kim62808 Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 6:01am
post #1 of

Okay this is a friend of my moms ,,, she asked me if I do cakes and I said I do make cakes for family and friends but when I sell a cake it's gonna be at least 20.00 . Now here is a pic of the cake I did today ,, mind u I do not usually sell my cakes . Do you think 20 is to much for this ? I dod it pretty quick notice ?
LL
LL

88 replies
kim62808 Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 6:16am
post #2 of

It's a 6 in and an 8 in . She did'nt want to much cake

Mensch Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 6:29am
post #3 of

Charging $20 for that cake means you make less than 60 cents/serving. Can you even buy a Twinkie for that price?


If you charge a customer $20 for that cake it basically means that you actually are paying the client to take that cake off your hands.

leah_s Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 6:37am
post #4 of

Umm . . . I would have gotten somewhere in the neighborhood of $185 - $200 for all those little flowers. Before delivery. That $20 was a typo, right? Or you're just messin' with us.

kim62808 Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 6:48am
post #5 of

No 20.00 lol no typo normally In my srea this might go for 40.00 so i am charging her 20.00 trust me around here Walmart is the one stop shop ! And people won't pay big bucks for cakes .I would have a cow literally lol if some one gave me what you guys said .

Mensch Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 6:54am
post #6 of

Geez. Reading the OPs last post makes me want to go kick a dog.

Get out of the Wal-Mart mentality. NOW. Just because YOU won't pay more than $20 for a cake doesn't mean that others won't.

Besides, how in the world can you possibly know what others are willing to pay?

sugarandslice Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 6:58am
post #7 of

I would definitely charge more than $20 but if that covers your costs and you're happy with that, then that's FINE!
It's entirely up to you what you charge and who you make cakes for.

majka_ze Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 7:21am
post #8 of

For the OP - please if you charge, do charge more! You are setting yourself up for problems. The people will take advantage of you, even when they don't think so or mean it. They will never understand the real price of your cakes, unless you set it so.

I was in the same situation this Monday - my mom calls me at work and wants a cake for a friend on Thursday. She wants a small sculpted cake. I should say no immediately, but I did promise to think it over and call back. I said I would do it, but the cake would cost around 30 USD - mind you, with the exchange rate it comes probably about two or three times the "Walmart cake" (no Walmart here, but similar chains). You could hear the shock.

I didn't make the cake - the answer was she can get it cheaper in a bakery. OK with me. I love my mom, but I am not going to spend two of my nights with only my cost covered for a friend of hers, who I don't even know.

It is enough that I spent this month on family cakes as gifts, where the people want and appreciate them, but have no idea at all about the cost and work involved.

Bluehue Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 9:08am
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim62808

No 20.00 lol no typo normally In my srea this might go for 40.00 so i am charging her 20.00 trust me around here Walmart is the one stop shop ! And people won't pay big bucks for cakes ....

icon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gif Well of course noone will pay *big bucks* as you put it - BECAUSE NOONE IS CHARGING BIG BUCKS - tapedshut.gif

would have a cow literally lol if some one gave me what you guys said

Correct me if i am wrong fellow Australians/Americans - but i am thinking your Walmart is along the same lines as out KMart and Target stores... so if you are comfortable comparing your work to theres - great - BUT you really are not doing justice to any *caker* out there by giving your cakes away.

Unbelievable - *shakes head* - i am constantly gobsmacked at how *cakers* just hand their hard work over for next to nothing -
Where is the pride?
Where is the self respect?
Where is the pricing guide .......... yet again icon_rolleyes.gif ??????????????
Bluehue


motherofgrace Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 9:20am

yea, $20 is crazy low.

Bluehue, where is this pricing guide you speak of? just wondering lol

ApplegumKitchen Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 10:05am

I don't know how this pricing can be SO difficult for so many people

Funny but I am constantly gobsmacked on here - when people CONSTANTLY quote low prices and use the same TIRED old excuse that nobody will pay it where they live... Then why come and ask what WE think it is worth... because you don't really care what anyone else thinks - you have ALREADY ACCEPTED that it is worth $20
Do you want all the platitudes about ... oh no - your work is worth more than that! - because I for one am not going to do that.

