Customers May Be Clueless But The Baker Isn't... Anymore.

Decorating By cakelady2266 Updated 6 Jan 2011 , 3:28pm by cakelady2266

cakelady2266 Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 5:17am
post #1 of 25

After my whole "are some customers clueless" thread awhile back I decided to make some big changes. And it didn't hurt one little bit. A lady emailed me the other day and wanted a price on a simple 2 layer cake for 1 year old that wouldn't break the bank, I knew where this was going. She wanted me to commit to a price before I had all the details. I ask her if she meant a 2 layer single tier cake or a 2 tier cake. Well after the dust cleared and I got her tell me what she really wanted, it turned into a 2 tier cake to serve 50 with multicolored stripes and 3D fondant zoo animals that matched the invites. When I gave her the estimate of $100 she apologized for wasting my time and said that was way more than she would be able to spend. I recommended she try the local grocery stores maybe they could do a cake with plastic figurines on it that would be more cost effective.

But there was a time not long ago I would have done that cake for $40-$50. And then my fellow CC'ers opened my eyes. I had actually been paying for some of these cakes myself. I was using a ton of high priced ingredients and spending a ton of time on these birthday cakes and not making money and getting more resentful by the minute. I have also started turning birthday cakes away on weekends that I have weddings. I don't feel bad at all, just very liberated. Thanks everybody.

24 replies
sillywabbitz Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 5:34am
post #2 of 25

Good for you!

Jaime3679 Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 5:36am
post #3 of 25

WOW! 100.00 would have been a deal! 50 servings and gumpaste animals, I would have charged at least 225.00 (if she wanted fondant).

Apti Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 6:04am
post #4 of 25

Come on, CC'ers, all join in:

Hip Hip HOORAY! Hip Hip HOORAY! Hip Hip HOORAY!!!!

tinygoose Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 8:57am
post #5 of 25

Cake Lady, very happy for you. It does feel good doesn't it. Your cakes are very nice, I would honestly consider raising rates yet again. The people who are willing to pay will find you. Safeway charges more than $2 a slice for a tiered cake (btw--their 6" somehow serves 16) weird, but I think that's how they charge so much less per serving is they say their cakes serve more. Anyway, congrats!!

Lisa-G Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 9:04am
post #6 of 25

Good for you! It's very liberating to turn down a bad deal.

Cakeartist5523 Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 10:30am
post #7 of 25

You inspired me!!!

Time to sharpen my pencil! I am loosing money and time with my loved ones! Oh and loosing sleep as well! So very happy I have found this website, of course now its 2:30 a.m. and I am not baking or sleeping! Good night forum!

Congrats cakelady! Your my HERO!!!!

indydebi Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 10:46am
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apti

Come on, CC'ers, all join in:

Hip Hip HOORAY! Hip Hip HOORAY! Hip Hip HOORAY!!!!


thumbs_up.gif

KHalstead Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 3:17pm
post #9 of 25

Now the BEST part is when they call around to the other bakeries and realize that (if they can find another that can do it) that you were the best price in town. That seems VERY inexpensive to say the least! Gets even better when they call you back and get something less "decorated" because they found out you were the least expensive too! lol

LindaF144a Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 3:54pm
post #10 of 25

I have to agree with everybody else that $100 was still a bargain, depending on how many fondants figurines she wanted. At the cakery I worked at, she charged $30 per fondants figurine, just to give you an idea of what others charge.

aswartzw Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 4:08pm
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apti

Come on, CC'ers, all join in:

Hip Hip HOORAY! Hip Hip HOORAY! Hip Hip HOORAY!!!!




Ditto.

I have learned to value my time b/c of CCers. Maybe I'll never sell a cake because of it, but at least I have my time to spend it the way I want. If I want to make a cake for fun, I can. If I don't, I'm not forced to waste it on underappreciated work. If I have to sacrifice my sleep and skip the gym, that cake had better pay for it! thumbs_up.gif

My friend is selling cakes and she charges $25 for them and won't even break $50 for a wedding cake. I constantly remind her that her time is worth more than that and she is giving her time away. She's finally starting to realize she needs to charge for more than just supply cost.

-K8memphis Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 4:19pm
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apti

Come on, CC'ers, all join in:

Hip Hip HOORAY! Hip Hip HOORAY! Hip Hip HOORAY!!!!




Whhooooot Whooooot Whhoooooo!!!!!

ConfectionsCC Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 4:19pm
post #13 of 25

Yay!!! Now, pass some of that goodness to me! I am still working on how to say um....N-O. Feels so dirty lol!!!I am getting there though!! Good for you! I can't wait until I can actually start charging for mine icon_razz.gif

tracycakes Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 7:10pm
post #14 of 25

thumbs_up.gif

adventuregal Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 8:38am
post #15 of 25

thumbs_up.gif

tryingcake Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 4:37pm
post #16 of 25

I have one simple rule - if it takes me away from my family, I better be earning hard cash. I charge for everything - every last toothpick and papertowel. Every penny I spend and don't recoup is a penny my family doesn't have to spend. Even when baking for friends and extended family, I charge twice the cost of supplies. This covers the cake costs, utilities and the uncountable things like toothpicks.

Not to mention your time away from your family while baking and creating. We have to be paid for this. If I'm not going to be earning a real profit, I'd rather sit and play scrabble at the table with loved ones. Get it?

