Is It Just Me Or Are Some Customers Clueless???

Decorating By cakelady2266 Updated 1 Dec 2010 , 4:50am by cakelady2266

scp1127 Posted 12 Nov 2010 , 7:35pm
post #31 of 82

I don't do wedding cakes, so I am posting as a consumer this time. You as an industry are at fault for the misconceptions of the cost of a wedding cake. Buddy tells customers right up front the cost of a cake, but you don't. The best web sites are the ones who state their price in the gallery. As a former marketing company owner, anyone in the business will tell you that customers hate to be uninformed. They come into your shop with a picture of a cake and find it is way out of their price range. No one wants to admit at that point that they can't afford something. We have all been there. Big ticket items need pricing more than small ticket items. I just bought a car for my daughter on the internet. The prices for the exact car were $4000.00 apart. I called most of them and made my decision on one in the upper middle range. Price is rarely the single most deciding factor for a sale. THE NUMBER ONE RULE IN MARKETING IS "MAKE IT EASY FOR THE CUSTOMER TO BUY". The cakers who are successful already know where they stand with the competition on taste, design, and price. THE NEXT RULE OF MARKETING IS THAT THE CUSTOMER BUYS WHEN THEIR QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED. They may have to go to three shops before they get their information, but they feel best about the shop that helped them the most... alot of what Indydebi tries to teach.

So if you want this to stop, don't be afraid to put your prices out there. You can also put the number of servings for that cake and let them know that other sizes are available in that design. The consumer will know your price eventually, and your competition already knows them.

-K8memphis Posted 12 Nov 2010 , 7:38pm
post #32 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by andreamen1

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrindysBackyard

for thoes who wanted to know prices

Coppied from Carlos Bakery "" web site

What is the price range for specialty and wedding cakes?
Any specialty cake is priced per person; basic butter cream cakes start at $8.00 per person and go up from there. A good rule of thumb is to look at cakes that are featured in any magazines or publications; they are usually priced in the $12.00 to $18.00 range per person. The more elaborate, intricate, and time consuming the cake is, the greater price range you will be looking at.




that is not the same on tv




Yeah it is and lookie this one

Quote:
Quote:

Is there a fee for a consultation?
Consultations, which include refreshments and cake samples, are $100.

What is the price range for specialty and wedding cakes?
Any specialty cake is priced per person; basic butter cream cakes start at $8.00 per person and go up from there. A good rule of thumb is to look at cakes that are featured in any magazines or publications; they are usually priced in the $12.00 to $18.00 range per person. The more elaborate, intricate, and time consuming the cake is, the greater price range you will be looking at.




That's cool! A hundred bucks for a consult--Go, Buddy!

Honeychild Posted 12 Nov 2010 , 7:38pm
post #33 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

I think it should be a requirement that every time they show a cake on one of those shows, the price and number of servings flashes up on the screen. It would certainly give people a little perspective. icon_rolleyes.gif



That is an excellent idea! It would be entertaining as well, people can only guess as to how much those cakes truely go for.

DSmo Posted 12 Nov 2010 , 7:57pm
post #34 of 82

TLC's "Fabulous Cakes" usually does mention the price. They're often $2,000 and upwards. (And a few, I might add, have not been all that fabulous.)

-K8memphis Posted 12 Nov 2010 , 8:38pm
post #35 of 82

Do any decorators on here charge for more than the cake at their consults? Those that charge at all? Wonder if he just instituted that fee after he hit the tv guide?

cakesnglass Posted 12 Nov 2010 , 8:47pm
post #36 of 82

I was just discussing this same topic with my husband. The cake shows are so inspirational to me but have also created a false representation of the time it takes to create these elaborate cakes. There are many hours of preparation just to get to the final decorating stage. I also wish they would list prices, so that at the same time as the "art" of decorating is being acknowledged people will be educated to the average costs of these works of ART. icon_smile.gif

Adecakes Posted 12 Nov 2010 , 9:13pm
post #37 of 82

I agree with everyone above, some clients expect to pay the same price as walmart cakes or here in Canada Loblaws 'fresh' cakes, one customer asked what the difference was between mine and their cakes and my response was two things: Fresheness, and Custom made, they don't understand most of the time.

cakelady2266 Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 7:06am
post #38 of 82

I must take a moment to clarify.....I do all types of cakes and I have been for 21 years. Not occasionally but most every day. I own a bakery and I have a website. And my prices for cakes are clearly listed and states that cakes start at ___. I give a full disclosure. I explain it on the phone, in the email, and in person. No surprises, you know the base price coming in.

