Customer Makes "offer" On Cake

Decorating By SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Updated 8 Mar 2010 , 6:23pm by SpecialtyCakesbyKelli

SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 7:56am
post #1 of 16

Okay, a week before the cake is needed, I have a customer order a train cake. She had very specific instructions of what she wanted. I was really already booked for the whole month, but since she was a "friendly aquaintance" I agree to work her in.

I work for 12 hours (with my assistant's help also) on this cake. I charged her $175 for the cake, which I felt like was a break. She complains about the cost of the cake, comparing it to XXX person who charged her $125 for a 3 tier cake. My answer to that comparison was that a tier cake doesn't take anywhere near the time that a custom carved 3D cake takes to make.....

I actually explained how the process goes from carving to having to piece fondant together to cover it, and explained that it wasn't anywhere near as simple as a tier cake, and that's why I charge more for them. She offered me $140 for the cake! icon_confused.gif prices are non negotiable! Long story short, her grandmother paid for the cake, and included a tip that I refused...but she sent it anyway.

Now she is going on and on about how great XXX person is that made her other cake and how affordable she is, and how she's SO worth the drive! I'm so irritated! icon_mad.gif Does this idiot not realize that if XXX person would be a FOOL to charge her any less than I did for the same cake (and in all actuality probably wouldn't)?

Am I out of line here? Did I charge too much for this cake? It's made out of 4 loaf pans, with the last cake being a low sugar cake and icing for a diabetic. I estimated about 40 servings. If $175 is out of line, there's no way I'll do another...that's just a waste of my time!

Here is a picture...sorry the quality isn't very good, I was in a hurry!
Thanks for any input!

15 replies
BannanaBrie Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 8:05am
post #2 of 16

That lady does not sound very nice. I definitely do not think you over charged her, she is crazy.

noahsmummy Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 8:07am
post #3 of 16

nope.. i dont think you were out of line at all! especially seeing as the grandmother was obviously pleased with it!

JaimeAnn Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 8:18am
post #4 of 16

$175 for 40 servings is $4.37 per serving.... That is not overpriced for a custom carved cake. I too doubt that XXX would have charged any less for that cake ! Just for your own peace of mind , I would have charged $250 for that cake.

tinygoose Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 8:25am
post #5 of 16

Heck no!! She was way out of line. Kudos for standing your ground. BTW--Totally cool cake!

Bunsen Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 8:39am
post #6 of 16

If the other person is so great why didn't she get them to make this cake? Sounds like she left it too late to order - she should be grateful that

a. You made the cake at all
b. Did such a good job and
c. Didn't charge her a rush fee

Stick to your pricing - there is no point making cakes unless you are making a profit on them, its bad business to give your cake away. But I wouldn't make any more cakes for her...

SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 8:46am
post #7 of 16

Thanks guys, that makes me feel better... you know how it is when you KNOW something but feel like you need emotional backup? LOL
Bunsen...I would rather cut off my right arm than do another cake for her, not only was I stessed out trying to get all the cakes finished in time (since I was ALREADY booked before her order) Her being a jerk about it stressed me out even more. And trying to maintain a professional attitude when I really wanted to bust!

4Gifts4Lisa Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 1:48pm
post #8 of 16

$175 is a great price...too bad you couldn't have told her "it WOULD have been $125, but I had to factor in a PITA fee..."

LEHLA Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 2:13pm
post #9 of 16


KHalstead Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 2:21pm
post #10 of 16

I would have told her how much your 3 tiered cake would have been so she could compare apples to apples.......I mean you don't go to a car lot and whiine and say well.........they're selling a Ford focus over there for 10,000 I'll give you that for this Mercedes Benz......come on, she's not even comparing the same thing!

Justbeck101 Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 2:24pm
post #11 of 16

I would have charged 160 + 20% for specialty flavors

AngelaM Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 3:22pm
post #12 of 16

I don't think $175 is out of line but I do think you should have had her agree to the price before making the cake.

jenncowin Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 3:33pm
post #13 of 16

I like to refer to the PITA fee as an Art Fee. icon_smile.gif

Great cake! There is no way you over charged her!

cownsj Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 3:38pm
post #14 of 16

It would be great if you could find a way to get a price quote from xxx, then pass that along to your PITA customer. Wouldn't it be even better if they said they couldn't make that type of cake?

TPACakeGirl Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 4:51pm
post #15 of 16

You can get a price quote from XXX. Call her and pretend to be a potential customer. Ask her how much to make a train cake. I would be interested in hearing what she says. My base price for that would be close to $200, and I would apply a discount from there based on how good of a friend that person is. I have some people who are like family to me. They pay next to nothing. Others are acquaintances, and they pay closer to the full price. I do agree though that you should have agreed on a price from the beginning.

SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 6:23pm
post #16 of 16
Originally Posted by cownsj

It would be great if you could find a way to get a price quote from xxx, then pass that along to your PITA customer. Wouldn't it be even better if they said they couldn't make that type of cake?

Oh I have sooooo thought about that! I just really don't want to have any more contact with her, even as much as I would like for her to know how much XXX would charge for it.

The reason we didn't agree on a price to begin with is that I have never made a train cake and didn't know how much extra materials were going to cost ....and how much extra the special ingredients for the low sugar cake would be. AND... we're talking about a person who goes around talking about how much money they have, and how money is no object. Yes, I made a mistake by assuming that money was no object, I learned my lesson icon_biggrin.gif

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