Customer Wants One Of Two Cakes...what Price Should I Quote?

Decorating By pursuing_perfection Updated 4 Jul 2010 , 8:01pm by pursuing_perfection

pursuing_perfection Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 12:29am
post #1 of 23

Me again... doing my second cake for pay.

This cake was requested by a football Mom who I do not know that well. She emailed me two different ideas that she found online and wants to know what I would charge for them. There are not that difficult to do (I would have preferred more of a challenge) so I really don't know what to charge. She wants a 9x13. Our local bakery charges $20 for a basic 9x13 and it goes up from there. Obviously my cake would be much better tasting than the bakery version! Out of my flavor list, she chose French Vanilla with Strawberry filling. The cake would be covered with buttercream. I am assuming I would do a frozen buttercream transfer for the one design, and a fondant grad cap and scroll for the other design.

I live in rural Manitoba, Canada...so I could never charge what they do in LA or New York! Having said that, I want to balance charging enough to make it worth my while but not charging so much that I can't build a business.
LL
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22 replies
CWR41 Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 4:49am
post #2 of 23

Aren't the specialty bakeries around you charging at least $3-$3.50 per serving? I'd think your base price should be at least $50 plus additional charges for your extras.

pursuing_perfection Posted 2 Jul 2010 , 1:05am
post #3 of 23

The finished cake is in my pics. The customer ended up changing the flavor to WASC with Key Lime Filling. (Yum!) She was very happy with the end result, and offrered to recommend me to her friends. thumbs_up.gif

Now that the cake is done, and everyone can see what I did, what price would you suggest?

ElmwoodHero Posted 2 Jul 2010 , 1:17am
post #4 of 23

Hello- A little advise that I got when I first started to decorate cakes.

Call a bakery and ask for a quote on exactly what the customer wants. Most bakeries give free quotes.

From there, add the cost of the supplies that it took to make your cake.

There you go.




P.S.~ If you are going to call more than once, call a different bakery.

pursuing_perfection Posted 2 Jul 2010 , 1:21am
post #5 of 23

Good advice...and I did try that...but the local bakery wouldn't give a quote because they couldn't make what the customer wanted!

ElmwoodHero Posted 2 Jul 2010 , 3:14am
post #6 of 23

try calling a bigger city bakery

pursuing_perfection Posted 2 Jul 2010 , 3:27am
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElmwoodHero

try calling a bigger city bakery




I will have to do that. Although it is too late for this cake, knowing what I should have charged will help with pricing the next one.

CBMom Posted 2 Jul 2010 , 4:42am
post #8 of 23

I live in rural Nova Scotia, and my 8" rounds, 1 tier with 2 layers, BC iced and filled with minor work fondant accents, go out for $55.

That's as cheap as I can go.

One layer 8" rounds in our grocery store bakery are $9.99.
White, whipped frosting-y iced, 1 rose, shell border, rose buds in other corner. Piping gel writing.

9x13" sheet cakes, two layer, start at $24.99 for them.

My ingredients for that cake are in the $12-15 range, and my time is broken down into:
1) Make the fondant accents - colour, roll and cut out, a while ahead.
2) Make the cake - 15 minutes.
3) While cakes are cooking/cooling, make the BC, and get out cake boards. Reorganize the fridge icon_wink.gif
4) Fill with BC, crumb coat - 20-30 minutes depending on how many times the phone rings icon_wink.gif
5) Chill over night
6) Delivery day - final BC coat, border, writing, ribbons (if needed) supplied by them, and given to me 2 weeks ahead. Add dried fondant accents.
7) Clean up, clean up, clean up.

So $40 for my time ain't a whole lot.

...and I would charge extra for the grad cap - excellent work, by the way icon_smile.gif

Flowers? Forget it.
Order them online....and charge all costs associated with that.
I'll do the BC roses, and buds if they want them, but no fondant accents.

Now, depending on what you did end up charging, maybe I should think about raising my rate!! LOL

HTH!!!

icon_smile.gif

pursuing_perfection Posted 2 Jul 2010 , 5:18am
post #9 of 23

Thanks CBMom. It is reassuring to hear what others charge and why. I live far enough away that I won't be underselling you! If I make another cake like this, I will charge a little more.

