I ran across the following ad posted on Craigslist with the subject being "I need a professional quality cakes"... Thought you all would enjoy it
"I am having a baby shower in August and i have been looking for a cake i like but nothing has turned up. Everyone i have talked to is asking a arm and a leg to make a cake. If anyone knows anyone who makes a decent cake. Please drop me a email or something. I am trying to get it all planned out. It being my 1st i want it to be special.. Thanks"
So...she wants it to be"special" but she's not interested in paying for it...really???
Is she planning her own baby shower?
Oh and right below that ad is the following...
"DOES ANYONE MAKE CUSTOM CAKES - Cheap! but good"
Love it! Don't they think about how that sounds? Apparently not, lol!
I got a business "lead" the other day for a wedding cake for 165 people with a budget of $50-100. Can you even get sheet cake tat Walmart o feed that many with that budget?
It's the Cake Boss (TLC), FoodNetwork Challenge mentality. They see the beautifully created cakes and want a replicated show-piece but don't want to pay for it. My company contacted Ace of Cakes for their 50th anniversary cake and they were quoted $15-25 per slice, which roughly translated into close to $40,000. Was I shocked? Kind of, and not so much. All the detail work needed, the time, supplies, etc.
I can't tell you how many times I've been told 'well, that's a bit much for something that I can't keep forever'. Well, we all have choices and best of luck. I am proud of my cakes, and pride myself even more on listening to my customers to give them what they ask for, and most times even exceeding their expectations.
Pink; not trying to top you BUT I had a former colleague ask me to just bake three cakes, fill them, and her daughter would decorate it. It's for a wedding in October. Then she says to me that she thinks that should SIGNIFICANTLY reduce my price. It will cause I won't be doing that.
Yet some women don't even blink at a $60 haircut and $100 worth of highlights that will last a couple weeks.
I seriously almost bought the lead to tell her she is crazy. And Cayk... my cakes would be cheaper if I didn't have to bake, level, torte, fill, ice, and stack them
Here is one better.....
Someone called me wanting a cake (one week's notice) for her daughter's sweet 16 party. There will be 85 people attending, but she wants me to do a cake to feed 30 people. This will keep the cost down and besides there will be a chocolate fountain at the party.
I would love to be a fly on the wall when they are trying to decide who will get a piece of cake....
Yet some women don't even blink at a $60 haircut and $100 worth of highlights that will last a couple weeks.
I know right? Yet I'm so the opposite. I would be happy to spend $200 on my hair and I would ALSO spend $200+ on an occasion cake! The point being a little moot since I don't have $200+ to spend on either...LOL! But I believe in spending money on experiences versus tangible things.
Hmmmmm...maybe would explain why I can't figure out where my money goes..
Hehe Maria, that's too funny! And accurate! But like you, I believe that some things in life are worth a few bucks. There are plenty of places to cheap out, but there are some where you really have to let go and remember it's only money. Just like you made this $, you'll make more. Not that I'm saying people should spend recklessly of course, but I think you know where I'm coming from!
I am definitely a newbie and am still learning just how valuable my time is. I had 4 cakes to make last week, 3 for Saturday and one for Monday. I'd been getting ready since Tuesday, baking, freezing, etc. I had a last minute caller on Friday wanting one for Saturday. I told her I would do it, but had to charge her a rush fee. She him-hawed and said she'd try someone local. She did at least call me back to cancel her order. It's hard to be "mean" and stick to your guns, but my hubby is trying to beat into me (not literally of course), just how valuable my time is and the more work I do for clients the more I'm learning that myself.
Just thought I'd pop in my 2 cents worth...
It's hard to be "mean" and stick to your guns...
I know exactly what you mean, and I agree 110%. But the thing is, we're not being mean by maintaining a sense of professionalism, so why do we feel like we are? I'm smooshy like that too. Feel bad for someone if I have to say no. Like I'm disappointing them and it's ALL MY FAULT! It's stupid.
We feel guilty when we say no because society teaches that women should be the 'pleasers'. We should feel empowered when we say no.
YES!! Thank you! You are exactly right!
I have people calling and emailing all the time saying "Oh I just love your cakes and my (husband, daughter, best friend's cousin's uncle) would love a cake made like (iPhone, car, house, Eiffel Tower)" and then when I tell them the price they say "Oh." And then I feel GUILTY. Like I am the one keeping their loved one from the cake of their dreams! Ugh.
No doubt. And then when they 'settle' for the cheaper version of something you feel like you ruined everything by making them get a 'cheap' cake. Ugh. We MUST cleanse our brains of this scourge!
We teach people how to treat us...
Wimpy little 'yes, stepmother, yes, stepsister; treat me worse than a dog and I'll lick your shoes clean'.
I always want to yell at the girl to
STAND UP FOR YOURSELF YOU LITTLE TWIT!
The fact is that females ARE the nurturing gender, and that trait tends to send us off in the direction of being the 'pleasers' as well. We want to please our babies as we care for them when they're first born - we want them to be happy/content. It just seems like we never (or rarely) get off that train of thought or attitude in life. I think that's why so many divorced middle aged women are happy living with no followup man, as the woman is just plain tired of serving and pleasing. I GET IT!!!!!
Man, oh man, I LOVE that Cinderella anecdote. If I ever have a granddaughter, I will add that in when I read that story to her. LOVE it!!!
