Omg! Whydo People That You Know Expect Tons For Nothing!help

Decorating By sweetneice Updated 21 Jul 2009 , 4:46pm by peacebear07

sweetneice Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 3:25pm
post #1 of 55

Ok, so someone I know called me up on 3way and asked me to do a cake for a surprise party on saturday. I figured no problem, I only have one this weekend anyway, I can do it. They wanted a 3 tier for about 70 people. They wanted presents stacked look. For 70? A 3 tier is going to put you over, so either a 2tier or another style will have to do, or you can do it with the overage, it's really your call. They didnt want that, so I suggested since the present was a really nice hat......that I do an actual fondant hat cake atop a square cake. That way they will have the best of both worlds design & serving size as well. Liked that idea, but when I told them it would be around $210 and that includes delivery they said OMG! Are all your cakes that price? I said no, this is actually cheap because fondant/sculpted cakes start a $5 a slice, and everything I do is made by hand including the frosting, cake, and design. So I replied.......Just be honest and tell me your budget so I know what I can work with. She says 100 dollars, I said Ok, that will get you the hat cake without the square. They agreed and I am TOTALLY disguisted! I've learned now that you can't please everybody and if they want custom cakes at wal-mart prices, then daggone it, go to wal-mart! I'm sick of people acting like I owe them a favor or break all the time. Sorry guys.....I had to vent to someone who understands what we do is hard work and people trying to take advantage or thinking your skills arent worthy of the cost you put on it, is sickening, but...........on to the next client! lol! Thanks for reading!

54 replies
divaessence Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 3:36pm
post #2 of 55

Good for you for standing up for yourself ... and your work! I hope that I can be that brave IF ever the day comes that I start selling cakes!

mackeymom Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 3:38pm
post #3 of 55

Im so sorry. Cake muggles forget that while supplies to cost us money, the majority of what we charge is to pay for our time! And it's not our fault we charge what we are worth!

sweetneice Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 3:44pm
post #4 of 55

Thanks guys, I needed that!

alvarezmom Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 3:46pm
post #5 of 55

I wonder if it would be tacky to just ask what the customer's budget is before we get carried away with ideas? icon_confused.gif

It's to bad you weren't able to do the stacked cake.

I really think people dont get how much TIME it takes to make a cake. It doesnt cost me that much to bake a cake, but the time that goes into decorating a cake is what customers are really paying for-in my HO.

Alaskahsm Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 3:53pm
post #6 of 55

Kind of off subject, but do you think these cake muggles may be watching the food network challenges and think "well, if they can decorate a ten tiered 3 foot cake in 8 hours how come I have to pay for you for more time than that. I mean its not a cake challenge."

Just saying.

KatieKake Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 3:57pm
post #7 of 55

once upon a time, my husbands step father told the story, about taking the wrecker out to a stalled motorist, he proceeded to check the car out, and then picked up a large rock and pounded something back in place. Told the owner of the car what it would cost, and the owner said, but you just hit it with a rock, and his stepfather said, but it is knowing where to hit it, that is costing all the money. He paid, of course had he not, his car would have been towed, and then he would have had to pay for that also.

__Jamie__ Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 3:57pm
post #8 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by alvarezmom

I wonder if it would be tacky to just ask what the customer's budget is before we get carried away with ideas? icon_confused.gif




Not at all. I do this often. I don't want to do anymore work than I need to do without being compensated for my time; and I don't want to get their hopes up with their ideas, only to find out they had a beer budget for their champagne dream. Not a bad thing, but better in the long run to get it out of the way before anyone (including myself) is disappointed by a "no".

