Family Wants Free Cakes - Help!

Decorating By mkm25 Updated 22 Jul 2009 , 11:21pm by CookieMakinMomma

mkm25 Posted 22 Jul 2009 , 12:42pm
post #1 of 14

I know I've seen this discussed on CC before, but my search function isn't working right now...

Anyway, to make a long story short, I'm a full-time graduate student, teach Wilton courses 2 nights a week, and usually work on cakes during the other evenings. I don't do a whole lot of business - mostly just cakes for friends, but it keeps me busy. When I finish my Ph.D. (in December, yay!), I'd like to go into cake decorating full-time so this is something I'm serious about.

Well, my hubby's family is always asking me to make cakes...either for free or for way cheaper than I would normally charge for them! I think that's rude...by asking me to do it for free, they're not supporting my future career and they're asking a LOT out of me! Even though I really enjoy decorating, if I'm not getting paid to do a cake, I would probably choose to sit and relax for once!

It really irks me that they expect me to drop everything 3 days before a party and work on a cake (they have no idea how much time it takes and they always ask for complicated designs). But what irks me even more is my hubby doesn't see my point of view! He thinks if they pay me for the cost of the supplies, that's enough! Ugh!

Does anyone else feel like it's rude of them? How can I rectify the situation without looking rude in return for saying I don't do cakes for free??? I mean, I already offer a 15% friends and family discount...isn't that generous?

13 replies
Doug Posted 22 Jul 2009 , 1:01pm
post #2 of 14

use the contractor analogy.

it's alright to pay:
a plumber just for supplies isn't it when a repair is made?
a car mechanic just for parts?
a carpenter just for the wood, screws, nails, etc?
a ......

of course he will answer no.

then ditto for me!

I'm a cake contractor. I deserve to be paid for my labor too!

--------

all the better if he or any of the relatives actually are one of these.

then toss it back in their face.

sure, I'll make your cake for just the supplies, and you'll fix my --- for just the cost of parts.

brincess_b Posted 22 Jul 2009 , 2:46pm
post #3 of 14

you know why the family keep asking for free/ cheap cakes? cause you keep doing them!

turn around, say no. if you want to explain, then do so - too little notice, not enough time, too tresed, not enough money (them paying costs wont cover your extra energy bills etc), whatever. want to lie? well, maybe not the best route, but if you want to, thats fine too in my eyes!

as for your husband, he is clearly jut in the its only time, its only cake mindset. if you want,t eh nex cake you do, say it is on the condition that he helps you. he does all the washing up to let you study. if you measure the ingredients, he mixes. if the family wont collect, he delivers. make it he bigget, messiest cake you can, and i bet he will start to have more appreciation for what you do.

i dont know hi family, so cant say if they are nastily taking advantage or not, but the very possibly dont understand what it takes to make a good cake. again, get them to commit to being your helper, you never know, they might want to pay you more. then again, sometime families think that cause you are family, they get free cake, and it can take years to sort them out.

but start by saying no, or charging a decent price, and you will be making progress.
xx

mkm25 Posted 22 Jul 2009 , 7:03pm
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by brincess_b

you know why the family keep asking for free/ cheap cakes? cause you keep doing them!
xx




For the record, I have only made 1 cake for FREE - a mother's day cake only 2 months after I started cake decorating. I have only made one other cake for the family...they wanted a very detailed design but only wanted to pay me $50. Since I had time that week, I just went wild with it, but I probably should have only done what I could for $50.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brincess_b

as for your husband, he is clearly jut in the its only time, its only cake mindset. if you want,t eh nex cake you do, say it is on the condition that he helps you. he does all the washing up to let you study. if you measure the ingredients, he mixes. if the family wont collect, he delivers. make it he bigget, messiest cake you can, and i bet he will start to have more appreciation for what you do.
xx




hehe, that makes me giggle! I actually told him last night that he could make a cake for his family and he said, "Ha! yea right!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by brincess_b

i dont know hi family, so cant say if they are nastily taking advantage or not, but the very possibly dont understand what it takes to make a good cake.
xx




No, they're definitely not doing it to be mean. I just don't think they understand that they're offending me and asking me to do a lot for them! If it was just for my hubby's immediate family, that'd be fine....but we're talking cousins, family friends, etc. I have to draw the line somewhere, don't I???

Doug Posted 22 Jul 2009 , 7:21pm
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkm25

I have to draw the line somewhere, don't I???




Yes.

Immediate family only (husband, child(ren) get it for free.

