Just Becasue I'm New Should It Mean I'm Free?

Decorating By bravosds Updated 24 Apr 2010 , 2:42pm by cakemamaP

bravosds Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 7:08pm
post #1 of 28

I had my sisterinlaw's boss email me. She wanted a special order cake to serve 20-25 people. I haven't done many cakes and not for people I don't l know. She had one I made and loved it. I told her depending on the design it would be about $2 per serving, more than reasonable to me. Now she wants more detail (special themes and design) and cake for 10... Cheaper. What do I tell her? I am trying to start a side business, but shouldn't my time be worth something. Oh and delivery 30 miles away too.

27 replies
prterrell Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 7:10pm
post #2 of 28

No, just because you're new doesn't mean you should be cheap/free. If you start out low, it will be very difficult to raise your prices later.

A cake for 10 is a very small cake. Many bakers have a minimum $ amount and would not take such a small order.

If the person isn't willing to pay your price, no cake for them. You don't have to take every order that comes your way.

Kiddiekakes Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 7:13pm
post #3 of 28

Well...Actually $2.00 per serving is too low so I would reconsider that...Most established decoraters have a minimum order amount also so I myself don't do cakes for under 20 people or $50.00.I guess it all depends on what she wants but I would first sit down and determine a price list and then stick to it regardless of who the cake is for.Good Luck!!

RobynLM Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 7:18pm
post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiddiekakes

I would first sit down and determine a price list and then stick to it regardless of who the cake is for.




Sometimes it can be tough (especially for people you know), but I agree with Kiddiekakes!

Kiddiekakes Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 7:23pm
post #5 of 28

I learned along time ago that friends and family will take advantage of you unless you charge them the same as every other custiomer...so I do!! All my family knows this and pay the same as everyone else....I in turn expect to pay full price at their businesses also..No hassles here!! icon_wink.gificon_wink.gif

tiggy2 Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 7:35pm
post #6 of 28

So she wants to spend $20 including delivery???? What kind of dream land is she living in? She wants champaign on a beer budget. Wonder which 10 or 15 people she is going to tell they don't get cake icon_smile.gif I don't know about anyone else but I wouldn't turn on my oven for $20 much less consider delinvering it.

Narie Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 7:52pm
post #7 of 28

While it is true that many would refuse such a small cake order, may I suggest that you have a cut off not for size but price. I paid - happily- $40.00 for a cake that served 8, a tiny, but perfect cake. That Fat Trout thumbs_up.gif was worth every penny. The decorator who made it put a lot of hours into it. Sometimes what is needed is a tiny cake. This is when the so much a serving rule should not apply.

SPCC Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 7:53pm
post #8 of 28

I'm new as well and I was thinking of bakery names and I told my hubby what I was thinking. He told me that he got it but dumb people may not." I told him "well, dumb people can't afford my cakes!" and people who think they can get beautiful cakes handmade for less then 2.00 a serving are not very bright or don't mind factory made then frozen cake.

mparsons Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 8:13pm
post #9 of 28

I totally agree that you should not be undercharging. I am having the same issue and I thought it was just me being reserved, but I see now that I need to get a price list and stick to it. I am doing a wedding in JUly (on a weekend that I am out of town every year) and its 300 cupcakes. The bride went from filled cupcakes to regular basic ones after she heard the prices. It seems as though she thinks since she is a friend that she wont get charged as much. I actually called around to bakeries here and they were 3-4 times as much as what I was charging for the filled ones.

It is truely amazing what people will try to pull over on us "cake people"!

indydebi Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 9:00pm
post #10 of 28

As I posted on another thread earlier today ... I dont' deliver single tier cakes for only 20 people. The purpose of delivery (in my company philosophy) was to ease the burden of the client by delivering AND SETTING UP a multi-tiered cake since most cake civilians have no idea how to set them up.

There's no issues with someone picking up an 8" round and getting it home safely. It's a no brainer and they do it all the time with 8" round cakes.

And as mentioned above .... I dont' turn my oven on for a lousy twenty bucks.

mamawrobin Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 10:09pm
post #11 of 28

No need to deliver an 8 inch cake. Like Indydebi said it's a "no brainer" to transport a cake no bigger than that.

The only cakes I deliver are tiered cakes. I also wouln't turn on my oven for $20.00. icon_lol.gif

bravosds Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 12:33am
post #12 of 28

Thanks so much for the backup. I didn't think I was in the wrong. As my husband has told me since I've started..."cake decorating is a true unappreciated art". I now know exactly what he means. I'm think I'm going to tell her $45 is my minimum. She works for a big company and I don't want to supply everyone with cake. I will definitely make a price list and stick to it!!

Narie Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 1:30am
post #13 of 28

Yay! A price minimum! Long live the possibillity of very classy and elegant little cakes.

808hedda Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 1:56am
post #14 of 28

I was just starting out and already have retired. icon_cry.gif The workplace connection is terrible if you are not firm about your prices to begin with. Amazing how people want something for nothing. My friend paid $ 500 for a tattoo that took 6 hrs. People want to pay $50 for a cake that took 20 hrs of labor. icon_confused.gif Dont start low!

