riSHEL Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 7:06am
post #1 of

As most of you know, I am but a chick putzin' around in her kitchen playing with this awesome cookie hobby. As most of you have experienced, my cookies get "offered" to people all the time. Normally I don't mind as it keeps me playing at my new (rapidly costly) hobby. Well I find myself in a unfamiliar situation and don't know how to respond without sounding rude.

A friend of mine that uses my cookies for her marketing handouts gave my name to another sales lady at another company. She e-mailed me wanting Valentine cookies. I usually only ask for the money to cover my cost of supplies. She wants 6 "fancy" decorated cookies, put in a very decorative box. Then, wrapped in bubblewrap and put into a very strong box for shipping to her destinations. ALL THAT FOR $10!! She wants those fancy boxes with the clear lids, a satin bow. I usually use both fondant and RI for the cookies, which isn't cheap. Neither is the cookie dough, as I always use the best butter and bakers sugar. She wants samples as soon as possible. HELP! Suggestions! Maybe four 2" decorative cookies in that box she wants. I'd like to do the order for her, but not at my own cost. I've never met her and times are tough on this unemployed hobby baker. I know I can count on you girls to guide my through this little dilema.

53 replies
Peeverly Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 12:10pm
post #2 of

Oh riShell. You are a nice lady. You know you cannot do all this for $10. So, the question is, what do you tell her. First, no way on the $10. I am not a seasoned seller so I may not be the best person on this but, how about $5 per cookie. You should also put in the cost of the box and bow (up that for your time getting it and preparing it for the cookies). Ok, someone else out there for riShell.

GeminiRJ Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 12:58pm
post #3 of

The average person has no idea how much work goes into making decorated sugar cookies! Do not under-price! The $1 per inch quoted by many on this site may seem expensive, but it's a good guide. If your cookie is 3", it'll cost the client $3 per cookie. Then add in the cost of the packaging and your time to put everything together. If the design you're going with is simple and doesn't have a lot of colors, you can probably reduce the price. How many do you think you can crank out in an hour? What would that give you on an hourly basis? No one wants to work for minimum wage! Remember, these are "designer" cookies. Charge accordingly.

shiney Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 5:24pm
post #4 of

You know, the dollar per inch is what I try to go by, but usually underprice. yet I see these shows on food network from back in the '90s and early 2000s, and they are charging like $8 to $10 per cookie. Honestly, no one understands how much time it takes to do these cookies! I so want to make a biz of this, but no way could I make a living. So, I do it all for charity, but it is quite expensive once you start buying cutters, equipment, sprinkles, lusters, extracts, more sprinkles, containers, green stuff, gloves.....I could go on and on!
riSHEL, your cookies are fantastic, please do not practically give them away. Sit down and work up the cost with all the ribbon and boxes and bubble wrap (which is very expensive). And don't forget to account for your time, although we all know we never can work in enough cost for our time. Good thing we enjoy doing it!!

yankeegal Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 8:24pm
post #5 of

riShell-you have received some good advice. It is very hard for people to take a cookie designer seriously once you have undersold yourself. Your work is worth every dollar!!

TracyLH Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 9:39pm
post #6 of

Your cookies are far too nice to underprice. I like the $1/inch guideline, less if it is really simple, more if you go really nuts. Rishel, stand up for what you are worth because what you do is really good. I like to tell people who ask, "I understand that the price for nicely decorated cookies is $1/inch for a basic design with 1 - 2 colors" (because that is honestly what I have been told). My designs generally aren't basic and generally don't have 1 -2 colors, so if I do charge $1/inch, they are getting a deal compared to what the rule I quoted above. However, if I did a really simple design with 1 -2 colors, I would definately do less than the $1/inch rule.

Oh, and please don't tell me the $10 included the box and ribbon too!

riSHEL Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 9:43pm
post #7 of

Thank you ladies. I really value your opinions, and appreciate your guidance. She intimidated me with her matter of fact, cut and dry, what she will get for her $10. It's not the same as getting some store-bought cookies with some sprinkles on them. I hoped she would've seen it that way too. I'll make up some cookies for her samples and tell her how much they will cost, then tell her how much the packaging will be and let her choose how she wants the amount she'll get for her $10 instead of me stressing out how I'm gonna make 6 cookies, pretty (and durable) packaging, and shipping work with $10.

