Should I Charge?

Decorating By LittleBigMomma Updated 19 Oct 2008 , 4:10am by Horselady

LittleBigMomma Posted 14 Oct 2008 , 12:15am
post #1 of 31

One of my friends is having a baby and I was asked by another mutual friend to make the cake for the baby shower. I always thought this group of friends, including myself, was close enough that the shower would be a joint venture. However, today I received an invitation to the shower. I haven't been included in any of the planning, except that I was asked to make the cake. They did not ask me how much the cake would cost. I think they expected the cake to my contribution to the shower. BUT, when I got an invitation, it changed the way I see things. Hummm. icon_confused.gif The invitation states that the shower is being given by "friends". Would it be tacky to charge for this cake? Should I charge for the cake?

I am asking for honest opinions. My DH has said that I need to reconsider my friendships as they are often taking advantage of my skills and talents. I give away alot of cakes or don't charge enough to cover my costs.

I might add, the lady who seems to be in charge was very detailed about how the cake should look. Most of the time they just let me do my own thing. She told me, this cake needs to be elegant, not too goofy.

Sorry this is so long. I do value your honest input on this one.


30 replies
SILVERCAT Posted 14 Oct 2008 , 12:28am
post #2 of 31

I would either put a price out there for the cake or give a simple cake your design as the gift! If they dont want to pay for what they asked for, than give them what you want to give at your cost.

SILVERCAT Posted 14 Oct 2008 , 12:30am
post #3 of 31

I would either put a price out there for the cake or give a simple cake your design as the gift! If they dont want to pay for what they asked for, than give them what you want to give at your cost.

-K8memphis Posted 14 Oct 2008 , 12:33am
post #4 of 31

I would so charge. I mean you are expected to show up with a gift as well no? I don't always understand giving cake as a 'gift' for a celebration. I mean especially for showers. The 'gift' of a cake for the shower assists the givers of the shower not the honoree.

I mean it will be pretty, it lends ambiance to the atmosphere but it does not so much for the baby or the bride who are the real point of the event. Yes?

I don't know, say I had a real pretty garden in my back yard to have the shower at. Shouldn't I still give a gift? Oh my present to the new bride/expectant mom was to host the party. It doesn't seem right.

Charge charge charge.

If someone asks me for a cake then they gotta pay for it. If it's my idea to give a cake--(I'd be feeling faint)--then it's my gift.

CakeMakar Posted 14 Oct 2008 , 1:40am
post #5 of 31

I agree with Silvercat. If they're picking the details, I would most certainly charge.

laynie72 Posted 14 Oct 2008 , 2:50am
post #6 of 31

If it was me I would ask if I was part of the "friendsâ group giving the shower, sometimes my friends think that I know already what I really do not.

What I am trying to say is that if they are your friends they will be ok by you asking if you are being consider as an organizer.

If you are sure you are not then you can ask them to split the cost among all of you and if you like the girl the shower is been given to, I would just charge cost and not your time...
I am just brainstorming, let us know what you decide.

cylstrial Posted 14 Oct 2008 , 9:03pm
post #7 of 31

That's a tough call. I think I would probably just do it for free or for the cost of ingredients. The cake could always be your present! Goodluck with your decision.

alidpayne Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 1:37pm
post #8 of 31

Normally I would say charge them, but you said that you were expecting to provide the cake as part of the "joint venture" throwing the shower. I understand that your feelings are hurt that you were excluded from the planning, but I say since your original intent was to provide the cake free, I still would.

I would not, however, bother to make the cake they decided on without you. I would make whatever tickled my fancy. You wanted to make this cake for your pregnant friend, not these other friends that planned the party. Think about your relationship with her and make what you feel she would enjoy the most. If the other friends complain that it wasn't what the "ordered", remind them that they didn't offer to compensate you for the cake, so you made what you had time & supplies to provide for free.

Have fun, enjoy the shower, don't let your "friends" ruin it for you.

FromScratch Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 1:53pm
post #9 of 31

I don't think it was her idea to give free cake at all.. more that it was expected of her.

You need to find out what they planned on doing for the cake. Were they going to pay you for it or was this to be your contribution to the "planning" of the shower.

My thought it that noone tells me what I am giving as a gift. If you have a specific cake in mind then you are ordering a cake.. not recieving a gift.

