Do You Ever Get Fed Up With Explaining Your Prices??

Decorating By sweetcravings Updated 12 Oct 2008 , 2:18pm by bobwonderbuns

sweetcravings Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 4:27pm
post #1 of 44

icon_sad.gificon_mad.gif I am so irritated today and it all stems from constantly explaining to people why my products cost what they do. I'm tired of hearing, "why is it that much?" and "can't you do it cheaper" and "i can get it here for this". If they don't like the price then go elsewhere.

I just recently started charging for my cakes and things and i'm already soooo irritated with dealing with all of this.My sister wanted me to do a cake for someone outside the family (she was paying for it)..i quoted one number.."geesh that's really high" she says. "can you make it cheaper?"..I widdle the costs down by taking off the fondant etc...and still..."still that much!"...WTF..i felt like saying..i'm not gonna do it at cost like i have in the past. This is my job now and i will be paid. I encouraged her to go to the grocery store, price around I would not be insulted. I tell her if she wants that basic of a cake perhaps she'd be better off going there since she'll get it cheaper. I even sent her an itemized list of all my costs and labor so she could see i wasn't ripping her off...then she throws out, "how many mixes does that cake use?".. icon_eek.giftapedshut.gif .Ok don't even go there with me. I'm sure she's thinking she could by a mix on sale for a dollar sooo why such i high price. icon_mad.gif I'm not even going to go there..i sent her the list, look it over if you don't believe me. I tell her i can't compete with the grocery stores and even some bakeries since i don't get my stuff at wholesale and she says, "well they can't really compete with you" "i would normally spend what you are asking but in this situation i don't want to put out this much." She was trying to be all sweet and complimentary and saying stuff like, "i hope your not upset" but i could see right through it. I tell her go elsewhere.
A few cake orders ago..i got the same thing.".120.00 Wow!"..they say as i told them the cost..they booked hesitantly...But then they call me and say it was the best cake they'd ever had. i can't blame people for wanting to get the best price, times are tough right now..but come'on ppl I have bills too. Just because i do this out of home doesn't make me any less worthy of being paid.
Really the last few weeks have opened my eyes and have left me feeling royally irritated with dealing with the money side of decorating cakes..almost enough to stop all together. icon_sad.gif
Maybe i'm just overreacting as i'm pms'ing..but does anyone else feel like this?

Thanks for letting me vent..i feel a little better now.

43 replies
Karema Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 4:42pm
post #2 of 44

I totally understand. Dont ever send someone an itemized discription like that again. You dont need to explain why its so expensive. Either the want it or not. I have a hard time saying sometimes this is the price and that's that. I find the need to say it's so much more because it is quality ingrediants, and time consuming. I dont have to explain. Give the quote and thats it. I've learned not to chase people down also. If someone said Oh I want you to make a cake for me next saturday I use to keep calling to see if they still wanted it. Now I call one time and that's it. No warning no nothing. I call give quote and tell them they have until this day to get back to me to place their order. Trust me you have to grow a tough skin for this business.

Karema

sweetcravings Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 6:30pm
post #3 of 44

Karema,

I guess i do have to toughen up but it sure is exhausting. I always feel on the defensive lately. I hate it.

I wouldn't normally ever give the itemized list but its my sister..i told her not to share it..lets hope she won't.

KKC Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 6:31pm
post #4 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karema

I totally understand. Dont ever send someone an itemized discription like that again. You dont need to explain why its so expensive. Either the want it or not. I have a hard time saying sometimes this is the price and that's that. I find the need to say it's so much more because it is quality ingrediants, and time consuming. I dont have to explain. Give the quote and thats it. I've learned not to chase people down also. If someone said Oh I want you to make a cake for me next saturday I use to keep calling to see if they still wanted it. Now I call one time and that's it. No warning no nothing. I call give quote and tell them they have until this day to get back to me to place their order. Trust me you have to grow a tough skin for this business.

Karema


I totally agree with you Karema. Earlier this year a co worker of mine asked me to make her wedding cake. 3-tiers with fondant and fondant bows, not to mention she wanted Red Velvet cake. I quoted her $150.00 tapedshut.gif ...I know it was terribly cheap but I'm all for giving breaks to friends and family. Well she tells me and these are her exact words "I'm telling you right now, I'm not paying that much for a cake" icon_mad.gif So I told her well then maybe you need to go and buy a sheet cake from Publix because I'm not lowering my price, its already low enough. So she tells me to think about it because she doesn't want to spend no more than $50 for a cake...I told her no thank you, you're the one getting married, you're the one who wants a 3-tier fondant red velvet cake. Thats why now when it comes to friends and family I tell them to go some place else if they want a cheap cornbread tasting cake icon_wink.gif

sweetcravings Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 6:49pm
post #5 of 44

Karema,

I guess i do have to toughen up but it sure is exhausting. I always feel on the defensive lately. I hate it.

