Have No Idea How Much To Charge!!!

Decorating By AmandaKate Updated 11 Oct 2009 , 3:07am by sugarandslice

AmandaKate Posted 8 Oct 2009 , 9:43pm
post #1 of 26

Hello fellow CCer's!!!


I have my first official paid for cake that I am making for this Saturday for a Bridal shower. The MOB (who is ordering the cake) works with my boyfriends mother. This is my first cake that I am making for money and I have absolutely no idea what I should be charging for it so I need your help!!! *bows and kisses feet* icon_lol.gif

It is going to be a 2 tierd 6" and 10" round cake....pink champagne with cheesecake filling, covered in fondant.

The decor consists of a white fondant bow on the top tier surrounded by a tiara (provided by MOB), red ribbon (also provided by MOB) around the bottom of the two tiers and two silver "fancy" shoes sitting on the "shelf" of the bottom tier.

She asked for a cake for 25 people yet wanted a two tier cake and I thought anything smaller than these dimensions would look kind of odd........also she showed me example pictures a while ago and they were all about this size.

Apparently the MOB's mother (deceased) used to make cakes for a living so MOB should know exactly how everything goes.....which makes me nervous thinking she knows more about the process than I do.

Also, I have to drive 30 min away to deliver this cake. I heard the going rate in my area is $1.75 per serving.......however.......I just started making cakes a few months ago and this is my first official cake and i'm sure it will be less than perfect.....

(local price chopper quotes $125 starting price for the same size wedding cake....if that helps)(however this is a bridal shower cake so, again, I'm not sure if that makes a difference in price)

Please help......I need your wisdom!!! thumbs_up.gif

25 replies
AmandaKate Posted 8 Oct 2009 , 9:48pm
post #2 of 26

and P.S. - I bought all of the ingredients yesterday and the total was $40

-K8memphis Posted 8 Oct 2009 , 9:53pm
post #3 of 26

Like $200 ish~`

But you're making me nuts with the size.

She asks for 25 servings and you've more than doubled it--

I don't know--but I would chage $4-$4.50 per serving.

But I don't make people buy twice as much cake as they need either.

And I don't wanna give away that many servings either.

__Jamie__ Posted 8 Oct 2009 , 9:58pm
post #4 of 26

Kudos for picking the right combo for looks (2 inch diff between tiers), BUT, like K8 says....why so much cake? So, I would (me personally) charge properly, by the serving, and it sounds about like $225, based on what you are describing.

__Jamie__ Posted 8 Oct 2009 , 9:59pm
post #5 of 26

And you don't have a 30 minute trip...you have an hour. Tack on more for that.

__Jamie__ Posted 8 Oct 2009 , 10:00pm
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaKate

used to make cakes for a living so MOB should know exactly how everything goes.....which makes me nervous thinking she knows more about the process than I do.




So if you do indeed "know your stuff", then be confident. Don't worry about what she knows, OWN what you know. Exude it. Sell it.

AmandaKate Posted 8 Oct 2009 , 10:23pm
post #7 of 26

I know that the cake size is WAAAAYYYY more than the servings she asked for......but she originally said "a bridal shower for 25 people" and then sent me pictures of 2 tiered cakes that were approximately 10" and 6".....and when we were working out further details i said.......So you want a two tiered cake?.......I'm not sure how much smaller you can make a 2 tiered cake and fit the tiara and shoes she picked out on it.....I placed the tiara on an upside down 6" cake pan and anything smaller and the cake would fit inside the tiara


LURVELY.....thanks for my kudos for picking the proper proportions between the cakes.....i was kinda worried about that but you made me feel better icon_smile.gif

AmandaKate Posted 9 Oct 2009 , 12:44am
post #8 of 26

~bump~ icon_rolleyes.gif

Mensch Posted 9 Oct 2009 , 4:45am
post #9 of 26

Ummm... you are doing a cake in TWO DAYS and haven't even priced it for the client?

Good grief, hunny, you sure are opening up a can o' worms now, aren't you? What if the client expects to only pay $50 and is appalled when you tell her $300?

And why would you make so much extra cake? Does the client realize you've almost doubled her order? Or were you only thinking of charging for 25 servings, despite the fact that you're making a cake for almost twice that many?

-K8memphis Posted 9 Oct 2009 , 8:13am
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaKate

~bump~ icon_rolleyes.gif




You have another question?

The fit of the tiara and shoe and the serving size of the cake is something you work out with the client in advance.

She can pay for the amount of servings needed to serve her guests or the amount of servings needed to accomodate the accoutrements.

jeniflo83 Posted 9 Oct 2009 , 8:52am
post #11 of 26

Couldn't you just do one tier cake and the other a styrofoam dummy or something? I'm new at this too but I think that would be a good idea, that way she won't have so much left over cake.

LaBellaFlor Posted 9 Oct 2009 , 1:42pm
post #12 of 26

Cake dummies cost almost as much as an actual cake, so there is no savings there. I always ahve someone who ask for a 2-tiered cake for 25 people or 3-tiers for 40 people. I let them know exactly what the servings are for each size. They always say," I don't need that much cake, so I don't want to pay for that much." Me,"I understand. This size will give you your 25 servings". Client,"But I want a 3-tiered cake." Me,"You are going to have to pay for the aditional servings then". They tend to go ahead and get the big cake.

