$39 For A Half Sheet Cake

Business By Trixyinaz Updated 3 Sep 2008 , 12:45am by Trixyinaz

Trixyinaz Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 1:46pm
post #1 of 37

A couple weeks ago work asked me to do a cake for them to feed about 50 ppl (double layer with filling) and designed to look like their new elearning website that they launched. When I told them my price, they came back and said they only had a $40 budget. The cake alone with supplies would have cost me $40 if not more so I passed.

Then today I was reading in our newsletter that their dept. celebrated the launch of the website last week and had a cake designed like the site's home page. When I called my buddy, she said someone in her department found a bakery (she didn't say grocery store, but it could have been) to do it for $39.99. She said it probably wasn't as good as what I would have made, but it was really cute. I'm dying to see a picture, which she said she would sent me. It had to be a single layer sheet cake....but still for only $39.99? Dear Lord....how did this bakery make any money on it? I seriously don't get it?

How do you stay from getting discouraged after hearing something like that? I so want to throw in the towel and not even pursue opening up a storefront shop.

36 replies
mkolmar Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 2:14pm
post #2 of 37

Don't get discouraged. Someone else wouldn't blink an eye at paying more for a custom made cake. It just happened to be that their budget could not afford your wonderful cake. Be glad that you said no and passed on the opportunity because it would have been a waste of your time. That's what a business owner would have done also.
It more than likely was from a grocery store. However, if it was a custom cake they won't be in business long with those prices.

Pookie59 Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 2:15pm
post #3 of 37

Maybe it was a Walmart cake. Seems like a 1/4 sheet at Walmart is about $17, so they would probably do a half sheet for $40. Undoubtedly the cake they bought was not as good as what they would have received from you, but you're always going to run into people that are more interested in cost than quality. All businesses deal with that. But, there are also plenty of people who want something that actually tastes GOOD, not just a frozen cake slathered with whipped goo.

Jasmine33 Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 3:44pm
post #4 of 37

I understand completely. A store in my area is selling 1/4 sheet double layers for $20 and double layered 1/2 sheets for $30 !

Their 8 inch, 2 layer rounds are $10!

icon_surprised.gif

Costco has a 1/2 a sheet with frosting filling for $17!!

Jasmine33 Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 4:15pm
post #5 of 37

I understand completely. A store in my area is selling 1/4 sheet double layers for $20 and double layered 1/2 sheets for $30 !

Their 8 inch, 2 layer rounds are $10!

icon_surprised.gif

Costco has a 1/2 a sheet with frosting filling for $17!!

Trixyinaz Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 5:13pm
post #6 of 37

Thanks for the encouragement. I got the pics and it definately looks like a single layer cake. They did an edible image on top - not very big. But the thing that stood out to me was the poor icing job. The shells look nice, however. Who sends out a cake with the cake showing?
LL

Jasmine33 Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 6:19pm
post #7 of 37

lol We must see the rest of the cake!

kelleym Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 6:23pm
post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trixyinaz

Who sends out a cake with the cake showing?




From my experience with mass-produced "bargain"-priced cakes, it happens ALL the time. And for $39, nobody cares.

mama5kiddos Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 6:29pm
post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasmine33

I understand completely. A store in my area is selling 1/4 sheet double layers for $20 and double layered 1/2 sheets for $30 !

Their 8 inch, 2 layer rounds are $10!

icon_surprised.gif

Costco has a 1/2 a sheet with frosting filling for $17!!




Costco is where my family goes, instead of giving me the $ for ingredients ONLY (my skill and time would be free to make it for them). They say Costco is a better deal...BUT also, Costco's cakes have gotten alot smaller, they are more like 11x15, and also only ONE layer, torted, with DOUBLE the amount of filling. I would guess their 1/2 sheet cake is only 2 - 2&1/2" high. I too could make a cake for that cheap, using HALF the amount of cake! LOL

FromScratch Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 6:31pm
post #10 of 37

That was a grocery store/walmart cake.. they do that ribbed looking icing on the side of all of their cakes.

You just have to let it go and move on. You don't want to work with people who are looking for a $40 sheet cake.. send them to the grocery store. Not everyone can/wants to have a beautiful custom cake. Spend your time couting those who do. icon_smile.gif

liapsim Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 6:45pm
post #11 of 37

A lot of poeple want something for nothing....don't go back or feel guilty or whatever. Those same people are the ones that will give you the most grief, so it's probably best. Quality comes with a price. Those who know that will ALWAYS come back!

liapsim Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 6:45pm
post #12 of 37

A lot of poeple want something for nothing....don't go back or feel guilty or whatever. Those same people are the ones that will give you the most grief, so it's probably best. Quality comes with a price. Those who know that will ALWAYS come back!

littlecake Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 7:19pm
post #13 of 37

yeah, doesn't sam's sell 1/2 sheets for 19.99?...

there will always be people who want a nice cake tho.

i'm curious now...lets see the top of dat bad boy!

poshcakedesigns Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 8:01pm
post #14 of 37

Just be glad you passed on this deal because if you had settled for their price or budget they would expect you to do it from now on.

