Bargain Cake Price?

Business By BlondiezBakery Updated 24 Feb 2009 , 1:12am by doughdough

BlondiezBakery Posted 19 Feb 2009 , 10:03pm
post #1 of 31

Sorry to ask yet another question about pricing, but this is a different situation.

I am a hobby baker, and I am doing my first wedding cake for my hair dresser in April. She is really cutting costs, so that is why she is going with me....not to mention, I have my first big break to do something for a wedding.

She wants:
- 150 servings
- Topsy Turvy
- Funky black/white designs
- going to have to be all fondant

I am trying to give her a 'killer deal', but also, not come out broke on the deal. Also, not overcharge her for a novice decorator

I was thinking about $300 or so for the cake..what do you guys think?

30 replies
indydebi Posted 19 Feb 2009 , 10:55pm
post #2 of 31

$2 a serving for topsy turvy fondant???

Boy, you got my Mom-Finger wagging at you on this one.

My fondant price is $4.50 x 150 = $675. I've never done a TT cake, but I certainly would add extra for all of the work involved in that.

If someone is on a budget, then they don't get to say "I want ALL the bells and whistles, but since I can't afford it, YOU will have to eat the cost." If she's on a budget, she gets to pick a cake that fits her budget. Period.

cakesdivine Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 12:17am
post #3 of 31

What Indydebi said icon_smile.gif

Deb_ Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 12:48am
post #4 of 31

I would NOT recommend a topsy-turvy to be your first Wedding cake, especially covered in fondant and for a paying customer. That's probably one of the hardest cakes to master correctly with the center of gravity being so difficult to achieve. I've been baking for over 25 yrs, I've made 4 of these and the fourth still wasn't perfect and I wasn't happy with it at all. In my opinion, it's very hard to get it right. I still won't sell them.

Like the others said if she's on a budget, she should order a simple round stacked cake.

Ask her what kind of discount she's willing to barter for your hair services this year. I'm a hairstylist, I've bartered with clients before. If she feels you should give her a discount then she should extend the courtesy to you. Business is business, why should you lower your price if she's not willing to do the same. Tell her another hairstylist suggested this to you, she'll love that.

leah_s Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 12:56am
post #5 of 31

::picture me reaching through this screen::

$2 per serving for a fondant TT? nononononononono

What Debi said. If SHE'S on a budget, then she gets a simple cake, not a difficult high-design cake. End of story.

littlecake Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 4:48am
post #6 of 31

i had done wedding cakes before...and worked at a bakery....7 years ago when my son got married , his wife wanted a mad hatter cake....i'd never done one before...it took 3 tries to get it right...one of them caved in.

plus it took me hours upon hours to do it...i'm not opposed to giving a friend a deal....but you don't want to do this one for your first wedding cake.....now they are pretty easy for me...but back then....not so much.

BlondiezBakery Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 5:05am
post #7 of 31

Yikes! Now, I am pretty freaked out. I think I will make a few practice cakes in preperation. I have made two TT cakes in the past...and only one of those two I was truly happy with.

littlecake Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 5:33am
post #8 of 31

if you have already made them before...disreguard my last post, you already know what you're in for....i thought from your post that you had never made a stacked cake before.....let alone a mad hatter....you'll do ok!

juleebug Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 6:06am
post #9 of 31
Quote:
Quote:

She is really cutting costs, so that is why she is going with me....not to mention, I have my first big break to do something for a wedding.

She wants:
- 150 servings
- Topsy Turvy
- Funky black/white designs
- going to have to be all fondant





First let me ask, would she go to a "real baker" and ask them for something like this and expect a "killer deal"? The answer is NO!

I can appreciate wanting to do something nice for someone. And I frequently charge much less than what I should, mainly due to the economic status of the area I live in. But when someone makes a ridiculous request (like the woman who wanted a baby shower cake to serve 20 people for under $20) you have to simply tell them it's not going to happen.

Also, you don't want to set a precident that you can't live up to just because it's your "first big break." Others WILL find out what she paid (never fails) and WILL expect the same pricing.

just my humble opinion...

arsing1 Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 6:27am
post #10 of 31

I just had a similar situation. It was my first paying customers. A bride's cake and a grooms cake and I let them have it for $200 because they were friends. I have kicked myself ever since! $200 does not begin to cover the hours, no, days that it took to make the cakes. Spending endless time trying to get every little thing perfect. And that was just a "normal" wedding cake. No extra sugar flowers or fondant work. Never again! You'd basically be doing it out of the goodness of your heart and if you do, you're a better woman than me!

peg818 Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 2:28pm
post #11 of 31

As has already been said, $2 a serving for fondant is not nearly enough.

