? What To Do When Customer Not Home For Delivery

Decorating By sandy1 Updated 14 Apr 2009 , 10:36pm by lilthorner

sandy1 Posted 11 Apr 2009 , 7:54pm
post #1 of 28

I made arrrangements to delivery a cake to a customer at a specific time. When I arrived, the woman wasn't home, she left to go shopping. Her husband acted like he had no idea a cake was going to be delivered. I'm wondering what I should have done if no one was home?!?!?! This cake was a 8x5 inch basketweave cake. I made a braided tri-colored handle with fondant, 5 inch handmade fondant bunny and filled it with candies. The filling was a strawberry cream. I charged $35 which included the delivery (half hour away). I told the woman I would like to show her how to attach the handle and position the bunny because she shouldn't refrigerate those items, just the cake. I was quite surprised she wasn't home. I had to show her husband how to do the final fixings. She never called me to cancel the delivery or change the time.

My questions:

What do you do if you have a specific delivery time and no one is home?
Should there be a delivery charge?
What is a reasonable delivery charge? (half hour - hour - etc...)
What would have been a reasonable charge for this cake?
Was $35 too much??? It took me quite some time to make the bunny.


27 replies
sandy1 Posted 11 Apr 2009 , 7:59pm
post #2 of 28

Here is a picture of the cake.

SweetMelissa2007 Posted 11 Apr 2009 , 8:08pm
post #3 of 28

Hi Sandy1,

No pic came up. $35 is extremely cheap for what you have described. I have a minimum of $50 for any cake I do as I always put a ton of time into each cake. I don't charge a delivery charge, it's part of my cake fee but I put a limit of 45min drive. Any more than that and I charge a fee or the client can meet me closer for pick up.

As far as the lady not being there, it's their own fault if the cake doesn't look right! How rude of her to not be there when you had a specified delivery time. Hopefully her husband actually paid attention to your directions!

Alice1230 Posted 11 Apr 2009 , 8:09pm
post #4 of 28

definately didn't charge too much especially with delivery included! where is the cute cake?

Skidoochic Posted 11 Apr 2009 , 8:09pm
post #5 of 28

While, I don't have an answer for you, I can say you are not alone! This has happened to me several times and it infuriates me! I don't charge a delivery charge (home baker) but I really try to make the person feel bad. icon_evil.gif

And $35.00 for that cake sounds cheap. I couldn't see the picture, but basketweave is a pain in the butt, I think.

To resolve the issue, I try to make them pick the cake up at my house and tell them I am leaving at X, if you are not here by Y, you will have to call me and reschedule. Most people get the message. However, I have never left - I don't want to get stuck with the cake either!!

Deb_ Posted 11 Apr 2009 , 8:11pm
post #6 of 28

Uh oh..........the pic is not showing up.

I always call before I leave to confirm that somebody will be there to receive the cake and sign for it. I have the person sign saying that the cake was received in perfect condition and that it was made to their specifications.

Yes, I charge for delivery depending on the size of the cake, the distance traveled, setup required, etc.

When you say 8 x 5 do you mean rectangle, or 8" round by 5 " high?

If it was an 8" rd with fondant figure I'd say they got a deal for $35.

Please try to post the pic again.

swe3ts Posted 11 Apr 2009 , 8:12pm
post #7 of 28

First of all let me say im not a pro I just make cake for family and friends, but as you describe the cake I think you way undercharged. Being that not only did she get a decorated cake but also custom designed fondant pieces and on top of all that you delivered it more than half hour away. Sorry I can answer your question on the delivery end because unless its a large tiered cake I make them pick it up no exceptions.

solascakes Posted 11 Apr 2009 , 8:12pm
post #8 of 28

Hello Sandy,i couldn't see the picture but i'm sure it was cute ,i think $35 is too cheap for what you've just described.

CelebrationCakery Posted 11 Apr 2009 , 8:15pm
post #9 of 28

It sounds like the cake was certainly under priced. How much do you charge per serving? (that is typically how they are charged)the delivery fee should have been seperate for sure. I do not know what the typical rates are for delivery. The extra detail of the bunny should have also been seperate.

sandy1 Posted 11 Apr 2009 , 9:18pm
post #10 of 28

Try this! Or go to my photos, I just started to add some of my pictures.


swe3ts Posted 11 Apr 2009 , 9:27pm
post #11 of 28

Ok I just took a look at your cake it is way adorable and yes I have to agree with some of the post this shoud have started at at least 50 dollars plus extra for the fondant pieces.

sandy1 Posted 13 Apr 2009 , 9:16pm
post #12 of 28

I never received a call from the customer. I thought she would have at least called me to tell me whether she understood my directions....oh well. Should I have called her????? She was the one who told me to deliver the cake at 2:00, I was there, she wasn't!!

Deb_ Posted 13 Apr 2009 , 9:46pm
post #13 of 28

Wow Sandy that was a beautiful cake, your basket weave was perfect. It looked like a real basket and not a cake. Great job!

If she hasn't called you I'm sure she figured it out. In the future, yes I would have called one more time to be sure she understood the assembly instructions.

Next time just call first to be sure the person will be home for delivery. I usually confirm the night before or the morning of delivery depending on the time.

Again great cake!

Kiddiekakes Posted 13 Apr 2009 , 9:55pm
post #14 of 28

This is exactly why I don't deliver unless it is a large wedding cake which I don't take on anyway!! I don't have time or money to wait around for people to decide if you are worth it or not to show up! You wasted your time to drive 30 minutes away to deliver her cake for free and she doesn't have the decency to be home! I would have taken the cake home or left it on the doorstep and let a cat or dog eat it! Don't you dare call her either....You've wasted enough of your valuable time on her...Oh..and next time if she calls for a cake..it will be "I'm Booked"

2txmedics Posted 13 Apr 2009 , 10:00pm
post #15 of 28

Wow, you under charged for this cake!!! Its a beautiful easter cake, good detail work and fondant pieces added...you needed to charge more and then deliver free? no way....

