Am I Nuts Or Does This Sound Fishy?

Business By tsal Updated 24 Dec 2010 , 7:52pm by KoryAK

tsal Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 4:52pm
post #1 of 18

I worked on a project with a caterer whereby I made 200 decorated cookies and she made 200 undecorated cupcakes. I baked and flooded the cookies and then she helped me pipe the details (they were corporate cookies with a logo).

Anyway, we were supposed to split the profits 50/50 (although in retrospect, the cookies were much more labour-intensive than the cupcakes). She tells me that she's charging the client $700 total for the cookies and the cupcakes.

Then, after the event, she says, "oh, I think I charged them only $650". I told her that it was not ok to tell me this after the fact because when you're expecting to get paid X amount, it's not nice to get a surprise. She tells me that I "can just have the money then" (meaning the other $50).

Then, a month goes by and I realize that she's not paying me. She called to ask to borrow stuff, but when asked about the money I was blown off.

So, I send an email this morning telling her that I want to settle up now for the project. I forgot to mention that I sent a very detailed spreadsheet outlining my costs within 48 hours after the event. It was all very clearly laid out. She emails me saying she was just going to call and that she calculated my take to be $332.

If my costs were $31 for the cookies plus $8 for the icing sugar she took from me and owed me for, how is my take only $332? She sent no spreadsheet outlining her costs at all, but I know that her cost was lower because she told me that the cupcakes cost 'nothing' to make. I used meringue powder which is costly plus the food coloring which is also expensive. There was none of that with the cupcakes.

I requested a copy of her spreadsheet so I can see her side of the costs. I am so upset by this because I worked really hard on this and am now afraid that I am getting the run-around.

Opinions?

17 replies
ccr03 Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 5:02pm
post #2 of 18

Send her an invoice for $350. Put per verbal agreement on such and such date.

YOu shouldn't have to send a detailed list of stuff, just the bill.

indydebi Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 5:04pm
post #3 of 18

I fail to see how each of your costs have anything to do with it, if you agreed to split the invoiced amount 50/50. If the client was billed $650, then you get $325 and she gets $325.

for future reference, it should be handled as a separate business transaction. You sell her the cookies and she pays you for them. She then bills the client anything she wants.

tsal Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 5:09pm
post #4 of 18

Indy: it was supposed to be equal profits and my costs were higher (so it's unfair that because her costs were lower that she makes more). That was the understanding from the beginning.

I agree that I went about this all the wrong way. I learned what not to do.

aligotmatt Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 5:18pm
post #5 of 18

The business of dividing the money aside... I don't know what kind of undecorated cupcakes she's making, but I think $39 IS 'nothing' for 200 undecorated cupcakes. Even if you were doing a box with pudding, eggs and oil, cupcake liners, I still think it would be near that. I know thats a random thought to it...

indydebi Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 5:21pm
post #6 of 18

oops! My error! I overlooked the "split the PROFITS" and registered it in my head as split the money! So sorry 'bout that!! icon_redface.gif

Kiddiekakes Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 6:06pm
post #7 of 18

I think she is not paying you the correct amount...Lesson learned I guess for the next time.I agree with Indy....sell her the cookies next time and whatever she charges the client is up to her....

fairmaiden0101 Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 6:26pm
post #8 of 18

You could always call 'Judge Judy'!

jason_kraft Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 6:40pm
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by aligotmatt

The business of dividing the money aside... I don't know what kind of undecorated cupcakes she's making, but I think $39 IS 'nothing' for 200 undecorated cupcakes. Even if you were doing a box with pudding, eggs and oil, cupcake liners, I still think it would be near that. I know thats a random thought to it...



Agreed, $39 sounds like a reasonable cost of ingredients for 200 undecorated cupcakes. In the absence of a written contract formally outlining payment procedures I would take the $332.

