Cake Mock-Up???

Business By Cakechick123 Updated 9 Jun 2010 , 2:24pm by jerseygirlNga

Cakechick123 Posted 7 Jun 2010 , 2:30pm
post #1 of 30

A decorator in my area has now started to offer brides a small replica of their wedding cake, basically so they can see how it looks before ordering.
She is not charging for this, and her prices are already lower than mine icon_sad.gif , so I seem to be losing out on customers.

I have never heard anyone doing that and if I start I would either charge for it upfront or increase the price of my cakes.

anyone else thinks this is a silly idea icon_mad.gif or do you offer that service???

29 replies
melmar02 Posted 7 Jun 2010 , 2:51pm
post #2 of 30

It seems to me that she would be losing massive amounts of money (and time) by doing this. I only make cakes for friends and family (in a state that doesn't allow home based), so I would go completely broke if I did that. If I had a storefront and charged, I still don't think it makes good financial sense. I do offer a sketch of the cakes I make just so we're on the same page. I would hate for one of my friend's kids to have one thing in mind and me give them something else. I'm a visual person, and it helps me to get it down on paper too.

Marianna46 Posted 7 Jun 2010 , 3:07pm
post #3 of 30

I think this whole idea is a drain on resources and will bankrupt your competitor in no time. It may take fewer ingredients to make and decorate a small cake, but it doesn't take less time or ingenuity. And how many times is she willing to do this if the bride doesn't like the first one? It only takes a couple of bridezillas to see how that would go! A drawing - or a photograph with any desired changes indicated - is a much better way to go.

LindaF144a Posted 7 Jun 2010 , 3:11pm
post #4 of 30

How is she doing this exactly? With a dummie or with real cake? And with some representation of the decorations? Does it look like the cake only in complete miniature? Is it a drawing, or maybe a clay replica?

Maybe what you can do is possibly a cupcake with the type of frosting and fondant, etc on top. Even that would take time.

I also agree that she is losing money on this, and will probably go through a burnout, and won't be doing it for long.

And not charging for it either? Wow.

Enchantedcakes Posted 7 Jun 2010 , 3:15pm
post #5 of 30

Your competitor will soon find out that is is not a cost effective service. I provide a computer genrated image of the cake after the conract has been signed. If the bride wants to chane colors or change the design it is easy for me to change the image on my computer and e-mail the bride the changes.

Mama_Mias_Cakes Posted 7 Jun 2010 , 3:24pm
post #6 of 30

I never have heard of that. I know I wouldn't do that myself. Just alot of time and unnecessary expense. I only do tastings.

I do offer a free 6" round or square anniversary cake that duplicates the design of their cake. That way the couple can use all the cake for the wedding instead of saving the top tier plus they'll get a fresh cake. Maybe you can do something like that to get more orders.

catlharper Posted 7 Jun 2010 , 3:52pm
post #7 of 30

I what you are doing and keep on doing it well and you will win the customers in the end...cause she's going to drive herself out of business due to spending all of her profit on these sample cakes!

cheatize Posted 7 Jun 2010 , 3:58pm
post #8 of 30

It sounds to me like it's a desperate move to get more business. Perhaps instead of worrying about it you could think of it more as the beginning of the end for the other caker.

indydebi Posted 7 Jun 2010 , 5:31pm
post #9 of 30

The phrase I use when I hear of stuff like this is:

"Oh PLEASE I hope my competition continues to offer that. Because then I won't have to worry about her being my competition much longer." icon_biggrin.gif

Cakechick123 Posted 8 Jun 2010 , 8:42am
post #10 of 30

it seems that she makes a real cake, maybe a 4&6" decorated exactly like the wedding cake, to show the bride what it will look like, I've just heard about it, the 1st time a bride asked me I almost bust out laughing, thought she was having me on, but I've had 3 other brides ask the same thing

Debi, that is such a great phrase!! It will become my mantra icon_smile.gificon_smile.gif

It really didnt make finacial sense to me also, so Im just going to continue doing what Im doing

costumeczar Posted 8 Jun 2010 , 1:31pm
post #11 of 30

That's ridiculous. I had one guy ask me if I'd make a mock-up, and I said a flat-out no. If they want to pay me to make one, fine, but that makes no sense financially.

leah_s Posted 8 Jun 2010 , 1:52pm
post #12 of 30

And on a similar note, I once had a MOB ask, "Do you make a duplicate of every wedding cake just in case something happens to the first one?"

After giving her the "you're a dumbass" stare for an extra second, I said, "No, I'd go broke in about a week if I did that."

indydebi Posted 8 Jun 2010 , 2:04pm
post #13 of 30
Originally Posted by leah_s

And on a similar note, I once had a MOB ask, "Do you make a duplicate of every wedding cake just in case something happens to the first one?"

Where in the he!! does this idea come from!? I think they watch too much TV. As I state in this blog, , I've been to way too many weddings in my life, plus the ones my parents and my grandparents have been to long before I was even born. There are NO urban legend stories circulating in my family on how a wedding cake was ruined and needed replaced. None. That only happened in Laurel and Hardy movies!

