I'm So Sick Of These People...vent

Decorating By pipe-dreams Updated 4 Jun 2009 , 11:11am by indydebi

pipe-dreams Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 5:33pm
post #1 of 23

I swear it seems like every time I go online, I see a new person advertising cakes in my area. I know for a fact there is only one other legal person about 45 minutes away. Other than that, nobody here is legal but me. But I get most my business from a local yard sale website. And these military wives are advertising cakes on there for CHEAP. I just saw one today(a new one), selling a full sheet cake that serves 100 for $100 icon_eek.gif
Are you serious?? A frigging DOLLAR per serving? I charge bare minimum $3.50 for a basic buttercream cake, and it goes up from there.
I mean, I know my cakes look better, and I clearly have more experience than them (it's not just that one lady). And I know how great my cakes taste, and my customers rave about that. But it's like, I'm worried people might question why I charge so much when so and so only charges $1.00-$2.00 per serving. I mean, cake civilians are hard enough to deal with as far as prices are concerned, without illegals coming around making it even harder to "justify" in their eyes.

Sorry, I just had to vent..I'm so sick of this crap. Thanks for dealing with me icon_wink.gif

22 replies
sadsmile Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 5:39pm
post #2 of 23

a six pack of Bud vrs a fine wine or Cognac... just saying.

susanscakecreations Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 5:43pm
post #3 of 23

Isn't it indydebi that says "good cakes aren't cheap, and cheap cakes aren't good?"

Hang in there! icon_wink.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 5:44pm
post #4 of 23

Hold your head high. If you are offering a better quality product with superior decorating skills....you'll get and keep regulars who eventually will get the word out and everyone else will swear by your cakes. And don't worry about the balkers and the cheapskates...those cheapy decorators can have 'em! Stick to your prices and you'll be fine.

pipe-dreams Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 5:44pm
post #5 of 23

Those are both fantastic answers!! Maybe I will put that on my website icon_lol.gif

Wendl Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 5:44pm
post #6 of 23

How do their cakes taste? Get one of their small ones, try it out. It may be very easy to compete with them, then. You'll know if they are using [email protected] ingredients. That will give you a leg up and you can let folks know should you get questioned: "I'm a licensed baker, which means I spend money to stay clean, stay sanitary and licensed. I use quality ingredients...and believe me, quality does affect the price." Or words to like effect.

I'm not a legal baker and thus I don't sell cakes. They are gifts for family and friends in lieu of a present, and these things cost me MUCH more than if I had thrown something in a bag w/tissue...but I look at it as it's my own training program.

Someday...SOMEDAY...I'll be at a bakery and then one of my own...

Cheers - hang in there - there will always be someone to undercut someone else...but the quality will tell.
Wendl

loriana Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 6:25pm
post #7 of 23

ok I totally understand and I feel for you!

But I think you ought to move this thread to the Cake Decorating Business board where you have professionals who will understand.

You will probably start a forest fire in General with a thread that badmouths the home bakers. It's like a realyl quick way to get to the three biggest arguments on Cake Central

1. Home non-legal bakers versus legal bakers.
2. Undercutting the competition's prices
3. Scratch versus mix cakes

tapedshut.gif

pipe-dreams Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 6:49pm
post #8 of 23

Good point. I don't wanna start any debates! Can I move the thread, or do I have to start a new one in that board?

loriana Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 6:58pm
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by pipe-dreams

Good point. I don't wanna start any debates! Can I move the thread, or do I have to start a new one in that board?




Oooh... good question. I'm not sure! Maybe Jackie or Heath can move it for you. You could probably send a PM.... sorry I couldn't help icon_sad.gif

Deb_ Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 7:06pm
post #10 of 23

Unfortunately, we (licensed home baker here) all have to deal with these people.

Make sure you advertise on your web site that you are a licensed (legal) baker and the piece of mind that comes with buying baked goods from a licensed baker.

Chances are they may try this new person once and come back to your deliciousness the next time!

It stinks that this happens...........it's bad enough that people are selling things illegally, then they go and undercut the prices which also hurts our business.

