Hello, can anyone give me sugestions on how to price gum paste figurines? These would be just figurines alone as usually the client wants to add these pieces to a cake they will bake themselves or buy from the store. I have had several people ask me to make them custom figurines but everyone seems to be shocked when I give my price quotes and one person told me I was insane. I usually quote around $40.00 for a piece because I feel like I need to account for my supplies, the several hours of aristic work that I put into the piece, plus shopping, gas, and clean up time and cleaning supplies. Is $40.00 too much for creating these one of kind pieces to meet the clients exact needs? In case your curious my last request was for a scene that contained a 4" animal sitting next to a plant and a butterfly hovering above to match the childs party color scheme.
I think your pricing sounds perfect!!!
I'm working on a Buzz Lightyear cake this year that I'm charging $50 for the figurine of Buzz. I figured it would take me around 5 hours and I'm charging $10 per hour for the work.
Your pricing sounds just fine. People can be so rude! The next time someone says that you are charging too much, expplain it just the way you did. Cost of materials and labor. If they think you're asking too much they can do it themselves or try and go elsewhere. The worst part is if you were hand sculpting it out of clay, they would think it was worth every penny. Until people start understanding that this is ART, edible yes, but art all the same, we are all going to have to fight against this! Good luck!
So several hours for a total of $40? $13 per hour. Doesn't sound so expensive now does it? The better figurine makers are at about $50/hour in these parts.
Thank you all for your feedback. I've been making cakes for a while for friends and family and I'm so new at charging for my work that these past few months have been a real reality check. People want to pay me practically nothing to create their dream pieces/cakes for them. It has been so hard to loose these sales as I get so excited at the chance to create the pieces but the need to earn a living will not allow me to give up my time for $2.00 an hour. I'm happy to hear that I'm not overcharging and that if I hang in here that I have a chance at getting clients that will appreaciate my work for what it is.
Well heck..I have been way undercharging for these. I know they are time consuming but I think the gumpaste figures are my favorite to do. I have only been charging $5 per figure. So the person would be $5 and the plant would be $5. I am upping the prices.
I am in San Diego and you would think people would be used to paying a lot for everything. But I have a hard time charging anything over $50 for a birthday cake...which as you know doesn't even cover the time it takes to shop for the materials with 2 toddlers. LOL. When people start asking why a cake is so much, I simply break down the list of materials including even the cost of the eggs, and then explain that my profit is going to be x amount and then I break it down to a $ per hour. I am usually working for under $5 an hour. I want to charge more, but right now I am just starting out and really just want to make the cakes for the experience.
The hardest thing about not charging a lot in the beginning is when you are ready to raise prices everyone feels like they are getting ripped off.
When you really think about it, $40 for a custom figure is totally reasonable.
If you raise your prices be aware that your sales will go way down but like LuluSweetArt said we just have to fight against this and hang in there. It is wrong for you to be working for a dollar or two an hour. How would you feel if you heard that the bakery shop up the street was paying their employees $2.00 an hour. You would think it was ridiculous as would I. The way people were reacting to my prices I thought wow this industry must really be hard to earn a living in and I so love to do it so it was sad to think that I may never get paid what I believe I'm worth and what my creations are worth. Now I'm just thinking out load about the comment I made about sales going down. I guess if you charged more and got even half of the orders you would still be ahead since you will be earning the same amount if not more for less work. Also, think about how many of us need the money from our sales but can't compete with your extremely low prices. It really does hurt the industry to under price products. Who knows I may never get the sales I'm hoping for but I'm going to hang in there and hold steady with my prices.