Ugh....people! (Very Long Vent)

Business By tootie0809 Updated 4 Aug 2010 , 3:07am by tinygoose

tootie0809 Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 1:37pm
post #1 of 25

Sorry for the very long forthcoming vent, but I just have to do it and get it off my chest.

I met with a mom and bride a couple months ago and they booked their 4-tier cake with me for her wedding this month. At the consult, I could tell mom was a little taken aback by the price of the cake but booked it anyway. (The daughter wanted a 3-tier, but mom insisted on a 4-tier and then couldnt believe the price difference between a 3- and 4-tier, as if adding that extra 15-inch tier is supposed to only be an extra $50.00 or so..grrrrrr). Anyway, they book it that day and put down the deposit.

I get a phone call from mom yesterday saying they have had an increase in the amount of guests they are expecting (300+ now) and need to order sheet cakes. I explain to her that my sheet cakes are kitchen cakes and explained the difference. My kitchen cakes are priced by the serving as well, but they are drastically reduced from the cost of a decorated cake ($3.75/serving for regular fondant cake and $1.85/serving for kitchen cakes..Hello thats almost $2.00 LESS!) The mom wants to go with two 12-inch square kitchen cakes for a total of about 144 extra servings. I give her the total of $260.00 for the 2 extra kitchen cakes and she literally goes off on me saying that Im so expensive to begin with and that everyone else Ive talked to says I am way overpaying for this cake already and that how in the world can 2 cakes be $260.00 when they arent even decorated? I explained the pricing difference between the standard serving price and the kitchen serving price and reminded her of how many additional servings she was getting for that price. She continues on how ridiculous the pricing is. She tells me that a restaurant here in town has the best chocolate cake you will ever taste in your life and they sell a 10-pound cake that is probably the same size as your sheet cake for $30.00! and again continues to tell me how outrageous it is and that with the kitchen cakes the price of the 4-tier wedding cake is almost $1000.00 and its unbelievably ridiculous! I wouldnt budge on my pricing, but she ended up doing cupcakes instead of the kitchen cakes. (Turns out the venue also charges a $1.00/slice cutting fee and she was p.o.d about that as well.)

I cannot ever imagine walking into a restaurant or clothing store and berating the owner for their pricing because I cannot afford it. I have the common sense enough to know if I cant afford something, then I shop somewhere else. I honestly cant remember holding a gun to this womans head and forcing her to order from me. (Geez, maybe I did and I just was having a bad day that day! j/k))

This happened after 2 consults last week with who one was trying to convince me that they deserved a discount on the cake because they had sacrificed a lot to get married. (Hes from South America and met the bride on the internet and he moved here to marry her. Not sure how that is sacrificing, but I just looked and them and smiled and said I dont discount.) And the other one kept trying to trade out advertising on a local kids magazine here in town for childrens parties, which is absolutely not the market I am in for (parents here want a TLC Cake Boss cake for the price of a Walmart cake and think its ridiculous to spend hundreds of dollars on a birthday cake even though they want a holy-cow-wow cake!) So needless to say, after these 3 incidents the past week, Im a little chapped and a little cranky and needed to vent.

I live in an extremely cheap-ass community where everyone wants something for nothing and there are days I seriously want to shut my doors and just flip the bird to everyone who thinks I should work for pennies so their sweet dear daughter or only-bride-in-the-world can have the perfect wedding!

Okay, thanks for listening..sigh. I think I feel better. Now off to make a couple hundred hydrangea blossoms. Sorry for this extra-long novel!!!

24 replies
cakesdivine Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 1:51pm
post #2 of 25

So totally understand. I get that kind of crap often. Don't fret, they are just people who have champagne tastes, but have beer budgets. I have even told several people that I am not Walmart, my cakes are quality cakes, if they want Walmart prices then they will have to go to Walmart. Funny thing is, Walmart, last time I checked charged $1.85 per serving on a buttercream wedding cake that is very basic. Granted their sheet cakes are dirt cheap (and look and taste cheap too).

