Cheap, Cheap, Cheap:::sam's Is Up The Road

Business By cakesbyamym Updated 21 Mar 2009 , 1:20am by LaBellaFlor

jlh Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 6:13am
post #31 of 116

I'm sorry for that email. How very mean spirited of her. A simple "no thank you" on her part would have been just fine. I"m sure her guests will be just "thrilled" by ANOTHER store bought cake.

Rendee Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 6:22am
post #32 of 116

I agree, your response was appropriate! I also agree that people look at the prices at Wal Mart and Sams and sees those prices as standard because that is what they are used to.

It is ashame people can't appreciate a made from scratch, beautifully decorated cake for what it is.... a work of art!!!!

dhccster Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 6:48am
post #33 of 116

Your response was great... good for you!

Curtsmin24 Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 7:04am
post #34 of 116

Where is the high five emoticon when you need it? I love your response. That person can't really respond because you told them the truth and stood up for yourself and other custom bakeries out there!!! Good for you!!! thumbs_up.gificon_biggrin.gif

KitchenKat Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 9:20am
post #35 of 116

Very good response!

When I had someone complain about prices I half jokingly told her that for her budget she could build a "tower" of donuts, toss on some sprinkles and stick in a candle. (There aren't any Sam's clubs in Bangkok). Well waddaya know she actually took my advice and emailed me back thanking me for the "cool idea" for a "one of a kind" birthday cake.

Sometimes you can win


icon_wink.gif

candynumber1 Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 9:42am
post #36 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbyamym

(2) How much can a cake cost to bake and slap icing on?



"Ohhhhhhh! You wanted a cake with icing just SLAPPED on there! My fault! I misunderstood! I thought you wanted a nicely decorated cake for your very special event. I didn't know you wanted one with icing just SLAPPED on there! If that's what you need, then my price is $18.95.

But trust me ..... it will look just like you want it to .... a cheap cake with icing just SLAPPED on there.

You can pick it up at 3:00."

(But then ..... *I* tend to take the smart a$$ approach to things! icon_rolleyes.gificon_twisted.gif )



This one made me laugh sooo hard, my 3 year old asked me if i'm ok. Lol!
These people really rattle my nerves with these comments. Cause if it's so easy why don't they do it themselves? Always want something for nothing.

flayvurdfun Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 9:53am
post #37 of 116

as said, it is what it is. People don't understand pricing and never will. They are so worried about saving a dollar that they don't look to a bakery to do their cake, knowing the prices there can be very expensive, so they look at other means... the homebaker or cake hobbyist as I am. Heck even I look at the prices for cakes and just shake my head how expensive they are custom or not, even buying at Sam's or Walmart...(I love them by the way) however, I still see 20 dollars as being a lot for a cake at sams or walmart but I understand pricing....
I shrill when someone asks me how much I would charge for a cake.... cuz I know they want cheap and what they see as cheap isn't what they would see for a cake that I would do.... I'm going through this right now. Not sure what to do myself. I made a free wedding cake for a dear friend of mine as a wedding gift (she wanted to pay for it, but I knew I wanted to give it to her.) Now another friend here at work asked me to do 3 cakes for her. A baby shower cake, a bridal shower cake and a wedding cake. I already done the baby shower cake. She gave me NOTHING for it. She bought the ingredients, picked it up, everything....so I kind of felt bad asking for reimbursement for my time. Now I am faced with doing her other two cakes. She has asked me how much the other two cakes would be.... I told her I would get back to her. When I asked another friend here that also does cakes (beautiful ones!) how much she would charge for the cakes she wanted, showed her pics etc..... of course her prices were 250 minimum for one and for the wedding cake 400.... so I am trying to come up with stuff to show her how much the cakes would be in a bakery, and in a supermarket. Show her how much it comes up with on a cake matrix and then tell her a minimum of 100 for my cakes...each cake that is. I'm just sick over it...so I can see where people think prices are bad and why they go to Sam's etc.... I don't pick at Sam's or walmart for what they do it's great for what it is, but I also don't pick at the person looking for a cheaper price...HOWEVER people being rude as your emailer was, is unacceptable! Good for you to stand up for yourself!

miss_sweetstory Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 10:05am
post #38 of 116

My grandfather used to say, "Good manners are the lubrication of a civilized society."

What is with people these days?

