People Just Don't Want To Pay My Prices!

Decorating By MandyCakez Updated 15 Nov 2010 , 12:18am by LatteGirl

MandyCakez Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 2:27am
post #1 of 105

I have only been doing this for a little over two months.I'am VERY cheap,I mean,VERY!My goal is to promote,promote,promote get an established customer base and then set my prices a little higher after the new year.I get tons of compliments on my cakes and so many recommendations and referrals.But it seems like when it's time to send a price quote people act like i'm so expensive.My last issue a customer raved about the cake she seen of mine at a birthday party..(The scarecrow cake in my pics)And wanted her shower cake from me....a Noah's Ark themed 3-D with nearly 18 sculpted gum paste animals for...wait for it.....$60 dollars. icon_eek.gif I normally charge $120-$135 for a two tiered cake and that's a steal.I remember paying $325 for my baby shower cake.It just really irritates me that i'am already very cheap in pricing and people still complain.Or once they get the price quote they downsize the order or will pick the very cheapest quote i give them.They will not find a cheaper fondant cake in this area.I feel like i'm practically giving my cakes away after knowing how much work goes into making one.How in the world do you get people to pay your prices?

104 replies
leah_s Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 2:31am
post #2 of 105

First, where are you located?

MandyCakez Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 2:35am
post #3 of 105

I'm in Pittsburgh,PA.I was thinking about advertising in a more upscale neighborhoods local paper?

step0nmi Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 2:42am
post #4 of 105

why are YOU under pricing yourself if you know how much work goes into them? icon_confused.gif that's just not right if you value yourself as a business person...you need to stick to your guns so that customers don't take advantage of you later on.

Your work is very good! It may take some time for people to get use to your pricing AND for you to find the right customer. Being in business for 2 months is really not that long.

Maybe do some research on your areas and what type of customer you want/need. Then, when you figure that out you will find where to advertise and market your business and probably establish a better response icon_smile.gif

mombabytiger Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 2:43am
post #5 of 105

I have to be honest here - I personally could not afford a $60 cake. That doesn't mean I wouldn't charge it, I just couldn't pay it. icon_smile.gif And my practical side would be thinking of all the diapers I could buy with the $325 paid for the shower cake.

-K8memphis Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 2:43am
post #6 of 105

Maybe try to find a silent auction for a charity and do a chess board or something like that to create a little buzz.

MandyCakez Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 2:51am
post #7 of 105

I honestly don't know why i'm under pricing.I guess i was thinking i need to invest a little first?Then i thought maybe it was my cakes...but i get orders off of my cakes...so i think maybe they just can't afford it or i'm advertising in the wrong places.

Thanks for the ideas...i appreciate them! icon_smile.gif

CakeDiva101 Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 2:51am
post #8 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by MandyCakez

I'm in Pittsburgh,PA.I was thinking about advertising in a more upscale neighborhoods local paper?




I wish I lived closer to you,,,so I can go there and hit you upside the head with a rolling pin!!!! icon_biggrin.gif ( joking) your cakes are beautiful. I suggest you rise your prices now and advertising on more upscale papers, etc. You can always offer specials ( first time buyer type of thing) if you want to give them a discount. Because it is easier to charge more as a regular price and offer some kind of incentive if you are slow, than raise your prices once you got them used to lower rates.

icon_biggrin.gif

costumeczar Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 3:02am
post #9 of 105

That's true, because if you work to build a client base of cheapos who only want to pay low prices, they'll all run for the hills when you raise your prices, so you'll end up with no client base once again. You need to find some different places to advertise where you'll get attention for your cakes at the right price point. Do you want to do mostly party cakes or wedding cakes?

pattycakesnj Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 3:05am
post #10 of 105

DO NOT START OUT CHEAP with the intention of raising prices later. It doesn't work that way, people will say "but last time you charged me x" and you will never get out of the cheap rut. (Believe me I know what I am talking about) Not everyone will be able to afford you and that is ok. You should be paid what you are worth not what people want to pay you.

