psm89 Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 3:35pm
post #1 of

Ok so I guess this is really a vent.
I had an aunt ask if I would make my cousins wedding cake a few months ago, the cousin was eloping and they would be doing a home reception when they got back. I said of course I would and to let me know what they wanted when the date got closer. She called 8 weeks ago and asked about cost for about 75 people. I told her normally I would charge $3.00 per serving on a basic buttercream frosted cake,so cake normally cake would be $225 to which she gasped and said I didn't plan on spending that much. I really liked this aunt and was fairly close to my cousin growing up so I said I would give her a discount and charge $100. for the cake. Again a gasp and she said I was thinking of spending about $45, and could I just do a "small" tiered cake and she would just buy some sheet cakes (from the store) for the rest. To which I took a DEEP breath and said I would do a SMALL 2 tiered cake at cost ($45).I know...crazy!
ok, wait this gets better (worse)!!!
At my daughter graduation this past weekend she sees this phenomenal 3 tiered ( 12,9. and 6 inch) zebra print cake done in fondant that I made (took 6 hours just to decorate) and says "that size will do, and oh yeah we are expecting about 100 people now."
I thought "OHHHH wait a minute here" and sent her an email reviewing our conversations and what we had agreed on and that even at cost this cake would be $75 for expenses alone. I would do it at cost but it would be buttercream and not fondant . (I know, I was an idiot to even agree to this but it's family I kept telling myself)
She emails me back today and says they they have rethought the wedding cake and decided since it's now an "open house" and with the additional cost they decided to go with a sheetcake from Walmart! And sorry to waste my time.
I'm not even sure I can respond to her right now. What do others tell relatives and those who think we work for free???? I want to scream "I'm trying to start a business here"
I'll try to attach the graduation cake I just did so you have an idea of what she was asking for but I only have a pic on my camera phone and hubby took digital with him and the pictures are still on it.
LL

73 replies
indydebi Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 3:50pm
post #2 of

Her: "I was thinking of spending $45 to feed 75 people."
Me: (laughing out loud, hard and long) "And what part of your body did you pull THAT number out of?" icon_confused.gif

If you owned a grocery store, would they expect to get their groceries for free? If you owned a gas station, would they expect to fill up their car for free?

unfortunately, there are people out there who can answer "yes" to those questions.

krissycupcakes Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 4:04pm
post #3 of

OMG.... yeah i would like that zebra cake for $45 too!!hahaha what a joke i do try to not charge crazy prices for my friends if its a party Im going to . but i think even I would charge more then $45 and i like how it turned from a "small" tiered cake and sheet cakes to that will do to oh and its 100 people.people are just clueless!

blu_canary Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 4:05pm
post #4 of

I haven't checked walmart prices on sheet cakes, but can you even feed 100 on $45 there?!

On a similar note, my neighbor just asked me yesterday about doing her daughter's wedding cake. Not ready for numbers or anything yet (date hasn't even been set), just asking me if I would do it. Not so bad? Her parting comment was, "Besides, I'm sure your prices will be much cheaper than the bakery." Hmmm. I'm thinking this doesn't bode well.

MLand Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 4:14pm
post #5 of

I HAVE looked at Wal-Mart and the grocery stores. 100 peeps on $45 will NOT be happening!! And will she get the exact SAME care and taste from Wal-Mart that she would have got from yours? NOT!

Ladiesofthehouse Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 4:36pm
post #6 of

I just had this happen as well for a birthday cake to feed 100 guests. They decided to go ahead and make "gourmet" cupcakes themselves after getting a price from me.

Just wait till they have decorated the 50th cupcake and have 50+ to go and every flat spot in their kitchen has a cupcake perched on it...I can just hear the thought process...Oh, and since we had to start making these so far ahead of time because we are doing everything else for the party, how are we going to keep these from drying out till they are served? How am I going to make the rest of the food for my guests with my kitchen full of these stupid cupcakes? I can't believe how much the ingredients cost for these cupcakes--it's just cake...