It's better to let the budget shoppers go to WM or wherever.

Don't give up, quality shoppers are out there.

poshcakedesigns Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 8:01pm
post #15 of 37

Just be glad you passed on this deal because if you had settled for their price or budget they would expect you to do it from now on.

It's better to let the budget shoppers go to WM or wherever.

Don't give up, quality shoppers are out there.

littlecake Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 9:10pm
post #16 of 37

your cakes are so so nice...this isn't even something you could compare to you.

about half the people who call me for a price check never call back....but you know what?

it's ok, i have a very loyal clientele ....and i don't wanna make everyone's cake...wal mart type cakes are fine for the people who don't care.

sjmoral Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 9:51pm
post #17 of 37

I know what you mean, the other day I gave a quote and felt guilty but then I told my dh I'm not willing to give my talent for free.
On another note a bakery near us has very low prices (the one by the Outback). Check it out when you can...
Sheila

lovinkakes Posted 21 Aug 2008 , 12:50am
post #18 of 37

That is a store cake. I worked in a store bakery before launching out on my own and there is no mistaking it, that is a store cake. I'm the same price as all the good bakeries in my town. I have no problem saying $300 for a cake. Go somewhere else (store bakery!) if you want less! (I'm sure I've gotten this attitude from being a member of CC! namely indydebi, et. al. icon_biggrin.gif )

I have paying customers for whom the cake is a very big deal and very important part of their event. They pay for the quality. So now, both them AND me care about this cake.

Trixyinaz Posted 21 Aug 2008 , 1:20am
post #19 of 37

Thank you everyone for the encouragement and support to not give up.

I don't know why I care so much about this one order, but I do. She has been so supportive of my cakes and really wanted me to do it, but her boss, who I feel doesn't like me that much, told her no when she asked if I could make it/when she told him the price. I'm sure it was the price that drove the decision and not his personal feelings about me. I know they would have loved mine way better, but oh well. You all are so right that I don't want the WM shopper. Nor do I want to do something for nothing and then be expected to do it each and every time. That would suck.

Here is the cake in all it's glory. Things I would have done differently.

1. Matched the blue color to our logo color
2. Made a border around the edible image to look like a monitor screen since the image is of the home page of the website they just launched.
3. Covered my board RED to match the red in our logo.

Thanks again. And thanks LittleCake....you put a simle on my face.

Trixyinaz Posted 21 Aug 2008 , 1:29am
post #20 of 37

You guys snuck in there on me...hehehe

Sheila - yes, I have heard about them. I did call the other day and their cakes were dirt cheap. I think their only saving grace is they must do a lot of weddings b/c those prices aren't that cheap. That has to be keeping their business a float. I just don't get why people have a different set of pricing for wedding cakes vs. party cakes. Makes no sense to me. Cake is cake and a 12 inch pan holds the same amount of batter whether it is for a wedding or a birthday. My GF had cupcakes from them for her DD's bday party and she paid $60 for 50 cupcakes. Seriously, how do they make any money? For me, cupcakes are way more work than making a cake.

Lovincakes - okay, if you all are certain that is a grocery store cake, then here is the picture. I agree, why should I give away my talent and time when they obviously don't care about how the cake tastes. Why should I? Very good point.
LL

littlecake Posted 21 Aug 2008 , 3:08am
post #21 of 37

YIKES...that just screams sam's club...look at the board too.

that's a sloppy job, even for an in store bakery....that cake showing thru on the front...ugh.

if they gave me that on my special day....i wouldn't feel very special.

i've had customers tell me, that after they gave their peeps a cake from me....(after getting wal mart cakes all their life)...some have even started crying because getting something nicer makes them feel like they care.

lutie Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 3:09pm
post #22 of 37

...always remember that there are people who do not mind buying their cakes one aisle over from the hemorrhoid cream and automobile tires... so, you cannot dress them up... why bother? Those are their tastes.

Do not forget that everyone prices their goods according to what they know them to be worth... and Wal-Mart absolutely knows exactly what their cakes are worth... They have every price in their layout to correspond with profit... that is why they make so much money each and every quarter!

You know exactly what your cake is worth. You need to seek the clients who are not of the Wal-Mart influence. More and more of us are teaching others that they are brighter than Wal-Mart and Costco, and still have choices. This is something the large companies do not want us to do anymore... they are contributing to the "dumbing of America".

