*sigh*

Business By Kitagrl Updated 20 Dec 2009 , 2:24pm by Kitagrl

Kitagrl Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 2:11pm
post #1 of 38

I will have to try to be careful because its very possible someone--the baker I'm referring to, although I do not know who they are-- on this forum could see this...

But I just lost a good sized cake order for January because the husband did not want to pay the price I quoted....and the lady found someone who would charge $2/serving (for a three tiered fancy fondant cake with gift boxes and bows?! Which is the design they showed me and I quoted for?!) because she moves around alot due to military so offers cakes cheap. The customer admitted my cakes look better and taste delicious (I gave her a tasting and consult) but says they can't afford me. ($6/serving for the above design for just over 100 servings--and that's only half of the guests, they are having a bar mitzpah for 200 people and paying for everything else involved! So they can't be poor!!!!)

I'm sure I've lost orders before to unlicensed bakers but this is the first one where the customer plainly told me that I lost it!

I wrote her back a friendly email however I did mention that my prices may seem higher in part because I am licensed and insured and must pay taxes and fees and insurance costs involved with my business and warned her to just be careful ordering from an unlicensed baker.

I never thought I'd say that as I don't sit around bragging about my license...but I was just kind of upset because I know how good my cakes tasted in the consult (the kids couldn't stop eating them, the mom had to tell them to stop so they could take a few bites home to the dad) and I know my price was more than fair for the design they showed me...and $2/serving was a slap in the face. And though at one time I baked unlicensed while I was getting going and trying to find out if my business was going to work, I never undercut anyone THAT severely.

Not to mention I REALLY need some big orders in January to pay for a bridal show coming up and some Christmas bills. *sigh*

37 replies
Kiddiekakes Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 2:14pm
post #2 of 38

Well that is a real bummer..Hope she gets a real good cake from her cheaper source.. thumbsdown.gif

Kitagrl Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 2:17pm
post #3 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiddiekakes

Well that is a real bummer..Hope she gets a real good cake from her cheaper source.. thumbsdown.gif




She told me already that the cakes aren't as good as mine but since her husband said I was too expensive that it was just what they had to do. She said she hoped to use me in the future sometime.

Kiddiekakes Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 2:19pm
post #4 of 38

Hmmmm...better tasting cake....cheaper price...I'd take the taste!!

cakesdivine Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 2:26pm
post #5 of 38

I know you are bummed Kitagrl, but the person who is doing the cake will be losing money on the deal, and it more than likely won't be the quality they are wanting either. Their loss. I do understand about the loss of income. That totally sucks. I bet the only reason those people said anything to you was in hopes that you would meet that price. I have had that happen before. They consult with me I tell them my price they consult with someone else who gives them a ridiculous low ball price and they call back wanting me to do it for that price because they "really want my cake because it tastes better". I had one bride get really snippy with me and told me I was a horrible business woman if I didn't know that I should have a low price guarantee policy and be competitive with the other bakers around. I told her if she wants a low price guarantee then go to Walmart, I'm not Walmart, I am Neiman Marcus! icon_smile.gif

Kitagrl Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 2:33pm
post #6 of 38

She really wasn't trying to get me to meet the price....although maybe she was trying to make me feel bad....she had been dragging her feet on the deposit ever since our consult last month, and said her husband wanted it cheaper. I had already told her that if she'd just put down the $50 deposit that I would be happy to redesign the cake in order to shave some cost off of the cake.

But I can't compete with $2/serving, even my buttercream cakes start higher than that.

The only thing I sell for $2/serving is a cupcake with an icing swirl on top.

cakedout Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 3:51pm
post #7 of 38

Sorry about your loss...but it will be mostly their loss!

After a number of years I just got tired of people like that. My prices are "Neiman Marcus" and if you can't afford it, then go elsewhere.

Hopefully another client will come along that has no issue with your prices! thumbs_up.gif

Kitagrl Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 4:09pm
post #8 of 38

Do you guys establish pricing before you do a tasting?

I'm finding customers are not asking my prices when they ask for a tasting...and often I'm finding we do a tasting and then suddenly they don't like my prices (even after raving about the cake).

