Friends And Family Discount??

Decorating By artsycakes14 Updated 23 Feb 2010 , 1:05am by akgirl10

artsycakes14 Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 3:55am
post #1 of 26

In the last 6 months I have started selling cakes by word of mouth. I am a stay at home mom so it is not a "real" business. At first I started giving away these cakes that I spent hours on to friends and family. I finally stopped that because it cost me an arm and a leg in materials. I feel like it is just not worth it to me to inconvenience my family when no profit is coming in.

Now tons of friends and family have been asking me to make them cakes. I have done it for sisters and asked them to pay ingredients only, but still not sure I want to devote so much time for nothing. Part of me feels like I should be getting paid for my time and the other part of me feels like I am being selfish.

Has anyone come up with a good solution for this situation??

25 replies
Smashme Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 4:10am
post #2 of 26

i would love to know as well. unfortunatly i don't live near family, so i don't have that problem. However, i make some kind of goodie for my husbands work and everyone gladly eats everything but no one has offered to chip any thing in. My husband said next time he is going to put a tip jar next to the goodie and see if that helps.

Margieluvstobake Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 4:31am
post #3 of 26

What's the old saying...."Why pay for the cow when the milk is free?" I know, I know, that is not referring to cake, but the theory is the same. As long as they are getting it free they are not going to pay. I have been taking cake free to church functions and parties for a couple of years. Everyone says "Oh, you need to sell your cakes!!" But no one every offers to order one or to pay.

So I guess the moral of this story is... You just have to stop making them free.

jdelaney81 Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 4:35am
post #4 of 26

Artstycakes...I also don't have a business yet. (Working on that tho) For family that I would normally buy a gift for, the cake becomes the gift. Otherwise I charge. Some close friends I give a discount to, but I have asked them not to tell how much I charge them vs how much I charge others. Otherwise I am just losing profit.

Smashme...I would have your husband tell them, that although you love to make thing for them, it is getting kind of expensive to just give away your goodies. Have them take up a collection. I know that most people would donate. Where I work, they all donate once or twice a month for me to bring something in, no matter how big or small. They just love that I do it.

HTH icon_biggrin.gif

sugarandslice Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 5:15am
post #5 of 26

For immediate family I give a significant discount; either it's free if there's a family function and that's my contribution to the function, or I only charge for materials.

For friends I give a discount on my hourly rate (usualy it's $20/hr, for friends it's $15/hour) and I'll often deliver for free, but that's all - they pay full price for all materials etc.

Friends of friends = no discount

Mensch Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 6:40am
post #6 of 26

Here's how I see it: if you are selling cakes then you are, in fact, a business and need to start treating it as such.

mamawrobin Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 7:00am
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mensch

Here's how I see it: if you are selling cakes then you are, in fact, a business and need to start treating it as such.




yep.

SHYLERScakes Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 7:05am
post #8 of 26

Sorry, my input is kinda looong... I have been doing cakes for less than a year and was just making them for family birthdays and church functions...then people started to ask me what I charge for my cakes. I would just tell them "sorry, but I don't sell my cakes" (I'm such a scaredy cat about doing things illegally! plus, it does go against my principles) That was a simple enough answer for me and them.

But if you do want to make a profit off of your cake, then I suggest that you do the necessary paperwork to become legal. Just last month, I registered my trade name, got my g.e. tax license, got my health dept. permits and found a commercial kitchen to rent by the day!

Now I am happy to accept payment for my work! But whatever way you decide to go is up to you! I would NEVER put that much time and money into a cake (for someone who is not of importance to me) for free or just the cost of materials!

dtdonnahoo Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 7:07am
post #9 of 26

I give my closest friends and family members (not 4th cousins twice removed icon_wink.gif ) a 50% discount.
Work friends get a one time 50% discount. I have gotten SO much business from these discounted transactions. These are Walmart sheet cake people who are reluctant to pay more for a cake, but once they actually get one, they never turn back!

