How Can I Make My Pricing Clearer For Customers?

Decorating By KHalstead Updated 6 May 2010 , 1:23pm by KHalstead

KHalstead Posted 4 May 2010 , 4:01pm
post #1 of 54

I know what my prices are (and also know most of you would argue that they're low) anyhow, my prices are fine as they are (they're going up soon, but I digress).

I have had 4 people in the last week email me and say.........."I was on your website and I know how many people I need to feed and all, but I had trouble figuring out how much the cake I want would be....I was confused by your price list"

I have the list up there so people can figure it out and if I'm out of their budget I don't have to worry about returning emails/phone calls for prices!

I've had several complaints in the past so I thought this way made it simpler, but now I've got MORE people saying they can't figure it out!

I want my pricing to be VERY easy to figure out, I thought it was.....but I guess it's not!

I'm afraid that it might have to do with me being a cake decorator and knowing all the lingo and maybe the general public hasn't a clue.

Could you guys possibly take a peak and give me some suggestions on how to make my price list clearer for customers? I ultimately would like them to be able to figure out the pricing on their own before calling to place an order!

thanks guys!

http://www.freewebs.com/khalstead/cakeprices.htm

53 replies
heycake Posted 4 May 2010 , 5:34pm
post #2 of 54

OK, I took a quick peek and even though I know what the terms are, the information is confusing to work through. I'm guessing that a potential client who doesn't know cake lingo would be even more confused.

I wish that your categories on the pricing chart lined up better and that the "6=10/$20 part was a little clearer.

Also, I did not read through all the info below the chart because it just looked liked a lot to try to get through. I know that is lazy of me, but I was trying to come at this with the mindset of your customer.

I do not have a business but from what I understand the best way to handle customers is the old KISS method. Keep I Simple S*****.

Your cakes are awesome and I think your business could benefit greatly from some simple change to that pricing page.

ladybug76 Posted 4 May 2010 , 5:44pm
post #3 of 54

I keep pricing and technical details to a minimum on my website until I have a chance to sit with a client, then I go over contract and specific details. Sometimes, although you are getting all your information out there from the beginning, too much information can be confusing for a customer.
~ Jaime

KHalstead Posted 4 May 2010 , 5:47pm
post #4 of 54

thank you so much for the input........I wondered if that serving chart had people a little stumped.


Basically it was supposed to read


6" round cake =10 serv. and then the $24 went along with that particular size sheet cake.......since sheet cakes are priced per cake, not per serving!

Thank you so much!!!! I really do appreciate the feedback.

I also think it's a lot to READ at the bottom, but I also feel like it's all pertinent info. and am constantly having to tell people all those things! I guess my main point of adding all those "extras" at the bottom is that I don't want there to be any hidden pricing!

I want them know if they have ribbon it's this much extra
If they have fondant it's this much
filling is this much extra
fondant accents are this much extra
pillars/plates are this much extra
set up is this much extra

ETC. I want people to know everything that they are paying for, I just can't seem to get it into a form that is easy to read and figure out!

If anyone has a layout that's easy that they'd like to share that I could tweak to my own pricing, I would REALLY appreciate it!!

sari66 Posted 4 May 2010 , 5:49pm
post #5 of 54

I just checked this out and I looked at it as if I was a customer and yes I was confused just by the different amounts for cakes. I think you need to find a way to simplify it more if possible. Can you use a one price system? or maybe include the price of the fillings in the cake?

KHalstead Posted 4 May 2010 , 6:02pm
post #6 of 54

by a "one price system" you mean like say.......


a 6" round is 10 servings and $10.00
6" round with filling is $12.50
A 6" round as part of a tiered cake is $22.50
a 6" round as part of a tiered cake with filling is $25.00


see..........that gets more confusing .......ugh......I can't figure this out!



I think the problem comes with all the different options.

