Am I Just Paranoid?

Business By diane706 Updated 28 Sep 2009 , 1:25am by diane706

diane706 Posted 25 Sep 2009 , 4:45pm
post #1 of 14

I seem to get quite a few calls like this: This GUY called me about ordering a baby shower cake "for his wife". He proceeded to ask a lot of questions about my pricing structure, specifics on how I go about making my baby blocks cake (if I cut them out of a sheet cake or bake the individual blocks), if this is my typical style of cake I make (custom cakes only and do I do sheet cakes) and typical pricing... The cake was supposedly for next Fri. which seems kind of late to be ordering a cake for a shower (for 50 people). Of course he didn't book the cake because he wanted to "check around". He seemed to know a lot of cake lingo. THEN, I had a lady call me up saying she and a couple of other ladies were taking a class in which they were doing a "mock-up business" and wanted to come in and discuss my entire pricing structure and EVERYTHING about running my business from the start up to everyday cake decorating etc. This is only a couple of examples. I get a lot of these type of calls and they always come up as an "unknown" phone number on my cell... Is this fishy or just me? icon_confused.gif

13 replies
Kiddiekakes Posted 25 Sep 2009 , 4:50pm
post #2 of 14

Sounds like someone..the competetion is trying to get the inside info on your business.I would politely decline the invite to for anyone to come in and talk to you about pricing structure etc...I would maybe steer them towards your website ..If you have one and then get them to email you so you have time to think about and answer the questions and not feel put on the spot.That's what I do..Most of my conversation and ordering is through email...I like it better.

__Jamie__ Posted 25 Sep 2009 , 4:51pm
post #3 of 14

Yeah, I don't think so. Your pricing structure is no one else's business. It's someone trying to set up shop. Don't entertain questions like that any further.

cylstrial Posted 25 Sep 2009 , 8:42pm
post #4 of 14

I definitely smell a skunk! They aren't wanting a cake - they are wanting all your info. Just come up with something polite to say and get off the phone with them.

11cupcakes Posted 26 Sep 2009 , 1:48am
post #5 of 14

It seems fishy.But I would not worry too much. If you are really good and feel that your bussiness is strong, some competition will only make you better.I would not waste too much time talking to them on the phone, try something polite and keep your pricing simple.

pipe-dreams Posted 26 Sep 2009 , 1:59am
post #6 of 14

I think it's wierd, for sure. In the case of the "mock business", I would just tell them how busy you are and that you really don't have time for it. As for the guy asking all the specifics, I wouldn't tell him too much. Your website doesn't have pricing information on it, so that may be why he was asking about that. Maybe he was looking for something cheaper. BUT, it is fishy that he was asking about all the other stuff as well.

By the way, your cakes are absolutely gorgeous! No wonder people are gunning for your secrets! icon_lol.gif

Kitagrl Posted 26 Sep 2009 , 2:19am
post #7 of 14

I've had a couple emails from people claiming to be college kids doing a project and they want to know everything about my business. I just tell them I do it part time from home and that I would be of no help to them. I think I did help out one girl with some info.

diane706 Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 4:19am
post #8 of 14

Thanks for the nice compliment pipe-dreams! Yeah, I actually didn't give either of them too much info but still kept a "smile" in my voice. thumbs_up.gif

cheatize Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 5:17am
post #9 of 14

As someone who has had to do a complete business plan for a class along with a marketing plan, etc... for other classes- the info needed is available online and in libraries. Even when I had to check out prices for comparison, I could get it online. There was never any need to talk to an actual human being, much less someone in a particular business.

In case it matters: this has been in the past 4 or so years. I'm currently working on changing my associate's to a bachelor's degree in the same field and I still don't have a need to talk to an actual business owner. I suppose I could always hook up with someone via the Small Business Association if necessary, but I would never cold call anyone. Also- I've gotten an A in every class I've ever taken and A's on all my projects. Not bragging, just pointing out that not talking to a human for the projects and classes has not affected my grade at all.

In short- it's either a scam or lazy students. Why practically do their project for them?

Jeep_girl816 Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 5:34am
post #10 of 14

My "day job" is dog groomer and in the shop I work in we get these types of calls ALL the time. The mystery caller always seems to know way more about pet grooming than the average owner (down to what clip on combs we use for certain haircuts)and always want to know about prices for several breeds, and yet never book....Hmm.

CakeDiva73 Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 5:39am
post #11 of 14

You're cakes are great and I am loving your storefront too......

Totally OT & pelase don't take offense but what, in the name of all that is holy, is going on with that gorgeous turquoise flower cake with the tennis rackets, balls and syringe? icon_lol.gif details...... please, I am begging you!

grandmom Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 10:00am
post #12 of 14

Wowza! Your cakes ARE absolutely gorgeous, as the previous posted stated!

Hey, as we write our business plans, we are supposed to check out our competition!! At least that's what I've been reading. So someone is just doing their homework. Doesn't mean you have to cooperate though!

sleepiesaturn Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 5:01pm
post #13 of 14

Yikes, I just helped open a shop and we have gotten these types of people in almost every day. I had a woman come in on Friday looking for an ingredient list. I asked her if there was an issue with food allergies and she said no she just wanted a print out of all of the ingredients we use...just for her to know. I politely declined.

diane706 Posted 28 Sep 2009 , 1:25am
post #14 of 14
Originally Posted by CakeDiva73

You're cakes are great and I am loving your storefront too......

Totally OT & pelase don't take offense but what, in the name of all that is holy, is going on with that gorgeous turquoise flower cake with the tennis rackets, balls and syringe? icon_lol.gif details...... please, I am begging you!

LOL!!! I can understand you're confusion about that one. It was a b-day cake for a gal who is a phlebotomist and loves tennis. The customer wanted me to include both of these things on the cake (along with the flowers) even though they were totally unrelated. The syringe, bandaids, tennis raquet and balls were all handmade from gum paste.

Thanks for all the replies guys and your nice compliments. It's good to know these phone calls are kinda fishy to my CC peeps also!
Happy caking!!


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