I AM SO AGGRAVATED I CAN SCREAM.
I love cake decorating, I have no time for it I have decided to go ahead and make time (still trying to work that out). So I decided to take an advance fondant class and I knew going in that I would have to shell out loads for tools that I didnt have, but at the same time I was saving loads because I also had previously purchase good to high quality items. I also would ask the instructor what I needed in advance and scoure the internet searching and searching-which is how I found you all...lol
I purchased a lot of my stuff on GSA and other distributors that I have in my city like P&H and New York Cake. BUT GOT DARNIT ALL, some how the "cake school/supply" place where my classes where located still managed to "GET" me. You see my "instructor" was teaching me ribbon insertion and he said that I needed a specific tool to ensure even cut. To his benefit he did show this "specialized" fondant tool to me before hand but for the life of me I could not find it. He also showed me other "specialized" tools that I found difficult to find also like a "tracing wheel" ( i didnt get that thank god). So I look and look for this blade tool for the ribbon insertion and I can't find it for the life of me, hence I purchase it from the "school" and payed $40.00 plus tax (8.375%)
WELL LOW AND BEHOLD PEOPLE
DAT GOT DARN TOOL ONLY COST $13.75 plus tax and shipping - but who care because it is still cheaper than when I purchased it for $40.00
OH YEAH THAT "TRACING" WHEEL is only $16.95 BUT SINCE I DIDN'T BUY IT I WILL BE BUYING IT NOW.... to defend the "tracing" wheel. It is much better than the PME wheels (and I love PME) my "instructor" allowed me to use his and they handle beautifully. SO I AM STOKED ON FINDING THIS.
I post this so any newbies out there (like me) know that if its a "specialized" fondant/ gumpaste/ cakery tool then it just might be some other crafts "basic" tool and you can proberly get it MUCH CHEAPER.
Here are some links I just found.
Hope this helps happy caking,
Yes, things are usually more expensive in brick & mortar shops, but they are struggling trying to pay their employees and overhead. I am lucky to live close to a great cake supply/class store, and I try to patronize them even when I know I could get some things cheaper online. If we don't patronize them, they will disappear, and then we won't have the luxury of taking their classes, and being able to run down to buy those "emergency" items that we realized we needed too late to ship.
Sometimes the tools are more expensive from the cake shops as they are made from food safe materials and are specialty items.
There are many people now using stuff from craft shops that are not meant for cake decorating and NOT made from food safe plastic and metal.
Ok let me clarify I didnt post the links so people can find an unsafe way of doing things just a more economical alternative if need be. And the tools are the very same ones I was shown. The very same down to brand and the like. I also posted it because YES there are many places to learn and people must support them as we will like to be supported when we quote a price customers might think is crazy... But we must be wary as in all areas of life-cakery being no different- theives and scammers exist. All im say is be careful and shop around CHEAPER is definitly NOT better but neither is paying 3x for something that everyone else may be selling at more resonable prices.
EXAMPLE: You know those celformers well this place sells them 2 1/2 times more expensive than GSA just so you can get my meaning.
I totally understand your point and the other as well. I do buy certain things at my local cake store as long as they are reasonable. When I first got into this I wanted to get a set of square cake pans for a cake I was making. I went there first figuring that price online plus shipping would be around the same. I was wrong! They wanted 60 for the 14" square pan. I thought I read it wrong and it was for a set.... nope... ONE pan. I will buy my hi-ratio and some colors etc from them. If their prices were closer to what I could get online even factoring in shipping costs I would gladly buy from them. But when it's 2-4 times more I just can justify it for my hobby.
Thanks for sharing your experience.
I try to buy from my local cake supply store whenever possible. They carry things that just arent available at walmart and the craft stores. Yes I could get things online, but often with shipping the cost is pretty close to the same. I prefer getting it immediately and helping a local business at the same time.
I am not lucky enough to have a cake supply shop nearby. I have to get stuff at walmart, micheals, leann or buy it online. The local stores don't carry many of the things I am looking for. I have gotten lucky and found great deals on clearance stuff, like 12 in heart pans for 2.97. It does seem that everytime I go looking for somthing in particular I can't find it. I once had to buy a candy mould for abc 123, paid $6 for the moulds and $20 for shipping. I find more stuff on ebay than anywhere else. I do have to say, I love www.kitchenkrafts.com