I guess I would rather make a cake a week with a decent profit margin than a cake a day for very little profit.

Bfisher2 Posted 2 Jul 2010 , 5:27am
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by pursuing_perfection



I live in rural Manitoba, Canada...so I could never charge what they do in LA or New York! Having said that, I want to balance charging enough to make it worth my while but not charging so much that I can't build a business.




If your serious about your business you cant build one low balling your prices. Your cake was very nice and your work was clean and neat... You deserve to charge at least what your competetors do. icon_smile.gif

CBMom Posted 2 Jul 2010 , 7:02am
post #11 of 23

You're welcome icon_smile.gif

I should have been more clear that it is my 8" round cake that ingredients cost $12-15.

It's eye opening when you actually add up costs:
1 cake mix - I try to get them at WalMart on sale for $1.50, and stock up.
1/2 instant pudding - $0.50
1/2 cooked pudding - $1.00
4 eggs - $1.00
1/2 pkg of Dream Whip $0.50
Icing sugar - one bag $3.00
Canola oil - 1/2 cup, I think...say $0.25
1/2 pound butter $2.50
1/2 pound shortening $1.50
Vanilla, butter favouring, apple cider vinegar, foil, disposable icing bags, electricity, fondant costs vary, cake boards, cake pan release, dish soap (have any idea of how much dish soap we go through while making a cake?? Trust me, I go through a lot!! LOL! )etc, etc.

And that's not even taking into account the cost of pans, or any of the other "fun" stuff that I had to have icon_wink.gif

Once I actually added it all up, I stopped trying to "compete" with anyone else, including the grocery store!! LOL!

One lady here makes cakes and charges the SAME price as the grocery store bakery.

She does lovely BC sheet cakes, and whips 'em out like nobody's business...

I think she must be affected by all the powdered sugar!! LOL!

Here's my website - I'm almost ready to "go live" - just need some more pictures uploaded to my gallery. Feel free to let me know what you think! icon_smile.gif
www.aceilidhcake.weebly.com

Goodness, I've rambled on!!

Happy Caking!
icon_smile.gif

becky4444 Posted 2 Jul 2010 , 10:34am
post #12 of 23

CBMom, just had a peek at your website and I thought it was great, very friendly. The only point I would make is that I found it less obvious where your gallery was! I did find it, but maybe you could put it before your pricing so that customers see your work and then check out your cost. Just a thought

pursuing_perfection Posted 2 Jul 2010 , 2:34pm
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bfisher2

Quote:
Originally Posted by pursuing_perfection



I live in rural Manitoba, Canada...so I could never charge what they do in LA or New York! Having said that, I want to balance charging enough to make it worth my while but not charging so much that I can't build a business.



If your serious about your business you cant build one low balling your prices. Your cake was very nice and your work was clean and neat... You deserve to charge at least what your competetors do. icon_smile.gif




Thanks Bfisher2. My problem is that I am still trying to figure out who my competitors are. I would not consider the local grocery stores competition...and while the local bakery does some very nice wedding cakes, they do not do much 3-D.

pursuing_perfection Posted 2 Jul 2010 , 5:47pm
post #14 of 23

CBMom, I have checked out your website, and I would have to agree that your cake gallery pics need to be more prominent. Perhaps have the gallery listed on the sidebar right below your home page. People definitely need to see your cakes before they see your prices! Also, I would put the cake serving guide in with the cake prices. Just a few suggestions. Someone else may have an even better idea!

Thanks for your ideas on pricing!

Kiddiekakes Posted 2 Jul 2010 , 5:58pm
post #15 of 23

I charge $50.00 for a 9x13 and $110.00 for a 11x15.The grocery stores here like Safeway,Sobey's,Co-op and Superstore charge $24.99 for a single layer 9x13.The bigger slabs I'm not sure of.The Co-op started selling the Decopac signature 3D cakes kits about 2 years ago and they started at $49.99 but have since gone up to $69.99 so really their 3D cake kits aren't that cheap either...

