nolee Posted 22 Mar 2009 , 7:46pm
post #1 of

I'm so excited! Next weekend I'll be selling cupcakes at the local farmers market for the first time!

I've broken down my costs for everything from space rental to ingredients and packaging. I'll be selling my cupcakes by the 1/2 dozen to which my total cost is $2.34 for each 1/2 dozen. I figured I would sell the 1/2 dozens for $8.00 each. Does that sound like too much or too little? In comparison to other local bakeries who charge upwards of $3 per cupcake, I'm much cheaper at only $1.33 per cupcake, mainly because I dont have the overheard of an actual storefront. I would appreciate any insight anyone may have to offer as to whether they think I should be charging more or less.

Thanks!

39 replies
Niliquely Posted 22 Mar 2009 , 9:32pm
post #2 of

I think it depends on the area and what people are paying for cupcakes...I charge $1.00/cuppie or $10 a dozen, but that is only because I live in rural western Nebraska where people are not as willing to pay as much. Plus I don't know that my cupcakes are worth more than that... they are just plain cupcake flavors with SMBC swirls! I would guess decorated cupcakes would be worth more...

Juds2323 Posted 23 Mar 2009 , 12:52am
post #3 of

In your figured did you allow for the cost of your time? for example if it takes you 1 hour to make a dozen and you pay yourself 10 an hour that 5 buck labor for each 1/2 dozen. Don't forget your time is worth money too.

JMO

Judi

leah_s Posted 23 Mar 2009 , 1:57am
post #4 of

Also, you do the rest of us a great disservice by pricing so low. How am I gonna justify charging $2.50 per cupcake (and up) if you're willing to underprice by so much?

OhMyGanache Posted 23 Mar 2009 , 2:21am
post #5 of

Don't forget to factor in waste. Do you think you're going to sell ALL of your cupcakes?

I hated selling at the farmer's market. I could never calculate accurately what would sell each week and I always had more waste than I would have liked. I charged more for the stuff I sold to account for the stuff I had to make - but that didn't sell. I also had to pay for parking and gas.

nolee Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 1:08am
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by leahs

Also, you do the rest of us a great disservice by pricing so low. How am I gonna justify charging $2.50 per cupcake (and up) if you're willing to underprice by so much?


Leahs, I'm not in any way trying to undercut anyone else's business. But, I not having "professional pastry chef" on my resume, I wouldn't feel right charging what I don't necessarily feel my work it worth. I'm not saying I'm a terrible cake decorator, but by far my abilities lack in comparison to many I've seen on CC. I have a a handful of years of experience, not decades like many who've earned the right to charge more for their expertise.
Like I also mentioned, being a home baker, I dont have the outrageous overhead of a storefront to have to pay for. I'm just trying to get my foot in the door, and spread word of mouth about my business and try to build a larger portfolio.

People who come to me for cakes are doing so knowing that I don't have the incredible years of experience and education that others do. I've never taken a cake course in my life. I just picked up a spatula one day and decided I wanted to make a cake. After that I fell in love with it.

My cost per cupcake is $.13 (without my time) so I figured that what I was charging was reasonable. I work in an upscale bakery and the number of people whose jaws drop when I tell them that one dozen cupcakes will cost $32 is astonishing. I even have trouble justifying that price because these cuppies are iced/decorated as I would normally do them at home.

In no way am I trying to undercut someone else's business, but people who arent willing to pay that amount wouldn't be clients at that establishment in any case because of the price. So I'm not stealing business from another, I'm offering those who can't necessarily afford those prices another option. Thats all.

JP Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 1:34am
post #7 of

The arguments about undercutting are so tiresome! If your market will only tolerate $8.00 for six cupcakes and you feel that the profit is worth your time, your price is right on. If you are interested in volume, you price your goods to move, while still putting money in your pocket. That should be your guide. Spending the day at the farmer's market with cupcakes priced at $2.50 each in a market where the threshold is $1.50 is not smart business. Best of luck!

