"I'm on a budget" WHATEVER!!!!

Decorating By Babarooskie Updated 21 Oct 2010 , 2:12pm by vtcake

sadsmile Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 6:00pm
post #91 of 129

I bet you are right my love! Now people are really paying for thier noteriety. That just sets the high price for cake.. if they charged $300 min before they were really famous then why can't any one!?( My cousin lives in their area and called for a quote a lil more then a year ago for her boyfriend's B-day... she just laughed it off and wished I was closer..LOL) She and her daughter actually came down for a visit and She paid me $100 plus the cost of the cupcake pan to bake her daughters First B-day cake a while back-it's the giant cupcake in my pics( easy to find as I don't have many pics yet..LOL) Now she says I will have to at least make his Groom's cake but she will pay going rate for that now that she knows my cake is just fabulous looking as it tastes.


[quote="tonia3604"]

Quote:
Originally Posted by sadsmile

I watch Ace of Cakes and know their $300 min for small cakes.


I could be wrong, maybe they have a minimum for "small cakes", but last time I checked their minimum recently went up from $500 to $1000 for any cake!


jlynnw Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 6:18pm
post #92 of 129

Not sure when you got that quote. I believe it has gone up to $1000. There needs to be a minimum for cakes though. I had a friend want me to make her a cake from home. She wanted a single 6 inch. That would just be a PITA.

tanyascakes Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 6:34pm
post #93 of 129

Oh, I swear, you all made my day. I thought it was only me that got the "cake idiots" out here in Kansas. I have gotten to the point where I wanted to give up on it. But the last few cakes I made, I quoted a price and didn't get any argument from it. I do think I have to redo some calculations on prices. But otherwise things are going well. I really needed a good laugh today, and this was the place to come. I do tell people that I know that I gave them a discount and show it on a printout so they can see it. But I may have to try the "pull up a chair and watch my process" thing. Then maybe everyone will see what I have to do. Not to mention the fact that I do I have 3 kids and house to care for alone since my husband is deployed!! I am so glad to be a member here. It makes me feel so not alone in all of this. I love you guys!!!!

I edited this because I offended someone. I truly didn't mean to. I am very, very sorry for that. I sincerely ask for your forgiveness!!

tx_cupcake Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 6:59pm
post #94 of 129

"Cake retards" icon_lol.gif
I made a cake recently for a friend's birthday (two tiered fondant with gp figures and rkt sculture), and at the party one of my friend's friends (a girl I've met exactly once before) asked me if I do wedding cakes and if she can send me a pic of a cake she'd like for her August wedding.

I open my email to find a 6 tier, GORGEOUS ivory fondant masterpiece complete with lace appliques, intricate scroll work, monogram, fondant drapes, clusters of gp roses... the works! She wants the cake to feed 250 people.

So I quoted her. I broke everything down so even someone with a very tiny, pea sized brain could understand the price. Because I am relatively new I don't charge nearly what some of the big dogs in town do (although, I'm still competitive), so I thought the price I gave was more than reasonable.

She writes: "Well, I don't see how this simple cake could be so expensive but I'll talk to my fiance."

SIMPLE?!? The flowers alone would take me two weeks!

Needless to say I haven't heard hide nor hair from this chicky. I hope she enjoys her Wally World caketastrophy!

doughdough Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 7:20pm
post #95 of 129

I can completely understand wanting to stay within a budget, especially right now. But...it has to be realistic too!!

Maybe one day the general public will understand that a quality cake isn't cheap...but until then we have to just keep up the good fight. icon_smile.gif

iluvjay829 Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 7:21pm
post #96 of 129

Ya'll have made me feel so much better about finally standing firm on my prices. I had a girl from high school who wanted a construction themed two tier chocolate cake to feed 50, with plastic dump trucks and hand made gum paste construction worker + a cookie bouquet with 25 cookies in a big dump truck. I quoted her $125 and she freaked! What...that hardly covers ingredients and accessories. I live in a pretty big city...I'm so tired of people thinking just b/c I'm not a "professional" that I'm cheap!

indydebi Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 7:32pm
post #97 of 129

I'm tellin' ya, folks, if you start the conversation with something along the lines of "oh, you're looking for a Duff style cake! Did you know (she said in a conspiratory whisper) that he charges a minimum of one THOUSAND DOLLARS for one of his cakes? And I guarantee you that the cakes you see on TV are nowhere NEAR a lousy thousand dollar cake. The good news is I'm not QUITE that expensive. Now ... what were you looking for?"