Jo Schmo down the street will pay full price or he can go to walmart icon_rolleyes.gif

KawaiiCakeCook Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 7:55am
post #10 of 26

my rule of thumb is if I can call you up at 3 in the morning and tell you to bring a shovel and you don't ask question you get a free cake, the rest of you bring your checkbooks.

makeminepink Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 10:34am
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by KawaiiCakeCook

my rule of thumb is if I can call you up at 3 in the morning and tell you to bring a shovel and you don't ask question you get a free cake, the rest of you bring your checkbooks.




That one made me smile!

suzylynn58 Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 11:29am
post #12 of 26

I make free cakes for my immediate family for their birthdays. I have two co-workers that are also really good friends that get discounts. But other than that everyone pays full price, unless it is a donation to my church for a special function. I live in a small town where I know almost all my customers and it would be hard to draw the line on the "friend discount".

Mike1394 Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 12:31pm
post #13 of 26

Why are you trying to put legal businesses out of business by undercutting the rest of the market?

Mike

MORSELSBYMARK Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 12:34pm
post #14 of 26

I'm with sugarandslice!

kjt Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 12:40pm
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by KawaiiCakeCook

my rule of thumb is if I can call you up at 3 in the morning and tell you to bring a shovel and you don't ask question you get a free cake, the rest of you bring your checkbooks.





hahahahahahah icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
I love this!!!

ttehan4 Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 1:06pm
post #16 of 26

I am having this same problem today. I have a cousin and his bride to be coming over today to choose a cake. I don't know if I should do the cake as a wedding gift or give them a large discount as a gift. I don't know if they are expecting the whole cake for free or not. I know she is leaning towards a large cake with alot of sugar flowers and I don't know if I want to do all that work as a gift. I was thinking of tell them as soon as we set down that I am going to give you 300.00 for a wedding gift, so what ever your cake cost you will pay the difference. Maybe thats just being selfish and I should make them a cake out of the goodness of my heart. I know I will probably feel guilty if I charge at all.

Okay, you see my problem. What to do, what to do!?!

tiggy2 Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 1:12pm
post #17 of 26

My DH boss asked yesterday if he gets a "Boss" discount. My response was "He's not my boss" and I don't work for minimum wage, does he? This is a man that makes 5 x my salary at my full time job and he wants me to give him a discount............aint gonna happen.

TexasSugar Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 4:36pm
post #18 of 26

I'm a hobby baker and only do cakes for my friends and family.

My general rule is simple. You ask me to do a cake, you pay for it. I offer to do a cake, then it is free.

I don't offer discounts. I work a full time job, and a part time job, so I have to give up free time to work on cakes for them. Why shouldn't they pay me for that?

Another problem with doing cakes at cost is that it will become more than just your family and friends asking for cakes. You will get a friend of a friend that wants a cake because they will see you as the 'cheap baker'. And after a while this will wear you thin.

Kitagrl Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 4:43pm
post #19 of 26

I don't have family in the area.

I have a small church and I give a 50% discount to the members...but I don't advertise that...if someone approaches me about a cake, I will tell them but luckily its only occasionally. I also donate cakes to baby showers and events at church. My husband is the pastor so I kind of do that just to avoid problems...would hate to charge someone hundreds of dollars for a cake and then have them whisper that the "pastors wife" was cheating them out of tons of money for a dumb cake. haha. If it ever becomes a problem I will change...but so far its not a huge deal and I do count the values off as donation in my taxes.

I don't give discounts, in general, to anyone else unless I'm donating.

me_mysister Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 5:35pm
post #20 of 26

I give family a 10% discount. That's it; unless I volunteer to make one. Most family members don't come to me and my sister for cakes anymore because "we charge too much." They don't understand the time it takes to bake and decorate one. And one that is not generic at that. When we first started, my sis-in-law ordered a cake for my niece's first bday. We made a 3 tiered cake and only charged her $80 and people were still saying that was a lot. Needless to say, she doesn't order from us anymore. That's okay though, I have two kids and I'd rather spend time with them then work hours on end on your cake that you underpay me for. (Sorry, I'm venting as well!)

cs_confections Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 7:52pm
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttehan4

I am having this same problem today. I have a cousin and his bride to be coming over today to choose a cake. I don't know if I should do the cake as a wedding gift or give them a large discount as a gift. I don't know if they are expecting the whole cake for free or not. I know she is leaning towards a large cake with alot of sugar flowers and I don't know if I want to do all that work as a gift. I was thinking of tell them as soon as we set down that I am going to give you 300.00 for a wedding gift, so what ever your cake cost you will pay the difference. Maybe thats just being selfish and I should make them a cake out of the goodness of my heart. I know I will probably feel guilty if I charge at all.

