Charge Extra For Buying All New Pans?

Business By Tellis12 Updated 28 Oct 2010 , 2:25am by Loucinda

Tellis12 Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 10:24pm
post #1 of 30

right now I only have square and round pans but I have a bride who would like octa/hexagon shaped cakes. I'd have to buy all new pans, multiples of some probably, and I don't know how to handle it from a business standpoint.

Should I charge her an extra fee? Not equal to the cost of purchasing all of the pans, but something to offset my balances.

29 replies
pinkpiggie78 Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 10:41pm
post #2 of 30

I don't charge anything extra when I have to purchase pans, cutters, etc for a cake as I feel that is just part of doing business.

LogansMommie Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 10:43pm
post #3 of 30

I wouldn't think you'd pass along any additional cost to your customer - you kind of have to think of it as building up your supplies. Yes there is some upfront cost to you this time, but I'm sure you'll be able to use them again.

CakeDiva101 Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 10:47pm
post #4 of 30

Hey there...Well, I don't know what others here do but I consider my pans, equipment, molds and such, tools of my trade. I know that to start out one may not have the capital to buy all one wants, trust me, my house would not be big enough for me to buy all I want if I could afford icon_smile.gif. However, as a business, you should have the basics. I, do buys extra pans and such as I need but I don't pass the cost to the client. I consider a investiment for my business. With that said, I'm assuming that you are or want to get in the business of doing wedding cakes on a regular basis. If not, and this is just a friend asking you, then is diferent. Just my opinion icon_smile.gif

FullHouse Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 10:50pm
post #5 of 30

As a consumer, I would expect that either you can accept my order or I would find someone who had the equipment already. An octagon/hexagon is not such an unusual shape that it should warrant additional price. If add a pan fee, the bride may go elsewhere.

Also, you can cut these shapes out of a square cake if you'd rather not invest in the pans. I would think that you can charge a specialty shape fee if you felt that preparing that shape cake is extra work.

3GCakes Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 11:05pm
post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullHouse

As a consumer, I would expect that either you can accept my order or I would find someone who had the equipment already. An octagon/hexagon is not such an unusual shape that it should warrant additional price. If add a pan fee, the bride may go elsewhere.

Also, you can cut these shapes out of a square cake if you'd rather not invest in the pans. I would think that you can charge a specialty shape fee if you felt that preparing that shape cake is extra work.




I agree...especially about cutting them out of another shape.

Especially if this is not a common/typically requested shape. The extra cake would be a fraction of the cost of the pans, I'd expect.

aligotmatt Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 11:06pm
post #7 of 30

I totally charge more if somebody wants something obscure that I have to buy for their cake that I've never had someone else ask for. If I know that a specific cutter or mold is $40 and they are a very unique client and it will probably just sit in the drawer from that point on, then why not?! It's not really an investment for the future.

I don't TELL The bride. I just sit there working up the numbers and say, well, based on that design, it's going to cost this. Not for everything, if my rolling pin got a scratch and the next bride wanted fondant, I would roll my rolling pin into their cost. Or if someone wants a round pan size that I didn't have...

For a comma shaped cake (4 tier!) I charged the bride 50% of the total cost of the pans. Thank goodness too, those things sat there for 2 more years until I finally sold them on craigslist. I have ever only had 1 person want a hex cake, so I just cut the edges off of a circle.

LindaF144a Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 11:20pm
post #8 of 30

Go ahead and charge more if you want to. But i agree with the others thst this is the cost of doing business. Pans are right there the same as your oven. It's equipment.

You are in Cincinnatti, so being it is a big city I am assuming this custimer has more than one choice to get her cake. You may risk losing this customer.

You can look at this type of equipment as one of those things thst you waitrd to get when you need it. And if you use them again, are you going to go back and refund her for each time you use at the cost per use goes down? Probably once you show this shaped cake in your portfolio, you may get more requests.

3GCakes Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 11:25pm
post #9 of 30

Another thing to consider is....do you have somewhere to put a whole 'nother pan set? In my kitchen, I am really struggling with space. Any pan that can do double duty is a blessing.

If not, using your existing pans may make more sense. You can always charge more for the extra amount of cake batter, but like I said, it may be a lot less than a whole new set of pans.

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 11:39pm
post #10 of 30

You wouldn't expect your mechanic to charge you for a special tool he needed to fix your car, would you? If he does, then I would also expect to see that tool in my hands before I left. I paid for it, it's mine.

Same goes for cake pans. They're an investment by you, not a fee to your client. But, as others have said, if you're just making octagons, make larger squares and cut off the corners. Much cheaper than investing in a whole batch of new pans (and you don't have to store the leftover corners, either).

Good luck!

gatorcake Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 11:44pm
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by CutiePieCakes-Ontario

You wouldn't expect your mechanic to charge you for a special tool he needed to fix your car, would you? If he does, then I would also expect to see that tool in my hands before I left. I paid for it, it's mine.

