They Wanted This, But With Their Budget They Got This!

Decorating By KHalstead Updated 1 May 2010 , 2:10am by Tellis12

KHalstead Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 8:44pm
post #1 of 30

I've had a lot of customers come to be with big dreams only to downsize their cakes to something "more affordable" and I thought it would be funny to show examples of what they initially ordered and then what they finally settled on because of their budgets.


I'll go first.

I had a lady call and tell me, I'll take 1 of your treasure chest cakes and 1 of your pirate ship cakes for my son's birthday, let me know how much and I'll get a check to you tomorrow am!


I told her they're both carved, fondant covered cakes I charge $3.50/serv. (she said great!) I emailed her the quote of $157.50 for the 2 cakes (cheap in my book) and she freaked..........said she had a $40.00 budget.

So she wound up with a sheet cake for $30.00 w/ a chocolate treasure chest! lol
LL
LL
LL

29 replies
cupcakemkr Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 8:51pm
post #2 of 30

I think she got a bargin on that sheet cake too! Great work!

manahigh Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 8:56pm
post #3 of 30

The two carved cakes were a bargain for $157.50. That fantastic sheetcake was a steal!!! for $30.00!!! She does not know how much of a deal she got.

rosiecast Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 8:59pm
post #4 of 30

I love this post. Can't wait to see other examples.

BTW: both of the carved cakes are amazing and that sheet cake is great. wow the detail on the map!!

MalibuBakinBarbie Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 9:07pm
post #5 of 30

Beautiful work! He was a lucky birthday boy no matter which of your cakes he got! icon_smile.gif

djs328 Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 9:09pm
post #6 of 30

That cracks me up!! I made a pirate ship for my son's b-day last month and I think the ingredients cost more than $40!! LOL!!!
Cake muggles.... icon_wink.gif

Aurora_333 Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 9:18pm
post #7 of 30

I can't believe that you only charged $30 for that cake, it's awesome. All three are.

KHalstead Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 9:21pm
post #8 of 30

well, I charged her $30 for the cake $5 for the treasure chest and $5 for deliver.....so she spent her whole BUDGET!!! lol

but thanks, the kid was really psyched when he saw the cake.

She was so bumbed out she said "just do whatever you want on the sheetcake!" and then under her breath (should've just got one at walmart but they don't deliver!)

She was very happy with the sheetcake and is a repeat customer of mine!

KHalstead Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 9:28pm
post #9 of 30

Oh I just remembered I had another one!!!!


You'll love this!!!

$20 budget!!
LL
LL

rosiecast Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 9:34pm
post #10 of 30

LOL. Love that turkey cake and the sheet cake's not bad, but to think she wanted the other one for $20. BUahahaha

flourgirlz Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 9:36pm
post #11 of 30

All of your cakes are AMAZING! I would have expected to pay more than $30 for the sheet cake, and I definitely would have!

indydebi Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 9:37pm
post #12 of 30

Sometimes I wonder at the logic of folks. A plain, ordinary sheet cake at the grocery is about twenty bucks, but for some reason people get in their heads that they can request an intricate, carved, fondant-covered, looks-like-no-other-cake-in-the-world and "oh! that should cost the same!" icon_confused.gif

Sassy74 Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 9:51pm
post #13 of 30

I just saw a pic of the b'day cake a woman I know ordered for her son's 1st b'day. She called me SIX MONTHS AGO, telling me she wanted this, she wanted that, go all out, I want a gumpaste crown, gumpaste details, stacked cake, need to feed at least 50...after all this IS my son's FIRST b'day!!!!

So she and I have touched base a few times over the last few months about this cake. She told me she wanted the same size/shape and level of detail as I did in a monkey themed b'day cake I did a while back. Pic is attached.

When I gave her the quote, she was absolutely SILENT. She said she'd talk to her husband and call me back. I didn't expect to hear from her again, lol!

She called the next day, asking what a different shaped cake would cost...same detail, same number of servings. I told her it would cost exactly the same...shape doesn't matter. Number of servings and detail level determine the price. Once again, she said she'd get back to me.

She actually did call me back. To tell me that they couldn't budget for that much on the cake. I was SHOCKED...SHOCKED, I tell you lol!