Take an oath, cakers: do NOT feel guilty about your prices if someone can't afford them. The Lexus dealer does NOT feel guilty if you leave the showroom empty handed because you can't afford the Lexus. And we shouldn't either.
Being a guy definitely doesn't make it any easier to say no.
When it comes to prices, though, I make it very clear that they're getting they're money's worth. If they want to save money, I'll offer a more cost effective option, or if that still isn't good enough, I'll give them directions to the closest Walmart/Costco for a delicious $15 slab cake that's been frozen at least 3 times, shipped and hastily decorated with 'icing'.
I know!!! Why is it that we feel "mean" when we say we're booked. I always feel that way. And, I've had customers be very rude when I tell them that I am all booked up for the next xx weeks. I even had one lady accuse me of not running my business properly. I was like, "WHAT THE F$##**! Did u really just say this!!?" but I really said, "I am so sorry, but I am not a bakery. I am a custom cake shop and the only employee." and she hung up on me.
I always feel guilty about my prices. I've had meetings with brides who have beautiful highlights and manicured hands and are carrying a $500 handbag...and they just snarl at what a cake will cost them. And I swear if I get another pampered polished bride who says, "it's just flour and sugar" to me...I will do something drastic. It's more art than food people! Not everyone can do this job! It takes talent and training and a lot of time!!! I just feel so unappreciated sometimes!
I'm doing a stand up 3d ariel cake, like 3 feet tall, for my daughters birthday. My friend was checking out the structure and of course asked..."Soooo what would you charge for something like this?"
Knowing her reaction would be the same if I said $200 or $2000, seriously the same. I said, without batting an eyelash. "It would be about a $1,000, and that's if you could get the copyright." I'd actually probably charge someone about $600 since I haven't perfected it yet, but it would be the same sticker shock reaction no matter what I said, so what the heck.
Once at the bakery I worked for we had been so slammed for cakes I was told not to accept any more orders. I didn't. I even turned down a desperate guy who just wanted a boob cake for a bachelors party. Nothing fancy...just boobs (we were the only bakery in town that did 'dirty' cakes) and we normally would have accommodated such an order...but there are just so many hours in the day and they were all filled. The two bakers (I did not bake or decorate at the time) were working into wee hours of the morning as it was. Oh...the guy offered to pay $500 for the cake (it would have normally cost around $150). We still had to say no. He did not understand...but whether it's time or price, sometimes you just have to!
I'm surprised someone didn't offer to do it for him on the side and take the $ difference. I shudder to say I might have.
I recently was put in touch with a friends client. The friend is a caterer, and the client is planning his & his fiance's wedding for next year. My friend recommended me for his wedding cake because he had a very special request.
So, I return his call, and he's very nice and knows EXACTLY what he's looking for, which is always refreshing. He tells me that for their wedding cake, he wants to surprise his bride with an exact replica of a painting he did for her that she loves. I thought, "Wow, that's a great idea!" So he sends me a link to the painting, and I must say, it was beautiful. It's an abstract of a building in the French Quarter. Bold colors, funky angles...nice.
So I get some details from him (# of servings, flavors, etc.) and tell him that for 3D cakes I start at X number of dollars/serving. I explained that details like the intricate woodwork, wrought iron railings, dentil moldings, and hip metal roof were going to be VERY time consuming. He was like, "Fine, price is no object...she will be thrilled...have to have this cake..." He was VERRRRY talkative lol . He told me their whole engagement story (which revolved around this painting), yada yada. Really nice guy. Then he asks me for a sketch of the cake. Hmmm. No one has ever asked me for a sketch of the cake, but I know it's not unusual, so I was like "Sure." I just thought it was strange to ask for a sketch of a painting, especially when he wanted the painting reproduced EXACTLY. I then tell him that I'll calculate the price , and work up a preliminary sketch and get back to him within 5 days (told him my father-in-law was in the hosp and couldn't get it to him before then). Okie dokie.
Well, this guy starts to stalk me a day and a half later. Phone messages/texts DAILY, asking if I can get it done early, changing details, asking specific questions about size/details. I called him back the first couple of times to remind him of the timeline we'd agreed on. After that, I didn't bother. He continued to call/text. Nice messages, nothing ugly, but RELENTLESS. So I figure the price and do the sketches. Fax the whole thing to him on the specified, which is what we'd agreed upon. He immediately calls me back, asking tons of questions about everything...color/size/shape of cake board (really), etc. Again, courteous, but soooo nit-picky. I was on the phone with him for almost an hour. I mean, questioning the color on a SKETCH??? But his biggest concern was the price, of course. I didn't waste my time trying to justify why I quoted the price I did. Finally, he seemed satisfied and told me he'd get back to me. I got off the phone and told my husband that I HOPED this guy didn't call back. I'd love to do the cake, I said, just not for this guy.
Guess what??? Haven't heard from him. And I couldn't be happier.
My favorite line is when they tell me, "I've just lost my job, but want a nice cake for my ....."
I feel bad, but I can't give freebies to all the charity cases.
When I wasn't able to afford a fondant cake, I opted for what I could afford.
I had a girl ask me if I can throw in delivery. The place was over 30 miles from my house. I guess she got me on bad day and I told her that when I went to the gas station I can't ask them to throw in a few extra gallons of gas for the trip.
She LOL'ed me and said I was right.