It's SO much easier giving them to people. You get appreciation for whatever you give them. It's a whole different story when they're giving you money for it! icon_redface.gif

shadowgypsie Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 3:49am
post #8 of

Do what I did Visit A few cookie websites, then you'll see $1 per inch is a drop in the bucket but is a great start. For cookies decorated in fondant add $1 more per cookie.

Nashville Wraps has great prices on packaging as well.

indydebi Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 3:58am
post #9 of

The Debi Response would be a big hearty laugh as I firmly inform her that the packaging alone would cost me more than ten bucks! Thanks for calling ... see ya 'round like a doughnut!

bakinccc Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 4:41am

I've only had this happen a few times where someone thought my cookies were too expensive but I've gently yet firmly had to inform them of the cost of my cookies in a way that they don't feel like they've made a dumb request. That always seems to turn the request around and somehow make it into a doable order. Kill them with kindness and understanding...they will tell everyone they know about their experience with you. But stick with your pricing and MINIMUMS. Your cookies are wonderful by the way!!!

Twopeasinapod Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 7:49pm

I normally just make my cookies for family but lately have started giving them as Christmas gifts and other gifts. I have posted some of my bouquets on my face book page and have had several people ask me how much they cost. I used the guide here factoring in packaging and shipping (if needed). Then I knew who was really interested because they are the ones that called and ordered and then those who thought they were too pricey didn't. I think some people think, "Oh, it is JUST a cookie!" They have absolutly NO idea what we do and the time we spend. It is an art!!!

Newatdecorating Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 10:54pm

Rishel - Please let us know her reaction after you talk to her. You do a very good job decorating your cookies and she would absolutely be getting her monies worth at a higher price. icon_smile.gif

-K8memphis Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 11:10pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

The Debi Response would be a big hearty laugh as I firmly inform her that the packaging alone would cost me more than ten bucks! Thanks for calling ... see ya 'round like a doughnut!




The client also reminded me of a doughnut, the other infamous part of the doughnut,
the part that's not really there, the doughnut _____. Kwim?!

icon_lol.gif

karateka Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 11:19pm

You know, it's not rude at all to state what someone will get for a certain price. You don't have to point and laugh and mock her....which I'm sure never entered your mind anyway. If she asks what she can get for $10, tell her the truth. If she asks for what 6 cookies in that box costs, tell her! It's NOT rude. It's a factual answer to a question, and she should expect it.

cvoges Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 11:25pm

I'm not a seasoned-seller, but I have tried to make rolled cookies before. If you decide to start selling orders like the one you mentioned for $10, please let me know. I'd like in on that deal, too.

The economy may have created a buyer's market, but slavery is still illegal.

-K8memphis Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 11:28pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by karateka

You know, it's not rude at all to state what someone will get for a certain price. You don't have to point and laugh and mock her....which I'm sure never entered your mind anyway. If she asks what she can get for $10, tell her the truth. If she asks for what 6 cookies in that box costs, tell her! It's NOT rude. It's a factual answer to a question, and she should expect it.




I think the great probem was that she didn't ask if I got the story straight. She just expected all that, right?

That's why I called her a doughnut butt ____. I mean so it did kinda enter my mind and spilled right out my fingertips. You're correct I didn't have to say that but she certainly struck me as worthy of the designation. Don't you think?

[As an aside, isn't Doughnut Butt ____ a funny phrase??? I'm laughing my head off.] icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

eldag0615 Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 11:45pm

Wow. that is crazy, I would like to know her reaction when you inform her of the real price of your work, PLUS box, bubble wrap, bow, etc. I wish I could be a fly on the wall when you tell her icon_lol.gif

TheCornerBakery Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 11:53pm

Rishell,
I just happen to see your post on the home page. After looking at your cookies in your gallery and seeing what amazing talent and niche you have carved for yourself.

