Seeking Advice

Business By laurs_1981 Updated 3 Nov 2009 , 11:29pm by KitchenKat

laurs_1981 Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 6:21am
post #1 of 34

i've read many threads about calculating prices based on ingredients, time, markups, etc....i'm just starting out, and today met w/ a client (my first corporate client) who asked me to make 35 cookies each per 40 "gifts". previously, with small orders, i have charged $1.25/cookie...but i never sold more than 2 doz at a time...my math skills would put this order at $1750...and that is just rediculous.......even if i costed them $0.50 each it's outrageous!!!....and that's before the crazy packaging she wants......we haven't finalized a deal...i told her i'd call her back w/ costs......i know it's up to her to decide if she wants to pay for them...but i also don't want to scare away a potential client when she asked me to put my business card in w/ each order....but i also don't want to low-ball where i'm working for free......is this always so stressful or am i the only one up at 1:20 worrying about something i can't control hahaha....
i work full-time apart from this "hobby"....so i don't have the time to figure out a whole matrix and price everything out....
what is it that the rest of you do?? any advice would be great...thanks

33 replies
LeckieAnne Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 6:47am
post #2 of 34

I can't help too much - I don't charge. But I would think a volume discount would be fine, but I wouldn't cut the cost of your regular cookies (especially w/special pkg., etc.) over half! That's crazy. Check the prices of the mail order cookie places or cookies by design. They certainly don't give them away at $.50 per cookie. That's a lot of cookies - I don't think the price is as bad as you think. Any gift they give is going to cost them - I don't think they'll be as shocked at the price as you think. Sorry I wasn't much help - but good luck!

leah_s Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 3:10pm
post #3 of 34

I do NOT understand either your logic or your general thinking.

If you sold 35 cookies to 40 DIFFERENT customers, you probably wouldn't have a problem with your pricing.

Just because it's the same person making the bulk purchase you think it's ridiculous?

That's pretty insulting to your client. You're saying they don't have the budget for the project they're planning; or implying that you yourself don't think you're worth your prices and they perhaps should question their judgment of choosing you as their vendor. Either way you've just insulted your client.

"The price for your custom cookie order with custom packaging will be $1750. I'm sure your clients will be pleased with your gift. Are you ready to sign a contract for the purchase now?" is ALL you should say.

If you're going to be in business, this is precisely the type of order you want.

And frankly if they're asking for custom packaging, you need to INCREASE the price, not decrease it.

I once sold $4500 worth of brownies to a corporate client.

Your thinking re: a discount is totally, completely broken.

minicuppie Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 3:11pm
post #4 of 34

That sounds about right to me. Corporate reads tax deductions and future orders for the corporation. Make sure you charge enough for packaging. In fact give the corporation a choice of packaging and pricing for each (be sure to mark this up also...gas, time, you know.)

KHalstead Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 3:22pm
post #5 of 34

You do realize that is 1400 cookies don't you???????????????? Do you realize how long it's going to take you to bake and decorate that many cookies!!!!!!!

Charge your regular price, if they can't afford it then offer them a small cookie bouquet with 3 or 5 cookies in each!

minicuppie Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 3:59pm
post #6 of 34

That is a lot of work...maybe a contract employee is required here. Poster...make sure you charge for the extra wages you will incur. Don't want anyone to get the first batch of stale cookies. This corporation is intrusting you with a form of customer service and that is hard to come by these days.

majka_ze Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 4:09pm
post #7 of 34

Don't look at the total price you get as when you would pay it.
A corporate client who wants this is aware they will spend lot of money. What is outrageous amount for you doesn't have to be for a big company.

And for individual, handmade items it doesn't really make sense to give discounts. It won't take less time to decorate each and every one cookie when making one or when making 1000 - there is top speed, you won't get quicker... Unless it is something you can make with stencil instead piping, for example. Even then, it will take time.

And you have to think about your time. You get paid mostly for your time and talent.

sillychick Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 4:18pm
post #8 of 34

The cookies place in my area charges a minimum of $7.50 PER cookie! I'm betting your customer has shopped around and would be very satisfied with your regular price, the discounted price would be a steal. Wishing you luck completing that order!

momma28 Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 4:20pm
post #9 of 34

Your prices need to be your prices...period. I agree with Leahs for the increase in packaging you need to increase the price not decrease.