Don't let others make you feel responsible for the success or failure of other bakers. You saw a market for lower priced, delicious goods and are attempting to find your niche - Go for it!

snarkybaker Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 2:09am
post #8 of

I am going to encourage you to charge at least $15.00 for your 1/2 dozen cupcakes. Let me tell you why...people who want luxury items want LUXURY items. If you ever want to be able to sell an $8 a slice wedding cake, you can't be known as the $1. cupcake lady from the farmers market. We have the most expensive cupcake in our area, and we still sell more cupcakes BY FAR than anyone within 50 miles of us. In tough economic times, people want to treat themselves. If they are looking to save money, they will buy a cake mix and the cake mix doctor book and make them at home. They want to think of their treat as special, and there is nothing special about a $1 cupcake. Think of your marketing image. Don't be pennywise and pound foolish.

JMO.

BlondiezBakery Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 4:55am
post #9 of

I would charge more. Speaking as a cupcake fanatic, I have certain expectations that go along with price. I have made it my personal mission to drive around Dallas in search of my next favorite cupcake. If I go somewhere and the cupcakes are really cheap, I almost assume they won't be as good. I know...I know....crazy consumer psychology (that's why people get degrees in marketing).

I also work for a high end nat'l brewery and pricing is so important. We expect that our prices should be at a certain price due to brand image, cost of ingredients, ect. It is just something that every brand and manufacturer has to take into consideration when they are determining there place in the market. icon_smile.gif

LaBellaFlor Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 5:09am

Good Luck! icon_biggrin.gif

Bluehue Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 5:17am

How wondeful for you - great to see you have a chance to sell your little creations - ENJOY your day and after day one then you will know whether what you charged was correct.


One hint i can offer - take some pretty cloths with you to place on your tressle/tables and if you have time buy a little bunch of fresh flowers and pop in a vase - it looks so *homely* when your stall is set up. thumbs_up.gif


I am happy for you and wishing you a wonderful day.

Bh. icon_smile.gificon_smile.gif

lostincake Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 5:46am

I agree with Bluehue - and Good Luck!

ambolil Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 6:39am

This is a difficult situation that we all face.

We are preparing to open a Bakery in our hometown. I love the surrounding towns, the buisness they have to offer and the enviroment you experience when you are there. I shop there because of the experience...something different, fun and new. It is a treat. I want to bring that to our hometown. Our hometown is growing, but there are few buisness like the one I will open. Again, I am hoping to start that trend and pull people to the enviroment that we are attmempting to create.

Our plan is to have a specialty cake shop/bakery. Thus far everything has gone well for us. The bottom line..... we are all concerned about what people are willing to splurge on (and/or how much to splurge). The Chamber of Commerce had one concern...pricing our goods out of the range of the town. (I do not feel that is the case) They want to ensure that we would survive as a buisness, and so do we. Marketing and they way people perceive you is huge and will ultimately decide what the consumer will be willing to pay and the extent they will go to get your product. If you can market to people in outlying towns, then you'll make up for who you don't catch in your town. You have to offer services/goods like no one else. Everyone needs to get the instant craving for your cupcakes as your name is spoken. Not everyone can afford everything and you can't meet everyone's needs. Marketing to the mid-upper range of the community should be profitable for you and will still allow the grand majority to taste your wonderful treats. Like people have said before, Walmart is always available for cake orders for those that need a more budget friendly option. I get both sides of the fence and I think you have to use your best judgement to ensure that you find a happy medium. One that you can continue to build your reputation and still be within the budget of your clients. You'll figure it out!

nolee Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 12:10pm

I appreciate everyone's comments. I know there's a lot of talk of undercutting other businesses that goes on here on CC and I'm not in any way trying to stir up trouble. I definately do not want to been seen as a "low end" budget bakery. But, as someone mentioned, economic times are tough and thats my other concern. Speaking personally, I can hardly justify splurging on things right now, and maybe I'm feeling others wont either. Since January, I've already noticed that my cake sales have flopped.
What I was considering was having three level price points for my cupcakes. I'd have my basic white or chocolate cupcakes piped with a rosette in BC or Ganache, a mid-level cupcake piped a little more intricately and maybe injected with filling and a gourmet cupcake in one of my signature flavours, iced in BC with fondant or decosponge accenting. i also figured on making a couple of cupcake bouquets for display, especially because it's leading up to easter. Maybe some NFSC bouquets as well.

