cakiemommie Posted 9 Oct 2010 , 6:08am
post #1 of

REALLY trying to get new clients... and it's just going SO slow. I can't seem to find anyone who's willing to spend money on a cake! Whenever someone calls and I ask what their budget is they're like... $50.. WHAT!?

So, can you all tell me what the price of the average cake is? Do you typically sell cakes in the $50-$100 range? $100-$200 ?

Thanks!

70 replies
indydebi Posted 9 Oct 2010 , 8:50am
post #2 of

I assume you're talking birthday type cakes and not wedding cakes?

The question is difficult because there are so many factors. The first question should be what is the avg number of servings in our (non-wedding?) cakes? Because most of us price per serving. The avg cost of the cost isnt' good information if the size of the cake is unknown.

BC or fondant? Does the price include gumpaste work or not? What about RI tiaras 'n such? Layered or single sheets? Torted? Filled?

$50 for a cake that serves 100? Great deal!
$50 for a cake that serves 10? Wow, expensive!

It might be better to know avg price per serving and avg servings per cake sold. A flat avg price .... just too many variables.

As part of educating the client, though, an idea would be to reply to their "$50 budget" with something like, "Oh, you're looking for a smaller, simple cake, then. No problem! What I can do for $50 is a 2-layer round 8" that serves 20 with plain BC and a few BC roses." icon_wink.gif

weberm05 Posted 9 Oct 2010 , 9:40am
post #3 of

Well, I shopped around at the local grocery stores and are somewhat similar to their prices b/c people don't think about quality of cake...just prices.

I charge $40 for a full sheet. If I have to buy different decorations for the cake...$45.

Half sheet is $20.



Wedding cakes....$1.00/slice.

indydebi Posted 9 Oct 2010 , 9:52am
post #4 of

weber, when you say "full sheet", are you referring to a 18x24 that serves 108? That's 37 cents a serving. icon_eek.gif

25 years ago, I sold wedding cake for $1/serving. icon_eek.gif

Eriset Posted 9 Oct 2010 , 11:32am
post #5 of

I don't sell cakes, but when I was pricing my wedding cake most of the prices were from $2.65-almost $4.00/serving...and that was with minimal decorations.

weberm05 Posted 9 Oct 2010 , 1:33pm
post #6 of

I put two 11x15 cakes for a full sheet. What would that be: 15x22 right?

bobwonderbuns Posted 9 Oct 2010 , 1:41pm
post #7 of

I have a per slice price for my celebration cakes and a higher per slice price for my wedding cakes because the wedding cakes are bigger, more elaborate and take longer to do. You don't have to stack a birthday cake! icon_rolleyes.gif

jason_kraft Posted 9 Oct 2010 , 2:12pm
post #8 of

We sell mostly birthday cakes, our base prices range from $40 (8" round) to $108 (for a 2 layer half sheet). Our sales are roughly bimodal with clusters around $50 and $120.

jason_kraft Posted 9 Oct 2010 , 2:17pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by weberm05

Well, I shopped around at the local grocery stores and are somewhat similar to their prices b/c people don't think about quality of cake...just prices.



You are likely attracting this specific type of price-sensitive customer due to your low prices. You could probably increase your prices by 400% and end up experiencing less than a 75% drop in sales...you would need to rebuild your customer base since you would be pretty much starting from scratch, but you would end up doing less work for more money.

With your current price structure I would be very surprised if you end up paying yourself more than minimum wage.

weberm05 Posted 9 Oct 2010 , 4:20pm

I live in a very depressed area. I'm lucky someone will pay $40

CWR41 Posted 9 Oct 2010 , 4:45pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by weberm05

I put two 11x15 cakes for a full sheet. What would that be: 15x22 right?




Not a full sheet cake. Two 1/3 sheets don't equal a full.

loriemoms Posted 9 Oct 2010 , 5:04pm

I dont base my celebration cakes based on per serving..I base it on time. If someone orders a simple round cake, with just icing, and some edging and maybe happy birthday kiddo, it would run 40 dollars for a 8 inch cake.
If they gum paste figurines of Kiddo growing up and flowers climbing up the sides that we have to make, and fancy swirls all around the Happy Birthday Kiddo, then the cake maybe 100 dollars for an 8 inch cake.

cakiemommie Posted 9 Oct 2010 , 5:04pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by weberm05

Well, I shopped around at the local grocery stores and are somewhat similar to their prices b/c people don't think about quality of cake...just prices.


