Help, $75 Budget

Decorating By Jenmarlene Updated 12 Sep 2010 , 9:41pm by tokazodo

Jenmarlene Posted 11 Sep 2010 , 2:41am
post #1 of 19

I had a lady call me wanting a cake for next friday...she tells me she wants a 3 tier cake with lots of flowers and the number 34 as a topper out of fondant, for 100 servings, I said ok, that's going to cost you close to $300, she said "oh, I have a budget of $75 for her birthdAy cake"

She still wants me to do her a cake with lots of flowers for 100 people with $75, I can't come up wiTh any ideas especially with her budget. What should I do or do guys have any ideas???

18 replies
catlharper Posted 11 Sep 2010 , 2:47am
post #2 of 19

Tell her to go to Costco. Seriously, that's under a buck a serving. She's not going to find it. Even cupcakes would run her more than that. My buttercream begins at $3 a serving and fondant $4 a serving. Less than a buck wouldn't pay for my supplies to make it, much less my labor. Just tell her you can't do that large of cake for that amount and maybe suggest just a small cutting cake for the bride and groom and then she purchase sheet cakes from Costco?


microbiology1 Posted 11 Sep 2010 , 2:57am
post #3 of 19

100 people for a 34th birthday? Wow.

What if she provides fresh flowers for the cake and puts them on herself? You can get the tiny little bud holders anywhere. Maybe she or some friends have gardens and would all like to contribute flowers to the cake? That would make it nice and personal.

Or you could make $75 worth of flowers and she can stick them on the costco cake. (Which are quite tasty in my opinion!)

leah_s Posted 11 Sep 2010 , 2:57am
post #4 of 19

"I'm sorry, but there's nothing that I can do for you. I'd suggest WalMart or Costco."

Not everyone who contacts you is a customer. This one is NOT.

bennett5 Posted 11 Sep 2010 , 3:14am
post #5 of 19

I could not agree MORE with everyones comments! Again someone who wants Dom Pérignon for a Pabst Blue Ribbon price tag, Rediculous !!

cheatize Posted 11 Sep 2010 , 4:06am
post #6 of 19

It looks like she has 3 options:
Make it herself
Cut the guest list

If you start feeling bad about turning it down, think of this:
She has enough money to feed 100 people (there's bound to be snacks and drinks, at the least) but she is trying to take advantage of you in the cake department. Maybe she doesn't realize she's trying to do it, but she is.

Jenmarlene Posted 11 Sep 2010 , 4:16am
post #7 of 19

She mentioned a cake purse and I said I wasn't that talented, so I suggested her to go to a new bakery that just opened and they make purse cakes....she replied and said, she rather spend her money on me because she heard great things about me. Also she wants to meet with me and draft up a cake for $75. I really don't want to do a cake for her.

catlharper Posted 11 Sep 2010 , 4:24am
post #8 of 19

You are your own are the only one able to say yes I'll do your cake or NO, I can't do your cake. In this instance you need to be able to find the backbone to say "I'd love to do your cake for you but my minimum price is (insert price here) per slice. I just can't do a cake for that many serving for only $75. Call me if you have any other cake needs that I can help you with!" For me, the minimum price would be $300 for the basic buttercream 3 tier cake for 100. Not $200, not $100 and most certainly not $75! You need to be kind but be firm about your per slice pricing. This is business. You don't need her to like you or to approve of you. She asked for a certain cake, you gave a certain price and it was above her budget. If I walk into a car salesmans office and tell him I need a brand new two door sportscar but my budget is 10k..he's going to either show me the door and recommend Kia or he's going to talk me into financing. He wouldn't be worried about hurting my feelings or dropping his car price down to my budget.


johnson6ofus Posted 11 Sep 2010 , 4:27am
post #9 of 19
Originally Posted by Jenmarlene

she rather spend her money on me because she heard great things about me.

If you make me a $300 cake for $75 I want to spend my money on you too.... icon_biggrin.gif


I heard you do great work, and I love you, and I am willing to spend $.50 per hour to hire you! Yah!

Give her the phone number and location of the closest WalMart...

CandyCU Posted 11 Sep 2010 , 5:10am
post #10 of 19

Ditto to what leah_s said...

