People Just Don't Want To Pay Augh!

Decorating By StaceyCakes75 Updated 26 May 2009 , 11:06pm by diane

StaceyCakes75 Posted 26 May 2009 , 8:15pm
post #1 of 26

The staff at my daughters preschool know I do cakes. So last week they told me they wanted a cake for a teacher to celebrate her anniversary. I said sure and sent them some pictures for ideas. They picked a 9" hexagon and a 6" round all buttercream with a GP bow and some small fondant accents on the sides.

Here is the break down of what I was going to charge them:

6 round 12 servings
9 Hexagon 20 servings
32 servings @ 1.75 = 56.00
Bow on top $10.00
Total price $ 66.00

I felt like I am cutting them a great deal.

They e-mailed back saying they only want a 6 round for $21.00 and no bow!

AUGH!!!!

Everyone wants something for free!

Is my pricing fare?

25 replies
__Jamie__ Posted 26 May 2009 , 8:23pm
post #2 of 26

Extremely unnecessarily low, in my opinion, but you be inclined to cut them a deal (are you? Is that what you would charge me, Jane Doe, if I called?). Eh....send them to Walmart. People have no clue about what this takes.

Carlymoon Posted 26 May 2009 , 8:28pm
post #3 of 26

this is a great price. People don't understand the difference between homemade and store bought...

tiggy2 Posted 26 May 2009 , 8:29pm
post #4 of 26

I'd tell them I have a $50 minimum. It would be a waste of time to turn on the oven and dirty the kitchen for $21

indydebi Posted 26 May 2009 , 8:32pm
post #5 of 26

This is why the first question needs to be "How much did you want to spend?" If someone told me "Twenty bucks", then I've wasted no time as I tell them my smallest cake is $50.

brincess_b Posted 26 May 2009 , 8:32pm
post #6 of 26

i think people just dont realise what it costs. to them, a bow is a tiny detail, they cant imagine how it can cost more than a couple of dollars.
you might be better asking what is their budget, and how many they need to feed before you start talking about how the cake will look, at least then they wont have unrealistic expectations of what their small budget might get.
xx

sweetsbyjen Posted 26 May 2009 , 8:38pm
post #7 of 26

I charge $2 a serving myself but when it comes to stacked cakes and decorations I bump it to about $2.50-$3 a serving. I often think I am short-changing myself considering the hours of labor.

What makes me nuts is people will shell out mucho bucks for a wedding cake, but when the occasion is different (say anniversary, birthday, baby shower) but they still want the look for a cheaper price.

I understand discounts, but seriously undercharging will hurt you in the long run, I've done it and kicked myself for it. Someone will always spill the beans about what they paid, and the next person will want the same price. It's a rough game to play.

Think about your cakes as pieces of art. You should not feel bad about putting a price on your artistry.

My advice, Stay firm, those who appreciate your craft will be ok with the prices!

DeeDelightful Posted 26 May 2009 , 8:41pm
post #8 of 26

Your pricing was pretty much what i was thinking. i probably would have said $25 for the bow, but $1.75 is the norm for slices of cake at a restaurant. I think it was VERY fair, moreso to them, than to you. I have been asked to bake a VERY LARGE sheetcake for 100+ people, but we have not worked out the details, as the person is not sure exactly what is needed. i was considering asking $1.25 per slice, but i can imagine what the response is going to be when i say that. So, now they want the 6 " cake for $21 that nobody is going to get to enjoy, except the teacher and one other family member. WOW!

indydebi Posted 26 May 2009 , 8:43pm
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetsbyjen

What makes me nuts is people will shell out mucho bucks for a wedding cake, but when the occasion is different (say anniversary, birthday, baby shower) but they still want the look for a cheaper price.