Be careful with those that have buyers remorse long before they have even paid the final bill. 9 times out of 10 they will "find" something unacceptable and undocumented with the cake and demand a refund. If you can give back the deposit and send them on their way I would do so asap! They sound like they are going to be a major thorn in your side from start to long after the finish.

itscake Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 1:55pm
post #3 of 25

HI tootie0809
I know exactly how you feel!!! been there done that!!...Hang in there Hun

tootie0809 Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 1:57pm
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesdivine

Be careful with those that have buyers remorse long before they have even paid the final bill. 9 times out of 10 they will "find" something unacceptable and undocumented with the cake and demand a refund. If you can give back the deposit and send them on their way I would do so asap! They sound like they are going to be a major thorn in your side from start to long after the finish.




I know! That's what I'm worried about. I actually did offer to give her her deposit back so she could find someone she felt was more reasonably priced, and she declined that offer, but yes, I do worry that this will be one I rue the day I took the order on. I had no idea she felt like this and actually was looking forward to this cake until this phone call yesterday. I also have another "momzilla" to get out of the way this weekend. Can't wait to get that one done, but I am almost 99% sure I will get a call the day or 2 later because this other mother has nothing better to do than pick apart every little detail.

I know this comes with the territory. For the most part the clients I have worked with have all been delightful, but every now and then you get the ones that suck the joy out of everything else.

mullett Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 2:14pm
post #5 of 25

Make sure that you take lots of pictures when you deliver. I have become so crazed that about two years ago I started taking what I call a "Test Plug" out of the center of each cake. I have some small plastic cups w/lids and I mark the name of the client and date made on the cup and freeze. I keep them for 9 months to a year. I have only had to use it once, but it saved my, "you know what".

DoubleA Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 2:15pm
post #6 of 25

OMG! I am feeling your pain/pissed-off-ness! Had a doctor at the hospital where I work ask me to make her kids' b-day cakes, one to look like Woody's hat, and the other to look like Jessie's hat, to feed 30 people, then 1 doz cc to match TS3 theme, and an additional 6 cc decorated with a maks ala SuperWhy/Whyatt, and another 6 cc decoration TBA. I quoted her $35.00/doz for the cuppies, and $70.00 each for the cakes. She decided that my pricing was way out of line and "she couldn't justify that for just a kid's party". I told her that "yes, CUSTOM cakes are expensive, and I hoped her kids' party was a success." COSTCO, here she comes!

tesso Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 2:37pm
post #7 of 25

oh please, please, please tell me you have a contract with these people???!!!

I am gazing into my crystal ball and I can see the future.

they are thinking.. "we'll just complain about something on the cake and get it for half price at least. We'll show her, over charging up like that. Ridiculous woman. Just wait we will get half off."

I am not meaning to add to your stress but forewarned is forearmed.

To prevent from having to deal with situations like this, I have turned people down on their cake orders after their taste testing. Once I see how they react to cost, plans etc. I consider my cake testing the "bridezilla screen test" icon_lol.gif I simply tell them " I dont think I can give you what you want. sorry. Nice meeting you, I wish you the best of luck in your future together."

I hope everything works out for you and please keep your contract, that I hope you have, very handy. Just in case. thumbs_up.gif

all4cake Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 2:39pm
post #8 of 25

We must be neighbors!

leah_s Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 2:42pm
post #9 of 25

Since I post my pricing on my website, I really just don't get those types of bargaining customers. They know my prices before they call for the consult.

Also, buy those flower blossoms. You have better things to do with your time, like marketing. Flower blossoms are both cheap and lovely and you can dust or airbrush them for customization.

www.avalondeco.com

all4cake Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 2:56pm
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

Since I post my pricing on my website, I really just don't get those types of bargaining customers. They know my prices before they call for the consult.




