Didn't You Know Everyone Decorates???

Decorating By simplysweet72740 Updated 31 Jul 2008 , 5:35pm by sweettoothmom

simplysweet72740 Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 2:21pm
post #1 of 68

So I got a call from a potential client. She says "I need a wedding cake for 450 people", icon_eek.gif , "and I was thinking a 5 tier what do you think?" I replied with yeah at least. We then go on to schedule a tasting and consultation before arrangements are made. We get to the day and I have designed several different sketches all based on what she said she wanted. Everything is going smoothly until we get to pricing.

Now I am a very reserved person, and I believe everyone should get what they want at an affordable price. I tell her ok .... $545.00, for a 5 tier, filled, with draggees, the diamond press, scrolls, ribbon, and delivery/setup. She then stands up and says are you kidding me I can decorate one myself for a 1/4 of that price, anyone could!!!

I was fumming just with the standing up. I said well thats my price for that particular cake. She says no its not you would charge 1/2 that for a birthday cake. I said no no actually I wouldn't and I proceed to show her my per servings clause in the contract.

She grabbed up all her stuff and walked out and said I don't know how you stay in business.

Needless to say I lost that "fine" customer, however I did hear from another baker on the other side of town that she did it to him to!!!

The nerve of some people!!! Thanks for listening!!!

67 replies
Ah-na Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 2:30pm
post #2 of 68

I hope I can see this cake she's going to "decorate". What a tapedshut.gif

mixinvixen Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 2:32pm
post #3 of 68

i'm sorry, i'm feeling your pain, i promise, but i am having a belly laugh at this one!!!!!!!!! that is indeed how people seem to feel...and it makes you wonder why the hell they're coming to you then. has she never heard of the convenience factor? you do it yourself, you have stress and costs...you pay me more to do it, but you enjoy your day. (not to mention that the cake will actually look like it's supposed to!!!!!!!)

i don't see this woman ever eating humble pie...the unfortunate thing is that she probably has that attitude with everything in life., and then considers everyone around her idiots.

junny629 Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 2:33pm
post #4 of 68

Ha, she will probably end up getting her wedding cake from Wal-mart.

johnson6ofus Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 2:33pm
post #5 of 68

and I can fix my own plumbing, and drill my own teeth, and mow my own lawn. <sigh>. Contract for services and PAY for it.

I just hope YOU charge a tasting fee to at least slightly compensate you for your time and effort wasted on an ignorant customer....

marknelliesmum Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 2:34pm
post #6 of 68
Quote:
Quote:

I can decorate one myself for a 1/4 of that price, anyone could!!!




She'll be in her kitchen as I type then ...getting on with it.

Quote:
Quote:

She says no its not you would charge 1/2 that for a birthday cake




Who does she think she is, telling you what you would charge?
People never cease to amaze me.

However...spare a thought for the poor guy who is marrying her icon_eek.gificon_eek.gificon_lol.gif

AnneMarie

Valli_War Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 2:35pm
post #7 of 68

Hi,
Don't feel bad about such people. I don't do this for a living. I just started learning it couple of months back so that I could do my kids' birthday cakes. One of my colleague asked if I could make his son's birthday cake. I told him on the face that he would be better off buying it from sams (that's where he buys his cakes). He went on insisting that he would pay and I told him if I made the cake, it'll be my gift, so no money. Then he goes on he wants a strawberry cake and spiderman picture on the top. I had never done FBCT and I did it for the first time on this cake. 24 serving cake and spent 4 hours on it total. Everyone loved the cake and all, but next day he calls me and says that cake is worth 20 bucks. I was fuming it is not even minimum wage for how many hours I spent on the cake and I have a masters in engineering and make lot more money working at a desk. People just don't think how much of work is involved.

Oh, he says you must've spent 5 dollars for the supplies, ya right it was iced with all butter butter cream with real strawberries in the cake.

Bottom line, I am never going to make a cake if he asks me again. So, think like good riddance and be happy.

Sorry if too long of a vent. It happened yesterday, so I am still not over with it.

auntiekim82 Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 2:35pm
post #8 of 68

Wow, I'm sorry you had to deal with that. I don't think a lot of people realize what goes into decorating. I'd love to see her attempt it! icon_twisted.gif

Some people you're just better off not dealing with...

siris Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 2:35pm
post #9 of 68

I'm glad you stood your ground thumbs_up.gif , I too would like to see this cake she thinks she could decorate!!!!

jsmith Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 2:38pm
post #10 of 68

Thank goodness you lost that one! I wish I could see what happens when she tries to decorate it herself or try find someone who can decorate for less than a $1 per serving.

You should definitely charge more. At least $2.50 per serving in order to make any profit. One advantage to charging adequately is it keeps the customer reined in. I learned that if I charged a super low price then they would order double the servings just to make sure they had enough. Then complain when they had too much cake. icon_rolleyes.gif Once the customer realizes how much 400 servings of cake is they may start to whittle down their guest list making our job a bit more manageable.

ugetsnun2 Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 2:40pm
post #11 of 68

Everybody wants something for nothing. If she did the same thing with another baker, she's likely to try again with someone else. I think Wal-Mart is her best option. No one needs a client who expects a steak on a chicken leg budget. She would have only given you more problems down the road.

