I have recently started doing cakes on the side from home occasionally. I had someone email me a pic of a cake they wanted to order. It was a half-sheet cake with buttercream icing and fondant flowers, leaves, and beads on the cake with a miniature topsy turvy cake made of rice krispy treats and covered with fondant with the fondant flowers, leaves, beads, and zebra striping. I will attach the pic if I can.
I'm located in Valdosta, GA so I know I will not get big city prices for my cakes so I try to base my pricing on the pricing of the local Publix grocery store bakery. A half-sheet cake with buttercream frosting and the basic plastic cake topper runs about $48 at Publix. So I figured that with the mini topsy-turvy cake and all the fondant decorations $70 would be a reasonable price. The woman emailed me back and said when she got the cake before she paid only $35 and she found someone locally who would do it for that price (even though in a previous email she didn't know what size it was or any other details about cake). I don't think there is any way that a price of $35 would compensate me near enough for the time the fondant work would require. I just wanted to hear some opinions as to whether my price was reasonable or if I overpriced it. Thanks in advance.
Firstly, I have never seen this question answered with a 'yes' - ever! Usually people who ask this question are woefully underpricing their cakes and are just dealing with PITA cheapskate customers! I can't comment on the cake without seeing it, but I charge $3.50 per serving for basic buttercream, so that's $168 right there for a 1/2 sheet, adding extra for the topper, flowers etc would bring this cake to at least the $200 mark.
Are you a grocery bakery churning out cheap mass-produced crap? No? Then you really need to get your mind set away from them being your 'competition'. They aren't. If people want custom cakes (which groceries DO NOT DO), then they have to suck it up and pay the custom price. Are you going to get a Prada dress for Target prices? I think not!
If she has already had it made for $35 why doesn't she just go back to the same person? Unless she wants it even cheaper than that! I think someone is telling porky pies lol.
I think she is trying to get your price to $35. The answer back is " I am so glad you were able to find someone locally. Enjoy your cake." There is no reason why she would come back to you with a lower price, unless she wants you to lower yours, like the previous poster said.
If she indeed really find someone, then you have lost the order. There is no reason to compete. But if she didn't and is trying to get a lower cake, she has now screwed herself because now she will have no cake. And you will have to do all that work and lost money in the process. Because I'm pretty sure that amount will not even begin to cover your expenses.
Move on, there are plenty of fish in the sea.
I'm located in Valdosta, GA so I know I will not get big city prices for my cakes so I try to base my pricing on the pricing of the local Publix grocery store bakery.
You can not price based off of grocery store costs, because they do not have the same expenses that you have.
^^^ So true, grocery stores buy there product in bulk as well.
Try looking into local bakeries in your area see what they charge, not the grocery store...
It makes me feel more comfortable too knowing when someone asks me for a quote, it's maybe .25 cents less then other bakers.
It's unfortunate that many people looking for cakes have, what I call, "garage sale" thinking. They think a cake should be priced the same as if you're at a garage sale and everything is cheap. I've made TOO many cakes for $30 that I spent hours on so I don't feel so bad when they balk at the price I quote.
Now when I quote a price and they say that's out of their range, then I ask what their range is and try to accommodate the best I can (albeit on a much smaller scale probably).
If what they want can be done for that price, then great. If what they want can't and they still want that price, that's fine too but I won't be making it.
It's all about charging for your time.