Am I Really Too Cheap?

Business By yelle66 Updated 2 Oct 2013 , 3:07am by cmalin3

yelle66 Posted 25 Feb 2009 , 11:01pm
post #1 of 56

I have been told by many of you wise, experienced decorators that I am too cheap for what I am doing. I charge $2 a serving starting price for BC and 2.50 fondant and $3 for carved. Is that really too cheap? I think the most expensive place I can find around here is maybe .50 a serving more than me. I really want to start advertising, but I don't want to have to change my prices after I start getting a bunch of new clients.

Danielle

55 replies
leah_s Posted 25 Feb 2009 , 11:07pm
post #2 of 56

1. Yes
2. Where are you located?
3. When you did your price comparision, who did you compare to?
5. Why aren't you advertising yet?

yelle66 Posted 25 Feb 2009 , 11:11pm
post #3 of 56

1. LOL
2. Omaha, Nebraska
3. 5 minutes ago
4. I don't know b/c I have been busy I guess and I didn't want to really get into wedding cakes until I had been doing this for a year. I did one 4 tier in Sept and that is about my only big wedding cake. I did a small one earlier in the year. Oh and I am out of my home (legally).

yelle66 Posted 25 Feb 2009 , 11:16pm
post #4 of 56

Oh and on number 3, I checked everywhere I could find (granted not a lot of places do quite what I want to do.) One place who seems to kind of have a similar setup actually charges $3 for BC and $3 for fondant.

Danielle

skaggs1 Posted 25 Feb 2009 , 11:20pm
post #5 of 56

Just wanted to tell you that your cakes are amazing and yes you need to charge more!!!

snarkybaker Posted 25 Feb 2009 , 11:24pm
post #6 of 56

I tell you what... if you want to charge $2.00 a serving, just move to North Carolina, sell me all your cakes at $2.00 a serving, I'll resell them for $6.00 a serving and I'll keep you busy about 90 hours a week. icon_biggrin.gif

jer702 Posted 25 Feb 2009 , 11:37pm
post #7 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by txkat

I tell you what... if you want to charge $2.00 a serving, just move to North Carolina, sell me all you cakes at $2.00 a serving, I'll resell them for $6.00 a serving and I'll keep you busy about 90 hours a week. icon_biggrin.gif




lmao icon_lol.gif

Davina_Alloway Posted 25 Feb 2009 , 11:46pm
post #8 of 56

Are you sure it's not $3 for buttercream and $3 EXTRA for fondant? I understand your issue though. I run into it here in Ohio all the time. NO ONE wants to pay what the cake is for!!! I find that when someone calls and asks me what I charge and I tell them... then they tell me it's too much... I just want the job so bad, I lower my price!!

indydebi Posted 25 Feb 2009 , 11:56pm
post #9 of 56

Some people can't afford me ... and that's ok.


If you put a small value upon youself, rest assured that the world will
not raise your price.   
--- Unknown


Letting your customers set your standards is a dangerous game, because the race to the bottom is pretty easy to win. Setting your own standards, and living up to them, is a better way to profit.
-----Seth Godin


Excellence costs no more than mediocrity      
---- Donald Trump


Your true value depends entirely on what you are compared with.
---- Bob Wells

AmandaPanda Posted 25 Feb 2009 , 11:56pm
post #10 of 56

Hello there! I was born and raised in Omaha and love seeing when others are from there. I go back a couple times a year to visit! I now live in Tennessee. With that being said I really think you are underpriced for the market there. Tennessee market and Omaha market do run very close and I would say you are AT LEST $1 per serving under what you should be charging.

maryjsgirl Posted 25 Feb 2009 , 11:57pm
post #11 of 56

I live in a very low cost of living area. The majority of bakeries start out at $2.50 to $3.50 for buttercream. $3.50 being the most expensive. I found one bakery that started out at $1.35, but they are very old fashioned looking cakes. So I think the price reflects the style they are stuck in. icon_lol.gif For fondant most charge around $4-$5. Not many places offer it. Nor do many offer gourmet or specialty flavored cakes.

Now some of these places stated their prices "start at" *insert price* so who knows what the actual price ends up after adding the bells and whistles.

jlynnw Posted 26 Feb 2009 , 12:02am
post #12 of 56

When pricing the cake, does a home baker with low overhead need to charge as much as a "store front" operation that has all the bells and whistle that go along with business expense?

AmandaPanda Posted 26 Feb 2009 , 12:04am
post #13 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlynnw

When pricing the cake, does a home baker with low overhead need to charge as much as a "store front" operation that has all the bells and whistle that go along with business expense?




I don't know that that is an issue. No a home baker does not have the overhead that a bakery has however the customer is paying for the skill/time/talent that went into that cake. Also a home baker cannot get all their ingredients at wholesale prices like bakeries can so that cost is going to be higher for the homebaker rather than the larger bakeries.

maryjsgirl Posted 26 Feb 2009 , 12:05am
post #14 of 56

Do you make your own fondant? If you are purchasing it, I don't see how you make any profit at all!

I just checked out your site and I noticed on the welcome page you have a typo (shopes).