OP, I think you handled this well.

Curtsmin24 Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 10:09am
post #39 of 116
Quote:
Quote:

as said, it is what it is. People don't understand pricing and never will. They are so worried about saving a dollar that they don't look to a bakery to do their cake, knowing the prices there can be very expensive, so they look at other means... the homebaker or cake hobbyist as I am. Heck even I look at the prices for cakes and just shake my head how expensive they are custom or not, even buying at Sam's or Walmart...(I love them by the way) however, I still see 20 dollars as being a lot for a cake at sams or walmart but I understand pricing....
I shrill when someone asks me how much I would charge for a cake.... cuz I know they want cheap and what they see as cheap isn't what they would see for a cake that I would do.... I'm going through this right now. Not sure what to do myself. I made a free wedding cake for a dear friend of mine as a wedding gift (she wanted to pay for it, but I knew I wanted to give it to her.) Now another friend here at work asked me to do 3 cakes for her. A baby shower cake, a bridal shower cake and a wedding cake. I already done the baby shower cake. She gave me NOTHING for it. She bought the ingredients, picked it up, everything....so I kind of felt bad asking for reimbursement for my time. Now I am faced with doing her other two cakes. She has asked me how much the other two cakes would be.... I told her I would get back to her. When I asked another friend here that also does cakes (beautiful ones!) how much she would charge for the cakes she wanted, showed her pics etc..... of course her prices were 250 minimum for one and for the wedding cake 400.... so I am trying to come up with stuff to show her how much the cakes would be in a bakery, and in a supermarket. Show her how much it comes up with on a cake matrix and then tell her a minimum of 100 for my cakes...each cake that is. I'm just sick over it...so I can see where people think prices are bad and why they go to Sam's etc.... I don't pick at Sam's or walmart for what they do it's great for what it is, but I also don't pick at the person looking for a cheaper price...HOWEVER people being rude as your emailer was, is unacceptable! Good for you to stand up for yourself!




I know what you mean. I had the same scenario happen in January. A former classmate (from the culinary school) asked me to make her daughter a cake and paid for the ingredients. I made everything from scratch and she was here to see the baking portion only. It was a puzzle cake so there was extra work involved. She was going to pay me but her mother was technically supposed to pay for it. Apparently, the mom thought that the cake price was ridiculous and she would not pay that! I had already delivered it and the little girl looked so happy. (I didn't have the heart to leave with it) I made tinkerbells house and a gumpaste tinkerbell (not easy) from the movie disney fairies and I couldn't find a descent picture other than pausing the movie (and that wasn't that great). I went above and beyond and didn't get paid. She asked me to make her birthday cake in two weeks and I told her I was extremely busy and that was the end of that.
She keeps hinting about it but I am just too busy! (at least that is what I keep telling myself icon_twisted.gif )

flamingobaker Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 11:47am
post #40 of 116

More than once, I have been by the bakery at Sam's when someone was receiving their cake. The last one in particular was so SAD.

Full sheet cake for someone's 60th birthday - the only decoration besides the HUGE "H.B. Person" were some kind of weird black thunderbolt things around the edge radiating in. They were so disappointed in it. It was so stark and depressing. I'm sure it was exactly what they told Sam's they wanted - but a "CUSTOM" decorator would have explained why that wouldn't work, what would look nicer, what to add, etc.!
I wanted to give them a hug and say "come here, honey, let me teach you about cake"

But they still wouldn't've wanted to PAY!!!!

jlynnw Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 2:21pm
post #41 of 116

Not all Sams, WalMart, Chain Grocery Store decorators are that incapable. Some of us are even on CC and just may have a bit of talent. Just the laws in some state prevent home bakeries, we don't have the abilities to open our own shop and take employment where we can. It happens that some of these people do show up at our places and think they can do a discount. Some places believe in 100% cutomer satisfaction. Several brides do go to a spot here knowing all they have to do is gripe and complain about the cake and they get a refund, a full refund. One bride ordered a three teir cake and was upset the whole cake was only 14 inches tall. She wanted a bigger cake. She knew exactly what she wanted and got exactly what she asked for. It happened to be a three tier cake and 3 times the 4 inches in height is 12, so she was lucky to get it to 14. The base board helped. Anyway, she was given the full refund. She was seen leaving the store laughing that they would do it.