-K8memphis Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 3:12am
post #11 of 105

Got any friends who work in a high rise where there's like investment bankers, lawyers etc.? Hit up florists and venues with a round of samples and business cards.

tracycakes Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 3:47am
post #12 of 105

I've been in business for just over a year and I know what you're talking about. But, don't start cheap then raise your prices. Get them higher to begin with. Advertise to who you want your customers to be. All of my advertising is aimed at my target market - upscale and high end - basically, people with money to spend and willing to spend. I still get a lot of those that can't afford my cakes or decide that they better go with a sheet cake that they can afford. But, I'm getting more and more highend customers and I'm hearing from them that I come highly recommended.

It takes a while to find your market but keep working at it. Work on building relationships with event planners and aim your market at your customers. Good luck and hang in there!

Hammonds Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 4:00am
post #13 of 105

I did the same thing. I charged $65.00 for the 2 tiered ladybug cake I made (dumb me!!) including the smash cake. I felt like I would be over charging if I asked for more. I learned a valuable lesson...my time was worth a whole lot more than that. I made a total of 14.00 on that cake! From now on if they don't want to pay the price I'm asking, they can go else where.

indydebi Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 4:39am
post #14 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammonds

I felt like I would be over charging if I asked for more.


I many make this mistake when first starting out: Do not think like a consumer when sertting pricing .... think like a business.

I personally would never pay $70,000 for a car but if I decided to open a car dealership, I wouldnt sell Cadillac Escalades for $18,000! icon_eek.gif

Think like a business. The cost is what it is.

imanah Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 4:45am
post #15 of 105

Take it from me....I had the same experience.

I undercharged ppl in the begining becuase of my lack of confidence. As my skills grew so did my confidence.

Needless to say that is not an excuse for undercharging.

I continue to price above my compitition but guess what...I don't care.

I know in the long run, if I am not getting what I know I'm worth then I will end up hating every order and hating cakes along with it.

Not only are you carefully baking your customers a cake, you are decorating it and presenting it as best you can.

That is a service and it is somthing that can't be brought at stores.

CakeDiva101 Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 4:51am
post #16 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammonds

I felt like I would be over charging if I asked for more.

I many make this mistake when first starting out: Do not think like a consumer when sertting pricing .... think like a business.

I personally would never pay $70,000 for a car but if I decided to open a car dealership, I wouldnt sell Cadillac Escalades for $18,000! icon_eek.gif

Think like a business. The cost is what it is.


CakeDiva101 Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 4:53am
post #17 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammonds

I felt like I would be over charging if I asked for more.

I many make this mistake when first starting out: Do not think like a consumer when sertting pricing .... think like a business.

I personally would never pay $70,000 for a car but if I decided to open a car dealership, I wouldnt sell Cadillac Escalades for $18,000! icon_eek.gif

Think like a business. The cost is what it is.






Oh,,,that is a excellent point! I got to remember that thumbs_up.gif

Kitagrl Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 4:56am
post #18 of 105

Somebody told me once that if you price yourself cheap, people will see you as cheap (i.e. low quality).

If you price yourself luxury...people will see it as a luxury...and they will actually want it, because its not readily accessible to everyone! People love to have custom things and if you are higher priced you are a novelty. It just takes time to find the right customer base.

kkitchen Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 4:57am
post #19 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by MandyCakez

I have only been doing this for a little over two months.I'am VERY cheap,I mean,VERY!My goal is to promote,promote,promote get an established customer base and then set my prices a little higher after the new year.I get tons of compliments on my cakes and so many recommendations and referrals.But it seems like when it's time to send a price quote people act like i'm so expensive.My last issue a customer raved about the cake she seen of mine at a birthday party..(The scarecrow cake in my pics)And wanted her shower cake from me....a Noah's Ark themed 3-D with nearly 18 sculpted gum paste animals for...wait for it.....$60 dollars. icon_eek.gif I normally charge $120-$135 for a two tiered cake and that's a steal.I remember paying $325 for my baby shower cake.It just really irritates me that i'am already very cheap in pricing and people still complain.Or once they get the price quote they downsize the order or will pick the very cheapest quote i give them.They will not find a cheaper fondant cake in this area.I feel like i'm practically giving my cakes away after knowing how much work goes into making one.How in the world do you get people to pay your prices?