I learned this lesson the hard way. I used to be afraid of someone not wanting my cakes because of the price. I got over that fairly quickly when I was working myself to the bone for nothing. I am actually doing a cake this weekend that was paid in full 5 months ago. I charged less than half what I would charge now and so I have to eat it. You live and learn and then grow a backbone or borrow ours icon_biggrin.gif ...I had a friend who served as my cake backbone until I was able to stick to my guns.

-K8memphis Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 4:30pm
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

I do NOT understand either your logic or your general thinking.

If you sold 35 cookies to 40 DIFFERENT customers, you probably wouldn't have a problem with your pricing.

Just because it's the same person making the bulk purchase you think it's ridiculous?

That's pretty insulting to your client. You're saying they don't have the budget for the project they're planning; or implying that you yourself don't think you're worth your prices and they perhaps should question their judgment of choosing you as their vendor. Either way you've just insulted your client.

"The price for your custom cookie order with custom packaging will be $1750. I'm sure your clients will be pleased with your gift. Are you ready to sign a contract for the purchase now?" is ALL you should say.

If you're going to be in business, this is precisely the type of order you want.

And frankly if they're asking for custom packaging, you need to INCREASE the price, not decrease it.

I once sold $4500 worth of brownies to a corporate client.

Your thinking re: a discount is totally, completely broken.




yep

Kay_NL Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 4:46pm
post #11 of 34

That's a whole lot of cookies! Have fun if you get the order!! icon_smile.gif

Never think in terms of what you would or would not pay, of course you as an individual wouldn't shell out $1750 for cookies! From experience around Christmas time at my husband's work and mine, it isn't unusual to get corporate gifts that are worth $100 each! My husband, in particular, has received 2 piece brand name rain suits, gift certificates for hotel stays and fancy meals, etc... Since your price will come out to less than $50 per gift, well, I think most companies budget at least that per corporate gift!! I budget around that much for gifts for most of my family members too!

Lenette Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 4:54pm
post #12 of 34

I'm with Leah. really, I would LOVE to get an order like this and I charge more than you do.
This is going to be a LOT of work, I mean A LOT. Your oven will be running, your hands will be aching, you will work for every penny. Take our word for it!

Submit your proposal and be comfortable with your price. I wouldn't discount anything. This is a great opportunity for you, do well and they will likely come back. You don't want them back because you were cheap, you will only end up screaming at yourself. Trust me on that one too! icon_wink.gificon_smile.gif

cheesecakes-galore Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 5:01pm
post #13 of 34

I agree with everyone else, they know what custom gifts cost. What I personally would do in a situation like that would be charge regular price for each cookie, figure up the custom packaging and any other costs you will incur, including your time in packaging, and maybe offer a volume discount of 10% as a customer appreciation special. Everyone loves to hear the word discount, or special sale!

millermom Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 5:17pm
post #14 of 34

I'm not a professional, but every year, my daughter's piano teacher trades me a month's worth of lessons ($75 value) to bake her special cookie recipe that she takes to her families' Thanksgiving dinner. That is bake ONLY, no decorating! (she is a single mother, and no longer has the time to get it done.)

Anyway, one recipe makes between 65-75 cookies, so that translates to $1 or more/cookie, undecorated, depending on how many I squeeze out of the dough.

What I am saying is that I don't think your pricing is off at all!

laurs_1981 Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 5:25pm
post #15 of 34

i feel like i've just been spanked!! hahahaha...but that i needed it to learn my lesson....i can't quite figure out what's scaring me most, that she might not want to pay it and i miss out on a great opportunity...or that she DOES want to do it and i get to make 1400 cookies in my "spare time"...ahha...as i work full time "on the side".....i guess i should just continue to be very excited about baking, and JUST DO IT!!!...thank you for setting me straight....very good point that i don't want repeat customers just cause i'm cheap....i want them cause they appreciate what i can do....thanks icon_smile.gif (fingers crossed!!!)

jillmakescakes Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 5:43pm
post #16 of 34

leah_s is always there when you need a good butt-whoopin', isn't she thumbs_up.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 5:54pm
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

I do NOT understand either your logic or your general thinking.