I always say "we can do this instead....." Always offer an alternative.

lady99 Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 3:58pm
post #9 of 55

I know exactly what you mean I've had numerous customers just like this one. What angers me is that if they were to call a few famous bakeries (won't say the names) either they would be booked for the next 4 weeks or they can't possibly do the hard work we put in to our specialty cakes. I think many customers will try you a bit because you may not have that big bakery or you just work out your home. They may feel we're desperate at times and that we will take on any job they throw at us. I am so glad that you are sticking to your guns and not lowering your prices know your worth! I've also learned that many people don't understand the hard work that is put into these cakes after all it's just eaten right? Unfortunately you will have plenty more customers like this one come your way, just remember that your the one that is in the kitchen slaving over a cake for 5 hours or more, eventhough this is your passion you still deserve to be compensated for all your hardwork.

Good Luck! thumbs_up.gif

alvarezmom Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 4:05pm
post #10 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

and I don't want to get their hopes up with their ideas, only to find out they had a beer budget for their champagne dream.




Okay I'm stealing that quote! icon_biggrin.gif

neelycharmed Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 4:08pm
post #11 of 55

I hear you loud and clear!!
same thing happened to me this weekend.
She showed me a picture of a cake she liked...
I said $480.00, she said... too much...
long story short...
the final wedding cake is now $185.00 ... just a rectangle with no piping...

neelycharmed Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 4:54pm
post #12 of 55

I hear you loud and clear!!
same thing happened to me this weekend.
She showed me a picture of a cake she liked...
I said $480.00, she said... too much...
long story short...
the final wedding cake is now $185.00 ... just a rectangle with no piping...

sweetneice Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 5:02pm
post #13 of 55

I think that people are definitely looking at these shows and getting a million and one ideas but not realizing the following:

These people have prepped for a cake challenge in advance instead of someone ordering a last minute cake witha lot of work to it.......

They have help......most of us are doing start to finish alone!
The cakes are already baked when they begin the challenges........ours are not on standby waiting! lol
They don't have to go through the trouble of delivery because they are on onsite....unlike us
I could go on and on and on..........
So yes, they can look at the show and say hey it only takes them 8 hours but they are leaving out critical steps that have already been done in advance, that would not pertain to a home cake designer's everyday business life....and if they look on these cake challenger's websites at their prices...........whew...........they think they're about to faint over $210, wait till they check the base price of the famous designer's cakes! lol

Mylittleflutterby Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 5:14pm
post #14 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetneice

I think that people are definitely looking at these shows and getting a million and one ideas but not realizing the following:

These people have prepped for a cake challenge in advance instead of someone ordering a last minute cake witha lot of work to it.......

They have help......most of us are doing start to finish alone!
The cakes are already baked when they begin the challenges........ours are not on standby waiting! lol
They don't have to go through the trouble of delivery because they are on onsite....unlike us
I could go on and on and on..........
So yes, they can look at the show and say hey it only takes them 8 hours but they are leaving out critical steps that have already been done in advance, that would not pertain to a home cake designer's everyday business life....and if they look on these cake challenger's websites at their prices...........whew...........they think they're about to faint over $210, wait till they check the base price of the famous designer's cakes! lol




I was also going to add that perhaps the buyers should do their research and see how much the famous designers charge for their cakes and then realize that the price they are getting is actually quite reasonable.

Oh well.. maybe one day....

sweetneice Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 5:25pm
post #15 of 55

Yeah, I dream of that day too! lol

gladysrdz24 Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 5:31pm
post #16 of 55

Maybe shows like ace of cakes or cake boss should price of cake when they show their final product. Why not it would be fair for everybody to see how much they charge anyways. Im sure they get calls for cakes and then people flip out over the price. They would avoid that by putting prices. Im big on finding out prices first when looking on any kind of website. If you dont have a price listed on line I dont even consider calling you. And thats for anything. Maybe its just me.

varika Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 5:33pm
post #17 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by mackeymom

And it's not our fault we charge what we are worth!




If not, then who's fault is it!? icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_biggrin.gif

I don't know, though, I think maybe the vent is a little excessive? I mean, yeah, I understand, it's frustrating to get that reaction, but it sounds like the cake muggle in question was willing to compromise to get what she could afford. Most of these people have never bought a fancy cake, so there IS a bit of sticker shock, even when you're EXPECTING to spend boceau bucks. I mean, it doesn't sound like this client said, "Well WALMART sells them cheap," she just went, "Woah, that's more than I was expecting!"

