I Lost Another Customer Over Price

Decorating By ZlatkaT Updated 24 Aug 2009 , 9:21am by PieceofCakeAZ

ZlatkaT Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 2:16am
post #1 of 54

This is the second time, that I lost "cake deal", because of price. Was I overcharging?
Lady wanted 2 tier cake for 40 people, so I suggested make her 6" + 10". She wanted my cake match her diaper "cake", so all I need to do is make simple cake and use ribbon with "ugly" silk flower provided by her. I was also going to make gumpaste baby booties on top of the cake, to look more like baby shower cake. This is the deal I made with her
6"+10" all BC ....$100
or Fondant for....$140

53 replies
imamommy1205 Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 2:20am
post #2 of 54

I think those prices are totally reasonable! I dont know where she thinks she can get the same for cheaper!!!

MORSELSBYMARK Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 2:25am
post #3 of 54

I think the price sounds about right - just over 3 dollars per serving fondant - if she can't deal with the price, tell her to head on over to Costco!

kse Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 2:32am
post #4 of 54

Absolutely not!!!! people....., I swear! icon_rolleyes.gif I think you didn't ask enough.

__Jamie__ Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 3:12am
post #5 of 54

Lol....if I told you how many customers I lost over price....wait a minute. They weren't customers. They were of the mindset of "it's juuuust a cake!?!?" icon_biggrin.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 3:15am
post #6 of 54

It always makes me laugh too. It's like, did you look at my website? Did you miss the starting prices? Did you see my work? Is there any reason to think my prices are gonna be anywhere near a Walmart sheetcake?? But then again, people just don't realize it. Can't fault 'em. Just gotta train 'em! icon_smile.gif

ZlatkaT Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 3:26am
post #7 of 54

thank you, I feel better now.... it will take a while, when we "train" the people icon_smile.gif

Jeff_Arnett Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 3:48am
post #8 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZlatkaT

This is the second time, that I lost "cake deal", because of price. Was I overcharging?
Lady wanted 2 tier cake for 40 people, so I suggested make her 6" + 10". She wanted my cake match her diaper "cake", so all I need to do is make simple cake and use ribbon with "ugly" silk flower provided by her. I was also going to make gumpaste baby booties on top of the cake, to look more like baby shower cake. This is the deal I made with her
6"+10" all BC ....$100
or Fondant for....$140




If the quality of your work justifies the price....then stick to your guns. It won't take long for people to realize your work is worth the money.

If you start making "deals" with people, it will spread "faster than wild fire" and in the end you will be taken advantage of and be the unhappy one!

WildSugar Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 4:00am
post #9 of 54

Ya know, i'm in a kind of disagreement on another forum about this topic. I'm just starting out, and i'm pretty much selling cakes at cost right now. But i just cant see anyone in my area (southern Idaho) paying that much for a b-day cake or baby shower cake. I still need to do some research and find out what local home based places are charging, but i just dont think it's that much. A year ago, i paid around $200 for my wedding cake and it was HUGE. I dont want to get carried away with pricing, even if i feel that the time and energy i put into a cake is well worth $100 bucks for a basic cake and lose customers over it.

__Jamie__ Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 4:04am
post #10 of 54

Wild, if you are making cakes to market to "the masses", then of course, your prices should reflect that. Some of us decided to stay exclusive and market to those who want outrageous, over the top, seriously fancy, whatever other colorful descriptions you can think of. Is $200 for a "simple" (by exactly who's definition anyways?) cake outrageous? Not when I get done with it. It's worth what it's worth. If Joe Schmoe can't afford it, it's a-ok. Jane Fancy Pants wants it. Jane is who I want. And I will pass up 10 Joe Schmoes anyday for 1 Jane Fancy Pants.

playingwithsugar Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 4:10am
post #11 of 54

wildsugar -

It's sometimes difficult to find home-bakers, because many of them are working under the table, so to speak. You might find your research easier if you contact independently-owned, full-service bakeries in your area, or surrounding area, to see how much they are charging.

