Wedding Cake - Pricing/cod - All Opinions Welcomed.

Decorating By lamcf120 Updated 28 Jan 2010 , 7:21pm by apetricek

lamcf120 Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 5:30pm
post #1 of 19

I finally landed the bride that was in question this week. She keeps adding and changing things to fit her budget but will not tell me her budget. the cake she wants is a $1.00 more per serving than the one she is going with. The one she is going with is nothing spectaular and I really want to do the other one that will be a very cool cake. So now that I know she'll is going with me, how bad will I look if I agree to do the cake of her "dreams", at the price she wants? Keep in mind that I told her I could not do the cake at $5.00 per serving.

Also, she wants to pay me the balance on the day of the wedding, which is not my standard. Does any one know, isn't advance payment for a wedding cake an industy standard? Who collects final payment the day of?

TIA

18 replies
_Jamie_ Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 5:34pm
post #2 of 19

Let's see what she wants and what you said you would do. Absolutely no payments day of, day before or two days before delivery. You should have plenty of client recommendations and kudos from past jobs displayed on your site along with your portfolio to instill confidence that you will deliver on her big day. This isn't Pizza Hut, you don't get paid when you deliver. You have so much invested in the cake that can't be undone when you deliver it.

CakeMommyTX Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 5:35pm
post #3 of 19

Payment in full 30days before the wedding, do not turn your oven on until the check clears.
I would'nt proceed until you know her budget.
Stick to your prices, it is not yor job to lose money just so she can have the cake of her dreams.

lamcf120 Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 5:42pm
post #4 of 19

Yes payment prior is a must need to have others confirm that for me, thanks.

Regarding the cake though....I really wouldn't be loosing money. My biggest problem in prcing a cake is what my hourly rate should be. Any suggestions? If I put my hourly rate at $30.00 per hour and it takes me 20 hours total (including tastings and emails back and forth) which is on the high side that's still only $600 bucks and I'm charging $1200 but willing to go down to $900 only because I'd like to get the cake in my portfolio.

I just don't know what to do.

tiggy2 Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 5:46pm
post #5 of 19

Split the difference with her.

sullymel13 Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 5:55pm
post #6 of 19

If you really want to do the cake, then I would tell her, "let's make a deal. You pay me in advance, and I'll give you the cake you wanted at the price you wanted." Otherwise, no money, no cake!

Chasey Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 5:57pm
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamcf120

the cake she wants is a $1.00 more per serving than the one she is going with. So now that I know she'll is going with me, how bad will I look if I agree to do the cake of her "dreams", at the price she wants? Keep in mind that I told her I could not do the cake at $5.00 per serving.




If you told her you can't do it at $5/serving and then you change your mind and say you can....she can either be super happy with that fact or not trust you for future orders and referrals, kwim?

I think I would go with split the difference as well. I would explain that "while I can't do it as cheaply as $5/serving, I could do it for 50 cents more to cover my costs and donate a little more of my time for this new project I would love to do for you."

Personally, I would be hesitant to pay someone by the hour because I don't know how fast or slow you work! Just tell me a bottom line price and I, as the customer, will decide if it's worth it to me. icon_smile.gif

lamcf120 Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 6:30pm
post #8 of 19

But how do you know how to charge for a cake? You just can't pick a number out of the air. If you take your cost and the cost of the cake adds up to $300.00, than do you charge $300? I would hope not because time is money and it takes time to do a custom cake.

So what do you all calculate for your time? How much per hour are you worth?

Chasey Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 6:37pm
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamcf120

If you take your cost and the cost of the cake adds up to $300.00, than do you charge $300?




Errr, no. icon_wink.gif I haven't been around this site for very long, but a few months of reading has taught me that YOU are supposed to know what your time is worth. Ha! I know, I know, that's the question you are asking. icon_biggrin.gif I've just read many, many threads with the "old timers" aka professionals getting a little agitated at the fact that someone doesn't know what to charge for their own cake.

*If* I were the one posing this question, I would call a real bakery in my area and get a quote for what you are planning to do. That would be my starting place for now.........

LaBellaFlor Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 9:30pm
post #10 of 19

30 days paid in full, period. Only exception is repeat, reputable clients. As far as changing your price, cause it's a design you want to do, that is up to you, but I wouldn't do it.

leah_s Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 9:40pm
post #11 of 19

I've even had repeat, reliable customers come up short a few days before the cake is due and cancel for ask for credit.