Of course by no means am I trying to say that you should have sold your work cheaper than that! You were already giving her a discount, which is more generous than many would have been. Definitely you were perfectly right to stick to your guns on that. I just think....is something as small as sticker shock really worth getting your knickers in a bunch over?

OhMyGanache Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 5:46pm
post #18 of 55

I often use the line "There are so many directions we could go in with your ideas that it would be helpful for me to have an idea of your budget before working up the quote. I can give you a few different design ideas within your budget and then you can choose".

When you ask what they're expecting to spend beforehand, it saves a lot of time and aggravation for both of you.

playingwithsugar Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 5:49pm
post #19 of 55

This is a little OT but it will segue -

The local pizza guy told me yesterday that the average ingredients cost for the food industries, in general, have risen 37% in the past 2 years. I have to agree, because the cost of boxed cake mix went from 85 cents, 2 years ago, to 1.16, and that's at WallyWorld. Just a few weeks ago, they were still 96 cents each.

So, figuring on an independent baker not being able to buy in massive, truck-load quantities, like chain stores do, not being able to purchase pre-baked, pre-iced cakes that only need a message put on them (highly reduced labor costs), and the afore-mentioned television shows making people believe that bakeries can knock out giant cakes but nobody pays the prices, yeah, it's time for the public to get a reality check.

There are some magazines and websites that list the prices of the cakes they feature. Maybe it's time for you to start keeping that kind of information handy for pricing reference when you have a consultation.

Thanks, everyone, for being here for each other, to vent to at times like this.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

amadavis Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 5:53pm
post #20 of 55

Out of curiosity I went on the website for the bakery that Ace of Cakes is based on (www.charmcitycakes.com). According to their FAQ section they require a min. deposit of $1,000 on all cake orders. So great job stick to your guns!

sweetneice Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 5:54pm
post #21 of 55

Hello Varika!
thanks for your comments and your post. Every decorator at some point has a time or two when a client/clients tend to do something that iritates the heck out of them or questions the value of their work. You have probably been there yourself and if not, believe me, one day it will come. It's just the nature of our business. What gets on your nerves may not bother me and what bothers me, may not bother you, but we should still be able to come and vent it out with likeminded people and support each other through it. For this particular incident, it really bothered me because I'm sick of clients calling and wanting a $1000 cake for $10! LOL! It's all good, I'm better, just needed to get it off my chest and onto the cake forum for a minute! So My Knickers are not in bunch! LOL! Take care and happy baking to you!

sweetneice Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 5:56pm
post #22 of 55

Thanks Amadavis! That was who I was referring to anyways! LOL!

dsilvest Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 6:00pm
post #23 of 55

I decorate cakes and am still wowed by the prices that some of you charge.

Sassy74 Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 6:10pm
post #24 of 55

It can be frustrating when ppl seem to want you to give away your time, and it happens quite a lot in these scarce economic times. I have figured an hourly rate for myself, and used that to determine what I charge per slice for a cake. I feel like it's fair, as I'm not undercutting nor am I over charging based on my location. As I read on here one time...I'm worth more than minimum wage. If you quote someone a price and it's too high, then work with them as far as you're able, but no way am I giving away my time. I'm a SAHM with two young children that I homeschool...VERY BUSY! And there are many other things I could be doing with my time, so if I make cakes for others, it HAS to be worth it for me. I have no problem telling ppl what I charge. If they can't afford it, it's OK. I don't get upset, and there are other places they can go to get a cheaper product. It sounds like you stuck to your price and negotiated what you were able...you're being very generous, I must say. No way I'd do 70 servings for $100!!! I charge more than that for a sheet cake!

playingwithsugar Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 6:55pm
post #25 of 55

From what I've read here, over the years, even when things were still going good, people were trying to get over on home bakers and independents. Hard economic times or not, there are plenty of people out there who will try to get over on bakers, and believe they can re-negotiate the price.