I wouldn't normally ever give the itemized list but its my sister..i told her not to share it..lets hope she won't.

mixinvixen Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 7:09pm
post #6 of 44

i think they treat you that way, and ask you questions because you probably the tone in your voice when you quote them the price sound hesitant or unsure. if you don't sound firm in your tone, people pick up on that, sometime consciously and sometime even subconsiously, which lets them think that there is a glimmer of hope that you'll go down with a bit of pressure.

i will never give someone an itemized explanation of my prices. they're mine...i have the prerogative to set my prices where i want them, the same as it is their's to choose to go elsewhere if i don't meet their budget.

please don't be offended, but i wonder about a family member who is giving you this much grief...geesh, who needs strangers when you got family giving you the second degree?

repeat after me "my prices are set accordingly and will not budge unless I am the one who chooses to do so...no one will guilt trip me into giving them free labor"...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

now say it another 300 times for good measure!!!!!!!!!!!!

sweetcravings Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 7:55pm
post #7 of 44

Kivia,

That's how feel..I told her it sounded like she wanted to spend a lot less money and she said, "ya, i was thinking around 50.00". That barely covers my cost, no labor, nothing...I don't think so. That's why i told her to go to the grocer..She can get a half slab for 45.99.

Minivixien..my husband says i do need to be more confident..so i think you have a point there. In my head i know how i want to sound but perhaps i don;t convey that. I really wanted to work with her and i was trying to help reduce the costs but i just cant do it for no labor. So maybe she misinterpreted my desire to work with her as something else, i dunno
I do feel hurt..i was just saying last night to DH. Isn't it family who are suppose to support you? I don't feel that right now. They are the first to balk at my prices. Maybe because they don't want to pay it now when they always got it for cost or free.
They always go on and on about my cakes, talent,ability and i guess thats why it hurts when they don't back up their words with their money.
I know this circumstance was unusual in that my sis offerred to bring the cake not realizing the cost beforehand, and not in her heart wanting to even buy it for this person. It was more out of obligation. I'm sorry this has happened, but why should i pay for her error in judgement.
My family is very close it's just some times they can really push my buttons.
I'm sure by tomorrow i will be over it, i just feel crummy now.

marmalade1687 Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 8:34pm
post #8 of 44

Family can be the best supporters, and yet sometimes they can be the worst too. I have finally converted over most of our family to the "right" way of thinking icon_wink.gif (took years!!), but I still have one sister-in-law who doesn't understand that I need at least two weeks notice to fit cake orders into my schedule, and she expects me to drop everything to do cakes for her - not!! Give it time (and a whole lot of patience!), and your family will come round eventually. When talking to clients on the phone, be confident in your pricing, and if they think your prices are too high, then thank them for their call and move on. thumbs_up.gif

kookyfaery Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 4:00am
post #9 of 44

First word we learn, and the hardest one we have to say....."NO"

I have learned in Kitchen Design that there are a lot of customers you just dont want....send them on their way. Because if you talk them into your services and show them they're getting your skilled services and not someone who is decorating the cake because the cake decorator called in sick (see cake wrecks!!!) they're going to still waste your time and profit.

Protect your Assets. I'm sorry Mr. Customer, but maybe you should try WalMart!

Mac Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 4:05am
post #10 of 44

I have always said..."Does Neiman-Marcus explain why they are higher than Wal-Mart?"

People shop there, they know they are paying more and getting better quality...same with your cakes. Maybe ask what their budget is first, then go from there.

sweetcravings Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 12:57pm
post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac

I have always said..."Does Neiman-Marcus explain why they are higher than Wal-Mart?"

People shop there, they know they are paying more and getting better quality...same with your cakes. Maybe ask what their budget is first, then go from there.




I think this is very wise advise! If i had asked my sister from the get go how much she wanted to spend for the cake i would've told her I couldn't do it that cheap no matter how basic she wanted it. That would've saved me alot of time in aggrivataion/headache.
I thinking i'm gonna set a minimum cake price and i can tell people from the beginning and they can decide if they want to pay it and not waste either of our time.

On the same note..i just got an order for 48triple pumpkin marshmallow pops..i charged 1.65/each...this woman didn't flinch at the cost. So i know there are people out there with money i just have to find them. icon_biggrin.gif

Thanks everyone for your support. I feel a bit better today so talking about it helped.

whimsette Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 7:20pm
post #12 of 44

Don't let them get you down!

I go through spurts where I'll get challenged on my prices and I just deal with it. (Through gritted teeth and a fake smile.)

