Please Read My Cake Quote. Am I Asking To Much?

Business By madras650 Updated 5 Sep 2009 , 4:19pm by Doug

madras650 Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 12:28pm
post #1 of 32

This is a quote for a birthday cake. 2 stacked square cake serving for 64 people. 8" and 10" square with a gum paste shoe. My price starts at 3.75 slice for fondant. I will not do cakes for less! This lady met with me, I bought her lunch. I sent her the quote the very same day. She wont even e mail me back. not a thanks but no thanks, nothing. Am I off base here with my price?

You will see I only charges $10 for delivery.
I gave a bunch of stuff free such as all edible images.

Servings Fondant 8", 10" Square 64 servings@ $3.75 $240.00
Gum Paste Shoe 1@ $25.00 $25.00
Stargazer Lily w/ Leaves 8@$6.00 $48.00
Delivery $10.00

Total for cake $323.00

Delivery charge was reduced to $10.00 because you are so close.

Please feel free to let me know if you would like to add or delete the number of Lilies. (if you want them at allicon_smile.gif)

I usually charge an extra .25 cents a serving for strawberry cream cheese cake, but I am waiving that fee as well.

There usually is an edible image sheet charge but there will be no additional charge for the purse decorations or the edible image writing.

Details:
64 Servings
8" square strawberry cream cheese cake.
Color Peridot.
2D Purse and lily decorations.
10" square chocolate cake.
Color white with pink writing on edible image paper.
Vanilla buttercream filling
Fondant Frosting
Gumpaste Shoe Topper
Gum paste Stargazer Lillies in pink with white
Cake will be delivered on August 1, 2009 no later than 1pm

31 replies
matthewkyrankelly Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 12:42pm
post #2 of 32

Your price is fair. She doesn't want to pay. Move on. By the way, I've been on interviews for jobs and not even gotten a cup of coffee. I would not buy a potential client lunch. You are wayyy too nice.

kkitchen Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 12:57pm
post #3 of 32

NEVER buy a POTENTIAL CLIENT anything. Not even water.

indydebi Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 1:04pm
post #4 of 32

My only question is how do you come up with 64 servings?

8" square, cut in 2x2x2, = 4 rows by 4 columns = 16 servings.
10" square, cut in 2x2x2 = 25 servings
Total: 41 servings.

If these are 2 layer cakes, the 8" serves 32 and the 10" serves 50 (total 82 servings).

Other than my curiosity question, I think your pricing logic is fine.

"Not everyone can afford you and that's ok!" thumbs_up.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 1:08pm
post #5 of 32

Good heavens, was this a friend? If you were schmoozing a potential repeat customer, schmooze them after you get their first paid order....yikes! No one gets treated any differently with me until after they buy their first cake. Then I'll give them the world after they show they are a serious player!

__Jamie__ Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 1:17pm
post #6 of 32

Good for you for sticking to your prices though! She sounds like a flake, don't give it another thought. People will do much more inconsiderate things, hopefully you don't have to experience them. icon_sad.gif

madras650 Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 1:20pm
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

My only question is how do you come up with 64 servings?

8" square, cut in 2x2x2, = 4 rows by 4 columns = 16 servings.
10" square, cut in 2x2x2 = 25 servings
Total: 41 servings.

If these are 2 layer cakes, the 8" serves 32 and the 10" serves 50 (total 82 servings).

Other than my curiosity question, I think your pricing logic is fine.

"Not everyone can afford you and that's ok!" thumbs_up.gif




I used the servings guide from baking 9 1 1. Am I really that far off! oh my!




What serving guide do you use?

indydebi Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 1:27pm
post #8 of 32

http://www.wilton.com/wedding/wedding-cakes/wedding-cake-data.cfm
I use the above chart to determine pricing.

For example, the 10" square serves 50 (2 layer). I tell the client it will serve 40-50, depending on how they cut it and the price is $xx.xx. I've predetermined the price based on 50 servings. They can cut it any dang size they want.

