Need Help With A "tactful" Reply To Cheap Person!

Decorating By nhbaker Updated 23 Jul 2010 , 11:56pm by JulieMN

nhbaker Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 3:15pm
post #1 of 17

I live in a typical small rural community where "people talk" and reputations can suffer because of it. My name is just starting to be known for my "awesome cakes".

My delimma is I've got a friend (used to work with my dad and is currently my niece's boss) that wants a cake for her 50th birthday to feed around 50 people. She presented me with mulitple ideas/things about herself that she wanted to be incoporated into her cake. I was able to narrow it down to a couple ideas for her and sketched out designs of a disco themed cake and one of a "flip flop" themed cake - which took me quite awhile. I also found a picture of another flip-flop cake (not mine) that I thought she might like.

I emailed her the ideas last night and told her that given the amount of cake she needs and the sugarwork, etc. that's involved, cost would be around $100+/-.

Her reply "I'll check them out but that is more than I had budgeted for cake" (she couldn't open the pics on her blackberry). Then after she sees the pics, this is what she writes "after now seeing the pictures I understand why you want $100. Those are far more elaborate than I was thinking. I had thought just a sheet cake. Its a cookout party, nothing fancy. I like the picture of the round one that wasn't all stacked. Is it possible to do something along that theme but perhaps in a sheet?

As a personal preference (and that fact that the are too many other places that you can get them) I do not offer sheet cakes. And the round one she is referring to has a lot of fondant work on it - not a simple cake!

I know how I'd like to reply . . . icon_twisted.gif but since I don't want to risk negative "small town talk" can anyone suggest a tactful way of getting through to people like this?

16 replies
leah_s Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 3:25pm
post #2 of 17

"I'm sorry but I don't offer sheet cakes. Perhaps you should try (insert name of bakery.)"

alvarezmom Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 3:32pm
post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

"I'm sorry but I don't offer sheet cakes. Perhaps you should try (insert name of bakery.)"




I say this allot "sorry but I dont offer XYZ" more than I'd like to. But that is the nicest way in my book. You cant make something you dont offer, and suggesting another bakery or home baker that you know does will go along way.

indydebi Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 3:38pm
post #4 of 17

But this is exactly why your first question is ALWAYS, "How much were you looking to spend?"

Texas_Rose Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 4:01pm
post #5 of 17

"My price per serving is the same, whether the cake is a large round or several tiers, because it still takes the same amount of ingredients. Since you're a long-time friend of the family, I was quoting you a much lower price than I would give to a regular customer, but I totally understand if you need to get the cake somewhere else to stay within your budget. No hard feelings, and I hope your birthday celebration is wonderful!"

mim1106 Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 4:04pm
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

"My price per serving is the same, whether the cake is a large round or several tiers, because it still takes the same amount of ingredients. Since you're a long-time friend of the family, I was quoting you a much lower price than I would give to a regular customer, but I totally understand if you need to get the cake somewhere else to stay within your budget. No hard feelings, and I hope your birthday celebration is wonderful!"




Perfect.

chellescountrycakes Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 4:04pm
post #7 of 17

I get it alot too. And I dont do sheet cakes. I cant pipe. LOL Thats what I tell people.



I run into the same problem. and whats sad is in this town, SOOO many people are trying to keep up with the jones' and dont have alot of money, they will say "I got it from so and so, and it was a great price" well THEIR 'great price' and someone else's 'great price' are WAY differnt. I have had people call me wanting a 'simple' 10 inch round 2 layer with fondant all over it (yes, simple cake, just covered in fondant and then with cookie cutter fondant accents) for 20.00- But I still make all the fondant, bake all the cakes etc. (y'all know the drill) and yes it CAN be made for 20.00- but I am NOT an assambely line. I wont do it.

I have a woman who is having her daughter's 16th birthday party, we are talking 200.00 dress, 400.00 hall, 70 plus kids , the whole nine yards. She wanted a zebra 2 tier cake with a bow to match the dress. No problem. I quoted her the price. That was too much. she is going with 2 10inch rounds with zebra for 55.00. It will be a CUTE cake- But I just made the same cake, with an additional 6 inch teir on top for a smaller party at home, with no big todo.