My complaint is with the customers who do not understand that they can't get a wedding cake for birthday cake prices, because it is only cake after all, not real work. Or any cake with tons of work for free. Or in more simple terms a "cake boss" cake for $25.00. It is annoying when people don't get that the wedding cake will cost $2.50 per serving times (x) the number of servings needed.

I do not charge for consultations or samples. I will spend hours with a bride and answer every question under the shining sun. But the price is usually the determining factor. I work with them and the budget, say they need a cake to serve 200 but they really can't or don't want to spend $500, my suggestion have a tiered cake for 150 and then have a $30 sheet cake to make up the difference. They just saved about $100. Sound reasonable?

indydebi Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 9:34am
post #39 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by delcecakes

one customer asked what the difference was between mine and their cakes and my response was two things: Fresheness, and Custom made, they don't understand most of the time.


and even with that, I'm willing to bet they STILL don't get it. "custom"? Walmart and Sam's offer "custom" cakes .... that means they write any name on it you want, or you can pick any color rose to put on the corners. (ok, that may be a dumbed-down exaggeration, but I think you know what I mean icon_wink.gif ).

Sometimes even when it's explained ... they don't get it.

Bluehue Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 10:08am
post #40 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi


Sometimes even when it's explained ... they don't get it.







Bluehue starts humming that song...

"folks are dumb where i come from" - icon_wink.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

AbouttheCake Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 11:39am
post #41 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by cabecakes

Well, you have heard about writing to your congressman...maybe we should all write a letter to Food Network requesting that a full listing of ingredients, time spent, and price tag be listed with these cakes. Maybe this would give some of the reality tv cake show viewers the REAL "reality" of these cakes. I'm personally getting tired of being approached by friends wanting monster cakes, but they want me to provide the ingredients out of my pocket to produce them for free. Some of these "friends" have only spoken to me on occasional passing. Give me a break...pay up or go to Wally World.




Actually, TLC's Ultimate Cake Off has a listing of the ingredients and quantities for people to see on their photo pages. It's right next to the team photos. Some say something like 85 pounds of sugar, 100 pounds of flour, etc. At least people can see the quantity of ingredients...

The biggest thing I find is that people don't understand that what they see on tv serves 150-1000 people and they expect their 20 serving cake to be that big.

psmith Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 12:34pm
post #42 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

I think it should be a requirement that every time they show a cake on one of those shows, the price and number of servings flashes up on the screen. It would certainly give people a little perspective. icon_rolleyes.gif




I totally agree!! I think it would be a real eye-opener and go a long way to make people appreciate the time and work that goes into some of these cakes. It isn't 'just cake' anymore. thumbs_up.gif

giggysmack Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 12:41pm
post #43 of 82

Yes this has been one of my biggest frustrations as well. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to spend extra hours with each customer explaining every detail so they can budget their cake. By that time I've lost too much money. I would have customers send me detailed fondant cakes and want me to recreate them for maybe $50 and the cake would be worth at least $600. This is one of the reasons I've closed my business. By the time I put all my time into dealing with this I would have made more money pumping gas and less stress.