The good news with square cakes is that you can do the math to determine number of servings, like i did above. Just figure the standard serving size and divide the cake into rows and columns based on the size of the cut piece of cake.

__Jamie__ Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 1:29pm
post #9 of 32

Yes, 2 inch slices are humongous. Most of us (the ones that don't like to give away free cake), use Wilton's serving charts. I stick to the wedding one for nearly all cakes, regardless of the occasion.

avgsuperheroine Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 2:07pm
post #10 of 32

My only opinion from a customer point of view would be when you give a quote that includes a lot of "it should be this, but I'll do it for this" and "it's normally x, but I'm lowering it to y"--it really looks like you don't "have" a pricing structure.

If they seem to want to negotiate after the first quote and you really like that sort of environment, sure go ahead and lower it. But when you start out like that it seems like you really just pull all your prices out of some imaginary place. It says to me as a customer you're not sure you think your work is worth what you're charging.

avgsuperheroine Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 2:09pm
post #11 of 32

My only opinion from a customer point of view would be when you give a quote that includes a lot of "it should be this, but I'll do it for this" and "it's normally x, but I'm lowering it to y"--it really looks like you don't "have" a pricing structure.

If they seem to want to negotiate after the first quote and you really like that sort of environment, sure go ahead and lower it. But when you start out like that it seems like you really just pull all your prices out of some imaginary place. It says to me as a customer you're not sure you think your work is worth what you're charging.

indydebi Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 2:22pm
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by avgsuperheroine

My only opinion from a customer point of view would be when you give a quote that includes a lot of "it should be this, but I'll do it for this" and "it's normally x, but I'm lowering it to y"--it really looks like you don't "have" a pricing structure.



Hmmm.....intersting point. It could have been confusing to the client.

What I do is list everything with it's normal pricing, then list any deductions. For example:

Cake for 100 ............. $350
Fondant bow .............. $ 25
Delivery fee ...............$ 50
Fondant bow waived ... $-25
Delivery fee waived .... $-50
------------------------------------
Total quote: ............... $350

It just looks clean and cut-n-dry.

cylstrial Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 2:50pm
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by avgsuperheroine

My only opinion from a customer point of view would be when you give a quote that includes a lot of "it should be this, but I'll do it for this" and "it's normally x, but I'm lowering it to y"--it really looks like you don't "have" a pricing structure.


Hmmm.....intersting point. It could have been confusing to the client.

What I do is list everything with it's normal pricing, then list any deductions. For example:

Cake for 100 ............. $350
Fondant bow .............. $ 25
Delivery fee ...............$ 50
Fondant bow waived ... $-25
Delivery fee waived .... $-50
------------------------------------
Total quote: ............... $350

It just looks clean and cut-n-dry.




I definitely think that looks better! And is very easy for a customer to understand. Why did you buy her lunch? (Wagging finger) No more of that!

madras650 Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 3:00pm
post #14 of 32

Thanks Everyone for your replies. I wont be buying any more lunches! Do you all think I charged to much?

LaBellaFlor Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 3:17pm
post #15 of 32

My fondant starts at $4.00 a serving. The stuff she wanted would have bumped up the price to about $5-5.50. I know everybody charges extra for the gumpaste pieces that they do, so do I, but I don't list the individual price for each thing. You price what you think your worth, but as a customer I would have freaked out if I saw just a gumpaste shoe was $25. Maybe she thought you were nickel & diming her. Oh yeah, NO discounts for new customers! icon_smile.gif

madras650 Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 3:27pm
post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

I would have freaked out if I saw just a gumpaste shoe was $25. Maybe she thought you were nickel & diming her. Oh yeah, NO discounts for new customers! icon_smile.gif




What is a fair price for a gum paste shoe? I would think that the labor involved in making the shoe would be worth that.

traci Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 3:38pm
post #17 of 32

I think your pricing was more than fair. I normally charge at least 4.00/serving for all fondant icing.

As for the gumpaste shoe...I would have probably charged more than 25.00 for that. I always tell people decorations that have to be sculpted by hand will always be extra because they can be very time consuming to make.