ShayShay Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 2:44pm
post #12 of 68

Too funny! I mean, I feel bad for you that you had to go through that but, Oh...My...Goodness!!! You gave her an amazing price and she thinks that it is too much! Wish her the best of luck and send her on her "decorating" way!

AmyCakes2 Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 2:47pm
post #13 of 68

Oh my goodness! I'd say that was a VERY fair price!!! It's at times like these that I hear my hubby say "People like that just want cake...they don't care about the looks or the taste, they just want plain old cake." I'd love to be a fly on the wall while she works on putting that puppy together!!!

AmyCakes2 Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 2:56pm
post #14 of 68

BTW - not that I need to tell you - but I'd definately refuse to ever do a cake order for her....
I had a lady call me about a cake for Memorial Day, and right off the bat she's asking me what cake mix I use (SHE always used Duncan Hines) and how she just LOVES Jenny Lee's icing (my thot - go get it from Jenny Lee!). So we proceed to talk and and she asked how much - it was going to be $20 for a 7x11 cake. She was shocked! Then we talk about delivery and I told her I'd have no problem meeting her somewhere and she said "No, I think I'd have you bring it right to my door." So I quipped - "That'll be $5 extra." She couldn't believe it! She asked what an 8" would be and I told her the same price - plus the extra $5. Her decision?? She was going to have to think about it - and I never heard back from her. My daughter laughed at me when I did my little "rant" to let off some steam. Tell a grocery store to deliver it to your door and see what they tell you!
Needless to say - this lady is on my naughty list....

all4cake Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 3:01pm
post #15 of 68

She ain't gonna be able to get a cake for 450 servings at WM for 545 either.

I don't know about ya'll's WM, but the one near me does 12", 10" and 6" combinations....I reckon, one could get several of them and place them together. For real, aaaaaaaaaaaand, they aren't exactly cheap either. MOF, the local bakery , baked fresh--almost to order---is cheaper than our WM when it comes to decorated cakes.

tcakes65 Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 3:03pm
post #16 of 68

The woman has a lot of nerve! You were giving her a steal by offering her the cake for $545. I would have charged her approximately $1350 for that many servings. You were charging her a little over $1/serving. I doubt a Walmart or Publix would charge her any less. As for her having a two-year old tantrum, I would have had to politely tell her the consultation was over and ask her to leave. There's no need for her to behave so inappropriately especially in a place of business. She must have a couple of screws loose if she's going around to different cake businesses behaving in the same childish manner. It seems that she thinks if she throws a big enough tantrum, she'll get her way. I'd say she's SPOILED and her new hubby is in for a ride. icon_lol.gif You would think after seeing a couple of cake decorators and getting the same answer, it would click in her head that she's getting a good deal and what the going rate is for wedding cakes. I too would love to see her attempt making the cake herself. People have no idea what goes into it or the stress level involved.
Keep in mind there's always people out there that want something for nothing. I had a bride come in last week that wanted a cake for 125 people for $125. Needless to say, I had to educate her about cakes.

Danielle111 Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 3:09pm
post #17 of 68

Now, granted in my part of town, $3.50 per serving for buttercream is cheap, but she was gawking at $1.21 per serving?!? I don't even know how that would begin to cover your costs, stress and time!! Maybe she was just trying to get something for free... ...sounds like that technique has worked for her before. Whenever there's no "set" price for something (cakes, car repairs, contractors, etc.) a lot of people feel like they're being taken advantage of, and feel the need to yell about the price, especially if they don't know the first thing about what they're paying for. If we professionals cave, then that just reinforces that they were right, and they continue the behavior. I hope to god that she tries to do a cake for 450 people herself, puts umpteen hours into it, and it falls over because she doesn't know the first thing about cakes. Then maybe she'll pay the price (or even more) next time to avoid the hassle.

all4cake Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 3:09pm
post #18 of 68

I could be wrong about the size combinations...but 118 servings (3 tiered) is the largest they offer.

junny629 Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 3:14pm
post #19 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyCakes2


I had a lady call me about a cake for Memorial Day, and right off the bat she's asking me what cake mix I use (SHE always used Duncan Hines) and how she just LOVES Jenny Lee's icing (my thot - go get it from Jenny Lee!). So we proceed to talk and and she asked how much - it was going to be $20 for a 7x11 cake. She was shocked! Then we talk about delivery and I told her I'd have no problem meeting her somewhere and she said "No, I think I'd have you bring it right to my door." So I quipped - "That'll be $5 extra." She couldn't believe it! She asked what an 8" would be and I told her the same price - plus the extra $5. Her decision?? She was going to have to think about it - and I never heard back from her. My daughter laughed at me when I did my little "rant" to let off some steam. Tell a grocery store to deliver it to your door and see what they tell you!
Needless to say - this lady is on my naughty list....