I can't post a pic of the cake because I didn't do it. Basically, it's a sheet cake, iced in white, with a crown and the number "1" piped onto it, with some colorful swirls as accent. I know where she got it, so I know how much she spent...$50. So for FIFTY BUCKS, she wanted a cake similar to the monkey cake...not gonna happen.
LL

jjsweetdesign Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 10:20pm
post #14 of 30

I have just expereienced this for the first time. Most of my orders are sheet cakes. Where I live (SD), people aren't familiar with fondant, but since it is all over tv these days, people are starting to ask for it. A lady emailed pictures of cakes she wanted for her mother's surprise 50th bday. I said great, I will incorporate some of the ideas from her pictures into a sketch and get that to her with a price. So it came to over $300 for the 3 tiered cake done in fondant. She was "silent". She said well, that is just too expensive, and I said well, I could do it in buttercream with fondant accents, for about half the price. Still too expensive. I said, well that is what the price is. If you want me to do it, you need to send a deposit, etc etc. She emailed me back, and said she found someone else to do it. No one I know that does cakes is going to be open to doing that cake 3 weeks from now, I am sure she is settling on a walmart bakery sheet cake for the price she wanted to spend. It is very frustrating, but people just don't understand the costs and time involved. Everyone should read Debi's article in the magazine. Very good Debi!

JohnnyCakes1966 Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 10:21pm
post #15 of 30

KHalstead, if your price for that sheet cake is $30 and BOTH of those carved cakes is $157.50, I'm going to start ordering all my cakes from you and re-selling them for twice the price! icon_lol.gificon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gif Beautiful work, btw!

jayne1873 Posted 30 Apr 2010 , 1:12am
post #16 of 30

KHalstead your cakes are great and $30 for the sheet cake, what a bargain she got. We are holidaying in Florida (read stranded till Sat due to that stupid Volcano) and I have looked in some of the supermarkets at the cakes. We dont get them the same in the UK the ones in the supermarkets here are all mass produced and not baked on site. And they were charging $29 for a sheet cake with a few coloured swirly bits on and Happy Birthday.
Some people do not realise the bargain they are getting

JohnnyCakes1966 Posted 30 Apr 2010 , 3:44am
post #17 of 30

jayne - I was at the grocery store today and checked out the bakery, too. What they *called* a 1/2 sheet cake (it was smaller) was $28 for a yellow cake with semi-smooth white frosting, white shell border, and about 15 confetti sprinkles tossed on the top. No flowers, no writing, nothing special at all....It looked pretty sad, even for a grocery store cake. They had another one...very basic but with plastic men stuck on top for around $35.

rainyone Posted 30 Apr 2010 , 3:53am
post #18 of 30

my god that is an amazing sheet cake. I love the carved ones but honestly I am blown away by the sheet cake- for 40 bucks she got an amazing deal... and that is from me who practically pays people to take my cakes off my hands at this point in my learning....

And maybe because I have seen so many cool carved cakes but sheet cakes being done really well and not the boring costco/walmart type cake is really an awesome talent ... I really like the treasure map and chest on that cake.... cool

Jeep_girl816 Posted 30 Apr 2010 , 4:02am
post #19 of 30

Yeah I thought the sheet cake was amazing too! Just try getting one anywhere in the same league as that from Wal-Mart. At any grocery store bakery in my area, if it doesn't have the shell border, confetti, possibly even some curly ribbon or come out of the Deco-pac book you ain't getting it. So sad.

tmac670 Posted 30 Apr 2010 , 4:19am
post #20 of 30

This is the problem with all the cake shows out there. They show these fantastical cakes, that OBVIOUSLY take a hundred man hours to make, but they never give any inkling to what it cost. Sure that gal picking up the cake might look like an everyday Josephine- but I can assure you- her bank account doesn't. The general public is being duped into thinking that ANYBODY can afford a custom cake.
It is actually the reason I became a decorator- so I could give my kids the cakes I could not afford to buy!

KHalstead Posted 30 Apr 2010 , 11:37am
post #21 of 30

I know I know my cakes are CHEAP!!! I don't get to do 3-D cakes very often even with MY prices!

Tiered cakes start at $1.50/serv. here..........I charge $2.25 and am going to $2.50 soon

There are no carved cakes.......but I charge $3.00/serv. for bc and $3.50/serv. for fondant w/ a minimum of 15 servings.

I am going to raise my prices soon and the tiered will be $2.50/bc and $3.00/fondant
carved will be $3.50 bc. and $4.00 fondant

I just felt the need to hone my skills to warrant being so much MORE than the other bakeries!