You can have a plain round cake
you an have a round cake w/ filling
you can have a round cake w/ fondant
one with filling and fondant
one with no filling w/ fondant accents
one with filling and fondant accents
tiered cake no filling
tiered cake w/ filling
tiered cake w/ filling and fondant
tiered cake w/ filling and fondant accents
tiered cake no filling with fondant

and so on!
eeek.............who knew this could be so involved?

denetteb Posted 4 May 2010 , 6:04pm
post #7 of 54

Here are my thoughts. You say 6"=10. But you don't say 10 what. It should say 10 servings or it should be titled servings above the whole chart. Then it is confusing cause you have the price after the rectangle size. It appears that all the cakes on that line are that price. I think you should separate out the number of servings from any pricing info. Servings in one chart, then get into pricing. Also your rectangle prices start out $1 per serving then get vastly cheaper. Why? Why not just keep the prices the same as the other shapes. You also specify the height of the rectangle, but not the other shapes. Might be helpful to specify the height of the other shapes. Lastly, I think there is too much underlining, highlighting. It makes it seem like every next thing is more important than the last. Maybe just bullet and state it.

Katiebelle74 Posted 4 May 2010 , 6:04pm
post #8 of 54

Ok it took me a little while to figure out what in the world was going on with your pricing, then I saw how you meant for it to work. You totally need to simplify it. Customers do not get it even when I put it in SIMPLE terms. I print out a price quote invoice on wedding cakes (to try to cut down on call back/emails of "what can we do to lower the price?") I list out line by line cost per serving number of servings total cost, then if there is filling I list the filling the cost per serving, etc.... sugar flowers I list say Rose, full blown amount ordered cost per rose total cost for roses, so they can see the math and have a grand total at the bottom. CLEAR as I can possibly make it and they still call back and run in circles with questions.
I know you have heard this KHalstead but....Wow your prices are LOW, LOW, LOW! Cake ingredients and gas must cost a LOT LESS in Ohio that they do here if you feel that it is fine.

KHalstead Posted 4 May 2010 , 6:08pm
post #9 of 54

I think the prices are pretty low too, and plan to raise them SOON!

however I'm over $1.00/serv. MORE than my fellow bakers here! lol

The closest bakery is about 10 miles away and she charges $1.50/serv. for tiered cakes!!!!!!!! I'm not even TRYING to be that low!

People actually balk at my prices ALL the time...but I don't lower them! Honestly, I can't or I wouldn't turn a profit!

I make just about SQUAT on sheet cakes, and people already complain about them being "so much more than Wal-mart" I tell them, I'm NOT wal-mart I'm a custom cake shop!



I know what you guys mean about it not saying 6"=10 servings......I had that on there and it was much more spread out, but the layout on my website wouldn't allow it all to fit!!! So I had to really cram everything together!

cakesbycathy Posted 4 May 2010 , 6:14pm
post #10 of 54

FOkay I took a peek, too and agree with some PP. It is A LOT to take in. And as a cake person I understand the whole servings thing. Plus, we are in the same area and you charge quite a bit less than me...

IMO, people want to be able to have the info quick to find and easy to read. As a cake muggle I would feel like I am doing a lot of work by trying to read and figure out what shape I should order to feed the right amount of people and how much my cake is going to cost. That part on your website is very overwhelming.

I know you put all the info on there to make it simpler and so you wouldn't have to keep answering the same questions over and over again, but honestly you're going to have to do that regardless.

My suggestion (for what it's worth) would be to simplify it A LOT and frankly you might need to change the way you are pricing things.
List 3 prices.
"our single layer sheet cakes are $XX per serving
Our 2 layer cakes our $xx per serving
tiered cakes are $xx per serving"

When people call ask what kind of cake they would like to order (single layer, tiered, etc) and then how many servings they need. Then ask if they have a shape preferance or a specific design in mind. Then YOU need to figure out the size and shape they need and recommend that to them. Have a chart right in front of you so you can give them an answer right away.

