Keep Losing Oders Due To Price So Frustrating.

Decorating By mindy1204 Updated 6 Jul 2010 , 6:57am by tinygoose

mindy1204 Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 12:06pm
post #1 of 23

I have lost 2 orders this week due to price. The first one was a carved gator head in 2 D. It was to feed 30 people and I quoted them $80, they told me they found it for $39.

The next was a 2 tier with cherry bloosoms and limbs on all sides of the cake, and owls sitting on the branches. She also wanted 60 cupcakes with either the cherry blossoms or the owls on them. I charged her $3 a serving, 20 for the decorations (way to low in my opinion) and $2 for cupcakes and $20 for delivery which is 40-50 miles away. Oh and the cake was for Saturday. I know that is alot of money for a cake for a kids birthday but I am cheaper than the other bakeries in town and I am comparable to the grocery stores in town.

She emailed me back and said I know the time involved and you are very talented but that is just more than they can spend. I have made cakes for less for acquatiances so I am sure she thought it would be less, but she did look on my website and my prices are clearly there.

I am just getting so frustrated... maybe this isnt what direction I should be going in. I keep lowering my prices for people in hopes to get more business and the business never comes. I cant keep doing cakes for nothing.

Anyway that is my morning vent.

22 replies
RosieC Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 1:40pm
post #2 of 23

I don't think anyone can really understand the time and energy spent on doing this sort of business unless they do it...that's why they can't understand the prices.

crumbtious Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 2:02pm
post #3 of 23

Soooo frustrating. Some people think cakes can be conjoured up out of thin air!

nana_marta Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 2:05pm
post #4 of 23

They found a carved gator head to feed 30 people for $39???Good grief- that big discount place no doubt! And anyone who wants so much details on cake s for a child's birthday should relly be prepared to pay the price. Especially if they are posted on your web site! Too bad for them that they are missing out on your wonderful delicious cakes!

Now chin up, deep breath and repeat- I am a talented cake decorator with many great clients. This has been a set back week, yes, but I will get over it and get on with it!

you can always PM me and vent anytime. And here a a few HUGS HUGS HUGS to get you through! icon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gif

PinkLisa Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 2:09pm
post #5 of 23

Some people just cannot or don't want to spend a lot on a cake. It's no reflection on you or your talent. Try to market to those who can or want to. They are out there.

leah_s Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 2:18pm
post #6 of 23

I'm confused. When you carve a cake it's it gong to be a 3D cake? How do you carve a gator head and it's still 2D?

mindy1204 Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 2:29pm
post #7 of 23

Leah it was the carved head but was flat. Look at this link... I was not going to use the star tip I was going to flood it with icing so it would be smoother and with crisper lines.

http://www.gatorcakes.com/gator%20head%20and%20rolled%20fondant%20diploma%202.jpg

Joyfull4444 Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 2:44pm
post #8 of 23

They probably found the gater head cake for cheap cause the baker had the pan. If you've got the pan, less work right off so you can offer it cheaper than carving by hand. That being said, 39 bux even if its starred in is pretty darn low. Can't imagine making much profit.

The pan is here if you're interested for future cakes.

http://www.gatorshop.com/gator-merchandise/silicone-gator-head-cake-pan.htm

mindy1204 Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 2:48pm
post #9 of 23

Yeah I saw when I was searcing for the link the pan. I was going to carve it by hand but I do see that the pan would make it even easier.

Honestly I am frustrated with losing sales, everyone says I should open a bakery but come on, if you are willing to pay the price without overhead my prices will go up with the overhead and no one would really buy it.

Vkandis Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 3:22pm
post #10 of 23

Mindy, sorry for your pain. This by no means is an indictment of your prices rather I am trying to make a different point. Ask yourself this question, could you have made the cake for $39 (this is based off the image link you posted)? Or rather what would it have required you to do to make that cake for $39?

I would assume that you could make the cake for $39--but that would likely mean compromising taste (lower quality ingredients in both cake and icing) and the quality of your decorating (less detail, more simplistic design etc). Now of course this would make a cake you likely do not want to attach your name to but I bet you could make it where it would appeal to the client who was looking to only pay around $40.

