Uneasy Charging Family For Cookies - Wwyd?

Baking By HeidiCrumbs Updated 5 Feb 2009 , 7:13pm by Melvira

HeidiCrumbs Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 8:29pm
post #1 of 14

My mother is law ordered some cookies and since she's practically my own mom I am thinking I shouldn't charge her becuase I wouldn't charge my own mom and I don't want it to be a double standard.

However, my sister in law also mentioned ordering cookies and I would want to charge her but then would be caught off guard if she said "well you didn't charge mom."

Plus when I open for business I don't want all family members thinking they will get free/discounted cookies all of the time.

How do you all handle charging family members? Do you give them a discount? Nothing at all? Just being nosey, thanks!

13 replies
-Tubbs Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 8:38pm
post #2 of 14

Depends. If you offer, it's free. If they ask, they pay. How much is the tricky part.

From my experience, I've done a couple of 'friends' orders for hardly anything, but as you know, cookies are hard work and very time-consuming. The fun really wears off when it's 1am and you *just have to mix up this last batch of icing*... etc, and it's all for $20.

However, if you're building up a portfolio, some cheapies might be a good way to go. Just make it clear that in future the prices would be more. I always do an invoice, showing the 'proper' price and the friends' discount I've applied.

HeidiCrumbs Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 8:50pm
post #3 of 14

Thank you Tubbs!

She specifically "ordered" them but neither of us mentioned prices to each other. I think I will give her a discount but LOVE your idea about later on down the road for me to have invoices with both prices on so they can see the difference. Thank you so much, that's just what I was looking for!!

KoryAK Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 9:21pm
post #4 of 14

Its really hard to do, but if you are going to be in business you need to get this set down NOW. I charge regular price plus a "happy family discount" of 25%. I always send them with an invoice stating the amounts so they know the deal they got and they know what the regular price would be if someone asks.

milissasmom Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 9:35pm
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TubbsCookies

Depends. If you offer, it's free. If they ask, they pay.


I do have a general family discount of 15%-25% off (depending on the size of the order). But everyone pays...EVEN my mom!! She wouldn't DREAM of "ordering" something from me and not paying for it! Business is business...Now when I "gift" her a Mother's Day or Birthday Gift or something like that, it's different but anyone who orders, has to pay. It's the only way to keep down confusion and YES, you MUST give them an invoice showing the discout!! We work way too hard to let stuff go for free or to not show someone that they need to appreciate when we are Blessing them with a discount! JMHO...Good luck.

FullHouse Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 9:39pm
post #6 of 14

I agree with the above posters, and WISH I had the cake balls to implement those rules. There are times where, depending on who it is for, I am very happy to be doing an intricate freebie cake. Then... there are those times (usually 1 am) where I'm losing A LOT of love for the person who asked for the free cake.

Unfortunately, I think I've set precedence by doing freebies and letting the "customer" dictate everything. Hindsight being 20/20, I say charge and extend a family discount for SIL. Maybe for your MIL, free if it's for her, but if she's asking for something she is planning to give or bring somewhere, then at least she needs to pay for ingredients. It is SO time consuming to give cookies away, you are taking time from your family not just yourself. If she babysits a lot, then I guess the time is a trade icon_smile.gif.

-Tubbs Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 9:45pm
post #7 of 14

I made a BIG (10,8,6") cake last week, for friends who were having a 40th birthday party. I offered to make the cake, they graciously accepted, I asked how many guests, they said 30, I made a huge cake anyway, because I wanted the practice. I also didn't consult them at all about what they *wanted* because it was a gift, so they got what I gave them. The cake didn't turn out that great, but they loved it, and even if they hadn't, it was free, so - end of story!

I've never been asked to do anything for free. At least I don't think I have... perhaps I have but have assumed that they would pay! I just sent a quote to a friend who asked for hockey jersey cookies. I quoted her $3 each, which is a discount, but have't heard anything back yet - probably she thinks it's too much. No problem.

ColeAlayne Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 9:49pm
post #8 of 14

I love the "Happy Family Discount" idea. Charging family is hard for some members, but not for others. the family members who expect cakes/cookies for free really make me angry! Your family should know more than anyone how hard you work to do what you do and how much time it takes.

I've got myself in a situation...my cousin who may as well be my little sister...is getting married in July. She is having 300 guests and I never thought twice about doing her cake for free. it's just something I want to do and give her as part of her wedding gift. NOW, my sister-in-law is having a shot-gun wedding for about 150 in April. I feel like I have to make her a free cake as well...but I would really rather not.

CranberryClo Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 9:50pm
post #9 of 14

Just a thought. I'm not in this professionally and I don't ever aspire to be, but if someone asks me to make something for them I usually will in return for a donation to a food pantry, etc. If you're really uncomfortable asking your family, maybe think of something like that.

Good luck!

Melvira Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 9:54pm
post #10 of 14

I also have a 'close family' discount. But absolutely, under no uncertain terms, do NOT forget to tell them the 'real' price. #1. They see what kind of deal they're getting. #2. If someone else sees it and says, "OMG, I want to order those, how much are they?" family member will not say, "Oh, she'll do 'em for twenty bucks!".

Along this line, my hubby asked me the other day how much it would cost for him to buy some cupcakes to take to work. (I send freebies as advertisement but he wanted them for a specific reason.) I looked at him like I wasn't sure who he was and said, "Honey, you're my husband... they're always free to you!" It was sweet. He smiled and said, "Well, hey, I didn't want to assume. Your time is valuable." icon_eek.gif Is that a good man, or what!??!

cookieman Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 1:27am
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

I also have a 'close family' discount. But absolutely, under no uncertain terms, do NOT forget to tell them the 'real' price. #1. They see what kind of deal they're getting. #2. If someone else sees it and says, "OMG, I want to order those, how much are they?" family member will not say, "Oh, she'll do 'em for twenty bucks!".

Along this line, my hubby asked me the other day how much it would cost for him to buy some cupcakes to take to work. (I send freebies as advertisement but he wanted them for a specific reason.) I looked at him like I wasn't sure who he was and said, "Honey, you're my husband... they're always free to you!" It was sweet. He smiled and said, "Well, hey, I didn't want to assume. Your time is valuable." icon_eek.gif Is that a good man, or what!??!




Sounds like we both got a good one Melvira! When I had my business, my partner insited on paying for cookies he brought to work for parties, etc. But then... he was my accountant! icon_lol.gif

Melvira Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 1:44am
post #12 of 14

Yah, we don't have much to complain about in that department, do we Cookieman? We're just lucky! (Lucky that we have guys that recognize how amazing we are, that is!!)

KoryAK Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 6:13pm
post #13 of 14

Also on the subject of charging family... if they are paying you then they know they are not being an inconvenience. A long time ago before I wanted to charge them I'd show up at an event and they would have a Safeway cake or something because after a few they felt guilty about ordering free or super cheap ("whatever you want to pay") cakes from me. Then I didn't even get the practice or exposure.

Melvira Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 7:13pm
post #14 of 14

KoryAK, I have to agree 110% with that. I used to get so mad when people didn't want to 'bother me' for a cake. I took offense to it thinking they didn't like what I made. Then when they'd say why they didn't ask me I'd have to slap them. icon_lol.gif If it's an incovenience, I'll tell you I can't do it, but at least give me the option! Sheesh!

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