Fickle Customers

Business By Kitagrl Updated 10 Feb 2009 , 9:22pm by Kitagrl

Kitagrl Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 7:38pm
post #1 of 9

Wow, it just seems like more and more people are getting sooo fickle!

Lately I've had several people that go back and forth with me, planning a cake, they are all excited about it...say "I'll Paypal you tomorrow" or "I'm sending a check right now" and then days go by without hearing from them!

Actually turned away an order the other day because I had a weekend fully booked. When I got off the phone, I realized that one of the orders had still not left a deposit...but it was some lady who acted like she knew exactly what she wanted and emailed all details down to the name and logo on the cake, etc. I emailed her yesterday letting her know the weekend was booked and I was actually starting to turn orders away, so I needed her deposit NOW and still no reply. Crazy.

Had another one who was so excited about a castle cake and I told her it was vital to get her deposit in immediately and she swore she was getting it in the mail right away. So far...no check.

I'm tempted to call back the lady who called and tell her I do have an opening....but I did give her referral businesses so I'm sure she already has her cake scheduled as its only in less than two weeks.

I realize most of you go by a deposit basis...what happens though if you have somebody who just sends you a paypal payment after you thought they dropped off the face of the map? Simply refund it and say "Too late"?

Why can't people just be honest and say "Never mind, I will not be getting a cake" rather than spending thirty minutes on the phone...or sixteen emails...only to then disappear, almost like you need to "Amber Alert" them or something. Sheesh.

8 replies
peg818 Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 7:48pm
post #2 of 9

I know what you mean.

I just had a lady call me about this weekend and she goes on and on about how she wants this special cake for her childs baptism and sends me a link for the cake. She kept saying it was a three tier cake, then when i look at the cake its a two tier with all hand molded figurines and a noahs ark on the top. I give her a price and she starts stammering. And asks how to make the cake cheaper. Well i tell her you want cheaper you will have to go buy those figures and i'll put them on a plain cake for you.

Well i give her the details and tell her let me know by monday or i won't be able to do it. Well i haven't heard back from her. Frankly would i pay my prices for a childs birthday or baptism, no, but thats cause i can do it myself.

I say until you see the deposit that date is still opened and its a first pay first serve situation.

kelleym Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 7:51pm
post #3 of 9

You just need to tell them "your date is not reserved until I receive your deposit. If I do not hear from you by (date) then I will assume you have made other arrangements." Don't let them run your business. thumbs_up.gif

Kitagrl Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 7:52pm
post #4 of 9

Sometimes mine don't even hesitate with the prices! They are like "Fine, great, no problem, love it" and then STILL I don't hear back. Crazy.

Speaking of not hearing back...was talking to a potential wedding client today which I really really value, as I am soooo trying to get more weddings. She called at a bad time, just as I was trying to talk my toddler starts screaming right next to me. I got him away quick but still...how many of you would order a wedding cake from someone with a screaming kid in the phone? *sigh*

Usually when I call people, its during kids naptime...but when they call me, its kinda hard.

Kitagrl Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 7:55pm
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

You just need to tell them "your date is not reserved until I receive your deposit. If I do not hear from you by (date) then I will assume you have made other arrangements." Don't let them run your business. thumbs_up.gif




I do tell them that (although giving a date is a good idea, I should do that)...I guess I just need to stop giving leeway.

The one cake was from a wedding planner and I guess I hoped to get some referrals off of her...so I didn't want to just kick her out to take another order in her place as she had promised to send Paypal almost immediately...but now no Paypal, and a lost order. GRRR.

From now on I do plan to be stricter, no matter who is ordering, or what they want to order.

cakesdivine Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 8:10pm
post #6 of 9

I had a bride that did a sampling with me, we designed the cake and gave her a price. She is getting married at the venue that I do the cakes for exclusively. Well her wedding is for April 18 and I had 3 more calls the first week in Jan. for that same date. Since it is just me I only do one cake per weekend (depending on size and decor) I can of course handle more than one if they are both small basic cakes and the deliveries don't conflict. But her cake was rather large an fancy. Most brides at the sampling pay me my booking fee to hold their date, but she didn't so I assumed she either wasn't getting married at that venue or something like that. I called her and told her that I had other brides wanting that date and if she was still getting married at that venue and wanted her cake I needed the booking deposit. She immediately went to my website and made a payment.

indydebi Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 8:12pm
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

The one cake was from a wedding planner and I guess I hoped to get some referrals off of her...so I didn't want to just kick her out ....



I know what you mean by wanting to work well with planners, but also bear in mind that not all planners are worth your time. I worked with one that I had NO problem kicking to the curb as far as business went. She was unprofessional, unorganized and was starting to make ME look bad by HER incompetence.

Yes, I want to work with as many wedding planners as possible. No, I will not lower my standards to accommodate their disorganization and disrespect for my time and talent.

It's a hard line to balance on ..... but don't sell yourself short on a planner that may or may not be giving you the same level of respect.

Deb_ Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 8:31pm
post #8 of 9

One of my "cake friends" provides all the cakes for a venue here in MA. She doesn't get 1 cent until the venue is paid, which is usually not until 7 days before the wedding or event. Less time if it's a party of 50 or less.

That would never work for me, but she claims that she gets enough orders from them that it's worth it.

Looking back, my Wedding cake was from the Venue where my reception was held, we didn't have a choice, they didn't allow food or cakes to be brought in. Back in the "Old days" we paid for our reception that night, after the evening was over. icon_rolleyes.gif All we needed to hold the date was a $100 deposit, talk about trust. I remember they didn't cash our "personal check" for 2 weeks......we were back from our honeymoon before they deposited it.

This is the banquet venue, you may here Emeril Lagasse refer to......it's where he worked before he became famous. It's a family owned venue that still only requires a minimal deposit with the balance paid after the party is over. Wow, there aren't many places like that around anymore.

Kitagrl Posted 10 Feb 2009 , 9:22pm
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

The one cake was from a wedding planner and I guess I hoped to get some referrals off of her...so I didn't want to just kick her out ....


I know what you mean by wanting to work well with planners, but also bear in mind that not all planners are worth your time. I worked with one that I had NO problem kicking to the curb as far as business went. She was unprofessional, unorganized and was starting to make ME look bad by HER incompetence.

Yes, I want to work with as many wedding planners as possible. No, I will not lower my standards to accommodate their disorganization and disrespect for my time and talent.

It's a hard line to balance on ..... but don't sell yourself short on a planner that may or may not be giving you the same level of respect.




I did notice in her emails that she seemed rather demanding....also I have on my website for planners to ask about a discount (I give very small referral bonuses) and she may have been upset that the "discount" was nothing but a referral bonus.

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