Repeat Customers And Price Increases..

Decorating By tarheelgirl Updated 14 Mar 2010 , 8:01pm by tarheelgirl

tarheelgirl Posted 11 Mar 2010 , 12:32am
post #1 of 17

I recently have bumped my price per serving up at the beginning of the year. I now have customers from last year wanting cakes for the same price they paid last year. I have to go back and forth to explain why my prices have increased. I lost one of my repeat customers today.. No matter how I explained it she was not getting it! Anyone else experience this when increasing prices? I personally would rather do 2 larger cakes per week then 10 small cakes.

16 replies
Kiddiekakes Posted 11 Mar 2010 , 12:36am
post #2 of 17

I personally would rather do 2 larger cakes per week then 10 small cakes.[/quote]

Exactly....You don't have to explain your price increases to anyone nor do you have to honor last years prices..That is absurd...Ingredients rise etc...Do you think if you walked into Walmrt and said "I am not paying more for that blouse as I paid $10.00 for it last year....they would laugh you right out of the store!!!

Let them walk if they don't want or understand the cost of business.

edited to add..."Prices subject to change without notice"

dldbrou Posted 11 Mar 2010 , 3:05am
post #3 of 17

I have a small business that I sell bird bread mixture and I have the same problems with my customers not understanding price increases. I tell them, I can not control the postal rates, nor the flour increases, nor the other ingredient increases and can not loose money on the business. It is a two man operation and we do not even collect a salary.

I am keeping the business going in honor of my father who invented the mixture and has built up some very loyal customers. Some on the other hand need to understand that I have to make enough to pay for the supplies.

tarheelgirl Posted 11 Mar 2010 , 1:54pm
post #4 of 17

Well, we can't keep them all! I have a feeling that some of my repeats that are leaving will be back.. They will find that.. you get what you pay for! I'm in no means giving them discounts. Business is business and my price is my price.

Kiddiekakes Posted 11 Mar 2010 , 2:04pm
post #5 of 17

Tarheegirl.

I started out about 9 years ago..I was super cheap becasue I was new at it and felt my work didn't deserve the "Big" money....as I got better and more cakes and doing designs out of my comfort zone and found"Hey...I can do this"..I, too was making several cakes a week and making not very much and I was getting burnt out so.....after reading thread after thread on here and researching on the web and pricing out the local areas I bumped my prices up over the years and significantly in the last 2....Now I do maybe 3-5 cakes a week but I am making more than the 7-8 I was before with less stress.Keep it up!!!

indydebi Posted 11 Mar 2010 , 2:06pm
post #6 of 17

Ask them how much their gas, bread and milk cost them last year. Ask them if they b*tched at the grocery clerk and demanded the same price as last year.

nanikins Posted 11 Mar 2010 , 2:21pm
post #7 of 17

Or ask them if THEY'D be willing to take a pay cut. When cost of supplies goes up and your price stays the same, that's essentially what you are doing.

I think a lot of people go by the old "squeaky wheel" adage.

CakeMommyTX Posted 11 Mar 2010 , 2:39pm
post #8 of 17

My prices have slowly risen over the past few years and for a couple of reasons-
1. My skills have improved
2. My costs have increased
3. I wanted to make more money

And I finally figured out that some people just are'nt going to pay my prices, but some are and those are the customers I want.
If they don't want to pay the price there is always someone waiting in line behind them that will.
Don't sweat it.

tarheelgirl Posted 11 Mar 2010 , 3:43pm
post #9 of 17

I opened my business 2 years ago! After reading threads on CC I realized I was way too cheap. I was seriously burnt out and considering quitting all together. Jumping back into the swing of things I knew as my skill grew so did my pricing. I feel now that my prices are just as competitive as everyone else in this area. It feels great to know you are charging what you should! icon_biggrin.gif As said before.. find that target group of customers you want and go after them! The other ones will eventually drop off. I've gotten over that and its ok! Not everyone can afford me.. heck I can't afford me!! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

Lis3172 Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 11:49am
post #10 of 17

Hi Guys,

I'm still at the low end of pricing my cakes for some reason I just can't seem to say it to the customer what the price really should be. Why, I don't know? icon_rolleyes.gif
I've just read some of the messages and I have to agree my husband tells me everytime don't worry about the people who will not pay you will always get someone that's willing to pay. Those are the people you want. I've been so discourage and think several times about quitting the whole cake decorating thing I think my skills are better than ever I'm not a Kerry Vincent yet icon_biggrin.gif but one day Lol........ Reading the messages is given me motivation to continue.
I wish they showed how much cakes really go for on those cake challenges icon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 1:36pm
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lis3172

Hi Guys,

I'm still at the low end of pricing my cakes for some reason I just can't seem to say it to the customer what the price really should be. Why, I don't know? icon_rolleyes.gif



Because as little girls, women are taught to be "nice", to not "rock the boat", to not hurt anyone's feeeeelinnnnnngs. So you don't want to tell them the correct (higher) price because of a fear of them not liking you or thinking you're a big 'ole meany.

We've come a long way baby but for some reason, women have a problem getting over this one little obstacle.

It's not personal .... it's business.

tarheelgirl Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 2:20pm
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Quote:

It's not personal .... it's business.




BINGO! You wouldn't believe how much bolder I have become since opening my business!! icon_biggrin.gif If you are going to let people run all over you then why not just do yourself a favor and close your doors!