Okay, you see my problem. What to do, what to do!?!




No, it's not selfish. If you're willing to give up to a certain amount of cake/work as the gift, just be upfront. Just because you're giving them a gift of a custom cake, doesn't mean they can have everything under the sun.

If they are given a gift card as a gift, does that mean they can buy EVERYTHING they want from that store? No, just up to that amount - any overage they must pay.

My BIL and future SIL keep postponing their wedding, but their cake is a gift - we've already worked together and designed it and I'm comfortable with the amount of cake and work involved to have it be free (50 people, fairly basic flowers/deco). Her daughter, however, wants me to do the cake for her Quinceañera and is planning on 200+ people and wants alot of design features on it. Hubby said they will need to pay for that one-he'd rather just give a regular gift than all of that time and materials.

cs_confections Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 8:03pm
post #22 of 26

For the op - you have to decide what your priorities are and what keeps making cakes be fun for you. If doing a cake for free or deeply discounted takes away your enjoyment or makes you slightly resent that person, than charge or don't discount as much. I would stay away from discounting or making free cakes for those that you don't consider CLOSE friends. They'll just expect it forever and once they start spreading the word, you'll quickly become the cheap cake lady.

As of yet, all cakes I've made have been free, but they are my gift (birthdays, housewarming party, etc) to family and close friends. That said, as our Free Cakes for Kids chapter gets busier, I've been scaling back on how much (time and ingredients/costs) I put into family and friends cakes. If I do ever decide to start a business, I would probably charge a discounted rate so it wouldn't take away from the time that is spent on paid orders. Just because it's your job, doesn't mean you can afford to give away your product. My BIL works for a car manufacturer - where's my free car? My SIL works for an insurance compnay - where's my free health insurance? Oh, they can't do that! Neither should you! icon_smile.gif

FACSlady Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 8:19pm
post #23 of 26

I'm a hobby baker, but a lot of people who see my cakes ask me to make one for them. I always tell them I'm not licensed, so I can't sell cakes. Often they tell me they won't tell anyone or ask me if I'm worried that one of them will make someone sick. Honestly, I know 99% of these people would not want to pay what I would have to charge them if I were to sell a cake. It's always uncomfortable because they seem to thinkI'm dissing them in some way. I'm flattered that they like what I do, but.....

KawaiiCakeCook Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 12:17am
post #24 of 26

alright how many of you here who are feeling "guilty" about charging for cakes would ask these same people you don't charge to take 6-8 hours of their time to do whatever profession they are in for you without charging them. Not one of you would call up these people and say hey I need a babysitter for next week for 8 hours, oh and can you pay for their food, and take them to a movie and pay for that too? You would expect you would have to give something back. No one would gasp when delight when they found out that a friend was a mechanic...."oh my god I need my transmission fixed can you do that for me? I'll pay for the parts!"

This is ridiculous. Cakes take TIME, that is the investment you are giving. Most people gasp when I tell them how long it takes to do a cake (aside from the fiasco of the heart cake you can read about here http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1587688 ) they take a MINIMUM of 5 hours with bake, decorate and cleaning time! MIN-I-MUM!!!!! Unless you and I have paperwork that you are willing to give me your liver in a time of need you can kiss a free cake goodbye!

ttehan4 Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 3:06am
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Quote:

Unless you and I have paperwork that you are willing to give me your liver in a time of need you can kiss a free cake goodbye!





Love It!!!!!

akgirl10 Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 1:05am
post #26 of 26

TexasSugar has a perfect solution. I have a small group of family and friends that I bake cakes for, and that keeps me pretty busy.

Word has got out that you do free cakes, of course your phone is ringing off the hook! Unless you want to be in business, make the cakes for who you want and simply say "no" to the others.

Ttehan4- $300 is a very generous wedding gift, there is nothing to feel guilty about. I've never given anyone a $300 wedding gift!

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