It absolutely sets them up for a very expensive price because they have NO IDEA duff's cakes cost that much.

It works. I'm telling you, it works.

Babarooskie Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 7:39pm
post #98 of 129

WOW! icon_surprised.gif
I'm so happy that the thread I started has reached out to so many people!!
Thank the Lord I am not the only one going through this "I want a beautiful cake but I'm on a budget" madness!

All of your stories are worth the reading and lets hope that we all learn from them thumbs_up.gif

2508s42 Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 8:06pm
post #99 of 129

I just got a call for a custom designed cake to feed 40, gumpaste figures, etc for a police DOG retirment party. I told her that it would be $100...$2 a serving plus the figures.

She told me that they were hoping I would DONATE it because it is for the police and my husband is a cop in a neighboring community so I should understand the department budgets. I was like, Yes, I DO understand. My dh just had a meeting informing them that they have to take 5 days UNPAID leave this quarter because of the economy. Plus the costs of ingredients have increased...plus it is a DOG.

I am sorry, but I can't do it. Then she said that Albertsons will charge them $25 for a 1/4 sheet. So I said, wow, if you can get them to do the cake you want for $25...I would run with it. I TOTALLY understand that the department has a budget for this.

BUT WAIT...she called me back later and told me that the cheif said YES... now... while I am glad for the business... what a waste of tax payer dollars. One officer could get paid for one shift for that money.

sadsmile Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 8:09pm
post #100 of 129

I know genious when I see it! And you are one bright bulb in da box missy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I'm tellin' ya, folks, if you start the conversation with something along the lines of "oh, you're looking for a Duff style cake! Did you know (she said in a conspiratory whisper) that he charges a minimum of one THOUSAND DOLLARS for one of his cakes? And I guarantee you that the cakes you see on TV are nowhere NEAR a lousy thousand dollar cake. The good news is I'm not QUITE that expensive. Now ... what were you looking for?"

It absolutely sets them up for a very expensive price because they have NO IDEA duff's cakes cost that much.

It works. I'm telling you, it works.


tx_cupcake Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 8:55pm
post #101 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

"oh, you're looking for a Duff style cake! Did you know (she said in a conspiratory whisper) that he charges a minimum of one THOUSAND DOLLARS for one of his cakes? And I guarantee you that the cakes you see on TV are nowhere NEAR a lousy thousand dollar cake. The good news is I'm not QUITE that expensive. Now ... what were you looking for?"




**Steals this idea and runs away laughing wildly**

Debi, I like how you kick em in the bal...uh, shins first. Brills! thumbs_up.gif

juleebug Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 9:18pm
post #102 of 129
Quote:
Quote:

"oh, you're looking for a Duff style cake! Did you know (she said in a conspiratory whisper) that he charges a minimum of one THOUSAND DOLLARS for one of his cakes? And I guarantee you that the cakes you see on TV are nowhere NEAR a lousy thousand dollar cake. The good news is I'm not QUITE that expensive. Now ... what were you looking for?"




I would modify this to add...
"And I'll be sure I pick my ear, shoot off potato guns and bring dogs in the kitchen while I decorate your cake."

(Don't get me wrong, I love AOC but some of the stuff that goes on in that kitchen is unbelievably gross.)

uschi1 Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 9:40pm
post #103 of 129

Yeah - I had a call from somebody yesterday who was looking for one 16", one 14" and one 12" round cake, buttercream only, no decorations whatsoever for between $100 and $150.
Not an issue because I'll be on vacation when she needs it. I didn't even ask who would decorate it...

jlynnw Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 10:05pm
post #104 of 129

we keep talking about a quality cake for $.75 a serving, my question is where can you even get a gross cake for that? I have yet to see anyplace that will do a cake for under $1.00 a serving, even the place no body wants a cake from! What does everyone start their cake prices at? Fondant Buttercream Buttercream w/fondant accents. I am talking basic vanilla basic decorations.

k33bl3r Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 11:47pm
post #105 of 129

I am planning on charging my friend cost for all of the supplies, ingredients, etc. I mean, keep in mind that some of the "supplies" I plan on adding to the list are gum paste (which won't ALL be spent on this one cake) and like, bags and tips and stuff that I need. The only reason I offered to do it for "free" (meaning no profit in it for me, other than supplies) is because I AM new to this whole endeavor. I mean, what if the cake turns out terrible? I can't consciously charge her for that. Ya know? She doesn't really want anything spectacular. The flavors are just chocolate tier, vanilla tier, and the top tier be half and half. Simple buttercream icing. I've attached the copy of my simple sketch I threw together in 5 minutes on Paint.