I can't believe she thinks $20 is too much. With the gas price nowadays, there's nothing wrong with charging delivery fee. That's your gas and time. She should just make her Duncan Hines cake and ask Jenny Lee for some icing. Some people!! Just like the other say, they just don't know how much time and effort are put into decorating a cake.

FromScratch Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 3:28pm
post #20 of 68

icon_confused.gif WTF?!?!?! That's insane!! That is WAAAAAAY too cheap for any cake. I would have charged $2000.00 for that much cake. What the hell does she think. May she docorate it herself.. with no supports.. and it fall on her face. What a twit!!

Aliwis000 Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 3:29pm
post #21 of 68

I think everyone is entitled to their opinion, she didnt think it was worth that then fine. She should have smiled, thanked you for your time, paid for the consult (or whatever is your business practice on those things) and left. Having an opinion is her right, even if her opinion is completely uneducated and crazy. But acting like that was childish, I would say you are better off not getting that cake, the headach wouldnt be worth it.

Alicia

smoore Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 3:34pm
post #22 of 68

I'd make the lady an offer ....
Since you can/would do it for 1/4 of my price, how 'bout I outsource what I don't really want to do to you ... you do it for the 1/4 of my price and I resell it for my normal pricing? Why not? 1/4 of my price is fair, right????? What? You don't have time? Neither do I, unless I'm paid for it!

CakeMommyTX Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 5:08pm
post #23 of 68

I would have charge 1850$, so she really would have been peeved with my price.
And yes of course if the birthday cake needed to only feed 225 then I would charge 1/2 price, but thats the only way she would be getting a "1/2 price" cake would be to have 1/2 the servings.

jammjenks Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 5:38pm
post #24 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aliwis000

I think everyone is entitled to their opinion, she didnt think it was worth that then fine. She should have smiled, thanked you for your time, paid for the consult (or whatever is your business practice on those things) and left. Having an opinion is her right, even if her opinion is completely uneducated and crazy. But acting like that was childish, I would say you are better off not getting that cake, the headach wouldnt be worth it.

Alicia




Amen, sister.

I'd like to see her have a meeting like that with Indydebi or Chutzpah!

loriana Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 6:43pm
post #25 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danielle111

I hope to god that she tries to do a cake for 450 people herself, puts umpteen hours into it, and it falls over because she doesn't know the first thing about cakes. Then maybe she'll pay the price (or even more) next time to avoid the hassle.





I say yes and AMEN to that! Let's see her try it herself and she will never complain again to the next cake decorator about paying their VERY fair price, which you were an angel to give her!

Gefion Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 6:47pm
post #26 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by jammjenks



Amen, sister.

I'd like to see her have a meeting like that with Indydebi or Chutzpah!




Oh me too me too icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

tiggy2 Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 6:56pm
post #27 of 68

I would have told her she needs to shag her little a$$ home and start baking cause she has a lot of work ahead of her.

cocobean Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 7:16pm
post #28 of 68

That was a way great price you quoted her! I qet people who call me and say how much to you charge for your cakes? Then I feel like I need to go into this long explaination of... it's this much per serving, then this much for this and this much for that and extra for this. Then they never call me back. I figure I couldn't do much worse if I just said, you tell me how many serving you want and I'll make ANYTHING you want. Then say, I charge xxx.xx per lb. I think the per lb. would be much eaiser to quote to people. People alway seem to want a fast answer or quote and I wouldn't have to go into these long explainations. Then you can add a side note and say the more you want on the cake the heavier it will be! Like my son's wedding cake with tons of fresh fruit must have weighted 80-100 lbs. I think thats the way I want to go. PER LB. Quick answer!

simplysweet72740 Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 9:19pm
post #29 of 68

I really appreciate all your kick butt comments. As I am reading these I realize I probably just totally insulted the Cake Decorating Community with my low price. I am going to go up on my cakes, and you know what I have a pretty good little client base, they will understand because they have been getting their cakes from me for years. (I pray anyways)

Thanks ya'all so much for listening to me.

Oh by the way, I was chatting with another CCer and we decided its high time people where educated on our art form. Don't ya think.

SweetResults Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 11:57am
post #30 of 68

simplysweet72740 - good for you for raising your prices! You can certainly get it, bake it and they will come! LOL!

Not an insult, just a learning curve icon_biggrin.gif We all have to start somewhere, just remember to raise our prices when we get there LOL!

I can't wait for the day that I am busy enough to start refusing business and jacking up prices, and I am at $4 per serving for basic fondant, $5 for carved fondant plus more depending on the work involved. I am getting better at it.

Let her march her pretty little butt back home and get baking! Her electric bill for that month after the oven has been on, the AC has been higher to cool down the hot kitchen (due to the oven being on for hours and then so the cake won't melt) and the mixer has been going for hours and her lights have been on for hours because she is up all night trying to do these cakes - will be more than what you quoted for the cake LOL! And she will wonder what the heck happened!! Plus her cake will most likely look like crap - HAHAHAHA!

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