Your work has as much value as YOU YOURSELF place on it - and if you are happy to do this then ... fine !! but it really is Kindergarten Maths to work this out.

There are about 10 threads a day just like this - where people can't figure out what to charge!!

I remember a very smart person on here once said that you might as well stand at your front door and hand out 50bucks to every person that asks you to make a cake!! I can't think of a better way of saying it thumbs_up.gif

ApplegumKitchen Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 10:07am

Actually.... on second thoughts...

I would be really interested in seeing your calculations for HOW you came up with the figure of $20

and then I might be in a much better position to steer you right icon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 12:23pm

I think AppleGum is more right than she knows. thumbs_up.gif

I mean for real .... does anyone who has spent any time on this site at all REALLY think twenty bucks is "enough" for a cake like this? icon_confused.gif

I'm frustrated with folks who think the only expense they have is the cost of the flour, sugar and eggs. They spend $8 at the store, they get $20 for the cake and they THINK they've made $12. If that's your thinking, then stop pretending you run a business. Because you're nowhere near close.

I'm frustrated with the "They only pay Walmart prices around here." Really? REALLY? Your walmart makes cakes like this? Your "customer" can stand there and actually tell you "I can get it cheaper at Walmart!" Really? THey can REALLY walk over to walmart and get this VERY SAME CAKE? This isn't a pricing problem ... this is a selling problem. This is a marketing issue. If your "customer" walks out thinking they can get this cake at Walmart, then YOU didn't market yourself properly. You allowed them to think this cake is THE SAME as a walmart sheet cake.

Just because you don't know the poeple who will pay the right price for a cake, doens't mean they don't exist. It just means you don't know who they are.

Doing a cake that puts you in the red is NOT better than turning down the "business". As Nancy Reagan said, "Just Say NO!"

(I really shouldn't get on here before I have my morning coffee.)

bobwonderbuns Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 12:42pm

Kim, when you are new to cakes and pricing the cakes it's a common mistake to underprice for a variety of reasons. I used to get all wonky about that until I realized that I LEARNED something from these mistakes -- so I think of it as "tuition." When we pay tuition we pay to learn something and in this case you undercharged, but the money you (think you) lost is actually money you "paid" in the tuition of learning this lesson. Does that make sense? So I don't sweat making mistakes as long as I learn from them. And yes, some lessons are harder to learn than others but if they get you to where you want to be then hey, it's all good! icon_biggrin.gif By the way, that's a cute cake you did! icon_biggrin.gif

cakesdivine Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 1:01pm

Um did you make your own fondant or did you buy the wilton box? Cuz it looks like you purchase Wilton stuff (the cake board you have it on is Wilton so I just figured...) If you purchased enough fondant to cover both cakes you bought the 5 lb box which retails from $19.99 to $24.99 depending on your area/store. So how did you make any money? It is obvious you gave away your time, some thing I feel is priceless but you obviously think is worthless, so I won't even go there. Have you factored in the costs of your paper goods? You know that board, the bags, a box, any parchment you may have used for baking or drying your gumpaste items. Your equipment investment of pans, piping tips, fondant tools, support for the tiered cake, etc. Then the cost of your ingredients probably around $8-$12. Looks like a big loss to me. Now multiply that loss times everytime you shortchange yourself by selling your $20 cakes and you have taken a big financial hit.

Walmart and other grocery store bakeries do sheet cakes, 4" rounds and 8" round. They purchase those cakes already made for $3 a half sheet size. Even using cake mixes and ingredients purchased from Walmart you cannot even bake the bare cake for one cake mix worth for that amount! And scratch is about equal in price to using a mix too so no savings there. Their wedding cakes are set, they order the "kit", it comes with the cakes prebaked in the appropriate size, there is NO customization like what you did. They have to copy exactly what is in the book and they cannot spend more than 30 minutes in the decorating process because they also have little Suzy's and little Timmy's birthday cakes to do as well so they can't take the attention to detail that a custom cake demands.

