Lessons Learnt The Hard Way!! Cancellation...

Decorating By sweetcravings Updated 17 Sep 2008 , 12:52am by mjarvis78

sweetcravings Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 2:01pm
post #1 of 18

icon_mad.gif Oh i'm so heated right now. A friend placed an order for two cakes for her neices first birthday parties...one for Sept..27 the other oct 4. They are suppose to be 12"round with 8"round ontop. Plus two smash cakes. Big fondant one on top with stars on wires coming out around it. THe cakes will also have nine hand molded baby blocks spelling out the twins names. Filled with White choc mousse. I charged 120.00..she ordered the two on thursday.

So i spent the weekend hand molding the blocks and was just starting to put the accents on them when i get a call from her this morning...


Hi Suzanne,

"about the cakes. I spoke with my sister and she said they were too much money. I told her i would pay for one of them but she said no way. So i'm gonna have to cancel the one cake for the 27th but i'll keep the other for the oct 4 date. "

WTF!!!
icon_eek.gificon_eek.gificon_mad.gificon_cry.gif

Do you think i look like a damn bakery? I wanted to say..well you know i've already got 18 blocks sculpted for the two cakes..but i didn't. I just said ok and was biting my tongue. I figure at least she is keeping the one cake. My sister needs a baby cake next month so i figure i can use them on hers.

Then she proceeds to ask me if i make cookies etc.Maybe she'll order 60 of them for that weekend for a wedding Sept 27. i tell her i bake alot of types but i haven't a clue what to charge at this point for them. I'm not really selling them. I tell her, I do make iced sugar cookies and i can get back to her tonight with the cost. i have a general idea what to charge but i didn't want to figure it all out while she was on the phone with me. I think i can get them done now that i don't have the cake to do. I'm sure she is going to freak if i tell her they run around 2.00 a piece.

I'm just really angry that she would cancel at this point. I mean i did give her the option on thursday to get back to me in a day or too. I told her think it over and she said she didn't need to and ordered straight away.

Lesson learnt...from now on i need three weeks notice on custom cakes and if you cancel two week prior to date you loose 50% or something like that. I just can't be throwing away my time like that. Honestly i'm so mad. I've spent money i didn't have to. I didn't ask for a deposit since my DH said, "oh you can trust Rose to pay you..you will insult her if you ask her give it ahead"...well too darn bad. Deposit or no cake from now on.

Thanks for letting me vent.

17 replies
JeCookie Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 2:06pm
post #2 of 18

I'm sorry that happened to you. You have every right to feel the way you do. Like you stated, make sure you get a non- refundable deposit b/c you can lose money on orders like these.

baycheeks1 Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 2:11pm
post #3 of 18

You live and you learn...Why is it that friends think they can ask you for anything just because we 'friends'? At least you know for the next time!

Melvira Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 2:26pm
post #4 of 18

Grrrrrr! Sorry about that, it really stinks!! I need to be more demanding about money in advance, but for 'small' cakes I don't. I mean, wedding cakes, yes! But I know how you feel. And if she wouldn't spend $120 on a cake, she certainly won't spend it on cookies. She's expecting you to say $5 a dozen. I can almost guarantee that. thumbsdown.gif

aliciag Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 2:27pm
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Quote:

"about the cakes. I spoke with my sister and she said they were too much



Quote:
Quote:

I told her think it over and she said she didn't need to and ordered straight away.




So she decided how much her sister wanted to spend on cake? icon_confused.gif

That's not right!?!

keyshia Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 2:43pm
post #6 of 18

That really sucks! And I think it's even worse coming from someone you call a friend! When I had someone cancel a cake on me (liek the day before) I told DH that I was going to start charging a deposit, he said that I was getting kind of uppity...we were on a small base in Turkey. I finally had to tell him taht most people KNOW there is some kind of deposit when they order a cake..they all thought I was weird! I also had to get on him about offering discounts. Now he doesn't discuss pricing with people...he just lets me do that part! icon_smile.gif

sweetcravings Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 3:47pm
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

Grrrrrr! Sorry about that, it really stinks!! I need to be more demanding about money in advance, but for 'small' cakes I don't. I mean, wedding cakes, yes! But I know how you feel. And if she wouldn't spend $120 on a cake, she certainly won't spend it on cookies. She's expecting you to say $5 a dozen. I can almost guarantee that. thumbsdown.gif




I'm sure she is expecting those cookies to be cheap but i'm not giving them away..even the simplest of design is alot of work when you are making 60 of them.

She had also ordered 75cream horns for that same saturday..thankfully she didn't cancel that too. She actually raised the number to 80..BUT she wants me to plate them. I told her i would but she must get me the plates the day before.

THe whole thing is terrible planning on her part...really...you are thinking about cookies etc..two weeks before a family wedding icon_surprised.gif I guess i'm just way more organized than that.

About a year ago this same person calls me two days before her daughters first communion to make her a cake...I don't think so.!

I so want to be done with these orders. I've been working on the blocks for her cake all morning and i know now i charged too little (those damn things are alot of work.) I've lost all desire at the moment..ugh people.

snowshoe1 Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 4:00pm
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcravings

I so want to be done with these orders. I've been working on the blocks for her cake all morning and i know now i charged too little (those damn things are alot of work.) I've lost all desire at the moment..ugh people.




You are still working on the cake she didn't cancel? icon_eek.gif I hope you have your deposit for all the other items she is ordering! Sorry you are dealing with this - but like you wrote "lesson learned."

sweetcravings Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 4:36pm
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowshoe1

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcravings

I so want to be done with these orders. I've been working on the blocks for her cake all morning and i know now i charged too little (those damn things are alot of work.) I've lost all desire at the moment..ugh people.