I guess I should be sending price ranges before confirming tastings?

CakeMommyTX Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 4:14pm
post #9 of 38

I explain pricing in the very first email/phone call so that it is out of the way and they know up front what my cakes cost and whether or not they can afford me.
I learned this the hard way though after spending way to much time on consults, tastings and designs only to not get the order because they did'nt like the price.

Kitagrl Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 4:16pm
post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMommyTX

I explain pricing in the very first email/phone call so that it is out of the way and they know up front what my cakes cost and whether or not they can afford me.
I learned this the hard way though after spending way to much time on consults, tastings and designs only to not get the order because they did'nt like the price.




Yeah...I think this past 6 months I've just graduated from that course in the school of hard knocks. LOL. No more consults without pricing discussions first!!!!

Although you'd think that a tasting/consult would be the BEST way to get the higher price because they can actually taste and see your work in person...you know after they rave about the flavor, saying its awesome, and look at the photo books and talk to you in person....you'd think they'd be willing to pay more than original because they see the quality. Oh well!

_Jamie_ Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 4:35pm
post #11 of 38

I always ask what their budget is. If they don't have a number, I ask what their ideas are. If they can give me some idea of what they like, I give them an idea of what it will cost. No one meets up with me without fully understanding lowest possible price, and a good idea of what it WILL cost. I don't have time to do the "Oh your cakes are great, but we decided it was out of our budget."

Kitagrl Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 4:40pm
post #12 of 38

I guess I falsely assumed that people who would schedule a consult would be aware that the cakes were going to be high end pricing.

I guess just because I would recognize that, doesn't mean others do! *sigh*

(Depressed because I've lost several cake orders over this month, and next, and was really counting on a couple of them. icon_cry.gif )

_Jamie_ Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 4:42pm
post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

I guess I falsely assumed that people who would schedule a consult would be aware that the cakes were going to be high end pricing.




Oh no, can't assume people know anything. Some things you have to spell out as if you were dealing with 3 year olds. Seriously. And do it graciously....very hard at times! That's when we get to come back here and commisserate over the dodo heads! icon_lol.gif

thecookieladycc Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 5:09pm
post #14 of 38

I think a lot of it is now that all of these cake shows are on TV, the general public are seeing all of these cakes and either a) think that they can do it too and are selling crappy cakes dirt cheap..... or b) people are seeing the cakes, but the only cakes they ever see with price tags are the ones from Wal-Mart and they just assume that ALL cakes are that cheap.

I saw the same thing happen when all of the tattoo shows were on. Suddenly everyone and their dog were giving tattoos in their basements, or they were going to Kat and Garber not knowing that they charge over $1000 for a tattoo.

In the long run, you get what you pay for!

adree313 Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 5:13pm
post #15 of 38

off topic but... _Jamie_ + newbie??? what happened? did i miss something?

_Jamie_ Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 5:15pm
post #16 of 38

Eh, Jan says there is probably technical difficulties with some of the accounts. Said I wasn't booted or banned, but I can't access it. I kind of like having a new account! icon_smile.gif

sadsmile Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 5:19pm
post #17 of 38

icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif So whadya think when youcouldn't log in icon_wink.gif ?

_Jamie_ Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 5:20pm
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by sadsmile

icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif So whadya think when youcouldn't log in icon_wink.gif ?


Oh, I'll have to PM you with that Sad! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

adree313 Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 5:21pm
post #19 of 38

oooh ok. gotcha!

_Jamie_ Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 5:22pm
post #20 of 38

Oh nothing Adree, I was just kidding with Sad...nothing happened! I don't want to honk the topic away from the OP either. icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 5:24pm
post #21 of 38

My pricing is posted black and white on my website AND I send them a pirce sheet with my intro packet at their first inquiry. I use the website and this intro packet as my screening tool. When they see this, they can calculate the cost of their cake (# servings x my flat price = total cost), so they determine up front if they can afford me or not. If they do ... they call and we meet. If they can't .... they don't call me and they dont' waste my or their time.

