Cakes... Family.... Charging....what To Do!

Decorating By tarheelgirl Updated 23 Dec 2008 , 1:02am by tarheelgirl

tarheelgirl Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 10:16pm
post #1 of 38

Ok.. so I usually just give my family cakes for birthdays which I had to stop doing! They take advantage! Now I just do it for the kids! Recently I passed my inspection and my business is officially legal! YAY! So my cousin calls and says will you do my wedding cake! I have my first wedding in March but hers is in DEC! So, yes.. I would love to do her cake!! Good practice!! It will be for around 100 guest!

Problem is now.... what do I charge? I would not feel right to charge her full price!!! She is a hair dresser and I always pay her more than half of what she would charge anyone else!

any opinions?? I seriously can't do it for free but what would be reasonable?

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37 replies
auntginn Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 10:42pm
post #2 of 38

Why not charge her according to what she charges you. If you are paying 50% for her services, charge her the same for yours. You should at least be able to recoup your cost if nothing else.

Our family has alway maintained 15% - 20% and that has helped. No one feels slighted.

hallow3 Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 10:47pm
post #3 of 38

Auntginn, I was just going to say the same thing. I would charge her about the same discount that she gives you plus I would tell her that she will need to help with the cost of ingredients or supplies if it will be a labor intensive cake. But if she is a very close relative, I might just charge her for the supplies and such.

tarheelgirl Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 10:57pm
post #4 of 38

She is my 1st cousin, we were close growing up but not so much now! This is her 2nd marriage. I think that charging her for the cost of materials and like you guys said a certain percentage for labor that there should be no hard feelings.

I know that if I am upfront with her in the beginning that there should be no questions later!

marknelliesmum Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 11:03pm
post #5 of 38

If you pay her half, which is really for her time and talent as she has no initial layout then I reckon she should pay for the ingredients plus something for your time. She doesn't have to buy stuff to cut your hair but you can't make cake without buying ingredients. On the other hand you may wish to donate your time as your gift but still ask her to pay for the ingredients.
JMO

CakeMommyTX Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 11:05pm
post #6 of 38

If she's a good hairdresser then trade her, if the cake cost XXX$ then you get the same amount in free hair coloring ,cuts, perms etc. icon_smile.gif
Just a suggestion?
Man I wish I had a cousin who did hair, I have'nt had my hair cut in over a year icon_redface.gif

tcbalgord Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 11:09pm
post #7 of 38

I have to agree with everyone so far, for my family I charge them usually 20% off and for close friends 10%. Everyone is really good about not taking advantage. The only thing that really irks me is when they dont want to bother me and order a cake from "walmart". I always tell them, I am NEVER too busy to save you from buying that crap!!!!!

Good luck on your 1st wedding cake!

angelatx Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 11:34pm
post #8 of 38

hi tarheelgirl, well whatever you charge keep in mind its what you might have to charge in the future to her and your other family members. so you should write down whatever you charge that way you can refer back to it and always charge the same to all family. selling or giving stuff away to family can sometimes get sticky and sometimes ruin relationships. so best of luck!!! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

tarheelgirl Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 12:16am
post #9 of 38

I did actually consider doing the trade of her doing my hair in exchange for labor! She would have to cover the cost of the materials.

And YES, one of my aunts went to Walmart for a cake recently and it made me so mad!! I told her to never do that.. I don't care how busy you may think I am don't waste your money or that junk!

It is a sticky situation!! Thanks for the good luck!! I did a dummy cake recently and now I'm hooked!

angelatx Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 1:00am
post #10 of 38

and you do beautiful work! icon_biggrin.gif

tarheelgirl Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 1:18am
post #11 of 38

Thank you!!! icon_smile.gif

auntginn Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 1:52am
post #12 of 38

I agree, your cakes are beeeauuutiful!!!

tarheelgirl Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 12:58pm
post #13 of 38

You guys are just too sweet!!! Seriously, there are so many talented bakers on here!! I am so glad I found CC.