Their way of thinking "It's only cake and I'm not making that much money" doesn't make it right, they're still breaking the law. icon_mad.gif

pappyny Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 7:11pm
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Quote:

And these military wives are advertising cakes on there for CHEAP.




Is there a reason that you are singling out military wives?
I don't agree with people selling things illegally, but lots of people do that and there are plently of military wives that do not.

notapro Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 7:32pm
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by pipe-dreams

And these military wives are advertising cakes on there for CHEAP.




Gosh, I'm sorry that your illegal competition is advertising. Like everyone else said, a superior product will get you regulars for sure and the people who are paying $100 for a sheet cake that serve 100 people are probably taking away business from walmart not you. The customers you want are the people that understand that your product is truly better.

Just to play devil's advocate, I'm a military wife myself. In four years, I moved three times, changed professional jobs three times, and moved one of those times by myself with a six month old while my husband was in some god-forsaken country that ends in "-an". It's hard to constantly have to find a new job every time your husband gets new orders to some new location across the country so some wives try and supplement their husbands income by direct sales or selling other items they can make (cakes, diaper cakes, sewing items, paintings, etc.). Why? Because they can do the job anytime and anywhere. It sucks that they aren't playing by the rules that they are supposed to play by though.

However, I think you have a golden opportunity in your situation since you apparently live in a military community. First of all, if you have a superior product priced reasonably fairly, you can build a word of mouth business among the military moms. Never, ever underestimate the power of word of mouth amongst the military community. In our city (of two major military bases) all the wives I know use the same bakery (including myself because I don't bake my kids b-day cakes- I know- I am a cheater) simply because she gives us a reasonable price for the excellent product we get (she's not cheap, but we pay because we know what we are getting). We also use the same off base doctors, the same photographers, same tax preparer, same roofer, the same... you get the picture. Once you get in with the military community, you are golden. Opposite of that, if you treat a member of the military group poorly, everyone will surely know about it. Also, families quickly get the "pass down" which businesses are not military friendly and which are. I definitely try to do business with those shops/stores that are military friendly. I'm sorry that your sick of "these military wives" but I can assure you that most of those military wives are sick of moving and having to start over from scratch. A no win situation for them also.

I hope I didn't offend you by writing this. It really wasn't my intention and I have typed a retyped this numerous times and debated posting it, but really I couldn't let the "these military wives" thing go.

pipe-dreams Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 7:33pm
post #13 of 23

No, I'm not trying to single them out, but every one of them that are doing it are in fact military wives. Their user names include that info, and so do their bio's! I just live in a huge military town!

Deb_ Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 7:44pm
post #14 of 23

I don't care who they are, Doctor's, Lawyers, Nuns, Priests heck even the Pope himself.............if they're selling ANYTHING without being licensed it's breaking the law and it's wrong.

Frankly I too am tired of the excuses. Laws are in place to protect everyone, not just a few who choose to follow them.

Ugh..........don't get me going. I get the "illegals" in both of my businesses, cakes and hairdressing and I too have had it. Ya know how much money I could save if I didn't have to pay for licenses, insurance, taxes etc?

Well, I guess they wouldn't know cuz they ain't paying it.............

pipe-dreams Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 7:45pm
post #15 of 23

No offense taken! Most of my orders are from military families, since it's such a predominant community in this town. I understand they have to move a lot and try to do things to earn a little extra income, but so do I. My DH went from working 50+ hours a week to less than 30, and we lost our medical coverage. So we are also trying everything we can to make ends meet, but I did go about everything legally b/c I just got lucky with finding ridiculously cheap kitchen space to rent. I welcome the competition that is not undercutting me, but it just hits a nerve when they price that much cheaper, military or not. I have a ton of friends in the military, and I did not mean any offense to it. That's just what they are..military wives icon_biggrin.gif
I will just go about my delicious cake ways, and let the people decide what they want.. My skills and flavors, and repeat customers speak for themselves!

mommaJto7 Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 7:48pm
post #16 of 23