The labor split also seems reasonable since she helped you decorate the cookies.

tsal Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 7:31pm
post #10 of 18

Thanks everyone. I was not planning on fighting for it anyway, even if i were getting screwed $30 or so because it's not worth it. She is my dh's best friend's sister (although he supports me in this) and I will have to see her socially. I just wanted CC's take on the situation.

I guess I was being a real Pollyanna by sending her such a detailed spreadsheet (I wanted her to see that I was being honest about my side!), and I guess I can't expect people to do the same and be as transparent.

I will never work with anyone again without a written contract! Dh told me to treat further dealings as a subcontractor would - which is to charge x amount and let them deal with the client (as you all said as well).

Live and learn!

Creativebakes Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 7:44pm
post #11 of 18

Thats aweful..too bad people have to be shady like that. But I guess you live and you learn. Take the money and leave her alone.

aligotmatt Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 8:21pm
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsal

Thanks everyone. I was not planning on fighting for it anyway, even if i were getting screwed $30 or so because it's not worth it. She is my dh's best friend's sister (although he supports me in this) and I will have to see her socially. I just wanted CC's take on the situation.




I'm really not trying to beat a dead horse, but I don't think you're getting screwed for $30 or so. If you agreed to split the profit 50/50, and you spent $39 on cookie dough and icing.

Let's just say that she was able to bake 200 undecorated cupcakes - wait - are we saying undecorated as in naked naked, or just a plain swirl of buttercream? because undecorated but with buttercream for 200 cupcakes would exceed $39 for me. A $6 batch of buttercream ices 35 cupcakes, have to make 6 batches at $36, plus the cupcake. Plus the cupcakes even the cheapest possible I think would be around $35 top bake 200 cupcakes. So going with naked undecorated cupcakes at $35, and you spent $39, then you're really not "getting screwed" for much at all. But if she but even a plain swirl of buttercream, then you're getting the better end of the split.

Again, I'm not trying to beat a dead horse, but if you're going to see someone out, it's good to not be looking at them thinking they screwed you for some money when maybe they didn't at all.

But yes, in the future, contract your work, that's what I do when I make desserts for caterers. I charge them what I want, they charge the bride what they want.

annabanana183 Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 9:17pm
post #13 of 18

your cost =39
her cost =31
total cost = 75
charged client =650
total profit = 575
50% split = 287 each.
she is giving u =332
45 extra, from her share so she gets 242 which is $90.00 lesser then you, I don't think ur getting screwed at all, and honey nothing in this world costs nothing not even cupcakes. I would hate for you to have a grudge against someone whose not doing you wrong.

Annabakescakes Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 9:36pm
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by annabanana183

your cost =39
her cost =31
total cost = 75
charged client =650
total profit = 575
50% split = 287 each.
she is giving u =332
45 extra, from her share so she gets 242 which is $90.00 lesser then you, I don't think ur getting screwed at all, and honey nothing in this world costs nothing not even cupcakes. I would hate for you to have a grudge against someone whose not doing you wrong.




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myslady Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 9:39pm
post #15 of 18

Even if she charged 700, you still came out with more than half.

tsal Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 10:14pm
post #16 of 18

I wasn't saying that I was screwed, I was posting because I thought it was a possibility and wanted CC's opinion on it.

Once everyone chimed in that her costs were probably equal to mine, I was fine with it.

It was more a transparency issue since I let her see every last cent for what I spent, but she did not do the same. And, I would not have pushed even if you all had said, "it sounds like you're screwed."

tryingcake Posted 24 Dec 2010 , 7:28am
post #17 of 18

You learned something new. And that is always a good thing. I've learned valuable lessons that cost me plenty, but kept me from losing in the future. I agree that you probably are getting a fair share. But regardless of that, you will feel more comfortable in the future subcontracting.. as you already know.

KoryAK Posted 24 Dec 2010 , 7:52pm
post #18 of 18

Maybe she just doesn't have an hour to sit down and cost out every penny, I know I don't.

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