Do people even think these things through, or do they just see the $$$...LOL

This may sound strange, but secretly I am always relieved to hear people like this are going somewhere else for the cake. I would have resented doing their cake for so little $$ the entire time I was making it and after all that work to not even make a profit? No thanks, I'd rather make a delicious cake for my immediate (and very appreciative) family if I'm doing it for free!

indydebi Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 5:24pm
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by blu_canary

"Besides, I'm sure your prices will be much cheaper than the bakery."




Me: "Hmmm. what makes you think that?" icon_confused.gif

And LadiesoftheHouse, I see the ALL THE TIME on the catering side. They have NO IDEA how much time, work and space it takes to cook food for 100 people. A co-worker volunteered to work one of my weddings for some extra money. Halfway thru the event, her butt was draggin' the ground. I asked if she was ok? SHe said, "Yeah." I said, "Do you NOW understand why catering is a little pricey?" She said, "OH YEAH!!!!"

neelycharmed Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 5:31pm
post #8 of

I totally understand.
this girl who is marrying a very distant cousin of mine asked if I could give her a discount because she's marrying into the family.
the cousin of mine wouldn't even know what I looked like if he saw me in the street.
I almost rather do cakes for strangers then family sometimes... which is very sad.
Jodi

Bluehue Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 5:37pm
post #9 of

She emails me back today and says they they have rethought the wedding cake and decided since it's now an "open house" and with the additional cost they decided to go with a sheetcake from Walmart! And sorry to waste my time.

Just email her back and say "you haven't wasted my time" - altho you have saved me a fortune.
Polite but true - even if you do feel like slapping her - icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Bluehue icon_smile.gif

blu_canary Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 5:44pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluehue


Just email her back and say "you haven't wasted my time" - altho you have saved me a fortune.




*LMAO* And probably a bottle's worth of advil!

__Jamie__ Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 5:49pm

Geez...I need a bottle of Advil just from reading all that!

Bluehue Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 6:03pm

And altho the warnings on the Advil bottles warn against drinking whilst taking this medication - i think in this case a bottle of Gin would work wonders also. *hic*

I wonder if i will see the day in my lifetime when everybody says
"yes, i am happy to pay whatever you charge for your cakes"

There you go blu_canary - that should have you LYAO -
And Jamie - would you like another bottle of Advil with that? -

icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif




Bh. .....i am still howling at the $45.00 for 100 people - tooooo funny. *hic*

__Jamie__ Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 6:05pm

Lol!! Too funny....man oh man....no, I doubt we will ever see a day when that happens. Until then, we console ourselves with Aspirin and Gin....whew. Watch those borders guys, they can get a bit wonky when you're hitting the bottle! Hahahahaha!

havingfun Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 6:20pm

I went from a 3 tiered 25th anniversary cake order to 100 gourmet cupcakes to "I am just going to get a sheet cake from Walmart with the couple's picture on it". I priced the cuppies at $1.00 a piece and was absorbing the rest of the cost because it was for our minister and his wife. Don't people know that carrots, raisins, walnuts, cream cheese, lemons, coco lopez, coconut, chocolate, flour, sugar, eggs, etc., don't come free???? Not to mention all the "background" supplies: the cakeboards, wrap, boxes, etc......

I really am NOT having fun with family, friends, and church family.

Havingfun.

Franluvsfrosting Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 6:22pm

My husband gets that too being a woodworker. Everyone in the family has at one time or another thought they could get some beautiful, designer piece of solid wood furniture for garage sale prices. The about choke when we tell them his rate is $50 per hour and they pay for materials. I haven't had to have a conversation like this for awhile now so I'm thinking they finally took my advice and just went to Ikea. You want garage sale prices go to a garage sale.