It blows me away that people get this idea in their head. Do they buy an extra wedding dress in case the original gets stained or torn? Do they rent a 2nd limo in case the first one doesnt' start? How about hiring a 2nd minister in case the first guy keels over in a heart attack in the middle of the service?

I remember as a kid, people would buy extra sheet cakes "just in case". And I'm not talking about splitting the servings between the wedding cake and sheet cakes to save money. I'm talking for a wedding for 100 guests, they'd buy a 100-serving wedding cake and then a "couple of sheet cakes, just in case" ...... the just in case was in case more people showed up.

Now they didnt' buy extra chicken or extra chicken salad sandwiches or extra potato salad .... Nope, they just figured these gate crashers would show up at dessert time.

The illogical thinking of some people's logic just floors me.

sillywabbitz Posted 8 Jun 2010 , 2:17pm
post #14 of 30

To the OP, I agree with everyone else. Sounds like a huge loss to do the sample cake. If your competition is that cheap she'll definately be out of business soon. Maybe you can come up with a response like...'I can see why a novice baker might need to do that to justify her ability, but as you can see from my portfolio I have years of successful wedding cake experience.'

On the idea of a backup cake, I remember seeing an episode of Who's Wedding Is It Anyway, and they had something called 'cake insurance'. The delivery person dropped the cake and the bakery replaced it in 2 hrs. In my mind I assumed it was a set up for TV because I have never heard of cake insurance. But based on the actual number of failures, if you offered cake insurance it would be a money maker.

indydebi Posted 8 Jun 2010 , 2:22pm
post #15 of 30
Originally Posted by sillywabbitz

...and they had something called 'cake insurance'.

That's exactly what my blog in the above post addresses.

minicuppie Posted 8 Jun 2010 , 3:34pm
post #16 of 30

Devils' advocate here... in the grand scheme of things...on the scale of 1-10...I think she may have something here. Test the waters. See how interested the "Platinum Brides" (and their planners) are. Using 6 or even 8 inch cakes, pre-baked in the basic flavors (offer a limited selection of fillings, you most likely have have BC in the freezer) and frozen, take orders and charge a bit more for the take home tasting replica . Could become very lucrative. (and trendy). After they have "tasted" a few 75-100 dollar cute little replicas...sit them down and talk turkey. If they perhaps decide to roam have have made your bank without having to reschedule umpteen "tasting days". If they use your design somewhere else, consider how many decorators will copy for free from your website, anyway. Totally IMO.

KHalstead Posted 8 Jun 2010 , 9:02pm
post #17 of 30

Here are some articles that suggest that people have their bakers make them mini replicas!! Maybe this is where that lady got the idea????

An important consideration when choosing your wedding cake is the icing. Since the cake will have to sit in the hall for several hours before it is cut, make sure that the icing will retain its flavor. There is nothing worse than going through all the trouble of ordering a fabulous cake only to have the icing lose its flavor or consistency before it is ready to be eaten. A good way to ensure that your cake will stand the test of time is to have a mini replica of your cake made and to let it sit for a while to see how it then looks and tastes. This will give you a good indication of several things including the competency of your baker, the hardiness or your cake and the way it will taste when it is finally served.

Ask your baker to provide you with a mini replica of the cake before finalizing the order for the 'big day'. Go ahead and have a slice of fun and excitement with your wedding cake!

costumeczar Posted 8 Jun 2010 , 10:12pm
post #18 of 30

Oh my...More bad wedding advice. I've had people ask me things that came straight out of wedding magazines, and I've been known to tell them that it's the dumbest advice I've ever heard, and that they shouldn't believe everything they read.

leah_s Posted 8 Jun 2010 , 10:14pm
post #19 of 30

Icing can lose it's flavor? Whaaaaaattt?

Elcee Posted 8 Jun 2010 , 10:22pm
post #20 of 30
Originally Posted by sillywabbitz

and they had something called 'cake insurance'. The delivery person dropped the cake and the bakery replaced it in 2 hrs.

But wouldn't the delivery person be an employee of the bakery? So, in effect, the bakery dropped the cake, they should be making good on the cake, insurance or not.

KHalstead Posted 9 Jun 2010 , 12:15am
post #21 of 30
Originally Posted by leah_s

Icing can lose it's flavor? Whaaaaaattt?

I know!!!1 I'll bet advice like this is the reason most people think they can change flavors/decorations/etc. on the cake right up until an hr. before the wedding starts (surely you're not working on my cake on WEDNESDAY when my wedding is on SATURDAY.......the cake wouldn't be fresh!!!!!!!)

Give me a break!!!!

Cakechick123 Posted 9 Jun 2010 , 5:23am
post #22 of 30


well I hope that not a lot of brides (or novice bakers) reads that and then make life even more difficult for the people that tries to do this for a living!

I had a look at this baker in questions website, she doesnt have any of her own cakes on there, all the pics are stock photos, so maybe this is her way of drumming up business. I dont know what her actual portfolio looks like, but it might be easier to do some dummy cakes!

