SallyBratt Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 4:30pm
post #1 of

I don't have time to go back thru all the threads so if this has been answered before please let me know.

anyway...I was making cookies for family, I do it every Xmas...and I thought of trying to sell them but after checking on what others are pricing there's at there is no way I'd make any money on them. The time involved with decorating them is just too much...at least for me. But I know people on Flickr who are doing really intricate patterns and designs and they sell a lot...but how can they even be breaking even?? It took me 2 days just to do a batch of Thanksgiving cookies!!

Maybe I'm just slow?

39 replies
indydebi Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 4:39pm
post #2 of

You definitely get faster with practice and the size of the cookie makes a big diff.

I remember I made 100 dog-boned shaped cookies and it only took me about a couple of hours. Small cookie (2x3" ish), one color.

Then I made 50 Hello Kitty cookies. Oh my god those suckers took me 5 freakin' hours!!! icon_eek.gif THe cookie was WAY bigger than they looked. My back was totally killing me when I got done.

If you're doing mass quantities, covering them in fondant, even as just the base, is way faster than icing. Here's a thread with some tips on doing that: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-649283-tshirt.html

What kind of price range have you priced yours at? (Are they priced close to the Cookies by Design pricing?)

chefjulie Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 4:56pm
post #3 of

I absolutely make money off my decorated cookies. The key, for me, is keeping the design simple. I enjoy the challenege of creating an intricate design on a cookie, but am realistic enough to know that I'll never make money off of those designs. I dont like to spend more than 2-3 minutes per cookie.

tarheelgirl Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 5:10pm
post #4 of

How do you guys market cookie bouquets? I just made a couple of Valentine bouquets..

SallyBratt Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 6:49pm
post #5 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

You definitely get faster with practice and the size of the cookie makes a big diff.

I remember I made 100 dog-boned shaped cookies and it only took me about a couple of hours. Small cookie (2x3" ish), one color.

Then I made 50 Hello Kitty cookies. Oh my god those suckers took me 5 freakin' hours!!! icon_eek.gif THe cookie was WAY bigger than they looked. My back was totally killing me when I got done.

If you're doing mass quantities, covering them in fondant, even as just the base, is way faster than icing. Here's a thread with some tips on doing that: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-649283-tshirt.html

What kind of price range have you priced yours at? (Are they priced close to the Cookies by Design pricing?)




I haven't actually priced them at all because I've only ever done them for family. I was thinking of selling though and I just kind of figured I wouldn't be able to make any money on them. I used to sell some plain cookies (choc chip, oatmeal...that sort of thing) at my friend's cafe but that was mostly for fun and to help him out a bit.

if you get a chance check out Rosey Sugar on flickr. Her cookies are amazing...so are her cakes. Her piping work is some of the best I've ever seen. Also Sweet Sugar Belle's cookies are stunning. And she's very very prolific.

SallyBratt Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 6:52pm
post #6 of

also, I'm a royal icing girl when it comes to cookies. I know it takes longer but I like the effect (personal pref only) better than fondant. I really should try fondant again tho now that I have a good one and I know more about it. I used Golda's on my 1st and only attempt and it really does stink...figuratively and literally.

lecrn Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 6:57pm
post #7 of

I can definitely see how people could make money selling cookies. I'm not experienced in cookie making (or selling) by no means, but I made some bee cookies last week for my baby's bday party & they where super fast to make. I covered them with fondant & put RI stripes & eyes on them. It took just a min per cookie. I would keep it simple as stated above. I don't even know what people will pay for cookies, but they would be a very unique thing to offer. If I where selling the cookies that I made, I would probably sell them for $1 at least. I guess it also depends on the size of the cookie & if it's packaged.

indydebi Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 7:01pm
post #8 of

I much prefer the taste of RI on cookies than I do the fondant, but when it comes to high production work, I'll use fondant every chance I can. thumbs_up.gif

Check out CbyD's website, stores in your area, to get an idea of what detail designed cookies price for.

Just as FYI, my choc chip / snickerdoodle type of cookies, I sold for $6/dz, and that's considered "not expensive", especially if you compare them to what you find in Starbucks, Subway, etc.