Just be thankful you didn't end up having to do the cake. You probably would've kicked yourself the entire time. icon_smile.gif

Reimagining_Confections Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 6:38pm

I have some class parents who would like me to make a cupcake bouquet for the teacher. They would like to give me $20, "that should be enough right?" Well let's see, 8'pot costs $2, paint to paint the pot $2, weights to weight the pot down $2, styrofoam ball$13.99 before 40% off Michaels coupon, $2.50 for ribbon around the pot. Hot glue to glue ball down, box to carry in. Let's see that is $20 and I havn't even made the 24 gourmet cuppies with lemon curd and or bavarian cream stuffed yellow cake frosted with homemade buttercream. Decorated like roses/flowers with gelatin butterflies!!!!!

Yup- $20 should cover it. People are cluelesssssssssssssss.

And yet, I am making it. icon_confused.gif Can anyone say suckerrrrrrrrrrr.

indydebi Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 6:44pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franluvsfrosting

My husband gets that too being a woodworker.



yup! here, too! Hubby is woodworker. Friend asked for a stand to hold a 50 or 100 gallon fish tank (can't remember which, but regardless, imagine the weight!!! icon_eek.gif ) Hubby quoted him $250 (and that was cheap!) Guy almost jumped out of his skin. "Sh*t, I only wanted to pay around ten bucks!" Hubby said, "I can't even buy the nails and glue for ten bucks!"

Ok, Elroy. You want to put a 100 gallon fish tank on a ten dollar stand.

Yeah....THAT'LL work!!!

JGMB Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 6:51pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cookiesbymomme

I have some class parents who would like me to make a cupcake bouquet for the teacher. They would like to give me $20, "that should be enough right?" Well let's see, 8'pot costs $2, paint to paint the pot $2, weights to weight the pot down $2, styrofoam ball$13.99 before 40% off Michaels coupon, $2.50 for ribbon around the pot. Hot glue to glue ball down, box to carry in. Let's see that is $20 and I havn't even made the 24 gourmet cuppies with lemon curd and or bavarian cream stuffed yellow cake frosted with homemade buttercream. Decorated like roses/flowers with gelatin butterflies!!!!!.




I realize this is off the original subject, but I SO want to see this cupcake bouquet when it's finished -- it sounds gorgeous!!!!

in2cakes2 Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 7:06pm

I know the feeling about when people are going to just stop balking about prices. Years ago I sold cars at a little dealership and around that time Carmax was really pushing the "no haggle" the price on the car is what you pay thing and all I heard from custumers was Carmax icon_cry.gif. I really just wanted to say well the price is on the cars here too so.... At the time I was selling most new cars at $100.00 over invoice icon_confused.gif Well I had one guy come in and I priced out a truck (new) and he said same truck, 2 years older at Carmax was much more than what I was selling a new one for. Needless to say I got the sale and it still makes me smile at the look on this guys face icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Reimagining_Confections Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 7:08pm

Thanks, I hope it will be. I will post pics when I am done. I already practiced the butterflies(thanks to everyone here for the help). So funnnnnn, super cute!!!

Man- cheap people drive me crazy!!!!! I had someone tell me the other day I was too expensive, that for my prices they could get a cake from Duff. They told me his cakes are about $500. I told them to check again on those prices (new starting price$1000) and hey my cakes don't come with saw dust!!!! icon_cool.gif

aundrea Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 7:19pm

geeze it never ends!
which is why i am so glad i only do it as a hobby. (plus my skill level isnt near where it should be to sell cakes!)
if im invited to a party and its family or a very close friend, the cake is my gift.
i would never want to deal with the price thing!!!
i give all of you credit for putting up with the cheap-o's!
good luck.
btw your zebra cake is awesome.

indydebi Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 7:22pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cookiesbymomme

I told them to check again on those prices (new starting price$1000) and hey my cakes don't come with saw dust!!!! icon_cool.gif


And I guarantee you the cakes you see on TV are nowhere NE-E-E-E-EAR a lousy thousand dollar cake!

shanna_banana Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 7:51pm

I see these types of posts a lot and thus have been scared away from ever trying to sell anything. But I am just curious if anyone has ever tried something like this:

When someone like the lady the OP is talking about starts balking about prices, make her a deal. Tell her you can give her a nice discount on decorating if she will go buy and pay for the supplies. Then have one incredibly long list to hand her that includes EVERYTHING down to dowels and cakeboards. If she even takes the list, I bet after the first couple of stops she'll be thinking twice about asking for cheap rates again. Either that or she'll run for the hills (with Wal Mart on top)

Does anyone think this would work?

