Deb_ Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 1:11pm
post #1 of

Each time a new one pops up I wonder how someone can even think about being in this business when they have no idea what their costs are to make a cake.

Shouldn't pricing be the FIRST thing we figure out?

Isn't it wise to have a price per serving price?

I don't get it..... icon_confused.gif

199 replies
jillmakescakes Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 1:22pm
post #2 of

I want to know where are these customers are who place orders without knowing the price......if they've got the money to burn, they can all come to my shop icon_lol.gif

Deb_ Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 1:24pm
post #3 of

I know huh? It's probably the first question out of their mouths when they call or come to a consult.

It just concerns me though, because if someone doesn't know how much it cost them to make a cake, then they're probably losing money on that sale.

Mike1394 Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 1:29pm
post #4 of

It just totally amazes me that someone can think about doing it this way. One Q was how many servings, and how much should I charge?

Another was Everyone loved my cake How much would it sell for? I think I want to be in business.

This is why I put such riduculous #s when someone asks the How Much Q. They have no idea whether, or not it's true, or not.

The really good one is: All my friends say I should go into business. Then the friends say you're too expensive. LOLOLOL I laugh at this one every time.

Mike

cncgirl00 Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 1:57pm
post #5 of

I have asked the pricing question myself here on this site. I DO know what my supplies cost to make the cake. Most us who are starting out don't know how to include our time into the equation, considering we are slower at completing the cake than a bakery or other cake professional. Am I supposed to charge more for the cake because it took me longer to complete because I'm still learning as I go? This is what I want help with when I ask a pricing question.

mamawrobin Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 2:18pm
post #6 of

The "How much should I charge for this cake" threads seem to be on here everytime I visit CC. I just don't even read them anymore.

Mike1394 Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 2:18pm
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by cncgirl00

I have asked the pricing question myself here on this site. I DO know what my supplies cost to make the cake. Most us who are starting out don't know how to include our time into the equation, considering we are slower at completing the cake than a bakery or other cake professional. Am I supposed to charge more for the cake because it took me longer to complete because I'm still learning as I go? This is what I want help with when I ask a pricing question.




You need to know three things.
How much it cost
How much profit do I want
How much will the market bear.

Your time is worth nothing. I know I will get flack for this. YOU'RE THE OWNER. Until you make a profit you make nothing. Bill & Kimberly don't care if you .02 an hour, and frankly niether do you.

I'm going to use Debi as an example. She can bake 50 cakes in an hour, commercial oven. You can bake three, four tops in a home oven. Who do you think will get done quicker? Your sites are set on profit.

Mike

indydebi Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 2:28pm
post #8 of

Pricing is an issue we all hate to deal with and all of us seem to happily help those with specific questions on a design or an issue that stumps them, price-wise.

But I am also concerned about those who try to convince us that they've NEVER spent ONE SECOND thinking about how much they'd charge for a cake. There's just too many threads on this site on this topic for someone to say "I've no idea".

I believe they DO have an idea. I can't believe they actually sat in their living room, dreaming about doing cakes as a business and the idea of how much money they could make was NOT part of the dreaming process. I just don't buy it.

Let's add to our list of concerns those who start a thread of "I'm doing my first weddign cake? How do you bake multiple cakes? ( icon_eek.gif ) How do you stack them? How do you transport them? HOw do you get the icing smooth? What sizes should I bake? HOw much should I charge?"

Geesh, if you've never done a cake before, you really shouldn't be contracting to make a wedding cake! icon_eek.gif

I'm sure we don't want to scare off questions ... it's what makes this site successful as we all share our experiences. If someone can't find the serving chart, I'm happy to share the link. If someone has tried and tried to get smooth icing and they're stuck, We're happy to give ideas on what may be going wrong for them. If they are confused on when a center dowel may or may not be needed, We'll all jump in and share ideas. The example that cnc gives re: time to make a cake is a good discussion on how to bill for time.

I just worry about my CC friends who make it sound like they got up one day and decided to make a wedding cake "... so, um, how do I do that?" icon_confused.gif

Has Food Network and CC made it sound too easy? icon_rolleyes.gif

artscallion Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 2:33pm
post #9 of

That's an interesting question, cncgirl. But that's never the way it's verbalized if that's what they're looking for. The usual question goes something like this:

"Okay...So, I made this cake yesterday for my SIL. How much should I charge her? Oh, it's three tiers...Mocha tropical swiss banana dream caramel filling (yummers!) with decorations and circles. Thanks!"

I'm always at a loss when I read these. I always have to hold myself back from answering, "Why don't YOU know what to charge for Your cake? Why are you asking US! How the heck are we supposed to know?"

It's a simple formula whether you're selling cakes or home made birdhouses...how much did it cost you to make it and how much, above that, makes it worth it for you to do it?