ZlatkaT -

Do not second-guess your prices, based on the potential client's no, thank you.

I don't even sell cakes, but people ask me to all the time. I won't compromise my ingredients (I bake from scratch and use SMBC, make my own fillings), nor would I ever consider turning on my oven for less than a base price I've decided to go with. When people hear that they cringe, but I don't care. If they love my cakes as much as they say they do, then if they want me to make one for them, it's going to be on my terms, not theirs.

Your customer wanted a tiered cake for a sheet cake price. It's not worth wasting your time trying to convince them that what they want is more work, more ingredients. Let that customer go, and move on to the next one.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

Kandy4283 Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 4:14am
post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildSugar

Ya know, i'm in a kind of disagreement on another forum about this topic. I'm just starting out, and i'm pretty much selling cakes at cost right now. But i just cant see anyone in my area (southern Idaho) paying that much for a b-day cake or baby shower cake. I still need to do some research and find out what local home based places are charging, but i just dont think it's that much. A year ago, i paid around $200 for my wedding cake and it was HUGE. I dont want to get carried away with pricing, even if i feel that the time and energy i put into a cake is well worth $100 bucks for a basic cake and lose customers over it.




I gotta agree with ya! And this is nothing against charging $100 or $140 for a cake, but I am just starting out with getting my name out there as well, and I am pretty much doing a cost as well to get my name out there and get going! But I don't think that anyone around here, in my area (Sioux City, Iowa) is charging that much either! Maybe in your area thats about right, but maybe what you should do is price check with other bakery's and stores to see how much they would charge for that size of cake!

veronica720 Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 4:16am
post #13 of 54

Custom cake for a grocery store price, not going to happen!!!!

I made a 3 tier wedding cake with red roses and only charged $140 (good friend), but when I first told her the price she said that was too high and that her dress didn't even cost that much. But I was def not taking any less for that cake, she ended up getting it anyway. So don't worry some people are just suprised, since they are used to grocery store prices (which don't compare in quality).

Ruth0209 Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 4:21am
post #14 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildSugar

Ya know, i'm in a kind of disagreement on another forum about this topic. I'm just starting out, and i'm pretty much selling cakes at cost right now. But i just cant see anyone in my area (southern Idaho) paying that much for a b-day cake or baby shower cake. I still need to do some research and find out what local home based places are charging, but i just dont think it's that much. A year ago, i paid around $200 for my wedding cake and it was HUGE. I dont want to get carried away with pricing, even if i feel that the time and energy i put into a cake is well worth $100 bucks for a basic cake and lose customers over it.




I'm in Boise, and I start at $3.25/slice for buttercream, $3.75/slice for fondant, and $2.00 each for a pretty simple cupcake, and I have plenty of business. That's about the going rate here and people seem more than willing to pay it.

It's a good idea to do the research and see what other custom cake decorators charge. After I did that I wasn't a bit shy about charging that much. Plus, the kitchen rent, insurance, food handler's class, licensing fee and everything else don't come cheap. You have to factor that as well as supplies and ingredients into your cost.

Ruth0209 Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 4:28am
post #15 of 54

And by the way, you won't be able to run a home-based bakery in Idaho. You have to operate out of a commercial kitchen and be licensed and inspected by the Health department. You can build a separate commercial kitchen on your property (if zoning allows), but you can't bake out of the kitchen in your home. Just a heads up.

Ruth0209 Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 4:32am
post #16 of 54

Oh, and one more thing. OP, I consider a 10" and 6" cake 50 servings, not 40. Don't short yourself on the number of servings, either. I did that at first but it just didn't make any sense. So at my prices, your cake would cost:

Buttercream - $162.50
Fondant - $187.50

JaimeAnn Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 5:14am
post #17 of 54

ZlatkaT = You are not overcharging , especially for your area. I grew up in Oxnard, Ventura & Ojai. Send them down to Royal bakery on telephone Rd. or LAStarr on Palma Dr. Then they will see what cakes really cost!