It is not your prices, it is the client. Have seen people say that people do not know what goes into cakes--that maybe true. But also it is likely that what they have in mind is not what the decorator has in mind. They are not looking for edible (great tasting) art, they are looking for something to celebrate with. Put it this way I love making pizza. I can make a pizza using premade crust, bottled sauce and shredded cheese, sprinkle it with some Italian Seasoning and it will taste pretty good. However I make better dough, sauce, and use a combination of fontina, parmesan (not from the green can), and high quality mozzarella.

It takes me much longer to make the latter than the formerand the cost is much higher. The latter, of course, tastes, smells, and looks (cannot underestimate visual appeal) much better than the former. Now if someone came to me and said make me a pizza what do you charge? If I quoted them the price for the latter but they were simply looking for some dough with sauce and cheese on it they would scoff. But hey they get what they pay for, and if that is what they want I cannot sell them the much better tasting one as it is not possible to make it for the price of premade dough, jarred sauce and shredded cheese.

Look at this way, you did not lose business because they were not your potential clients. They do not want the service you are providing, just as there are those that do not want to pay for artisan style pizzas because they can get Little Caesars for $5. And do you want that businessfolks who would require you to compromise your craft because they are simply looking for a cheap cake to celebrate with? If you are in an area that can support your craft, you will find your clients.

iamcakin Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 3:35pm
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vkandis


Look at this way, you did not lose business because they were not your potential clients. They do not want the service you are providing, just as there are those that do not want to pay for artisan style pizzas because they can get Little Caesars for $5. And do you want that businessfolks who would require you to compromise your craft because they are simply looking for a cheap cake to celebrate with? If you are in an area that can support your craft, you will find your clients.




EXCELLENT point, and very well said!! thumbs_up.gif

Welcome to CC, Vkandis icon_smile.gif

Bfisher2 Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 3:54pm
post #12 of 23

Dont worry about the tire kickers. There are people whom will pay what you are asking (waaaaay to low in my opinion). They will come. Dont make appologies to anyone for your pricing. Lots of people walk down rodeo drive...not everyone can buy there right... icon_wink.gif

laurs_1981 Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 4:06pm
post #13 of 23

I always undersell myself. I bake on then side, I have a full-time job and this is just smthg that I picked up. To get started, i would do a lot of freebies, donations, or sell a 2tier for $25. Was barely paying for my ingredients let alone paying for my "spare time". I would get REALLY frustrated. Here I am, NO time to just relax as very weeknigt and weekend was fillng orders and I was barely making ends meet.
I've started charging a bit more. Its been REALLY difficult because I was afraid ppl wouldn't buy. But what I've learned is that those who really want it and really APPRECIATE what I've done, they have no problem paying me.
You don't want those customers that won't pay in full. I've even stopped (mostly) getting suckered in to geting under paid for events at work or items for friends because it cuts into the paying orders.
I think you just have to step back, see your talent for what it is, and tell yourslf over and over that you're worth it.
There will always be somebody better, or cheaper. But if they want it, they'll come.
That's my 2 cents.

snocilla Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 4:45pm
post #14 of 23

DO NOT lower your prices! A lot of marketing has to do with perceived value. You may actually get more busines by raising your prices. Think of it this way. You are more expensive than Walmart, so people who want a Walmart cake see you as too expensive. You are less expensive than the nice bakeries, so people assume that since you are less expensive, the quality is not as good. Therefore, people who are looking for a very upscale cake (brides, etc) think that because you sell them cheap, you must not have the experience or skill to make something exceptional. If you raise your prices, people will assume you have a higher standard of work and you will attract a different subset(the subset that you actually want) of customers.

Sorry if I am rambling, but I hope this makes sense.

ptanyer Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 4:50pm
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Quote:

I am just getting so frustrated... maybe this isnt what direction I should be going in. I keep lowering my prices for people in hopes to get more business and the business never comes. I cant keep doing cakes for nothing.