Keep doing what you are doing! You can never "smart" your family, but you can always be the professional outside of those to whom you are closest.

cakesbyamym Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 6:43pm
post #23 of 37

That has GOT to be something from Sam's, Costco, etc. I don't know of anyone else that could or would sell their cakes for that low of a price. My single layer 1/2 sheets START at $45. You have to get your money's worth, and judging by the photo, this person got what they paid for. I agree about the border comments, too. No way I'd send out a cake looking like that....I've worked way too hard to build my reputation to ruin it.

hammer1 Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 7:06pm
post #24 of 37

we all know we could have whipped that cake in a mear 15 minutes, but could we have sent it out the door, I think not....I watched these automated cake decorating lines on u tube last night ...didn't even know they existed (I do live in a vacuum) that cake looks like their machines did it and the store slapped on a edible image....amazing what robots can do ...anyone else in the vacuum go google robotic cake decorating or something like that.

robinscakes Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 8:54pm
post #25 of 37

My starting price for a half sheet, two layers, in a BASIC flavor (which is a mix) is $40. Scratch cakes are higher. Special fillings are higher. It really depends upon your area. I definitely make a profit on the cake--it costs me around $13 to make. If the customer adds extras the price goes up from there, but that's my starting price.

The Sam's Club by me starts at $19.99 and they look like total crap from what I've seen--horrible colors and very messy. Don't know what they taste like. Not sure I want to find out.

Deb_ Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 12:24am
post #26 of 37

Keep doing what you are doing! You can never "smart" your family, but you can always be the professional outside of those to whom you are closest.[/quote]

This comment hit home for me. One of my brothers in law thought he was paying me a complement when I first started making cakes....actually it was the biggest insult I've ever received in my opinion. After eating a piece of my cake he declared "it's as good as store bought"!! icon_mad.gif I wanted to smash it in his ignorant face!

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 12:51am
post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trixyinaz

Thanks for the encouragement. I got the pics and it definately looks like a single layer cake. They did an edible image on top - not very big. But the thing that stood out to me was the poor icing job. The shells look nice, however. Who sends out a cake with the cake showing?




This looks a lot like the cakes that go out from the bakery I work at. Yeah, it sucks that the cake is showing through the icing but guess what, I'm only supposed to be spending a max of 10 minutes per cake. 10 MINUTES!!!!! When you've got 60 other cake orders staring you in the face and customers that don't understand, you gotta cut corners somewhere. If that happens to me, I usually try to cover it with the border and you never know.

Oh, and we charge $16.82 for a half sheet cake. If you want the cake to have an edible image, then it's $21.82. Single layer unfilled. We did away with our filled cakes. Just white, chocolate, and marble. Can you believe only 5 dollars more for a custom cake? When I got married, I was charged 67 dollars more for a custom design on my wedding cake. That just shows me how much more my time is worth than what my job is paying me.

I gotta get out of there.

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 1:03am
post #28 of 37

EDIT: darn computer. i gotta get my techie hubby to fix it.

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 1:03am
post #29 of 37

Sorry for the double post, but I gotta add a few more words. I totally agree with you all about the people that are fine with a very low quality cake as long as they don't have to pay a lot of money for it, I work at a store bakery now (as you can tell by my previous post).

But try dealing with the people that will bring in a picture of a $300 cake and ask me to reproduce it. I tell them I can't do it and they get all pissed and huffy. I just wanna scream at them! They get what they pay for! They're paying 20 bucks for a cake! You can't do a whole lot with 20 bucks! Sure, if given the proper time and tools, I would love to do those cakes for them, but I'm expected to turn out 48- 64 cakes in an 8 hour shift.

My manager's favorite "motivational quote" for his decorators is "quantity over quality". We just have to get them out on the floor, that's all that matters. Not a good environment for a detail oriented person like me.

I gotta get out of there.

indydebi Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 1:10am
post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose_N_Crantz

My manager's favorite "motivational quote" for his decorators is "quantity over quality". We just have to get them out on the floor, that's all that matters.




There's a phrase I learned a long time ago: Be careful what you measure ... that's what you're going to get.

Case in point .... my sister worked in a wire producing factory. One of the operators went up to the supv and reported a blow out in the outer jacket (this means the rubber on the outside had a "blow out" and the copper inside the wire was exposed. This is a bad thing. Very bad.) The supv was measured on how many feet of wire he got out the door ... not how many GOOD feet was shipped .. but just how many feet. he told the operator, "Ship it. I'm short on my feet-shipped this month. Customer service can handle the problem on a return."

In his eyes, it was better to send defective wire out to a customer (I certain hope this wire wasn't going in an operating room full of pure oxygen when this exposed copper would spark!!) and let SOMEONE ELSE deal with the return and the complaint and the blemish against the company's quality .. because HE was measured by number of feet shipped. Period.

Be careful what you measure ... that's what you're gonna get.

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