I'm aiming for middle of the road with prices. Not quite as high as luxury gourmet bakeries but not quite as low as one local baker who offers her 1/2 dozen at $5.99 (CDN!!! consider what that is in US$!!!) the problem with this baker is that she's gained a lot of popularity with schools and families because of her price and also the fact that she's a nut-free bakery that also eliminates 7 common allergens from her baked goods. They're egg-free, nut free, dairy-free etc. Frankly I dont see how she's making any profit whatsoever. But again, it's hard to compete with that.
I absolutely appreciate everyone's feedback on this topic, I know it can be a bone of contention here, and I fully understand why.

I intend to take everyone's feedback into consideration and reconsider my pricing. Thanks!

brandiwyne Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 12:29pm

nolee- I charged $12 for a dozen. The overpriced tag on cupcakes is crazy. So I think your price is fair and remember like Jp said "if there is a market for lower priced good in your area then by all means get in where you fit in.

cms2 Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 2:08pm

Honestly, If I'm going to pay $4 for a simple cupcake, it had better be the best tasting cupcake I have ever had. I too, go from bakery to bakery, sampling what they have to offer. The best cupcake I ever had was $1.75. I don't assume that the more expensive product is going to taste better. You hope so, but most of the time I'm really disappointed. And then I'm mad that I wasted my money.

I like the idea of dressing up your stand with table cloths and flowers. Also, I agree that there will be waste that you need to consider. I would make mini cupcakes for people to sample. If they are truly delicious, people will pay whatever price tag you put on them. I honestly think that you'll have much more in sales, if you do the samples, than if you don't. Just factor the samples into your cost. There will probably be a lot of other vendors selling baked goods. I think the display and samples can really set you apart, regardless of price. Also, be sure to have your business cards, your labels with your phone #, etc. Every person is a potential customer for cakes down the road, even if they don't buy something from you that day. Be positive, smile, and look like your having fun! People will gravite towards you. Good luck!

Kiddiekakes Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 2:47pm

Okay..I am gonna step in and give my 2 cents worth icon_wink.gif I live in a large Canadian city...over 1 million people.There is 1 major cupcake place here that just opened up their second location.They charge $2.95 per cupcake $36.00 per dozen and many times they are out before 1pm and they don't rebake!! They are lined up always...and for why..I'm not sure because I have had their cupcakes and they are not that good. thumbsdown.gif Same old dry cake and sweet gritty icing just swirled ontop.They package them up in these expensive brown boxes with satin ribbon so that is probably where your money is going to is to pay for the expensive packaging!!Now having said that....the marketing idea is working!! Yes...the economy is playing a huge role in what people are spending their money on but I don't see coffee places like Tim Horton's or Starbucks parking lots empty...rather busier than ever.People want a treat that is affordable like coffee and a cupcake.They will pay a bit more for a good..and bad product for that matter..they just don't know the difference between a Great cupcake like we bake icon_wink.gificon_wink.gif .You have to stay within the pricing ranges of your area though and I understand that...economics will determine that but don't assume that you have to be cheap to get business.I wouldn't charge less than $2.00 a cupcake anywhere because it takes alot of time to do cupcakes even with just a swirl ontop!I can't see anyone making a cupcake for less JMO icon_biggrin.gif As for overhead....customers don't need to know if you have overhead..Go to the Farmers Market and set out your goods and be confident that what you bake is the best in town...and price it at that!! If people don't buy then you can adjust for the week after but don't give your goods away! I was at a bake sale at Christmas and ladies who had different tables were selling pastries/turnovers for 6/$8.00 and cupcakes for $2.50 each and breads for $3-4 a loaf etc...the tables were empty!! And me..I just wanted a home made cinnamon bun and I paid $8.00 for 6 and they were dam good!! thumbs_up.gif Good luck at the market!!