Here's my cookie pricing page (I haven't taken down the cookie website yet): http://www.bannascookies.com/pricing.html

SallyBratt Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 7:09pm
post #9 of

Check these guys out tho
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosey_sugar_palace/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sweetsugarbelle/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/34555769@N04/with/4266877310/
cuz, frankly, I don't know how they're even breaking even!

Maybe I'm just way too slow.

SallyBratt Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 7:12pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I much prefer the taste of RI on cookies than I do the fondant, but when it comes to high production work, I'll use fondant every chance I can. thumbs_up.gif

Check out CbyD's website, stores in your area, to get an idea of what detail designed cookies price for.

Just as FYI, my choc chip / snickerdoodle type of cookies, I sold for $6/dz, and that's considered "not expensive", especially if you compare them to what you find in Starbucks, Subway, etc.

Here's my cookie pricing page (I haven't taken down the cookie website yet): http://www.bannascookies.com/pricing.html




thanks. It would be nice to be able to offer personalized cookies as wedding give aways when I actually start taking wedding cake orders. I have yet to get my 1st...it's pretty much been cakes for friends and friends of friends so far. I do have a wedding cake to do for my brother's mother in law this fall. I'm really looking forward to that.

I should see if she wants some autumn cookies too. I have some awesome leaf cutters that would go perfect with her theme.

CakeDiane Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 7:45pm

Thanks for sharing those flickr sites Sally--what beautiful work they do!! Very inspirational!

SallyBratt Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 7:50pm

you're welcome. Rosey Sugar kills me! Check out her cakes with the intricate piping. they're breathtaking.

prterrell Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 8:25pm

Haven't sold any yet (well, did some for a close friend at cost, actually they paid me a large tip, too, but was still a LOT less than if they'd paid full price, but it was sort of a barter situation, her DH is doing my website for me), but a $1 per inch, yes, I would most certainly make money (and a lot of it) were I to sell them.

RachieRach Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 8:34pm

I am completely awe inspired by the cookie designs I see on flickr. I'm not an artist and many of those women (as well as the decorators on CC) are ARTISTS. But when making my cookies, I focus on taste. My cookies taste wonderful and customers like simple designs. Sure I would like to be able to design fancy cookies, but I agree the time it takes to make them, makes them super expensive. I haven't found anyone willing to pay what I would charge so I stick to basic designs in 2-4 inch cookies. Just starting out. My problem is I can't bake from home and renting kitchen space is expensive.

SallyBratt Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 10:36pm

Well, I am an artist and I'm still in awe of what some of those ladies can do with a cookie!! Here's my little flickr cookie set if anyone wants to have a look. Certainly not as amazing as the others.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/surlybratt/sets/72157614130087587/

The baptism cookies were the only ones done using fondant. Sadly it was the Golda's fondant and they tasted like shite. I had to throw them out.

Note* I'm a bit of an idiot sometimes and some of my pictures reflect that. There are also some naked gingerbread men with little gingerbread pee pees so I hope they don't offend anyone. icon_smile.gif

toleshed Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 12:31am

SallyBratt
I feel it totally depends on where you live. I am quite rural and cookies just aren't a necessity here. I am going to take a basic cake decorating course in March. I think cakes will sell better around here.

luv2bake6 Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 1:06am

I agree. There arent many in my area who would agree to pay $1 per inch, let alone more for intrinsic designs or for packaging. While i don't sell much, i've quoted pretty low prices to people interested in ordering, and they were quite shocked. I don't think i've ever really made what was worth the time it took to make and decorate cookies, except for the edible images which don't need much decoration, but cost more to make.
I do, however, find it amazing how much people are willing to pay for miiniatures and cakes. I think it's a psychological thing people have with their perception of cookies and what their prices should be.

indydebi Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 1:14am
Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2bake6

I agree. There arent many in my area who would agree to pay $1 per inch, let alone more for intrinsic designs or for packaging. While i don't sell much, i've quoted pretty low prices to people interested in ordering, and they were quite shocked. I don't think i've ever really made what was worth the time it took to make and decorate cookies, except for the edible images which don't need much decoration, but cost more to make.
I do, however, find it amazing how much people are willing to pay for miiniatures and cakes. I think it's a psychological thing people have with their perception of cookies and what their prices should be.



