Wedding Pricing - Getting Frustrated In Alabama

Business By poshcakedesigns Updated 6 Sep 2008 , 12:33am by Deb_

poshcakedesigns Posted 4 Sep 2008 , 12:32pm
post #1 of 24

O.k. I've been a licensed baker for over a year now and getting a bit frustrated about the amount of wedding orders I'm booking icon_sad.gif

I'm have absolutely NO problem getting non wedding orders at $2.25 per slice for buttercream and $3.00 for fondant. This past week I've gotten 4 wedding order request. Of course I quoted them the same price as I do for non occassion cakes. You would have thought I was trying to rob these people blind with that price.

I've checked around and prices in my area are all over the board, so now I'm doubting my prices. There is no way I can lower my prices and make a descent profit and still pay rent. All of the non wedding orders I'm getting are for less than $200 each which isn't bad but I can't do but so many 3d cakes each weekend.

Any licensed Alabama bakers out there that can give some insite?

23 replies
poshcakedesigns Posted 4 Sep 2008 , 4:33pm
post #2 of 24

anyone ? icon_rolleyes.gif

holoien003 Posted 4 Sep 2008 , 4:42pm
post #3 of 24

If your prices are what you need to make to run a business then don't doubt yourself.

You don't want to be the cheapest decorator around, don't sell yourself short. Your services and your cakes are worth it.

Laura102777 Posted 4 Sep 2008 , 4:57pm
post #4 of 24

I can't believe people don't give trouble about non-wedding cake prices, but do about wedding cake prices. It's pretty much the opposite here. I mean, they don't want to pay much for wedding cake either, but they practically expect you to pay them to take a birthday cake. I can't provide insight for Alabama, but I do want to offer support to stay firm on your pricing. People will come around. They just have to believe that it's worth it to have your cake at their wedding.

poshcakedesigns Posted 4 Sep 2008 , 7:43pm
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura102777

I can't believe people don't give trouble about non-wedding cake prices, but do about wedding cake prices. It's pretty much the opposite here. I mean, they don't want to pay much for wedding cake either, but they practically expect you to pay them to take a birthday cake. I can't provide insight for Alabama, but I do want to offer support to stay firm on your pricing. People will come around. They just have to believe that it's worth it to have your cake at their wedding.




I KNOW isn't that crazy but in the past 2 months I have done nothing but special occasion cakes and none of them less than $150 each. I love making them but I'd much rather do weddings icon_smile.gif

Thanks for the support guys - it helps so much icon_smile.gif

leepat Posted 4 Sep 2008 , 7:51pm
post #6 of 24

Where in AL are you at? I am in central AL and that is about what we are getting.

michellenj Posted 4 Sep 2008 , 8:14pm
post #7 of 24

Sounds like someone new out there must be doing cheepies. Don't get into a price war-the only person that wins is the customer.

toshaw Posted 4 Sep 2008 , 8:24pm
post #8 of 24

Don't fret... here in Chattanooga the brides are doing consultations, but are NOT putting down money on deposits to book their date. They are all hanging onto their money until the last minute. I know of 2 or 3 cake shops here that are going through this. Your prices are comparable to here, as well. Hang in there.. It's the economy. icon_wink.gif

poshcakedesigns Posted 4 Sep 2008 , 8:56pm
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by michellenj

Sounds like someone new out there must be doing cheepies. Don't get into a price war-the only person that wins is the customer.




Oh yea there is someone new out there. I found her online while checking prices. She isn't licensed and post that in her myspace page with her cake pics and prices and she advertising all over the web. She does GREAT work and is selling cakes for less than $1.25 per slice. Sure if I wasn't licensed, didn't have to pay rent and taxes I could sell that cheap too.

I figure she can't possible get all the orders but she sure is getting a good bit because her portfolio keeps getting more and more wedding cakes posted at different venues each week

Her being unlicensed doesn't bother me, you have to do what you have to do. It's the under cutting that burns me up icon_evil.gif

Leepat - I'm in Birmingham icon_smile.gif

leepat Posted 4 Sep 2008 , 9:10pm
post #10 of 24

Posh Cake Designs,

I'm in cullman and we are eat up with home bakers that can do $1.25/slice and they advertise. Our health department is working hard to find them. I do have to give them credit for that. Hang in there! If you bake it they will come.