Have you even added up your costs, your looking at a good amount for a cake to feed 150, thats before even counting in your time

Frankly i have a TT for next weekend to feed 75 and i'm charging $500 and i don't even think thats enough.

jammjenks Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 4:44pm
post #12 of 31

Why do I get the feeling from reading your post that you think SHE'S the one doing YOU a favor? Surely you see that it is YOU who is doing the favor, right?

drowsyrn Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 5:10pm
post #13 of 31

Okay, let me just scream something off topic here!!!

I am so SICK of brides telling me they are on a tight budget!!!!!!

My prices won't change because you are on a budget.


icon_mad.gif

Chef_Stef Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 8:49pm
post #14 of 31

I'm with drowsyrn. If a bride is on a tight budget (duh--so am I!), why should *I* have to give up my profit margin for them.

If she's a friend, and you reallyreallyreally like her, and you reallyreallyreally want to do this cake, and you reallyreallyreally don't mind the fact that your gift to her will be her wedding cake, then quote her whatever you want.

For my friends, who I love and want to do nice things for (and who, I should add, NEVER OFFER ME DISCOUNTS ON A FREAKING THING THEY SELL ME), --can you tell there's an issue there?lol--I quote them the exact retail (or "real") price of their cake. Then I tell them "I can do it for $xx.xx".

I'm doing two 'friend cakes' this year, and both are getting the cakes for just over half of retail, but I still make decent $ per hour to do them, and that's fine with me. But no way am I doing it for nothing. I like my time off. I don't bake wedding cakes because I'm bored.

indydebi Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 8:55pm
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by drowsyrn

Okay, let me just scream something off topic here!!!

I am so SICK of brides telling me they are on a tight budget!!!!!!

My prices won't change because you are on a budget.


icon_mad.gif




icon_lol.gif I'm with ya!! I tell them, "Oh, that makes you just a regular bride! I've not had one yet walk thru my door and tell me 'Don't worry about the price! The sky's the limit!!" icon_lol.gif

Or my hubby's response when they tell me "We don't have much money." His response would be "We don't either, that's we why dont' discount." icon_lol.gif

-K8memphis Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 9:01pm
post #16 of 31

Brides on tight budgets should be told to elope.

kandu001 Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 10:28pm
post #17 of 31

I would say no less than $5 per serving for that cake. Don't worry about thinking that she will think you're charging too much for these reasons: first of all, you're not charging too much; second, let her try to find that deal somewhere else-she won't; and third, if you let yourself charge only $2/serving for that cake you'll be miserable.

chutzpah Posted 22 Feb 2009 , 8:13am
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

Brides on tight budgets should be told to elope.




Agreed.

Why this sense of entitlement? Where does this come from? If I had a tight budget I would adjust my reception accordingly! Invite 50 people, not 500!

I sure wouldn't expect every vendor to adjust their prices to my advantage, just because 'I' have a tight budget!

drowsyrn Posted 22 Feb 2009 , 3:41pm
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

Brides on tight budgets should be told to elope.




I want that on a plaque in my shop!! icon_biggrin.gif

abw2005 Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 8:25pm
post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

Brides on tight budgets should be told to elope.



thumbs_up.gif How true!

Personally I think you are selling yourself WAY short...you don't need to bend just b/c she is on a tight budget. She can have sheet cakes for $300 if that's all she wants to pay! Stick to your guns on this, you will win some cakes and lose some, but at least the ones you win understand the TRUE value of your work!!!!

OhMyGanache Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 10:04pm
post #21 of 31

I guess I'm the odd man out. If this is your first wedding cake, I don't think you can fairly charge the same as a seasoned professional. You need the practice, and someone is willing to pay you to get that practice. I did tons of cakes for FREE just to gain the experience... I would have loved to get $2/serving instead! LOL!

Personally, if I were in your shoes - I'd do it. I am not one of those people that thinks every decorator should charge the same, especially when they are starting out and not at the same level as people who have been doing it for years.

Just my opinion. icon_smile.gif

loriemoms Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 11:39pm
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

Brides on tight budgets should be told to elope.




Or you know, CUT BACK ON YOUR GUEST LIST! I get these brides all the time, they are having 200-250 guests and they want to spend 300 dollars on a wedding cake and can't understand why the cant...

indydebi Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 11:55pm
post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhMyGanache

I guess I'm the odd man out. If this is your first wedding cake, I don't think you can fairly charge the same as a seasoned professional.



When you find the dentist that charges less than 1/2 price because he just opened up, let me know. When you find the realtor who will work for 1/2 commission just because it's their first house, DEFINITELY let me know. When I walk into a hair salon, I dont' get to ask for the person who just got hired in the expectations of getting a hair cut for 1/2 price.

She may not be able to charge Collette or Duff prices .... but it is "fair" for her to charge market value.