strawberrygirl Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 3:22pm
post #42 of 116

I agree. Some of the cakes I have seen coming from these places are decorated very well, some not so much. I've seen good and bad from custom cake places as well. As far as pricing, your always going to have people that want something for nothing. I understand budgets. I understand not being able to afford a custom cake. But if you can't afford it, don't order it. I understand being broke(God knows I am) but I would never ever order something I couldn't afford and if I did I sure wouldn't ask someone to lower their prices. I also am having the issue of pricing my cakes. Sometimes when someone orders a cake from me and I give them a price, I end up feeling guilty. I shouldn't feel guilty but I do. I have looked at numerous other websites to come up with appropriate pricing for my area. And everytime I set my prices, and give someone a price they look at me like I'm crazy. My prices are not that much higher than Walmart or HEB. They can't be because of the area I live in. However, as stated above, these people are getting custom cakes. Some people just don't get that and never will. (I try to remind myself that these are the same people who go to a store and buy an outfit to wear to a special event, wear it, and then return it the next day for a refund. Yes, I know people who have done this) I am beginning to learn to not just give my cakes and time away. I am building up a steady clientele lately and just don't have the time or money to do that. I've raised my prices slightly here recently due to increaseing prices at the grocery store and most people that just want bd cakes or cookies haven't complained but it is the people wanting wedding cakes that are complaining. And I only charge $1.50 to $3.50 a slice. I guess you can't please everybody.......

Concerning the reply to her email, GOOD FOR YOU! You were a lot nicer than I probably would have been.

BeesKnees578 Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 3:36pm
post #43 of 116

If it's that easy for her. . .wouldn't you love to tell her to make it her own damn self and screw Sam's, as well, because their cakes aren't worth the price you pay for them?

I, too, am a homemade baker that doesn't used boxed mixes. I have recently gotten over the guilt of feeling like my cakes were overpriced. I am still cheaper than an established baker/fabulous designer that I know that uses some Dr.d up mixes.

I have decided - unapologetically - that my cakes are for super-special occasions. . .not your kids 3rd bday or kindergarten graduation. That is Sam's market. . .not mine. If I sense that a customer is concerned about the price because of a tight budget, I MAY come down a little, but if they want a Sam's cake, then go to Sam's. I actually have in my overview and pricing info to check with the local grocery bakery if that is what they are looking for.

You just have to find your market and realize that it's OK for someone to choose someone else. They'll come back to you when they realize it's worth it. We also need to recognize our own talents and skills. You can't be a crappy decorator (a la American Idol tryouts where no one has had the heart to tell them that their voice sucks) and charge too much.

I kind of rationalize it like this. Any cake I don't book is more time spent with my family!

I know in my heart that I am a great baker - I have won awards - and a creative, artistic and detail-oriented designer. I have been doing cakes for several years, but I am now starting to do some advertising. I know that it will take a while to "get busy", but that's OK. . .I still have a 2 year old and a preschooler at home. I wanted to be really busy, really fast. . .but why? I don't have the time to be that busy right now. . .in a year or two, that will be a different story and by then I hope to have a big client base. Until then, I take them as they come and I am very appreciative of the "word of mouth" advertising system.

Sorry about the TOTAL TANGENT. . .but I know that you ladies will listen!

yelle66 Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 3:42pm
post #44 of 116

Also, I just have to point out. I just had to order some more Pampered Chef spatulas b/c all the other brands I have, the heads keep falling off. It cost me $32 for 2! Now, did I email the company and tell them their prices are sinful and why would someone pay that much? No, I paid it b/c I know they are good quality and I am sick of paying $3 for crap ones that last me two weeks before the heads fall off. Same deal. People who order a custom cake want it to be nicer than the crap that Sam's puts out. They want their loved one's name to be spelled right and they want it to taste like cake, not preservatives.

BlondiezBakery Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 3:50pm
post #45 of 116

It is the exact same concept of buying custom tailored clothes from a highend dress shop or boutique versus Wal-Mart.

If you want to pay $10 for a pair of pants or shirt, you can guess that it is not going to fit that great. The material won't be that great of quality, and the item won't last that long.