I am in Bakersfield now and my prices start at $3 BC & $4 Fondant so that cake would have been a minimum of

$150 BC
$200 Fondant

LaBellaFlor Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 5:44am
post #18 of 54

Don't worry about it, cause you DID NOT lose a client. Thats NOT a client you want. And as far as people charging low, cause they are just starting, wait to see what happens when you try to raise your prices. If you are selling cakes. I'm assuming you got the skills. If you don't have the skills yet, you shouldn't be selling cakes, but selling them cheaper cause your "just starting out" is just a bad idea.

Kandy4283 Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 5:51am
post #19 of 54

sellig them cheap to me and most of the customers that I have had state that it is great due to gettig my name out there! Most of the people that I have sold to are very very nice people and asked why I am so cheap and I have explained ths to them and what is to come in the future and they are all a-okay with it! They think its a great way as well!! I do not live i a city like, LA, chicago, or a big populated area, this is the midwest, and when I say modwest, I mean I can go from south dakota to iowa and then to nebraska in less than 1 min! So counrty people rely on walmart to the fullest! they worship it! HA! I gotta get my foot i there door somehow!

LaBellaFlor Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 5:58am
post #20 of 54

I live in a small town too and I live in the South. What I do know is people will pay for what they really want. And I can't tell you how many times I've been on here and heard the EXACT same thing. "When I first started I priced low to get my name out there and I also told my clients that when I get more expierence, my prices will go up, and they said they understood. Now that I've decided to raise my prices, I'm getting a lot of complaints. What do I do?". If it works out for you, great. I just haven't seen it happen yet.

Ruth0209 Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 6:04am
post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kandy4283

sellig them cheap to me and most of the customers that I have had state that it is great due to gettig my name out there! Most of the people that I have sold to are very very nice people and asked why I am so cheap and I have explained ths to them and what is to come in the future and they are all a-okay with it! They think its a great way as well!! I do not live i a city like, LA, chicago, or a big populated area, this is the midwest, and when I say modwest, I mean I can go from south dakota to iowa and then to nebraska in less than 1 min! So counrty people rely on walmart to the fullest! they worship it! HA! I gotta get my foot i there door somehow!




Of course your customers agree that it's a good idea to sell your products at a low price!!! What customer in her right mind would argue with a low price? I'm not sure I'd consider that dependable business advice. What are they going to tell you to do? Charge them twice as much? Everyone loves a steal.

Your prices should be based on what your actual competition charges. If you consider your cakes comparable to Walmart, then that's who you compare your prices to. If your cakes are better (and I bet they are, hands down) then it just doesn't matter what Walmart charges. You can and should charge more for custom cakes.

I think the "I live in a small town and no one pays that much" argument is flawed in most places. You have to identify your target market. There are well-to-do, financially comfortable people in every community who can afford and who want better cakes than Walmart. Those are the people you market to. They'll pay more for a better product.

The other posters are correct. It is difficult to bring your prices up to a decent rate if you start out too cheap. Chances are, you'll lose those customers who think it's such a good idea for you to sell cheap because they're ultimately not your target market.

Kandy4283 Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 6:05am
post #22 of 54

well wish me luck! I hope it works! I am getting outta here and going to bed! Tired and this is too addicting for me! Everyone has there own ways and I started the cake decorating to do it for me and the enjoyment and it has lead to people paying me for what I do and now the economy is starting to suck so now i figure i just as well start this as a side job on top of my full time job! I will get there if i decide to raise my prices!

Ruth0209 Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 6:17am
post #23 of 54

I DO wish you good luck. And whatever works, works!

cakesbycathy Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 3:07pm
post #24 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kandy4283

sellig them cheap to me and most of the customers that I have had state that it is great due to gettig my name out there! Most of the people that I have sold to are very very nice people and asked why I am so cheap and I have explained ths to them and what is to come in the future and they are all a-okay with it! They think its a great way as well!! I do not live i a city like, LA, chicago, or a big populated area, this is the midwest, and when I say modwest, I mean I can go from south dakota to iowa and then to nebraska in less than 1 min! So counrty people rely on walmart to the fullest! they worship it! HA! I gotta get my foot i there door somehow!




