Cheaper Than The Grocery Store Rant...

Decorating By KakesbyKris Updated 16 May 2010 , 9:00pm by Eisskween

KakesbyKris Posted 16 May 2010 , 6:36pm
post #1 of 16

So I have just begun to receive people ordering cakes and like so many others am having difficulty deciding on prices. I get a call the other day from someone my MIL reccomended me to for a wedding cake in June. She has a lower paying job and fiance is disabled so they are on a "shoe-string budget." She wants a 3 tiered cake in buttercream for 150 people and her friend who has never done one and doesn't know how to make roses said she would do it for $150. "are you cheaper than that?" Now I may not have my prices figured out and am new to decorating but even i know not to do a wedding cake for that much! The idea of getting practice and more exposure was appealing so i offered to try to help them by doing a very small wedding cake and a kitchen cake. She said she'd talk to her fiance.
My MIL just came by to take the kids for the day and I told her about the call and that she couldn't even get a cake from Safeway for that price. "But you're not a store and just doing this for fun. Why shouldn't you charge less than the stores?" icon_eek.gif
Really!!! I am suppose to be doing her 40th Anniversary cake in July and she says that if it wasn't a gift she would never pay more than Walmart's prices., a hobby isn't worth more than that. icon_redface.gif
Just needed to vent to those who understand.

15 replies
prterrell Posted 16 May 2010 , 7:00pm
post #2 of 16

Um, if you're on a shoe-string budget, you shouldn't be inviting 150 people to your wedding.

cheeseball Posted 16 May 2010 , 7:04pm
post #3 of 16

The 150 guests are being invited for the gifts icon_wink.gif

itsmylife Posted 16 May 2010 , 7:08pm
post #4 of 16

It's soooo frustrating to hear that from someone. But, you have to chalk it up to just the uninformed cake-civilians. They just don't realize home much time & expense are involved.

Response to MIL.... 'so because I'm doing this 'just for fun', I should lose money every time I do a cake?' Followed by an explanation of costs (& the fact that Walmart buys everything in MASSIVE bulk quantities, so of course they are paying pennies to every dollar we have to spend for the same/similar ingredients). People like her are under the impression that not only should your costs be dirt cheap (it's just cake mix, eggs, etc), but you shouldn't expect to be paid for your time (after all, it's just a you should do it for free because you love to decorate).

Try to educate her so that she doesn't continue with that attitude towards you.

KakesbyKris Posted 16 May 2010 , 7:13pm
post #5 of 16

Ohh and that's not as I am talking to my dear MIL she tells how sad she is that she'll miss the wedding because they are having it catered with Phillipino food, her favorite. icon_eek.gif CATERED!!
I don't know what I am more upset about, a bride trying to get something for nothing or a MIL who doesn't think I am more worthy than Walmart. icon_mad.gif

Edit Posted 16 May 2010 , 7:31pm
post #6 of 16

Lots of hugs!!!!

Kaytecake Posted 16 May 2010 , 7:35pm
post #7 of 16

Wow! I'm sorry that your MIL has such a negative attitude, but it is probably due to ignorance like others, here, have pointed out. I only do cakes for family and do not sell cakes to anyone. I don't think that people really have any idea of how much work goes into making a good tasting, beautiful cake. Or how much it costs- ingredients, tools, all those special touches. Most cake people love what they do and are fair with their prices.
The biggest cake I've done was only two tiered and I was a wreck trying to get that right. Don't sell yourself short. It's hard work and takes skill - you'll start to resent making them if people don't value what you do. Plus, you run the risk of being assigned the "cheap baker" title and have them place your cakes in the same class as grocery store fare.
Just my two cents. icon_smile.gif Good luck!

JohnnyCakes1966 Posted 16 May 2010 , 7:36pm
post #8 of 16

prterrell and cheeseboard - those are my responses every time I hear a story like this! Note to the cake-buying public: I say this to HELP you!! If you're on a shoestring budget, you CAN NOT AFFORD a wedding reception/party for 150 guests!!!! And if you invite everyone you've ever met just so you can get lots of gifts, be prepared to PAY for a big party for all of them! And above all...Don't expect ME to take the financial hit because YOU want to throw a party you can't afford!! Sheesh!

To the OP: If this other person will do it for $150, give them a hug (they just saved you a huge headache of dealing with this woman!) and wish them luck!

JohnnyCakes1966 Posted 16 May 2010 , 7:40pm
post #9 of 16

Oh...And for your MIL's anniversary cake, I'd stop by Wal-Mart on my way to the party and pick it up. If that's all SHE'S willing to pay for, why should YOU pay more for her??

KayMc Posted 16 May 2010 , 7:50pm
post #10 of 16

I LOVE Johnnycake's response! Take a Walmart cake to your MIL's party. There could always be a good reason for your inability to make hers: your migraines were bad, you had cramps, that dang hangnail is acting up, your carpal tunnel is excruciating, etc, etc.

If you try to educate her with some of the great responses here (especially about losing money on cakes), and she still poo-poos what you're doing, I wouldn't make her a cake. Walmart is good enough for that attitude!

all4cake Posted 16 May 2010 , 7:51pm
post #11 of 16
Originally Posted by JohnnyCakes1966

Oh...And for your MIL's anniversary cake, I'd stop by Wal-Mart on my way to the party and pick it up. If that's all SHE'S willing to pay for, why should YOU pay more for her??

and make sure it's a sheet cake! "Happy Annie Very Sorry!"

(I'm only messin' but the thought gave me a smile)

KristasKakes78 Posted 16 May 2010 , 8:14pm
post #12 of 16

Gotta love mother in laws..... and their cheap friends.

JohnnyCakes1966 Posted 16 May 2010 , 8:29pm
post #13 of 16

I'm glad my response caused a few chuckles. icon_lol.gif Thing is, I'm not even half joking. She'd be getting a Wal-Mart cake from me! I have very little patience for people who disrespect me! icon_mad.gif

And by the way....My response isn't a slam against Wal-Mart/grocery store cakes. They are a solution for people on a tight budget or who want a basic cake. There are people on this board who work at grocery store bakeries and I respect that...and them! I'm not at all belittling their talent.

My cakes are custom and not something you can get at Wal-Mart, and I charge for that. So when people say to me, "I can buy a cake at Wal-Mart for $30!!!" I tell them, "Yes, you can! But...If you wanted a Wal-Mart cake, you would have gone there. Obviously, you know there's a difference between their cakes and mine or you wouldn't be talking to me now."

JohnnyCakes1966 Posted 16 May 2010 , 8:46pm
post #14 of 16

all4cake - Your response reminded me about a picture of a cake a friend sent me. He works in the music industry in Nashville and needed a cake same day for a party for one of their artists. (Someone forgot to order the cake ahead of time.) So, they called a grocery store bakery, placed a rush order, ran to pick up the cake, and barely made it back in time for the party. The picture below is what they got: icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

tinygoose Posted 16 May 2010 , 8:47pm
post #15 of 16

I would have told the bride that I could do it for less than that, and leave it alone. THe MIL, fine, make her a cake since you said you would, but keep it basic, don't ask what color or design, just bring whatever you feel like making to the party. Then be wary of MIL friend referrals.

Eisskween Posted 16 May 2010 , 9:00pm
post #16 of 16

Seriously, 150 servings for $150 and she wants it cheaper? Tell her to jump right in the time machine back to 1958, she'll have better luck there.

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