How Do You Handle Customers Who Want A Special Deal Because

Business By howsweet Updated 2 Jun 2009 , 8:40pm by Lita829

howsweet Posted 16 May 2009 , 1:53am
post #1 of 57

...they say they have bigger better cakes they'll order later. Or lots of people will see the cake so it will get you lots more business?

So far I just turn them away if they don't want to pay full price. But I have so many people who try that I'm starting to wonder if I'm the only one.

56 replies
bakermommy4 Posted 16 May 2009 , 1:59am
post #2 of 57

I turn them away too, usually the price tag sends the average "non caker" into a slight shock. What I've learned from all the awesome people here is to send them on their way. Out the door they go, off to Wal Mart for a cheaper cake...and usually a more serious customer is right around the corner.

I gives deals when I offer...when it's a family member or friend...and if I've done so many cakes for a person for full price, I may give a slight deal for the "loyalty". Besides that...deals or for attorneys and used car salesmen...theres no room for deals in cake design icon_lol.gif

Babarooskie Posted 16 May 2009 , 2:00am
post #3 of 57

Say...

"I appreciate your help with the marketing strategy, but I work with someone who handles that for me already. However, I do not give discounts. My cakes are fairly priced and I know this because of all the wonderful compliments I have received from other clients. I am so thrilled that you will be ordering bigger and better cakes in the future! Thank you for thinking of me." icon_biggrin.gif

MORSELSBYMARK Posted 16 May 2009 , 2:01am
post #4 of 57

I'm with you bakermommy!

bakermommy4 Posted 16 May 2009 , 2:01am
post #5 of 57

Nicely put Babarooskie!!

Babarooskie Posted 16 May 2009 , 2:06am
post #6 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakermommy4

Nicely put Babarooskie!!




Thanks! Hubby says I know how to BS really well...a little too well at times icon_lol.gif

On a side note- I just noticed that was my 500th post! I'm officially a "Forum Addict"! I shall start calling this CrackCentral!

artscallion Posted 16 May 2009 , 2:09am
post #7 of 57

I tell them that I have set prices, and I move the discussion on. What I want to ask them is if they are paid a regular salary, or are they made to renegotiate their pay every day for each thing they do.

I've also told a woman once (in an inappropriate fit of annoyance) that the same number of her guests would see my cake if she pays full price as would see it if she paid a discount rate. My prices are my prices. and not related to marketing trade. But I told her a bigger consideration for her was that the same number of her guests would see the beautiful, appropriately priced, cake that I would sell her as would see the sloppy looking discount cake she might find elsewhere.

bakermommy4 Posted 16 May 2009 , 2:09am
post #8 of 57

Crack Central....hhaaaaa-haaaaaaaaa!!!
My 5 year old is learning to read and she says mom...your on cake control again...It's so addictive.
Congrats on your 500th post girl!! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

indydebi Posted 16 May 2009 , 2:15am
post #9 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

..... the same number of her guests would see my cake if she pays full price as would see it if she paid a discount rate.


YES!!! What SHE said!!!!

-K8memphis Posted 16 May 2009 , 2:56am
post #10 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

I tell them that I have set prices, and I move the discussion on. What I want to ask them is if they are paid a regular salary, or are they made to renegotiate their pay every day for each thing they do.

I've also told a woman once (in an inappropriate fit of annoyance) that the same number of her guests would see my cake if she pays full price as would see it if she paid a discount rate. My prices are my prices. and not related to marketing trade. But I told her a bigger consideration for her was that the same number of her guests would see the beautiful, appropriately priced, cake that I would sell her as would see the sloppy looking discount cake she might find elsewhere.