LaBellaFlor Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 2:46pm

Exactly Artscallion. I answer that question less and less. I'm sorry, but after awhile it just sounds dumb. To take an order and not know what to charge, dumb. Think about it, has anyone on here ordered anything on here without knowing what it was going to cost first?! Maybe I'm wrong, maybe their a lot of super rich people on this site that I don't know about.

DeeDelightful Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 2:50pm

I think it's fear. People have an idea what they want to charge for it, but fear that no one will want to pay that price, so they look to CC to find out if that price is reasonable.

Most of us really want the experience of making the cake, but we don't want to scare off our potential customer with an extreme price. Yes, we know our time and ingredients are worth the price....it's just a hard thing to explain. I think it will go away with time and experience and more confidence in our work.

The more i'm on CC the more confident i am getting, so i'm being more firm about my pricing. In the meantime, i've scared off a large birthday cake, a wedding cake and all of my friend's kids birthday cakes. They just don't think they can afford me, so they go to W-M or the local grocery store, without even trying to work out a deal with me.

LaBellaFlor Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 2:54pm

So DeeDelightful my question to you would be, do you really want to work out a deal? I don't. I told you my price, period. The best I can do is give you a design that might fit a lower budget, but it would NEVER be a Wal-Mart budget. But I think the things we are also seeing more of is people doing consultations or actually agreeing to do cakes, and not having a price. icon_confused.gif

morgnscakes Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 2:56pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Pricing is an issue we all hate to deal with and all of us seem to happily help those with specific questions on a design or an issue that stumps them, price-wise.




I agree with you indydebi. The only thing I will add is this...when someone asks about a specific price, please have some awareness of your area. I know that us CCers are from all over, but do realize that each area contracts different price points. For instance, a cake in my area may go for $2-3 per serving, whereas in New York the same cake could go for $8-10 per serving or even $5-6 per serving in Mississippi.

We all have to have some common knowledge in this "sweet" industry.

armywife1 Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 2:57pm

I have to admit, as well, that I have been guilty of asking this question. I guess there are times when I just need a vote of confidence. I do have to say that, in doing so, I have learned from many CCrs (mainly indydebi) that I really need to get some 'cake balls' and tell people that my time is money. If they want a cake for the grocery store price, then... GO TO THE GROCERY STORE! If people REALLY want a CUSTOM cake, they'll order from you.

Just yesterday I was telling my husband that I found out some girl down the street is selling 2 tiered cakes with fondant accents for... WAIT FOR IT... $30!!!! I won't even sell a sheet cake that cheaply!

Having said that, I would tell anyone, while you are in the process of figuring out what to charge, do your research and see what the local people are charging. I have called Walmart and found that their 2 tiered BC wedding cakes go for $89.

I do agree that before you take on an order such as a wedding cake, you should definitely know the in's and out's of cake decorating, especially how to stack and dowel!

armywife1 Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 2:59pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by morgnscakes


I agree with you indydebi. The only thing I will add is this...when someone asks about a specific price, please have some awareness of your area. I know that us CCers are from all over, but do realize that each area contracts different price points. For instance, a cake in my area may go for $2-3 per serving, whereas in New York the same cake could go for $8-10 per serving or even $5-6 per serving in Mississippi.

We all have to have some common knowledge in this "sweet" industry.




EXACTLY! thumbs_up.gif

shelly-101 Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 2:59pm

i have asked this question before , i was only makeing cakes for friends and family at the time for free as gifts from me, i truly did not know if you should charge per slice or supplies x2 or what so somethimes its not a stupid question because maybe they really do need to know. i have learnd that if i was only charging supplies x2 i would have been scroowing my self but that is why i asked.

_Jamie_ Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 3:03pm

I think a lot of people are just so excited to get to do a cake for money, and the price is an afterthought. The thrill of decorating and the oohs and aahs they'll be getting is front and center in the brain. If they get handed two 20 dollar bills, and they spent $30 on making it....they're ok with it. Ugh. Not everyone, but a lot.

MainCake Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 3:04pm

I think that these questions get asked because most of the time everyone is so nice and helpful and the people asking truly want advice from those in the know.

I don't think I've ever asked a pricing question on here, but I'd sure hate to be one that has after reading this thread. Just when you think it's safe to ask advice from those you've come to love and respect, you are made to feel like an idiot. Yikes!

indydebi Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 3:04pm

shelley, good example of the way you phrased that question. It's specific to your situation. I believe that what concerns us is the generic "how much should I charge?" and leave it at that, question.

_Jamie_ Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 3:07pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by rvallee

I think that these questions get asked because most of the time everyone is so nice and helpful and the people asking truly want advice from those in the know.