Bfisher2 Posted 9 Jun 2010 , 5:39am
post #23 of 30

Well, on top of being broke at the end of the month she may have to use someone elses work to lure in business..... maybe hers dosent make the cut.... she may make waves but over the long term her business sence is lacking. Dont sweat it.... just a little pebble in a rock quary...icon_wink.gif

jerseygirlNga Posted 9 Jun 2010 , 6:00am
post #24 of 30

I'm in the minority. I think a mini is a wonderful idea BUT...I think there should be a nominal charge for it. If the couple orders from you...they are credited with the amount paid for the mini. Since she is new, maybe this is a way of her getting business. Is it really much different than a "free" tasting? or making cuppies for a bridal show?

My suggestion...scope out the competition and see what she is actually doing rather than relying on what others are saying. Besides, this way, you get to taste her cakes and see her ability first hand. I'm a big fan of shopping the competition...No matter what, you are a salesman (sales person if I am being politically correct). You sell yourself, you sell your product and you know everything there is to know about your "market." Being informed gives you one up on your competition.

Here is an idea that a local bakery in my area is doing. Maybe it can work for you when people call about the "free mini." (I'm not sure if this is the "norm" but its the first I heard of it.) When you place your order, this baker sends you a card, thanking you for your order and letting you know that you will be receiving a wedding gift card from them. When the cake is delivered, you receive a "gift card" that entitles the B&G to a FREE 1st Anniversary tier that is replica of your top tier.

I say "bravo" to the idea of the mini...just not to giving it away for free. But if it works for her...

costumeczar Posted 9 Jun 2010 , 10:27am
post #25 of 30
Originally Posted by jerseygirlNga

I'm in the minority. I think a mini is a wonderful idea BUT...I think there should be a nominal charge for it. If the couple orders from you...they are credited with the amount paid for the mini. Since she is new, maybe this is a way of her getting business. Is it really much different than a "free" tasting? or making cuppies for a bridal show?


It is different, though, since for tastings you can just make a little extra of whatever your'e baking, and you don't need to decorate them. To make a miniature version you'd need to do the whole thing exactly like the wedding cake, or it defeats the purpose. And don't think that the bride wouldn't want you to do another one when she decides that she wants minor changes, then has to see how THAT looks! I'd charge the full price for it if I was going to do them.

minicuppie Posted 9 Jun 2010 , 11:31am
post #26 of 30

What nominal fee? Charge for it at a fair price. Plus. Think of it as a designer occasion cake. The OPs that are thinking this is to make your life harder...aren't you there to sell product? Well there you go...product to sell.

KHalstead Posted 9 Jun 2010 , 1:24pm
post #27 of 30

I love the ideas of the mini replica.........BUT there is NO WAY I'm doing them for free!!!

People around here don't want to spend more than $200 on a wedding cake, I can't see them spending $50 on a mini replica!

jerseygirlNga Posted 9 Jun 2010 , 2:10pm
post #28 of 30

Sorry...don't know how to copy/highlighted and of yet.

What is a "nominal fee?" Whatever you, as the decorator, believes your market will bear. Just as the decorator that posted wedding cakes are $200 in her area, she would never get $50 for the replica. I think she can, if she "sells" the idea that her cakes are the greatest and that $50 or a portion of will be credited to her order. There is no right or wrong.

And if a bride changes her mind...whats the difference? Remember, I am assuming if you do this replica, the bride/order is yours. So if she changes her mind...If you loose that bride as a client, that is on your sales ability. Then, that replica became a learning tool for you. Never assume the bride is there to interview you and taste your cake. That bride is there, for you to interview her! Life is short...I won't work with people I don't like...makes it too stressful!

Brand Marketing (which is what the replica lady is doing) is a smart move. It's not a new trend, been around for ages. You've seen them people standing in grocery stores handing out samples, or at concerts, sports venues...Somewhere along the line, its transitioned to cakes!!!

Cakechick123 Posted 9 Jun 2010 , 2:13pm
post #29 of 30
Originally Posted by KHalstead

BUT there is NO WAY I'm doing them for free!!!

I agree, if i could get paid for the work it would be a different story icon_smile.gif

The person Im talking about is NOT charging for it, if she did I wouldnt even have mentioned it

also her prices are a lot lower than mine, and Im not the most expensive in our area.

jerseygirlNga Posted 9 Jun 2010 , 2:24pm
post #30 of 30

Hi Cakechic...

IF the free replica lady, landed 3 brides from this...then that is something that works in your least, for her. She maybe lower but maybe she is getting the contract and doing "ad-ons" which may make her in line with others.

There is a baker in our area that advertises his "base" cake. He quotes specific prices for size and shape of each tiers. Colored/undecorated only. Then he explains the time it takes (based on intricacy of the work involved) before he quotes what the ad-ons will be. He says: "I will quote you but keep in mind that price can be adjusted." He is extremely successful and it works for him. For me...I am a more definitive kinda girl. I would need to know up front to make my decision. His gumpaste flowers are absolutely wonderful and charges anywhere from $3-18 per. If you airbrush color...add-on, if you luster dust...add-on! Everyone has to find their own niche...

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