Haggling....if You Can Do It At Circuit City, Why Not Cake?

Decorating By CakeDiva73 Updated 22 Mar 2009 , 11:36pm by xstitcher

CakeDiva73 Posted 17 Mar 2009 , 5:41am
post #1 of 33

I thought I noticed a bit more griping and whining about prices lately, and of course we are all used to that. But lately, when I say what I can or can't do within someone's budget, it's like I'M the one being unreasonable!!!

So yesterday when I saw the news header for Yahoo and Excite I noticed the bit about consumers being in charge now and no longer taking things at their ticket prices.... they are haggling for refridgerators, stereos, big screen tv's - even at big stores known for having a no-haggling policy.

Best Buy, Circuit City - so do you think that's why in addition to the scornful look of "it's only cake" I am also getting a bit of self-righteous attitude too?

Has any one else had more aggressive price-shopping and due you think it might be the haggling tickle-down effect?

32 replies
JanH Posted 17 Mar 2009 , 6:01am
post #2 of 33

I think the huge press about the "bad" economy has some folks thinking that "any and everything" can be had for much less just for the asking.....

We just placed our house on the market (very competitively priced to sell quickly) and the 1st day it was offered, the 1st people who saw it did place an offer - at $15,000.00 less than the asking price.

If they can't afford it, they can't afford it. We're not "motivated" to give it away....

CakeDiva73 Posted 17 Mar 2009 , 4:04pm
post #3 of 33

I guess I am just seeing a bit of irony. In a bad economy, maybe as customers we should scale back our needs. Pass on the new tv or surround sound, try to get things second hand, etc. rather than trying to get a bunch of new stuff dirt cheap. But maybe that's all part of it. If everyone stops spending altogether, it all falls apart.

I just had a contact with a customer who was originally going to order about a $220 cake.....now with all the addon's, cupcakes & truffles, she is at about $450. When I spoke with her aunt (who I think was supposed to be footing the bill icon_eek.gif ) she almost had a heartattack. And I couldn't help but feel guilty.

Which I know is ridiculous since I gave her 20% off the cake and she ordered a 3 tiered fondant cake with gumpaste flowers. *sigh* I know, grow a backbone........

littlecake Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 12:11am
post #4 of 33

i started a collection of budget cakes for people with money issues...it seems to be going over very well.

brandywinecakes Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 1:05am
post #5 of 33

littlecake, just curious what a budget cake would be like. A few of the obvious things come to mind, but how would you describe it? I only do cakes as a hobby. However, I have had many people ask me to make cakes for them, yet they aren't interested in paying what they are worth to me. If I had a collection of budget cakes, I might be more accommodating. Thanks!

jewelykaye Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 2:37am
post #6 of 33

Littlecake, I also would like to know what you do for budget cakes.

indydebi Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 3:09am
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by JanH


We just placed our house on the market (very competitively priced to sell quickly) and the 1st day it was offered, the 1st people who saw it did place an offer - at $15,000.00 less than the asking price.




See, I say they have a bad realtor. We've bought a few houses in our lifetime and one, that had been on the market less than two weeks, our realtor told us it was a bad idea to send a low offer. Another, which had been on the market for months, the same realtor said it was prime for a lower offer. A good realtor would know that a house that had been on the market for ONE DAY would be insulted by a low-ball offer like that! (I mean the OWNERS would be insulted, not the HOUSE would be insulted. icon_redface.gif )

Haggling over appliances 'n such is not news. People have been doing it for years. Everytime I bought a new appliance, I never paid full price for it. It's not news ... but it's a story because of the current economic winds.

We bought a new stove from an appliance store that was literally 2 blocks from our house. We refused to pay the $50 delivery fee. She said it was absolutely not waivable. We told her, "You write it up anyway you want, but it's a deal breaker ... we are NOT paying you $50 to deliver it 2 blocks." She took $50 off of the price of the stove.