Do you have a Cookies by Design close to you (within a one hour drive?) I have one within minutes from me, and when a friend told me that the folks at her celebration were SHOCKED at the price she paid for the bouquet, I told her, "I guess they never shop at that other national cookie chain, then, because I'm 25% cheaper than they are!" icon_rolleyes.gif

Knowing what yoru competition charges and being able to shoot it right back at them is a great tool to have in your arsenal. "I understand that you may not want to pay my $6/cookie. You might try that one place .... no, wait .... they charge $7.25/cookie PLUS a container fee PLUS a delivery fee, so that won't work. You could try .... no, they don't make these kinds of cookies. Hmmm. Sorry lady, I guess you're screwed!" (ok maybe I'd leave off the last line, but it's fun to think about it!) icon_lol.gif

sugarcheryl Posted 30 Jan 2010 , 4:11am

I'm getting into the cookie thing. I getting sales because I started marketing Valentine's Day. I'm selling my regular cookies like oatmeal, chocolate chip for $10 a dozen and I'm selling the cookie bouquets starting $15 to 45.

chelseak Posted 30 Jan 2010 , 5:40am
Quote:
Originally Posted by SallyBratt

Well, I am an artist and I'm still in awe of what some of those ladies can do with a cookie!! Here's my little flickr cookie set if anyone wants to have a look. Certainly not as amazing as the others.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/surlybratt/sets/72157614130087587/

The baptism cookies were the only ones done using fondant. Sadly it was the Golda's fondant and they tasted like shite. I had to throw them out.

Note* I'm a bit of an idiot sometimes and some of my pictures reflect that. There are also some naked gingerbread men with little gingerbread pee pees so I hope they don't offend anyone. icon_smile.gif




LOL! I love the squirrels on your Thanksgiving platter! So cute! I am totally infatuated with Rosey Sugar.... I actually have a bit of a girl crush on her..her talent I mean..lol Her piping is unbelievable. I wish. I have so many Favorites from her I could never pick one. And I think the naked Gingerbread men are hilarious. I would totally make those icon_eek.gif

thecookieladycc Posted 30 Jan 2010 , 6:58am

Cookies are what make most of my business. I have learned that there are people out there that WILL pay $$$ for good cookies. Those that want to pay Wal Mart prices can... well go to Wal-mart. Just practice, practice, practice.

motherofgrace Posted 30 Jan 2010 , 8:06am

yea, my hubby was like "you have to compete with safeway (grocery store)" And I said hell no! for 1 its just buttercream on those, and they take about 2 seconds to frost. 2. mine are custom made, and take hours and look a hell of alot better then a slap of icing!

so I know my prices are low (havent even opened yet lol) but if people want an awesome looking, out of the ordinary cookie, they will pay the $2.25-$3.25 pp for my cookies icon_wink.gif

If they dont, then they can go to safeway, get regular cookies, and imagine what it would have been like if they had gotten mine! icon_wink.gif

(I was agreeing with thecookieladycc if you were wondering lol)

Cookies4kids Posted 30 Jan 2010 , 7:16pm

When I started on CC a couple of years ago, the advise I got was to donate to your church, friends, etc. just to show what you could do. I have learned so much from all the pros here that what I can do these days is a lot more than I could do then LOL.
You will always get the comments and even little sneers, about the price and is she nuts!!! My pretty snazzy cookies and cakes sat next to all the rest at our monthly church bake sale, and it wasn't long before people were asking me to do things for them. The people that appreciate the time and talent it takes to produce these things will always be first in line at these sales to get my things. I price my things at the bake sale just a tad lower than I would normally charge and nobody bats an eye at the price. Like someone else here said, the quality of the ingredients we use is far superior to anything you get in even the best stores. Every once in awhile, I just have to try one of those $5.00 little tiny tarts or cakes that look so fabulous, but they always taste like yucky cardboard. I always wonder what in the world they make that stuff with.
I guess my point here is that it might take a little while, but people will appreciate your work and be willing to pay for it. They think nothing of paying several dollars for a little piece of candy that sits enticinly on the checkout counter in an upscale gift shop, so why should they expect to get your beautiful, handmade cookie for nothing. Also go around to the stores in your area and check out what people are paying for those mass produced treats that are so popular. I love to bake, but I won't give it away either.