You are likely attracting this specific type of price-sensitive customer due to your low prices. You could probably increase your prices by 400% and end up experiencing less than a 75% drop in sales...you would need to rebuild your customer base since you would be pretty much starting from scratch, but you would end up doing less work for more money.

With your current price structure I would be very surprised if you end up paying yourself more than minimum wage.




I feel if i did this.. I wouldn't get ANY clients.. I love doing stacked fondant and 3d cakes... but I can't seem to find anyone willing to spend the money on these type of cakes.

Kitagrl Posted 9 Oct 2010 , 5:30pm

Cakiemommy...your two cakes in your portfolio look nice.... it really depends on where you life but maybe you just haven't found your target customer base yet. There will be a rich group of folks that want cakes, and once you nab one or two of them (and if your cakes taste amazing too) they will tell their friends and you will be on your way. Word of mouth will be your best friend. And a nice website will be your second best friend (and gives the word of mouth somewhere to view your work).

$1/serving is way too low for any area though....it would be better for you to donate your cakes to sick children or firehouses or something, than to allow your customers to rip you off that badly. Have you calculated your profit?

I live in a big city area so I'm very fortunate to be able to charge higher prices for my work. Also I have millions of people around this area so out of that its pretty easy to get 2-3 orders per week (don't want more than that). But even here...it did take me several years to get my name out and build up a customer base and also a local reputation. I've lived here 8 years and licensed for 2 years and its been a process to get my name out and find out what works and what doesn't work (as far as advertising or whatever).

I say all that to say...once you find your "niche" it will go better...

weberm05 Posted 9 Oct 2010 , 5:36pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWR41

Quote:
Originally Posted by weberm05

I put two 11x15 cakes for a full sheet. What would that be: 15x22 right?



Not a full sheet cake. Two 1/3 sheets don't equal a full.





I was always under the impression that was a full sheet, b/c at the place I buy by boxes.....they are marked full sheet and 15 x 22 is the largest it will fit in the box

jason_kraft Posted 9 Oct 2010 , 6:14pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakiemommie

I feel if i did this.. I wouldn't get ANY clients.. I love doing stacked fondant and 3d cakes... but I can't seem to find anyone willing to spend the money on these type of cakes.



If you're not sure where to focus your advertising efforts, I would recommend looking at a GIS (geographic information system) service. They should be able to provide maps of your area that can identify neighborhoods with higher income levels based on IRS data. An example site is http://www.policymap.com, I've never used it but they do offer a 7 day free trial.

aligotmatt Posted 9 Oct 2010 , 6:38pm

My average (as in most ordered size - not the median servings of all orders) serving cake was 130 servings. As the economy has dipped down, it seems my average serving is 70... Hoping that travels upwards again soon. I rarely make a cake that I'll charge less than $500 for because I don't own a bakery, I own a home bakery, it doesn't seem to be worth my time to make a smaller cake. I will sometimes, but a $50 cake that I drive to the store to purchase ingredients, come home, turn on my oven, use the mixer, bake, wash the mixer... ... ... just doesn't balance, even for a 6" round or anything it's not worth it for me. If I was higher volume, that would certainly change.

CWR41 Posted 9 Oct 2010 , 7:48pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by weberm05

Quote:
Originally Posted by CWR41

Quote:
Originally Posted by weberm05

I put two 11x15 cakes for a full sheet. What would that be: 15x22 right?



Not a full sheet cake. Two 1/3 sheets don't equal a full.




I was always under the impression that was a full sheet, b/c at the place I buy by boxes.....they are marked full sheet and 15 x 22 is the largest it will fit in the box




I wrote this in another thread titled "Huge sheet cakes":

A commercial Bun pan is 18" x 26" (outside measurement), and because they are tapered for nesting or making them stackable, the inside measurement is 16.5" x 24.5".

A commercial full sheet is 16" x 24". They are baked in 16" x 24" bakeable cardboard trays that fit into the Bun pans (flat surface portion) which are used during baking for support and handling purposes.

A true commercial full sheet (16" x 24") serves 96 (unit wt. 106-124 oz.).

If this size pan doesn't fit in your oven, and you are baking two 12" x 18" (54 serving) half sheets, they would serve 108 total.

