I am doing a wedding cake for my hubby's cousin in September. She is planning on paying me for the cake (at a discounted rate) but our plan was to give her her cake as our gift to them as a surprise. However, she has chosen a cake with 5 six inch cakes as the base with a 2 tier cake on top, along with a fountain and the grecian pillar set that goes with the fountain. I don't have either of those items and recently priced them out -fountain is $99CDN and the pillar/plate set is $85CDN. Chances are I may never have to use these items again. My husband says there is no way I give her the cake and have to buy these items as well.
What do you all do when a customer wants a design that requires items that you don't have? Do you figure out a portion of the cost into their cake price? Hubby suggested charging her for the fountain and pillar set, but then my thinking is....won't those items then belong to her?
Simple. They either pay for that stuff, or I don't do the cake. Period. No way would I ever eat the cost on that stuff. Or purchase it in the off chance that someone will want it again sometime in the future. I'll help them out with links to where to order the items, and if they want them, great. Either ship them to me, or drop them off a few days ahead of time.
Maybe she can be talked into changing her design idea?
And for sure, those things belong to them when it is all said and done. I don't stock things that have to be returned either. No deposits and refunds here. I deliver your cake, everything is yours, happy honeymoon, see you in a year for your anniversary cake! And then your baby shower, and then.....
Do you have any craft stores near you that provides coupons for customer use? That's how I got all my plastics inexpensively. And there's always someone on here that has an online coupon they can share. Start a thread asking someone to send one your way.
Also, check for those products on eBay. Sometimes you can get them at auction for next to nothing. A friend of mine got a fountain, new in box, for $25, plus $10 to ship.
check at your local cake store. When I need a fountain, I rent one. My store charges $10 + deposit for the weekend. They offer plates and pillars as well.
I don't generally do the fountains and pillars type of cake, but if I did, since I don't have an ongoing use for them I would DEFINITELY build the cost of those item into the cake and call it a day (i.e., not have them returned to me). Many people would charge a deposit and/or rental fee and have them, returned, but these are people who do these types of cakes often and will use them again. Since you are doubtful you will need them again in the foreseeable future, make her pay for them, and then yes, they will belong to her to do with whatever she pleases.
Thanks everyone. I get coupons for the Michaels store that I can get 40% off. There isn't anywhere around me that will rent these items. Not sure what I will do yet, but thanks for all of the input!