CakeMommyTX Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 2:44pm
post #1 of

What do you do if someone emails you requesting instructions on how to make one of your cakes because they don't want to pay your prices but want one of your cakes?

142 replies
niccicola Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 2:49pm
post #2 of

Direct them to cakecentral.com

Nchanted1 Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 2:56pm
post #3 of

I hit delete. They are on their own if they want to make it themselves.

cakesweetiecake Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 3:22pm
post #4 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nchanted1

I hit delete. They are on their own if they want to make it themselves.




OMG! Hilarious.

If you dont want to give them out, you could tell them that you dont have written instructions. In addition, you could always tell them to look into Wilton, as they offer general cake decorating instructions.

LaBellaFlor Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 3:24pm
post #5 of

icon_lol.gif I tell them teaching fee is $25 an hour with $150 minimum, lesson deposit paid in advance in cash. Poeple will never cease to amaze me.

rainbow_kisses Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 3:27pm
post #6 of

I have got to say i would never give instructions if someone asks. I have a business to make money not give free advice to a potential customer icon_wink.gif
If it was someone who was never going to be able to puchase from me as they dont live local i would offer them guidance icon_lol.gif

Curtsmin24 Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 3:28pm
post #7 of

I tell them to bake their favorite recipe, carve the shape and decorate with fondant. Pretty basic. Or you can tell them that the design was made using customized templates that you have special ordered from a company and that their is no way that you are able to give them that information because it will affect your business.

Dear so and so,
Thank you for enquiring about the specific cake. Unfortunately I am not able to give you the information that you requested based on the equipment used. We make our cakes in a certified commercial kitchen and have invested a lot of money in our equipment. Our designs are made with customized equipment that is not available for retail. Thank you for your interest......

Something like that, i don't know hope it gives you an idea.

playingwithsugar Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 3:35pm
post #8 of

Tell them the instructions cost twice as much as the price of the cake.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

CakeMommyTX Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 3:47pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by playingwithsugar

Tell them the instructions cost twice as much as the price of the cake.

Theresa icon_smile.gif




lol...
so I'm not being a greedy cake lady by not sharing my secrets?
I don't mind sharing here on CC but somehow it seems different when the people asking could possibly be potential customers...

costumeczar Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 3:48pm

I put a little box on my contact page on mt website jsut for this person...It basically says that I'm busy, so I unfortunately can't guarantee an answer to questions that aren't related to booking cakes. I still get people emailing me about how to make a rose, etc. Unless I'm in a generous and happy mood (rarely, ha ha!) I agree with the hit delete advice!

playingwithsugar Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 3:53pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMommyTX


lol...
so I'm not being a greedy cake lady by not sharing my secrets?
I don't mind sharing here on CC but somehow it seems different when the people asking could possibly be potential customers...




No, you're not being greedy. Why should you share your instructions with someone who should be buying your cake? So they can take it to someone else and have it done cheaper, or to try to do it themselves? Not here. Not ever.

Now, if you sent me an e-mail and asked me for instructions on one of my projects, that would be different. I would be happy to send them to you, since you are in TX and I am in PA. Even if I were in business, your business would have no effect on mine, since we are about 1500 miles apart.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

melmar02 Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 4:03pm

I would tell them that it's propritary information which my lawyer has advised I don't distribute! icon_surprised.gif

If they don't pay want to pay my prices, they don't get one of my cakes...period. They can go to another caker and pay for one of their designs. Creativity has a price.

Could a bride call up Vera Wang and ask how she constructed a dress because she wanted to sew it herself for less money?