BTW.. both of you have a great talent!! I love all your cakes in the photos!

dinas27 Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 2:31pm
post #14 of 38

How long has she been giving you 1/2 price service - how often do you get your hair done? If she has been doing it for quite a while I would probably only ask her to pay for supplies - and maybe not even that depending on the situation. Or trade the cost of supplies for future hair services.

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If you pay her half, which is really for her time and talent as she has no initial layout then I reckon she should pay for the ingredients plus something for your time. She doesn't have to buy stuff to cut your hair but you can't make cake without buying ingredients.




This I have to disagree with. Even if you count pans and mixers etc. and scissors, curlers, straightener etc. as sunk costs. She is still using shampoo, conditioner, hair color (?), over head and electricity just like we do for ingredients. If you multiple that by the number of times you go to the hairdresser you probably get close to the ingredient cost for small wedding cake. Now I don't know how much cost there really is in a salon but I don't think those costs are negligable.

Whatever you end up doing, make it clear what the terms are and why you have settled on that. Ask her if she thinks its fair because you don't know what her costs are but you do know what yours are. And ask her to keep your arrangement between yourselves - you don't want the whole family beating down your door for 1/2 price cakes!

marknelliesmum Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 4:32pm
post #15 of 38

Dinas27

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If you pay her half, which is really for her time and talent as she has no initial layout then I reckon she should pay for the ingredients plus something for your time. She doesn't have to buy stuff to cut your hair but you can't make cake without buying ingredients.


This I have to disagree with. Even if you count pans and mixers etc. and scissors, curlers, straightener etc. as sunk costs. She is still using shampoo, conditioner, hair color (?), over head and electricity just like we do for ingredients. If you multiple that by the number of times you go to the hairdresser you probably get close to the ingredient cost for small wedding cake. Now I don't know how much cost there really is in a salon but I don't think those costs are negligable.




Sorry, my take on all of this was that she would do the op's hair as a homer and not in the salon therefore it would be the op'ers electricity, shampoo etc. Over here it wouldn't really be the done thing ( as far as I am aware) to go to a salon and pay less than the full price, if the op'er goes to her salon then there certainly would be overheads - sorry for the confusion and for assuming we all make the same kind of arrangements icon_redface.gif

dellboi2u Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 4:37pm
post #16 of 38

I agree with most on here..... a thought might be to trade retail to retail full price. She normally charges X amount, you normally charge x amount.... trade those amounts, then it is totally fair. There are some people that I might give a discount to... but if it is trade, I always trade full retail value.

Deb_ Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 12:44am
post #17 of 38

As an owner of a Hair Salon and a part time baker my advice to you would be to charge your cousin for the cost of supplies/ingredients needed to make her cake.

When she does your hair for 50% of her normal cost, she's not only losing 50% of your service but she could be booking a "full paying" client in that spot.

It's not just that she's cutting your hair for 50% and there are no "ingredients" to cost her anything...........she's paying for all the shampoo, conditioner, mousse, gel, hairspray, water, electric, licenses, insurance, rent/mortgage, etc., I think you get the picture.

Definitely be upfront with her about what you expect for compensation, I'm sure she'll appreciate you making her a beautiful cake for her wedding.

tarheelgirl Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 2:58am
post #18 of 38

Well.. she wants a 4 tiered wedding cake like the one in my photos! I thought of charging her 1/2 of what I would for a normal person. Of course, I will ask her if that sounds fair. I am meeting with her next week to discuss prices and let her taste a few samples. Hopefully we can come up with something fair..And yes... of course it must stay between us.. I can't give away cakes for free but its not every day your cousin will get married!! icon_biggrin.gif

KoryAK Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 4:11am
post #19 of 38

I have a standard happy family discount of 25%. Order as big as you want, its a constant 25% off. close friends get the same. And I juts have to ask... did you leave any exclamation marks for the rest of us? icon_wink.gif

tarheelgirl Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 11:17am
post #20 of 38
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I juts have to ask... did you leave any exclamation marks for the rest of us?