Oh yeah Indy called it--this ^^^ rocks!

mommachris Posted 16 May 2009 , 5:34am
post #11 of 57

Say...
"I'm so glad that you like my cakes enough to consider a bigger order in the future. If you'd like to leave a deposit I will gladly pencil your name in my calendar. I have so many orders I may not be able to do your cake as I get booked up on most weekends. I'd hate to have to turn away such a valued customer. " icon_razz.gif

I'd completely ignore the part where they asked for a price break.
"I don't speak discount." icon_cool.gif

mommachris

Deb_ Posted 16 May 2009 , 11:32am
post #12 of 57

I have a client that has been buying cakes from me for quite a while now and each time she orders she tries to get me to discount the cake, it's so friggin annoying.

Here's the killer, her husband owns a service station and does the oil changes, burnt headlight changes etc. on all of our family cars.

So one time when she asked me for a discount I jokingly said "sure, and I'm sure Jack will be happy to sell us his gas for 50% off a gallon too, right" icon_lol.gif Shut her up for now!

It's implanted in some people's brains lately that they should ask for a discount on everything.

Just this week a woman called my Salon. She wanted to book a children's *mani/pedi* party for her DD's 13 birthday. I charge $30 for a deluxe spa pedicure, $15 for the manicure.
For parties, I discount it to $40 for the package, which includes a Birthday cake, made by moi. icon_biggrin.gif

So she says, "well their feet and hands are small, so how much will you charge me for them?"
My response....."do they have 10 fingers and 10 toes?"..........$40 icon_wink.gif

cakesbydina Posted 16 May 2009 , 11:57am
post #13 of 57

I am just starting out with cake decorating. I do get annoyed that friends are asking me to "practice" on them and do a cake for free. I would rather get paid, but for me since I am just starting out I look at it as a way to add another picture to my portfolio and to truly practice. I will only do this the first year and I do have some paying customers as well but for friends and family, I used to do cakes for them for free before I offically opened my business this year so it's nothing new for me. I have developed new recipes and want them to taste my cakes and spread the word how good they are and show their friends and coworkers how pretty it was when I upload a pic to my website. I feel it will help me in the future getting orders. I need them to spread the word. This is only appropriate because I do not have a customer base yet but once I get regular orders you can be sure the only free cake I will bake is for my immediate family only.

P.S> I have traded services for a cake as well. MY contractor friend built a custom shelf with moulding in my kitchen for a flower pot cake that I get tons of compliments on from my website. It was a fair trade.

cakesbycathy Posted 16 May 2009 , 1:36pm
post #14 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4littlewops

I am just starting out with cake decorating. I do get annoyed that friends are asking me to "practice" on them and do a cake for free. I would rather get paid, but for me since I am just starting out I look at it as a way to add another picture to my portfolio and to truly practice. I will only do this the first year and I do have some paying customers as well but for friends and family, I used to do cakes for them for free before I offically opened my business this year so it's nothing new for me. I have developed new recipes and want them to taste my cakes and spread the word how good they are and show their friends and coworkers how pretty it was when I upload a pic to my website. I feel it will help me in the future getting orders. I need them to spread the word. This is only appropriate because I do not have a customer base yet but once I get regular orders you can be sure the only free cake I will bake is for my immediate family only.




Yea, good luck with that.
Start warning them now, because the first time you tell them they are going to have to pay for a cake they are going to whine "but you always did it for free before!"
And even warning them is not going to work. Sorry, but you should expect that these so-called friends are not going to purchase their cake from you. Or they will try and talk you down in price. Have a price list ready to hand them.
They might "talk up" your product to others ("Oh my friend makes really great cakes"), but I would not plan on these people becoming regular customers.

Kitagrl Posted 16 May 2009 , 1:45pm
post #15 of 57

Haha yeah I have had a few that feel they are either a loyal customer who now should have a discount because they have ordered a few times....or that they are ordering alot of cake and so should have a bit of a discount. Mostly I've encountered, though, the "I've ordered from you several times, don't you offer a discount to return customers?"

I think it might come to the fact I'm a home baker, some people think they are doing me a huge favor by ordering from me, and then in return I think they think I should be so grateful I'll give them money off.