Your cookies are worth every bit of $10 starting price without any embellishments ie. satin bow and nice box which would bring each cookie in the $12-$15 each range.

I sell alot of house shaped cookies to realtors to give to home buyers as house warming gifts or to use for open houses. I am in Orlando and get $10-12 per cookie so in California it should be no problem getting that price.

Don't sell yourself short.. stand firm and charge a fair price, factoring in your time, your talent, and your ingredients.. and your PROFIT thumbs_up.gif

Happy Baking,
Michael

kneadacookie Posted 19 Jan 2009 , 1:19am

i say you tell her $10 is fine. let her know she's getting a really good deal to get specialty cookies wrapping and all for only $10 a piece... let her know how booked you've been getting. make sure you tell her not to tell everyone what an amazing deal you're giving her... that if the word gets out it could break you....

yellobutterfly Posted 19 Jan 2009 , 1:37am
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelanthony

Rishell,
I just happen to see your post on the home page. After looking at your cookies in your gallery and seeing what amazing talent and niche you have carved for yourself.

Your cookies are worth every bit of $10 starting price without any embellishments ie. satin bow and nice box which would bring each cookie in the $12-$15 each range.

I sell alot of house shaped cookies to realtors to give to home buyers as house warming gifts or to use for open houses. I am in Orlando and get $10-12 per cookie so in California it should be no problem getting that price.

Don't sell yourself short.. stand firm and charge a fair price, factoring in your time, your talent, and your ingredients.. and your PROFIT thumbs_up.gif

Happy Baking,
Michael




I agree that your work is incredible, but am I misunderstanding - does the lady want 6 cookies decorated, packaged, etc. for $10 total???? CRAAAAzzyyy!! You're worth way more than that (heck everyone is, where did she get that number)?

pinklesley1 Posted 19 Jan 2009 , 1:41am

yeah i think that lady wanted all 6 cookies for $10 which is NUTSSSSS... and not the yummy kind that does inside the cookie... This lady is certifiable....

PS i love the doughnute BUTT ______
( I was craking up and my dh was like, what are you laughing at, and I told him and he tells me.... no you are certifiable....)

riSHEL Posted 19 Jan 2009 , 9:17pm

THANK YOU ALL SOOO MUCH! Your support, suggestions, compliments were SO VERY MUCH appreciated! I was stressing out and you all help me to not feel so intimidated by her. I'm still a scaredy cat and tried to come up with something that fits her request... without breaking the bank and doing her order for free. I can get the box for $1.25 each, I have a ton of the red tissue leftover from Xmas, I have the ribbon. The cookies are only 2" and the fondant won't be a big cost, cuz I stocked up on marshmellows and powdered sugar when it was on sale during the holidays. I didn't even make RI, I wrote on them with food color pens. icon_biggrin.gif

This is the e-mail I sent her this morning

Hi Aini. I've attached a sample of what I can provide you for the budget you require. It was quite a challenge, as the packaging alone take a chunk out of the $10. Then when you add in ingredients, fondant and time... the $10 sure adds up fast. I think this might work well for your needs.

I'll let you know what her response is. Again, THANK YOU ALL. I absolutely LOVE this community! It's the only place we can go that people totally understand what you're talking about. Smooches all!
LL

yellobutterfly Posted 19 Jan 2009 , 9:25pm

those are still great cookies, and no offense but I think you're selling yourself short and are waaaayyyy underpricing for her - you definitely went above and beyond!

shiney Posted 19 Jan 2009 , 9:27pm

riSHEL: Those are great! The food pens are perfect, looks just like the real ones! and you nailed the converstaion heart colors perfectly! Great package in total! And your e-mail sounds good.!!

GeminiRJ Posted 19 Jan 2009 , 9:35pm

Fantastic cookies and packaging! If she doesn't jump at this offer, she's really, really nuts!