Ukrops is a grocery chain in VA. And actually, my local one just closed. heh. They use pound cake. They charge an extra $100 for fondant. Which I think tastes so nasty anyways. Their base price for a crappy cake was $350.

I don't really know pricing all that much, since I am new, but I thought that the $3.50 a person included delivery and set up. Does that usually cost extra?

Here is the sketch. The only difference she wanted was pink instead of red. The "roses" are just there to simulate buttercream roses. The ribbons around each tier will be gumpaste.

Image
Edit: I asked Charm City Cakes to do my sons first birthday cake a while ago. I sent them a picture. It was only for 35 people. Their cost without delivery? $500. I said "no thanks, I can make my own." For $500, Duff himself better show up dressed as the Cat in the Hat. lol.

CeeTee Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 1:58am
post #106 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by k33bl3r

The only reason I offered to do it for "free" (meaning no profit in it for me, other than supplies) is because I AM new to this whole endeavor. I mean, what if the cake turns out terrible? I can't consciously charge her for that. Ya know? She doesn't really want anything spectacular.




It's better to give a refund for a bad cake than give away a good cake for nothing.

Quote:
Quote:

Ukrops is a grocery chain in VA. And actually, my local one just closed. heh. They use pound cake. They charge an extra $100 for fondant. Which I think tastes so nasty anyways. Their base price for a crappy cake was $350.

Edit: I asked Charm City Cakes to do my sons first birthday cake a while ago. I sent them a picture. It was only for 35 people. Their cost without delivery? $500. I said "no thanks, I can make my own." For $500, Duff himself better show up dressed as the Cat in the Hat. lol.




This is the battle all cake decorators who charge for their time are fighting though....we know we take a loss if we charge anything less than X amount $ for the cake, but so many people think for X amount they better get something way above and beyond. Where I live $500 is barely middle of the road as far as pricing goes, and this is for bakeries nowhere near the fame level as Charm City.

A simple cake is just canned icing spread on an undoctored cake mix made in a pyrex casserole dish. A tiered cake with smoothed homemade icing, handmade decorations, and scratch (or doctored) cake using special supports to keep it up takes skill that one has practiced over time. It may not be fancy, but it's not simple.

It's with the first few cakes you sell where you set up your rep. If you give away simple cakes in the beginning, then you will have a huge uphill battle to climb later on down the road when you suddenly want $5 a serving for your "simple, cheap cakes" just so you can break even.

I speak from experience, trust me! The #1 fatal flaw of a cake decorator starting out selling them is charging cost or giving them away to start out. Even if it's only $1 a serving, charge -something- for your time. Otherwise all you have done is open the door to letting friends and family expect lots for nothing and telling potential customers the same thing too icon_sad.gif

k33bl3r Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 2:10am
post #107 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by CeeTee



It's better to give a refund for a bad cake than give away a good cake for nothing.


This is the battle all cake decorators who charge for their time are fighting though....we know we take a loss if we charge anything less than X amount $ for the cake, but so many people think for X amount they better get something way above and beyond. Where I live $500 is barely middle of the road as far as pricing goes, and this is for bakeries nowhere near the fame level as Charm City.

A simple cake is just canned icing spread on an undoctored cake mix made in a pyrex casserole dish. A tiered cake with smoothed homemade icing, handmade decorations, and scratch (or doctored) cake using special supports to keep it up takes skill that one has practiced over time. It may not be fancy, but it's not simple.

It's with the first few cakes you sell where you set up your rep. If you give away simple cakes in the beginning, then you will have a huge uphill battle to climb later on down the road when you suddenly want $5 a serving for your "simple, cheap cakes" just so you can break even.

I speak from experience, trust me! The #1 fatal flaw of a cake decorator starting out selling them is charging cost or giving them away to start out. Even if it's only $1 a serving, charge -something- for your time. Otherwise all you have done is open the door to letting friends and family expect lots for nothing and telling potential customers the same thing too icon_sad.gif




Thanks! I REALLY appreciate all of you guys' help! I will DEF take your advice. I mean, she can't be mad if her last price was $650, and I charge her $300, right? icon_biggrin.gif

juleebug Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 7:32pm
post #108 of 129
Quote:
Quote:

I mean, she can't be mad if her last price was $650, and I charge her $300, right?