I'm pretty sure I get more and bigger orders than they think I do...LOL...some of them feel I am their own special discovery and nobody else knows. haha.

smoore Posted 16 May 2009 , 1:47pm
post #16 of 57

Let's not forget that she'll probably tell all her friends what a good deal she got and all her referrals will be wanting the same type of discount she got ... after all, you gave it to her, and they'll have different people at their party to refer to you. The discounts will never end!

michellesArt Posted 16 May 2009 , 2:08pm
post #17 of 57

i did trade (per my dh's suggestion) with my longstanding hairdresser (twilight cake for hair cut and highlights)-who never complained before but said that the cake tasted awful-you could taste the cocoa (?there's cocoa in chocolate cake?) said it was beautiful and on and on but they just couldn't eat it so i don't think i'll do that again. on a side i do feel bad but i've had no complaints from other customers and i honestly feel she got the raw end of the deal (she does do amazing hair) and was fishing for a freebie (mentioned they were celebrating her dh's bday late and how he loves my cookies). so just be warned about the trading part icon_smile.gif

cakesdivine Posted 16 May 2009 , 3:00pm
post #18 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

Just this week a woman called my Salon. She wanted to book a children's *mani/pedi* party for her DD's 13 birthday. I charge $30 for a deluxe spa pedicure, $15 for the manicure.
For parties, I discount it to $40 for the package, which includes a Birthday cake, made by moi. icon_biggrin.gif

So she says, "well their feet and hands are small, so how much will you charge me for them?"
My response....."do they have 10 fingers and 10 toes?"..........$40 icon_wink.gif




Dkelly You're my new hero thumbs_up.gif

Yeah, at our dance studio we have a deeply discounted summer intensive program. 3 week session 9 hours of lessons total for $99 That is equal to 2 months + one extra worth of classes! Most studios around here and we as well charge $60 a month for 1 hour class per week which equates to $15 per lesson...the summer sessions equate to $11 if you only take one session if you take both sessions the fee is then $175 making the classes then only $9.72 per lesson. I had this woman tell me eventhough her daughter takes dance from another studio she wants a FREE class before she enrolls her daughter at our studio for the summer. I had to decline. I informed her that we don't offer free lessons, we do offer free annual registration fee if they enroll for the Fall during the summer sessions...LOL! Hey that is a $40 savings! icon_lol.gif

weirkd Posted 16 May 2009 , 3:30pm
post #19 of 57

I had a guy call me four days before his engagement party wanting a four tiered cake. At the time I really needed the money so I agreed to do it. He promised me the wedding cake would be in my future. Then he didnt want to pay for the delivery (two hours away), and then he wanted a discount. And being the soft-hearted person I still agreed to do it. After delivering the cake (he paid a small deposit) he was suppose to meet me at the venue to pay for the rest. Ofcourse I didnt see him, then the venue told me I had to leave. I almost went back and got the cake but I didnt. I thought maybe he would eventually pay. So long story short, he never paid, ignored my emails, phone calls, etc. Even though he signed a contract, he never paid. Ofcourse I could of taken him to small claims court but the amount of money it would of cost me to do so , wouldnt of been worth it. Long story short "no discounts!" ...(said like the character in The Incredibles saying NO CAPES!! ) Also payment in full way before delivery date!

cakesbydina Posted 16 May 2009 , 4:57pm
post #20 of 57

cakesbycathy...your post is not at all helpful. "yeah good luck with that" is hardly good advice for anyone. I enjoy baking for friends and family. Of course I would love to get paid for all of the hard work I do but it doesn't bother me in the least that I bake for people that are important to me and that I have always baked cakes for in the past. It works for me and it's not for you to judge. When I offically go into business with them, they are not the sort of people that would "whine" about having to all of the sudden pay. Maybe that has been your experience but don't assume that means it will happen to everyone.

artscallion Posted 16 May 2009 , 5:55pm
post #21 of 57

Now anybody can do whatever they feel they should do...trade cakes, give them away, discount them or not. And I don't judge people for handling their business or family in any way they choose. But the way I feel about this is...

