Cheap Full Sheetcake What???

Decorating By twistedsplinters Updated 21 Jul 2008 , 7:33pm by sweettoothmom

twistedsplinters Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 8:45pm
post #1 of 58

OK, I try and keep up with the cake decorators that pop up around me. There is one woman who has been doing it for a few years and she is charging only 30.00 for a full sheetcake I think a friend said it was 12x18 with anything they want on it for only 30.00 how is this possible my 11x15 are not even that cheap.

And i read message boards around our town of moms talking about her bc she is so cheap. I wonder if it started at that price for friends and then her friends told other ppl that they were that price and she feels she has to charge that amount.

icon_eek.gif

57 replies
playingwithsugar Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 3:04am
post #2 of 58

A 12x18 is a half sheet cake.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

twistedsplinters Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 3:26am
post #3 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by playingwithsugar

A 12x18 is a half sheet cake.

Theresa icon_smile.gif







mistyped my bad she is charging 30.00 for a half sheetcake

mkolmar Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 3:37am
post #4 of 58

Don't worry, she'll either run her business into the ground by not charging enough, get sick of it and quit or she'll have to raise prices a lot to cover everything. $30 for a 12x15 is crazy, simply crazy. I feel bad for this lady because she'll be bombarded and then will soon hate herself for it when it's not worth her time.

playingwithsugar Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 10:59am
post #5 of 58

Perhaps she decorates cakes for the passion of decorating, rather than the profit. She is still making money on the cake, just not much money.

Where I live, a half-sheet cake can still be sold for $30. It would be a single layer, baked in a 2" tall pan, no filling, from boxed mix, and decorated with PS icing.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

Mike1394 Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 11:10am
post #6 of 58

It can be done, and still make a nice profit from it. Your only going to have roughly $5 in material cost, an hour to handle, and decorate give, or take. Box mix, and very simple decoration. They are making more profit than the 3X thingy.

Mike

Molly2 Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 11:28am
post #7 of 58

Where I live a lady makes full sheet cakes (I saw one) it was plain White with congrats with the people names on it one layer with non editable pearls for $40.00 dollars but I over heard some ladies talking and they said the only bad thing about buying from her is that you never know what your going to get because she doesn't put much effort in decorating it a lot of time she puts silk flowers or non editable items that have to be picked off before serving

Molly2

indydebi Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 12:21pm
post #8 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

They are making more profit than the 3X thingy.




But to me, this is a GREAT example of why the 3X thingy is a bad idea. No way I could make a 12x18, sell it for thirty lousy bucks and pay my business expenses.

My cost to make 12 cookies from NFSC is around $3. would you guys jump down my throat if I sold these cookies on a stick for 75 cents each??? But "times 3" means I'd sell 12 of them for $9. icon_eek.gif

If the only thing you're trying to cover is your ingredient costs (ingredients times 3), then yeah, you'll make a little pocket change. But I have business expenses to cover.

Mike1394 Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 12:38pm
post #9 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

They are making more profit than the 3X thingy.



But to me, this is a GREAT example of why the 3X thingy is a bad idea. No way I could make a 12x18, sell it for thirty lousy bucks and pay my business expenses.

My cost to make 12 cookies from NFSC is around $3. would you guys jump down my throat if I sold these cookies on a stick for 75 cents each??? But "times 3" means I'd sell 12 of them for $9. icon_eek.gif

If the only thing you're trying to cover is your ingredient costs (ingredients times 3), then yeah, you'll make a little pocket change. But I have business expenses to cover.




Oh I agree it's a bad way to go. For someone that is actually trying to make money, and carve out a path, and try to be competitve force. It's a horrible way to go.

BUT if your sitting in your kitchen w/ a pantry full of cake mixes, and an oven wasting pilot light gas. It's the only thing you've ever heard. IMO it screws up the system.

Mike

foxymomma521 Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 12:49pm
post #10 of 58

Wait Mike... Where do you shop that a 12x18 can be made for $5?