Mike1394 Posted 4 Sep 2008 , 9:44pm
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by poshcakedesigns

Quote:
Originally Posted by michellenj

Sounds like someone new out there must be doing cheepies. Don't get into a price war-the only person that wins is the customer.



Oh yea there is someone new out there. I found her online while checking prices. She isn't licensed and post that in her myspace page with her cake pics and prices and she advertising all over the web. She does GREAT work and is selling cakes for less than $1.25 per slice. Sure if I wasn't licensed, didn't have to pay rent and taxes I could sell that cheap too.

I figure she can't possible get all the orders but she sure is getting a good bit because her portfolio keeps getting more and more wedding cakes posted at different venues each week

Her being unlicensed doesn't bother me, you have to do what you have to do. It's the under cutting that burns me up icon_evil.gif

Leepat - I'm in Birmingham icon_smile.gif




I don't understand what your saying. You say "Her being unlicensed doesn't bother me" Then you say "Sure if I wasn't licensed, didn't have to pay rent and taxes I could sell that cheap too" How do you think she is undercutting you? It's because she's unlicensed.

Mike

Tootall Posted 4 Sep 2008 , 9:53pm
post #12 of 24

Hey! Alabama girls! I'm in Prattville icon_biggrin.gif And I'm not licensed... but I don't sell my cakes! icon_lol.gif hang in there! I'm leaving work now, but want to check out your cakes when I get home! icon_smile.gif

SugarBakerz Posted 4 Sep 2008 , 9:56pm
post #13 of 24

pcd---- down here in SouthEastern AL... your rates are what I am at... I usually am around $2.50 for BC... and $3.00 for fondant.. both basic decor of course. My biggest market is 3D here... there is an old bakery in town who hasn't raised prices in umpteen years so they get a lot of business. Definitely better design artists out there, but people will pay cheap and not really mind it I think. I hope everything works out for you. if you aren't making money on wedding cakes, start advertising 3D grooms cakes or do special party type cakes... I don't do wedding cakes very often because we have a lady who does beautiful work and is under the table. I am a home baker, but I have a licensed kitchen in my detached garage... so I still have overhead that she doesn't... I figure if she can do it that cheap and still make it pretty why should I bother.. my passion is in party and 3D cakes... good luck and chin up!

newnancy Posted 4 Sep 2008 , 10:03pm
post #14 of 24

Poshcakedesigns, I'm also in the Bham area & I do cakes just for my family & friends & not that often. I was wondering if you buy your supplies on-line or locally? I bought some fondant from Louise's & just wondered if there was another place to buy stuff. Thanks

Kitagrl Posted 4 Sep 2008 , 10:09pm
post #15 of 24

I'm in Philly and I have a hard time getting wedding orders because alot of the caterers and stuff include cakes....its getting harder to find people who are independently shopping for a wedding cake seperately from everything else. At least that is my idea of what is happening. I get WAY more party cakes, but unfortunately, the profit is much less even though I am charging $4-$6/serving on average.

poshcakedesigns Posted 4 Sep 2008 , 10:18pm
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

Quote:
Originally Posted by poshcakedesigns

Quote:
Originally Posted by michellenj

Sounds like someone new out there must be doing cheepies. Don't get into a price war-the only person that wins is the customer.



Oh yea there is someone new out there. I found her online while checking prices. She isn't licensed and post that in her myspace page with her cake pics and prices and she advertising all over the web. She does GREAT work and is selling cakes for less than $1.25 per slice. Sure if I wasn't licensed, didn't have to pay rent and taxes I could sell that cheap too.

I figure she can't possible get all the orders but she sure is getting a good bit because her portfolio keeps getting more and more wedding cakes posted at different venues each week

Her being unlicensed doesn't bother me, you have to do what you have to do. It's the under cutting that burns me up icon_evil.gif

Leepat - I'm in Birmingham icon_smile.gif



I don't understand what your saying. You say "Her being unlicensed doesn't bother me" Then you say "Sure if I wasn't licensed, didn't have to pay rent and taxes I could sell that cheap too" How do you think she is undercutting you? It's because she's unlicensed.

Mike




What I was trying to say was if she wants to do this unlicensed then that's her choice and she can pay the consequences if she's caught. When unlicensed bakers are out there cutting prices so low it makes it hard for those of us with more overhead hard to get sales. I know its her choice to sell for whatever she wants. I too could charge 'less' if I wasn't doing this legally but my choice is to do this legally.

indydebi Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 1:22am
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by poshcakedesigns

Her being unlicensed doesn't bother me, you have to do what you have to do. It's the under cutting that burns me up icon_evil.gif




This should be saved for the inevitable debate that comes up between licensed and unlicensed bakers and the point that some don't believe the unlicensed baker is "really" taking business away from the licensed baker.