The best things you can do for your business are to know exactly what your operating costs are, never justify your expenses to anyone, and charge what your time/materials/talent are worth.

Stay strong!

messy_chef Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 7:43pm
post #13 of 44

Look, if they try to tell you they could get the cake at Wal-Mart or make it themselves, tell them to go ahead. There's a reason they asked you- they can't do it themselves or get what they want at Wal-Mart!

LKing12 Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 7:49pm
post #14 of 44

Okay, I have decided to not get sucked into the discussing/reasoning my prices anymore.
This past weekend I baked a cake for a bride that my daughter had gone to school with and was in the wedding. She asked me to give her a price and hinted around that there wasn't a lot of money. I told her that I could not give her the cake-but, I priced it fairly.
Well, I was invited to the wedding/reception and to my amazement mom and dad hefted the price of the open bar and spent over $10,000.00 on booze. They didn't question paying $3.00+ for each drink that the over 300 quests inbibed in! NEVER again will I quible about my prices!!

JessDesserts Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 7:49pm
post #15 of 44

Sweetcravings: I dont even have a baking business and I recently posted about a similar situation with a co-worker.
She asked for halloween cc's (which again, I dont bake as a business;ive just been practicing) and I told her $2/cc.
Well.....her response was so obnoxious and uncalled for, not to mention down right RUDE!
I was so upset about it, I had to post the incident on the CC forum to see if I did the right thing by telling her ( actually her daughter, who she was asking for) that supermarkets have Halloween items out now, maybe she will find something wihtin her budget there!
I couldnt stop thinking about her response and I kept second guessing myself.
I'll tell you what, I know how much work and time goes into my cupcakes and I already felt it was a low price. I dont think I would feel very good about myself if I lowered it just because she doesnt know how to act!
Stick to your guns and i'm sorry you had a bad experience. You did the right thing, IMHO. thumbs_up.gif

Jess

alvarezmom Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 8:03pm
post #16 of 44

sweetcravings- What are triple pumpkin marshmallow pops?

RevRicky Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 8:12pm
post #17 of 44

I am fairly new at charging for cakes - and I think a do a good job (so they tell me). It is so hard to fairly value your work. My wife and I recently did 300 candy "It's a boy" plaques for a lady who works at our bank. We added up the cost of material and figured in some time and decided to charge .75 a candy. I realized that at any candy store you would be looking at over a buck. She didn't bat and eye and loved the product and says we are going to be seeing a lot of her. With family you may want to do what I do - make it your wedding present (probably one of the most expensive they get). I made a four tier cake for my nephew. I asked my mother-in-law (who taught me how to decorate) how much she would have charged and she said "at least $400. That floored me -but then I look on bakery sites and see that it is in line with the style of cake that I made. Working with people is an endeavor of patience. The general idea of "let them go to wal-mart" is a good frame of mind to keep. Good luck with your work!

sweetcravings Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 8:17pm
post #18 of 44

The triple marshmallow pops..i found the idea here from the CC member NEWTODECORATING.
Its three marshmallows on a stick, covered in orange melts and when dry you pipe pumpkin faces on each marshmallow. so it looks like pumpkins stacked on one another. I love this idea. Heres the general look of them. I'm not sure if these are hers because i saved a few, but at least you can see them.
LL

jennifer7777 Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 8:18pm
post #19 of 44

I definitely understand what you were going through...glad to read that you feel better now. Yeah, this pricing thing is a tough one, and some people just aren't going to be in your target market. It does seem that people will test the small business or home baker more. Lesson learned...your prices are what they are for a reason, just like everything else that costs something. Either they will pay, or they won't. Sometimes it hurts if they won't, but it's better to not waste time on them, and give all the time in the world to those who will pay, because they will be the ones you will see again.

Stay strong and keep on caking!

By the way...triple pumpkin marshmallow pops!!!!...sound SO good. 2 of my favorite things....pumpkin and marshmallow! Is this a recipe you can share? If so, PM me.

Edited to add: somebody beat me to the pumpkin marshmallow question. I'm reading it now. Thanks!

jennifer7777 Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 8:25pm
post #20 of 44

Those pumpkin pops are so cute!! What a neat idea for my kids' classes for Halloween to go with decorated sugar cookies...if I get around to making either of them.

bobwonderbuns Posted 9 Oct 2008 , 3:43am
post #21 of 44

I know I get sick of hearing "$$$ for a cake?! icon_eek.gif It's just sugar and flour!" icon_confused.gif Once I got so annoyed with a truly annoying individual that I told her "well dear you're always welcome to do better." I think she went to WalMart! icon_twisted.gificon_lol.gif

shadowgypsie Posted 9 Oct 2008 , 4:10am
post #22 of 44

When someone starts questioning your prices Just state a fact : You don't get your cakes from a factory that is mostly handled by a machine from the mixing to the baking.