If they are true friends they will have no problem talking to you about it all. If they aren't.. then screw them. I'd be tempted to say you can't do it if they give you any guff for it.

jadex77x Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 2:21pm
post #10 of 31

i dont know if this helps but if a friend asks me to do a cake for them and they dont ask what it would cost i know there expecting a free cake (im good at reading my friends) anywho.... when i think somones trying to get a free cake i usually tell the people involved to chip in in getting the ingredients... there usually good about bringing the supplies to me as long as i make a detailed "shopping list" so part of my "gift" is the time to put the cake together and theres always left overs that can be used for the next cake i have to make or i just use the left over eggs for breakfast the next morning. (this helps to cover my costs and im still able to provide a gift for the new baby). if you use "my method" it is important to stress that it has to be "salted or unsalted butter" not "margerine" or it has to be "pure vanilla" not "imitation vanilla" ect. dont know if this helps at all.....

angelcakesmom Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 2:42pm
post #11 of 31

If you planned on doing the cake as a gift to the mom-to-be as your gift anyway, then continue with your original plan as the cake is your gift. She's the one your doing this for, not the friends. She will be appreciative because she ( and the rest of the people at the shower) will know that you did the cake. You'll be getting praise and accolades during the shower that will make it worth it! icon_biggrin.gif Your's is the only gift there that everyone can enjoy! icon_lol.gif

tx_cupcake Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 2:46pm
post #12 of 31
Originally Posted by laynie72

If it was me I would ask if I was part of the "friendsâ group giving the shower, sometimes my friends think that I know already what I really do not.

I completely agree. If you are really friends with these people then asking whether or not you are included as an organizer shouldn't be that big of a deal.

I am really curious about what they say...

buzymama Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 2:58pm
post #13 of 31

I'm been in that position, I would offer to do the cake and end up with an invitation, same as you. Truthfully, I was considered part of the "friends" my part of the job was the cake, and I was glad that I did not have to worry about anything else, like invitations, decorations food, etc, since the cake did take time and effort, but I'd definitely ask for some $ to cover the cost, or even help with it.

pattigunter Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 3:09pm
post #14 of 31

Definetly charge. The honoree doesnt benefit from your cake - only the "friends" giving the shower!

summernoelle Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 3:12pm
post #15 of 31

Yuck, yuck, yuck. I am in SUCH a similar situation. A good friend of mine is having another baby. Last time I threw the shower, this time I am not. Cake is expected. No payment inquired about.

What I would say is "I calculated the cost of the cake, and it will be $XX.XX" If they say that you should donate it, or give it as a gift, you can just say "Well, that is a nice idea. But honestly, it was more than I planned on spending on her baby shower gift." Leave it at that.

It's funny, though, people who "know" you think they are doing you a favor by letting you make the cake. "Oh, she likes to make cakes, let's just let her do it." Uh hem.

LittleBigMomma Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 6:12pm
post #16 of 31

Thank you for your responses.

I bought a gift for the baby. This cake is NOT a gift. The pregnant friend is a close friend and she always pays for cakes that she orders and complains that I don't charge enough for them. The other women that planned this shower only invite me to events that require cake. So....

because this is for a close friend, I have decided to go to the shower with the cake THEY want, take the gift for the baby and if asked how much THEY owe me for the cake, charge them regular price. Then maybe next time they will know that they have to take the cost of cake into consideration when planning an event.

How does this sound?

FromScratch Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 6:50pm
post #17 of 31

Sounds like a bad idea. Don't do the cake without first finding out what you will be compensated for it. If you spring it on them at the shower they will be shocked. I would let them know ASAP that you have already bought a gift for the baby and you want to discuss the price of the cake with them. The best thing to do would be to give them the price and let them divide it up amongst themselves. If they don't want to pay then don't make the cake.. let them get a grocery store cake. You could even be a dear and offer to pay for a part of the cake.. so hypothetically you charge $120 for the cake.. there's 4 friends planning the party.. then each put up $30. So their cost would be $90 between the three of them. That way you are part of the payment process too so they see you as contributing to the cake.

Whatever you do though don't make this cake without talking price.. because they are not thinking it will be costing them anything for the cake and to have a bill sprung on them at the shower will make for a bad situation. They will not ask you 'how much for the cake'.. and you will be left shafted.

cakesbycathy Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 6:53pm
post #18 of 31

If you do it that way, I wouldn't count on getting paid. Ever.

kelleym Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 7:39pm
post #19 of 31
Originally Posted by LittleBigMomma

I have decided to go to the shower with the cake THEY want, take the gift for the baby and if asked how much THEY owe me for the cake, charge them regular price.

They will never ask how much they owe, because they are counting on you making the cake for free for your friend. Discuss price with them first, or plan on the cake being a gift so that you don't get bent out of shape later on when no one offers to pay. Cake is wonderful, but not worth hurt feelings and lost friendships. thumbsdown.gif

saberger Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 8:03pm
post #20 of 31

I think that you are in a really crappy position! And I think that you should only do what YOU are going to be able to live with and not have it continuosly bugging the bejeezers out of you. Having said that, I will put in my 2 cents worth:

perhaps you could say "it was so nice of you to think of me to make the cake for her (blah, blah, blah - a little #$ kissing never hurt), after all she is a great friend of mine...however....I am reviewing my orders and I am afraid I am very busy with (paid) orders." Then you could always offer to contribute towards the cost of a cake if you feel so inclined, but I think that they have already made you feel like poo. Or since you are busy with orders, then you could only do a design of your choosing.

If they sent you an invitation PRIOR to asking you to do the cake, then you are an invited guest...period! If, however, they asked you AFTER you received an invitation, then they are a 'paying' customer. Simple. Sorry - I can sometimes be a bit of a b#tch when taken advantage of. Otherwise, if all of that doesn't sit well with you, then do it and be more prepared next time.