Your cakes are great and I see you bake from scratch. Do these bakeries that you are comparing yourself to bake from scratch?

yelle66 Posted 26 Feb 2009 , 12:51am
post #15 of 56

maryjsgirl, Thank you so much for pointing that out. I can't stand typos and I am embarrassed that it was on there. DH changed over my site and added that part and must have been up a little too late. I assumed he had copied it from my other site. Thanks again,

Danielle

leah_s Posted 26 Feb 2009 , 1:34am
post #16 of 56

You're in an urban area and yes, you can charge more.

Yes home bakers do need to charge the same as storefronts (and I'm a legal home baker) to support the entire caking community. One low pricer hurts us all.

jlynnw Posted 26 Feb 2009 , 1:40am
post #17 of 56

leah, please explain. I am not in business as of yet and work at a chain place. I would like to change that. I have been told to set price by MY expense not the competition. It will be a long time before I could do the "home" thing and have not done a lot of research into the hows and whys but would like to learn.

yelle66 Posted 26 Feb 2009 , 1:43am
post #18 of 56

Okay, I did raise my prices. Not a lot, I raised them .50 a serving, but that will help me ease into it, anyway. Thanks so much for all your encouragement.

chutzpah Posted 26 Feb 2009 , 6:02am
post #19 of 56

Raise the bar for yourself and you raise it for cake decorators everywhere.

GeminiRJ Posted 26 Feb 2009 , 1:02pm
post #20 of 56

I'm from Omaha, too! I don't do wedding cakes except for family and friends, so I can't do a comparison on prices. I know of a bride who did a lot of researching last year, and found that the majority of places charged $2 a serving for BC. It may have gone up since then. I've always thought that Omahans are kinda cheap when it comes to cake prices, though. There are so-o-o many grocery stores where they can get a cheap cake that they use that as a guideline.

leah_s Posted 26 Feb 2009 , 3:03pm
post #21 of 56

jlynnw
What chutzpah said. We often share a brain.

Of course you have to cover your expenses. If your expenses are higher than your competition, then you probably need to change how you source ingredients. If your expenses are lower, then good for you. Put some profit away for your dreams.

But don't undercut your competition. It hurts us all.

SweetArt Posted 26 Feb 2009 , 5:07pm
post #22 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeminiRJ

I'm from Omaha, too! I don't do wedding cakes except for family and friends, so I can't do a comparison on prices. I know of a bride who did a lot of researching last year, and found that the majority of places charged $2 a serving for BC. It may have gone up since then. I've always thought that Omahans are kinda cheap when it comes to cake prices, though. There are so-o-o many grocery stores where they can get a cheap cake that they use that as a guideline.




I'm in Linocln, just an hour away. I charge $2.50 for buttercream and $3.00 for fondant. I'm considered expensive. And here's why:

(These are all for the Omaha area, except the last one.)

http://talk.theknot.com/boards/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=58637373&forumid=79

http://talk.theknot.com/boards/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=57923653&forumid=79

http://talk.theknot.com/boards/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=57907562&forumid=79

http://talk.theknot.com/boards/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=57708426&forumid=79

FromScratch Posted 26 Feb 2009 , 5:15pm
post #23 of 56

OMG SweetArt.. someone should slap each and everyone of those decorators open handed across the mouth. $0.75/serving????????

GeminiRJ Posted 26 Feb 2009 , 5:32pm
post #24 of 56

SweetArt, thanks for giving actually Omaha prices for cakes! I knew that the prices quoted on CC don't come close to those I've heard for Omaha. It's one of the reasons I've never pursued getting licensed. I'll just continue baking for family and friends.

I did a bunch of merit badge cookies for a co-worker to take to a scout meeting (I wanted to experiment...he was willing to take them off my hands). He said he got rave reviews for them and some of the moms thought I could make a killing by selling them. But they didn't think they would pay more than $1 each for a 3.5" round cookie decorated as various merit badges, bagged and tagged. Yeah, a real killing. But I'm the one getting killed.

tx_cupcake Posted 26 Feb 2009 , 5:46pm
post #25 of 56

Someone needs to call this Linda Tills character and let her know she's killing the cake market in Omaha! icon_lol.gif

How is that lady even keeping her lights on?!? icon_eek.gif

Rainbow Posted 26 Feb 2009 , 5:48pm
post #26 of 56

icon_surprised.gif OMG I thought prices in IA were low!

yelle66 Posted 26 Feb 2009 , 6:07pm
post #27 of 56

Holy smokes! The cheapest I ever was on ANYTHING was $1 a slice and that was at the very beginning of doing this. I certainly am not going any lower. Its not worth it. Those people would be lucky to make a $5 profit on everything they are doing! But yes, people expect cake to cost what Walmart charges around here. Surprisingly though, I've only had a few people say I was too expensive, but not very many. Usually people have paid what I have asked.

Danielle

Davina_Alloway Posted 26 Feb 2009 , 6:10pm
post #28 of 56

All I can say is THANK GOD I LIVE IN OHIO! (I never thought I'd be saying that)

MichelleM77 Posted 26 Feb 2009 , 6:18pm
post #29 of 56

My prices are similar to your's and I'm told I'm too expensive. The bakeries around here are $1.00-$1.75 per slice (possibly cheaper at the grocery stores). I can't compete with that. No one cares that I bake from scratch when it comes down to saving an almighty dollar. There are a few fancy bakeries with prices up to $10 per slice, but those are few and far between... and not in my neighborhood! icon_smile.gif

leah_s Posted 26 Feb 2009 , 6:20pm
post #30 of 56

I'm stunned.

And not in a good way.

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