I Will Never Understand People

Business By karateka Updated 10 Dec 2010 , 5:10am by terrylee

karateka Posted 8 Dec 2010 , 3:25am
post #1 of 39

I got an email from someone who wanted a 3 tier topsy turvy cake done like a stack of donuts with a coffee cup on top. WHich, I guess, would make it 4 tiers. icon_redface.gif

She tells me she has a budget of $300. I spend some time calculatiing a bunch of options to keep it within her budget, including doing the cup out of RKT vs cake....different sizes, decorated board vs non (the picture had a decorated board) fewer donuts, etc.

I email these options to her and she says she'll get back to me.

I hear today that she is going with someone else. Now, I'm glad she let me know...that was considerate. I asked if she'd mind telling me why, and she says: "It was the cost....I just can't afford to spend that much on a cake." icon_eek.gif

Then why the FRICK did you give me that budget????

Going to go bang my head against a brick wall until it bleeds. I am sure it will be less painful than running this business into the ground.

38 replies
LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 8 Dec 2010 , 4:21am
post #2 of 39

UGH! How frustrating! People are stupid.

caymancake Posted 8 Dec 2010 , 4:44am
post #3 of 39

I had the same thing happen to me last week - this lady was referred to me by one of my regular customers, and she wanted a "Princess and the Frog" themed cake - something that will really "wow everyone" was how she put it. She had no other ideas regarding what she wanted, so I ran different ideas by her. She loved the idea of doing a doll cake, and wanted it to sit on an 11x15 sheet cake, fondant accents the whole works. I told her the price (WHICH WAS UNDER $100 by the way so it was a steal), she said oh no that's too much. So I asked what exactly is your budget that you are willing to spend? She said nothing more than $40 or $50 so I told her for that price she could do either the doll cake OR the sheet cake with FBCT but I couldn't do it for less than that. "I'll get back to you" is what the customer said... never heard from her.

The customer that originally referred her, and called me to find out why her friend didn't order from me. I told her I thought it had to do with the pricing - my regular customer was LIVID but at her friend - not at me (phew!) and was very upset because she felt that my prices are very reasonable. So she sends me a picture of the actual cake the girl got - she took the doll cake idea I gave her, and went to someone else...looked like it was the first time the person ever put buttercream to a cake...in fact, not even that - worse! It was MESSY and unprofessional looking. I don't know how much the customer paid for it - BUT you get what you pay for!!!

At the end of the day, I realize that with the time it takes me to go to the store to purchase the freshest ingredients, make the cake, make the icing, wait for the cake to cool, the boards, the boxes the time it takes to decorate the cake AND then clean up the kitchen afterwards - I just can't do anything lower - either you pay my price or you're free to go elsewhere.

ccr03 Posted 8 Dec 2010 , 2:56pm
post #4 of 39

Similar situation...

my sister has a party shop and this lady comes in and wants full linen service, balloon arches, (6) elaborate balloon pillars, customer centerpieces, pinata, fondant cake and labor to decorate everything. All this for a birthday/baptism party for 50 ppl. The quote was around $750. When the lady heard this she goes - whoa - I only wanted to spend $200-$300. ha

c-cakes Posted 8 Dec 2010 , 3:10pm
post #5 of 39

It's the same in every business, I think. I used to work as a flight attendant & we constantly had people complaining about the lack of leg room. The seats were extremely tight, no argument here, but basically it comes down to price. If you want leg room, you pay a lot more...if you want the cheapest rate, then you get what you pay for!

Rosa2745 Posted 8 Dec 2010 , 3:52pm
post #6 of 39

Sadly they don't realize how much time it takes just to come up with an idea. Sometimes I will spend an hour or so just looking for inspiration and ideas...then after all the work they dicide to go "with someone else". The nerve of some people.

jewels710 Posted 8 Dec 2010 , 4:06pm
post #7 of 39

Had the same sort of "banging my head against a brick wall" sort of experience...a relative of a regular came to me wanting an elaborate, 3-tier, lighten mcqueen/cars, thomas the train, a specific "orange" color for her sons 3rd b-day. I quoted her a price, went aback and forth on design (to get the price down) only to have the order cancelled.
I found out from my "regular" that she bought a sheet cake at the groc store with next to zero BC work, piped crooked name and a toy car sat on top.
MY question was....IF YOU ONLY WANTED A GENERIC SHEET CAKE...WHY DIDN'T YOU JUST ASK FOR ONE?!?!?!

My only guess was that she wanted a 3-tier cake for the price of a groc store sheet cake.
(I also heard no one ate it)! LOL - I know, not nice, but it made me feel better. It was so ugly, I wouldn't have eaten it either just based on how it looked!

kelleym Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 12:21am
post #8 of 39

And, because it can never be posted too many times, here is... The Vendor Client Relationship. Watch and enjoy.