Good luck with the whole thing. I really feel for you and wish I could help kick their butts for you! icon_wink.gif This is when it comes in handy to have an assistant to weed out the ones without a clue or consideration.

pastryjen Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 10:05pm
post #21 of 31

Just cause I feel like sharing...I think I would go back to the ladies and double check the exact design, # of guests, shade of blue, whatever...

Just to get this want blah, blah, blah, okay, yeah, that will come to $X for that design (or to feed that many people). Do I send the invoice to you or one of the other ladies?

Good luck!

indydebi Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 10:43pm
post #22 of 31

Being a cake person AND a caterer, when there is a family event, I'm frequently asked "do you want to make blah blah blah for this?" My standard answer .... EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. ..... is "Depends ... am I donating this or selling this?"

Now I have a great family, and when they ask for this stuff, they expect to pay for it.

But I have to agree with jkalman, cakesbycathy, kelleym, and others .... if you WAIT for them to ask "how much do I owe you", you will be donating this cake. Sounds like you think if you show up with the cake "they" dictated, that they'll be guilted into offering money. Aint' gonna work, babe!

"Then maybe next time they will know that they have to take the cost of cake into consideration when planning an event."

Can't see how they will know this either, unless you tell them NOW there is a cost to the cake.

Price HAS to be discussed before design, before date, before number of servings .... before any effort goes into even the discussion of the cake. It never, never NEVER works when the cake maker waits until delivery to say "oh by the way, you owe me $xx.xx".

Deb_ Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 11:10pm
post #23 of 31

To the OP...............what do you want to do? That's the only answer you really need.

Honestly, if friends of mine were getting together to throw a shower and ONLY asked me for the cake, I'd consider myself lucky.

I threw a Baby Shower for my sister's daughter in February, basically because I'm the only one with a big enough house for both sides of the family. Do you guys know how expensive it is to throw a Shower? I could have had a brunch at a restaurant for the money and work it cost me.......and I had to make a cake and 50 building block petit fours for the favors. If my DH knew what that shower cost me he'd have a stroke. Not to mention the $100 I spent on a gift.

So if she's really a good friend and she orders from you a lot, make the cake for HER and her baby and do it with a smile. That's what I'd do. You'll still be coming out ahead in the long run, and the mom to be will be so happy to have another one of your creations.

indydebi Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 11:15pm
post #24 of 31

dkelley, you should read the baby shower stories on !

Deb_ Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 11:55pm
post #25 of 31
Originally Posted by indydebi

dkelley, you should read the baby shower stories on !

OMG........with my huge family I could post a few stories on that site. Thanks for the link, some of those stories are hilarious, and a little familiar I'm afraid icon_rolleyes.gif

stampinron Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 12:03am
post #26 of 31

I'm one of those spine-less, back boned-less people, but I have recently institued a "ya, I would love to do that cake....what budget did you have in mind?" But I do like Indy's response alot! "Depends ... am I donating this or selling this?" Gonna use that one too, now!

Definitely talk price before the event if you desire compensation! Been there - done that too much.

mommakristin Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 12:36am
post #27 of 31

I am with others on this. I would call them back and "verify" with them the details as well as to discuss price.

I don't think that you are part of the "friends" throwing the shower or they would have called asking your opinion on colors, theme, etc. Which they haven't- have they??? i would consider yourself a guest at the shower and take your gift.

But I would definitely make them pay. If they think they could go to Walmart or a grocery store and get a cake for free then they are sadly mistaken. Don't sell yourself short. You deserve to be paid for this.

cous2010 Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 12:50am
post #28 of 31

I am SO glad that I'm not in your position. A good friend of mine is having her first baby, and I'm making the cake, BUT I'm making it as the gift to her (mostl for the practice icon_smile.gif )

I would, in your position, call and discuss payment before the shower. I always find it better to be up front with people icon_smile.gif

Best of luck!

Etta1025 Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 7:06pm
post #29 of 31

Wait a second... didn't you say you already received an invitation? Typically the "hostesses" are listed on shower invitations. Were you listed as a hostess? If yes, then you are part of the group throwing the shower and the cake can be your contribution. If not, then you are not a hostess and the cake should be paid for.

LittleBigMomma Posted 18 Oct 2008 , 9:27am
post #30 of 31

The invitation says, "Given by friends".

Ok, there's more to the story. It's so complicated.
It would take me hours to tell the whole story. So, in a nutshell; a new lady to the group knows everything and can do it better, she's critizied one of my cakes in the past and she loves cakes from Publix, she talks about me to the others and now most of them act weird towards me. Gee, this makes me feel like a whiny teenager with friend problems. LOL.

So, I am giving a baby gift and the cake to the mom-to-be because we are close and she is dear to me.

But, from now on, prices will be discussed up front . No more free cakes. I think I'm about to find out who my real friends really are.

Thanks for your opinions and suggestions!

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