It sounds like she was being cheap and thought she was going to get all of that decoration for a lot less.

ccr03 Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 3:40pm
post #18 of 32

I don't see anything wrong w/buying her lunch. It's schmoozing the customer. In my jobs I've gotten all sorts of things from vendors as a way to lure us as customers. I see no problem with it.

matthewkyrankelly Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 3:41pm
post #19 of 32

It is a fair price, but for inexperienced customers, the line item of $25 might seem a little pricey. Build the cost of that into the "extra pricing" for the cake. Individual flowers usually price out at $5 - $10 each. If they have one or two, build it into the pricing. If they want 45 calla lilies I'd list that as a separate line item.

LaBellaFlor Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 3:44pm
post #20 of 32

I think your grand total price was fair. I can't tell you what you should charge, cause everybody knows they're own woth. For example, a shoe for me would be (depending on how fancy) $15.00, but the the lilly's would be $8.00, you only charge $6.00. My point was, if someone sees individual pricing, they might feel like they're being nickel & dimed. They don't get what it takes to make a shoe or flower, they just see this little gumpaste shoe, and think,"$25 for that?!?!?", but if you had listed everything they were getting, plus delivery fee, with a grand total, the may not think twice about the price.

ccr03 Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 4:00pm
post #21 of 32

See I like the line pricing. That way I know exactly what I am paying and how much. If I can't afford the whole total I know what I can cut based on price.

Another example, I have long, THICK hair. I ALWAYS get charged more when I get it dyed/cut. At least $10 more. I know to expect the extra charge for the extra work. (Good thing they don't also charge me extra for having so much hair! I have tons icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 4:15pm
post #22 of 32

I read an article recently about "hidden" catering costs and how "unethical" it was that a bride didnt' know what she was paying for because everything was all thrown in so she couldn't do a good comparison shop.

If a client thinks your cake is too high, it's easy for them to say, "well, if we leave off the $25 shoe and use silk calla's instead of gumpaste ones, then I can afford it."

If you charge a base price for a base cake, and then add add'l charges, I think the client has the right to know what those add'l charges are. If she explodes at "$25 for a SHOE!!!???", then it becomes our job, as the expert, to educate her on how many HOURS it takes to make one shoe and the materials costs aren't exactly cheap, etc.

I had a friend who wanted "just sandwiches" for a lunch meeting. I dont' do "just sandwiches" so I gave him a quote for my box lunches. He came back with "$150 for SANDWICHES????" I replied, "No, ...... $150 for sandwiches, AND chips, AND fruit, AND a cookie, AND the box, napkin, mayo packet, and me driving 20 minutes one way to deliver it to you, plus my payroll for my kitchen crew to put all of this together for you, instead of YOU spending time to do it. If you want "Just sandwiches" you might give Subway a call." (He's was a really close friend, so yes, it was ok for me to tell it to him this blunt! icon_rolleyes.gif )

(btw, Subway couldn't do it without 48 hours notice, either!)

madras650 Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 4:26pm
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I read an article recently about "hidden" catering costs and how "unethical" it was that a bride didnt' know what she was paying for because everything was all thrown in so she couldn't do a good comparison shop.

If a client thinks your cake is too high, it's easy for them to say, "well, if we leave off the $25 shoe and use silk calla's instead of gumpaste ones, then I can afford it."

If you charge a base price for a base cake, and then add add'l charges, I think the client has the right to know what those add'l charges are. If she explodes at "$25 for a SHOE!!!???", then it becomes our job, as the expert, to educate her on how many HOURS it takes to make one shoe and the materials costs aren't exactly cheap, etc.

)




That's what i was thinking. I thought that I was being more than fair with the pricing. Especially the flowers, delivery and no charge for 3d purse designs and all the edible images we discussed. I purposely wanted to undercharge for this cake because I really wanted to do it.

But for her to not even say no thanks or can we delete some items to make it more affordable. It's like she fell off the face of the earth. When we met we had a nice time, great conversation and she seemed on board with everything. She also said she is familiar with cakes as she plans events.

