Trying To Be Nice...but They're Not Letting Me!

Decorating By chefjess819 Updated 1 Jan 2011 , 9:41pm by costumeczar

chefjess819 Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 7:23pm
post #1 of 59

so my friend mentions to a friend of hers, who is getting married in march, that i decorate cakes. i'm not a licensed baker, nor do i advertise, but she asked how much i would charge her to make her wedding cake. i know i can't charge her the traditional "per serving" cost of a wedding cake. i figured up my costs for supplies; flour, sugar, butter, powdered sugar, marshmallows for mmf, and then there's the cake board cost. so i told her $50 for a 3 tier 16", 10" and 8" square wedding cake...all fondant. i didnt see this as being unreasonable. and i'm throwing in a basic german choc cake for a grooms cake for free. today, she asks if she can have a decorated grooms cake, and (the kicker) if her and my friend "help" how much i would charge. i've "baked" with my friend before. i helped her decorate 2 cakes for a fall festival. meaning, i had to turn the oven down for the second cake after she burnt the first one by baking it at 450 degrees. i proceeded to frost, decorate and airbrush these cakes. then she takes all the credit for them. so how do i put it nicely that i'd rather do things myself so they are done right? without hurting someone's feelings? sorry for it being so long, just really stumped on this one...HELP! icon_cry.gif

58 replies
cakegirl1973 Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 7:33pm
post #2 of 59

Sounds like she doesn't understand is that the $50 is the cost of your supplies and that she thinks the cake will be cheaper if you have "help". I would stress that the $50.00 is your out of pocket cost. I would also tell her that, while you appreciate the offer of help, you've learned that you work best alone. JMHO. Good luck! icon_smile.gif

au_decorator_76 Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 7:33pm
post #3 of 59

Tell her very nicely... that you don't have the space in your kitchen for help and that it'd be easier for you to do the cake alone, or if they insist on helping it'd still be $50. Tell her to let you know by X date if she wants you to do the cake and you'll need payment up front for supplies. Then give her the number of your local bakery if she decides to go that route.

She'll either take it or leave it. Her choice. I've learned you can't always worry about hurting someones feelings because if she gets upset over a $50 WEDDING cake.... she will get her feelings hurt for sure if she's in your kitchen trying to help and you have to slap her hand with a wooden spoon!

dreamdelights Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 7:41pm
post #4 of 59

Let her know it still would be 50 dollars and that is a steal. Inform her you grateful for her help but would prefer to bake alone.

KatsSuiteCakes Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 7:49pm
post #5 of 59

I always charge more if they want to help!!

Get outta my kitchen! icon_lol.gif

madgeowens Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 7:57pm
post #6 of 59

Say "NO". If they don't like that, tell them to do it themselves. They are not being very nice to you, so I would put it just that way.

brincess_b Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 8:01pm
post #7 of 59

tell her the truth - well a different version to you work better alone (which is the best version - i think mine would get a better reaction tho) her and hubby can arrive for say 3 evenings minimum in a row this week to start on sugar flowers. the week of the wedding: they can come over for a full day to help bake, make icing, fill and crumb coat. (and freeze) at a suitable time, they can pop over to help knead all the fondant/ make more icing. they can 'help' you cover those cakes - say 4 hours?they can come back the next day for another few hours to help stack, and decorate. i bet that time will put them right off helping. use the phrase 'it will be great to have someone there to do all the dishes!' a lot as well!

is $50 really covering your cost? no way i could make a cake at that price. not so much the cake, but the boards, boxes ribbons etc - then think how much power it will take having ur oven on that much too!
xx

-K8memphis Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 8:14pm
post #8 of 59

I would say,

Wow I'm glad you asked. When I re-checked my figures I realized that I had shorted myself tremendously. It's $100 (or$150-whatever) now and no thanks don't need any help.

chefjess819 Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 8:14pm
post #9 of 59

i've decided to make a list of everything i will need, go to the store, and write down the price of everything. all ingredients, boards, etc...then quote her a price. the cost of flour wont go down just because they decided to help. and i can add in the cost of a bottle of excedrin migraine and a bottle of vodka (not just for airbrushing lmao) to help me make it through the week if they help. lol. just someone else trying to get something for nothing. icon_rolleyes.gif

cakeandpartygirl Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 8:16pm
post #10 of 59

Brincess_b I am also with you on $50 covering the cost of the cake. Honestly I don't think that you are even really covering your cost of the cake. Have you seen the cost of butter lately? I am not trying to be mean but goodness she is being a cheapo. A 16 in cake is going to take a few batches of fondant. Having someone help me bake a cake would actually be more of a hindrance especially if they don't know anything about fondant let alone decorating. It bothers me that people think that it is so easy to decorate a cake that anyone can do it. I am not saying that they are that way but goodness. I would tell her absolutely positively NOOOOOOO!!!!