Mike1394 Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 1:04pm
post #11 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxymomma521

Wait Mike... Where do you shop that a 12x18 can be made for $5?




A 12x18 is going to take two mixes right? with eggs, and oil your going to spend around two dollars. The frosting cost is going to be around three. Now I'm not saying this is a high quality cake. Nothing extra added just plain basic cake. Walmart, Sam's, Costco, are making a ton of cash doing it this way. The next time your checking out a big box store's cakes. Look at the price jump of something that is very plain to something that even has a choc curl on it. If someone had the werewithall to try, and compete they could do it. You would end up killing yourself trying to do the volume, but it could be done.

There are two ways to make money. One item high money. Alot of item lil money. You can't say neither is right, or wrong. China is building one heckuva an economy by selling alot of cheap items.

All moral issues aside there are a lot of people/companies/countries doing this.

Mike

foxymomma521 Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 1:40pm
post #12 of 58

I totally see your point, but I think groceries must be cheaper in Michigan lol!

Mike1394 Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 1:44pm
post #13 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxymomma521

I totally see your point, but I think groceries must be cheaper in Michigan lol!




LOL More than likely. I've seen mixes on sale for as low as .78.

Mike

dandelion56602 Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 2:11pm
post #14 of 58

Mixes here have gone up to $1.08 + our 9.75% tax on groceries. And my batch for icing a 12x18 is about $5 (no filling). Plus eggs & oil (if that's all you use). I just made 3 12x18x3" cakes. I used the variations of WASC & I can't remember the exact cost but it came close to $10/cake, not icing, electricity, water, baking, etc.

I think this woman is probably looking at JUST the ingredient cost, not everything that goes into it & paying herself accordingly. She'll realize it's not worth it when she's making every dang bd cake in the town on one weekend. We as individuals just can't compete w/ Walmart prices---if you think they pay as much as we do for ingredients you're wrong. So, they make a bigger profit than we would even if we sold at the same price

Mike1394 Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 2:23pm
post #15 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandelion56602

Mixes here have gone up to $1.08 + our 9.75% tax on groceries. And my batch for icing a 12x18 is about $5 (no filling). Plus eggs & oil (if that's all you use). I just made 3 12x18x3" cakes. I used the variations of WASC & I can't remember the exact cost but it came close to $10/cake, not icing, electricity, water, baking, etc.

I think this woman is probably looking at JUST the ingredient cost, not everything that goes into it & paying herself accordingly. She'll realize it's not worth it when she's making every dang bd cake in the town on one weekend. We as individuals just can't compete w/ Walmart prices---if you think they pay as much as we do for ingredients you're wrong. So, they make a bigger profit than we would even if we sold at the same price




Well, of course I know we pay more. Walmart tells thier suppliers what they will pay. As a supplier you then decide if you want to do business with them.

Mike

southerncake Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 2:38pm
post #16 of 58

In the past, I have also posted about a lady in my town who has the "$15 deal." She will do ANY quarter sheet cake for $15. I agree that I thought maybe she would get tired of it after a while, but she has been doing it for 10+ years and still going strong. It really hurts the rest of us here in town.

I remember a friend (also a friend of the $15 lady) called me about a cake probably about 5 years ago. After telling me what she wanted, she said "now, that's $15 like _______, right?" I really thought she was joking and kind of chuckled a little...but, oh no, she thought everyone charged $15 for a quarter sheet!! Unfortunately, that is the problem with people selling cakes at these prices - it lowers the value of all the cakes in our area.

twistedsplinters Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 2:59pm
post #17 of 58

15.00 WOW thats cheap. I had a lady once call me and ask prices about some cakes and wanted to pay me with cake pans she had bc she was able to do it with another lady before who has since stopped making cakes. I told her no thank you. and of course didnt want to buy the cake then.

bethola Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 3:01pm
post #18 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxymomma521

Wait Mike... Where do you shop that a 12x18 can be made for $5?