Are you answering the same thing over and over? Yep. But you're doing that anyway, right? Make it easier and less frustrating for your customer so that it definitely results in an order for you.

erin12345 Posted 4 May 2010 , 6:18pm
post #11 of 54

Wow! Way too much info.! Very complicated and frustrating to read and understand. I agree that you need to keep it simple. I don't have a business but any bakery price list I've seen has been much simpler. Maybe you need to include some of your extra charges into a single price. I think you are breaking your prices down into too many individual components. Some of the detail info. could be included in the contract. Make the pricing on the website more general and if they are interested they will contact and then you can give them the specifics. Perhaps along with the serving size info. in your gallery you could include the price charged for each cake. That might give customers a clearer idea of what they will be charged for certain cake styles and sizes. Be sure to include "additional charges may apply". Your cakes are beautiful and I like the way they are catogorized on your website. Good luck!

foxymomma521 Posted 4 May 2010 , 6:19pm
post #12 of 54

the most confusing part to me is the info about torted cakes/not torted... If it were me I'd just cut that part right out... just my humble opinion... icon_smile.gif Your work is awesome!

KHalstead Posted 4 May 2010 , 6:22pm
post #13 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by erin12345

Perhaps along with the serving size info. in your gallery you could include the price charged for each cake. That might give customers a clearer idea of what they will be charged for certain cake styles and sizes. Be sure to include "additional charges may apply". Your cakes are beautiful and I like the way they are catogorized on your website. Good luck!





I did have it that way, just so people could see how much a particular cake would cost at a glance.........but with so many photos and new ones being added almost daily, it was just too much to keep up with whenever I had price changes, so I stopped doing it that way.

Thanks so much for the input I REALLY do appreciate it!! It's hard to look at things from a "customer's point of view" when you've spent soooooooooooooooo many hours trying to include all the info you think they might be looking for, and it's just difficult to know how that is portrayed to the general public or someone that doesn't understand even what a "tiered cake" is!

THanks again guys, you have no idea how much this helps me!

sari66 Posted 4 May 2010 , 6:29pm
post #14 of 54

K what I mean is price your cakes per slice for your tiered and include the filling/s then for your whole cakes use one price system for that as well.
Don't give a price for torted or not they have no idea what that means or why you'd want to tort them without using a filling.
Make your seperate coloums <sp> understandable ie' a 6" cake serves 10 price is $20 with fondant $24 or whathaveyou. kwim

Cakeasyoulikeit Posted 4 May 2010 , 6:33pm
post #15 of 54

I totally agree with cakesbycathy. Primarily, I think it's the servings chart that is so confusing because you have several different fields that aren't really explained. Your actual pricing chart isn't bad. A simpler pricing scheme may make more sense though. For example, I just state that my buttercream cakes start at $xx/serving and fondant at $xx/serving. When people contact me they don't usually say, "I want a 8" round and a 6" round stacked." They say "I need cake for about 25 people" and they should already know that will run them roughly 25 x $xx/serving. The actual price then depends on what the variables are for that particular cake....same as you...I just don't delineate everything specifically.

I am often guilty of providing too much info too in an attempt to answer all the questions up front, so I can understand how you got to where you are! icon_smile.gif

Also, one other comment just from an aesthetic perspective, I found the purple highlighting (especially when underlined!) really unfriendly on my eyes and didn't most of it for that reason. I think you'd be better off just underlining and making the words a different color.

cupcakemkr Posted 4 May 2010 , 6:33pm
post #16 of 54

I think you should just price your cakes per serving and not by tiered /non-tiered.
For instance my prices are:
BC cakes $2.75 per serving;
BC w/fondant accents $3.75 per serving;
Fondant covered $4.75 per serving.
I state that toppers, bows, flowers and figures are priced seperately and range from $5.00 ++ each depending on size and intricacy.
** Prices may change depending on the intricacy of the cake design

I agree that you have too much info out there - it gets confusing. If you do want to keep it all then you need to put it in a chart, rather than the columns, to keep it neat and easy to read.

Also - I dont think you need to tell the customer that a 6" cake feeds 10 - just what the price is for single tiered cakes or stacked cakes

KHalstead Posted 4 May 2010 , 8:22pm
post #17 of 54

ok, let me know what you think now!!