Please do not be surprised when you raise your prices that they no longer buy cakes from you.

MichelleLandreth Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 3:21pm
post #25 of 54

I had the same problem just this month. I've been doing cakes for several years now and when people hear what you charge for a wedding cake, for example, versus Wal-Mart's price, they back out. I recently lost my job and have been attempting to go full time with cakes and would love to do only cakes as a career choice. I'm sick of nursing and love decorating cakes!

Do these people think these cakes bake and decorate themselves? lol If they are so simple to do, why not just jump into their own kitchen and bake them up them themselves? Usually, what they are wanting, Wal-Mart either can't or won't do for them and they want it to be given to them. I can't compete with Wal-Mart prices and Wal-Mart can't compete with me on quality and taste.

WildSugar Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 4:13pm
post #26 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Wild, if you are making cakes to market to "the masses", then of course, your prices should reflect that. Some of us decided to stay exclusive and market to those who want outrageous, over the top, seriously fancy, whatever other colorful descriptions you can think of. Is $200 for a "simple" (by exactly who's definition anyways?) cake outrageous? Not when I get done with it. It's worth what it's worth. If Joe Schmoe can't afford it, it's a-ok. Jane Fancy Pants wants it. Jane is who I want. And I will pass up 10 Joe Schmoes anyday for 1 Jane Fancy Pants.




That makes sense. Though, at the moment, i feel my skills are still at "Joe Schmoe" level though! LOL! (I've literally been doing this for people other than my family for a few weeks now, i HOPE that doesn't reflect in my work though!) And i really WOULD like to target the frugal bride that still wants a beautiful yummy cake, and the HUGE LDS families out here (no offense to anyone, i swear!) that want a nice b-day cake, but probably cant afford $100 for it. Of course, i will NOT turn down Jane Fancy Pants that wants an outrageous 9 tiered cake (well...maybe that's an exaggeration! Lol!) if she wants to pay me $400 bucks to do it!

WildSugar Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 4:16pm
post #27 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth0209

And by the way, you won't be able to run a home-based bakery in Idaho. You have to operate out of a commercial kitchen and be licensed and inspected by the Health department. You can build a separate commercial kitchen on your property (if zoning allows), but you can't bake out of the kitchen in your home. Just a heads up.




I've already talked to the health department (Bannock County) and they said as long as it was just baked goods and i wasn't selling retail (like in stores and such), there was no inspection required and i can do it from home.

MrsNancyB1 Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 4:20pm
post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth0209

And by the way, you won't be able to run a home-based bakery in Idaho. You have to operate out of a commercial kitchen and be licensed and inspected by the Health department. You can build a separate commercial kitchen on your property (if zoning allows), but you can't bake out of the kitchen in your home. Just a heads up.




This is the situation in CA too. Which makes me wonder how the OP has customers to begin with?

I'm not being snarky, I'm genuinely asking because I'm in CA too and would like to know how the OP did it. I recall from another post that she didn't yet rent a commercial kitchen because she's just starting out. That's exactly my situation too, so I would love any insight the OP can provide.

LaBellaFlor Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 4:23pm
post #29 of 54

$400 bucks for an outrageuos 9-tiered cake?!?!? Never gonna happen and I hope you don't either even if you are trying to get your name out there. icon_wink.gif

WildSugar Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 4:25pm
post #30 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

$400 bucks for an outrageuos 9-tiered cake?!?!? Never gonna happen and I hope you don't either even if you are trying to get your name out there. icon_wink.gif




I know, i was just being silly! :p Or did you mean it should be MORE than $400??? Ok, $900!! icon_biggrin.gif Jane is going to be angry if i keep changing the price on her! LOL!

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