A 12x18 is going to take two mixes right? with eggs, and oil your going to spend around two dollars. The frosting cost is going to be around three. Now I'm not saying this is a high quality cake. Nothing extra added just plain basic cake. Walmart, Sam's, Costco, are making a ton of cash doing it this way. The next time your checking out a big box store's cakes. Look at the price jump of something that is very plain to something that even has a choc curl on it. If someone had the werewithall to try, and compete they could do it. You would end up killing yourself trying to do the volume, but it could be done.

There are two ways to make money. One item high money. Alot of item lil money. You can't say neither is right, or wrong. China is building one heckuva an economy by selling alot of cheap items.

All moral issues aside there are a lot of people/companies/countries doing this.

Mike




Okay, I use 3 1/2 box mixes per 12 x 18 pan. I like a "thick" cake! LOL But, I DO charge more than $30.00. Not a LOT more, but more.

Beth in KY

mcelromi1 Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 3:30pm
post #19 of 58

I live in Texas and I never pay more than $0.89 for name brand cake mix, + $2.85 for 1 1/2 dozen egg which comes to less than $0.45 for 3 egg, + oil and icing.

If her decorations aren't extremely detailed, a sheet cake can be done in no time at all, even last minute.
For some of us it may seem ridiculous, but she is covering her materials and time. $20 profit may not seem like a lot to some of us, but if she's happy with the money she has coming in, I don't see a problem with it.

momvarden Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 3:37pm
post #20 of 58

I don't have a lot of space for a ton of cake pans. So I use my 13x9 and make 2 for a 1/2 sheet and i always us 2 cake mixes (maybe just a smige less) in each pan. In VA it costs me approx. 3.24 per 2 mixes, that is not including oven time. Also it costs per batch 6.42 for the frosting. So that is 12.90 per 1/2 sheet cake.

playingwithsugar Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 6:24pm
post #21 of 58

IndyDebi -

I understand, and agree, that you have additional overhead expenses to cover, and therefore, you definitely must charge more than the price we have been discussing.

Now, getting to local pricing - in PA, there is no sales tax on food items sold in supermarkets, unless they are prepared for immediate consumption, i.e. hot bar food items such as rotisserie or barbecued chickens, soup and salad bars, deli sandwiches, etc.

I have found that if I search the retail grocery ads online, I can plan my route, get better deals, and come home with nice savings. And most of the time, I can find sales which help me buy better than if I shopped at the clubs or through the local wholesale bakery supply.

The lowest price on brand-name boxed mixes is at Wal-Mart, who is currently charging 96 cents per box, no matter which brand.

So, yes, in my area, I believe that a person could, indeed, sell a half-sheet, 2" deep cake, for $30, and make some money. Maybe not a lot of money, but more than enough.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

yummymummycakes Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 6:43pm
post #22 of 58

I'm jealous that all of you are talking about cake mix for .99 cents or even a dollar.

In Australia cake mix on special is $3.99 per box and our ones aren't as big as that one in the states.
Apart from the Betty Crocker (we only get Vanilla, Chocolate Fudge and the Devils Food cake) and they are $5.49 each!!! Eggs are $5.50 per dozen.

tasteebakes Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 6:46pm
post #23 of 58

I can make a half sheet at a cost of $5 to me. I own a shop and have all the ingredients, boxes and boards on hand at wholesale prices though.

angelcakes5 Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 7:25pm
post #24 of 58

I charge $65 for a 12x18 half sheet. I have never had anyone complain and they keep ordering. My friends tell me if they want good cake they will come to you. I havent had a problem so far! Alot fo the stuff has been going up here. And for frosting I dont think I could make mine that cheap. I use butter and crisco in my buttercream

Suzycakes Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 7:34pm
post #25 of 58

I really wish I could charge per serving for a sheet cake like most of you do! But on the other hand - I do NOT want to have to pay the extremely high housing costs, fuel expenses, etc that you have to pay simply because you are in a more populated area!