I have general pricing with an example for each area(fondant, buttercream, novelty....). For 2 months, one knew not only by my website but by me telling her the per serving cost. I couldn't give her a quote as she still didn't have her guest count but I told her that the design she chose would definitely be considered basic and again stated what that price was per serving. All it would've taken was a calculator to figure out the price once the count was known, to get a close guesstimate of the cost. She gives me the count, I give her the quote, she freaks and goes elsewhere.

It's because of customers that I am constantly trying to redesign my website so that anyone can figure simple stuff out. icon_rolleyes.gif

tootie0809 Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 2:57pm
post #11 of 25

Yes, we have a contract, although I don't have anything in my contract that addresses disputes or dissatisfaction. Should I have something like that?

Thanks Leah! Hadn't heard of them and I have been looking for a good, quality sugar flower supplier. I will check them out! icon_smile.gif

tootie0809 Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 3:01pm
post #12 of 25

Oh, and I forgot to say that I do have very detailed pricing on my website. People here just don't do math well though. They see XX/serving but still call and say "how much for a cake to feed 100?" I have since put on pricing examples like "buttercream cakes to serve 100 start at $325 and fondant cakes at $375." People will still call me up and say that they saw my pricing and wondered how much a cake to feed 200 would cost. Last time I checked, you double 100 for 200 and that's the price, but hey, I was educated outside of this state.

all4cake Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 3:05pm
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by tootie0809

Oh, and I forgot to say that I do have very detailed pricing on my website. People here just don't do math well though. They see XX/serving but still call and say "how much for a cake to feed 100?" I have since put on pricing examples like "buttercream cakes to serve 100 start at $325 and fondant cakes at $375." People will still call me up and say that they saw my pricing and wondered how much a cake to feed 200 would cost. Last time I checked, you double 100 for 200 and that's the price, but hey, I was educated outside of this state.




LOL! exactly! (we need one of those emoticons with the finger going up and down over the lips in a 3 stooges type of way)

carmijok Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 3:08pm
post #14 of 25

When are you to get your final payment? It should be well in advance of the event! And yes, you should have a disclaimer in your contract that addresses possible situations that may arise AFTER you deliver the cake that you are not responsible for. Did you send her a written breakdown of your estimate and did she sign it? All just CYA things to consider.
Good luck...and get the money asap!

tootie0809 Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 3:29pm
post #15 of 25

She is sending me the final payment this week. The wedding isn't until the 21st of this month, so the final payment is due 2 weeks before (which is the 7th). I did send her a new detailed invoice of the charges. She had mentioned when we spoke that she was doing the final payments for all the wedding expenses this week, and I think she is just overwhelmed with the final tally on everything and is probably taking it out on me. It's always the cake person who should be jipped, right? We don't work hard. I just throw magic eggs and flour in my magic oven and watch soap operas while my magic fairy dust decorates the cake. Then I put it on my flying carpet and teleport to the event where I snap my magic fingers and it is perfectly set up. All in a 2-hour workday....hand over that $1000.00.....I worked darn hard in that 2 hours!

costumeczar Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 11:57pm
post #16 of 25

Take lots of pictures of that cake after you deliver it, because the darling mother of the bride is going to find a problem with it. She sounds like a peach!

TheCakeShak Posted 4 Aug 2010 , 12:19am
post #17 of 25

Hi Tootie!!

Poor darling..... I just finished reading everyone's post on this topic.
Holy Moly!

Someone said, Champagne taste but beer prices.. Shessh, should be more like Caviar taste and soda pop prices........
Unfortunately, those out there in cake land sadly seem to think that we cake artists just cross our arms and blink, blink, cake is all done and decorated.

I just looked at your pics, for the lovely work you do on your cakes you have the right to charge what you charge. Those that request a cake from you should understand that they are paying for your talent and taste!

Don't fret though, we get it over here too, someone wants a cake but doesn't want to pay the price quoted and then they nit pick at there being something wrong with the cake, like everyone ate the entire cake and left no crumbs, but the cake tasted yucky.. Really? the poor little mice didn't even get a crumb to taste.

I agree with everyone else, take pictures out the booooya!!
If the momzillas don't agree with your pricing, then send them to Walmart........