I just recently watched a show on the TV where this one grocery stores cakes were made like this.

people did the measuring of ingredients but then a machine mixed the ingredients then sent the batter to another machine that divided it into pans on a conveyor belt that went into an oven when the cakes came out the other side they were flipped out onto another conveyor belt that took them to a cooling station where they were placed in the plastic boxes that they arrive at the stores in. then placed in a freezer until ready for shipping.

So when someone is complaining about the price you can tell them this.

indydebi Posted 9 Oct 2008 , 11:51am
post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwonderbuns

I know I get sick of hearing "$$$ for a cake?! icon_eek.gif It's just sugar and flour!" icon_confused.gif Once I got so annoyed with a truly annoying individual that I told her "well dear you're always welcome to do better." I think she went to WalMart! icon_twisted.gificon_lol.gif




I hope this attachment comes thru .... it's laying front and center on my counter for everyone who walks in to see.

i never break down my costs ... for family or anyone. Because the "cost of ingredients' is NOT the cost of the cake. I also have rent, insurance, utilities, payroll, payroll taxes, general kitchen supplies, accountant fees, etc etc etc ..... ALL of that goes into the cost of the cake.

20 years ago, we had a friend who asked hubby (who is a woodworker) to build a stand to hold a 100 gallon fish tank. Like us, hubby hates to give a price off the top of his head, but told the guy it would be in the $200-$250 range. Guy almost fell off of his chair! "Heck, I only wanted to pay around ten bucks!" Then HUBBY almost fell off of his chair and he told the guy, "I can't even buy the wood for only $10!" (he wanted to spend only ten bucks for a stand to hold the weight of a 100 gallon fish tank?????? icon_eek.gif )

Hubby has a co-worker who is wanting a birthday cake for a movie buff. I'm talking to her on the phone and getting ideas. I then ask her "what kind of price do you want to keep this under?" As she starts hemming and hawing, I interrupt with "Just so you understand .... I'm NOT in the walmart price range."

She's talking to hubby the next day at work. He's educating her. He tells her how some people offer to buy the ingredients for the cake. I loved it when he told her, "Heck, she'll DONATE the ingredients! That's not the cost of the cake. The cost of the cake is turning those ingredients into those "reels of film" cake you want for your friend!"

I dont' explain my prices. THey are what they are. You're either willing to pay it or you're not. And if not, then walmart is 3 minutes down the road from me. Have at it.

alvarezmom Posted 9 Oct 2008 , 1:19pm
post #24 of 44

The picture never came through for me, but I do know what you are talking about! It's a wonderful idea for kids. I'm considering doing some for my daughter's PreK class.

alvarezmom Posted 9 Oct 2008 , 1:19pm
post #25 of 44

The picture never came through for me, but I do know what you are talking about! It's a wonderful idea for kids. I'm considering doing some for my daughter's PreK class.

alvarezmom Posted 9 Oct 2008 , 1:19pm
post #26 of 44

The picture never came through for me, but I do know what you are talking about! It's a wonderful idea for kids. I'm considering doing some for my daughter's PreK class.

newmansmom2004 Posted 9 Oct 2008 , 2:05pm
post #27 of 44

I agree - never give out your itemized list. You shouldn't have to justify your price to anyone - even a relative!

What these people don't seem to "get" is that, sure they can go to Sam's or Kroger or Publix and get a cake for less money, but they're also getting a cake made with a prepackaged mix, pre-made icing that comes from some factory in a giant tub, nothing special as far as decorations go, and if they want flowers they'll get the standard b/c roses that look like they were pumped out of a rose-making device (and certainly not even close to being realistic looking).

People don't seem to understand that cakes and icings made from scratch, made to order, with very specialized decorations made from fondant or gumpaste are going to cost more...period. It takes SO much time to prepare these custom cakes and if they think they can get a 3 tier fondant cake for $50 they're delusional.

My theory is they get what they pay for so if they don't want to pay the going rate for a beautiful, custom-made cake, they can go buy a cheapo bakery cake from the local grocery store and enjoy a tasteless, run-of-the-mill cake that screams "I'm a cheap grocery store cake!"

indydebi Posted 9 Oct 2008 , 10:53pm
post #28 of 44

oh sorry guys! I actually forgot to attach it! icon_redface.gif Trying again!

dragonflydreams Posted 9 Oct 2008 , 11:38pm
post #29 of 44

thumbs_up.gif

bobwonderbuns Posted 10 Oct 2008 , 12:57am
post #30 of 44

Indy -- that attachment is priceless! icon_lol.gif

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