Here's the link to the entire thread:
http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-678972-full.html+size

Mama_Mias_Cakes Posted 10 Oct 2010 , 12:03am

Wow $40 for a full sheet? You can't get that cheap even at the grocery stores. I have set prices for single layer sheet cakes, buttercream only. My full sheet (2 12x18 put together) is $75. I start at $2.00 per serving for butter cream only for all other cakes and go on up from there depending on the decorations. That is about the average in my part of Ohio. The thing is that people do not want to pay more for cakes, but you've got to sell it. I have lost customers due to price, but not a lot. I tend to book almost all of my inquiries.

andreamen1 Posted 10 Oct 2010 , 12:23am

I charge $85 for a half sheet single layer and they pay for it in my area

sugarlovemom Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 10:44pm

there is a lady in my town selling 2 tier cakes 8" and 6" for $55... i just moved here and one of the things i loved is that here you can bake from your kitchen but she is everywhere... how am i suppose to compete with that?!!! i had a few people calling about my cakes and of course it was her to made those super cheap cakes since mine were more expensive to people... its just crazy...

pattycakesnj Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 11:02pm

My average price runs about $250 (these are birthday cakes, not wedding cakes) You may lose some customers but you need to charge what you are worth, not what people want to pay

andreamen1 Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 11:06pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenjcakes

there is a lady in my town selling 2 tier cakes 8" and 6" for $55... i just moved here and one of the things i loved is that here you can bake from your kitchen but she is everywhere... how am i suppose to compete with that?!!! i had a few people calling about my cakes and of course it was her to made those super cheap cakes since mine were more expensive to people... its just crazy...




ok now thats crazy she giving people free cake

BluntlySpeakingKarma Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 11:23pm

I just ran numbers today, and I averaged $500 for each cake sold in September. Generally a two tier serving about 25. I'm on the upper scale of things, and I would like to stay anonymous, so sorry for the mystery. But I will tell you this, there is some serious talent on this site by non pros, and some of you need to raise your prices! If we all raise them, there is no room for complaining. We know what we're worth guys. I think this is a great site for beginners and pros alike, lots of help, but I have noticed while lurking as a guest when looking up random photos, that some of you guys are horridly priced.

CupQuequito Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 11:30pm

I charge anywhere from $2.50pp for a simple party cake, and my wedding cakes starting at $3.50pp for a simple wedding cake. People want "Ace of Cakes" and "Cake Boss" cakes, at Wal-mart, Costco, and Sam's Club prices.

I also do cupcakes, and after traveling around this past summer, and paying attention to prices; cups are $3-5 for medium cups. Granted, they are priced that way for store front purposes. icon_wink.gif Having said that, I only use fresh ingredients, (fresh orange, lime, lemon juices, mint, high end chocolate...) and a lot of my cakes are vegan. So, that's a "commodity" cake.

Hope this helps, and I didn't ramble on. >.<

jason_kraft Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 11:36pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarmaCakes10

I just ran numbers today, and I averaged $500 for each cake sold in September. Generally a two tier serving about 25.



You are seriously averaging $20/serving?

CupQuequito Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 11:39pm

Oooh... someone famous! >.<

bobwonderbuns Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 11:40pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarmaCakes10

I just ran numbers today, and I averaged $500 for each cake sold in September. Generally a two tier serving about 25. I'm on the upper scale of things, and I would like to stay anonymous, so sorry for the mystery. But I will tell you this, there is some serious talent on this site by non pros, and some of you need to raise your prices! If we all raise them, there is no room for complaining. We know what we're worth guys. I think this is a great site for beginners and pros alike, lots of help, but I have noticed while lurking as a guest when looking up random photos, that some of you guys are horridly priced.




I would like to see some of your work. Are you planning to upload any pix?

BluntlySpeakingKarma Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 11:42pm

Oh yes. There are several in my area. A lot of secret celebrity weddings and baby showers and 1st birthdays, yada yada. But we don't price per serving, we price per project. We do a lot of pulled sugar and custom mold work, lots of fancy stuff. Very laborious.

BluntlySpeakingKarma Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 11:45pm

I wish I could, but I'm just "one" of the designers/partners/slaves, so I was told it would be like me taking credit for the whole project. And I was actually told to not get personal on this site in particular. So, I will get personal without naming names, did that make sense?

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