-K8memphis Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 8:18pm
post #11 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefjess819

i've decided to make a list of everything i will need, go to the store, and write down the price of everything. all ingredients, boards, etc...then quote her a price. the cost of flour wont go down just because they decided to help. and i can add in the cost of a bottle of excedrin migraine and a bottle of vodka (not just for airbrushing lmao) to help me make it through the week if they help. lol. just someone else trying to get something for nothing. icon_rolleyes.gif




Yes! Make your list--perfect!
AND they need to pay you before you go buy the stuff.

MissLisa Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 8:18pm
post #12 of 59

Hmmmm If you'd like me to make your cake, it's gonna be $50. (which just for the record IS NOT ENOUGH)
If you'd like to come over and watch it's gonna be $100
If you'd like to come over and help.....ahhh yeah, that's gonna be $200

In my opinion, you have a little bit of time to figure out a way out of this. You are seriously allowing yourself to be taken advantage of. You will burn out really fast on cake decorating if you continue to work this way.

denetteb Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 8:22pm
post #13 of 59

I wouldn't throw in a grooms cake for free for a friend of a friend, but it sounds like you already offered that. Did you include purchasing the square pans, cake boards, supports, and some gas to deliver it and what the earlier posters mentioned? If not, adjust your prices now while they are still trying to negotiate in more things. As far as decorating the grooms cake, just politely say you aren't willing to do that, you agreed to undecorated. Probably you can truthfully say you don't have time to do that much decorating. And just say no, you would work better alone since it takes your full concentration. You are doing them a favor and don't be afraid to say, "no, that won't work for me". Repeat as necessary. Don't be so worried about hurting their feelings....obviously they aren't worried about hurting yours by asking for more and more for a steal of a price and putting you in an awkward position.

cownsj Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 8:40pm
post #14 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefjess819

i've decided to make a list of everything i will need, go to the store, and write down the price of everything. all ingredients, boards, etc...then quote her a price. the cost of flour wont go down just because they decided to help. and i can add in the cost of a bottle of excedrin migraine and a bottle of vodka (not just for airbrushing lmao) to help me make it through the week if they help. lol. just someone else trying to get something for nothing. icon_rolleyes.gif




After you have your list, GIVE them the list and let them go do the shopping. Let them see for themselves exactly how much it actually costs. If you have to buy items online, let them order them online, etc. Use the gas in their car, and still be sure to tell them it costs for the oven. If they want to help, that is a way they can be of great help to you, and they won't be handing over a single dime to you. And if they forget something, let them run out and pick it up. You get the idea....

indydebi Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 8:47pm
post #15 of 59

They are getting over 200 servings for fifty bucks and they're B*TCHING??????????

(16/10/8 square serves 128/50/32 = 210 servings)

You need a new set of friends. icon_razz.gif

Fondant covered cake this big and you can do it for only fifty bucks? Sounds like you hit the wrong calculator key somewhere. Heck, the fondant itself would cost me more than $50.

At my rate of $4.50/serving for fondant, I would tell these "friends" that "You are getting a $900 cake for $50 and you want me to lower the price?" Then stand there giving them the evil eye until they melt in shame.

I agree with cownscj ... give them the list and let them buy the stuff. Put on the list the pans, the wax paper, parchment paper, dishsoap, decorating bags, tips, toothpicks (for testing for doneness and cleaning tips!), paper towels, etc etc. Take pictures of their faces when they see the receipts 'coz I think it will be very entertaining! thumbs_up.gif

-K8memphis Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 8:52pm
post #16 of 59

Yes yes yes! Y'all are great! You keep your fifty bucks and make them buy everything. Great idea!

carmijok Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 9:54pm
post #17 of 59

$50 for a 3-tier cake AND a free groom's cake??? Are you nuts? There's friendship and then there's being taken advantage of and you are being taking advantage of! And as far as the help is concerned you might ask her exactly what kind of 'help' can she provide? Is she going to bake? Great! Have her bake the cake at HER house and bring it to you to decorate. That's helpful. Plus she'd get an idea as to what it costs in time and ability to actually turn out a decent cake. AND you wouldn't have to hear about any problems with the flavor or texture since you didn't do it.