I make the customer pick up there cakes unless its a wedding cake. And even then sometimes, depends on situation.

mixinvixen Posted 13 Apr 2009 , 10:01pm
post #16 of 28

beautiful cake and job well done!! you got some mad cake skills, girl!!!

for a delivery that is over half an hour away, $35 would have just been my delivery charge!!! others on here would have charged $35 for the bunny alone. i guarantee you that you ended up making around a dollar or so per hour when you add up supplies and labor...and you're actually thinking you charged too much????????????????????

not trying to be mean here, i swear thumbs_up.gif ,but PLEASE DON'T SELL YOUR ITEMS IF YOU'RE NOT GOING TO CHARGE WHAT THEY'RE TRULY WORTH!!! IT HURTS US ALL. icon_smile.gif

adonisthegreek1 Posted 13 Apr 2009 , 10:09pm
post #17 of 28

Did you charge too much? Heck no, you charged waaay too little! Reasons you described are exactly why you get payment upfront or at least a good deposit. That way if they are a no show, or not at home...who cares?

Susie53 Posted 13 Apr 2009 , 10:09pm
post #18 of 28

sandy1, the cake is adorable! I don't sell my cakes, I just do them for my family and as a hobby, but I think you under charged! You do beautiful work!

PinkZiab Posted 13 Apr 2009 , 11:27pm
post #19 of 28

That cake is PERFECT... you are selling yourself short. You could've a TON more, plus delivery.

If I delivered a cake and no one was home, I would take the cake back and inform them that they either (a) had to come pick the cake up or (b) if they required delivery they would need to pay a second delivery charge, since I already made the trip once at the agreed-upon time. I calculate my delivery charge based on distance.

chasebrad Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 1:49am
post #20 of 28

I'm agreeing with others that you UNDER charged on this one. Great skills and attention to detail.....you need to give your skills the payment they deserve!
Such a great cake, I'd say she got a deal.

I do know how it feels to have an agreed time for pick up or delivery and the other party is not compliant with it. I mean I don't have extra time in my day to wait for others....I'm sure you don't either. At least you were paid and able to deliver to SOMEONE.

Great work on the cake!

queenie1958 Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 3:43am
post #21 of 28

Yes, undercharged for sure. Alot of work went into this lovely cake.
Beautifully done as well! your gas money alone to deliver and go back home would cut into your expenses plus supplies and time.

sandy1 Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 1:53pm
post #22 of 28

Thank you, I appreciate the comments on my cake. I loved the bunny!
It's unforunate that some customers take our time for granted. In the future I will let my customers know they will need to pick up their cakes or there will be a delivery charge.
Thanks again,

Monkess Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 3:33pm
post #23 of 28

Sandy -woah! That cake has professional stamped all over it. Not a peck out of place EXCEPT the price. Sheesh...that lady got one heck of a deal. I would have charged around $60 for the cake alone and then $25 for delivery. Start charging for delivery at once!

poohsmomma Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 4:34pm
post #24 of 28

Your cake was really cute. I love the braided handles...

GI Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 5:42pm
post #25 of 28
Originally Posted by sandy1

Thank you, I appreciate the comments on my cake. I loved the bunny!
It's unforunate that some customers take our time for granted. In the future I will let my customers know they will need to pick up their cakes or there will be a delivery charge.
Thanks again,

Your cake is so darling. I would have the person pay for it ahead of time. Prepay is always the way to go.

It works. thumbs_up.gif

cylstrial Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 8:41pm
post #26 of 28

Yep, as everyone else has said...you DEFINITELY undercharged! Most people would have charged $20 just for the topper! Plus that $35 included a delivery fee? Whoa...you have got to raise your prices!

j-pal Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 9:29pm
post #27 of 28

I'm actually very surprised at all those who deliver birthday cakes! I get miffed if someone doesn't pick up their cake on time... I'd be infuriated if they weren't there when I delivered it!!

I agree with the others. You undercharged by a long shot. I don't care where you're from and what the going rate is, that was still too little! icon_surprised.gif) And absolutely start charging for delivery. Remember - it's not just your time, but gas and wear and tear on your vehicle! I have a minimum delivery of $35 (for cakes that require set-up) even if it's down the block. If they don't want to pay it, they can come pick it up and I'll show them how to set it up on-site.

Just curious... for those of you who deliver all your cakes... why? (not referring to tiered cakes) I delivered an anniversary cake once to a very questionable neighborhood. It really made me re-think that idea! Not to mention that I just don't have the time or desire to do so! icon_surprised.gif) I have never had a customer just assume that I was going to deliver it, so it never comes up.

lilthorner Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 10:36pm
post #28 of 28

This cake is way cute...

I do agree that you undersold yourself big time..often people think if they are only charging for supplies it's not a biz( not saying that's what you are saying) but it is.. charge what you are worth, you will quickly find out that you are tired of doing a bunch of cheap cakes as opposed to a few big $ ones..

as for the question from j-pal

I deliver most of my cakes, however I do charge for delivery. the reason why? because I have people that are like 45 minutes away from me who would rather pay me than to come to pick the cake up, or can't come pick it up.. It broadens my customer base. With that said, I don't deliver everything.. I mean a cake that cost 45 bucks? no thanks! I believe that there should be a minimum order for delivery, plus the delivery fee.

I drove 30-40 minutes away 1 time for a lil bitty cake and guess how fast I changed my mind!

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