KHalstead Posted 30 Apr 2010 , 11:44am
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainyone

my god that is an amazing sheet cake. I love the carved ones but honestly I am blown away by the sheet cake- for 40 bucks she got an amazing deal... and that is from me who practically pays people to take my cakes off my hands at this point in my learning....

And maybe because I have seen so many cool carved cakes but sheet cakes being done really well and not the boring costco/walmart type cake is really an awesome talent ... I really like the treasure map and chest on that cake.... cool




THANK YOU so much!! You know, without the treasure chest that cake took me less than 10 minutes to decorate!!! lol

I got the skull thing at the dollar tree at Halloween.......they're hollow plastic and came 10 to a pack! I just airbrushed it and threw on a little fondant cut out for the sail boat (it's just the basic canoe shape on the bottom and a triangle, and then drew in the outlines and details w/ black buttercream)


I always thought it would wind up being a cake that I sold TONS of, because I really liked the design too (considering I just winged it!) but everyone hears $40....and they go.....oh..........well, what do you have for that size around $30? People here are so crazy cheap!!!!




NO wonder I posted this LOL.......I have another one coming up, only this time the person KNEW their budget ($50) and wasn't going over. They loved this tiered cake, but wanted it in sheet cake form! I was stumped so of course came to CC for ideas (thanks to everyone that helped in the design...............there's a thread on it)
LL
LL

Kima920 Posted 30 Apr 2010 , 5:15pm
post #23 of 30

People are really cheap sometimes... but at the same time we have got to make a living for what we do. My cakes start at $50 and go up from there if their budget is $30 (which is laughable.. then they can go to Walmart, Giants or Sams Club and get one of their frozen cakes lol). I won't do it! I really only had one potential customer who told me the price I quoted was too high. I normally get the opposite that my prices are so reasonable compared to the other bakeries in Lancaster or Harrisburg.
Hakima

ChristineJ Posted 30 Apr 2010 , 5:30pm
post #24 of 30

That is a beautiful cake for 30.00. She got herself a good bargain. You do beautiful cakes

Kiddiekakes Posted 30 Apr 2010 , 6:47pm
post #25 of 30

I have to say the same thing..That sheet cake is awesome thumbs_up.gif (I actually saved it to my favs!) ...and for $30.00...My minimum is $40.00 and a sheet cake like that would be well over $110.00..You up your prices girl!!! thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

I'd say you honed your craft... icon_wink.gif

newmansmom2004 Posted 30 Apr 2010 , 6:58pm
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupcakemkr

I think she got a bargin on that sheet cake too! Great work!




Ditto - BIG baaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrgain. It's maaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrvelous! (my pirate imitation)

cylstrial Posted 30 Apr 2010 , 8:31pm
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmansmom2004

Quote:
Originally Posted by cupcakemkr

I think she got a bargin on that sheet cake too! Great work!



Ditto - BIG baaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrgain. It's maaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrvelous! (my pirate imitation)





LOL! Nice pirate imitation. icon_lol.gif (Too bad there's not a pirate emoticon).

MystiqueFire Posted 1 May 2010 , 1:49am
post #29 of 30

I'm pretty sure you and I share the same clientele!
On Easter, this guy came in one time and asked how much the checkerboard cake in my display case was, and it was marked for $14 (it served 6-8 people) and when I told him the price he said, "That's way overpriced. I can get a cheaper one at Big Y but they're closed." (The grocery store like a mile down the road) And he was upset because I wouldn't lower my price!

Also for easter, we had a 8 inch chocolate cake with almond chocolate mousse filling covered in whipped ganache in the case for $24 and one guy comes in and says "Twenty four dollars! It's a cake! I can get one at big y for ten!" and so my dad was walking by and says to him, "There you go! That's your kind!" icon_biggrin.gif

People are cheapskates and they're nuts. icon_rolleyes.gif

Tellis12 Posted 1 May 2010 , 2:10am
post #30 of 30

I don't have pictures because I didn't end up doing the cake but I had a bride come to me, told me I was really inexpensive and they were excited about booking with me. Well, she said she wanted 250 servings, covered in fondant, with fondant draping on each tier and a large gp flower cascade. I said 'sure, I'd be happy to do that.' I sent her a couple of options and price quotes, both of which were around $500 (I know, I'm suuuper cheap. I'm just starting so I'm ok with that). I never heard back from her. The cake she wanted would have cost AT LEAST $750 at any other bakery in town.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%