I cut out ALL the extra info! AND the serving chart! Just put basically what the price for each type of cake starts at, and then a photo of an example of that type of cake (in case people don't know the lingo)

I'm still not 100% happy with it though.


http://www.freewebs.com/khalstead/cakeprices.htm

cupcakemkr Posted 4 May 2010 , 8:28pm
post #18 of 54

I think this is much less confusing!

KHalstead Posted 4 May 2010 , 8:36pm
post #19 of 54

Pam thanks for the offer to convert an excel file!

I started to do it, but then I just didn't feel like retyping all the info into a chart lol!
I do appreciate your offer though

Crabbabs Posted 4 May 2010 , 8:41pm
post #20 of 54

I just saw it for the first time and I think it all makes sense. My only suggestion (and it is not that important) would be to put them in complete sentences. I think it would just look a bit more complete and professional.
Example:
4" high-Round/Square cakes- start @ $1.00/serv.
Four inch (4) tall round or square cakes start at $1.00 per serving.

Just my two cents. Your cakes are great!

KHalstead Posted 4 May 2010 , 8:49pm
post #21 of 54

thanks Crabbabs, I just went through and reworded them a bit!

Adevag Posted 4 May 2010 , 9:59pm
post #22 of 54

I only saw the newer version and it is easy to follow and understand. I like how you are showing photo for each category as an example.
I just wanted to add that your cakes are so amazing. I hope you are getting paid what you deserve!!!

cakesbycathy Posted 4 May 2010 , 10:01pm
post #23 of 54

It's definitely better thumbs_up.gif I like that you have examples of the kind of cake you are talking about. That's really good.

IMO though there is still a lot of information on the page. Why not just stick with one set of pricing? icon_confused.gif ANY 2 layer cake (and I would use the word layer in there either instead of or in addition to using the measurement of 4") should be one price. Not one for one cake and then a different price for a satelite cake.

Why do have 2 different prices for if you order a certain amount of servings? Again, get rid of it. Just have one price for all single layer cakes, one price for tiered, etc.

Finally (and I know you are getting beat over the head with this), but $1 per serving for a two layer cake?!? icon_cry.gificon_cry.gif
REALLY?! First, why are you charging Walmart prices when you DO NOT make Walmart cakes icon_confused.gif
I charge $3 per serving and we are both in OH (although I am west of you in the Cleveland suburbs). How in the world can I compete with that?

KHalstead Posted 4 May 2010 , 11:32pm
post #24 of 54

well, since I raised my pricing to $1.00 a serving I have only had 1 order for a single round cake!! lol Everyone sells an 8" round for about $7 here (the other bakeries within a 10 mile radius of me).......I can't even MAKE it for that. I charge $20 for an 8" round!

I have a separate price for regular 4" cakes and "satellite" cakes because there is more work involved making sure all the satellite cakes are exactly the same for display purposes....where if I were just making 1 round cake I could be done with it much faster, which makes it cheaper.


The going rate for wedding cakes in my town is $1.25/serv. for bc! Mine start at $2.25/serv. so I'm already $1.00 more per serving which scares a lot of people off......but that's ok, I don't feel I can go any lower without being angry while decorating the cakes LOL.


As for the sheetcake prices, I'm kinda stuck! I make cakes for the local party store and every time I try to raise my prices they get upset and say nobody will order them anymore, and my cakes bring a lot of traffic into their store, and if not for that they would probably have to shut down (not to mention I get ALL of my boxes, colors, etc. from there too so if they shut down I would REALLY have to raise prices because they're cheaper than I can order online)

Cleveland prices are MUCH different from out here.......I live in a very small town where people think Wal-mart cakes are extravagant!!!

Jenny0730 Posted 4 May 2010 , 11:52pm
post #25 of 54

I think I also glanced at your website after you made some adjustments. I don't think you need to explain that a six inch round will feed 10 people. If I am a customer, I know I am going to need to feed 25 people so I look at your website and see that you charge $1.00 a serving and decide whether or not I can afford you. When I call and say I need a cake to feed 25, you can tell me which cake sizes I will need and what the total price would be.

