It Finally Happened To Me Too....

Business By tracycakes Updated 8 Nov 2009 , 9:52pm by tarheelgirl

tracycakes Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 2:16am
post #1 of 27

I got the call and turned down because I'm too much. A lady called today wanting a birthday cake for her daughter. She watches the cake shows and wanted something really cool. She actually WANTED fondant, small square cake, bow, polka dots, sounded so easy and fun in lime and black. The sleepover for the girls party is at Embassy Suites so I'm thinking...HOT DOG! I gave her the price and she paused a minute. So she's going to check out something else and if she called back, she wanted it, if not, she found something else.

Well, no call. But, I guess she decided to do something else completely because my prices are right in line with the other custom shops in town. Oh well, thanks to you guys, I just laugh it off. I am slowing getting my name and reputation out there so I realize it will take some time to get my name out there.

Thanks for listening. It's been a long week and I'm exhausted and rambling.... icon_redface.gif

26 replies
prterrell Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 2:35am
post #2 of 27

I think a good portion of the population is just being cheap right now, but in this case it sounds like she blew the budget on the hotel room!

I had a mom at my church talking to me for months about doing 2 cakes for her twins' birthday. Came close to the day and I asked her if she still wanted the cakes as we hadn't set anything in stone (design, deposite). She'd spent so much on other stuff for the party that she couldn't afford the cakes anymore. Oh, well. icon_rolleyes.gif

People always really want my cakes until I tell them how much they are, then they don't want them anymore. It's annoying cause I know my cakes are really good, somehow people just have a hard time justifying the expense for food to themselves.

CarolAnn Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 2:49am
post #3 of 27

When I had a meeting earlier this month about a wedding cake I half expected/half hoped that when they heard my price they'd decide it was too much. The never said a thing about it thru the meeting and when I told them they didn't bat an eye, so I'm doing the cakes. I've never charged just per serving like I am now. I'll see how it goes.

You ladies just consider it a blessing and do something nice for yourselves before that next order comes your way.

Toptier Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 2:57am
post #4 of 27

In this economy people think you're desperate and more open to negotiation. NOT!

tracycakes Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 3:54am
post #5 of 27

I have learned so much from the people on this site. IN the past, I would have started questioning myself and/or my prices. Not now. I don't want orders because I'm cheap, I want orders because they taste great and look good. icon_biggrin.gif

CakeForte Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 4:41am
post #6 of 27

We are in the business of "want" anyway. You don't NEED a cake to celebrate a special occasion. So if they really want it, they will pay for it. Those that don't...whatever, time to do what you enjoy for a day or two.

brgrassmyer Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 9:10pm
post #7 of 27

I will take my "high end" clients any day over the "grocery store" cake buying consumer any day. The people who have money are still spending it and they don't bat an eyelash at $5 per serving. This is the part of the business I want and deserve and so do you!! icon_biggrin.gif

saberger Posted 30 Oct 2009 , 9:34pm
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by prterrell

People always really want my cakes until I tell them how much they are, then they don't want them anymore. It's annoying cause I know my cakes are really good, somehow people just have a hard time justifying the expense for food to themselves.




DITTO!!!!!!!! I, too, have learned a lot from this site about pricing. Thanks CC for kicking me in my butt many times! thumbs_up.gif

ShopGrl1128 Posted 31 Oct 2009 , 1:35am
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toptier

In this economy people think you're desperate and more open to negotiation. NOT!




I think people are just watching way too much TV, they see all these shows about cake and they think the cake get the same cakes but for Walmart prices.

I had a lady the other day inquiring about a cake for her daughter's birthday, she said the cake was for only 20 people and then she sends me a picture of a 5 or 6 tier cake done by Buddy V., she said her daughter LOVES Cake Boss and she wanted the same cake.

I explained to her that the cake on the picture was for approximately150 to 175 servings, maybe more, and if she wanted to replicate that it would cost her $$$, she emailed back telling me that the cake was for only 20 but she wouldn't mind a 'little' extra cake, I gave a price for 20 servings and let her know that we needed to re-design the entire cake because for only 20 servings she could only have ONE tier, not 5 or 6 and if she wanted the huge cake then the price was what I told her before.