Just saying....... icon_rolleyes.gif

poshcakedesigns Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 1:37am
post #18 of 24

This should be saved for the inevitable debate that comes up between licensed and unlicensed bakers and the point that some don't believe the unlicensed baker is "really" taking business away from the licensed baker.

Just saying....... icon_rolleyes.gif[/quote]

LOL it's a never ending battle between licensed and unlicensed - I just needed to vent.

Thanks for listending to me whine... icon_cry.gif

michellenj Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 1:55am
post #19 of 24

Here is part of my Sales 101 lecture that I give my sales people. (I'm in hotels/catering, not cakes, but sales is sales.)

People get competition, and start cutting their price. The thing is-EVERYONE WANTS TO BE MAKING MORE! Stick to your prices, and I guarantee you that this other person will raise hers to meet yours. If she is booking all these cakes, soon she will be running herself ragged for no money, getting bitter, stressed, and possible sloppy, and even though you are doing less cakes, I bet dollar to dollar you will end up making the same or more than her.

Have confidence in yourself. Don't take a cheap booking just because you are scared. I know sometimes it is hard.

Etta1025 Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 6:29pm
post #20 of 24

I gotta say, I'm not sure why you're concerned with one new person who is unlicensed (regardless of what's she's charging). Birmingham is a LARGE area. There are tons of professional bakeries and unlicensed home bakers, with plenty of business to go around. Which makes me wonder, how are you advertising/marketing to brides? Maybe you could try new things in that area to bring in more wedding orders?

poshcakedesigns Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 10:16pm
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etta1025

I gotta say, I'm not sure why you're concerned with one new person who is unlicensed (regardless of what's she's charging). Birmingham is a LARGE area. There are tons of professional bakeries and unlicensed home bakers, with plenty of business to go around. Which makes me wonder, how are you advertising/marketing to brides? Maybe you could try new things in that area to bring in more wedding orders?




All I was trying to find out from other Alabama 'licensed' bakers if I was on target with what I should be charging for my city. Because I keep getting brides that are 'sticker shocked' when I quote them $2.25 per sereving and I have heard more than one time well this or that person only charges $1.00-$1.50 and when they told me this I did ask for business names and verified what they were saying to make sure they weren't just saying that so I would lower my price.

I do get plenty of business for non occassion cakes I just want to tap more into the wedding venues and wanted to make sure I wasn't nuts charging what I do. I've got expenses to cover.

Thanks

Etta1025 Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 10:34pm
post #22 of 24

Your prices sound right on target to me. And it's strange that you find people who are willing to pay for occasion cakes, but not for weddings. That's why I was asking about your marketing. Seems like you've just gotten a bad batch of brides. I can't imagine them being sticker shocked by that price in the that area. I'm sure there are some charging a good bit more than that.

poshcakedesigns Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 11:26pm
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etta1025

Your prices sound right on target to me. And it's strange that you find people who are willing to pay for occasion cakes, but not for weddings. That's why I was asking about your marketing. Seems like you've just gotten a bad batch of brides. I can't imagine them being sticker shocked by that price in the that area. I'm sure there are some charging a good bit more than that.




Yep strange as it may sound but it's what I keep getting. I'm thinking of marketing for grooms cakes since most of those are 3d stuff. So I might just have found a niche that not to many others in my area do for my rate.

It'll all work out.

Deb_ Posted 6 Sep 2008 , 12:33am
post #24 of 24

Poshcakedesigns,

I really think it has more to do with the overall economy and not your prices. A lot of people only have a wedding cake because they feel it's expected of them to have one and it's kind of an afterthought. They're already spending a large sum for everything else and they most likely go in with a certain price in mind and are "shocked" when we quote them something way off their price.
My own family has no idea what it costs me to make a cake, not to mention the time involved. The average person has no idea.

I don't do cakes for a living because I can't make enough money. I am a hairstylist, have been for 24 yrs., and I can honestly tell you that I am even feeling the effects of the poor economy with those clients as well. People are stretching their haircuts, color and perms.

It's just really tough out there and the average person is trying to cut costs anyway they can.

But, not to worry all the candidates tell us they are going to turn the economy around. CAN'T WAIT thumbs_up.gif

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