If you still want to tell people how much each cake will feed them, maybe you could include a completely separate chart that is strictly cake sizes and servings.

maggles Posted 5 May 2010 , 12:23am
post #26 of 54

I took a look at your new pricing, and tried to view it from the customer's perspective.

First, customers may ask why the 4" satellite or centerpiece cakes are priced higher than a 4" round cake. Be prepared to explain and/or defend the price differences. They're going to say, a 4" round is a 4" round, right?

Also, you list a sheet cake with less than 35 servings, and one with more than 54 servings. Customers may ask you what you charge for say, 40 servings. Yes, someone will ask. icon_smile.gif

Just my 2 cents!

Loucinda Posted 5 May 2010 , 2:18am
post #27 of 54

I wondered the same thing - the pricing on the regular vs. the same cake if it is part of a tiered one.

I think the simpler the better.

All buttercream cakes start at $. per serving
All fondant cakes start at $. per serving
All carved 3-D cakes start at $. per serving

(just my opinion here!) And I agree, your cakes are awesome!

KHalstead Posted 5 May 2010 , 12:41pm
post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by maggles

I took a look at your new pricing, and tried to view it from the customer's perspective.

First, customers may ask why the 4" satellite or centerpiece cakes are priced higher than a 4" round cake. Be prepared to explain and/or defend the price differences. They're going to say, a 4" round is a 4" round, right?

Also, you list a sheet cake with less than 35 servings, and one with more than 54 servings. Customers may ask you what you charge for say, 40 servings. Yes, someone will ask. icon_smile.gif

Just my 2 cents!





The 4" satellite is more than just a single 4" round because a "satellite" is when 2 or more cakes of the same decoration are ordered as display pieces and they have to be exactly the same height and decorated identically, which takes MORE time, which equals more cost per serving.

If I were just making 1 4" round it wouldn't have to match anything else perfectly so therefore I wouldn't have to spend quite as much time perfecting everything. that's how I justify it to my customers (I had all that info on there previously, but everyone thought it was just TMI)

Also with the sheetcakes, I had them all listed out 8"x12"x2" serves-20 and is $20.00, 11"x15" serves-35 and is $35, 12"x18" serves-54 and is $40.50 etc. (and again everyone thought it was TMI and was confusing)

So maybe I should just go ahead and put the sheetcake pricing back up?

KHalstead Posted 5 May 2010 , 12:44pm
post #29 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

I wondered the same thing - the pricing on the regular vs. the same cake if it is part of a tiered one.

I think the simpler the better.

All buttercream cakes start at $. per serving
All fondant cakes start at $. per serving
All carved 3-D cakes start at $. per serving

(just my opinion here!) And I agree, your cakes are awesome!




I charge different for cakes that are part of a "tiered cake" because there is more work that goes into them......when I decorate a regular 8" round for instance, I decorate it and put it in a box. When it's part of a tiered cake, I have to make sure the icing on the top is perfectly level (or it will look OFF when stacked), I have to measure and cut dowels, I have to purchase plates, I have to stack them and fix any problems that arise when doing that, and most times I have to then deliver them (which is free in my town for tiered cakes), and sometimes I have to assemble them on-site...................so all of that goes into the "tiered cake" pricing, vs....a regular 8" round that I could pop in a box and let the customer pick up!


At least that is what I tell my customers lol.

All I know is I spend about 10 times LONGER making tiered cakes and that's why I charge more.

KHalstead Posted 5 May 2010 , 3:21pm
post #30 of 54

ok, I think I have it.........I've explained why the price differences (I think), and I've outlined the servings and prices of the sheet cakes


Is it easy to follow now???????????????

I really do appreciate all of your opinions, I was just lost as to where to begin because I had SOOOOOOOO much stuff on there.

I always thought I needed to have the size chart so people could figure it out, etc. but you guys are absolutely right!! As long as they have a per serv. idea on price they can multiply by the number of people they have to feed and get an "idea" of the price they're looking at!!

Thanks again!!!!

Here's the revamped pricing page!

http://www.freewebs.com/khalstead/cakeprices.htm

I keep adding info.............somebody STOP ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol

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