Twopeasinapod Posted 19 Jan 2009 , 10:25pm

I would jump on those cookies and packaging for $10. I think your email is great also. You have really worked hard for this lady and if she is not happy with it, then so be it. You have gone about and beyond to help her out and not put yourself in a bind also. Hold your head high, girl!!!! princess.gif

riSHEL Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 7:50pm

UPDATE: OMG! Okay, so I got a voicemail from her this morning. She said the cookies are okay, except the sayings on them are to personal. They are professional and the cookies need to reflect that. She suggested different sayings, "Thank you for your referral", "Thank you for remembering RPM". uh, it's a freakin' 2" cookie! THEN.... she goes on to tell me to ship her the sample box so she can 1) see how the cookies look and 2) test how they ship. Do you women do this kind of thing? Maybe my shock is simply my ignorance to how the professional baking world is. Anyways, this was my response to her via e-mail:
Hi Aini. I just got your voicemail.

I can change the sayings to something else. The cookies are designed after the Conversation Heart Candies, and the sayings came from them. The sayings you suggested are way to long to put on a 2" cookie, so maybe something like, "CALL AINI", "@RPM", "(your phone # or e-mail or website)". Anything else you can think of that is short and sweet, let me know.

I 'll try my hardest to get the box in the mail tomorrow. My day is full today. I'm off to Modesto to my supply store, and then I have to work, work, work, to get an order out. I wish my kids still lived at home so I'd have a little staff to help out icon_wink.gif I'll add the cost of the shipped sample to your order.

Checks, cash or money orders will be fine.

- Shel

shiney Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 8:06pm

Shel, Absolutely add the cost of all this to her order. She has to know that all that won't fit on a heart, com'on!
Talk about catering to her! At some point, ya gotta take an order, ship it, be done. I would kindly suggest hearts with RPM on them, or "(draw a couple of little hearts or use large heart sprinkles) from RPM" Can you visualize what I mean?

eldag0615 Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 8:17pm

This is getting better every time! More than likely she thinks you are going to send the samples for free!!!! Please post her reply . BTW, your response was great thumbs_up.gif

riSHEL Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 5:31pm

icon_eek.gif Yep, the story gets better and better. I didn't hear from her for days after I sent the sample. Actually, I was pleased. Then all of a sudden, a message saying they want to order 90 boxes and want them by next Thurs. Okay, no problem. Then she starts talking about needing a "sleeker" box, since she has to pay for the shipping, she must have a smaller box. hmmm... so I look on-line for a sleeker box. The one I sent was 1.25 in height. I find a candy box, very thin, but very pricey. Start to talk to her about it and she says, "No! The outer box!" huh icon_surprised.gif yep. She told me it was her understanding that the box I shipped the sample to her and the wrapping inside was ALL included in the $10 each price. I told her there would be no way that could be added into her tight budget. Okay, so now that she has to ship in her own boxes, she wants me to figure out a way to cut my cost, so she can afford the boxes she has to get. Oy Vey! I find a box place on-line that sells 4 3/8" sq boxes with a heart cutout on lid. $28.75 per 100 and FREE SHIPPING! So I tell her I found a bit smaller box, and how it will look diff. Now she wants just 1 big cookie. Okay. She goes on to say, "since 1 cookie is less labor intensive for you, the cost will be cut." icon_eek.gif well, now I'm offended. So I mention to her, just because it's one big cookie and not a bunch of small ones, the cookie uses the same amount of dough and fondant and coloring, etc. I also go on to tell her that I cannot cut into my labor costs, because at this point, to accommodate her budget, my labor is FREE. She kept coming up with more more more. At one point I told her, if we add up all your requests.... I am personally donating my time and some of MY own money towards this. She just laughed and said she has a budget to work with. After much talk, e-mails, we decide on the smaller box, 1 cookie, red crinkle in the box for color at $6 each. This morning, bright and early, she e-mails me about the placement of her company name and wants it hidden so they won't see it through the heart cutout on the box. The only thing I can do, is add a little 1" cookie on the bottom that says their name and put something else on the big cookie. Then she asks me to send her a sample of this!! No way. Boxes aren't delivered till next week and the cookies are just a bigger version of what I already sent. Last I heard from her was..... "do whatever you feel works. But remember.... $6 each!"

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