If you dont' have flat pricing (and I realize I'm an oddity in that regard), I'd at least try to give them a range AND do the math for them. "My cakes start at $4/serving, or $400 for cake to serve 100, and may go up depending on your design. On average, you can expect to get a somewhat simple cake for 100 for $450-$600 .... is that about what you had budgeted for your wedding cake?"

indydebi Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 5:24pm
post #22 of 38

My pricing is posted black and white on my website AND I send them a pirce sheet with my intro packet at their first inquiry. I use the website and this intro packet as my screening tool. When they see this, they can calculate the cost of their cake (# servings x my flat price = total cost), so they determine up front if they can afford me or not. If they do ... they call and we meet. If they can't .... they don't call me and they dont' waste my or their time.

If you dont' have flat pricing (and I realize I'm an oddity in that regard), I'd at least try to give them a range AND do the math for them. "My cakes start at $4/serving, or $400 for cake to serve 100, and may go up depending on your design. On average, you can expect to get a somewhat simple cake for 100 for $450-$600 .... is that about what you had budgeted for your wedding cake?"

_Jamie_ Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 5:26pm
post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I'd at least try to give them a range AND do the math for them. "My cakes start at $4/serving, or $400 for cake to serve 100, and may go up depending on your design. On average, you can expect to get a somewhat simple cake for 100 for $450-$600 .... is that about what you had budgeted for your wedding cake?"




Exactly! I can't imagine not doing this. I don't want to waste anyones time, theirs or mine.

Kitagrl Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 5:28pm
post #24 of 38

I have on my website that I start at $3/serving for the most basic designs and prices can go up to $15 or more for sculptured or highly detailed designs.

I guess people don't read? I'm really not trying to hide anything. LOL

I have had several people taken aback saying "Oh your website said $3-$4/serving".....

(Check my website on the payments page, CCers, and see what you think, is it really not that clear???)

_Jamie_ Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 5:32pm
post #25 of 38

It's perfectly fine Kita. You just really have to go through the standard info like this outloud sometimes for some people to get it. Brides get starry eyed and don't think of what things cost.

_Jamie_ Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 5:36pm
post #26 of 38

Oh!! Reminds me of a trainwreck website I saw the other day. This poor girl had a page so big of pricing info, I swear you had to scroll 4 times to get to the bottom of it. OVERinformation is enough to make me click away and call someone else. This page had a price for adding a bow, adding 2 bows, adding pearl border (pricing for 3 different sizes of pearl border) adding ribbon (silk or taffeta pricing) adding this, adding that.....OMG! Stop already! It was awful.

Kitagrl Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 5:38pm
post #27 of 38

Well I'll have to...thanks for the advice girls.

I was wondering what I was doing wrong lately to be losing orders after doing very good consults...and its because we did not go ahead and talk about pricing in the emails.

That and the tasting that stood me up the other day. LOL.

In this economy, the "bargain basement cake decorators" have it made, I think....or so they think...if they want to work their butts off for $20 profit per cake. LOL.

indydebi Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 5:40pm
post #28 of 38

Change your website to say "....start at $3-$4 a serving. Let me repeat that. They START at $3-$4 a serving." icon_biggrin.gif

I have a section in my Wedding Workshop where I talk about this very topic. I tell the story of how people can't do the math. If you tell someone that he is going to take 6 people to dinner and it will cost $10 each (before tax and tip), it's easy for him to figure he's going to spend $60.

But if he's planning an event for 100 people and he's going to spend $10 each (before tax and tip), the only thing he hears is ........
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

icon_surprised.gif A THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ??????? icon_surprised.gif


They just can't figure how to "do the math".

Kitagrl Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 5:42pm
post #29 of 38

Its true.... I have sent emails before saying "The cake serves 30 and will be $5/serving."

I get an email back saying "Could you send me what the total would be for the cake?"

icon_confused.gif

indydebi Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 5:42pm
post #30 of 38

Jamie, I've seen price lists like that! ANd even tho' *I* knew what she was talking about, I was 2/3's thru it and even I threw up my hands thinking "omg, just tell me how much the freakin' cake costs!" Can you imagine what cake civilians' reaction would be? icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

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