But, if you invest a little bit more, you will get something that you are happier with, made from higher quality materials, and will be more custom to your wants.

cakesbyamym Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 5:24pm
post #46 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlynnw

Not all Sams, WalMart, Chain Grocery Store decorators are that incapable. Some of us are even on CC and just may have a bit of talent. Just the laws in some state prevent home bakeries, we don't have the abilities to open our own shop and take employment where we can. It happens that some of these people do show up at our places and think they can do a discount. Some places believe in 100% cutomer satisfaction. Several brides do go to a spot here knowing all they have to do is gripe and complain about the cake and they get a refund, a full refund. One bride ordered a three teir cake and was upset the whole cake was only 14 inches tall. She wanted a bigger cake. She knew exactly what she wanted and got exactly what she asked for. It happened to be a three tier cake and 3 times the 4 inches in height is 12, so she was lucky to get it to 14. The base board helped. Anyway, she was given the full refund. She was seen leaving the store laughing that they would do it.




I have been a cake decorator for both Winn Dixie and Food Lion grocery store chains. In the grocery/big box chains, it's all about keeping the shelves filled and the speed at which you decorate. I would never knock a person for where they work. NEVER. What I am fussing about is people expecting a unique, custom cake for the SAME price as a Sam's or a Walmart, etc. That's the exact reason that I have my prices laid out for my potential clients on my site. If they can't or won't pay my prices, it saves me the time returning a phone call to someone who will simply become irate and fuss about such "exhorbatant" prices.

When I was still at Food Lion, we had set designs, borders, decorations, etc., that we were allowed to offer and display in our cases. No creativity involved. It was simply the same designs over and over in varying colors. The idea was that no matter if you went to a FL in NC or a FL in Florida, you should be able to purchase the same exact cake design.

Those of us on CC who own shops or licensed home bakeries understand all too well the time, attention, money and sleepless hours that go into every item that leaves our business. Our orders don't just fall from the sky. You have to build and build your business over time, with honest, impeccable creations to keep the business coming back, and for satisfied clients to spread the world.

BlondiezBakery Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 5:39pm
post #47 of 116

I just went to your website, and girl, you are talented!! Man, you make some beautiful stuff!

I think there are a lot of stupid people out there, but his lady 'takes the cake' (no pun intended). For her to go to your webiste and see your high quality of work, she is a moron! Good job on your response to her, by the way.

I was also thinking about another thing I would have liked to say to that woman..............

'Do you think I am trying to make money off of you, or drive the prices up? Making cakes has not made me rich, and I certainly hope that you are not suggesting that I have, what you might consider, high prices b/c I am trying to make a few extra dollars off of you. My pricing is the way it is, because it encompases all costs, time, and overhead that is required to make the cakes that I do. This isn't a profit driven business, I do this because I love it, and I love seeing the responses of my clients when they know they have received something unique and special to them.

jlynnw Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 5:57pm
post #48 of 116

I hate doing the same old cake every weekend! the creativity is left for cakes I make at home. You do awesome work and should not have to justify to any one your prices. I am just saying that even at the stores, people try and get something for nothing with the attitude it is just flour, sugar and eggs that you slap the icing on. How can it be that much? Seriously, people everywhere expect something for nothing. It is just not the custom shops.

juleebug Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 6:10pm
post #49 of 116

jlynnw -
Looking at your photos, it's easy to see how gifted you are. It must be difficult to "stifle" that and create the same designs over and over at your job. You have my full respect and admiration.

flamingobaker Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 6:33pm
post #50 of 116

I don't think my previous post came across correctly, so to clarify:

There are times that people are not happy with a Sam's cake:
not because the decorator is bad, but because they have an idea in their head (of a special custom cake) and it does not turn out the way they imagined (because the decorator is in assembly line mode).

I thought I was confirming the OP's problem - some people want CUSTOM, but are only willing to pay for cookie cutter cakes.

(OMG, that is not a dig against cookie decorators, either icon_biggrin.gif )

jlynnw Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 6:40pm
post #51 of 116

understand. I am saying some people come in to an assembly line do it like in the book that millions of other brides already have had and want a cheaper price. Some even scoff at the thought of a 1/4 sheet cake costing $12.99. Like it is so cheap and easy to do! I want to yell go price it for yourself. The box mix and cans of frosting will be at least that! icon_mad.gif

MichelleM77 Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 6:49pm
post #52 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by KrissieCakes



I picked up a $5 package of mini cuppies at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago (the huge dollop of icing on each one just looked so good!). When I got home I noticed that the expiration date on the package was March 31. A whole month! What do that put in those things that they are good for an entire month???