Same goes for cake pans. They're an investment by you, not a fee to your client. But, as others have said, if you're just making octagons, make larger squares and cut off the corners. Much cheaper than investing in a whole batch of new pans (and you don't have to store the leftover corners, either).

Good luck!




Agreed, if I was charged for a tool then I would expect that tool to be in my hands upon payment of bill. You do not get to charge me for a tool you do not have and then get to keep it.

auntmamie Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 12:18am
post #12 of 30

Two words - tax deduction! Even if you rarely use them in the future, they are still a write off on your schedule C (or whichever tax form you use)

Mama_Mias_Cakes Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 1:29am
post #13 of 30

I do not charge for new pans, cutters, molds, etc. Like the others, I consider it an investment in my business.

Tellis - you are about an hour away from a place outside of Dayton called Cake Craft. They rent pans for a very reasonable price. I knew a local cake decorator here that rented the set of hexagon pans for about $10 (I think that is what she said they had cost) from them instead of buying a set of pans that you may not use often.

Tellis12 Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 1:41am
post #14 of 30

Well, I'm very glad I asked this question! All of your responses make a lot of sense. I hadn't thought about cutting the shape from another shape (circle or square) but now that you've all mentioned it, I think it's a good idea. I may go that route. Thank you so much for all of your input. I really appreciate it.

Kitagrl Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 1:46am
post #15 of 30

I'm always buying more stuff...new cutters, molds, sometimes pans....I assume I'll use them again sometime.

To illustrate...say I need an airbrush to make someone's design. So I buy an airbrush which takes all of my profit, and then some, from that cake.

HOWEVER say that I did NOT need an airbrush...but I wanted one...so I saved up my profit from a few cakes and bought one.

Both instances are exactly the same! You are taking profit, and putting it back into your business....so that in the future you can hopefully make more profit!

In the case of pans...you'll never have to buy them again...and when you put a nice hexagon wedding cake photo up, other people may order that shape and you'll have them right there...and you've just sold another one to help offset the costs you paid for them the first time.

Don't think of it as that customer wanting you to buy them...think of it as expanding your toolbox.

I just had to buy a bunch of stuff for isomalt/candy stuff recently. Spent quite a bit of money on different various and assorted things...had to replace a silicone mat...and buy other stuff. Really added up...but I don't say "I used my new mat on your cake so you owe me an extra fifty bucks"...that was just money I am putting back into my business.

Have fun!

indydebi Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 1:47am
post #16 of 30

Actually, people, charging for special tools is a very common business practice. When I worked in mfg'ing, if we got an order for something that required a special tool, we gave the customer a couple of options. They could pay for the tool in it's entirety and we would agree NOT to use the tool for any orders for any other customers. Or they would pay a special tooling fee that we built into the cost of each of their orders and we could use the tool for any other customer, who would also pay a tooling fee.

The reasoning is that we, the mfg'r, would have no other use for this tool, and we would not be expensing out the money for this special tool except for the order from this ONE customer. it's part of the cost of a special CUSTOMIZED order.

If you honestly believe that you would have no add'l use for the hex pans, that's its going to be a one-time use item, it is not unreasonable to charge a fee for customized tools needed for a customized order. How much you charge ... 100% ... 50% ... is up to you.

But this is exactly why you see some bakeries who charge extra for different shapes .... the extra expense of buying special pans and/or the extra expense of having an employee (a.k.a. YOU) spend extra time cutting the cake shapes out of standard shapes AND the extra time it might take to try to ice cakes that have cut sides all the way around.

It's just business. Plain and simple.

cheatize Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 1:56am
post #17 of 30

I have an admittedly arbitrary amount I add to each cake that covers wear and tear on my tools. I consider the initial purchase an investment but know that each time I use a tool it wears a bit and is that much closer to needing replaced.

I would not charge one client for the entire cost of the tool unless the client keeps the tool.

Loucinda Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 1:57am
post #18 of 30

That is the thing though, a hex is not considered a "specialty shape" in the cake world. (IMO) That is a shape that I actually make pretty frequently. If you're adding the cost of those pans in on that one client, they may be able to get the cake considerably cheaper somewhere else that already has them. It is ultimately up to you, but I am with the camp that says buy them as an investment in your business.

Kitagrl Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 1:58am
post #19 of 30

Isn't that stuff, though, that you'd work in to your cake pricing, in general?

If you get to the end of the year and you are not making the profit you need...then you increase your cake prices for everyone.

????

I bought butterfly molds for one lady's cake.... and within two weeks of posting the photograph, another lady wanted something done with butterflies. So in alot of cases, if you buy a tool, and then show off what you made with that tool, you're gonna get several more orders to help pay for that tool.

I dunno.

indydebi Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 2:07am
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

That is the thing though, a hex is not considered a "specialty shape" in the cake world.