Well, she can... but only if she's a Bridezilla who would take advantage of your friendship. And, if she does, let her get it for $650 and save yourself the headache of dealing with it.

k33bl3r Posted 12 Mar 2009 , 1:21am
post #109 of 129

lol. I'm actually really looking forward to doing this cake. It will be the first tiered cake I've done. So I'm excited for the challenge. icon_biggrin.gif

PrivateNameHere Posted 19 Oct 2010 , 6:00pm
post #110 of 129

EVERY person who orders from me talks about how they have such a small budget for the cake. Then don't get a cake. It's not like I'm selling car insurance or something that you NEED to have. If you can't afford a cake, you don't get a cake. It's a LUXURY item, people. Do people go to BMW and talk about how they just don't have the money for a car like this but they HAVE to have a BMW, and can't they sell it for the same price as a 1992 Honda Accord? You know, because they NEED...no no, they DESERVE a luxury car.
Ugh, it just irks me.
Thanks for all the stories, ladies, it's helping me grow a backbone!

Moondance Posted 19 Oct 2010 , 10:58pm
post #111 of 129

I just love this thread! It really opened my eyes because I have the same issues - friends who want a big cake fornext to no cost and raise their eyebrows when you tell them the cost - even with a discount! I've noticed I'm also growing a backboneicon_smile.gif

Linda5606 Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 4:55am
post #112 of 129

funny i got a call this morning she says, " i want a fariy barbie cake, she needs to be on top of another cake that is decorated green on top like a garden, with a candy pebble path and it needs to have pink roses.

i quoted her $60 and she says " oh my i'll have to talk to grandma since she is paying". haven't heard back from her. what did she think it would cost for 2 cakes and plenty of decorations, not to mention the candy rocks that i would have to order
sheech


hey i also got a call from a man saying, "i'll pay you big bucks for this. if i give you a large amount of sperm could you inject it into a cupcake?" i hung up on him. anyone else get this?

Ursula40 Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 5:28am
post #113 of 129

hey i also got a call from a man saying, "i'll pay you big bucks for this. if i give you a large amount of sperm could you inject it into a cupcake?" i hung up on him. anyone else get this?



You must be kidding me. Oh WOW, I would've been speechless

Kiddiekakes Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 12:14pm
post #114 of 129

That's disgusting...What a weirdo!!!It takes all kinds!!

patticake1951 Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 1:21pm
post #115 of 129

That is disgusting!!!
A few weeks ago my dd and set up a booth with our cupcakes and candies[we are in the process of getting our bakery open] I had a couple of my dummy cakes there, one of which was my doll cake
http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1164187
and this lady was asking me what my prices were going to be, so I told her I would charge around $45.00 for this one. She looked shocked and said "Oh you will have some competition from WM at that price!!!" UHHH!!! I don't think so. I told her that WM doesn't make cakes like that. Have you seen their doll cakes?
Cake Muggles!!!!!!

LaylaC Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 2:43pm
post #116 of 129

I paid somewhere between $150 and $200 for my wedding cake that fed 20. I also had individual cakes for the children (who had a separate pizza party away from our formal dinner) for about $7.50 each. They were made by a local bakery that is considered to be one of the top 10 French bakeries in the world. It was a beautiful cake, and more importantly TASTED outstanding. It had NO fondant, no flowers. Very simple.

I had a very limited budget for my wedding. We wanted to be able to pay for it with cash. Not start our marriage with debt.

I also, like so many brides, have very expensive taste.

How did I reconcile this? I had an amazing wedding at a very upscale venue with wonderful food...but...I limited the guest list to immediate family.

The bonus? My husband and I got to enjoy our wedding, sit with and talk to our guests, and EVERYBODY there was someone we actually wanted to share the day with.

sumerae Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 4:21pm
post #117 of 129

I'd barely call myself a hobby baker. Just started doing it for fun, b/c I love cakes, love even more a nice looking, well tasting cake. Took a couple classes, in the midst, a friend calls and says I heard (through MIL) you're doing cakes now...uh, I wouldn't exactly call it that, but I'm playing around, having fun. Friend: Will you do the groom's cake for my wedding? The place where the reception is, there cakes taste TERRIBLE, I begged a local baker to take on the wedding cake but I need a groom's cake. If it's to much, just let me know. Me: I'll think about it.