Mama_Mias_Cakes Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 3:35am
post #15 of 28

I do smaller celebration cakes, because I am a small business and this is not my full time job. Maybe one day down the line it will, but that is not my goal right now. However, like Indydeb stated - I do not deliver these cakes at all. The only ones I will deliver are 2 tiered, etc. Also, I do not make a really small cakes. 8" round/square are my minimum sizes. If they want a cake for 10, then they'll have to order cupcakes.

indydebi Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 3:48am
post #16 of 28

Oh and I just wanted to warn you .... it's not because you're new that they want free cake. They'll still expect free cake from you 25 years from now! icon_lol.gif

not kidding! icon_lol.gif

bravosds Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 10:22am
post #17 of 28

Thanks fellow bakers! I told her my min was 45 for a single tier basic design and basic flavors, that feed 15. I sent her my price list, but I don't expect to hear from her again. I'm ok with that, maybe I nipped the free cake in the bud (at least at one company). Hey, I figure even if she complains to others about my pricing, then they know she like my cakes well enough to callicon_smile.gif

Mindy1975 Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 1:05pm
post #18 of 28

Ahhh yes.......I remember those days........staying up till 1:00 am hating myself and the customer while working on a cake that took me much longer than expected, and mad because I was only going to get like $50 or something like that for a cake that I should have charged triple for. It only takes a few of those orders to get you to snap out of it and see the light! I make no apologies for my prices anymore. And don't worry bravosds, everyone goes through this when they are new, and it WILL GET EASIER to quote your prices with blinking an eye. It just takes time that first year to build your own confidence and realize your time is worth money. You will lose some orders, but that is just part of business.....no big deal. Best of luck to you! Mindy

Denise Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 10:33pm
post #19 of 28

When I started out I sold cakes that were dirt cheap - but I wasn't as good as I am now! icon_rolleyes.gif I gradually got better and my prices have risen accordingly - and so has my minimum. I have a minimum of $120 for a 1 tier cake - and I don't deliver anything under $300.

$20, 50 or even $100 is not worth it to me to mess up my kitchen. I make a champion mess decorating cakes and so if it is not $120 or so I am not accepting the order!

I had a lady call this morning for cupcakes. I don't do cupcakes for a reason - no one wants to pay what I would charge! I did explain that they were more work than cake for what she wanted. LOL I am not working more for less.

ladyonzlake Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 10:47pm
post #20 of 28

Your prices sound too low. When I started I had a $100.00 minimum oder (just recently raised it to $150.00) and my cakes started at $3.25 per serving...they are now $4.00 per serving and that's for both wedding and celebration cakes.

I will deliver any size cake for the cost of $35.00 for the first 10 miles and $1.00 per mile after that based on one-way mileage.

I do offer a family/friend discount of 20%....that's for close friends and family.

cakemamaP Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 11:16pm
post #21 of 28

Okay, this is all so helpful as I am new too....I think I've done about 11 or 12 cakes now other that my kids basic birthday cakes before this yearthree of which I sold. But how do you know if you're good enough to have a minimum?? I struggle with pricing so much b/c I am new and want to make every cake perfect but obviously b/c I'm learning they are far from. I worry that until I can get it just right I shouldn't be charging too much...my husband is sitting on the other fence and thinks I should be making good money for the amount of effort that I put in and for the outcome of the cakes.

indydebi Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 11:23pm
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakemamaP

But how do you know if you're good enough to have a minimum??


I don't think it has anything to do with being "good enough" to have a min. If you are selling cakes, then you need to be thinking like a business and set a min to cover your basic costs and overhead.

Selling a 6" round cake for twenty bucks, when it takes you 3 hours to make it means you could make more money at McDonalds.

Just because you are "new", doesn't mean it's a license for all of your friends and family to take advantage of you.

A bookstore that is "new" and just opened still sells paperbacks for the price printed on the back of the book.

It's a business decision. That's all it is. A business decision.

ladyonzlake Posted 24 Apr 2010 , 1:00am
post #23 of 28

Think of it this way. You are a specialty bakery...and provide custom flavors and cake designs. If someone wants a "dessert" cake then they should go to the grocery store. That's not the business you're in.

You're looking for customers who want a specialty product and they will pay for that. When I started out I priced the grocery store "wedding" cakes and charged a little bit over that.

Oreobo Posted 24 Apr 2010 , 1:44am
post #24 of 28

Hope you ladies don't mind if I disagree with you when you say friends and family want to take advantage of your work. I have never charged for my work, yet I have received a ton of cake decorating supplies from grateful mothers and grandmothers.

bravosds Posted 24 Apr 2010 , 2:11am
post #25 of 28

Well, I decided if I'm going to do the work I will be well paid. I built a complete price list, a couple of people think I'm too high. I'm new and learning, but my cakes taste fabulous and I am meticulous so they will get better. I set most cakes around $3/serving, with more diffculty (ie tiers, 3d) going for more. One day, I will hopefully own a bakery. For now, I will settle for a few clients who will pay my price. THANKS AGAIN, I feel good about my decision.

ladyonzlake Posted 24 Apr 2010 , 1:46pm
post #26 of 28

Good for you!

cownsj Posted 24 Apr 2010 , 2:02pm
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakemamaP

Okay, this is all so helpful as I am new too....I think I've done about 11 or 12 cakes now other that my kids basic birthday cakes before this yearthree of which I sold. But how do you know if you're good enough to have a minimum?? I struggle with pricing so much b/c I am new and want to make every cake perfect but obviously b/c I'm learning they are far from. I worry that until I can get it just right I shouldn't be charging too much...my husband is sitting on the other fence and thinks I should be making good money for the amount of effort that I put in and for the outcome of the cakes.




First of all, no cake is perfect. Second of all, I looked over your cakes, you do beautiful work. Keep in mind, you see every flaw because you worked on the cake inch by inch. But when others see it, they see it as a whole and not mistake by mistake. Secondly, I remember someone saying (maybe Duff, not positive), the difference between an amateur and a professional is not the number of mistakes you make, it's what you do with the mistakes that makes the difference. - NO cake is perfect.

cakemamaP Posted 24 Apr 2010 , 2:42pm
post #28 of 28

Thank you so much..I will keep that in mind :0)

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