I Finally Charged What I Think I'm Worth....and Then....

Decorating By lilmansmum Updated 17 Feb 2009 , 11:18pm by JGMB

lilmansmum Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 6:49pm
post #1 of 19

The lady about has a heart attack!

Okay, so this lady calls me...she'd gotten my number from a fellow cake decorator who was unable to do a cake for her this weekend (Sunday). She wants a cake for 20 people. Carved to look like an ice-skating pond, with snow, etc....maybe and ice skater or something. I tell her okay, it will be $95. I feel this is fair. It isn't a sheetcake, it's carved. To look like something. Yeah, that's extra work. And it's kinda short notice too, I think. I mean, look at my work. I feel I am worth every penny of that much for a cake like that, and maybe that isn't enough. I always end up putting way more detail, time, and effort into a cake than it probably requires, but I am a perfectionist. And I like my cakes to be the BEST they possibly can be. Am I nuts?

This is the FIRST time I feel I have charged what I am actually worth, and for some reason, it's bothering me. What is my problem?????? AHHHHHHH!!! icon_cry.gif

18 replies
emrldsky Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 6:54pm
post #2 of 19

Are you upset because you think you charged too much, or that the woman balked at your price? If it's the first thing, you need to work on thinking better about yourself, and your abilities (you do some awesome work!). If it's the latter, it's her problem, not yours.

And if it's STILL bothering you...tell her you can do a simple cake for 20 people with a similar THEME (not look) for a smaller price.

Chin up...you did the RIGHT thing here. icon_smile.gif

Kiddiekakes Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 7:04pm
post #3 of 19

Your cakes are Awesome!!! I charge $4.00 per serving for 3D/Carved cakes regardless of size so according to me 20x4= $80.00 plus extras and short notice fee..I think $95.00 is more than fair!!! Do not do it for less...Let the woman go somewhere else!!

vonnie99 Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 7:53pm
post #4 of 19

Wow! All your goodies are beautifully made. You can tell a lot of time and effort went into them. If you want something custom made - regardless of the item - you have to expect to pay more. I have never sold any of my cakes or cookies, so I know it is easier said than done, but you need to stick to your guns on price and if she walks away, that's on her. You are worth full price!!!

lilmansmum Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 8:01pm
post #5 of 19

Emrldsky.....I guess it's a little bit of both. I NEVER charge what I am worth. NEVER. And when this lady called on short notice asking for something kind of detailed, I felt like charging more than I usually do. So then I felt bad about possibly overcharging, although I don't think I REALLY did, and also, she's the first person I've had to actually complain about what I charge. So that annoyed me that she'd question my prices. I told her she was more than welcome to look at pics of my cakes on flickr before she made up her mind. She took down my website and said she'd look and call me back. I'm not holding my breath. We'll see.

Thanks guys, for all the nice words about my cakes. It makes me feel better that someone thinks I'm worth it. icon_smile.gif

Edited for bad spelling. icon_rolleyes.gif

dailey Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 8:25pm
post #6 of 19

i can *totally* understand the upcharge for a carved cake, however, a pond would have been a very simple shape to achieve. just out of curiousity, what size cake were you going to make for 20 servings? $5 a serving may have been a *bit* steep for this cake, imo

lilmansmum Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 8:31pm
post #7 of 19

You know, I didn't really even have a "plan" yet for the cake, because she just asked me on the spur of the moment what it would be for what she wanted. So I really just threw that amount out there as a quick guess. With carved cakes though, the number of servings usually isn't an issue. For example, making a gumball machine cake for 20 people isn't really any easier than making one for 50. With 3D cakes, I think servings are irrelevant. Just my opinion though.

dailey Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 8:42pm
post #8 of 19

oh, i *totally* agree. but a gumball machine is much more difficult to sculpt then a pond.

if it were me, i would have baked a rectangular cake and just carved off the ends and sides a bit to give it "movement". not much cake wasted that way.

lilmansmum Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 9:04pm
post #9 of 19

This is true. I understand what you're saying. But I'm really not going to beat myself up over the price I quoted her, or try to over-think this. I told her what I told her when she asked me on the spur of the moment. I like to have a little more notice than 4 or 5 days anyway, so that's why I quoted on the high end. I don't need the stress. I'm not going to let one lost cake order bother me, that's for sure. thumbsdown.gif

indydebi Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 9:27pm
post #10 of 19
Originally Posted by lilmansmum

....she's the first person I've had to actually complain about what I charge.