Or offer her a simple SINGLE TIER cake for $75 just tell her it'll only feed a fraction of her guests or the guest can have one fork full each!

Yep, definately direct her elsewhere... do you really want to be know as the 'lady who will work for free just to get your business'? I certainly don't.

Good luck!

tesso Posted 11 Sep 2010 , 5:25am
post #11 of 19

Okay, reach around your back..and feel up the center.. feel that? That is your spine. You must now stiffin it. icon_biggrin.gif

75 dollars for a cake like that is insulting. You have got to stiffin that spine and stand up for you and your cake talents. Once you start letting the customer tell you WHAT YOU WILL DO AND ONLY FOR WHAT THEY WANT TO PAY.. then that is start of the fall of your business.

Stick to your prices. THis is your lively hood (or hobby) and it costs, plus time, experience, talents etc..

I have said it before and I will say it again. If you dont stand up for yourself and your cakes.. who will?

YOu simply tell her.. THe price for a cake like that is 300. take it or leave it.

pixiefuncakes Posted 11 Sep 2010 , 5:42am
post #12 of 19

I love how fired up everyone gets!
They are all right though, people do not realise what goes into making and decorating a cake.
Don't undersell yourself or your talents.
I hate the money bit too!

fairmaiden0101 Posted 11 Sep 2010 , 6:01am
post #13 of 19

How about jump in a lake, take a long walk off a short cliff, dont let the door hit you on the way out, stick it where the sun dont shine, wake up and smell the roses, talk to the hand...and yo' momma's so fat.....well you get the picture!

Jenmarlene Posted 11 Sep 2010 , 2:47pm
post #14 of 19

Thanks guys, I'm going to call her and say no I won't do it. Let's see how she takes it.

Karen337 Posted 11 Sep 2010 , 9:43pm
post #15 of 19

I'm a bit late to this thread and you've probably already called her, but if you haven't yet...

Of course you can't discount your pricing by 75%, but you want to maintain your professionalism and also realize that she is probably not trying to insult you.

She sounds like she has never bought a professionally decorated cake before, and you probably weren't quite firm enough in stating your pricing originally. When people sense hesitation, they will push on.

Reputation is everything in business and the best reputation you can cultivate (in my opinion) is that of being a helpful person. See if there isn't something you could do for $75, like one of the earlier posters suggested. If that doesn't work for her, express regret that you were unable to help her this time.

She'll remember your kindness and tell other people about it.

angelwings1 Posted 11 Sep 2010 , 11:08pm
post #16 of 19
Originally Posted by tesso

Okay, reach around your back..and feel up the center.. feel that? That is your spine. You must now stiffin it. icon_biggrin.gif

haha Tesso, are you actually my sister, using a different name? She is always telling me that. I just started a gift basket business, and people just don't want to pay what it's worth. They don't seem to understand the time and money you put into the finished product. The same happens with cakes and cupcakes. I'm ALWAYS doing things for people for less than I should and telling them NOT to tell anyone what they actually paid. I'm ashamed to say that there have been times when I haven't even made my "out of pocket" back. I'm pathetic. To be fair, not everyone is like that. I've even had people give me more than I've asked for. But, a lot do take advantage. I'm trying to get better about that. Sorry so long, guess I just needed to get it out. lol

beesweetcakes Posted 12 Sep 2010 , 1:47am
post #17 of 19

Seriously! When I read your post I was insulted for you. I cannot believe the gull of some people. Most have no clue what is involved in making a cake for them. Like everyone said, tell her to go to Walmart or Costco. I am almost sure that she will not find a cake to serve 100 people for $75 anywhere let alone a 3 tier cake.

Jenmarlene Posted 12 Sep 2010 , 9:19pm
post #18 of 19

Thanks, I explained to her why I coulnd't make the cake for her at the price she took it well, thank god.

Thanks everyone for your advice!!

tokazodo Posted 12 Sep 2010 , 9:41pm
post #19 of 19

I'm glad you were able to work it out. For $75.00, you probably wouldn't have covered the cost of ingredients or the gas/electric to produce the cake.

I'm also glad she took it so wall. It is very difficult for me to tell anyone 'No!'

Good Luck to you in the future!

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