Even gifting cakes gets on my nerves. So, your niece asks you to bake her wedding cake as a gift. Heck no! Let's say that cake would cost her $700 at a bakery.... how many other aunts are giving a $700 gift and giving up days of their time to create this gift? If every one else is giving gifts like that, then maybe I'll step up to the plate. But no. That's insane! I have to charge at least 2x the cost. And we all know that's still a huge bargain for the bride. If they don't like it they can go get that $700 cake.

So, all that being said - good for you!! Stick to your guns!

indydebi Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 4:43pm
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingcake

Even gifting cakes gets on my nerves. So, your niece asks you to bake her wedding cake as a gift. Heck no! Let's say that cake would cost her $700 at a bakery.... how many other aunts are giving a $700 gift and giving up days of their time to create this gift? If every one else is giving gifts like that, then maybe I'll step up to the plate. But no. That's insane! I have to charge at least 2x the cost. And we all know that's still a huge bargain for the bride. If they don't like it they can go get that $700 cake.


Nah ..... I kinda like holding the $700 gift over their head until I get my Aunt of the Year Award!!!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif (Seriously, I have a very appreciative family which makes it great for me to do this for them. If it was the other way around, I'd most likely change my tune!)

KHalstead Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 6:38pm
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingcake



Even gifting cakes gets on my nerves. So, your niece asks you to bake her wedding cake as a gift. Heck no! Let's say that cake would cost her $700 at a bakery.... how many other aunts are giving a $700 gift and giving up days of their time to create this gift? If every one else is giving gifts like that, then maybe I'll step up to the plate. But no. That's insane! I have to charge at least 2x the cost. And we all know that's still a huge bargain for the bride. If they don't like it they can go get that $700 cake.

So, all that being said - good for you!! Stick to your guns!





That's why when I "gift cakes" for weddings and such, I print out a gift certificate in the amount that I would normally give for a gift and then tag on an extra $20 for birthdays or maybe $50 for a wedding. So for a wedding gift, I might give a distant relative a $100 gift certificate for one of MY cakes......this way, if they don't plan to spend a dime they know their budget....if they plan to get a REALLY involved cake, then I get paid what the certificate doesn't cover. Win-win situation. This works really well for me, and the receivers are generally grateful to have saved some money at least. Normally I'd give a $50 gift so I give at least double that when it's toward one of my cakes. Seems fair icon_rolleyes.gif

cakelady2266 Posted 29 Dec 2010 , 6:34pm
post #19 of 25

And it just keeps getting better yall.....I just quoted a 3 tier topsy turvy and very detailed baby shower cake (by sarahscakes) at wedding cake prices. Take it or leave it but I can almost guarantee she won't get THAT cake from anybody around here for one cent less.

Now everybody is right, our time is valuable. All that discount work we do just gets us more discount work to do. Ingredient prices keep going up, utilities bills keep going up, my income and time with family keep decreasing. I'm not trying to be all that but I'm just not going to do it anymore if it's not worth my while.

costumeczar Posted 29 Dec 2010 , 6:48pm
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakelady2266

And it just keeps getting better yall.....I just quoted a 3 tier topsy turvy and very detailed baby shower cake (by sarahscakes) at wedding cake prices. Take it or leave it but I can almost guarantee she won't get THAT cake from anybody around here for one cent less.

Now everybody is right, our time is valuable. All that discount work we do just gets us more discount work to do. Ingredient prices keep going up, utilities bills keep going up, my income and time with family keep decreasing. I'm not trying to be all that but I'm just not going to do it anymore if it's not worth my while.




Excellent!

Zamode Posted 30 Dec 2010 , 3:55am
post #21 of 25

It is valuable and I am upping my prices as well, and I don't even get much business. I'm not doing a cake just to do a cake, especially if it's not worth it. Time away from my 5 year old girl, husband, even my dog--not to mention the frequent annoyances that make mama grumpy. Gotta be worth it. . .

Lizzard1 Posted 30 Dec 2010 , 6:24am
post #22 of 25

That is awesome!! I should heed the great advice. (just sometimes I am not sure if I am worthy of making a profit) You give me hope that someday I will realize what my things are worth. Everyone on CC gives me hope! You do such nice work and totally deserve it!! icon_smile.gif cheers!

tryingcake Posted 30 Dec 2010 , 3:02pm
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizzard1

That is awesome!! I should heed the great advice. (just sometimes I am not sure if I am worthy of making a profit) You give me hope that someday I will realize what my things are worth. Everyone on CC gives me hope! You do such nice work and totally deserve it!! icon_smile.gif cheers!




If someone is offering to pay you to make a cake for a special celebration - you are worth it - end of story!

sccandwbfan Posted 30 Dec 2010 , 5:49pm
post #24 of 25

Yeah!! I get torn on pricing my cakes sometimes. I have only sold them to friends so far and I feel guilty charging them full price. I just started selling cakes in April of this year. I keep track of all my expenses because I'm an accountant. I made $595 in sales from 13 cakes and a set of 50 decorated pretzels. My supplies were $326.41 (doesn't include labor or overhead) so that means that I only made $268.59 on my sales. So that means I'm only making 45% of sales for labor and overhead. icon_wink.gif That doesn't really cover my time spent though. icon_smile.gif

I'm glad that everyone is more on top of this than I am.

Christy

cakelady2266 Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 3:28pm
post #25 of 25

Just a quick update.....since I woke up and smelled the money that was leaving my bank account and adjusted my prices I am happy to report that no one has balked at the prices I have quoted. Now I feel much better but kicking myself that it took so long to do it....Live and learn.

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