These cake shows need to tell people that the FIRST thing you budget is the FOOD. cake and dinner/snacks etc. THEN you go with the rest.

They think because they buy a mix and can of icing for 4.00 we should charge 20.00 for a 3 tier fondant covered royal iced dream cake.

indydebi Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 4:09pm
post #8 of 17

"I dont' have walmart prices. BUt then, you won't find my cakes at walmart, either!" icon_twisted.gif

Texas_Rose Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 4:13pm
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by chellescountrycakes

I have had people call me wanting a 'simple' 10 inch round 2 layer with fondant all over it (yes, simple cake, just covered in fondant and then with cookie cutter fondant accents) for 20.00- But I still make all the fondant, bake all the cakes etc. (y'all know the drill) and yes it CAN be made for 20.00- but I am NOT an assambely line. I wont do it.




But how much would you really make on a cake like that? My ingredients run about that much for that size (I know because that's my standard size for family birthdays) and that's not including the box.

indydebi Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 4:16pm
post #10 of 17

I also think people don't realize a 10" round cake serves close to 40 people. And when you're feeding 40 people, you can't do it on 50 cents a person! icon_eek.gif

liha21 Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 4:34pm
post #11 of 17

I hate it when people want a sheet cake. I always try to talk them out of it, I should start saying that I don't offer sheet cakes.

I think Texas_rose said it very nicely. You cant' eat steak, but pay Mcdonalds prices for it.

maendings Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 5:19pm
post #12 of 17

the only sheet cakes I do are for funerals or memorial services; simple piping, no decorations or writing.

Tell her, I'm soooooo sorry I can't accomodate your budget this time, perhaps next time ( yeah, after you eat a cake from Coscto and choke on it!!!!!!!)

maendings Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 5:21pm
post #13 of 17

the only sheet cakes I do are for funerals or memorial services; simple piping, no decorations or writing.

Tell her, I'm soooooo sorry I can't accomodate your budget this time, perhaps next time ( yeah, after you eat a cake from Coscto and choke on it!!!!!!!)

chellescountrycakes Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 5:38pm
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

Quote:
Originally Posted by chellescountrycakes

I have had people call me wanting a 'simple' 10 inch round 2 layer with fondant all over it (yes, simple cake, just covered in fondant and then with cookie cutter fondant accents) for 20.00- But I still make all the fondant, bake all the cakes etc. (y'all know the drill) and yes it CAN be made for 20.00- but I am NOT an assambely line. I wont do it.




But how much would you really make on a cake like that? My ingredients run about that much for that size (I know because that's my standard size for family birthdays) and that's not including the box.




I wouldnt make anything- thats just it. LOL
as it is, I dont make much. LOL I charge 50-60. for that cake- Depending on what they want on it.

I always try to talk folks OUT of a sheet cake-- dont get me wrong- I'm making a sheet cake right now, and putting footballs and baseballs and basketballs etc all over it (3D ones) and covering the 'sheet' with grass the the balls with fondant.

BUT to me thats NOT a sheet cake. Sheet cakes are plain, with piping and thats it. sheet cakes are walmart. pure and simple. I dont ever want someone to walk up to a table and say "did you get that one at walmart or the grocery store?" when they see my cake.

Shannon1129 Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 7:23pm
post #15 of 17

I refuse to make sheet cakes. I just cannot bring myself to do it. I do offer to do rounds or a cupcake tower. I can usually sell the cupcake tower to someone interested in a sheet cake.

michel30014 Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 7:51pm
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mim1106

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

"My price per serving is the same, whether the cake is a large round or several tiers, because it still takes the same amount of ingredients. Since you're a long-time friend of the family, I was quoting you a much lower price than I would give to a regular customer, but I totally understand if you need to get the cake somewhere else to stay within your budget. No hard feelings, and I hope your birthday celebration is wonderful!"



Perfect.





Again, perfect answer!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JulieMN Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 11:56pm
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

"My price per serving is the same, whether the cake is a large round or several tiers, because it still takes the same amount of ingredients. Since you're a long-time friend of the family, I was quoting you a much lower price than I would give to a regular customer, but I totally understand if you need to get the cake somewhere else to stay within your budget. No hard feelings, and I hope your birthday celebration is wonderful!"




You've a way with words.....this is perfect, factual and tactful.

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