LaBellaFlor Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 3:40am
post #8 of 33

I personally feel a massed produced t.v. is haggable, especially since you know they start off with an incredible mark up. You think that price is a reflection of a bottom line price, nope. Our cakes on the other hand are custom made creations, for just that one person, that we price at actual cost with some profit so that we can pay our bills. I'm not haggling with anybody for prices on a cake. I understand times are tough, we should all learn to live with in our means, so that may mean that you don't get that high-end custom made cake, you get Wal-Mart. icon_smile.gif

luvsfreebies72 Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 3:45am
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

I personally feel a massed produced t.v. is haggable, especially since you know they start off with an incredible mark up. You think that price is a reflection of a bottom line price, nope. Our cakes on the other hand are custom made creations, for just that one person, that we price at actual cost with some profit so that we can pay our bills. I'm not haggling with anybody for prices on a cake. I understand times are tough, we should all learn to live with in our means, so that may mean that you don't get that high-end custom made cake, you get Wal-Mart. icon_smile.gif


ITA 100%!

littlecake Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 5:22am
post #10 of 33

I got the idea from a thread that was on here a few months ago about 99.00 wedding cakes.

mine are 125.00

10/8/6

all white cake...no flavor choices, all buttercream...no fondant

no tastings, no deliveries, no long consults.

i've been doing cakes about 10 years now, so there are a few i can do super fast....like the ones with dots and a ribbon border..(real ribbon, no fondant)

the scroll cake with buttercream roses....and a few others...i did up 5 models....(i just bought a new camera today...if i can figger out how to use it tomorrow i'll post pics)

when i was doing the dummies i timed myself to be sure it would be worth it...i averaged 90 minutes on them....

anyhoo...they are really selling like hotcakes....

last week i did one, and a "real moneymaker" 4 tier cake that had A LOT of piping on it.

i knew then i'd much rather do multiples of these than the 1 difficult cake.

people seem really grateful to get a nice cake, when they can't afford an expensive one.....

the people on budgets get overlooked a lot in this biz.

it usually takes them 10 minutes or less to order ....then sometimes add a grooms cake.

anyhoo...it's been working well for me, i haven't offered them for very long, and have gotten 10 orders already...it's exciting.....

LaBellaFlor Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 5:31am
post #11 of 33

That is a wonderful plan you've worked out. Do you get anyone who wants to add extras to the cake? How do you handle that?

ClassyMommy Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 5:52am
post #12 of 33

I'm 26 and in my entire life, I have lived in a world of..."you pay the sticker price"...except for cars. What is the deal there? I mean, car salesmen have been well known for being schmucks. But everything else I have just went and bought for what it is priced at. I have personally seen a change. Now, you can haggle for everything like it is a garage sale. Even family pictures. It is all kinda strange to me, and I don't feel comfortable asking, but other people are more bold then me.

Oh yeah, and littlecake, I love your idea for budget cakes. thumbs_up.gif

kansaslaura Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 6:14am
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeDiva73


....So yesterday when I saw the news header for Yahoo and Excite I noticed the bit about consumers being in charge now and no longer taking things at their ticket prices....




Rant:

Customers have ALWAYS been in charge. It didn't seem important to most of them to bother with haggling or bargain hunt when the plastic was so easy to whip out.

What has happened to the economy is not political-- it happened because of greed. Did anyone REALLY think it could go on forever? I never could understand how people could afford to even make the payments on all the toys and gizmos they had! We buy when we can afford.

If a customer can't afford a cake creation, they can't afford it. No one should be made to feel like they owe anyone a cake of any kind! If they can't afford it, then it's up to THEM to figure it out. I get SO sick and tired of the entitled attitude that has engulfed this country!

If Best Buy doesn't want to come down on the fridge you want to buy, you have it in the power of the widdle little feet that carried you in the store to carry you right back out! I'm about to enter the phase of life when I yell back at the TV if I hear much more about the POOR customers!! HEY TV person--- try being a merchant in these times!

Bah!!
Sorry for the rant, but my my I feel better!

thumbs_up.gif

Getus Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 11:41am
post #14 of 33

Well, I guess Circuit City has haggled themselves right out of business. I don't know about anywhere else, but here in the midwest, Circuit City stores closed their doors last week.
I guess people are always welcome to attempt to a better price...but we certainly don't have to participate. I simply say I'm sorry, but this is my "best" price. icon_wink.gif

tcakes65 Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 1:10pm
post #15 of 33

I don't believe it's all about the state of the economy. It could be thriving, and people would still want to haggle with cake prices. Brides negotiate because they know they can. Most brides I come in contact with will visit 4-5 cake businesses at a minimum in an attempt to get the best price for their cake. Once they receive estimates, let the games begin. They come back and ask if I can match or beat my competitor's price of which I say my offer stands. The problem is that some businesses will play the game in order to get the contract. Brides know they can find someone out there that will undercut prices and give them what they want. I had a bride recently that wanted a 5-tier fondant wedding cake with approximately 50 gumpaste flowers on it to serve 150 - 200 people. She wanted to pay $300 for it. icon_surprised.gif She went to several bakeries to get quotes and took all of the quotes she collected to other businesses in an attempt to get what she wanted. In the end it worked, and she was able to get that 5-tiered fondant cake at the price she wanted.