Note: Wedding, almost 4 hours away in area of VA with mountains....and DD is the flower girl, so travel, already have a part in the wedding to plan and deal with.

DH: Oh you can do this, it'll be great!

So fine, I plan to do the cake. 10 in. bottom square, 8 in. round top, yellow cake. all covered in chocolate BC, nothing fancy, a KU jayhawk, made out of fondant on top.


MIL throws on me, you should do this as a your gift to them....fabulous except, well, I have no pans bigger than 8 in, and no squares, have to buy the fonadant, practice recipes, buy the pans, forget actually baking and putting the cake together, deliverying the cake (4 hours, in teh mountains!) and then hustling to the weddingto get my child ready! Talk about expensive, MIL doesn'trealize some would have easily charges $150 for this cake. I think it cost me more than that to make it!b/c I'm just starting out!

sumerae Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 4:25pm
post #118 of 129

oh, then MIL tells me, you could do the cake for the golf tourny next year (charity tourny they put on), sure, I could! (again, 3 hour travel to our hometown, with 2 kids in tow??) MIL: Don't forget it's gotta compete with the $50 sheet cake I can get from Sam's....it's just a bunch of men, they don't care what it looks like. ME: Hm, yeah, I can't compete with that! "thinking, men must not care what it tastes like either!". She says, you could do it as a donation....how's that so, I'm not even an actual baker, with a way to do it as a write off and DH already pays $100 to play in the tourney, I think that's our donation! Sheesh! I love my MIL but she doesn't get it.

Funny thing though, with the wedding/grooms cake, she kept telling me how awesome the cake looked, how it looked better than the wedding cake and how several people commented that it tasted better than the wedding cake. But she can get it from Sams....right on.

Kiddiekakes Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 4:27pm
post #119 of 129

LaylaC....Same here...when hubby and I got married we had 55 people at an upscale Golf course..I paid alot of money for a sit down prime rib dinner and open bar ..We spent alot on flowers,ice scultures etc and my dress was beautiful...The jist of this is I had all the fancy things I wanted but kept the guest list down so we could pay cash also....We went from table to table and sat with out guests for a while and talked,laughed etc..It was wonderful!! I wouldn't have traded it for a huge wedding what so ever....

Thecakebox06 Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 5:08pm
post #120 of 129

wow seems like everyone has this problem....

last year for the 4th of july i did a grooms cake..mind you she called me four days before the wedding..she says i need a grooms cake and i love your cakes and want to get robert (groom) a cake just for him....and i go what is it that youd like? he goes id love it if you could make a fedex truck.( works at fedex) i go for how many people? she goes well this cake doesnt have to feed many people because my cake will probably do so.. and also i have another grooms cake for him and they were both sponsored (?) so his doesnt have to be big its a small gift from me to him. and i go alright let me price it and i will get back to you.

i do as i say and she agrees to pay that amount. the day of the wedding i took the cake and there was NO other grooms cake , and her cake was an 8 a 12 and a 14 inch round..for about 200 plus guests...not stacked together just the cakes put next to each other. she sees the fedex cake and she goes crazy.. everyone was commenting on it and i was very proud..i did a small cake because thats what she asked for. she comes to me and tells me (i have the money for the cake in my purse and its downstairs so when i go and get my things i will give it to you) and i go ok thank you enjoy your wedding for now.

time goes by and nothing..i waited all night nothing ( i was a guest at her wedding as well) and then the weddings done and over with. NADA. we go back to her place.. she sees me there and becomes completely oblivious to it. she goes on her honeymoon and i dont hear a word form her till two weeks later.

it just so happened our friend had a dinner and she came, i opened the door and she doesnt say a word about the cake, all night nothing..till she turns to me and says " Michelle thank you so much for the cake, robert loved it i may have to treat you to dinner maybe"

i was livid, i go " there was a specific amount for the cake we had agreed on" she goes " he really loved it we may go to dinner sometime" and that was all she said about it.. NEVER paid..even with hints thrown out at her by everyone and myself, and confronting her. SHE NEVER paid.

some people just...dont have common sense or something.. some think they can pay later as well.. and when this happens i always tell them to go get a cake from walmart and see if theyll allow them a payment plan...it sounds rude but when i go to the store i dont pay half for my groceries and tell them ill pay the rest later!

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