For me, I do not have license to have a bakery. I only do cakes for family, very close friends or a charity for families who cannot afford even a cake for $1 per serving.
People have to realize you have over head and I am sure your cakes are awesome all the way around because you do this for a Living. You are licensed and I had rather pay someone WITH a license opposed to someone who does not. Here you can "turn them in". You should NOT advertise if you do not have a license. I would be afraid to anyway.
I understand your aggravation.

mommaJto7 Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 7:49pm
post #17 of 23

For me, I do not have license to have a bakery. I only do cakes for family, very close friends or a charity for families who cannot afford even a cake for $1 per serving.
People have to realize you have over head and I am sure your cakes are awesome all the way around because you do this for a Living. You are licensed and I had rather pay someone WITH a license opposed to someone who does not. Here you can "turn them in". You should NOT advertise if you do not have a license. I would be afraid to anyway.
I understand your aggravation.

tracycakes Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 7:50pm
post #18 of 23

Wish it were just homebakers. There is a local bakery, storefront bakery, that sold a sculpted cake on a sheet cake to feed a total of 100 people for
$145. It was a groom's cake for a co-workers son. I don't know how they stay in business. I'm not legal....yet, but I sure wouldn't sell for that price.

tracycakes Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 7:51pm
post #19 of 23

Wish it were just homebakers. There is a local bakery, storefront bakery, that sold a sculpted cake on a sheet cake to feed a total of 100 people for
$145. It was a groom's cake for a co-workers son. I don't know how they stay in business. I'm not legal....yet, but I sure wouldn't sell for that price.

pipe-dreams Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 7:55pm
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by tracycakes

Wish it were just homebakers. There is a local bakery, storefront bakery, that sold a sculpted cake on a sheet cake to feed a total of 100 people for
$145. It was a groom's cake for a co-workers son. I don't know how they stay in business. I'm not legal....yet, but I sure wouldn't sell for that price.





I don't know how they would stay in business either! Maybe they did that as an exception since it was for someone they know well (unless you meant your co-workers son..then I can't even imagine!)

Rylan Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 8:18pm
post #21 of 23

You should only worry if you think that her cakes are as good as yours because if I was a customer, I wouldn't expect to pay Kerry Vincent a Walmart price... even if I didn't know anything about cakes.

tracycakes Posted 3 Jun 2009 , 5:14pm
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by pipe-dreams

Quote:
Originally Posted by tracycakes

Wish it were just homebakers. There is a local bakery, storefront bakery, that sold a sculpted cake on a sheet cake to feed a total of 100 people for
$145. It was a groom's cake for a co-workers son. I don't know how they stay in business. I'm not legal....yet, but I sure wouldn't sell for that price.




I don't know how they would stay in business either! Maybe they did that as an exception since it was for someone they know well (unless you meant your co-workers son..then I can't even imagine!)




I know they got their wedding cake for next to nothing because it was a friend but I don't think the bakery owner was a friend. I've tried to find the bakery but the groom's mom couldn't remember the bakery name and I haven't been able to find it. I would have to go 'check them out' you know. icon_lol.gif

indydebi Posted 4 Jun 2009 , 11:11am
post #23 of 23

Setting aside the legal vs. illegal baking, I'm going to address the pricing.

"Some people can't afford me and that's ok!"

If a person is shopping and the price is the ONLY thing they are shopping for, then forget it .... they are not your customer to start with. But not everyone shops for price. Here's my example:

Lady came in for a sampling. For some reason, she didn't have my pricing ahead of time so when she asked my price, and I told her $350 (for 100), she actually winced and said she'd been to a bakery (not a home baker, not walmart) and had been quoted $130 for 100 servings.

I told her that was a good price and she'll never find anything better. She agreed (she'd been doing some good price research).

I told her I was about to roll out a "Just A Simple" wedding cake option .... one flavor, limited design, no delivery .... for $250 (100 servings).

She thought about it ... but said she wanted 2 flavors, her design would not qualify for "limited", and she didn't trust any relative to pick up the cake.

She had in front of her 3 options for $130, $250, and $350.

She bought the $350 cake.

So just because you're not the cheapest, doesn't mean you won't be the choice of many.

You won't be the baker of choice for everyone .... and that's ok. NEXT!! thumbs_up.gif

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