I think some people just have no idea what is involved in making cakes. I had one guy tell me recently that it's really easy to make cakes, and that I should be able to bake and decorate a 4 or 5-tier wedding cake in 2 hours. icon_eek.gif ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!! I almost fell out of my chair. So from his perspective, he said I should give him a wedding cake to serve 150 guests for $100 - $150 because it's so easy. icon_confused.gif He really thought at some point I would cave and give him what he wanted. icon_rolleyes.gif

I also believe part of the problem is the numerous articles out there in magazines and online that disrespect our industry and advise brides they can get their cake for a relatively low price, and all they have to do is negotiate with the baker. When brides hear this over and over again from so called "experts", they are inclined to think negotiating is what they are supposed to do whether they are on a strict budget or not.

LaBellaFlor Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 2:53pm
post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCC

I don't believe it's all about the state of the economy. It could be thriving, and people would still want to haggle with cake prices. Brides negotiate because they know they can. Most brides I come in contact with will visit 4-5 cake businesses at a minimum in an attempt to get the best price for their cake. Once they receive estimates, let the games begin. They come back and ask if I can match or beat my competitor's price of which I say my offer stands. The problem is that some businesses will play the game in order to get the contract. Brides know they can find someone out there that will undercut prices and give them what they want. I had a bride recently that wanted a 5-tier fondant wedding cake with approximately 50 gumpaste flowers on it to serve 150 - 200 people. She wanted to pay $300 for it. icon_surprised.gif She went to several bakeries to get quotes and took all of the quotes she collected to other businesses in an attempt to get what she wanted. In the end it worked, and she was able to get that 5-tiered fondant cake at the price she wanted.

I think some people just have no idea what is involved in making cakes. I had one guy tell me recently that it's really easy to make cakes, and that I should be able to bake and decorate a 4 or 5-tier wedding cake in 2 hours. icon_eek.gif ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!! I almost fell out of my chair. So from his perspective, he said I should give him a wedding cake to serve 150 guests for $100 - $150 because it's so easy. icon_confused.gif He really thought at some point I would cave and give him what he wanted. icon_rolleyes.gif

I also believe part of the problem is the numerous articles out there in magazines and online that disrespect our industry and advise brides they can get their cake for a relatively low price, and all they have to do is negotiate with the baker. When brides hear this over and over again from so called "experts", they are inclined to think negotiating is what they are supposed to do whether they are on a strict budget or not.


I TOTALLY agree with you. Those magazines always say to haggle with every one, but it seems they focus more on the cake as the easiest & more likely place to get a discount. NOT! They aslo tell brides they can book their cakes out in about 3 months, maybe at Wal-Mart, but not here! I would like them to tell me how long do they think it takes to make 125 gumpaste roses, certainly not 2 hours! Do they even realize the skill & time it goes into making those flowers, NO! We have a specialized craft that requires skill. I'm sure they don't question wether or not Vera Wang is negotiable! Okay, soory, just my rant. icon_smile.gif

cgcreation Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 8:57pm
post #17 of 33

I come from a long line of hagglers. My family motto is "If's it's not on sale, it can be." I got a great deal on my big screen because I was willing to argue with the Best buy guy.

However, there are some things I refuse to haggle with. Some things are just that price no matter what. When my heater broke, it did not haggle with the repair man because I wanted heat. At my wedding, (oh, so long ago!) I did not haggle with the bakery, dress shop or floral. I did haggle with my dad for more money, which didn't work. If I couldn't afford what I wanted, I got something I could. It happens, deal with it.

Point is: Some people are natural hagglers and we all have to deal with it at some point. Just stick to your guns and don't back down because the cakes you create are a piece of artwork.

Would you haggle for the price of an original DaVinci?

littlecake Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 12:15am
post #18 of 33

yay my camera worked ok...i posted my budget cakes...they should be posted in 30 minutes....

christeena Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 1:00am
post #19 of 33

littlecake,

what are your tier sizes and servings on your budget cakes??

littlecake Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 2:53am
post #20 of 33

10/8/6

it feeds about 75 people...