I don't think I've ever asked a pricing question on here, but I'd sure hate to be one that has after reading this thread. Just when you think it's safe to ask advice from those you've come to love and respect, you are made to feel like an idiot. Yikes!




icon_rolleyes.gif

LaBellaFlor Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 3:09pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Jamie_

Quote:
Originally Posted by rvallee

I think that these questions get asked because most of the time everyone is so nice and helpful and the people asking truly want advice from those in the know.

I don't think I've ever asked a pricing question on here, but I'd sure hate to be one that has after reading this thread. Just when you think it's safe to ask advice from those you've come to love and respect, you are made to feel like an idiot. Yikes!



icon_rolleyes.gif





ditto

Loucinda Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 3:10pm

I also think that if it is a post that you are not interested in reading, do not open it. Easy peasy, you are not aggravated, and only those who really are interested in helping the poster will respond.

_Jamie_ Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 3:15pm

Who made you feel like an idiot? Really....who has the power to do that to you?

MainCake Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 3:20pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Jamie_

Who made you feel like an idiot? Really....who has the power to do that to you?




If you are asking me Jamie, the answer would be no one. Absolutely no one has the power to make me feel like that except me. I am quite capable of making an idiot of myself and I'm big enough to admit when I do. However, no one else does it for me. icon_lol.gif

I was merely sympathizing with those who have asked the pricing question before and may now feel badly for asking. Not everyone believes in their own self worth like I do. Unfortunately.

Edited to say 'unfortunately' and also that I agree with Loucinda whole heartedly.

_Jamie_ Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 3:23pm

Right....but it's no one in here's job to baby them either. I don't see anyone going out of their way to "attempt" (because it's impossible to make anyone feel anything) to make anyone feel like an idiot.

ski Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 3:29pm

I have to say I have asked so many questions on this website, and am very happy with that ability,this website is by design. To everyone who has offered suggestions and solutions THANKYOU!! As one of my teachers years ago said"if you don't ask questions how will you ever know." Simple but to the point. Life is a learning experience, and those who have the fortune of gaining that experience sooner, should feel blessed that anyone asks them questions. I myself sometimes think, goofy question, but then remind myself, I didn't wake up one day and just knock out a cake I had to learn. As for me, keep asking the same question fearlessly, because I will. Coffee in the morning...what a charger haha!

Oh and as an aside, many years ago I asked Ruth Rickey how to get icing out of a 001 tip, and Kerry Vincent how to properly dust roses...gosh I'm sure glad they answered my questions and look at their talent!

MainCake Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 3:41pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Jamie_

Right....but it's no one in here's job to baby them either. I don't see anyone going out of their way to "attempt" (because it's impossible to make anyone feel anything) to make anyone feel like an idiot.




Wow Jamie, you sure got me there. Good one buddy! icon_wink.gif

Since I'm responsible for my own feelings, I'm feeling very refreshed because I've been wondering if I'd let myself get sucked back into the drama riptide by beginning to post again after all this time and this is the perfect reason to go back to just browsing pics and ignoring the forums as I've done for a couple years now. thumbs_up.gif

Yes, you and whomever else chooses to, can have the last nasty word, call me on the carpet or whatever it is you do to make your lives more interesting. Let the bashing begin and enjoy it.

TexasSugar Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 3:48pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeDelightful

Yes, we know our time and ingredients are worth the price....it's just a hard thing to explain.




I honestly don't think that 75-80% of the people behind the pricing questions have a clue how much money and time they spend doing a cake. I think they get asked to do a cake, and say okay with out knowing. That goes along with those that made a cake then come here asking how much to charge for the already made cake.

We have seen it on here time and time again when someone says I charged $50 for this cake and after they are asked and they have to figure it up they realise they spent $40 on making the cake.

Yes there are some people out there that do know how much they are putting into cakes, those are usually the ones that ask the more detailed questions and give people more information to work off of.

Those that say "I'm making a 5 tiered cake to feed 40 people, with dots and strips, how much do I charge," haven't thought many things through yet. A 5 tired cake and 40 servings in this care are often two different things.

I know there will always be pricing questions. Ive come on here before with them. But I understand where others are coming from as well. I also think that many people on here do answer the questions, giving them food for thought. It is just that I can think of 4 or 5 of them off the top of my head right now that have popped up in the last few days, all with the same vague theme, and I am sure that is what has prompted the worry from others.

_Jamie_ Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 4:05pm

Nah, not my style. But why don't you drop the attempts to turn the thread into drama llama fodder. Again, I don't see anyone trying to make anyone feel like an idiot, but you are inviting people to bash you. Interesting.

ski Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 4:09pm

You are right on Texas sugar...I gotta say sometimes emotions do get outta hand on here. But I think everyone who takes the time to read or answer any questions does it with a big heart. I vote for 2010 to be a negative-free year on these forums. We have too much baking to do to get our egos involved! Now everybody sing with me "Don't Worry...be Happy..." I have some cakin to do, have a good day to everyone!! icon_biggrin.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%