It's like when I watch HGTV House Hunters and they are looking at an 1100 sq ft house in California that is selling for $942,000.00. Here in the heartland that house wouldn't bring $94,200.00.

So I don't know where the OP is from (no state or town in her description) -- but in some areas -- like Mike says -- you can do okay asking $30.00 to $40.00 for a half sheet cake. You do have to be careful where you shop -- like playingwithsugar -- get the best deals possible -- and around here that is not the huge warehouses. Aldis, SavALot and WalMart are the best -- but every few weeks the locally owned grocery stores will run specials on cake mixes, flour, sugar, sour cream, powdered sugar, etc and that's when I try to really stock and do business with the hometown people.

Suze

indydebi Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 7:46pm
post #26 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcelromi1

â¦.but if she's happy with the money she has coming in, I don't see a problem with it.




Quote:
Originally Posted by southerncake

Unfortunately, that is the problem with people selling cakes at these prices - it lowers the value of all the cakes in our area.



What southerncake said!



Quote:
Originally Posted by suzycakes

But on the other hand - I do NOT want to have to pay the extremely high housing costs, fuel expenses, etc that you have to pay simply because you are in a more populated area!

It's like when I watch HGTV House Hunters and they are looking at an 1100 sq ft house in California that is selling for $942,000.00. Here in the heartland that house wouldn't bring $94,200.00.



Omg, you CANâT compare Calif to the rest of the country! Everyone knows their housing prices are ridiculously inflated compared to the âregularâ part of the country! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

But I live in the 14th largest city in the country. I got more house for my money than I EVER could have afforded in my hometown. Gas by my house is usually 5-7 cents cheaper than what my sister has to pay in our small hometown. My electric bill is no-contest cheaper than what ANY of my relatives, who live in non-populated areas, pay.

Everyone assumes that if you live in âthe big cityâ, that EVERYTHING is more expensive. I couldnât afford to move back to my small town usa hometown. Give me the economic living of a larger community anyday!

mcelromi1 Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 8:05pm
post #27 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by southerncake

Unfortunately, that is the problem with people selling cakes at these prices - it lowers the value of all the cakes in our area.







But, that's not the 'other bakers' problem.
She's doing what she needs to do, what works for her and brings her money. She's keeping her customers happy.
As I'm sure we all do with our customers.
But we can't knock her for doing her business her way. We just have to do what we need to do to keep our customers coming back and refering others.

indydebi Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 8:14pm
post #28 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcelromi1

But, that's not the 'other bakers' problem.




That's fine .... as long as we don't see you post a thread about how insulted you are because somebody wanted you to sell them a $100 cake for $20 because that's what the lady down the road does.

I notice folks tend to have this attitude .... until it happens to THEM.

dandelion56602 Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 8:19pm
post #29 of 58

Indydebi, I looked on your website but didn't find--how do you charge for sheet cakes? Now I'm feeling terrible for charging the same as I would a regular cake (not tiered or stacked). And a 12x18 has 74/75 servings. Even at $1/serving that's still more than double what this lady is charging. I usually make my 1 layer 3" high (plus icing so it's about 3 1/2" high). My 2 layer is closer to 4" high---so do you double the servings on that or would it still be 74/75 servings? Do you charge considerably less for a sheet cake than a square or round?

mcelromi1 Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 8:26pm
post #30 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcelromi1

But, that's not the 'other bakers' problem.



That's fine .... as long as we don't see you post a thread about how insulted you are because somebody wanted you to sell them a $100 cake for $20 because that's what the lady down the road does.

I notice folks tend to have this attitude .... until it happens to THEM.




I've turned away many people who don't want to pay my prices.
I have set prices and I stick to them.
If someone tells me that someone else can do it for less, I tell them that I understand but I am unable to match their price and hopefully we can do business some other time.
Sometimes they go elsewhere and sometimes they go ahead and order from me. (win some, lose some).
But I do what I have to do for my business.

If the lady down the road does it for less, they should order from the lady down the road. I'm not going to sell you MY cake at someone elses price.

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