zoey2jack Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 5:55pm

I agree that you definitely have to look at what people in your area are willing to pay (within reason). I live in a small town that has only grocery store bakeries so I have try to be somewhat reasonable. Having said that, I will also not give my product away for free or with hardly any profit. If I did that then I would have to ask myself "Why am I doig this?" I am amazed your cupcakes only cost you .13. Do you bake from scratch or use a mix? I bake from scratch and even my basic vanilla with vanilla buttercream cupcakes cost at least .30 each. Did you inlcude packaging, the baking cup, etc? If so I would love to know how you get them down to that price. Mine are $1.50 for basic vanilla or chocolate with vanilla buttercream and 1.75-2.00 for filled . I know there are still people who will say that they won't even pay that much, but they are usually the ones who want something for nothing or will just bake their own. I understand about being frugal, but if you want something that is extra special then you will have to pay for it. Remember "you get what you pay for". Good Luck!

Kiddiekakes Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 10:32pm

cakeandbakehelper888....

I see that you are new here...However being snide and making assumptions that the Original poster, or any other person in this community or otherwise, who bakes and decorates cakes for money is basically robbing people by what they charge is an extremely Rude asssumption to make. Maybe you should think about what you are typing beforehand.....and Yah...If you could get $30.00 a dozen for cupcakes then I would say Good for You!! ...Not.. "Why don't you just mug someone!!!" I mean really icon_rolleyes.gif

tonedna Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 11:26pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiddiekakes

cakeandbakehelper888....

I see that you are new here...However being snide and making assumptions that the Original poster, or any other person in this community or otherwise, who bakes and decorates cakes for money is basically robbing people by what they charge is an extremely Rude asssumption to make. Maybe you should think about what you are typing beforehand.....and Yah...If you could get $30.00 a dozen for cupcakes then I would say Good for You!! ...Not.. "Why don't you just mug someone!!!" I mean really icon_rolleyes.gif




This lady is here to create problems....you can read this post to see it for yourself icon_lol.gif
http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopicp-6308749.html#6308749

Edna thumbs_up.gif

Deb_ Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 11:31pm

lady?? Edna, you're too kind...........troll is much more appropriate icon_biggrin.gif

tonedna Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 11:33pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

lady?? Edna, you're too kind...........troll is much more appropriate icon_biggrin.gif




icon_lol.gif..you are too funny
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

Kiddiekakes Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 11:36pm

Yah yeah know..I usually keep out of these bashing threads but this one just Pissed me right off!! I mean who the HE$$ do these people think they are!!

I'm gettin too old to put up with this from Trolls!!

tonedna Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 11:43pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiddiekakes

Yah yeah know..I usually keep out of these bashing threads but this one just Pissed me right off!! I mean who the HE$$ do these people think they are!!

I'm gettin too old to put up with this from Trolls!!





Im laughing so hard...

LaBellaFlor Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 12:01am

Wow Edna, I just read that person's other post & I don't even know what to think. I wish real cake people would just stay on here & not people who don't take it serious. I may not agree with everybody on here, but I LOVE the fact that everyone's opinion is coming from actual expierence or if they don't know a lot, they are here to learn more. Everyone is here, cause they really care about their craft! This site (though this may seem pitiful on my part) actually means a lot to me. I have been in love with baking since I was a kid. I have been BLESSED with GREAT friends that are more like family. They are willing to listen to me talk cake baking & decorating stuff, but they are not interested in it. They can't really conversate back. Here is where I get to come & talk about my second favorite subject (my kids are my #1 subject of course) & everyone relates, everyone is just excited, & just everyone gets where I'm coming from & how I feel. I just think it's ridiculous for someone just to come on here to stir up trouble. And for those of you who haven't read the other thread that cakehelper person said it was robbery to charge someone $700 for a huge 4-tier cake covered in fondant, with calla lillies cascading down the side AND, get this, that from beginning to end it shouldn't take more then 3 hrs to make. WHAT!?!?! Obviously they don't know what they are talking about it. And if they are an irate customer logging on,if it's that easy make it, do it yourself or go to Wally World! Sorry everyone for taking so long. That just kind of touched a nerve, not to mention how they kept attacking Edna, someone I always see on here being helpful.