well... umm.. I will go to the corner now! icon_redface.gif

LOL I am just a very excited person!!!! icon_lol.gif

dinas27 Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 3:07pm
post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelgirl

I can't give away cakes for free but its not every day your cousin will get married!! icon_biggrin.gif




That is always the one thing we can't factor in here. We can't tell you who is special to you and who you would make a sacrifice (time and effort) for. Cakes are a labour of love. I made my brother and SIL's cake as a gift because they are special to me and I wanted to help in any way I could.

For my cousins wedding this summer I offered to make their cake as well as part of their gift. I donated my time because I wish I had been there to help more with the wedding planning - they are very special to me as well because I lived with them for a summer while working in that city.

It sounds like you have a good plan, I hope everything goes well.

tarheelgirl Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 3:21pm
post #22 of 38

Thanks so much for the help and good wishes!

strawberry0121 Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 3:50pm
post #23 of 38

I recently did a wedding cake for a close family friend. I charged her $85 for the ingredients (including electricity, gas, etc) and gave them the rest as our wedding gift. She was THRILLED with this arrangement and sent me $100. Her cake retailed at I think $250 or $300. I was happy, she was happy and the cake was a smashing hit.

I was going to the wedding anyway, so I didn't factor gas and travel time into the number I gave her. I also let her know before we offered the gift cake, what her cake retailed for.

I charge very close friends like $25 for a regular cake, and I get free reign to try some new things. Again, I let them know the retail value.

The kids in the family get my cakes as their birthday presents. I can make a much more valuable cake than I can afford to buy a present of the same value, it makes great memories and pictures, and the parents don't have more toys to deal with.

Hope that helps you a little. It is always hard trying to price family and friends. Good luck!

tarheelgirl Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 3:54pm
post #24 of 38

Yes, that sounds like what I do for normal cakes. I think her paying for my materials is a good idea. And of course, that is another way to suck her guest in! hahaha If they see the cake then they want to purchase future cakes. Then everyone is happy!!

Candy120 Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 4:13pm
post #25 of 38

I agree with the discount thing! But make sure you do it all the time, not just for your "favorite" family members! I had a friend get ME a birthday cake from my competition!! WHAT THE HECK is that all about?? She said she thought maybe I wouldn't want to bake my own cake...guess what....I don't want to EAT cake either, especially if my competition baked it! I told her next time don't get me a cake unless she orders it from ME! She could have gotten me something equivalent in cost that I could have as a keepsake.

tarheelgirl Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 5:44pm
post #26 of 38

Don't you just hate that! It's like why do you think we want a cake from someone else. I would rather my friend bake it themselves then to buy one.

At this point I seriously don't have any sort of craving for cake anyway! haha

Deb_ Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 9:54pm
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Candy120

I agree with the discount thing! But make sure you do it all the time, not just for your "favorite" family members! I had a friend get ME a birthday cake from my competition!! WHAT THE HECK is that all about?? She said she thought maybe I wouldn't want to bake my own cake...guess what....I don't want to EAT cake either, especially if my competition baked it! I told her next time don't get me a cake unless she orders it from ME! She could have gotten me something equivalent in cost that I could have as a keepsake.





I feel the complete opposite..........I LOVE to try my competition's cakes/cookies etc........it's good to know what your up against. JMHO icon_smile.gif

tarheelgirl Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 10:07pm
post #28 of 38

I made a shower cake for a long time baker at her friends request.. She never once called me to tell me if it was good or not! haha Usually I get some sort of feedback from all of my customers but not this one!

I have yet to sample her cake yet!!!

auntginn Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 10:11pm
post #29 of 38

I totally agree, its a good thing to know your competitors and even to network with them.

Candy120 Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 10:36pm
post #30 of 38

I just don't want her to profit from my friend's!! Just being selfish!

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