Wedding cakes must be paid in full ahead of tme. Jsut like nearly every other wedding vendor.

tarheelgirl Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 9:46pm
post #12 of 19

I require a non-refundable deposit to hold the date and the full amount is due 30 days before the wedding. I don't think I would proceed either until you knew what her budget was.

catlharper Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 10:35pm
post #13 of 19

I agree with the others who say split the difference...don't give her the price she's requesting..she may well try to lowball you again!

My contract says 2 weeks out paid in full with no cancellations allowed. If not paid 14 days before then on 12 days before they have to pay me in cash. 10 days before and it's too late, no cake. I start warning clients at the 30 day mark with a phone call or email that says "Just a quick reminder that final payment is due on this date, I know how busy brides can be and how this could be forgotten". On day 14 I call and say that they really need to get their final payment in because after that day they have to pay in cash and if they don't get the payment in by 11 days before the wedding date then they will have cancelled the order and will not get a refund of deposit. Finally, after exhausting all other avenues I will call on day 10 and let them know that I have cancelled their order and they have forfeited their deposit.

I think we all have been bitten by the "oh I'll get you the money" bug...it's painful!

cakesbycathy Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 4:26am
post #14 of 19

Under NO circumstances should you do a wedding cake COD.

I require a 50% NON-refundable payment when they book and the rest is due 30 days before the reception.

Mensch Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 5:37am
post #15 of 19

Oh h*ll no COD.

Payment is due five weeks before event. No cancellations after final payment.

prterrell Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 5:45am
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamcf120

But how do you know how to charge for a cake? You just can't pick a number out of the air. If you take your cost and the cost of the cake adds up to $300.00, than do you charge $300? I would hope not because time is money and it takes time to do a custom cake.

So what do you all calculate for your time? How much per hour are you worth?




You are absolutely right. Unfortunatley, you have to go with estimation on the time. Based on your experience making other cakes, how long do you expect it to take? If you want to be extra safe with the time, add on 10% to the estimated time.

As for the per/hour that is honestly an individual thing that each baker must determine on his/her own. Depending on experience and reputation, and the individual baker's own wants and needs (is this a side job or your main source of income is one factor that can affect this amount) that amount can vary by a LOT.

sweetmandic Posted 28 Jan 2010 , 4:56pm
post #17 of 19

wow this is a great lesson for me. Althought I havn't been burned yet, I take money the day of more times than I should. Thanks for the advice!

costumeczar Posted 28 Jan 2010 , 6:58pm
post #18 of 19

With wedding cakes, COD might as well mean GFTB (Give Free To Bride)

apetricek Posted 28 Jan 2010 , 7:21pm
post #19 of 19

I am going to tell you what I do...not sure if it is the "right" way...but I haven't had any problems...
Wedding cakes are booked with a $100.00 non refundable deposit to hold the date. The tasting, design appointments can be made, etc.
I charge per serving, that is how I come up with pricing. Overall I base it on the design of the cake, amount of work, custom work (gumpaste flowers, bows, etc..), flavor(s), filling(s), buttercream vs. fondant.
I have a standard delivery and set up fee which they see and agree to at time of contract signing...
As for payment, FULL payment is due 10 days prior to cake being delivered. That way I KNOW their check is going to clear, and if there are problems or issues there is time for them to resolve it...
They are told at first appointment that if payment is NOT made prior to that date, DO NOT expect a cake to be sitting at your venue waiting for you....I have never had a problem yet...
As for getting paid on the event date....BAD BAD idea...not sure if you are married or went through the whole wedding thing...but I know how crazy it was my wedding day, and things get easily forgotten...then where does that leave you...they have a cake, you no money and you then have to chase your payment down....they know they have to pay for the cake, so they should have it by your cut off date. When I first started 12 years ago, I was tooooo trusting and did a cake for a "friend of a friend" well her thinking is that she was going to post date her check and pay me with her wedding money....well it back fired on her since this was a second marriage most people gave her gifts, and her check bounced mulitple times, till I got my payment....so PLEASE get your money in advance...you have to be out the money for supplies, not to mention your time, so make it worth your while...this is a business....good luck, hope she doesn't end up being a bridezilla! I would maybe do some of the details from her "dream" cake, and still charge her the price you agreed, or I agree with some of the other meet her in the middle, maybe upping it slightly she will go for it....I know I have in the past too done more than they paid for depending on the event, and what kind of exposure as well as what kind of people are going to be there...if it is an expensive/"well off" event it sometimes is worth it to do a little extra since you may get more business/exposure and you never know what that could do for you or your business....just my thoughts....hope this helps, if not good luck to you!

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