Lis3172- you can do it girl!! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

KHalstead Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 2:42pm
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lis3172

Hi Guys,

I'm still at the low end of pricing my cakes for some reason I just can't seem to say it to the customer what the price really should be. Why, I don't know? icon_rolleyes.gif
I've just read some of the messages and I have to agree my husband tells me everytime don't worry about the people who will not pay you will always get someone that's willing to pay. Those are the people you want. I've been so discourage and think several times about quitting the whole cake decorating thing I think my skills are better than ever I'm not a Kerry Vincent yet icon_biggrin.gif but one day Lol........ Reading the messages is given me motivation to continue.
I wish they showed how much cakes really go for on those cake challenges icon_biggrin.gif




I had this problem too......and the way I got around it is that I posted my prices on my website and included prices for EVERYTHING...(that way I didn't have to "tell the poor old lady her cake was going to be $400), I just directed the customers to the page containing the info on the cake they were looking for. Sometimes when they'd want a quote over the phone (I'd pretend in my own head that I wasn't in "control" of pricing) and I would just say "Ok, the pricing sheet says the cake you want is going to be X.XX/serv. and you need 125 serv. so that will be $x.xx!"

I found it made me feel like I was just repeated a price tag as though someone said, could you look on the shelf and tell me how much this would be??

Oh and I felt SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much better about the sale when they decided to order, and my whole attitude while laboring over their cake changed too, suddenly I was happy to go above and beyond (because I was being paid well for my time)

When you undercharge and underprice your stuff all it does is make you resent the fact that you're doing a cake instead of spending time doing other important things in your life!

If I gave you $20 would you give up going to your son's school play?? Of course not!! But we're so quit to take a cake order that may result in little more than a $20 profit, and wind up working on it clear through our son's school play!! We justify it by saying, I couldn't help it...I had to work!!

tarheelgirl Posted 14 Mar 2010 , 7:32pm
post #14 of 17

Just had an issue with one of repeaters this weekend... Orders the cake, mother picks up.. She emails me and said she was not very happy. She said that the cake was beautiful but it was not the same size she ordered last year. Way more expensive and smaller then the last. Luckily I still have all of her emails from the time she declined the larger tiered cake for the smaller one. She also said I left out a design detail in which the email I saved has nothing stating this design in any way shape or form! I think she is fishing for a discount because of the order she is planning to place next month.

I am also thinking of raising my minimum which means I will probably lose the recurring business from repeaters. Not sure what to do but I do want to move away from a certain type of customer and more into a different group of clients. My goal is to do more wedding cakes/larger all occasion cakes and less smaller party cakes. I haven't emailed her back yet but she sure isn't getting a discount!

indydebi Posted 14 Mar 2010 , 7:53pm
post #15 of 17

tarheel, great lesson in why I always did EVERYTHING via email! thumbs_up.gif Hope you forwarded those emails to her to show the cake was "made as agreed".

On another point .... a half gallon of Breyer's ice cream isn't a half gallon anymore. My containers of laundry soap are smaller. Lunch meats and bacon are 12 ounce packages instead of 16.

As I've pointed out frequently, grocery bakeries are selling 11x15's and labeling them incorrectly as "half sheets". I remember when the meat on an egg mcmuffin actually went to the edge of the bread .... and it wasn't NEAR as thin, either!

Pizza Hut is (or was) advertising a square pizza that was cut in 4 squares and each square was a different kind of pizza. I also noticed that this enabled them to have lots more crust and way less ingredients. (Watch their ads .... they are really good at promoting "more crust!! (less ingredients)" and trying to make you think it's a great deal.)

EVERYTHING is getting smaller except the price!

P.S. In picking hubby's brain for examples of this stuff, he also points out that he thinks some foods are made so they go stale faster so you have to buy them more often, citing potato chips as an example. They used to come in one big bag with 2 smaller bags inside. You could open one at a time. Now, when you buy a big bag of chips, the bag is open. Period. You either have to eat it pretty quick ("oh we're out! Gotta buy more!") or they go stale and have to be thrown out. ("Oh we're out! Gotta buy more!")

Kandy4283 Posted 14 Mar 2010 , 8:00pm
post #16 of 17

[/quote]I had this problem too......and the way I got around it is that I posted my prices on my website and included prices for EVERYTHING...(that way I didn't have to "tell the poor old lady her cake was going to be $400), I just directed the customers to the page containing the info on the cake they were looking for. Sometimes when they'd want a quote over the phone (I'd pretend in my own head that I wasn't in "control" of pricing) and I would just say "Ok, the pricing sheet says the cake you want is going to be X.XX/serv. and you need 125 serv. so that will be $x.xx!"

I found it made me feel like I was just repeated a price tag as though someone said, could you look on the shelf and tell me how much this would be??

Oh and I felt SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much better about the sale when they decided to order, and my whole attitude while laboring over their cake changed too, suddenly I was happy to go above and beyond (because I was being paid well for my time)

When you undercharge and underprice your stuff all it does is make you resent the fact that you're doing a cake instead of spending time doing other important things in your life!

If I gave you $20 would you give up going to your son's school play?? Of course not!! But we're so quit to take a cake order that may result in little more than a $20 profit, and wind up working on it clear through our son's school play!! We justify it by saying, I couldn't help it...I had to work!![/quote]



I totally agree with you! I the worst time telling my customers the actual price as well, so I put the Pricing Info page on my website and thats exactly what I do now....direct them right there and tell them....with this it going to be $$ and with that it will be $$. I have no problems doing this now because as you said, it is almost like reading a price tag and way easier! Hang in there because when I first started up (which I am still kinda there), it was to the point I wanted to say f-it cause it just wasn't worth my time and money that I was putting into it! But I got a little tougher and its way easier to have the web page with set prices!! Good luck and hang in there, it will all work out in the end!

tarheelgirl Posted 14 Mar 2010 , 8:01pm
post #17 of 17

Great points Deb! These are the examples I should be using in my blog!! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

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