It's right on my website: "If it looks like a wedding cake, it's PRICED like a wedding cake."

lil_girl4 Posted 26 May 2009 , 8:51pm
post #10 of 26

That is more than a fair price it is a great deal. You can not tell me that there are not enough teachers at the school to take up a collection to pay for a $66.00 cake. I agree with other posters who have said that people just do not get it. A lot goes into making a quality cake, if they want something for $20.00 go to Wal-Mart.

cheekymonkey06 Posted 26 May 2009 , 8:52pm
post #11 of 26

I am just getting started and sat down to figure out pricing this weekend. I went to the store and tallied up all of my cake ingredients and broke it down by recipe to figure out how much it costs to make different types of cakes. Like many of the others who have posted here, I realized that I should set a minimum order to make it worth my time. I plan to begin making that a part of my initial conversation. Asking how many they plan to serve. Then I will tell them what my minimum order is and see if it fits with their budget. I am kind of surprised at how much people charge for extras like the bow. Why so much? I am curious to know how much people charge for "labor". Or if there is a general margin everyone is using (above the cost of making the cake).

indydebi Posted 26 May 2009 , 8:55pm
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeDelightful

...., but $1.75 is the norm for slices of cake at a restaurant.



O'Charley's ... $4.99 to $5.99 range. http://www.ocharleys.com/desserts/ Even if you allow that their cakes slices may be twice the size, 2 times $1.75 is still less than restaurant pricing.

Olive Garden: All are over $5. http://www.olivegarden.com/menus/menu/Default.asp?server_path=/menus/dessert/

$1.75 will get you a chocolate chip cookie at Starbucks, though.

StaceyCakes75 Posted 26 May 2009 , 8:57pm
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Quote:

(are you? Is that what you would charge me, Jane Doe, if I called?)




I felt like I'm cutting them a deal becuse I am only charging 10.00 for the bow and not charging them for any of the fondant flower accents on the side. Yes I only charge 1.75 a serving for BC cakes. I know I am extreamly low on pricing (especially for orange county CA) but I feel like I am still a novice at this need to perfect my skill more before I can charge more. I think my cakes are good but compared to some of you guys I just dont come close. I know we are our worst critics.

I really wanted to do this cake because it would be great advertising at the school.

I am diffinitly going to make a 50.00 mimium. Thank you for that advice!!!!

apetricek Posted 26 May 2009 , 9:03pm
post #14 of 26

OMG you are way cheap, and definatley reasonable! I too wouldn't bother doing the cake, I would do a minimum, it is still work for you, and honestly by the time you buy everything and make it, $21.00 is hardly worth your time. I would politely tell them, something has come up...I charge $2.00 a serving for plain cake, if it is stacked I start out at $3.00 then $4.00 for fondant, and fillings, wedding starts out at $5.00...they would have died at my prices then. I have too learned to ask right in the beginning what they want to spend...tired of taking all this time with them, to get the "oh you are a little too costly for me". That way I can be upfront with them from the beginning and not waste my time.

sweetsbyjen Posted 26 May 2009 , 9:03pm
post #15 of 26

Oh I agree with the advertising, I am a teacher and teachers love celebrating! haha.

Thanks for the minimum idea ladies, I honestly hadn't thought of that before!

steelergirl86 Posted 26 May 2009 , 9:03pm
post #16 of 26

I live in a small town with NO bakery and the nearest Walmart is 45 miles away. I have people complaining if I charge $35.00 for a half sheet cake. I know I should charge more but people in this town won't pay more than that. If they think about, I am actually saving them gas money to have to travel almost 50 miles for a cake. People don't realize how much time it takes us to make these cakes and all the money we spend ourselves for what we need to make them. Like the other person said..if they are gonna complain, send them to WalMart, lol!