Comparing a grocery store, Walmart, Costco, Sam's, Kmart, or Target store cake to your custom cake is like comparing apples to oranges! Go ahead keep trying to price yourself so they will buy your cake instead of the WM cake and you will put yourself and your family in grave financial distress in the long run, and for what? To give a cake away to someone you don't even know? I'd say don't even bother doing cakes anymore except for your own immediate family functions. Harsh I know but it is the truth.

KHalstead Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 1:05pm

The only advice I can offer that hasn't already been given (and believe me I know from experience) is that you will raise your prices after a couple of cakes or a couple of minutes sitting down with a calculator. Things to add up on your calculator??
1. # of miles to all stores required to get supplies for cake (take how many miles/gal your vehicle gets and the cost of gas and figure out how much money it cost you to drive from your house, to each store, and home again

2. Cost of all ingredients EVERYTHING (including the cornstarch, eggs, and oil you didn't have to buy for THIS cake because you had it in your home already)

3. The cost of the cake boards, dowels, boxes, a portion of the food colors, the fondant, etc.

4. sit down and figure up how many hours it took you to make all the flowers, bake, decorate, and clean up after that cake

5. Subtract all of that from the 20.00.........whatever you have left (if anything)...divide by the number of hours you spent and you'll find out how much money you made per hour.

My guess is you PAID this lady to make THIS cake for her.

I did this too in the begining and then I started getting a ton of orders and when I actually sat down and realized I was making a $2.00 profit for a cake that I spend 12 hrs. decorating, it really bummed me out!!

Remember: This isn't even taking into account the electricity, gas, water, etc. that you used in your house to do all of this OR the time that it took away from your family (certainly that is worth something?)

LaBellaFlor Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 1:14pm

icon_confused.gif

Loucinda Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 1:30pm

Don't feel bad that you charged $20. for the cake. It was your cake and you did what you felt was right.

File this one as a learning experience! People here tend to get heated when a cake they know is worth a lot more is sold for much less than what it should have been. You did a wonderful job on it, and I am sure you were very proud of it.

You may want to research your area, call come bakeries, call the folks you see that have advertised, and just "see" what the going prices are. I know not all places get the prices like folks in the big cities get - but you don't want to short yourself either. (and this is a point that will be argued too - big city/smalltown pricing!) icon_wink.gif

Up your price next time.....and if the same person wants the same deal again, just tell her the first time was so cheap because you were trying some new techniques. icon_smile.gif

JenWhitlock Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 1:37pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by KHalstead

... and clean up after that cake



this is the part that get me... it takes forever to get everything clean and put away, especially when you are tired from long hours on a cake, LOL!

the time away from family is A HUGE deal.
that's the toughest thing for me. I DO NOT make enough to cover that, but I'm working on it. icon_lol.gif

seriously, I'd guess that you easily spent $20, before you paid yourself.

I started out under charging icon_redface.gif and quickly got frustrated with the sleepless nights.

just fyi, for me 6/8 round = 32 servings * $4/serving = $128

-K8memphis Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 1:45pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by OfficerMorgan

...

...The cake is not perfectly done, but it is worth more than $20. icon_confused.gif





There is not a cake on the planet that is perfectly done, including all of mine and even the one in your photos.

Why the dig?

kickasscakes Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 1:55pm

I agree Katememphis.

robinleah Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 1:57pm

I understand where you are coming from. When I had a request from someone to buy one of my cakes, I was dumb founded as to what to charge. Thanks to all the threads on here about pricing, it gave me the confidence to charge more. I too have a large reatiler close by who sells cakes. My answer is: I am not them, I don't buy wholesale, my cakes are all different, not generic. I am not cheap but not way out there either.

Your cake is worth so much more than $20. Just in the amount of time you spent on it was worth more than $20.

dailey Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 2:16pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

Quote:
Originally Posted by OfficerMorgan

...

...The cake is not perfectly done, but it is worth more than $20. icon_confused.gif




There is not a cake on the planet that is perfectly done, including all of mine and even the one in your photos.