Probably not, but it may to some bakeries. Here's a quote I found in another thread about what cakers are hearing from their brides:

Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms


I hear from brides ALL THE TIME that other bakeries charge more for square and hex shaped cakes....Now I can understand if it is a price per cake (because square serves more) but this is price per serving..



(from the thread http://forum.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=6013754#6013754 )

Kitagrl Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 2:09am
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

That is the thing though, a hex is not considered a "specialty shape" in the cake world.


Probably not, but it may to some bakeries. Here's a quote I found in another thread about what cakers are hearing from their brides:
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms


I hear from brides ALL THE TIME that other bakeries charge more for square and hex shaped cakes....Now I can understand if it is a price per cake (because square serves more) but this is price per serving..


(from the thread http://forum.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=6013754#6013754 )




If bakeries are charging more for squares and hexs, I'd imagine that's because doing corners is more time consuming than doing rounds....rather than some sort of equipment fee....right?

indydebi Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 2:19am
post #22 of 30

Kita ... could be one.... could be the other! thumbs_up.gif

Reminds me of a conversation I had with a co-worker. She was telling me how many vacation days she had and how many PTO's (Paid Time Off) days she had. I told her, "call 'em whatever you want .... vacation, PTO, sick days, whatever .... they're ALL time off with pay!"

Charge extra for special equipment .... charge extra for labor cost due to a special shape. It's still charging more, no matter what you call it. thumbs_up.gif

jenscreativity Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 2:20am
post #23 of 30

I personally wouldn't charge for pans either..Can you rent from a cake store?? I know cake stores here let you rent..Just a suggestion. If not..maybe you'll invest into something for more use in the future and build your kitchen supplies

Kitagrl Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 2:22am
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Kita ... could be one.... could be the other! thumbs_up.gif

Reminds me of a conversation I had with a co-worker. She was telling me how many vacation days she had and how many PTO's (Paid Time Off) days she had. I told her, "call 'em whatever you want .... vacation, PTO, sick days, whatever .... they're ALL time off with pay!"

Charge extra for special equipment .... charge extra for labor cost due to a special shape. It's still charging more, no matter what you call it. thumbs_up.gif




icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Loucinda Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 2:39am
post #25 of 30

That is the point though, I would not charge extra for that particular shape. I charge per serving, if it serves more, then I make more, but that goes for any shape...same price per serving. And again, if one baker charges more for a certain shape, I would be looking for another baker....but that is just me!

Tellis12 Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 1:33am
post #26 of 30

I have yet to meet with the bride, we've just talked and set up a tasting and she emailed me a photo. I wanted to know what to tell her when we do meet so I'm not stumped for an answer at the tasting. I hate that feeling! Anyway, the more you all talk the more I'm learning and it totally makes sense to just call it a business expense. Duh. I'm still new to this business thing and trying to keep all of my little duckies in a row. This is just one more tidbit to tuck into my belt.

fairmaiden0101 Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 1:47am
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by CutiePieCakes-Ontario

You wouldn't expect your mechanic to charge you for a special tool he needed to fix your car, would you? If he does, then I would also expect to see that tool in my hands before I left. I paid for it, it's mine.

Same goes for cake pans. They're an investment by you, not a fee to your client. But, as others have said, if you're just making octagons, make larger squares and cut off the corners. Much cheaper than investing in a whole batch of new pans (and you don't have to store the leftover corners, either).

Good luck!




I would expect a mechanic to charge me for walking on his concrete, breathing his shops air, and every time I ask a question-have him add 20 percent to my bill!!! LOL umm bad example!

all4cake Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 2:01am
post #28 of 30

If it's a shape that I don't normally offer (I offer hexagon but not octagon), and if they insist on a shape I don't offer, yes, I inform them that there is an additional charge...I can either cut it to shape and they incur the carved cake rate, they can buy the pans, or they can opt for an alternate shape. If it's something I know I can use (octagons, I would. commas and the like, I highly doubt I'd ever get an order for it) repeatedly (more than once in a year...), I wouldn't.

KoryAK Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 2:20am
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

That is the point though, I would not charge extra for that particular shape. I charge per serving, if it serves more, then I make more, but that goes for any shape...same price per serving. And again, if one baker charges more for a certain shape, I would be looking for another baker....but that is just me!




Topsy turvy, tapered round cakes, etc... count as a different shape, right? You bet your butt I'm charging more for those! The price per serving should reflect your basic price + the additional difficulty factor - whether that be sugarpaste roses or whatever else.

No you don't talk to the customer about them paying for the pans. You should be charging enough to cover occasional costs like this.

Loucinda Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 2:25am
post #30 of 30

TT or carved are not in the same ballpark as a plain Hex shaped cake in my business. I thought we were just discussing "regular cake" - no one mentioned TT or carved....of course those incurr more charges. I apologize for the mistake of stating that.

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