tonedna Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 12:52am
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Wow Edna, I just read that person's other post & I don't even know what to think. I wish real cake people would just stay on here & not people who don't take it serious. I may not agree with everybody on here, but I LOVE the fact that everyone's opinion is coming from actual expierence or if they don't know a lot, they are here to learn more. Everyone is here, cause they really care about their craft! This site (though this may seem pitiful on my part) actually means a lot to me. I have been in love with baking since I was a kid. I have been BLESSED with GREAT friends that are more like family. They are willing to listen to me talk cake baking & decorating stuff, but they are not interested in it. They can't really conversate back. Here is where I get to come & talk about my second favorite subject (my kids are my #1 subject of course) & everyone relates, everyone is just excited, & just everyone gets where I'm coming from & how I feel. I just think it's ridiculous for someone just to come on here to stir up trouble. And for those of you who haven't read the other thread that cakehelper person said it was robbery to charge someone $700 for a huge 4-tier cake covered in fondant, with calla lillies cascading down the side AND, get this, that from beginning to end it shouldn't take more then 3 hrs to make. WHAT!?!?! Obviously they don't know what they are talking about it. And if they are an irate customer logging on,if it's that easy make it, do it yourself or go to Wally World! Sorry everyone for taking so long. That just kind of touched a nerve, not to mention how they kept attacking Edna, someone I always see on here being helpful.




Actually what she said was that it was robbery to charge 300 for a 3 tier wedding cake, square shape, lower tier all piped hearts, second tier with cornelli lace and top tier with dots...
And that she can bake decorate and finish a 3 tier cake in 3 hours...
Kind of funny..
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

7yyrt Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 4:44pm

I think perhaps Cakeandbakehelper888 does not work in a bakery. If she did she would know how long it takes to bake and cool a 3 tier cake.
Perhaps she decorates them directly as they come hot out of the oven? Like those magical ovens where you put the batter in, and a fully decorated cake comes out in 15 minutes.
---
Not to mention she just signed up and posted 4 rude posts.
Like my new pan?
Image

stephaniescakenj Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 5:05pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7yyrt

I think perhaps Cakeandbakehelper888 does not work in a bakery. If she did she would know how long it takes to bake and cool a 3 tier cake.
Perhaps she decorates them directly as they come hot out of the oven? Like those magical ovens where you put the batter in, and a fully decorated cake comes out in 15 minutes.
---
Not to mention she just signed up and posted 4 rude posts.
Like my new pan?
Image





HA! That is freakin HILARIOUS! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif Who knew there was a troll pan out there!

tonedna Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 7:20pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7yyrt

I think perhaps Cakeandbakehelper888 does not work in a bakery. If she did she would know how long it takes to bake and cool a 3 tier cake.
Perhaps she decorates them directly as they come hot out of the oven? Like those magical ovens where you put the batter in, and a fully decorated cake comes out in 15 minutes.
---
Not to mention she just signed up and posted 4 rude posts.
Like my new pan?
Image





lmao...I didnt know there was a troll pan..

I think she uses an easy oven.. icon_lol.gif
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

Tita9499 Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 9:48pm

I think this whole situation is hilarious!

I personally am offended because everyone knows that I am Edna's cyber-stalker and I don't appreciate some troll honing in on my turf!

That being said, you have to take this fakerbakerhelper person as a joke. No photos and she wants to attack one of the best designers on this website. FRICKIN' ACD people! I highly doubt the person who wants us all to charge .30 cent a slice for our cakes so everyone in the world can eat our BC is going to show up in MAD magazine, let alone ACD.

Laugh it off everyone, Ashton Kutcher is punking all of us.

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