Never heard back from her, I'm cool...I don't have patience for people who can't understand simple math.

tracycakes Posted 31 Oct 2009 , 8:02pm
post #10 of 27

Everyone I talk to seems to watch Ace of Cakes, which is the only cake show I DON'T watch. You are right CakegirlPA, everyone watches the shows and wants something like that but doesn't want to pay the price. But it's funny, those that REALLY want something special don't blink at the price.

tracycakes Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 10:40pm
post #11 of 27

I got another call today, daughters 14th birthday...yep, they love Ace of Cakes. She's works in the same building I do (at my day job) and has been hearing good things about my cakes. icon_biggrin.gif

She wants a basketball theme and it's only for about 15 people. So, I asked what her budget was this time....around $30 - 35. hmmmm, that's in the sheet cake range. I know she was disappointed a little but admitted that she is new to this. I explained the difference between grocery store and custom and she understood. We talked about some different things and I'm going to come up with something cute that fits the theme and give her several different options for pricing. She is willing to go higher to get something extra. We talked about the 3D basketball but it was way above her pocketbook.

I just keep telling myself...I'm building a business, I'm building a business...

cylstrial Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 2:24am
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tracycakes

I got another call today, daughters 14th birthday...yep, they love Ace of Cakes. She's works in the same building I do (at my day job) and has been hearing good things about my cakes. icon_biggrin.gif

She wants a basketball theme and it's only for about 15 people. So, I asked what her budget was this time....around $30 - 35. hmmmm, that's in the sheet cake range. I know she was disappointed a little but admitted that she is new to this. I explained the difference between grocery store and custom and she understood. We talked about some different things and I'm going to come up with something cute that fits the theme and give her several different options for pricing. She is willing to go higher to get something extra. We talked about the 3D basketball but it was way above her pocketbook.

I just keep telling myself...I'm building a business, I'm building a business...




Good for you! It sounds like your on the right track!

dandelion56602 Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 2:29am
post #13 of 27

I hear ya. I usually give a buttercream, fondant & sculpted price & most people gawk. I would rather they just say "that's out of my price range" or "I'm just going to go to Walmart" than nothing at all. Did they not learn manners?

But I will have to applaud Buddy. The first show of this season he was talking about flowers for a cake & talking about the HOURS his team spent on JUST the flowers. I think if these tidbits were thrown in by the cake shows that people might start getting a clue that we don't poop decorated cakes

Chefperl Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 2:39am
post #14 of 27

i just wish all those cake shows would show the prices of the cakes. The people on TV just say "Oh OK, great". and that never happens in real life. So people don't understand how much those cakes actually cost. It drives me crazy. I had a customer who wants a spinning scrabble board cake for 50 people but doesn't want to spend more than $150. Are you kidding me? you know how much a cake like that would cost at Charm City?

indydebi Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 2:50am
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefperl

you know how much a cake like that would cost at Charm City?


I know it would cost at LEAST $1000 minimum! icon_wink.gif

dstbni Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 3:19am
post #16 of 27

This is off of the FAQs page on Carlos's Bakery (Cake Boss) site:
"What is the price range for specialty and wedding cakes?
Any specialty cake is priced per person; basic butter cream cakes start at $8.00 per person and go up from there. A good rule of thumb is to look at cakes that are featured in any magazines or publications; they are usually priced in the $12.00 to $18.00 range per person. The more elaborate, intricate, and time consuming the cake is, the greater price range you will be looking at."

I think that's very well worded. Also, note that their cakes start at $8/serving, and that's for the most basic buttercream cake. I doubt they'd do a cake that serves 20.

DakotaDesigns Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 3:30am
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefperl

you know how much a cake like that would cost at Charm City?

I know it would cost at LEAST $1000 minimum! icon_wink.gif




I LOVEEEEE the fact that Charm City has their $1000/Minimum order pricing posted right on their site. So when I have someone who wants something like what they do at bargain prices I refer them to their site to see that custome cakes come at custom costs. Still kicking my self in the butt for the wedding cake I just did. I'll rant more about that thoug in that thread!

Reading through this has reminded me to repeat to myself as well "I'm building a business I'm building a business". So thank you for the reminder!

MaryAllison Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 4:28am
post #18 of 27

Ok, I'm new, so please forgive my question, but I have a mother that has requested a cake for her 3 year old due January. It will be for 50 people. Yes, we're "friends," but she hasn't discussed price, only servings and would like a pillow cake with a tiara. She saw my last cake that I posted on Facebook, (also seen as "Kristin's cake" on here.) It was a gift for my friend, Kristin, however, I didn't mention that in any of my posts. That being said, what should I charge here for such a design...sculpted, fondant, and filled?
I apologize for the rambling, but I'm just curious as this is the first cake requested by someone other than family or a very close friend.
Thanking you in advance for any advice!
Allison icon_lol.gif

CakeForte Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 5:53am
post #19 of 27

I charge my friends $125 for a custom/fancy cake that feeds 25. And that's WITH the friend discount.... And they gladly pay it because they would rather help me out, than pay a stranger. They also know they're getting quality.