Deb_ Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 12:08am
post #24 of 31

Actually, if you come to my Salon for a haircut and you happen to get the "new gal/guy stylist", you will get a discounted rate. Interns at my Salon do not charge the same amount as my stylists with 5, 10 or even 25 yrs experience charge.......and they shouldn't. When they just graduate and pass the State board exam, they in no way are putting out the same quality work as my seasoned stylists are. Practice makes perfect, same as cake decorating.

That being said though, this girl is asking for a "bargain price" however the cake she picked out is not a simple, just getting started, first wedding cake, type design. If she knows you're just getting into cake decorating, and it's your first wedding cake, then she needs to choose a simpler design that fits "her budget" and your "intern" status.

Don't forget to ask her to barter her services as part of the discount. A couple free or 1/2 price haircuts/color etc.

Definitely don't lose money on this cake. I mean yes you want the practice, but honestly she's not family and you shouldn't have to pay for her wedding cake. If you want practice that badly you can make dummy cakes.

OhMyGanache Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 12:09am
post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhMyGanache

I guess I'm the odd man out. If this is your first wedding cake, I don't think you can fairly charge the same as a seasoned professional.


When you find the dentist that charges less than 1/2 price because he just opened up, let me know. When you find the realtor who will work for 1/2 commission just because it's their first house, DEFINITELY let me know. When I walk into a hair salon, I dont' get to ask for the person who just got hired in the expectations of getting a hair cut for 1/2 price.

She may not be able to charge Collette or Duff prices .... but it is "fair" for her to charge market value.




I know that beginning beauticians do work for less - because the barber college charges much less for haircuts than the salons do. You are taking a risk by getting your hair cut by a "newbie" and therefor, the price reflects that. Obviously, there SHOULD be a disparity in the prices charged between beginners and pros.

A wedding is a (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime event, and people want things PERFECT. If someone is willing to risk getting a less than perfect cake - don't you think the price should reflect that. Frankly, if I'm going to pay "market price" - why should I take a risk? I'll go with the pros if that's the case.

I do believe in charging for your time, but when you are just starting out - I think one should focus more on getting practice and improving their skills than in charging what an online forum tells them they should. I haven't looked at the OP's photos or work (is she has some posted) - I am only going on her statement that this is her first wedding cake.

And again, this is my opinion - which seems to differ from the majority most of the time.

loriemoms Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 12:31am
post #26 of 31

I agree, charge less for your first wedding cake...but keep it simplier and at least cover the cost of your materials! I am not even sure she is doing that...

kpry Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 12:34am
post #27 of 31

I made a wedding cake for a guy a worked with for free. I knew it would be an expense, but I wanted to help him out. They did not have a lot of money and were trying to buy a house.

So I made at least 100 gum paste and fondant flowers and designed the cake based on pictures the bride sent to me. The night before she called me and I spoke to her for the first time and she gave me some additional information for the cake.

I took a day of vacation, I delivered it about 25 miles away and never even got a thank you. I just try to remember I did not expect to be paid and I made the cake because I wanted too.

kandu001 Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 12:38am
post #28 of 31

Wow kpry! Not even a thank you!!!!!???? That will be the last time you try to help that person out! How rude!

Deb_ Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 12:40am
post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpry

I made a wedding cake for a guy a worked with for free. I knew it would be an expense, but I wanted to help him out. They did not have a lot of money and were trying to buy a house.

So I made at least 100 gum paste and fondant flowers and designed the cake based on pictures the bride sent to me. The night before she called me and I spoke to her for the first time and she gave me some additional information for the cake.

I took a day of vacation, I delivered it about 25 miles away and never even got a thank you. I just try to remember I did not expect to be paid and I made the cake because I wanted too.




This was extremely generous and nice of you to do for them. It's a shame that they were too ignorant to at least send you a nice heartfelt Thank You.

loriemoms Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 1:08am
post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpry

I made a wedding cake for a guy a worked with for free. I knew it would be an expense, but I wanted to help him out. They did not have a lot of money and were trying to buy a house.

So I made at least 100 gum paste and fondant flowers and designed the cake based on pictures the bride sent to me. The night before she called me and I spoke to her for the first time and she gave me some additional information for the cake.

I took a day of vacation, I delivered it about 25 miles away and never even got a thank you. I just try to remember I did not expect to be paid and I made the cake because I wanted too.




I have been in the same boat. A friend of mine had just gone thorugh a nasty divorce and was getting remarried. I offered as a present to make them a wedding cake..gave them a full tasting and did a design from a magazine for them. We were invited to the wedding, so I even missed the ceremony so I could do my setup. The bride never said a thing to me about the cake during the wedding nor did I get a thank you note. (Everyone at the wedding went nuts over the cake...so that was my "thanks" I guess) Some brides just don't have any consideration..
Afterall, its "their day"....

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