Actually, if I were you I would run from this. RUN!!

chefjess819 Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 10:19pm
post #18 of 59

i'm going to try to talk her down from a 3 tier to a 2 tier since shes only expecting 30 to 35 people. i've explained to her about how many the 4 tier will serve but its like she doesnt care that all that cake will be wasted. i'm still waiting for a reply from her to get together to discuss the design and such. not sure if she realizes that i dont make all my cakes from a box. my carrot cake (she pitched this flavor idea...i wouldnt go there for the whole cake but not problem) is from scratch as well as my basic vanilla cake. my original price was $80 so i've already come down once for her. not sure how much farther shes wanting me to drop...probably all the way to free. if thats the case, she can go to the dreaded walmart bakery and get her cake. see if she can get a wedding cake from there for $50. seriously thinking about coming down with a 4 month virus...lol

Christy0722 Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 10:23pm
post #19 of 59

Ummmm....I have to agree with an earlier poster.....I think you hit a wrong key on the calculator. I just did a wedding cake this weekend (8", 10" & 12" with 2 satellite cakes ~ 6" & 8"). The cost for supplies ALONE was $127....that includes cake boards, parchment paper, paper towels, etc. I think you need to go back and refigure things.

I'm not sure where you live but if you can get ingredients much cheaper....i'll send you my grocery list!! icon_wink.gificon_lol.gif

cownsj Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 10:27pm
post #20 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefjess819

i'm going to try to talk her down from a 3 tier to a 2 tier since shes only expecting 30 to 35 people. i've explained to her about how many the 4 tier will serve but its like she doesnt care that all that cake will be wasted. i'm still waiting for a reply from her to get together to discuss the design and such. not sure if she realizes that i dont make all my cakes from a box. my carrot cake (she pitched this flavor idea...i wouldnt go there for the whole cake but not problem) is from scratch as well as my basic vanilla cake. my original price was $80 so i've already come down once for her. not sure how much farther shes wanting me to drop...probably all the way to free. if thats the case, she can go to the dreaded walmart bakery and get her cake. see if she can get a wedding cake from there for $50. seriously thinking about coming down with a 4 month virus...lol




Why on earth would she come down on the number of servings when she can get all that cake and impact and design for $50????????? Seriously, she is not realistic and does not care about your time, energy, talent, etc. They really are abusing you. I think at this point, if you don't come down with that 4 months virus, and I would if I were you, then YOU have to set the guidelines. You can't blame them if you allow them to walk all over you. You want the cake? You will do the shopping and here is the list. You want a design? You will meet with me on one of these 3 dates and times and be on time and work out the details or I can't possibly get it done for you. If you want a grooms cake, then you'll buy the ingredients for that too, and work out the details with me, and only if I feel I have the time to make it. Oh, you think that 20 lb bucket of fondant is more than I'll need and you want money back? Nope, because if I buy fondant I have to buy the whole thing and have the rest on hand whether I have a use for it or not.

I would sit down and carefully work out what it is YOU require in order to GIVE HER FOR FREE you work, and stick to it. Write out a list, 1, 2, 3, etc. and give it to the both of them. You can be very polite about it, but still hold your ground and say that anything else make it too difficult for you to be able to help, no matter how much you would like to. Heck, there are enough people on here who will make out that list with you.

cakesbycathy Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 10:39pm
post #21 of 59

Just STOP. Seriously.

First, I cannot for the life of me figure out how in the world you can make that size of a cake - covered in fondant no less - for $50.

You are trying to be nice and they are trying to screw you. That's the bottom line. Why on earth would you let them talk you into lowering the price??? icon_confused.gificon_eek.gificon_confused.gif

If you REALLY want to make this cake IMO you should do three things. First tell them to go price their cake at at least 3 bakeries. They really need a wake-up call. Second, make them an extremely detailed shopping list. Make sure they get exactly what is on there or tell them you won't be able to make the cake. Third, tell them if they want you to make the cake you will do it WITHOUT any help.

I'd just be walking away.

Jayde Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 10:40pm
post #22 of 59

My at home cost for making an 8-inch cake is $19.50. That is my recipe with a simple BC filling, boards (nothing is used again, I just have them throw away and I dont use cheap boards), and homemade fondant. If they request store bought, or I dont have the time to make homemade it jumps up to $25. That is for one 8 inch tier.