No-goodLazyBum Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 4:11pm

Wow! Great question. For me this one hits way too close to home. My first thought would be did this person ask because they wanted to get over or did they have a genuine interest in what you were doing. If it is the later then Curtsmin24's option is a pretty good one. However, I would try to give them a little more guidance as to how they can do it themselves. Perhaps the only reason I would go that far would be because that was me less than a year ago asking the sensitive questions. And I got my e-mails deleted, told to ambiguously search the internet or read a book. I would have respected it more if they had just told me the truth and pointed me in the right direction. I completely understand the "I got mine so you get yours" concept and there is nothing wrong with it. But that person chose you for a reason. At least tell them why you can't give them technique. Maybe they'll continue to buy your product until they figure it out thumbs_up.gif ... or maybe they'll be deviously motivated to open their own business and vow to chip away at your market share until there is nothing left. icon_twisted.gif

icon_wink.gificon_wink.gificon_wink.gif
Kidding of course, just give them the respect of a response no matter what you say.

Kitagrl Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 4:23pm

I've emailed a couple businesses before to ask about a specific technique on one of their cakes, if they were not a local competition...but they rarely reply. haha.

I probably would answer specific questions from someone from out of town, but no "list of instructions". Especially since its not like I type out a list of instructions on every cake I make! I just do the cake as I go, anyway.

LaBellaFlor Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 4:26pm

I think if they tell you to research and get a book, they are giving you a fair answer. I don't like it when someone asks for complete instructions on how to make a wedding cake, from recipes on through out baking & decorating & stacking. I mean EVERYTHING. I feel your not earning the right to make a wedding cake. Learn something on your own. there are plenty of books to read. It's one thing to have a question, it's a whole nother thing to ask me to walk out the ENTIRE procedure for you. That's insulting to me.

__Jamie__ Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 4:28pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMommyTX

What do you do if someone emails you requesting instructions on how to make one of your cakes because they don't want to pay your prices but want one of your cakes?




Lol....tell them to Google it! icon_lol.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 4:29pm

Oh it's like the Vendor Client Relationship video on YouTube. The customers at the steak house agree to pay the price of their meal, but instruct the chef to tell them how they can do it themselves at home from now on. Give me a break!

__Jamie__ Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 4:31pm

I'll say it again in case anyone missed it....

Google. GOOOOOOOO-gull.


icon_lol.gificon_cool.gif

Lenette Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 4:37pm

What a lot of people fail to realize is that a lot of the things we know as cakers go into the"how to" of making a cake. Even of you gave them some instructions, if they don't have basic knowledge of how to do cakes it likely wouldn't turn out well.
You have to have a basis to start from. A lot of us went through a bunch of trial and error to figure out what works for us and pretty much anyone would have to do the same.

I had a lady stop me Sunday and ask me for a recipe she had at a recent wedding. Now, granted it wasn't something complicated but that's not the point. She couldn't bother to look it up herself. I know she didn't mean any harm but it is annoying. It's like they don't get it, these are recipes I use for my business. If she asks again I'll just tell her I won't give it out.

I know it may seem hard nosed to some but I see nothing wrong with protecting your investment and knowledge.

ccr03 Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 4:55pm

Another way to put it into prospective - how much do we pay to take classes with Collette Peters, Bronwen Weber and so forth? I know I just spent a pretty penny to learn new gelatin techniques and carving procedures. I did not get them for free!

Either tell her you don't do classes or give away instructions, but if she really wants to learn recommend classes with the above mentioned people, Wilton and good online sources. Then thank her for her interest.

And yes, it is different from giving advice to a fellow cake person and a cake civilian. Cake people know it's a lot of work and at least, for the most part, have some sense of foundation. Cake civilians don't. For example, I'll tell my family members how to do some stuff sometimes, but it's lost on them. My brother once helped with his 18th birthday cake - SIMPLE piping. Yeah, at like two seconds he said - whoa, this is harder than I thought. icon_smile.gif

asanchez Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 4:55pm

Don't give out your recipes to anyone that is local. I gave my recipe of Tres Leches to a friend because they were going thru a difficult time and could not afford the price. Lord and behold 6 months later I find out they had opened a bakery business and the best selling dessert is my tres leches. Now they have employees and 3 delivery vans!!!