If they want a free cake, I have to offer, first of all, and it comes in a pyrex cake dish, covered in foil. With no decoration. seriously.

Jeep_girl816 Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 6:30am
post #20 of 27

Buddy buttercream "specialty" cakes (like birthday or other occasion not wedding) start at $8 a serving while his "magazine worthy" wedding cakes are usually $12-$18. Probably wouldn't fly in my area but in his, given the time, expertise, reputation, etc, I think that's totally fair.

MaryAllison Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 1:20pm
post #21 of 27

Is there a site that I may visit to get price lists for buttercream only, buttercream with fondant accents, fondant only, sculpted, etc. cakes?

One day, when my children are off the payroll, I hope to own my own bakery. It's in the blood...my uncle owned and operated a bakery in Louisiana. I now feel the calling that began at 6 years old. I figure there is no time like the present to begin research and putting my ducks in a row.

Thanking you all in advance for your assistance!

Make it a beautiful day!

Allison icon_smile.gif

love2makecakes Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 3:31pm
post #22 of 27

Would it be rude to put some of the pricing guidelines that bakerys such as buddy's (cake boss) or ace of cakes under the heading...

For those who watch the cake shows on tv...

Please note...

blah, blah, blah...

Is that legal for me to put on my website if I use quotations???

DakotaDesigns Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 6:02pm
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by crlovescakes

Would it be rude to put some of the pricing guidelines that bakerys such as buddy's () or ace of cakes under the heading...

For those who watch the cake shows on tv...

Please note...

blah, blah, blah...

Is that legal for me to put on my website if I use quotations???




I don't see why not as long as it's something they have posted for the public to see on their site. I've seen exactly what you're asking about posted on a couple of websites. I'll hunt around to day and see if I can't reference and example!

jakenheather Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 12:31pm
post #24 of 27

I think people forget how much time can go into a cake. Like the castle cake I just did for a friends wedding... About 12 hours from bake to set up. They tell me I need to start a buissness... Ok first off- I am a nurse, the supplies alone cost $90 for that cake and in my are I doubt anyone wants to pay that much alone for a cake or anything near half my normal wages for time spent on a cake. I have a few brides to be at work trying to figure out how cakes cost so much... Then I break it down for them and they seem to understand a little. I can see were this would be hard. I usually only do cakes for people I know and gift my time while they pay for the supplies. I just don't think I could ever do a real cake shop for the fact that I know no one wants to pay for it. Keep up with my dream gals...


It's early... hope I didn't ramble ...

preciouspjs Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 9:16pm
post #25 of 27

I know I seriously undercharge.. definitely less than $2 per serving. I do fondant characters for $5 a piece (which someone on here just recently told me I was crazy about)... I'm slowly but surely getting more confident in saying my prices (and upping them a little too).. because the way I see it.. this isn't my FT job... I do this because I love it... so if they don't want the cake because they think is too much money.. well, then I get the night off icon_smile.gif

(if you look at my pics, you can see the 2d characters I've done.. Spiderman, Tinkerbell, Bakugan, etc)

brincess_b Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 9:39pm
post #26 of 27

it doesnt help the non-famous cake businesses that cake shows just seem to produce amazing cakes, overcoming great challenges very easily, with no mention of price.

but, even looking at non-famous cake websites, they do not give clear pricing either. i know it is hard to do some times (you get into the whole ' want that cake at that price, but i want 100 servings more' thing), but the average cake muggle looks around, sees no prices listed, or sees 'prices start at', and then contacts you without really knowing what reasonable prices are for anything other than a basic cake, and without knowing that basic doesnt cover a wide range of things!

crlovescakes - i think it would be diicult to word that! maybe someone can do it nicely, but id struggle. you would need to watch you werent putting them or your self down. would depend what you are trying to say! i think i you are in the service area of a famous bakery, it would be good to have them as a 'try this place' for when potential clients raise an eye brow at your price icon_smile.gif

MaryAllison - spend a lot of time browsing all the local cake websites, it will help a lot in figuring out sme general pricing ideas. it varies alot on where you live! you need to sit down and igure all your costs on making a cake - there are lots o posts on how to do this. i you give a discount let them know the pre-discount price!
xx

tarheelgirl Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 9:52pm
post #27 of 27

Yep, for me business has slowed down quite a bit! I have had soo many within the just the last month alone who want an elaborate cake but once they hear the price they hang up quickly. Just the other day I told a lady my price and she hung up before I could even say good bye!! I'm ok with this.. my price is my price and I would much rather be spending my time doing something other then a cheap cake!! =)

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