Gefion Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 5:18am
post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCC



I think some people just have no idea what is involved in making cakes. I had one guy tell me recently that it's really easy to make cakes, and that I should be able to bake and decorate a 4 or 5-tier wedding cake in 2 hours. icon_eek.gif ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!! I almost fell out of my chair. So from his perspective, he said I should give him a wedding cake to serve 150 guests for $100 - $150 because it's so easy. icon_confused.gif He really thought at some point I would cave and give him what he wanted. icon_rolleyes.gif




You slapped him - right? Right? Please tell me you slapped him!

I would have.

keconnell08 Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 8:13am
post #22 of 33

The prices of ingredients have gone up. AND....You are not selling an overly marked-up, mass produced item. You are creating a handmade "not from the superstore" yummy piece of art.

Not everyone can afford a Mercedes icon_rolleyes.gif

yellobutterfly Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 2:11pm
post #23 of 33

Wow - where have I been, Circuit City and Best Buy prices are negotiable??

I have haggled at garage sales (only on things that were vastly overpriced), haggled for cars...but would never think to do it for appliances at a chain store (I thought the sticker price was "THE" price)??

However, I would NEVER haggle on cake! (Or give in to a haggler for cake)

indydebi Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 9:38pm
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by yellobutterfly

Wow - where have I been, Circuit City and Best Buy prices are negotiable??

I have haggled at garage sales (only on things that were vastly overpriced), haggled for cars...but would never think to do it for appliances at a chain store (I thought the sticker price was "THE" price)??




Heck, I have an aunt who haggled on LAMPS!

yellobutterfly Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 9:45pm
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by yellobutterfly

Wow - where have I been, Circuit City and Best Buy prices are negotiable??

I have haggled at garage sales (only on things that were vastly overpriced), haggled for cars...but would never think to do it for appliances at a chain store (I thought the sticker price was "THE" price)??



Heck, I have an aunt who haggled on LAMPS!




roflol!

tracycakes Posted 21 Mar 2009 , 11:32pm
post #26 of 33

I hate haggling! You put a price on it, if I'm willing to pay it, I will but if I'm not, I walk away. It's one of the reasons I despise buying a new car.

The only time we ever wiggle on a price is selling a house. We've bought and sold quite a few over the years. Once, we had just put a house on the market and got a lowball offer on the first day. My husband haggled... he raised the price above our asking price. The buyers realized real quickly that they couldn't mess with us and we were able to make a deal.

I love a good deal but haggling wears me out.... thumbsdown.gif

Lorendabug Posted 22 Mar 2009 , 12:04am
post #27 of 33

With the economy the way it is people are not shopping like they used to. So, in turn retailers are doing anything to make the sale. It all comes down to the mighty dollar and the end of the day in retail. If I beat my sales plan for the day, markdowns don't matter so much. A few dollars off is nothing when you look at the big picture. We don't haggle on price where I work, but we do have a low price guarantee. All a customer has to do is say they say it cheaper somewhere else and they get a discount. Some retailers will do whatever they have to make the sale.

cb_one Posted 22 Mar 2009 , 4:02am
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

yay my camera worked ok...i posted my budget cakes...they should be posted in 30 minutes....




ok..i'm going to have to steal your idea. over the past month i've had 3 brides turn me down because of my prices. $4/serving for weddings.
I don't short-change myself anymore because of the high prince in ingrediants, but i've I had thought of this I probably would have kept the client.

xstitcher Posted 22 Mar 2009 , 4:35am
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

yay my camera worked ok...i posted my budget cakes...they should be posted in 30 minutes....




Your green one with the pink flowers is my favourite.

How much would you say you spend on these altogether from start to finish (mixing, baking, cleaning, decorating etc.). I don't sell cakes, in fact I just make it for my kids but I'm always interested to know. icon_smile.gif

littlecake Posted 22 Mar 2009 , 6:00pm
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by xstitcher

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

yay my camera worked ok...i posted my budget cakes...they should be posted in 30 minutes....



Your green one with the pink flowers is my favourite.

How much would you say you spend on these altogether from start to finish (mixing, baking, cleaning, decorating etc.). I don't sell cakes, in fact I just make it for my kids but I'm always interested to know. icon_smile.gif




it was already baked and in the freezer...but i did one yesterday in under an hour....i'll post a pic of it today or tomorrow if i get back up to the shop.

when you do things in mass it's hard to determine the baking time....i miscounted last week, and had to bake 1 half sheet that was due that day....i swear it seems to take almost as long doing one as a whole big batch.

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