Alfiesmom Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 1:38pm
post #44 of 82

The $10,000 they win on those elaborate cake competition shows is what those cakes cost I bet

dynee Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 1:59pm
post #45 of 82

I had that friend of a friend who was a co-woker of my SIL cake. She wanted a two tier cake with a pink tier and a zebra tier with zebra stars and number shooting out the top....
wait for it....
AND she wanted it to serve 10. I told her I could do a 6 inch and a 4 inch, but it would look very dinky. I gave her some other choices of configurations. She didn't really balk at the prices which were around $50 but she strung me along for a couple of weeks and then just stopped e-mailing when I tried to pin her down on a date. So I never knew why.
I'm such a cake nerd, I had already tinted some hot pink fondant, made chocolate zebra stripe stars, and spent some time researching the best looking zebra stripes etc. etc. etc.
I checked my HY-Vee flyer and even they charge four dollars a serving for fondant cake so I wasn't even charging her enough at the prices I gave her.

-K8memphis Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 2:08pm
post #46 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfiesmom

The $10,000 they win on those elaborate cake competition shows is what those cakes cost I bet




I mean if they practiced the cake once or twice it's more time & product there plus travel plus motel. They get a stipend but it's not much. Maybe the network covers their housing & travel I don't know. But think of all the stuff you gotta bring. It is mind boggling.

You're either hoping everything ships in ok or you're hauling butt across country with a van full.

And what I heard is that Ultimate Cakes pays a better, more realistic stipend than Food TV Challenge from one of the contestants.

aligotmatt Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 2:28pm
post #47 of 82

I got a phone call last week from a mom wanting a birthday cake for her son. She thinks fondant is pretty. Want me to sculpt tools and put happy 4th birthday on it to serve 20. She caught me in a nice pricing mood, so I kept it at $5 serving and told her it would be $100. KNOWING full well that I would be a bit underpaid for the amount of work that I would put in to the cake.

The phone goes silent.

"hello? would you like to go forward with this order?" "ummm I didn't think it would be quite that much, I'm just comparing your price to the $18 quarter sheet I can get from Sam's" "Would sam's cover the cake in fondant and sculpt edible tools for you?" "Oh well, I'm sure you charge more because you're smaller and they have more employees so they can charge less" "no, they charge less because they will spend a few minutes icing the cake and writing "happy 4th birthday" on it and you are asking me to spend hours sculpting pieces for a custom cake"

As far as the cake shows throwing people off and expecting more, yeah that happens. But I talk to people on the phone, ask them how people they are looking to serve, do quick math with my base price per serving - "oh you have 100 people, with your choice of a traditional cake flavor listed on my website, buttercream or fondant and simple decoration, your base price would be $500. Once we sit down and decide your flavors, if you go to a premium flavor, and your design, the price may go up from there. Are you available on Tuesday for a consultation?" I just kind of ramble through it quickly, but about 30% of phone calls don't schedule a consult after that. and the 70% I do sit down with aren't shocked when the quote time comes.

I charge $25 non refundable, does not apply to the total cost of the cake, consultation fee. It includes sitting with me for one hour and sampling cake, and designing a cake for their event. I used to let people pick what kind of cake they want, but now I just make 2 or 3 flavors of whatever I want or whatever I'm making that week. I have been considering raising that fee, because making cakes, sitting with someone for an hour for just $25... It's not profitable.

karensjustdessert Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 3:01pm
post #48 of 82

Just a thought about my friends/acquaintances that order from me...

I give them a "friend" discount, which is 20-30%; you know who never balks at the prices? The ones that own small businesses themselves...they know the work and time and effort that goes into a custom product or service...

sugarlovemom Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 8:12pm
post #49 of 82

i feel ya! Had a lady asking for 30th birthday purse cake.. some make up, a bottle of champaigne and even a glass..... with a $50 budget..... really?! thumbsdown.gif

cakelady2266 Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 10:36pm
post #50 of 82

If I never did another birthday cake it wouldn't break my heart.

online_annie Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 11:58pm
post #51 of 82

It doesn't help now that local Walmarts offer 2 tier colorful stacked cakes for $49.00 . Most in my area do not care how long they have been frozen as they know no difference. You just have to remind yourself who your target customer is. They are there, if you bake it ...they will come. lol. Couldn't resist.

cakelady2266 Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 4:25am
post #52 of 82

Well after reading all your responses I see I'm not in this boat alone. This week I finally grew a pair and said "if someone wants a custom cake from me they will have to pay the price I set, no haggling, no trade offs, no sad stories, no bullying, no exceptions or they can go somewhere else and don't let the door hit them in the ass on the way out.
I ALLOWED myself to be taken advantage of. I've been at this 21 years, I put a lot into my cakes and it pisses me off to see more work going out than money coming in. So I look at it this way, I had rather lose some cakes than lose money doing some cakes.