Ursula40 Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 12:21am
post #9 of 39

yeah hear you on that, first bday party, carved cake on top of tiers, enough to feed 50 adults and 25 kids, fondant the works, quoted her,...-------too expensive, BUT she hired a hall, magician the works

Who the H*** invited that many for a first bday and then expect a cake for less than the ingredients cost? She is in a forum where I'm in as well, so I know what she is doing for the party. She knows, what we have to pay out here for the ingredients, wants my specially imported colours, wants imported products for the cake, but still says, I'm too expensive. She would order at a price lower than the ingredients cost, I should think about my pricing.


PEOPLE!!!!!

bobwonderbuns Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 12:29am
post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

And, because it can never be posted too many times, here is... The Vendor Client Relationship. Watch and enjoy.





OMG, that's too funny!! icon_lol.gif Kind of makes you want to shout if from the rooftops, huh? icon_biggrin.gif

mom2twogrlz Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 12:33am
post #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

And, because it can never be posted too many times, here is... The Vendor Client Relationship. Watch and enjoy.





I LOVE IT!!! That is the best video, and oh so true!!!

Ursula40 Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 12:39am
post #12 of 39

yeah hear you on that, first bday party, carved cake on top of tiers, enough to feed 50 adults and 25 kids, fondant the works, quoted her,...-------too expensive, BUT she hired a hall, magician the works

Who the H*** invited that many for a first bday and then expect a cake for less than the ingredients cost? She is in a forum where I'm in as well, so I know what she is doing for the party. She knows, what we have to pay out here for the ingredients, wants my specially imported colours, wants imported products for the cake, but still says, I'm too expensive. She would order at a price lower than the ingredients cost, I should think about my pricing.


PEOPLE!!!!!

rharris524 Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 4:48am
post #13 of 39

LOL, I'm a children's entertainer by profession and I was at this party the other day where the client paid me 650 for clowns and the decor was outstanding...easily $1000+ the room is $300 but the cake was a grocery store sheet cake. i was so disappointed. Seeing the cakes is one of my favorite parts of working at birthday parties

Ursula40 Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 5:29am
post #14 of 39

Nothing against your profession, but in a country, where tainted milk, painted and sprayed vegies and fruit are sold, I would think that the most important party for a party would be safe cake. But the moms out here complain about unsafe foods, splurge on parties (halls, entertainment etc) each trying to be better than the other, but feed the children the cheapest cake. I'd rather make sure the food is safe, than spending money on entertainment, especially out here. I am a party at home mom, love coming up with all sorts of new ideas and make most of the decos myself, but even if I couldn't, I'd rather keep it small and simple, than spend loads of money on the hall. Most people out here live in houses, have ayis (housemaids) to do the cleaning, so I don't understand, why they have to waste all that money for halls, restaurants etc for children's parties and because it's outside the home (less toys) they of course need entertainment as well. They don't balk at paying those prices, but for cake, which by the way also takes time to make, they tighten the belt. These are the same moms, who at times are "shocked" at what scandals foodwise crop up in my host country and declare, that they would NEVER buy those foods again. Duh, what do you think the local bakeries put in their cakes???? Cheap cake, cheap products used

Me I'd rather have no cake at all, if my only choice were the local cakes, there is just no regulation in place here for that at all

Ursula40 Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 5:39am
post #15 of 39

And if they do hire magicians, clowns or balloon artists, the best thing is, that most of the foreigner kids can't understand a thing they say anyway, because most of them only speak ch**inese, after all that's where we live and most kids are here only for a couple of years and do not get fluent enough that quickly, now that in my mind is a collosal waste of money

karateka Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 12:49pm
post #16 of 39

I love that video.

What really, really frosted me is that gave me a budget. She said she had $300 to spend on this cake. I gave her SEVERAL options, some less than and some right on and some SLIGHTLY more than the budget SHE SPECIFIED! But she can't spend that much on a cake? WTF?

kansaslaura Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 1:24pm
post #17 of 39

I LOVEEEEE that video!!

kristanashley Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 1:29pm
post #18 of 39

I wonder if she meant she had a $300 budget total - for decorations and food and cake and everything... I'm just trying to make it make sense to take some of the frustration away for you... Maybe she just had less funds than she thought she did... I know that happens to me all the time... icon_razz.gif

CakeInfatuation Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 1:55pm
post #19 of 39

I recently had one of these situations. Client called for a Sweet 16 Cake. She was wanting a topsy turvey cake to feed x number... She wasn't ready to deal with specifics but reserved her date anyway (with a non-refundable deposit), why, we will never know. Time comes to talk cake and I gave her a quote... she freaked... then she says... well when I was on your website in the summer, your price was $3.00/serving. I based everything off of that.