LaBellaFlor Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 4:32pm
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I read an article recently about "hidden" catering costs and how "unethical" it was that a bride didnt' know what she was paying for because everything was all thrown in so she couldn't do a good comparison shop.

If a client thinks your cake is too high, it's easy for them to say, "well, if we leave off the $25 shoe and use silk calla's instead of gumpaste ones, then I can afford it."

If you charge a base price for a base cake, and then add add'l charges, I think the client has the right to know what those add'l charges are. If she explodes at "$25 for a SHOE!!!???", then it becomes our job, as the expert, to educate her on how many HOURS it takes to make one shoe and the materials costs aren't exactly cheap, etc.

I had a friend who wanted "just sandwiches" for a lunch meeting. I dont' do "just sandwiches" so I gave him a quote for my box lunches. He came back with "$150 for SANDWICHES????" I replied, "No, ...... $150 for sandwiches, AND chips, AND fruit, AND a cookie, AND the box, napkin, mayo packet, and me driving 20 minutes one way to deliver it to you, plus my payroll for my kitchen crew to put all of this together for you, instead of YOU spending time to do it. If you want "Just sandwiches" you might give Subway a call." (He's was a really close friend, so yes, it was ok for me to tell it to him this blunt! icon_rolleyes.gif )

(btw, Subway couldn't do it without 48 hours notice, either!)


I agree, but some people really do like the lump sum and are willing to pay, where as they see individual pricing and they think it nickel & diming & all of sudden the price is too high. If they say it's to high, you can always suggest how to make it cheaper. I also don't think not giving them a price for a rose is "hiding" cost. I think that would be more like incorporating the delivery fee in to the cost & not telling them there is one & they think they got free delivery. I also probable price different too. I see a picture of a cake & then come up with what I think it cost. I actually don't always think of individual prices for things. I think how much ingredients cost (like electric., eggs, flour, etc.) & how much time it'll actually take (driving to the store, mixing baking, decorating, etc.). Would it be better to have individual prices for items.

traci Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 6:28pm
post #25 of 32

I think you did the right thing in making a list of exactly what she is paying for. I always do this so that people understand how I came up with that price. It also gives them the option for taking away and/or changing decorations that will fit their budget.

Sometimes when I give a client pricing...I also tell them there are other decorations available at lesser cost if they are on a budget.

SugaredUp Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 1:01am
post #26 of 32

I also like the itemized billing. I do what Indydebi does, I list it at regular price and either indicate a discount was given or that I didn't charge for it. But it's good to let them see that they saved X amount. Also, I think your fondant price is fair, as is your shoe price. I wouldn't have bought her lunch, though! LOL

msbask Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 3:09pm
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

8" square, cut in 2x2x2, = 4 rows by 4 columns = 16 servings.
If these are 2 layer cakes, the 8" serves 32.




(I know this is an old topic and by posting to it, I'm resurrecting it, but) These serving estimates make no sense to me.

I'm looking at a 2-layer 8" cake right now, and there is no way on earth I would bring this to a birthday party and expect to feed 32 adults with it.

OregonCakeLady Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 3:39pm
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccr03

I don't see anything wrong w/buying her lunch. It's schmoozing the customer. In my jobs I've gotten all sorts of things from vendors as a way to lure us as customers. I see no problem with it.




Did it work?

I don't think that there is a problem with doing that for a bride that has been a previous customer but NEVER for a new one. You have no clue weather this person is going to buy anything from you. This is just a waste of your time (money) and your actual MONEY that you spent on lunch! I often meet at restaurants or coffee shops to to my tastings and consultations. I have never felt like I needed to buy the customer anything? That just seems weird to me icon_confused.gif

SugaredUp Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 3:57pm
post #29 of 32

I agree with the serving size issue. I tell people the 8" square serves about 16.

SugaredUp Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 4:00pm
post #30 of 32

But then again, there is a difference in wedding sizes and party cake sizes. So 32 is probably Indydebi's wedding size.

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