When I was starting out I also found it helpful to be able to practice and learn new skills to the benefit of friends and family. But I set it up from the start that I was in control of the process.

They got cake when I had a project I wanted to learn from and passed the results on to them. But always on my schedule and on my terms. They rarely even knew it was coming. And if I finished it on Sunday, they got it on Sunday...or Monday. If I thought I'd finish on Sunday, but didn't finish until Tuesday because I was having trouble learning the gumpaste peonies that were the main focus of my learning that week, then they got it on Tuesday...or Wednesday.

I NEVER took orders or let them count on or expect me to be the cake person for a family event. If I ever did commit to doing a cake for a specific event, I would do it just like any other member of the family would do. I would make a simple layer cake with a frosting smeared on and a few sprinkles or something on top. If they asked me to do a free/cheap fancy cake, or tried to "put in an order" I would explain that I was in the middle of a learning project that didn't involve an actual finished cake (my learning projects usually didn't.) And I wouldn't be able to commit to that.

I was training them to think of fancy cakes as my profession, not my family function. Otherwise, in my family, the birthdays, graduations, engagements, anniversaries never stop. And if you do one, you have to do all. And they don't want quick and simple, once they've see those gum paste peonies! It would be a full time job...without the paycheck.

This way they still get the results of my continued learning but I never feel like it's a burden or expense or takes away from my business.

I also don't donate or trade cake, any more than I would donate or trade services in my day job. I don't have room to keep all the chickens and "free day of scrapbooking" certificates I'd be offered. People will place the value on what I do based on how I show that I value it.

cylstrial Posted 16 May 2009 , 8:04pm
post #22 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly



So she says, "well their feet and hands are small, so how much will you charge me for them?"
My response....."do they have 10 fingers and 10 toes?"..........$40 icon_wink.gif




Too funny! People are just always looking to save money - anyway that they can! It's so annoying! icon_lol.gif

-K8memphis Posted 16 May 2009 , 8:12pm
post #23 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4littlewops

cakesbycathy...your post is not at all helpful. "yeah good luck with that" is hardly good advice for anyone. I enjoy baking for friends and family. Of course I would love to get paid for all of the hard work I do but it doesn't bother me in the least that I bake for people that are important to me and that I have always baked cakes for in the past. It works for me and it's not for you to judge. When I offically go into business with them, they are not the sort of people that would "whine" about having to all of the sudden pay. Maybe that has been your experience but don't assume that means it will happen to everyone.




She continued on to give you some great advise. It all depends on how you read, "yeah good luck with that." It can be read in many different ways, aka voices, from negative to positive to careless. She gave you some good stuff in her post.

indydebi Posted 16 May 2009 , 8:18pm
post #24 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4littlewops

cakesbycathy...your post is not at all helpful. "yeah good luck with that" is hardly good advice for anyone. I enjoy baking for friends and family. Of course I would love to get paid for all of the hard work I do but it doesn't bother me in the least that I bake for people that are important to me and that I have always baked cakes for in the past. It works for me and it's not for you to judge. When I offically go into business with them, they are not the sort of people that would "whine" about having to all of the sudden pay. Maybe that has been your experience but don't assume that means it will happen to everyone.



Cathy was only sharing her experience in that regard. Many of us can say "Ditto" to that experience. The ones that a baker thinks will be the most supportive, tend to be the ones who take you for granted. If you browse the threads, you will find too many threads in which this happens.