__Jamie__ Posted 26 May 2009 , 9:04pm
post #17 of 26

Seriously...I made a cake this weekend I wouldn't have the nerve to post. And have people complimented me on it? You bet! Is it hideous to anyone else other than me...I really doubt it. I didn't blink an eye though, it was still kick a$$ as far as they were concerned. That said, have confidence in your work. Don't start low, cause one morning you're gonna wake up with some new found "cake balls" and when you start charging what you should, everyone used to paying you pennies are gonna pitch a fit. Start out right! You deserve it! And if you turn away more than you book....who cares? You can't put a price on sanity! I would rather take my time on one appropriately charged cake, than rush around making several low balled ones. How is that any fun, and where is the payoff?

StaceyCakes75 Posted 26 May 2009 , 9:08pm
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Quote:

$1.75 will get you a chocolate chip cookie at Starbucks, though




You never fail to make me laugh! you are so Right!

indydebi Posted 26 May 2009 , 9:30pm
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelergirl86

I have people complaining if I charge $35.00 for a half sheet cake.




Them: "$35!!! I'm not paying that!"
Me: "I sure understand. Of course you could put that $35 in your gas tank and drive an hour and a half round trip to walmart, and buy the cake there .... oh wait, they are limited in how they can decorate a cake, so you'll end up with a plain 'ole regular cake instead of the custom design you were wanting. But I understand. Thanks for checking! Oh hey listen! Since you're going to walmart anyway, could you pick me up a few things? I dont' want to spend the gas money to go get it myself. " icon_biggrin.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 26 May 2009 , 9:32pm
post #20 of 26

(((snort))) Ha! Good one Debi!

StaceyCakes75 Posted 26 May 2009 , 9:42pm
post #21 of 26

ROFL!! It's all about perspective

StaceyCakes75 Posted 26 May 2009 , 9:54pm
post #22 of 26

Hey Debi total off topic but I have a question. I notice that you use a lot of ribbon on BC. I tried this a few months ago and the ribbon I got was more cloth like and it had terrible grease stains. It looked really bad. I ened up just making a fondant ribbon. How do you get around not having the grease stains on the ribbon when using BC?

SJ169 Posted 26 May 2009 , 10:05pm
post #23 of 26

I dont think your under charging at all!!
Maybe it's just where I live or the type of people that come to me about cakes, but I havent had anyone try to get my cakes for cheaper.
In my photo gallary there is a baby shower cake with a little duck on the top , I charged $100 for that and it was a 10inch buttercake with MMF. Most of the 10inch cakes I do for people start at $80, and most people dont complain about that...

I dont think you should charge less because people presure you or make you feel like you should be doing them a favor. Your cake is like a work of art and if people dont want to pay for it then they can go get a cake from Walmart and its not going to look half as nice or taste half as good!

indydebi Posted 26 May 2009 , 10:10pm
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by scavaglieri

Hey Debi total off topic but I have a question. I notice that you use a lot of ribbon on BC. I tried this a few months ago and the ribbon I got was more cloth like and it had terrible grease stains. It looked really bad. I ened up just making a fondant ribbon. How do you get around not having the grease stains on the ribbon when using BC?




My icing crusts very well. I apply the ribbon when I assemble the cake at the venue. by that time, the icing is "dry" on the outside (nice and soft on the inside, though!). There are no "wet spots" on the icing to bleed onto the ribbon. If I get rushed and have to pre-assemble, I will rub crisco down the entire length of the ribbon and "pre-soak" it so it's soaked uniformly ("uniformly"? Is that a word?). Careful doing this .... navy blue ribbon will turn black so test the ribbon first.

StaceyCakes75 Posted 26 May 2009 , 10:41pm
post #25 of 26

THANK YOU Debi! That make perfect sense. I did not let my BC dry long enough.
If it wasnt for CC I wouldn't be half as good. Thanks to everyone that is so willing to give advice.

diane Posted 26 May 2009 , 11:06pm
post #26 of 26

i'm really not surprised. when people hear that you do cakes, they immediately think you charge "grocery store" prices. what i do is tell them to go to my website and check the price list first, then get back with me. if they call back, then they are interested in paying what i charge, if not, then they need to go to a grocery store. icon_cool.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%