I was asked to make a 3-D or sculpted cake of a BBQ pit, like the one in my photos but barrel shaped instead of box shaped. She only wants it to feed about 10 people, and wants 3 beer cans by it and Ribeyes and T-bone stakes on the grill. The one I made was for my dad and huge. I have no idea what to charge this woman. She wants it for like $30 dollars. When I said $60 she said "oh no, you are going to have to come down from that I only want it to feed 10 people!" What do I charge her? And how do I handle that type of situation. I need to do a few cakes and get the word out there so I need her business. I honestly don't know what to charge for any of my cakes but $30 seems a bit low to me. Am I wrong?
This is the link to my BBQ cake I did for my dad.
First off, GREAT job on your dad's cake!!
I totally understand wanting to make the cake for this cutomer.
I so understand wanting to get your name out there.
And a cake to serve 10 people doesn't need to be all that big...
There's always a but
Can you really do a sculpted cake with all the extras she wants for $30?
I know I can't.
But what I could do is a small round, with the T-bone steak on the top, and the beer bottles/bbq tools in FBCT on the side, and make the border on the bottom in red/orange buttercream to look like the bbq flames, maybe?...for $40.
But a sculpted cake...nope.
At that point if she says no, then I would smile nicely and say "that's ok, then, I totally understand. I look forward to consult on your next special occasion cake".
Practice in the mirror - before you call her!!! LOL!
Good luck, and let us know! Be proud of yourself, and the art that you do!
I made a BBQ grill for my dad. It didn't need to serve too many so I made a ten square and covered it with grass. I made a small grill probably about 7 or 8 inches tall out of RKT covered in fondant with accents. The bottom of the grill was made with dowels wrapped in fondant. The grill you made is amazing but I don't think it would be fair for you to make it for only 30 dollars.
To make a sculpted cake it's the same work for 10 or for 100, actually the smaller is harder because you spend more time in the tiny details. If you use styrofoam to utilize less cake the work is the same, so don't be shy and charge what you think your work is worth, people will try to get away with paying less for anything so don't blame them for trying but stand firm on your price or they will take advantage of you. You can tell her that you give a discount coupon to faitful customers after X amount of cakes ordered and see how that goes, if you are really nice tell her you'll give her free local delivery but show her you are a professional and she should treat you like that. Good luck.
Never allow a customer to tell you what you will charge. If the customer does not want to pay what you want to charge, the customer can go byebye. You can offer cut out all the detail and scale back on the decor to be within the budget, if you are willing. But when customers start dictating what you will charge, you are off on a very very bad path. Your dignity is at stake here.
Giving freebies and cutting back on your profit will only allow this person to tell all her friends you are cheap and that you will give them cheap cakes too. If you offer free delivery, make sure the customer knows how much you would charge normally. If you want to offer a discount, do it for the next cake. You are worth much more than you give yourself credit for.