Do you make cakes as a full time business, or is this a hobby that is working up to a full time business? The customers you are "losing" are actually doing you a favor! Why knock yourself out putting all the time and effort into a cake that is barely covering your expenses, not to mention your time, effort and artistry?

I decided from the very beginning that I was not going to work for free (unless I was doing so for a gift, which is my choice). I have people tell me all the time that I should have a storefront, that my "talents" are being wasted on my full time job. That's nice to hear and strokes my ego, but I know that I cannot operate a business based on other people's comments. I had thought to work up to a full time business, but finally decided that I am happier doing the cake when people understand that I don't make cakes for free, that I use the best possible ingredients and give it my all. They are getting a custom cake that is created just for them and they understand the price tag on that custom cake.

People that price shop for cakes don't understand that you get what you pay for in terms of taste and qualtiy of presentation. The next time you are in a grocery store, or big chain store that offers cakes, take a few minutes and look at what they actually offer. There is no real comparison. People that utilize those services are not cake enthusiasts, any more than someone who drinks wine can make wine. It's all relative to what you want for your special occasion - just a cake that no one will remember, or the star of the event?

Learn to not take customers so personally. It's not a reflection on your skills as a cake maker and decorator, it's a reflection of the kind of customer they are. Think of yourself as providing an exclusive service with comparable prices and work smarter, not harder icon_smile.gif

Kitagrl Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 4:56pm
post #16 of 23

You just have to find the right customer base, and you haven't found it yet. All you need is one or two higher income customers who then tell their higher income friends and it will become a competition who can get the nicest cakes from the boutique cake lady! Honest!!!

Keep your prices up and your work professional, and they will come.

catlharper Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 5:00pm
post #17 of 23

As I said to someone else here recently...those are not your customers, those are Costco's customers...your clients will find you if you keep putting yourself out there. Notice I said Costco has "customers" and you have "clients"...that's because you are a quality cake artist..not a "fast food" cake chain. You will never fit everyone's budget but those who want your works of art will pony up the money.

I'm about to go deliver a 125.00 birthday cake that feeds 18...3D cake for an 80th birthday. Now does everyone have that kind of money, no, most have the 25.00 for a Costco cake...but those who do will spend it on quality.

Cat

carmijok Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 5:01pm
post #18 of 23

If you are relying on word of mouth then you may be only selling to the people who've purchased your cake at a bargain rate. And those are people who don't understand and probably don't care if your cake is custom or the quality of your ingredients. You need to market yourself to a more upscale audience.

Btrfly578 Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 8:34pm
post #19 of 23

@Vkandis You make an excellent point. I will definitely keep that in mind.

indydebi Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 8:57pm
post #20 of 23

You will always lose some customers because of price. You will always have customers who are thrilled to get a unique cake no matter what they pay. It's just part of the biz.

I know a photographer who is in the mid-high price range and he's working to become even more expensive. There are many MANY who just cannot afford him. However, he also lost a potential client because the groom said, "How good can he be if he's less than $10,000?" icon_eek.gif

My photographer friend immediately added a $10,000 package to his list. He told me he was not EVER going to lose another client because he was perceived as "too cheap". thumbs_up.gif

Btrfly578 Posted 4 Jul 2010 , 9:25pm
post #21 of 23

@Vkandis You make an excellent point. I will definitely keep that in mind.

Faithbound Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 6:19am
post #22 of 23

I have done all of my cakes for free or extremely cheap. Recently I decided that I was sick of doing all that work for nothing. The first price list I came up with my mother in law said I was still under-charging. So, together we came up with what we feel is fair, and worth my time. I had someone ask me to do a two tier wedding cake, with peace signs and psychadellic design. I offered to do the cake for $75! Even though it was costing me $45-50 just for ingredients and such. Basically, I would have done three days worth of work for $25! That person said I was still too high. I called the local bakeries asking what they would charge for such a cake. The cheapest one was around $275, not to mention everyone on CC who told me they would charge upwards of $400!

Don't lower your prices, raise your patience.

tinygoose Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 6:57am
post #23 of 23

"People balk at the lowest prices." ~Colette Peters

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