AmandaKate Posted 9 Oct 2009 , 2:22pm
post #13 of 26

sorry to anger anybody.....that was not my intention...


this entire process has been very informal seeings how I am a college student that just started making cakes for fun a few months ago and just happened to be asked to make a cake for a bridal shower....the couple already eloped and lied to the MOB about it so now she's pretty much forcing them to go through all of the ceremonial events and she's pretty much planning everything....

MOB has more or less said that she didn't care what it looked like or how much it cost as long as she would be able to say that she had a cake....

her only instructions were the cake flavor and that it be 2 tiers with the material decorations that she provided.....

I attempted to discuss price with her once and she just kinda waved her hand in a gesture that said it didn't matter.....and I've since been trying to figure out a price....by checking other cake vendors in town (only two) and trying to figure out how much the ingredients would cost vs. how much i want to make for a profit.....

I'm not going to show up at this woman's door with a 10 page contract and make her sign and initial every page.....again, this is my first cake that i'm actually accepting money for and it's very informal since it's a friend of my bf's mother and is very informal....there's not even high pressure for it to be perfect or specific because the MOB seems to be very lax about the whole thing....

Again, I'm sorry to anger anybody......I didn't mean to wait until 2 days before to figure out a price but I've been trying to figure this out for a while and have been doing my research around town.....I cannot charge $200 for a cake that would cost $125 at one of the cake vendors in town and they would make a way more complex cake than I would at my point in my cake "career"........

Thank you for all of your advice as always......I will figure out something to do...

__Jamie__ Posted 9 Oct 2009 , 2:44pm
post #14 of 26

Huh. Ok, good luck! I fully expect this woman to hand ya a 50 dollar bill and be done with it. That would suck. But then, I guess she's gonna hand ya whatever she feels like....cause you never agreed on a price.

TexasSugar Posted 9 Oct 2009 , 5:43pm
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaKate

MOB has more or less said that she didn't care what it looked like or how much it cost as long as she would be able to say that she had a cake....

her only instructions were the cake flavor and that it be 2 tiers with the material decorations that she provided.....

I attempted to discuss price with her once and she just kinda waved her hand in a gesture that said it didn't matter.....




When you get a chance, I'd search the boards for past posts when people said that they got an order where they were told price/size didn't matter and in the end it really did.

Everyone has an idea of what something should cost when they are buying it. Often times we are wrong or way off. And I am one of those that I would much rather have my price sticker on the item before I get to the check out line so I know exactly what I am spending.

I would call her or email her and tell her that you just wanted to go over the details one more time. On any order I do through email I always list everything that was discussed through pages of emails in one place. This way I have all the information together and they approve it and there is no surprised cost.

The email from me would basicly say, I'm just want to make sure I have everything in order for your cake.

6in round cakes - XX servings
10in round cake - XX servings
Total servings:
Cost of cake:

Then I go through the flavor and decoration information including colors.

If you do this then she knows upfront how much it will be, and you will have less of that chance of her expecting to pay you what she thinks it is vauled at and you either excepting it and kicking yourself in the butt or having to fight for what you deserve.

There is only one person I bake for that I do not discuss prices with. It is my brother and he will pay what I ask no questions about it and I almost always give him a discount. For every other cake order, both them and I have all the details of the cake including the price before I buy anything for it.

Good luck with your cake and I hope this is truely one of those cases where price doesn't matter and you get what you ask for when you deleiver the cake with out her knowing how much you are charging.

LaBellaFlor Posted 9 Oct 2009 , 7:28pm
post #16 of 26

You didn't anger anyone. Everyone gave you their honest opinion. If you want to keep things "informal", then keep it informal and not charge. Selling is a business transaction, so more then likely people will expect you to handle it in a business manor and base their advice off of that. What being in college has to do with that is beyond me. There is no need to be sensative and I'm sure you will be able to figure something out.

-K8memphis Posted 9 Oct 2009 , 8:34pm
post #17 of 26

Y'know I think chicklette is going do one of those, "Now how much do you want?" to you.

So just be ready and say "Well according to my research I've had quotes from $250 to $85. What do you think?"

If she wants you to decide--go for the middle mark~~$167.50.

Or just say that in the first place,

"Well according to my research I've had quotes from $250 to $85. So $167.50 is the midway point, what do you think?"

So be ready to say something like one of these statements if she puts you on the spot 'cause I think she is.

I mean she might swallow her teeth but you have nothing to loose by being for real with her.

-K8memphis Posted 9 Oct 2009 , 9:02pm
post #18 of 26

Menschkins is just purely shooting straight.
I think she's more shocked than angry.
She makes excellent points there yes?

The chick that ordered this is setting you up.
She's retaining control.
It could go either way.
Typically it doesn't go so cool--let's hope we'll all be amazed this time.
Heads up, CakeBuddy!