Just look at our friend, the chocolate cherry cake guy, who keeps trying to get our members fall for his delivery fee scam.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

UpAt2am Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 7:03pm
post #26 of 55

I completely agree with most of the posts! I have people question prices all the time so I took it upon myself to call some of our favorite bakeries to check out their prices. Someone mentioned a bakery that has a $1000 deposit and their old website said that there was a minimum of $3000 for a cake. I called another VERY popular bakery and for a 3 tier topsy turvy (that they said feeds 40-50), they said it was $565. Now I think that these bakeries create amazing cakes, and it's basic supply and demand! And I figure if people are willing to pay them their rate, then they should get their rate! I always try to present a few different ideas for my customers, from the simple to the complex and I give them the price ranges. They can go from there! But pricing cakes is one of the hardest parts for me still. Let's all remember that we are worth it and we deserve to be paid for our talents!

peacebear07 Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 7:26pm
post #27 of 55

i have just seriously got into making cakes i've made little cute cakes for family reunions or holidays but that was on my own account never requested, well my cousins baby shower is this saturday and my grandma asked me to make a sheet cake to feed about 35 people i said no problem and asked what kind of designs , she told me and i kinda run with the idea and drew up a pattern , she liked it so now the problem is she asked me how much i charge ....since its my first real cake request and its made for a family member should i charge or just donate it .... but i dont want my family to think they can use me to make them cakes for free in the future icon_sad.gif ...i didnt have alot of what i needed so ive spent about 30 dollars so far on new equipment ...my boyfriend thinks i should charge half of what ive spent so $15 but i feel kinda bad.....so my question is should i charge or let it be a learning cake?? thanks for your help!!

playingwithsugar Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 7:44pm
post #28 of 55

I have to be honest, if my grandma asked me to do a cake for her, she would get it free. And unless it's a gift, which is what I do most often, I do get reimbursed by my family for ingredients and utilities. If it's for my auntie, hey, ingredients cost money, so does electricity, slip me a 20 or go to the bakery for one. And don't let anyone weasel a cake out of you on the cheap because their brother-in-law needs one. Decide on a point in your family where charity ends and cash begins.

But my grandma, never, even if I was broke and starving.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

OhMyGanache Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 7:54pm
post #29 of 55

I can be pretty cheap sometimes... while my friend has no problem doing all the "required maintenance" on her vehicles and paying top dollar at the dealership - I hate paying $20 for an oil change and wait until I get a great coupon before taking the car in.

Different people place different values on different items. To me, car maintenance hasn't ever been an issue because I used to get a new car every two years (I've had my current one for 5 years though - which is a first!), but to her, it's no big deal. Why get upset that there are people who think CAKE shouldn't be so expensive? To some people one cake is just as good as the next, and that's not the people you want to cater to - so who cares?

I often wonder if there is a mechanic forum where guys b*tch about people like me who only want to pay $15 for an oil change. Heh.

susanscakecreations Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 8:07pm
post #30 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by peacebear07

i have just seriously got into making cakes i've made little cute cakes for family reunions or holidays but that was on my own account never requested, well my cousins baby shower is this saturday and my grandma asked me to make a sheet cake to feed about 35 people i said no problem and asked what kind of designs , she told me and i kinda run with the idea and drew up a pattern , she liked it so now the problem is she asked me how much i charge ....since its my first real cake request and its made for a family member should i charge or just donate it .... but i dont want my family to think they can use me to make them cakes for free in the future icon_sad.gif ...i didnt have alot of what i needed so ive spent about 30 dollars so far on new equipment ...my boyfriend thinks i should charge half of what ive spent so $15 but i feel kinda bad.....so my question is should i charge or let it be a learning cake?? thanks for your help!!




Grandmas should ALWAYS get free cake! icon_wink.gif

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