In the words of CC'er classiccakes: If no one complains about your pricing, then you're not charging enough.

welcome to the Big Boys Club!! thumbs_up.gif

Deb_ Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 9:56pm
post #11 of 19

Not everyone will be able to afford a custom cake! Many greats here have said this and they're 100% right. You can't lower your prices to please everyone. Only you know what it costs you in supplies, skill, labor, utilities etc. to make that cake. Your work is beautiful by the way.

If she does decide to order, don't forget to get a deposit, I'm sure she'll love that, but hey $95 is a lot of money. I actually require full payment for any cake over $50 prior to making it.

She sounds like the type that may go to Sam's at the last minute and buy a sheet cake with an airbrushed ice rink painted on it. (Not that there's anything wrong with that) but, it probably fits her budget better. Her loss!

lilmansmum Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 10:02pm
post #12 of 19

Dkelly, you are right. Not everyone can afford a custom cake. And there's absolutely not one thing wrong with going to Sam's for a cheap cake. I know they crank their cakes out fast, and can charge way less. But mine are custom-made and take a TON of my time. It's really just not worth my time to charge less. I've got three kids I'd rather spend my time with than to work on cakes for little or next to nothing. And it certainly doesn't hurt my feelings for someone to go to Walmart or Sam's instead.

Indydebi, thanks for the "welcome" haha....I wish I wasn't such a pushover. Do you give lessons on how to put on the big girl panties? lol

summernoelle Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 10:16pm
post #13 of 19

Ah, brush it off. Some people will pay, no problem! Others will balk. You just have to shrug and say OK, and then pick up the phone for the next person who will pay it. And that person will call!

margaretb Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 10:16pm
post #14 of 19

I think that was a fair price. I make cakes for family things, and someone told me I could sell my cakes for $50 -- well, that covers my cost of ingredients and pays me maybe a buck an hour -- so NO THANKS! I don't sell cakes, but if I did, you had darn well better believe you wouldn't be able to hire me to do a cake and expect me to work for less than minimum wage.

cor39 Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 10:21pm
post #15 of 19

Good for you. Dont waver. The idea is to make a profit. Your cakes are awesome and I am sure they are well worth the money.

gerripje Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 10:24pm
post #16 of 19
Originally Posted by margaretb

I make cakes for family things, and someone told me I could sell my cakes for $50 -- well, that covers my cost of ingredients and pays me maybe a buck an hour -- so NO THANKS! .

I agree with that 100%. I make cakes for friends and family and when they want to pay for ingredients, because of course they want scratch baked yummy cakes not "cardboard" as one of my friends described a cake from the grocery store, and I say o.k. that will be $40 - $50. One friend actually accused me of trying to rip her off!! I handed her the list and said have at 'er!! I'm always too 'busy' when she wants a cake now! thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 10:37pm
post #17 of 19

Sometimes it's the person's point of reference. My in-laws, god luv 'em, are in their 80's. I recall one time, MIL was telling us that the two of them went out to dinner and the bill came to (omg and big GASP!) FIFTEEN DOLLARS!!!! icon_surprised.gificon_surprised.gif

Ok .... we've left tips bigger than that ... on a regular basis! icon_lol.gif

Some years ago, we took my sis and her hubby to a special pizza place. It was a little more upscale than your "pick up the box and get back in the car" pizza place. We made them a deal of "We'll buy the pizza .... you buy the cokes." Sis said to her hubby when the pitchers of coke came "Drink it slowly ... it's $4 a pitcher." My hubby and I looked at each other and said, "Is $4 a lot for a pitcher of coke?" Not to us, it wasn't, but to Sis it was astonomical.

Personal Point of REference. It's frustrating when they've used the same measuring stick their entire life and have no idea what reality is like today.

mamacc Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 10:50pm
post #18 of 19

I have three kids too, and have to do most of the work at night....and it's just not worth it do anything for less than $100, and that's my absolute minumum.

JGMB Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 11:18pm
post #19 of 19

I think $95 is very reasonable -- your work is beautiful!!!

Also, y'all are right about people living in the past price-wise. I made some delicious sugar cookies -- flowers, 4" in diameter and nicely frosted in bright colors with yellow centers. I bagged them separately in cellophane. We plan to sell them to benefit a homeless charity.

I asked an older friend how much she thought people would be willing to pay, and she said a quarter!!!!!!!!!!!! I was really insulted. I told her that the bag alone was 4 cents and that I use real butter, real vanilla, etc. I plan to charge $2 apiece. I would hope people would pay that if the money's going to charity.

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