Why the dig?




everyone has to start somewhere. its a cute cake and is worth more than 20 dollars *but* the op cannot expect to charge the same amount as more seasoned decorators. period. i don't think officermorgan was trying to be rude, just pointing out the obvious.

when it comes to pricing, i think instead of saying "how much would *YOU* charge for this cake"? it SHOULD be "how much do you think *I* should charge"? a cake made by a beginner is not gonna be worth the same price as one made by rebecca sutterby, for example.

cylstrial Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 2:19pm

You definitely should have charged MORE!!!!!

Mike1394 Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 2:25pm

For your area 20 bucks is what it's worth. You know why? Because that's where you set the market. Yep it's worth 20 bucks NOW. If the Mona Lisa sold for 20 bucks it would be worth 20 bucks. Now the next guy might sell it for 2 million, but right at that moment it's worth 20 bucks.


Mike

sfaith Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 2:48pm

I am not licensed, so I do cakes only for friends and family as practice and to learn new techniques. I charge $2 a serving. Still underpriced I know, but I've done the math and I am satisified with my profit. I recently had a lady cancel because I was out of her budget. I did a wedding cake for her and $2 a serving wasn't too high then. It is a small town and I overheard the clerk at the cake supply on the phone with someone with this lady's unusual name. I think she was trying to do something herself. I hope when she figures out how much the do it yourself cake costs she will realize $2 a serving is a great deal. All she would have had to do is make one call to me and then all the headaches and running around would be my job.

OfficerMorgan Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 3:17pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

Quote:
Originally Posted by OfficerMorgan

...

...The cake is not perfectly done, but it is worth more than $20. icon_confused.gif




There is not a cake on the planet that is perfectly done, including all of mine and even the one in your photos.

Why the dig?




I don't consider this a dig. She said herself that it wasn't perfect, so I was agreeing with her. While it may not be perfection, her work is more than $20. Not sure why it would be a dig to tell her that she is underestimating herself.

-K8memphis Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 3:33pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by OfficerMorgan

Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

Quote:
Originally Posted by OfficerMorgan

...

...The cake is not perfectly done, but it is worth more than $20. icon_confused.gif




There is not a cake on the planet that is perfectly done, including all of mine and even the one in your photos.

Why the dig?



I don't consider this a dig. She said herself that it wasn't perfect, so I was agreeing with her. While it may not be perfection, her work is more than $20. Not sure why it would be a dig to tell her that she is underestimating herself.




I consider it a dig to repeat yet again that her cake is not perfectly done.

Your cause & effect are way off base-- underestimating herself is not what I said was a dig.

Nobody can make you understand/agree that it'a dig to say someone's cake is not perfectly done. Go for it.

-K8memphis Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 3:35pm

Dude, people that live in glass houses dot dot dot

Pebbles1727 Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 3:36pm

I also do this as a hobby for family and friends, however I cannot spend my money on making cakes for others, especially if we are talking about two-tiered ones like yours. An 8 inch for a friend here and there is one thing, but when we are talking about a bigger cake, well, I need my friends and family to cover the cost, my time of course is free, because, once again, I do this for fun, not business at this point. For an 8 inch and 6 inch, my cost usually comes to about $40-45.00, that's scratch cake with buttercream, and some fondant accents. If I covered the whole cake in fondant, it will probably raise the cost by at least $20.00. My family and friends also return my display board and sps back to me, so I don't figure that into the cost. Honestly, I do not know what Wal Mart or Publix charges for similar cakes, or if they even can do what I do, it wasn't really important to me. I know what others say about time away from the family and clean up and such, but since I do it for fun, I just pick and choose what I do and schedule those things around my work and family schedule. Just look at your cost for the cake and go from there, just don't forget all of the incidentals, i.e. box, cake boards, paper towels, decorating bags, ingredients that are allready at home and such. I also don't make all of the cakes that come my way. Since it's a hobby, I only pick what fits into my schedule and what I find interesting or new. My friends/family know that and are greatful for the cakes they get. Most end up giving me a nice tip or purchasing extra ingredients. The more comfortable you become with your skills and your cakes, the easier it'll be to charge more. I would recalculate $20.00 price though, I'll be suprised if you cover your cost and supplies with it. Good luck!
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