Renaejrk Posted 30 Jan 2010 , 7:36pm

If you don't like fondant on the cookies, you could try modeling chocolate - you can cut the shape just like you would fondant, but it has a different flavor! You can do it with white chocolate and it would be delicious! You can flavor it too with oils! MMMMMM - cheesecake flavor in white chocolate on a creamy sugar cookie!

globalgatherings Posted 30 Jan 2010 , 7:41pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by SallyBratt

Well, I am an artist and I'm still in awe of what some of those ladies can do with a cookie!! Here's my little flickr cookie set if anyone wants to have a look. Certainly not as amazing as the others.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/surlybratt/sets/72157614130087587/

The baptism cookies were the only ones done using fondant. Sadly it was the Golda's fondant and they tasted like shite. I had to throw them out.

Note* I'm a bit of an idiot sometimes and some of my pictures reflect that. There are also some naked gingerbread men with little gingerbread pee pees so I hope they don't offend anyone. icon_smile.gif




omg, those gingerbread men are too funny, thanx for the laugh thumbs_up.gif
I don't sell mine, probably because I would never get enough money for them. I love to do them when I have time and I give them away as gifts to my customers. That's always fun! I would love to know too if anyone is really making a profit on cookies? I'm with you op, I don't know how that can be done with all the labor involved

Kelly

SallyBratt Posted 2 Feb 2010 , 3:04pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renaejrk

If you don't like fondant on the cookies, you could try modeling chocolate - you can cut the shape just like you would fondant, but it has a different flavor! You can do it with white chocolate and it would be delicious! You can flavor it too with oils! MMMMMM - cheesecake flavor in white chocolate on a creamy sugar cookie!




Thats a good idea. In fact ChocoPan is pretty darn tasty (I eat it right out of the bucket but don't tell anyone!)

I just got an email from a woman wondering what I charge. She needs enuf for 210 guests. I've told her I charge by the size and detail of design so I'm waiting to hear back. I'm hoping she'll be ok with $3 per but we'll see what she wants 1st.

Definitely not going to undercut myself on these because they're just way too labour intensive.

thanks to everyone for the comments on my cookies. The gingerbread ones are my faves too icon_biggrin.gif

SallyBratt Posted 2 Feb 2010 , 3:38pm

She sent me a picture. She wants a med sized cookie so I'm thinking $2.75 per...assuming she's going to do her own packaging. If I have to do the packaging it'll be more.

Does that sound reasonable?
LL

SallyBratt Posted 2 Feb 2010 , 3:45pm

Actually...scratch that. I'm going to charge $3 per. It'll give me some barter room.


edit...geez...just did a google search and everyone is charging around $3.99 per cookie for those exact cookies. I've upped my price. Good thing I checked before I sent the email!

EvMarie Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 9:01pm

The online pricing I've seen varies. I've seen smaller sites sell for $2.00 per cookie. I've seen some larger cookie sites sell for $6 per. But, that included what appears to be an edible image monogram and a clear lid gift box. The thing that concerns me about the big companies: they say their cookies last for over a month. What is in there????

I'd say Sweet Sugar Belle and TracyLH are sort of in a different category. They seem to be completely custom. Which SHOULD yield a very custom price. And, those who really want it...will pay for it. Those people are out there. Just don't bend. If you want to offer a lower priced option to snag customers, make a standard design or two on a smaller cookie. Something super simple!

Oh Renaejrk- thanks for the tip on the modeling chocolate. I'll give it a whirl! (I've been experimenting with fondant recipes)

verono Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 9:14pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by SallyBratt

She sent me a picture. She wants a med sized cookie so I'm thinking $2.75 per...assuming she's going to do her own packaging. If I have to do the packaging it'll be more.

Does that sound reasonable?




I NEVER let the client do their own packaging... It's a question of hygien (how don't know how to spell it in english) and also, I want to keep a consistancy of the look of my cookies (the quality of the look of the packaging is really important).. you know your name will be related to those cookies, you want them to look exactly how you want it to be.. you know what I mean?

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