I Think I Undercharged

Business By momma28 Updated 15 May 2009 , 11:11pm by -K8memphis

momma28 Posted 15 May 2009 , 3:59pm
post #1 of 11

I had a bride call me who is the sister of someone on the outer circle of my friends (i've met her, know her but she is not really a friend of mine) She was referred by a close friend. Initially I told her that a simple 3 tier 10, 8, 6 cake with one flavor and a simple buttercream filling would be $350 - $400 depending on decoration. She then started asking me about flavors. When she heard all of the different flavors I can do she said she was finally excited about the cake for the first time. She had already had a tasting at a bakery that she did not like at all. Her sister has had my cakes and attested to the flavor. We are going to have a tasting in mid june (she lives south of me about an hour and will be in the area then). I recieved an email from her going on and on about how excited she was and saying that they wanted one more tier and 4 different flavors (a seperate flavor and filling per tier) I have done this before but it is soooo time consuming since I make all the cakes, fillings, fondant, buttercream from scratch for each cake. She also way upped the servings she wanted because she felt people would want more than one slice of cake since there would be more than one flavor. i worked on some numbers on two differnt tier size combinations. Here is where I made a big mistake. I quoted her $4 a slice for a 4 flavor cake for about 200 (I felt bad going higher since I know her sister). After I hit send I started kicking myself. The baking work will be about triple what it would have been for one flavor and she has chosen a couple of complex flavors (not just flavored buttercream) My friend is telling me I WAY underquoted her and that I should show a discount on her receipt so that anyone asking her how much the cake was wont get the wrong idea. Do you think my quote was low? The design is not too elaborate.

10 replies
misserica Posted 15 May 2009 , 4:07pm
post #2 of 11

Is it fondant or BC? And not to pry but in what general area are you located?

Ruth0209 Posted 15 May 2009 , 4:12pm
post #3 of 11
Originally Posted by momma28

I felt bad going higher since I know her sister.

I don't know about anything else, but you need to get over this sentiment. Unless you intend to give a discount to everyone you know, this is just bad business. None of my friends expect a discount from me because they know this is what I do for a living. This is how I feed my family.

momma28 Posted 15 May 2009 , 4:14pm
post #4 of 11

chocolate buttercream w fondant leaves and fruit. This is for wedding in virginia (i high end area)

misserica Posted 15 May 2009 , 4:16pm
post #5 of 11

Momma, the thing that just popped into my mind was that you already emailed her a price, I would send another email or call and let her know any changes in design or flavor from this point on will increase the price per serving.

misserica Posted 15 May 2009 , 4:19pm
post #6 of 11

Well you know you under charged especially if you are in a high end area, the best you can do now is make sure you do not allow any more changes without changing the price accordingly and now you know for next time.

-K8memphis Posted 15 May 2009 , 4:20pm
post #7 of 11

I hate different flavored tiers because regular bakeries can do it real easy and they don't charge more. But it's such a pia and all that extra work not to mention ingredients--so more money down the tubes too.

You could send her a quick reply and say oops, I was to quick to hit send let me re-work that price for you, I'll get back to you in a few. You don't have to take the fall for this.

momma28 Posted 15 May 2009 , 4:21pm
post #8 of 11

I will honor the quote I gave her. I would never even think of changing it. My word is good. I am just thinking moving forward that if this happens again (with 4 different flavors) that I think I need to charge more, was just looking to see if I was correct in that thought.

I think I will do the invoice reflecting that the price I am charging her reflects a discount so that anyone asking her wont think that $4 a slice is me regular price for that much work.

-K8memphis Posted 15 May 2009 , 4:40pm
post #9 of 11

Yeah, I've never changed one of mine even if needed to but I want to leave the door open on it.

I mean you're not going to and that's cool. Not trying to talk you into it.


But for next time for me or you or any of us what would be the harm of amending a quote if a price-able element was overlooked? Like if we left off the delivery or the rental of a plateau or something.

It's happened to me often where I get one quote then I find out it's gonna be more because such & such an element was overlooked in the original. It happens. For me I don't think it means your word is not good. (unless you came up after the wedding or something) I think it just means you forgot to add something in there. Most businesses will not toss it in just cuz.

In fact caterers and venues will bill additionally after the fact if more people were served. It doesn't ding my word if I want to amend a quote.


momma28 Posted 15 May 2009 , 10:07pm
post #10 of 11

k8memphis...you are right. It probably would not reflect poorly on me if I changed the quote. I think if she begins asking for more, decoration or even more complex flavors, I will have to say something about the per slice rate being too low.

-K8memphis Posted 15 May 2009 , 11:11pm
post #11 of 11

Yeah I mean pricing custom work is such a complicated thing. I may have all the flavors all established and then be on some design rabbit trail in my brain and they say oh I'd like blablabla and I go ok but afterwards you go oh dang they got me again. It so happens.

We're in a brain bubble and it's difficult to keep all the different factors alive--like the jugglers that juggle the plates--if we don't keep all the plates spinning--we blow it on the price. It's so easy to blow it.

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