If you sold 35 cookies to 40 DIFFERENT customers, you probably wouldn't have a problem with your pricing.

Just because it's the same person making the bulk purchase you think it's ridiculous?

That's pretty insulting to your client. You're saying they don't have the budget for the project they're planning; or implying that you yourself don't think you're worth your prices and they perhaps should question their judgment of choosing you as their vendor. Either way you've just insulted your client.

"The price for your custom cookie order with custom packaging will be $1750. I'm sure your clients will be pleased with your gift. Are you ready to sign a contract for the purchase now?" is ALL you should say.

If you're going to be in business, this is precisely the type of order you want.

And frankly if they're asking for custom packaging, you need to INCREASE the price, not decrease it.

I once sold $4500 worth of brownies to a corporate client.

Your thinking re: a discount is totally, completely broken.





judge.gif Holy freaking chicken nugget, that was awesome!

sugalips Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 5:54pm
post #18 of 34

Good luck to you! 1400 cookies! icon_surprised.gif I just made about 5 dozen for my husband to take to work (yes, decorated for fall) and I was POOPED! icon_wink.gif

metria Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 6:07pm
post #19 of 34

Good luck to you! Clear out as much space as you can in your work area! Try to streamline anything in your decorating process!

all4cake Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 6:13pm
post #20 of 34

Seriously, I wouldn't think that individual gifts for a company giving client gifts would cost less (if so, not much less) than 50 dollars each. Your's would run approx 44 (43.75) each. Sounds totally acceptable from this side of the bargaining table...Plus, they won't have to run all over tarnation to find something for each one...

ask her what she wants to spend per basket...maybe do a few PURTIES then fill in with undecorated variety if she doesn't want to spend the full amount....

Mensch Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 6:21pm
post #21 of 34

Leah för President!!!!!!!!




Tell it like it is, sistuh!

KHalstead Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 6:41pm
post #22 of 34

Mensch, just saw your location ..............you're funny!

http://diogenesclub.org/default.aspx

Mensch Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 6:46pm
post #23 of 34

hehe!

Well, I DO hate people.

KHalstead Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 6:47pm
post #24 of 34

I'll remember not to cough when I'm in the same forum as you LOL

Mensch Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 6:48pm
post #25 of 34

LOL!

leah_s Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 7:17pm
post #26 of 34

Yeah, I always say that at this age and stage of my life I DO NOT:
play games
beat around the bush
blow smoke up your skirt

And I like it better that way!

grandmom Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 8:33pm
post #27 of 34

I'm with leah_s. No BS, just straight talk.

And that's why I love leah_s and indydebi. NO BS. Can't take their heat, then get outta their kitchens!!

weirkd Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 9:03pm
post #28 of 34

Have you done that many cookies before? Do you know what kind of work that is going to be involved? I had an order for 300 cookies for a school one time and it damn near killed me! I worked for DAYS on it! And they were packaged on plates! Consider what your going to be putting yourself through to do this. Are you going to have any help? Are you going to be paying them? Dont cheat yourself. You wouldnt go to an interview and expect them to tell you that they are going to pay you way UNDER minimum wage and expect you to work long hours with no breaks. You would walk away! So dont sell yourself short. You need to take pride in youself and your work!

KHalstead Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 9:24pm
post #29 of 34

Put it to the lady like this if it makes you feel better.

My cookies are $1.25/each, you want 35 in each arrangment that will be $43.75/arrangement plus $5.00 for the custom packaging (or however much) that's $48.75 (a GREAT price for 35 custom cookies WITH custom packaging I might add)

Times that by the 40 of these arrangments that she wants and you have $1,950.00

As a whole it seems like an aweful lot to pay for cookies, but I'll guarantee if you go look at cookies by design or any other site you're not getting 35 cookies in a bakery box let alone custom packaging for under $50!!
This woman is robbing you at your OWN prices.......definitely don't go less than what you normally charge!

__Jamie__ Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 9:27pm
post #30 of 34

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