CBMom Posted 2 Jul 2010 , 6:33pm
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by pursuing_perfection

CBMom, I have checked out your website, and I would have to agree that your cake gallery pics need to be more prominent. Perhaps have the gallery listed on the sidebar right below your home page. People definitely need to see your cakes before they see your prices! Also, I would put the cake serving guide in with the cake prices. Just a few suggestions. Someone else may have an even better idea!

Thanks for your ideas on pricing!




Thank you for looking! icon_smile.gif

I think it does too...it's where it is right now beacuse I'm behind on uploading the rest of pictures to the gallery! LOL And the picture with the little boy needs to be replaced with a picture without him in it. And his mom is sending one along, eventually icon_smile.gif

So, I didn't want to highlight the "unfinished" bit quite yet.

I made the website for the conference manager at one of the hotels in our area. She knows my work, and she asked if I could photocopy a few pictures for her to show couples.

We did that, and then I thought, well, hey, good a time as any to try the website thing. And can encompass all the questions, sizes and pricing.

And, just looks better than photocopies!! LOL!

She doesn't have the link to the site yet.
Just my CC friends icon_biggrin.gif

Thanks again!

Donnabugg Posted 3 Jul 2010 , 12:46am
post #17 of 23

I like your site...it's classy and simple...not too much information which can easily be overwhelming and a turn-off but enough of the basic info...I think you pretty much nalied it thumbs_up.gif

CBMom Posted 3 Jul 2010 , 5:38pm
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnabugg

I like your site...it's classy and simple...not too much information which can easily be overwhelming and a turn-off but enough of the basic info...I think you pretty much nalied it thumbs_up.gif




Thanks Donnabugg!!

All of you, your comments are so much appreciated. It's hard to know if you've got it "just right".
Just like making a cake, I suppose! LOL!

Weebly was really easy to work with. We're going to upgrade to the domain hosting service, that will drop the "weebly" in the middle of the name. I'm hoping they send me another coupon before I do! icon_biggrin.gif

I've just about finished the Facebook page.

Now, I've got to go finish the cheesecake for tomorrow...hmmmm, another Ceilidh Cake page!!

icon_smile.gif

pursuing_perfection Posted 3 Jul 2010 , 7:44pm
post #19 of 23

OKAY, I know we have gotten off topic (from Cake prices to websites to cheesecakes), but as the OP, I am still enjoying this post!

"Now, I've got to go finish the cheesecake for tomorrow...hmmmm, another Ceilidh Cake page!! "

I just finished making a birthday cheesecake (White Chocolate-Raspberry) for tomorrow! Any ideas what to cover it with (other than your basic chocolate ganache)?

Definitely consider selling cheesecakes on your site.

CBMom Posted 3 Jul 2010 , 8:11pm
post #20 of 23

Oh, I'm sorry...I sooooo highjacked your thread icon_smile.gif

But enjoying all the cake chat and suggestions thumbs_up.gif

I'm doing Shirley and Sari's wrapping a cake in chocolate...so easy, and looks just gorgeous!!

Filling in the top with raspberries and blueberries, and drizzle white chocolate.

Yummmmmmooo!!

icon_smile.gif

pursuing_perfection Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 3:38am
post #21 of 23

CBMom: "I'm doing Shirley and Sari's wrapping a cake in chocolate...so easy, and looks just gorgeous!!"

At the risk of sounding stupid...please explain! I tried to search "Shirley and Sari's wrapping a cake in chocolate", but couldn't find anything. Is it a technique on this site?

Please post a picture of the cheesecake. I have been making cheesecakes for years, but have never done much other than the chocolate ganache and whipping cream to dress them up.

CBMom Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 5:29am
post #22 of 23

Oh yes!
It's right at the top of the Cake Deorating forum...just there in the stickies..
Wrapping a Cake in Chocolate pictorial..

Just a second, I'll post a link - which I should have done in the first place!! icon_smile.gif

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-599861.html

There you go!!
Prepare to have your family fall at your feet icon_biggrin.gif

LOL!!!

pursuing_perfection Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 8:01pm
post #23 of 23

Thanks CBMom. I will follow the link right away. Mmm, I can hardly wait! icon_smile.gif

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