You are still working on the cake she didn't cancel? icon_eek.gif I hope you have your deposit for all the other items she is ordering! Sorry you are dealing with this - but like you wrote "lesson learned."




Ya, i'm working on the blocks for her Oct 4 cake. I figure i might as well work on it since i had planned on doing it anyway for the 'sept 27' cancelled cake. ETA>>she wanted the exact same cake design for both days. I guess i'll have a jump on things. I'm thinking i might just wait to adhere the letters to the blocks closer to the due date that way if she cancels that one too i can store them for later use.

I didn't get a deposit at all for these cakes. My DH figured..we know them well..they wouldn't stiff us. Thankfully i didn't bake my cakes or icing up yet. I haven't baked the cream horns. I'll do that the day before.
If she orders the cookie i will ask for a deposit. HOnestly i don't even want to deal with her anymore.
This whole thing has left a sour taste in my mouth about selling my cakes and cookies.

sweetcravings Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 4:50pm
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowshoe1

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcravings

I so want to be done with these orders. I've been working on the blocks for her cake all morning and i know now i charged too little (those damn things are alot of work.) I've lost all desire at the moment..ugh people.



You are still working on the cake she didn't cancel? icon_eek.gif I hope you have your deposit for all the other items she is ordering! Sorry you are dealing with this - but like you wrote "lesson learned."





opps sorry double post for some reason...ETA

sweetcravings Posted 16 Sep 2008 , 4:37pm
post #11 of 18

icon_mad.gificon_eek.gificon_surprised.gificon_evil.gif

i CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!!

I just got home and there is a message on my phone, here is the way it went,

"hi suzanne, i just spoke with my sister and she has decided she wants the cake now! I was just wondering if it's too late to have you do it now?"

icon_confused.gif So i'm thinking..what's changed since yesterday? Did you price around and see what a deal you were getting?

Ok, i'm trying to take a deep breath right now but am starting to take this personally...She orders two cakes(both identical) on thursday,..calls me yesterday to cancel the one for the 28th...calls me today and now WANTS the cake for the 28th.
I spent the greater part of the day yesterday completing the blocks for the cake on Oct 4. I figured since i have them molded i might as well finish them early. BUT>>>i didn't put the accents on the cancelled cakes blocks because she didn't want the cake.

If i were to do this cake for her now i would have to NOW pull out all my stuff AGAIN and make another mess..spend countless time working on them. It would've been much easier to do them all yesterday when i had a production line of sorts going.

I now know i undercharged for the time those blocks take (even though i thought i calculated it correctly at the time of quote).

My heart is saying, "run..you are being taken advantage of"
My business part is saying..."it could be good word of mouth"

I already have a busy week ahead of me and would really have to work this into my schedule now.
What would you do?

Am i just taking this too personal?My sister says, "its just customer service, it's people for you." But this isn't just a quick fix. I am now going to spend a lot more time on the cake then planned because i have to pull everything out again.

I don't want to come across like a bitch to this 'friend' but come on...make up your mind already! geesh.

Melvira Posted 16 Sep 2008 , 5:48pm
post #12 of 18

Follow your instincts. If you do this, you will be setting yourself up. This will be how she expects to do business all the time. I have one customer that gets away with murder with me because I love her like she were my grandmother or something. But she knows I will do anything for her, and sometimes pushes it! icon_rolleyes.gif

How much word of mouth will you really get from this cake? And will that word of mouth be, "Well it was so [email protected] expensive, we almost didn't get it, but the kid wanted it so bad..."

Pookie59 Posted 16 Sep 2008 , 6:14pm
post #13 of 18

If you can't comfortably fit the cancelled cake back into your schedule, tell her that.

However, I think you need to clue your friend in to exactly what you are going through. She probably has no idea how much time and effort and ingredients you have to invest in your creations. So, why not educate her? Tell her you've already spent "x" hours working on the cake decor and spent "x" dollars, and make sure she understands that you can't get started on this cake order again unless you know for sure that she actually wants it. And for Pete's sake, don't accept any more orders from her without a deposit. If she balks at that, she can go somewhere else. (Problem solved either way)

cakesbycathy Posted 16 Sep 2008 , 10:50pm
post #14 of 18

Tell her unless you receive full payment for all the orders within the next 48 hours you will be unable to do anything.

sweetcravings Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 12:14am
post #15 of 18

Well, i waited until dh came home to talk it over with him. He too is upset that she would pull this on us, but feels that it would be a really bad business move to deny her the cake especially since the base of the blocks are molded and all that is needed is accents to them. He feels that this cake will generate alot of word of mouth customers. Being that this is kinda my first official paid cake order i should bite the bullet and let it slide just this time. BUT..in the future there will be a deposit required and a cancellation policy.
I'm having a really hard time swallowing this pill but i hope he is right. My sister felt the same way. She said that if i don't do it that will spread like wildfire.
Maybe i'm not cut out for this business stuff. I take it so personal.

indydebi Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 12:27am
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcravings

Maybe i'm not cut out for this business stuff.



No, that's not it. This so-called friend's actions would tick off anyone on here. So it's not just you. thumbs_up.gif

SugarFrosted Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 12:48am
post #17 of 18

You could add a "pita" (pain in the a$$) fee to the whole shebang for having to do everything twice. An extra fee tacked on could make up for the now-known extra amount of time it takes to make those blocks.

Tell her that the on/off/on order now means two trips for supplies, two sessions of work/clean up and twice the annoyance. Also make sure she pays for BOTH cakes, and all the cookies/whatever, when she picks up the first one, or when you deliver. You'll feel better and she'll know how serious you are.

mjarvis78 Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 12:52am
post #18 of 18

I would go ahead and do it, but write out an invoice for everything and tell her that you will need payment for both cakes within the next couple of days.

No money, no cake.

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