Melvira Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 2:33pm
post #53 of 82

Good for you!! That's really how it should be. I also got tired of essentially paying people to take my cakes off my hands. icon_mad.gif

cakeythings1961 Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 3:03pm
post #54 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakelady2266

Well after reading all your responses I see I'm not in this boat alone. This week I finally grew a pair...
I ALLOWED myself to be taken advantage of. I've been at this 21 years, I put a lot into my cakes and it pisses me off to see more work going out than money coming in. So I look at it this way, I had rather lose some cakes than lose money doing some cakes.




Wow, great attitude! thumbs_up.gif

Diesel Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 3:12pm
post #55 of 82

What I find interesting/funny is that people will go out to dinner, and not even a fancy smancy place but a middle of the road place, and order a dessert that costs anywhere from $4-7, but when you tell them a price for an entirely decorated cake they flip out.
I politely told someone one time that if they didn't want to pay the price for the cake then they could just order 25 desserts from the restaurant and it would be the same amount. People really just don't comprehend the cost of baking the cake, the cost of the supplies to decorate and then the cost of labor. It's like the pretty cakes appear out of nowhere.

Melvira Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 3:25pm
post #56 of 82

Absolutely Diesel, and a lot of those places get the desserts sent in to them, they aren't made there fresh. Not that they're not good, but who knows who made it, and when, ya know?

Buttercream_warrior Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 3:36pm
post #57 of 82

im so glad i read this..im a mom of three and it hurts when i feel like i lost a job..my latest was a customer who asked and stressed the word "SIMPLE" quincinera cake to feed 100,,,meaning she didnt want to spend alot..so i got the point right at the beginning..then she tells me they want it american indian theme..so they want indian paintbrushes and bluebonnets and a teepee on top! I knew this lady didnt want a high price but i told her ..there was nothing "SIMPLE" about her cake..its easier for me to make a rose than a bluebonnet..lol..my entire schedule revolves around my little ones so i had to take that into concideration..i thought i was being more than reasonable and quoted her 175..cus i really wanted this job..which was on december 4..she has not called me back..sigh..and it doesnt help that i have so much competion with ppl who do this as a hobby now..but in all im glad i didnt let her "SIMPLE" word get me..lol

costumeczar Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 4:36pm
post #58 of 82

"Simple but elegant" is code for "Difficult to make but I don't want to pay you for it."

indydebi Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 6:10pm
post #59 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel

What I find interesting/funny is that people will go out to dinner, and not even a fancy smancy place but a middle of the road place, and order a dessert that costs anywhere from $4-7, but when you tell them a price for an entirely decorated cake they flip out.



It's called "Going Math-Dumb" ..... here's my blog where I explain it: http://cateritsimple.blogspot.com/2010/11/doing-math-or-going-math-dumb.html

Basically .... a $4 cup of coffee isn't that expensive. Until you have to buy 200 of them.

cakelady2266 Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 6:52pm
post #60 of 82

Amen costumeczar....if I hear someone say "I have simple but elegant taste" one more time I'm so going to lose my mind. That term is an oxymoron anyway.
I totally agree indydebi, people don't think in those terms. They look lost when you try to explain it to them.
I don't want to come off as someone who wants to do the least amount of work possible for the most money, but I will be paid for the work that goes in from now on.
The big issue lately is with birthday cakes.....and you all know the deal. I can seriously say that it has take me less time and effort on wedding cakes as it does on some of these birthday cakes people want nowadays.

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