__Jamie__ Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 7:55pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanna_banana

I see these types of posts a lot and thus have been scared away from ever trying to sell anything. But I am just curious if anyone has ever tried something like this:

When someone like the lady the OP is talking about starts balking about prices, make her a deal. Tell her you can give her a nice discount on decorating if she will go buy and pay for the supplies. Then have one incredibly long list to hand her that includes EVERYTHING down to dowels and cakeboards. If she even takes the list, I bet after the first couple of stops she'll be thinking twice about asking for cheap rates again. Either that or she'll run for the hills (with Wal Mart on top)

Does anyone think this would work?




I would imagine people would just think you were a smartass, and go somewhere else. They don't care why it costs so much, they just see the price and do their balking. I personally don't have time to give them a list, a. because I have people willing to pay my prices that I could be spending my time on, and b. what if they did take your list and went and got everything, were really good at it, and never ordered another cake from you because they can do it themselves now and steal all of your customers and undercharge on everything because "it's just a hobby for them, and they could care less about actually making money?" Lol! icon_eek.gificon_lol.gif

shanna_banana Posted 16 Jun 2009 , 12:35am
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

I would imagine people would just think you were a smartass, and go somewhere else. They don't care why it costs so much, they just see the price and do their balking. I personally don't have time to give them a list, a. because I have people willing to pay my prices that I could be spending my time on, and b. what if they did take your list and went and got everything, were really good at it, and never ordered another cake from you because they can do it themselves now and steal all of your customers and undercharge on everything because "it's just a hobby for them, and they could care less about actually making money?" Lol! icon_eek.gificon_lol.gif




You are funny. icon_lol.gif Never quite thought about it like that before. Obviously I don't bake for anyone except myself (for family only). And I can't even imagine trying to decorate for a living (too stressful). I personally think you guys should be called "cake artists" instead of decorators. Anyone can paint...but not everyone can do it like Monet. Does that make sense?

__Jamie__ Posted 16 Jun 2009 , 3:06am

Perfect sense!

hammer1 Posted 16 Jun 2009 , 3:55am

anyone ever figure up how much all the "free" cakes have cost us while we are doing our hobby. my partner and i are on the second free wedding cake for one family member....gee i wonder how many wedding cakes you can do for the same person.

and isn't it amazing how much new stuff you have to purchase for those free cakes, no one wants a cake using the stand, etc. stuff you already have.

i am also tired of people saying you can practise on my cake and do whatever you like....i really don't need this much practise, i have 30 plus year of experience behind me.

summernoelle Posted 16 Jun 2009 , 4:01am

The Jessy cake (hot pink and yellow with the little duckies) in my photos was $25 for my favorite cousin. At least she let you know before you bought the supplies.

If she is important to you, drop it. There was no contract, she didn't have a good understanding of cost, and she didn't leave you high and dry. Just let the issue die, even if you are angry, and don't make a cake for her in the future.

Cakeandcupcakes Posted 16 Jun 2009 , 4:04am

[quote="hammer1"]anyone ever figure up how much all the "free" cakes have cost us while we are doing our hobby. my partner and i are on the second free wedding cake for one family member....gee i wonder how many wedding cakes you can do for the same person.

Sadly I do track all of the cakes that I do for free. So far this year it's been about $400 of free stuff and the year is only half over. I don't even make that much cake so I could only imagine what you professionals are losing.

all4cake Posted 16 Jun 2009 , 4:26am

psm89, that's a great cake!

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