First of all my website states that pricing STARTS at $x.xx. I thought about it and realized I did adjust my pricing on my website... I was trying to hard to be accommodating. Then... remembered that in the spring I adjusted my prices UP because I wanted a slower summer to be available for my kids. And in the fall, I dropped my minimums from $4.50 back down to $4.00.... I don't know where she got $3.00.... But if she looked during the summer, she saw $4.50/serving!

BUT then she says she found someone to do the cake for her for $150 and wants her deposit refunded.... I wanted to scream!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had already spent soooooooo much time on her.... Just wanted her to go away though.... Despite my non-refundable deposit policy, the fact that she was most definitely wrong, that she annoyed the heck out of me.... I did refund her reserve the date fee. GRRRRRRRRRRR Next time... if there ever is a next time, that refund will be MINUS time and effort already spent on your project!!!!

jerseygirlNga Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 3:16pm
post #20 of 39

I think it all goes with the territory. There is only one cake show (I think Fabulous Cakes) that actually mentions prices but I believe they should be required to give a ball park price.

People think nothing about dropping $5.00 for a cup of "designer coffee" but have a near panic attack when you mention $50+ for a cake.

Here's my story. I have a "friend" that asked me to make a cake for her daughters birthday. Theme "make-up princess cake" I told her if she will reimburse for fondant (I use pre-made) and the cake board; I will absorb the rest. (about 35 people) She chuckled and said..."that's big of you." I let it go! 2 weeks before I started making the make-up pieces from gumpaste and the tiara. She called 4 days prior, I quoted her $21 and was told "Never mind, I am just going to bake cupcakes." Found out later...good ole Walmart fit the bill. At least I saved my gumpaste pieces.

Jump forward 3 weeks later and I get an email that she and a co-worker are hosting a party for a doctor. Theme "champagne life" with AKA colors and champagne bottles. (50 people) WE all know what it means when they say "SIMPLE." I asked if she wanted life sized sugar bottles or just decorative (gumpaste) bottles. She opted for the gumpaste. I quoted her $65 for 10" round that stands 5" in height (buttercream filling, fondant covered with luster dusted pearls, bow topper--bottles would be $10 extra). If she wants to add a 7" x 5" second tier, it would be an additional $30.

Today I got the email...Oh, "we decided to have fruit parfaits instead of cake." Like that says "Champagne Life!" I give up...sorry for the vent!!! But if anyone has influence on any of these dang Cake Shows...tell them... NAME THE PRICE so we do not have to waste our time coming up with ideas and drawing it out. Do they really think that what they see on TV is how it really is. I need a cupcake!

GI Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 3:41pm
post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

And, because it can never be posted too many times, here is... The Vendor Client Relationship. Watch and enjoy.





icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gifI can only pay for the hair trim, but I need the highlights done now, and will pay you later.....if my hubby likes it....if I come back! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif KACHING!

I'd like to have potential cake clients WATCH this is as prerequisite for ordering! icon_lol.gif

Ladyfish74 Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 4:14pm
post #22 of 39

Is anyone else having trouble with their quote button??? maybe it's my browser......

Ladyfish74 Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 4:20pm
post #23 of 39

"Ladyfish74"]Jerseygirl wrote

Quote:
Quote:

Do they really think that what they see on TV is how it really is?




Yes, I think they do. I constantly have to remind them that what takes an hour on TV, takes 3 days in reality and sometimes more. They really have no concept of what it takes to do these elaborate cakes. I usually get the "I'll have to check with my husband first" routine. Well, we all know that most of the time, men are not going to pay over $50 for a cake no matter how big or elaborate it is. When they make that statement, I know they aren't coming back.

What about the clients who give you confusing directions, tell you to use your own judgement, and then come to pick up the cake and say "oh no, that's not what I wanted at all."? These are the ones who make me nuts.

karateka Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 4:58pm
post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseygirlNga



People think nothing about dropping $5.00 for a cup of "designer coffee" but have a near panic attack when you mention $50+ for a cake.




I was in Starbucks the other day. Got a plain decaf. I was standing there in front of the goodies case, and I saw a slice of pumpkin bread, cut from a loaf, that they wanted $1.95 for. I got to thinking how funny (not ha ha funny) that someone would pay almost $2 for a slice of pumpkin bread from a loaf pan, but when I quote them $2.75 for a serving of cake that was created from premium, costly ingredients then painstakingly decorated, they FREAK OUT. Kinda pisses me off, if I think about it too much.

johnson6ofus Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 5:27pm
post #25 of 39

Anyone though of printing pricing screen shots from Charm City, or any of the other bakeries from TV and putting them IN THE FRONT of their portfolios?