Funny you should ask. I get a bakery magazine that has an ad for an additive you can put in your baked goods to make them last 60 days!!! Ew!

MichelleM77 Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 6:50pm
post #53 of 116

Oops! Ha ha, looks like me and indydebi get the same magazine. I hadn't gotten past page 1 when I posted.

tx_cupcake Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 11:59pm
post #54 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmo

well, welcome to the "Go to Sam's because its cheaper club!" A friend wanted a cake for her husbands retirement party. She wanted cake for 60 people. I offered a 12 x 18 for $50.00. Well, she called back later and told me that she will be ordering from Sam's club. She wanted an airbrushed picture of him.




icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
I just had a vision of what that airbrushed picture probably looked like!!!
Talk about Cheesy McCheeseBall!

Wesha Posted 12 Mar 2009 , 2:20am
post #55 of 116

Yes, it urks me when you put your time and effort into making a cake beautiful and tastful and customers want to pay dirt cheap prices comparing you to Walmart, Sam's, and everybody else. BTW, I was browsing CL and a bride posted an ad looking for someone to make her a wedding cake AND a groom's cake for the meer price of $200.00. icon_eek.gif . I just laughed and kept surfing the net.

Wesha

jlynnw Posted 12 Mar 2009 , 2:31am
post #56 of 116

ooh ooh pick me pick me. I want to make a small no talent cake! icon_lol.gif

I want to know if it is an airbrushed cake or a photo cake. I can only image that birthday cake. We were at the store(Sam's) today, i saw a cake go out. One of those "Designer Kit Cakes", the princess castle. I was so embarassed. The lady was looking at it and then at the picture in the book and then at the cake. She was like, I thought it would look more like the picture. The decorator was like, it is just like the picture. The lady suggested she get glasses and walked off. Deco says you forgot your cake. The lady said, "I WILL NEVER FORGET THAT CAKE!" icon_eek.gif I casually walked past and noticed the cake, (yeah, I am a nosey nose). The decorator looks at the other and wanted to know what was up. OMG, It did NOT look like the picture except for the plastic parts.

BlondiezBakery Posted 12 Mar 2009 , 3:46am
post #57 of 116

jlynnw...no freaking way! I can't imagine seeing that kind of drama unfold, and of course with you being a cake expert. That is awesome!

too bad you didn't snap a pic for cake wrecks.

needless to say if it weren't for 'big box cakes'..that blog wouldn't be in business.

****Next time a customer complains about pricing, just send her a link to cake wrecks, and tell her 'THIS IS WHY PEOPLE PAY MORE MONEY FOR CUSTOM CAKES!!'

jlynnw Posted 12 Mar 2009 , 4:14am
post #58 of 116

I am, by no means, an expert! It was totally freaky! I just didn't know how to get a pic. "uhmm, excuse me but that crappy cake she didn't want, do you mind if I take a picture of it. Ya' know just to have a sample of your uhmm, quality workmanship?" I have seen smoother cottage cheese! I felt like a stalker - just checking out all the buns and wondering if I wanted a torpedo roll or a hoogie, not paying any attention to that crap that they think looks like the picture. I am sure it tasted better than it looked. Seriously, it HAD to taste better than it looked. We all know that taste! thumbsdown.gif

juleebug Posted 12 Mar 2009 , 4:56am
post #59 of 116

jlynnw -
What a perfect opportunity! You should have chased that woman out of there and given her your phone # and the URL of your CC gallery.

maryjsgirl Posted 12 Mar 2009 , 5:29am
post #60 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesha

Yes, it urks me when you put your time and effort into making a cake beautiful and tastful and customers want to pay dirt cheap prices comparing you to Walmart, Sam's, and everybody else. BTW, I was browsing CL and a bride posted an ad looking for someone to make her a wedding cake AND a groom's cake for the meer price of $200.00. icon_eek.gif . I just laughed and kept surfing the net.

Wesha




At least she was trying to pay! On my city's CL there is an ad from some chick asking for a free dj, flowers, cake, tux, RINGS, and dress!!! I have been so tempted to email her a reality check.

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