How Much Should I Charge For This Cake? Thomas The Train

Decorating By coolgal Updated 1 Aug 2009 , 7:00pm by kathi2009

coolgal Posted 30 Jul 2009 , 4:10pm
post #1 of 15

Hi,
I'm a beginner to cake making and have been making cakes for family b'days and holidays. Ihe mats a hobby and not a profession. I made this Thomas the Train cake for my sons b'day. A friend of my friend's asked me if I could do a smaller one like that for her sons b'day. The cake in the picture could feed 40-50 people. but she needs one that can feed 15-20 people. No idea how much I should charge....... Its lots of work as I make MM fondant myself .Would appreciate any help with deciding....

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo_1424595.html

Thank You
Jel

14 replies
ChimbleySweets Posted 30 Jul 2009 , 4:15pm
post #2 of 15

I'm curious to see any responses you might get..because I am starting this as a hobby too, but I don't know how much to charge for my cakes.

MikeRowesHunny Posted 30 Jul 2009 , 4:41pm
post #3 of 15

It's lovely. I charge at least $5 per serving, with a minimum charge of $100 for 3D cakes.

CanadianCakin Posted 30 Jul 2009 , 4:46pm
post #4 of 15

Hate be the bearer of bad news....but it's my understanding it's illegal to sell trademark characters! Maybe someone else could help with this.
Now you could give the cake, but I'm pretty sure if the wrong people found out you were 'selling' it you could get into big trouble!

jammjenks Posted 30 Jul 2009 , 4:51pm
post #5 of 15

I think t is a very cute cake and I can tell you put a ton of work into it. I don't make a lot of 3D cakes, but I'll bet making it smaller would mean more work than this one.

Mensch Posted 30 Jul 2009 , 5:57pm
post #6 of 15

Do you really want to dork around with a 3-D cake that small? It'll take twice the time this big one took.

__Jamie__ Posted 30 Jul 2009 , 5:59pm
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mensch

Do you really want to dork around with a 3-D cake that small? It'll take twice the time this big one took.




I agree!

ChimbleySweets Posted 30 Jul 2009 , 11:27pm
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by momma_ash

Hate be the bearer of bad news....but it's my understanding it's illegal to sell trademark characters! Maybe someone else could help with this.
Now you could give the cake, but I'm pretty sure if the wrong people found out you were 'selling' it you could get into big trouble!




What if you call it by a different name..Like if she ever has a book of her cakes, under his picture writes "Charles the Choo-Choo" or something..(I know that sounds ridiculous lol, just curious icon_smile.gif )..Cause I've seen in bakeries around here cake artists just tweak one or two little items on the trademarked character..I don't really know how that works..

Jennilynne Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 3:24am
post #9 of 15

Well, first off I think you should calculate how much the ingredient will cost you (don't forget to include everything like the cake board!)...then add in a small fee for your work because you are doing this for a friend, right? I bet if you tally up your ingredients costs, you'll probably already be getting up there in price. Don't want to gouge a friend.

coolgal Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 1:18pm
post #10 of 15

Thank you all for the replies. I didnt know it was illegal to sell it. I had seen Thomas the train cakes on sale on internet. Well glad to know about that. Thank you.

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 7:10pm
post #11 of 15

Those cakes you've seen on the internet may have used a thomas the train kit that was bought. Then it's legal to sell it because you've already bought the part that makes it Thomas the Train from the manufacturer, who then gives a cut of that to the artist who made up Thomas the Train. Therefore no copyright infringment. Credit was given where it was due. Now if you made a Thomas face out of fondant/gumpaste and made the entire thing from scratch, then a copyright attorney could get a case out of that, seeing as how you sold something as your own when the idea wasn't fully your own. That's how grocery stores can sell cakes that have plastic figures on them or edible images. Because those decorations were bought. Just for fun, try going to a grocery store that makes Dora cakes. Go in with a different picture of Dora and ask to have that put on a cake. If the decorator is smart they would say they only have permission to use the Dora decorations that have been approved for them to use. They even have to get permission from photographers to reproduce graduation/wedding/etc. pics on cakes. Because they would be making a profit from someone else's work. The consequence of that would be fines of up to thousands of dollars and jail time if they wanted to take it to the full extend of the law.

I had a cousin who wanted a Tinkerbell cake. I told her what I can do is decorate a cake but she would be responsible for finding Tinkerbell decorations to put on it. She settled for sitting her daughter's Tinkerbell doll on the top of the cake. The daughter loved it.

Oi the hassle of copyright laws. But my mother in law is an artist and I totally understand where they are coming from.

However, apart from the whole copyright thing, are you sure it's legal to sell home baked cakes in your state? Many states won't allow it.

DefyGravity Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 4:04am
post #12 of 15

I have no idea how copywrite laws work. I know the Wilton character pans that are licensed often have a "home use only" disclaimer on there, so I would imagine it would be similar to what you saw on the internet.

As for how much to charge your friend, I know there are several choices on this site for a good pricing matrix. Factor in how much ingredients cost, and how much you want to get paid by the hour. If you're going to be serious about cake decorating, then don't undervalue yourself right off the bat. If you do a favor once, they're going to expect it everytime.

Good luck with the cake, and make sure you post pictures when you complete it!

JaimeAnn Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 4:16am
post #13 of 15

I too hate to be the bearer of bad news but even if you buy the character pan it is still illegal to sell trademarked character items, the pans you buy are for personal use not for resell.

Even if you tweak it and rename it it is still copyright infringement.

Also It is Illegal to sell any food prepared in your home in the U.S. Unless you live in one of the few states that let you operate a Licensed inspected kitchen in your home.The key phrase is Licensed & inspected. It is against the law to just start making food items in your home and selling them to the public. I know that a lot of people do it . I am just letting you know there could be legal problems if you do.

coolgal Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 3:32pm
post #14 of 15

Thanks again for letting me know. I dont want to get in to anything illegal.

kathi2009 Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 7:00pm
post #15 of 15

coolgal...just check with your state. I called my depart of agriculture. They were very helpful, and told me that my kitchen did not need to be liscensed for hobby (3-4 cakes a month) baking and selling.

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