Keep your chin up and forge on!!

crism5 Posted 4 Aug 2010 , 12:52am
post #18 of 25

I am like a really new newbie....like a newborn! I have been skulking around cc alot and havent posted much but I just had to tell ya, I just looked at your cakes after reading your post and having been more on the customer side than the "amatuer decorator" side, if I approached you about making a cake for me I would expect to pay TOP dollar! Your cakes are flawless and beautiful. I know this must be stressful but you should be proud of what you are capable of and this momzilla should be honored that you haven't dismissed her. Your work is amazing.

mamacita541 Posted 4 Aug 2010 , 1:48am
post #19 of 25

Hi Tootie,
This is my very first post, but I had to let you know that there must be a sign on our foreheads that reads" Cake decorators so enjoy their work they're willing to work for anything" I have the very same problem where I am (New England) I made a cake for a man's twin girls graduation and I got such grief about the price of the cake I took it to the homeless shelter and donated it. They went to the supermarket to purchase a cake off the shelf! I felt good about donating the cake , at least their was no expectation of payment!

tootie0809 Posted 4 Aug 2010 , 1:48am
post #20 of 25

Thanks everyone for the kind words and support. I knew you'd all understand! I'm feeling much better about it now. I actually called her and told her that if she wasn't comfortable with my pricing and my abilities that I am happy to refund her money and that I don't want any of my customers feeling that I am ripping them off or they are not confident in what they are buying from me. She backed off very quickly and actually apologized and said she did not mean to make me feel bad and it didn't come out the way she wanted and that she was sorry if I had gotten that impression. I explained to her that I was fully aware that I am not the cheapest baker in the area but that I'm not the most expensive either. She said she understood and I think we are all okay now......I think. You never know though, and you bet I will be getting lots of pictures and having her sign a "I'm happy with the product" waiver before I leave. icon_smile.gificon_smile.gif

tinygoose Posted 4 Aug 2010 , 1:54am
post #21 of 25



Here's what's going through her head will she's writing all these checks...I doubt it's just you.

~~~~~~~~


Geez.. anyone can make a cake right? How hard could it be? I mean...I can make a cake...it's just a box, few eggs, and some oil....slap a can of icing on it....whala!

Oh wait, I can take a picture too...damn that photographer for charging me $$$$ to take pictures of my daughters wedding...how hard can it be...click, click, click...that's not hard....

Heck....I know how to use a CD player....who needs a DJ, when you can rent your own equipment....how hard can that be... I'll frost a few cupcakes, take a few pictures, change the CD, oh this will be easy.....

Hmmm....flowers! THere is no reason why flower arrangements should cost so much......I can do my own flower arrangements........just go to the flower mart....we don't need all those fancy smashy arrangements....just throw them into a vase, wrap a little ribbon around it.......whammo!! flowers are done...

Caterer......like it's hard to put shrimp on a plate......I can cook, the only difference between cooking for 5 and cooking for 150 is quantity...right?

Dress.....ok, I can't sew.

Organist....oh if I had only stuck with those lessons...geez $200 to play 4 songs...

Minister.....not paying him....I got dirt on him....he knows it, I know it...not paying.

Lol....I'm sure your not the only one getting pissed off calls today. icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

GeminiRJ Posted 4 Aug 2010 , 2:20am
post #22 of 25

LOL! Thank you tinygoose for making my evening! That is the funniest post I've read in a long while!

tesso Posted 4 Aug 2010 , 2:32am
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinygoose

[size=18]
Minister.....not paying him....I got dirt on him....he knows it, I know it...not paying.




you made my side hurt again !! stop making me laugh!! icon_lol.gif

tootie0809 Posted 4 Aug 2010 , 2:35am
post #24 of 25

tinygoose, that was classic! Thanks for the much-needed laugh! icon_smile.gif

tinygoose Posted 4 Aug 2010 , 3:07am
post #25 of 25

icon_wink.gif
Thank you...I'll be here all week.
icon_wink.gif

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