Maybe she didn't say it the way you wanted to hear it, and she's not saying don't make free cakes for your family if you want to. It's just a cautionary warning about a situation that many of us do not anticipate. If you have a June Cleaver family who is super supportive, then that is great and you're off to a good start. But a lot of CC'ers have a Jerry SPringer branch in their family tree. icon_rolleyes.gif

Family are the worst.

and dkelly, your '10 fingers and toes' line had me rollin'! I'm proud to know ya!!

mommyle Posted 16 May 2009 , 8:23pm
post #25 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4littlewops

cakesbycathy...your post is not at all helpful. "yeah good luck with that" is hardly good advice for anyone. I enjoy baking for friends and family. Of course I would love to get paid for all of the hard work I do but it doesn't bother me in the least that I bake for people that are important to me and that I have always baked cakes for in the past. It works for me and it's not for you to judge. When I offically go into business with them, they are not the sort of people that would "whine" about having to all of the sudden pay. Maybe that has been your experience but don't assume that means it will happen to everyone.




Ummm... Sticking my nose in here... Cathy is absolutely right. We have seen time and again where others have baked for a year for f'n'f for free with every intention of them paying fairly after they have 'practiced' enough, and then there is always the "Gee, you never charged me before..." so the response is absolutely spot on. We do wish you luck, but history is not in your favor here.


As for people saying that you will get more business from them, if you are REALLY wanting, you could set up a referral business (sp is out, sorry), whereby for each 5 people referred to you (or whatever) by the client, then they get a 10% (or whatever) discount on their next order. This means a lot of paper work for you, but it is an option for the really aggressive customer who won't take "no".

Ladiesofthehouse Posted 16 May 2009 , 8:25pm
post #26 of 57

My sister is a firewoman and just called me this morning and told me she "volunteered" me to make all of the decorated cookies for their annual fund raiser bake sale. She said if they made them nobody would pay for them but since I decorate so well they knew they would bring in a lot more money if I made and packaged them.

News flash sista--I am booked that weekend LOL

My children's pastor called and asked me to make a baby shower cake for a church member and I agreed to do it, but the church has to pay all ingredients. I don't mind donating MY TIME to the church, but I just can't be buying all of the ingredients for free cake!

Immediate family same thing--I'll donate the time but they have to cover ALL of the ingredients, even if that means a new cake pan or tool for me to make their cake. Everybody is really cool with that arrangement.

As far as customers I don't give discounts. I am old enough to know that they have no intention of buying bigger and better cakes in the future, no matter what they say. If they don't want to pay for fresh and custom they can always go down to the grocery store and get a frozen thawed frozen thawed slab for less money.

sherry_lyn Posted 16 May 2009 , 8:38pm
post #27 of 57

Best word of mouth is a customer who paid full price & was happy with what they got.

indydebi Posted 16 May 2009 , 8:38pm
post #28 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladiesofthehouse

As far as customers I don't give discounts.


Who was it on here who pointed out that her insurance agent doesn't give her a discount on her policies, her doctor doesn't give her a discount on her medical care, etc? She pays them full price so they can afford to pay her full price.

val25dejesus Posted 16 May 2009 , 8:47pm
post #29 of 57

This post has been very helpful even to me. It a refresher on not letting people take advantage of you.
Whenever I have a "friend" requesting a cake the most common thing said to me is , "just a little cake, doesn't have to be big of flashy" My response to that is always the same, " then it probably it's best you just go to Safeway"
I have learned they are just wanting a free cake, and it is really upsetting. I had one friend call me up and ask for the cake for the following day, and then had the nerves to say that he has a challenging cake idea, and that this will be great practice for me. I was honestly God smacked!! When I quoted him the price, he responded by telling me that he thought he would get it for free because we are friends and he was helping me out. Needless to say I have not talked to him since.
So stand firm, believe in your work, and quote the price you deserve.

Deb_ Posted 16 May 2009 , 9:03pm
post #30 of 57

LOL thanks you guys!

I just found it amusing that she thought 13 yr olds deserved a discount because in her opinion "they have tiny little fingers and toes" icon_rolleyes.gif

I mean if they were 5 then yes a discount would be in order but heck I know some 13 yr olds who wear a size 9 (womans) shoes. icon_eek.gif

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