I mean would you contact someone to toss together a 25 serving 2-tier cake and not talk money? She thinks she's providing the decorations so she's not planning on dropping $200 on this cake.

Keep me posted!!!

As the turntable turns...

-K8memphis Posted 9 Oct 2009 , 9:04pm
post #19 of 26

I'll be surprised if you get more than $50.

And I hope I'm very surprised!

indydebi Posted 9 Oct 2009 , 10:33pm
post #20 of 26

Do not be offended by the responses. Seriously, everyone on here is trying to help you with your problem . Many are trying to help you avoid the very issues that they themselves have dealt with and learned the hard way. We all take our cake and our cake business very seriously . Were not going to sugar coat the hard reality of the industry we work in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaKate

I know that the cake size is WAAAAYYYY more than the servings she asked for......but she originally said "a bridal shower for 25 people" and then sent me pictures of 2 tiered cakes that were approximately 10" and 6".....and when we were working out further details i said.......So you want a two tiered cake?.......I'm not sure how much smaller you can make a 2 tiered cake and fit the tiara and shoes she picked out on it.....I placed the tiara on an upside down 6" cake pan and anything smaller and the cake would fit inside the tiara.



Just because they show you a photo of a cake that is 12 tiers and serves 2000 people and then tells you I want this cake ., to serve 25, doesnt mean it can happen. I get brides who ask for a 4 tier cake for 40 people and I flat out tell them, You cant have a 4 tier cake for 40.

You can always do a 9x13 sheet cake (serves 24) plus a 6 round cake on top of that (serves 12). They can cut the pieces the size of bricks if they want, but at least youre not making cake for 50 (6 serves 12; 10 serves 38 = 50)

Its ok to just say no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

She can pay for the amount of servings needed to serve her guests or the amount of servings needed to accomodate the accoutrements.


Print this out and tape it by your order book. Youll run into this a LOT in your cake life. Learn to deal with it now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaKate

I attempted to discuss price with her once and she just kinda waved her hand in a gesture that said it didn't matter.....


At which point you say,, Oh goody! Ive been dying for a chance to make a $1000 cake! Ill bet my big ole rear end that price will make a difference to her at THAT point!

It would be a good idea for you to sit down NOW and figure out what your pricing is going to be. Then in the future, when you get a request for a cake, you'll be able to spit out a price in 10 seconds instead of 10 days.

Long before I ever got my first HINT of interest from someone wanting to buy a cake, you can bet I had that all worked out WAY ahead of time. I see it on here all the time, and I can't understand how someone accepts the task of making a cake with NO IDEA of what to charge for it.

DIANAT3 Posted 9 Oct 2009 , 11:43pm
post #21 of 26

Hi everyone, I'm pretty new at this. I have been making cakes for family birthdays etc. for a couple of years now.. I've had someone this week ask me to make birthday cake for thier child. We are going to talk next week about what kind, for how many etc. I really dont know how much to charge. do I charge by the slice . Ive been looking at what the bakery and stores charge. Should I charge about the same ???? I need some advice.
Thank you,
Diana

AmandaKate Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 7:29pm
post #22 of 26

I decided on what I thought to be an appropriate price and was happy with the amount I would be profiting.......I emailed her Friday morning with the price and explained how I arrived at that price. She emailed back and said that it sounded good to her and that she couldn't wait to see the cake.

.....I just got back from delivering the cake. All went well, she had the cash all set for me when I arrived and gladly handed me the amount that I had quoted. She ooed and aahhhed at the cake and said "you've really only been doing this for a few months???" icon_rolleyes.gif Even I was surprised at how perfectly it turned out. What a great feeling!! I felt so proud of my little creation

thumbs_up.gif

All's well that ends well......everyone can start breathing again and check their blood pressures icon_wink.gificon_razz.gif

-K8memphis Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 7:31pm
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaKate

I decided on what I thought to be an appropriate price and was happy with the amount I would be profiting.......I emailed her Friday morning with the price and explained how I arrived at that price. She emailed back and said that it sounded good to her and that she couldn't wait to see the cake.

.....I just got back from delivering the cake. All went well, she had the cash all set for me when I arrived and gladly handed me the amount that I had quoted. She ooed and aahhhed at the cake and said "you've really only been doing this for a few months???" icon_rolleyes.gif Even I was surprised at how perfectly it turned out. What a great feeling!! I felt so proud of my little creation


thumbs_up.gif

All's well that ends well......everyone can start breathing again and check their blood pressures icon_wink.gificon_razz.gif




Ahhhh, no, not so fast.

How much did you get?

LorienSkye Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 9:26pm
post #24 of 26

Lol @ Kate

AmandaKate Posted 11 Oct 2009 , 2:25am
post #25 of 26

lol more than $50 icon_wink.gif

sugarandslice Posted 11 Oct 2009 , 3:07am
post #26 of 26

Well done AmandaKate. It sounds like everyone got what they wanted from the transaction. The customer got her cake at a good price and you got profit, experience and exposure.
All's well that ends well!
icon_smile.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%