I am not citisizing your math, but did you figure more than just cost of ingredients? What about disposible piping bags? Soap to wash your dishes? Electricity and water? I think you are losing money in this deal.

debster Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 10:42pm
post #23 of 59

People are RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!! Ok I'm on my soap box latley , have not people walked into Wal-mart and seen their large cucpakes are 2.00? COME ON !!! People need to get over themselves and pay for what they want. I could not with a clear conscience ask someone to make me a knit sweater and say oh here's 10.00 for the yarn. I know I'm being generous most of these types would say do you think 5.00 will cover it? And the part that kills me is people want a custom cake for NOTHING and will pay for a undecorated hall thousands , I wonder if they try to haggle with them? Wonder if they haggle with the Brides Dress? I don't get where they think the cake is negotiable?

BlakesCakes Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 11:45pm
post #24 of 59

This just sounds like giving someone an inch and having them try to take a mile........... icon_cool.gif

I firmly believe that beggars can't be choosers--always have and always will. If I offer to give someone a meal and they try to change it into getting $$, then they get NOTHING icon_eek.gif

Why lose sleep over what is an idiotic request????

You're already shooting yourself in the foot with that unrealistic low price PLUS a free groom's cake, what's the point of worrying about it?

I fully understand wanting to get experience and/or a cake for a "portfolio", but those need to be done ONLY on your terms, and no one else's.

Revise the price UP to include dish soap, paper towels, electricity, cleaning time, etc. AND BE GLAD WHEN THEY WALK AWAY.

MHO
Rae

traci_doodle Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 11:53pm
post #25 of 59

I totally agree with charging more or even better walking away, but if you do decide to do it, have you considered doing some dummy tiers? If they want the look without all the cake, that seems like a good option. However, so far it sounds like if you do make this cake, you're going to hate it the whole time!

tigachu Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 12:25am
post #26 of 59

I would walk away. The way they are treating you for basically 2 free cakes is disgusting. icon_mad.gif

Coral3 Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 12:33am
post #27 of 59

I just can't imagine this cake ending well. They'll just be difficult about every little thing. If you get them to pay more, (and by some miracle, actually manage to extract the money from them) then I suspect they'll just start expecting more. They have no respect for your time, and are just using you to get a freebie (and let's face it, $50 for what they want is already a freebie). I suggest you quit now, before you've wasted any more of your time over it. Tell them something came up, you can't commit the time, that date isn't free after all, whatever you like...just grab any excuse you can think of and run for the hills!

carmijok Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 12:35am
post #28 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by traci_doodle

I totally agree with charging more or even better walking away, but if you do decide to do it, have you considered doing some dummy tiers? If they want the look without all the cake, that seems like a good option. However, so far it sounds like if you do make this cake, you're going to hate it the whole time!




Dummy's still have to be iced and decorated. Plus if you do, you'll need to add the cost of that to your total. More money out the door. Like I said earlier...RUN!!!

chefjess819 Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 12:44am
post #29 of 59

thanks everyone for the input. i realized early on that i was quoting an incredibly low price for what she wants. as one website i went to to get flavor combo ideas to pitch to her had their wedding cake price listings as $6 a serving for bc and $9 for fondant covered no exceptions. so if they start in with the lower price thing again, i will quote them a per serving price and watch their jaws drop. i'm going to give her a copy of my supply list, and if she wants she can accompany me to walmart to get a price estimate, including the grooms cake mix and frosting. through being nice just to be screwed over. i've seen someone's tag line as being "i dont do sheet cakes", think i'm gonna go with "i dont do wedding cakes" after this ordeal. icon_evil.gif

CakeRN Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 12:47am
post #30 of 59

Wow...why would you do this cake for a friend of a friend? And for 50 dollars down from 80????? Really???

And she is only having 40 people max but wants a 3 to 4 tier cake plus a grooms cake? Why would she downsize when she is paying for nothing really.

I would tell her for 50 bucks I can do a 10 inch cake or a 6 and an 8 inch tier and a grooms cupcake. No more no less.
You are being taken advantage of and I would not do this for someone I didn't know. With friends like yours who needs enemies?

Tell them NO and give them Walmarts number.

My daughter just posted some of my old cakes on facebook and one person saw the beerbucket cake and thought that would be great for her dad and step dads birthday next year. I quoted min of 300 per ...not giving it away for anybody...licensed or not.

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