LaBellaFlor Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 5:01pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by asanchez

Don't give out your recipes to anyone that is local. I gave my recipe of Tres Leches to a friend because they were going thru a difficult time and could not afford the price. Lord and behold 6 months later I find out they had opened a bakery business and the best selling dessert is my tres leches. Now they have employees and 3 delivery vans!!!




thumbsdown.gif Your "friend" s#cks!

No-goodLazyBum Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 5:08pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Quote:
Originally Posted by asanchez

Don't give out your recipes to anyone that is local. I gave my recipe of Tres Leches to a friend because they were going thru a difficult time and could not afford the price. Lord and behold 6 months later I find out they had opened a bakery business and the best selling dessert is my tres leches. Now they have employees and 3 delivery vans!!!



thumbsdown.gif Your "friend" s#cks!




Whoa! icon_eek.gif

Lenette Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 5:08pm

That was really wrong! I am so sorry they did that to you.

costumeczar Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 5:08pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Quote:
Originally Posted by asanchez

Don't give out your recipes to anyone that is local. I gave my recipe of Tres Leches to a friend because they were going thru a difficult time and could not afford the price. Lord and behold 6 months later I find out they had opened a bakery business and the best selling dessert is my tres leches. Now they have employees and 3 delivery vans!!!



thumbsdown.gif Your "friend" s#cks!




I second the sucky friend thought!

CoutureCake Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 5:11pm

O.k... if you say "Thanks for the inquiry, that cake is a gourmet fondant base coat with a little sculpting work, airbrushed edible dusting, the detailing takes approximately 30-40 hours for your planning purposes. If you'd like to learn more about this method, I would recommend joining your local ICES chapter or classes at the local cake decorating supply store. Best of luck!"

Heck, giving them the steps just not the right order LOL... It also keeps CC as our own hidden gem hideaway to "secretly" talk about them icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif That way you also don't come off as looking like a j... b... a... pick your least favorite describer word... It also makes it so once they realize the level of work and cost involved of specialty supplies to pull it off they'll still be willing to come back to you to do it when they realize they can't afford to DIY it...

__Jamie__ Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 5:12pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Quote:
Originally Posted by asanchez

Don't give out your recipes to anyone that is local. I gave my recipe of Tres Leches to a friend because they were going thru a difficult time and could not afford the price. Lord and behold 6 months later I find out they had opened a bakery business and the best selling dessert is my tres leches. Now they have employees and 3 delivery vans!!!



thumbsdown.gif Your "friend" s#cks!



I second the sucky friend thought!




I third and fourth it! thumbsdown.gif

Kiddiekakes Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 5:21pm

Gee Whiz.....That is almost as bad as Mom's at the school asking me to borrow my cakepans and colors to make their kids cakes because they don't want to pay my prices.... icon_mad.gif

Next...... icon_wink.gif

LaBellaFlor Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 5:31pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiddiekakes

Gee Whiz.....That is almost as bad as Mom's at the school asking me to borrow my cakepans and colors to make their kids cakes because they don't want to pay my prices.... icon_mad.gif

Next...... icon_wink.gif




icon_eek.gif Speechless...almost... icon_razz.gif

Loucinda Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 5:35pm

I can see it to a point. If it is someone that you know won't be able to pull it off, give them the basics. Let them fail. Then they do call you when they want something because you did try to "help them". You actuallly look like the good guy.

I had an experience a few weeks ago that fits this.....I am a home baker, I have an acquaintance that actually owns a store front. (BUT neither she nor her decorator really have much experience) They took an order for a fondant covered wedding cake that was going to a very nice venue. She called asking me for help. I told her I would come and show her how I do it for $25./hour - she agreed. I showed them how to do it, and I now have an offer of a commercial kitchen use if I ever need it and a person who will be forever grateful for what I shared. The business is about 10 miles from me - could I possibly loose orders to them? Maybe, but doubtful. We are in two different arenas - they HAVE to sell cakes, they cannot be picky, whereas, I can be. At first I kind of struggled with it, but then I thought of how I would feel if put in that same predicament - I would hope that someone would be willing to help me out.

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