1x removed (mom, dad, MIL, FIL, sis/bro, spouse-in-law, niece/nephew) free only if it's your b-day/wedding/graduation/etc. and then it's the ONLY gift you get from us.

all others: $$$$$

mkm25 Posted 22 Jul 2009 , 7:33pm
post #6 of 14

Haha, thanks Doug. It's nice to know I'm not alone on that. On one hand, I feel stingy...on the other, I have to make money and keep my sanity, right?! thumbs_up.gif

mkm25 Posted 22 Jul 2009 , 7:35pm
post #7 of 14

Haha, thanks Doug. It's nice to know I'm not alone on that. On one hand, I feel stingy...on the other, I have to make money and keep my sanity, right?! thumbs_up.gif

costumeczar Posted 22 Jul 2009 , 7:35pm
post #8 of 14

I totally agree with the idea of making your husband help make the next cake. I'd make him do ALL the cooking and cleaning, I'll bet that will change his attitude pretty fast! icon_lol.gif

Just say no the next time they ask...If they beg, say that the price is $$$, and make it worth your time. It sounds like you're really busy in general, so anything that takes time should be charged a premium fee.

uniquelyjenn Posted 22 Jul 2009 , 7:43pm
post #9 of 14

I am really new here, but I am soon to be in the same boat you are in, kinda.... I end up giving away for free and others complain I should charge. Same kinda thing tho, just backwards.... my best advice would be to talk to your husband and make sure he is on track with you about your business idea after you graduate. Sit down with him and break it all down...if I want to make this business work and be profitable I need to bring in x amount of money a month... if my cookies cost this much to make and I sell them for.........you know where I am headed...get to the it takes me this much time to make my cake....how much is my time and abilities worth to us....how much he says should reflect for the business as a whole...agree together....then ask him about the $50.00 cakes for your family...he should see it deferently. Offer family a free birthday cake, and a certain % off, but as a business it must be treated as a business, not a hobby. As a hobby it is o.k. as a business it will be a terrible mistake. Just my own opinion...hope it helps...

uniquelyjenn Posted 22 Jul 2009 , 7:43pm
post #10 of 14

I am really new here, but I am soon to be in the same boat you are in, kinda.... I end up giving away for free and others complain I should charge. Same kinda thing tho, just backwards.... my best advice would be to talk to your husband and make sure he is on track with you about your business idea after you graduate. Sit down with him and break it all down...if I want to make this business work and be profitable I need to bring in x amount of money a month... if my cookies cost this much to make and I sell them for.........you know where I am headed...get to the it takes me this much time to make my cake....how much is my time and abilities worth to us....how much he says should reflect for the business as a whole...agree together....then ask him about the $50.00 cakes for your family...he should see it deferently. Offer family a free birthday cake, and a certain % off, but as a business it must be treated as a business, not a hobby. As a hobby it is o.k. as a business it will be a terrible mistake. Just my own opinion...hope it helps...

cylstrial Posted 22 Jul 2009 , 9:09pm
post #11 of 14

Definitely make the hubby make the cake batter, bake the cakes, and clean all the dishes and the floor. Then tell him he has to time you on how long it takes you to do the rest. I think he'll change his mind.

Carolynlovescake Posted 22 Jul 2009 , 9:23pm
post #12 of 14

If I offer it's free. If they ask, they pay.

If hubby offers it for free with out asking you first, he pays full price. (Trust me it will happen only once!)

Immediate family members (hubby, kids get them for free for special events).

Our family lives out of the area so it's not an issue.

LaBellaFlor Posted 22 Jul 2009 , 10:01pm
post #13 of 14

If its cause they just don't know how hard it is, the next time they ask, give them an invoice or politely tell them the total, followed "But I give a family discount of 15%". A lot of times its how we say something, more so then what we say, so don't worry about being rude.

CookieMakinMomma Posted 22 Jul 2009 , 11:21pm
post #14 of 14

Ok, totally had a random thought, ignore me if someone has thought of it before.

How about if next time you do a cake for a legitimate reason (birthday, anniv., etc.) you include as part of your gift a little coupon book. You would have a set number of coupons based on events in the coming year for that person/family and they could say something like "redeem for 1 free birthday cake" (or 50% off, or whatever). You could even go so far as to put expiration dates on them or specify the exact event. That might help to indicate that, although you would love to do cakes for them, they are allotted only so many freebies in a given 12 month period. After that they are going to have to pay retail price. The added benefit is if the coupon book idea works you can give another one next year, or if it bombs you don't bother.

Just a thought...

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