I totally understand what you mean. I did the same thing, and, it didn't help. With cheap prices they think something is wrong with your cake. Set your prices and DO NOT COMPROMISE! I learnt that the hard way

Babs1964 Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 5:08am
post #20 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

That's true, because if you work to build a client base of cheapos who only want to pay low prices, they'll all run for the hills when you raise your prices, so you'll end up with no client base once again. You need to find some different places to advertise where you'll get attention for your cakes at the right price point. Do you want to do mostly party cakes or wedding cakes?



Great advice!

Ebonyswanne Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 5:28am
post #21 of 105

I'm also new in developing a cake decorating business, I needed to read this even if its just to keep me on track with quotes!

MacsMom Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 6:11am
post #22 of 105

The clientele who can afford your prices will come in time. Likely those who have inquired have only ever purchased a cake from Costco and never watch any of the growing number of cake shows on TV.

If you are advertising, you must emphasize "custom".

Never, ever sell yourself short! I thought I was already overcharging when I started out, but once I had a base clientele I rose my prices once I realized I was undercharging (twice now) and the clients still call.

A solid reputation is key. Your cakes have to stand out in taste as well as design. Your customers won't settle for less, so they will keep coming back to you.

butterfly831915 Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 7:16am
post #23 of 105

I started doing just for friends and family basically cost now they tell everyone, hey she is good and CHEAP, ahhhh, strongly dislike that word and then when they here the price they all choke and I am what most consider cheap, no where around here is there really good custom cakes, there is the regular grocery cakes but nothing more, people tell me "but I can get that at walmart for _____, well no you can't mine is better and custom, when I learned that I learned that I deserve more out of my time and if they don't want to pay it then go to walmart.

costumeczar Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 11:50am
post #24 of 105

I'm going to write another book and have the whole thing be about pricing, I swear. It's got to be the most difficult thing for people. There's one section in my book about it but I bet I could do an entire set of encyclopedias about it!

CakeInfatuation Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 12:02pm
post #25 of 105

I think it's easy to get stuck in the mindset that you have to price low just because you WANT customers and if your prices are low... you'll get them. That's really not true... Despite what we sometimes think.

Custom cakes are a high end product. Luxury.... NOT a necessity or a right. Luxury comes with a price tag. Your targeted client base should not be the paycheck to paycheck crowd who's on a tight budget. You want those with disposable incomes. YES you will get people from ALL demographics ordering over time, but you don't want to target the wrong people. Aim High!

artscallion Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 12:43pm
post #26 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Babs1964

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

That's true, because if you work to build a client base of cheapos who only want to pay low prices, they'll all run for the hills when you raise your prices, so you'll end up with no client base once again. You need to find some different places to advertise where you'll get attention for your cakes at the right price point. Do you want to do mostly party cakes or wedding cakes?


Great advice!




So true...because if this site is any indication, once you raise your prices, there will always be another cake lady down the road who's trying to build her base by selling cheap cakes. And they'll drop you like a hot potato and run down the street to her.

These are not your customers. You need to find your customers, people who understand what you do and want it for a price that can support you doing it. Even if you don't think so now, these people are out there. You just need to find them.

Kandis Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 12:47pm
post #27 of 105

While talking about pricing, how do those of you with a lot more experience decide what to charge? I have figured out the cost to me and then that's where I have a hard time trying to figure what to charge on top of that. Is there a "rule of thumb" that you all use?
Thanks!

brincess_b Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 12:54pm
post #28 of 105

my rule of thumb is minimum wage! ideally, more!
xx

mayo2222 Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 1:33pm
post #29 of 105

I think part of the problem is that people understand having to pay a lof of money for a wedding cake. Its normally a once in a lifetime thing so people go all out for it where as a birthday is an annual event, but people still want "wedding cakes" but don't feel like it should cost as much because its not a once in a lifetime event (other than milestone birthdays)

Some markets can't support custom cakes, but Pitt. is not one of them. As everyone else has said don't price your cakes for what you would pay or for what your friends would pay because thats not who your marketing to. Probably the biggest thing you are getting right now is experience and a portfolio which you can't take to the bank now, but they will make a huge difference later on.

lyndya Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 1:52pm
post #30 of 105

I can relate. I quoted $2 slice for a tiered anniversary cake for 80 people,
and never got a return response. Geez.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%