-everything and a full staff vs. a one-person bakery who makes everything from scratch. People think we can crank out cakes like WalMart or the grocery store because that is how they do it. We here all make our own stuff and we are not even in the same category as WalMart and grocery bakeries, two different worlds!

raquel1 Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 12:58pm

I have note sold any cookies yet, it's hard enought with people in the area thinking they can pay $20.00 for a double 12" round cake decorated specially for them...Do they just not look a supermarket prices!? You can't get something crappy for that much less homemade

indydebi Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 1:01pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenn2179

Yes I get calls all the time. I tell them how much and silence. Oh well. I am not working for free and there are people who will pay my prices.




Maybe we should start opening this inquiries with "Have you ever bought or priced cookies in a bouquet arrangement before? No? Then let me explain a bit about them ..... they are not simple drop cookies like you see in the grocery for $6 or $7. These are custom designed labor intensive creations...."

SmashlyPotatoes Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 1:19pm

I just started all this cake stuff. I have done about 10 cakes soo far (all did for free or was MADE to take the money). I posted a bulletin on my site for all of my friends telling them I'd do pre-molded cakes for about $15 to $20, and that i would charge about $40-$50 for a more decorated cake or a sculpted one. No one responded. lol. Even that to people around here for cakes was like "woah?!". I just found out not to long ago that Wal-Mart doesnt even bake their cakes! I didnt know this for the longest time. They come pre-frozen. And i think i see that their cheapest, smallest cake was about $20-$25.

poshcakedesigns Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 1:20pm

Good for you deb for sticking to your guns. I have a hard enough time trying to push my cake prices around here. I could only imagine the response I'd get if I sold cookies. icon_mad.gif

michellesArt Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 3:01pm

i just had a friend ask me about making 3 doz for an end of the year/season soccer game (that would be enough for players, coaches and parents) and she just about fell off her chair!! lol-people just don't understand the work that goes into making really the decorating of these small works of art! i told her that i could make cupcakes look like soccer balls and that would be less expensive-i told her i don't normally quote prices off the top of my head and i'd get back to her. i had to stop myself from saying i usually charge such and such but i'll charge you...i've done that before and i told my dh NO MORE FREEBIES!! hey deb, that would include delivery charges too!! thanks for sticking to your guns, cuz you help others like me do it too!!

onceuponacookie Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 6:06pm

This morning I delivered 12, 3.5 inch flower cookies, bagged and tied with matching ribbon. The lady came to look at the cookies and said are they individually boxed? I thought for what I am charging you, you think they are individually boxed!! I wanted to say, sure I'll box them up for you and add another $2.00 per cookie!!

cakegal Posted 20 Jul 2008 , 8:37pm

That's why I just do stuff for my immediate family.
If someone asks me to make them cookies/cakes, I tell them right out... NO WAY!!! It's not worth my time and expense to make them something they don't want to pay for ...and I'm not making it for nothing...
It's such a sad thing, too. Because you guys really make some awesome stuff.

indydebi Posted 20 Jul 2008 , 8:45pm

I just worked on a special request order today for 3 dz custard filled eclairs (never made an eclair before in my life!! Never made custard before, either!). I used 31 eggs to make these suckers and 3 mid-size cartons of whipping cream!! icon_surprised.gif That doesn't include the practice batch I made yesterday!

Yeah ... they're gonna be surprised at the price on THESE!! icon_eek.gif

AgentCakeBaker Posted 22 Jul 2008 , 8:50pm

I definitely have to increase my prices. I charge $1.50 each for decorated cookies. I'm afraid to increase my prices b/c I have the same issues with clients as you guys have had especially regarding prices.

Yes, I know, I know...$1.50 each is way to low but I try to take into consideration what I think I would spend for some delicious made from scratch cookies.

However, I checked out some local cookie companies in this area and they charge anywhere from $50 -$60 just for a 6 cookie bouquet.

SugaredUp Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 1:43pm

Indy, I know what you mean. People see gas prices, food prices rising, but they complain when we raise ours. It's like we should eat the extra costs or something. Who's eating our extra costs? No one.

I would rather turn people away than do something for free/too cheap. My cookies are $3 apiece, which is way too low at the current cost of gas & food, and I know that. But people still balk at the price. The "other" cookie place charges $7 apiece. Now tell me they're not getting a deal!?

I'm thinking of raising all my prices, in fact. Has anyone else raised theirs yet?

indydebi Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 1:55pm

I just raised my catering prices 20% eff 6-1-08.

LisaMS Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 1:59pm

Decorated cookies are very popular now and I've had people ask if I do them. I have just had a feeling no one would want to pay what I think I wouldl need to charge to make it worth it to me, so the answer has been "No." Seems like it would be labor intensive with all these cute little designs. It's hard enough for me to charge what I need to for decorated cakes.

indydebi Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 2:07pm

Perhaps by starting the response with, "Oh sure I make them! That (national chain) company will sell you 5 cookies for $3X, but I can do them for you at $2X." Let 'em know right up front what a deal your cookies are!

dandelion56602 Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 2:22pm

mgdqueen, where in TN are you? I'm in between Nashville & Knoxville.

Oh, cookie prices are more shocking than cake prices to people. I charge (after reading here) $1/ in of the cutter for up to 3 colors--not including the outling. I mostly cover w/ RBC & detail w/ RI. If it were a movie, they would be like Jim Carey & picking their jaw up off the floor.

I seriously think it goes through their head----I can buy a cookie cutter, some refrigerated dough & decorate them for just $3/4 total & she's wanting $3/cookie?! Heaven forbid they make the dough, chill the dough, roll out the dough, cut the dough, bake the cookies, cool them, (in my case) make, color, roll out & cut the RBC, then decorate, let dry, and bag. Oh, yes I will be charging $.35/cookie to bag too. I get told I have such goooood cookies, but no one wants to pay the price & I would like to charge more since I cover w/ RBC but people would have a heart attack for sure.

It infuriates me when people have a concept of what something should cost. Cookies take at least 2 days (and that's working full steam ahead) and people gawk at $70 for a bouquet. Can I scream?!

SugaredUp Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 3:18pm

LisaMS, your photos are amazing. Your work is awesome!

Indy - we're debating moving from Michigan. I looked up the top best/worst cities to live in in the U.S. Out of the top 10, 5 of them were Michigan cities, including the city we live in. That was really a wake up call. I haven't had any orders in 3 weeks. And before that, my orders were dwindling down to 1 or 2 a week. Thankfully, I don't have a storefront, and I pay per hour at a commercial kitchen, because so many businesses here are going under, it's sick.

I want to raise my prices, but it almost seems like What's the point?

I was thinking of starting a new thread on CC'ers opinions on decent places to live. This is turning into a ghost town!

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