"yes, that ____ cake is beautiful cake, and takes 4 days to make. Amazing that Duff gets $1,000 for it. Aren't you glad you can get one from me for $_____" icon_biggrin.gif

I think for a lot of people it is just plain ignorance. I walk by $20-$30 cakes in the bakery window at the grocery store ALL the time. And the sign says "Bakery". You KNOW that is the starting point with most folks. You gotta teach them WHY your cake is better tasting and better looking, and costs more because of special ingredients and extra labor. Then the customer gets a work of art- a centerpiece--- not just a cake.

tracycakes Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 5:34pm
post #26 of 39

I'll share my rant. A lady called and talked to my husband about a castle cake she wanted, but she wanted to feed about 200 people, budget, $150. I came up with a sheet cake design, to help her out. She came in that afternoon and she REALLY wants this over the top 3D castle cake for her daughter. She wants to really impress people. I told her what it would cost. We worked on several designs but it was way over her budget. She asked what she could do and I said "feed less people". Well, all told, we probably spent a total of 2 hours talking to her and didn't get the order, which I'm glad because I was done with her. But, I WASTED to stinkin' hours of our time, and in a business, time is money.

This is the reason that I am focusing on wedding cakes for 2011 and changing my whole way that I do party cakes. I spend less time with brides designing their wedding cake than I do on some party cakes, and it's not worth my time anymore.

One more, really quick. In a local kids mag, I've got a 2-tier square cake with zebra print on the bottom cake with lime green and hot pink. Woman calls yesterday going on about this cake and she wants zebra print, that cake, etc... for 10 people. The cake feeds about $70. My hubby was talking to her and he said "you realize that cake starts at about $250, right?". She got a quarter sheet cake. He said he almost blew her off but he knew I could throw that out pretty quickly.

indydebi Posted 10 Dec 2010 , 12:29am
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson6ofus

Anyone though of printing pricing screen shots from Charm City, or any of the other bakeries from TV and putting them IN THE FRONT of their portfolios?


I did that. Toba Garrett cakes with number of servings and her posted price .... with my comment to the side of "This breaks down to $50 per serving."

In reference to the 'starting at ...' thing. Happens in the hotel industry too. I get them coming in all the time. I tell them room rate is $119. They say, "your sign says $84." I say, "It ALSO says 'starting at' and Subject to Availability."

I ain't McDonalds where I have millions of hamburgers in stock. I only have a certain number of rooms at a certain price and when those are sold they are GONE!

dumba$$es.

jenmat Posted 10 Dec 2010 , 2:49am
post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by tracycakes


This is the reason that I am focusing on wedding cakes for 2011 and changing my whole way that I do party cakes. I spend less time with brides designing their wedding cake than I do on some party cakes, and it's not worth my time anymore.




We're in the same boat. The day I told my hubby I was ready to exit the "celebration sheet cake world," is the day he began to smile again.
We're revamping and will be cutting off everything by march to save my sanity. Minimum prices for celebrations around the $100-125 mark, and the rest are weddings baby! I can already see how much LESS equipment and supplies I'm gonna need when each wedding cake doesn't need 300 colors on it! An no more gumpaste farm animals on sheet cakes! I am doing my happy dance right now...

As for you Karateka, man, my forehead would be a bloody pulp.

Annabakescakes Posted 10 Dec 2010 , 3:14am
post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson6ofus

Anyone though of printing pricing screen shots from Charm City, or any of the other bakeries from TV and putting them IN THE FRONT of their portfolios?

I did that. Toba Garrett cakes with number of servings and her posted price .... with my comment to the side of "This breaks down to $50 per serving."

In reference to the 'starting at ...' thing. Happens in the hotel industry too. I get them coming in all the time. I tell them room rate is $119. They say, "your sign says $84." I say, "It ALSO says 'starting at' and Subject to Availability."

I ain't McDonalds where I have millions of hamburgers in stock. I only have a certain number of rooms at a certain price and when those are sold they are GONE!

dumba$$es.




Holy CATS! I just checked out her sight and she has a shortbread cookie with 3 white chocolate roses on it for $225!!! It says you devour the roses and break the cookie and it serves 6, lol! For $225 for 1 cookie, a Genie better pop out of it and grant me 3 wishes!! I gotta link to her site from my website, "So you think my prices are outrageous, eh? Check this $h!t out!"

rharris524 Posted 10 Dec 2010 , 3:24am
post #30 of 39

Holy cow! At least it serves six...lol. I'm beginning to think that I seriously under charge icon_smile.gif

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