How To Politely Turn Down A Cake Order

Decorating By Sid Updated 7 May 2010 , 10:34am by crazyladybaker

Sid Posted 7 May 2010 , 2:33am
post #1 of 10

How does one go about turning down an order without feeling like I've done something wrong?

I work a full-time job in a bakery, and on the side at home do the occasional wedding or theme cake for fun and a little extra money once in a while. A co-worker approached me the other day to ask for a quote on a cake she wanted for the end of the month, and after getting details on it I gave her a price and she said she'd "think about it". Now I think I'm very fair with my pricing, and have been told more than once that I don't charge nearly enough for some of my work.

She then came back and asked me to do the same cake for about half of what I'd quoted, claiming she was on a budget. Now while I can respect that, I'm not into this to give away cake, which would be essential what I'd be doing if I barely make more than cost by agreeing to her price.

What's the nice way of saying "No, I'm sorry, but I really don't want to do that."?

9 replies
tmac670 Posted 7 May 2010 , 2:41am
post #2 of 10

"Thank you for the opportunity to make your cake, but I have really given you the best price that I can. I can't afford to take time away from my family for less than that. Good luck with your party."

Kitagrl Posted 7 May 2010 , 2:57am
post #3 of 10

You just have to be gently firm.

Just sort had something similar this week...repeat customer wanted a cake...I was booked for the weekend but told her I could fit in something small.

The design she had in mind was NOT small, (well she wanted it small, but it was three tiered condensed into small, and wanted three flavors!) and with all those flavors I really could not fit her into my booked schedule.

I just explained that I was already full for the weekend and would have been happy to fit in a small cake, but could not manage the design she had in mind.

So she turned down the idea of a small cake but on the other hand asked me to write her down for January 2011 for a big one! icon_smile.gif

Yeah I'd just say "I'm sorry that is my price, due to the costs and time involved, I am not able to lower it." Most people SHOULD be able to understand (although not everyone does!)...I've had several say "I understand its alot of work, so even though I cannot afford it, I respect your pricing."

Sid Posted 7 May 2010 , 3:00am
post #4 of 10

Thanks for the suggestions. I know it should be easy to do, but I'm a big pushover and feel guilty whenever I say "no", as if I'm obligated to make cake. Most of my cakes are for friends and family, others are rare.

Kitagrl Posted 7 May 2010 , 3:03am
post #5 of 10

I'm like that too...but after some miserable nights stuck doing cake you are underpaid for and missing out on sleep or time with kids or husband or whatever eventually get the guts to say "NO!!!" haha.

I still find myself taking an extra order here or there against my better judgement, but I'm improving!!!!! thumbs_up.gif

Sid Posted 7 May 2010 , 3:10am
post #6 of 10

Haha, yes I've definitely been there, sitting at my kitchen table in the wee hours of the night bleary-eyed and up to my elbows in frosting. It's things like that that have made me pull away from getting more into the business. People that don't do cakes like we do don't appreciate the time and effort involved. At one point I'd thought I'd love to eventually have my own business of doing nothing but cakes but I'm starting to think I'd be much happier and have a much simpler life if I just keep my job and make the occasional cake for a friend. icon_rolleyes.gif

Trina36 Posted 7 May 2010 , 4:57am
post #7 of 10

Sid, my feelings exactly. I promised my family that this weekend will be my last booked weekend and will take a break from cakes....i really miss the weekends doing nothing.

sherrycanary62 Posted 7 May 2010 , 6:09am
post #8 of 10

why would it be rude to just say: sorry I can't do the cake for that price?

SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Posted 7 May 2010 , 8:44am
post #9 of 10
Originally Posted by Sid

Thanks for the suggestions. I know it should be easy to do, but I'm a big pushover and feel guilty whenever I say "no", as if I'm obligated to make cake. Most of my cakes are for friends and family, others are rare.

You will get over that in time. I was a push over for a long time, but after you've done this for a while, you will start being less of a push over. It used to bother me if someone thought I was too expensive, now it doesn't bother me at all... I don't/won't work for free! And it used to bother me when I had to turn someone down for a cake order, I would just about kill myself trying to fit everyone in..... a little while of that and NO is my favorite word now LOL

crazyladybaker Posted 7 May 2010 , 10:34am
post #10 of 10

I agree with the others. You have to do it and don't feel bad about it either.
Be firm and polite and then just let it go.

I had a lady ask me yesterday what I charged for a cake I recently had done. Well, the cake was part a bday present so I really discounted it. But, I still found it rather rude that she asked what I charged someone else. I never gave her a figure. I told her to tell me exactly what she wanted and we could discuss it.

She then told me they are getting a cake from Sam's club but thought it would be fun to have a more "fun" cake from me. That's when I told her, "I can't compete with pricing from Sam's Club". She asked if I would charge more than they do. HA!
You bet I do! She then said they were on a budget and the subject was dropped.

The cake took me 3 days to work on so I am not about to do it for $20 icon_eek.gif

Don't cheat yourself and by all means don't underestimate what your time is worth.

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