Losing Old Customers

Business By Kitagrl Updated 27 Aug 2010 , 6:36am by indydebi

Kitagrl Posted 8 Jun 2010 , 2:25am
post #1 of 13

In a way its too bad that as the years go, I have to lose old customers. I mean its GOOD because it means I'm slowly getting larger orders and better pay...but...a little sad that some of the moms that have been ordering from me for a couple years (or more), some of them (not all) are having to drop back as my prices go up. I've had a couple "repeat customers" have to gracefully decline a cake order they wanted me to make, after I gave them a quote.

Its okay...really...I want to do more weddings than anything, and am still working s...l....o...w....l...y towards that goal...so continuing to do smaller kids party cakes is not really helping...although I of course do them all the time for my current pricing.... but a part of me feels kinda bad that some of the customers I started with are kinda going their own way now.

Eh....sentiment. haha.

12 replies
Ladiesofthehouse Posted 8 Jun 2010 , 2:44am
post #2 of 13

I know how you feel--just had it happen today. I especially hate the silence on the other end when you tell them the price and it's more than they thought! icon_sad.gif

catlharper Posted 8 Jun 2010 , 3:43am
post #3 of 13

I'm running into that with my mom...she promotes the hell out of me but then when I go give the quote the customer balks at the pricing. So now she lets them know up front that my "simple" cakes start at $50 and go up from there...warning them from the beginning that they are not ordering a run of the mill cake. But I want to build my business with a certain standard in mind and cater to people who want an extra special cake. I still give breaks to friends and family but since I never started out giving away cakes they don't expect it now. Discount, sure, free, no. I think you HAVE to grow to where you want to be.

cakesondemand Posted 8 Jun 2010 , 9:18am
post #4 of 13

yup I hear ya Im going towards just wedding cakes too and saying no to occasion cakes now.

loriemoms Posted 8 Jun 2010 , 1:21pm
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladiesofthehouse

I know how you feel--just had it happen today. I especially hate the silence on the other end when you tell them the price and it's more than they thought! icon_sad.gif




Yes, same here. I have a customer who orders from me 10-12 times a year for all kinds of little cakes and I have been slowly creeping her price up to what my normal price is, feeling guilty all the time. I hate to loose her, but I know one day I will...

costumeczar Posted 8 Jun 2010 , 1:30pm
post #6 of 13

I still do smaller cakes for some customers, but I generally just do wedding and 3-D cakes. I'm thinking of raising the minimum on my 3-D cakes, too.

I had one former bride whose groom's cake I'd made ask me to recreate the groom's cake for their anniversary. After I had made the groom's cake I realised that I'd underpriced it based on how long it took, so when I quoted her the price for the re-do she said it was too much, and she really wanted it at the original price. I told her that I'd couldn't do it for that, it took me much longer than I thought, and that I'd underpriced the original as a result. I didn't get the order, but guess what, prices go up and that's the fact, Jack. You'll lose some customers on the way, but that's how it is.

loriemoms Posted 8 Jun 2010 , 1:37pm
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

I still do smaller cakes for some customers, but I generally just do wedding and 3-D cakes. I'm thinking of raising the minimum on my 3-D cakes, too.

I had one former bride whose groom's cake I'd made ask me to recreate the groom's cake for their anniversary. After I had made the groom's cake I realised that I'd underpriced it based on how long it took, so when I quoted her the price for the re-do she said it was too much, and she really wanted it at the original price. I told her that I'd couldn't do it for that, it took me much longer than I thought, and that I'd underpriced the original as a result. I didn't get the order, but guess what, prices go up and that's the fact, Jack. You'll lose some customers on the way, but that's how it is.




I wonder if these same people go into a gas station and say to the person working there "Hey I didnt pay this much for gas last week!"

1234me Posted 8 Jun 2010 , 6:17pm
post #8 of 13

I know the feeling. I want to go to a minimum on price amount but also want to still serve those repeat customers who order many cakes throughout the year. I know people want a nice small afforable cake to take out to a family dinner birthday celebration.

kickasscakes Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 4:20pm
post #9 of 13

Sharon, if you want to send those occasional cakes my way, please do! I do more of those than wedding cakes, any day!

tracycakes Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 4:29pm
post #10 of 13

I'm raising my prices on 9/1. the price of everything has gone, my rent is going up and it's time to raise them. I think I'm going to charge to things I've never charged for before like fillings. It's alot more money in ingredients and time if it is filled with anything other than buttercream. I wanted to keep my pricing extremely simple but it's either raise my prices alot higher or charge for some things I never charged for before.

sweetonyouzz Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 5:12pm
post #11 of 13

What I do is suggest a couple differant cakes. I have my 'budget' cake which are basically Kopy-cake designs. Those I can do with very little work and out of those orders I have gotten referred for bigger cakes. I do turn away orders that people think they are going to get me for cheaper than a Costco cake and for those who you know are just wanting the cheapest of cheap I even refer them to go elsewhere. It bothers me be we are not here to do 'discount' cakes , we are here for people who want our artistic talents. Losing money on a cake is not good for all of us who are trying to run a business so dont feel bad!

KimmyKakes4Me Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 10:01pm
post #12 of 13

I've never understood "gradually raising prices". You just do it. It looks sneaky to do it bit by bit. You either want to make more money or you don't. I made a $3.00 per serving increase shortly after starting. Balls to the wall-demand the money you are worth. Don't raise it.25 here and there. WHat a waste of time.

indydebi Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 6:36am
post #13 of 13

For those contemplating price increases, I always did my price increases in Sept. Starting in mid-July, I put a notice on my website that pricing was going up effective Sept 1, but anyone who booked (paid deposit, signed contract) prior to Sept 1 would hold current pricing for their event, no matter when the event was held.

My phone rang off the hook when that notice went on there and I was doing samplings/tastings 3-4 a day, every single day. Toward the end of august, it was getting hard to get everyone scheduled in before the increase.

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