This Is Why I Do Cakes For Free For Friends And Family Only

Decorating By bibbles6598 Updated 29 Dec 2010 , 9:48am by rephastie

bibbles6598 Posted 27 Dec 2010 , 9:15am
post #1 of 26

Just Venting-------If you look at my pics you will see the 5 tier toy story cake I made for my nephew. Well, some lady sees it and wants it and is like "name your price, I will pay it". So I'm like, if you want that cake like it is, it will be expensive but I'll have to sit down and think about it because I did my nephews for free obviously. So I'm not thinking she'll pay what I want to charge so I'm like, we can scale it down to three tiers (the bottom two tiers on the cake were dummies anyway...we DID NOT need that much cake) but it will still be several hundred dollars ESPECIALLY if you want all the characters that are hand done. I mean, Buzz took me...well, I don't wanna say it because all you vets out there will laugh...but Buzz took me over 7 hours to do .... He was so detailed plus it was the FIRST time I've modeled an actual real cartoon character out of fondant. I don't know how ridiculously long that is compared to what someone else could do it, but nontheless, it took me that long. Well, she writes back, saying "ouch, I didn't think it would be over $100.00" $100.00?!?!?!!? What do these people think? That these cakes are made in a matter of hours, baking and all? I do it with my niece but she's not with me the whole time so I'm by myself some. It's just frustrating...that's why, I don't worry about pricing. I just do what I want for my family and if something goes wrong, they are not paying for it anyway icon_smile.gif Thanks for listening!

25 replies
myslady Posted 27 Dec 2010 , 10:59am
post #2 of 26

I would have took some time to partially educate her by saying something like, yeah, it is surprising, but since you are looking at feeding up to ... people and with all the custom detail added, it does add up.

The lady probably never brought a custom cake before and didn't realize that it would cost that much. The biggest problem is that people see the cakes, but aren't educated as to the pricing for them.

Occther Posted 27 Dec 2010 , 11:50am
post #3 of 26

Tell her to watch "Fabulous Cakes" on TV (WE or TLC?) They often give the price - sometimes from $4000 up!! She needs to douse of reality!!! Your cake is worth at least $300 or more!!

indydebi Posted 27 Dec 2010 , 12:53pm
post #4 of 26

So she looked at this cake and thought "Oh .... twenty bucks a cake!" Or you offered to make it a 3 tier and she thought, "No biggie .... thirty-five bucks a cake!" dunce.gif

I understand they need educated, but REALLY? She REALLY thought she could get a cake like this for the same price she gets a slapped-together with I plastic toys cake at the grocery? REALLY? icon_eek.gif

I would be so tempted to tell her, "oh darlin'! The figures ALONE will cost you more than $100!" icon_lol.gif

-K8memphis Posted 27 Dec 2010 , 3:46pm
post #5 of 26

I think the biggest problem is that there's tons of cakers across the country who will fill that order for that ridiculous price.

Oh they say:

"We're not hurting anybody."
Yes you are--read the first post again.

"Nobody will pay that here."
Yes they will. Did they get a $15 wedding dress from Goodwill and their car from the junk yard?

"I could never charge that much."
Probably not but instead of continuing to stunt everyone else's growth, why not at least write up an invoice with both prices, the real price and then your price. You could at least be counted on to get the word out even if you can't allow yourself to think your work is worth it.

Babarooskie Posted 27 Dec 2010 , 3:54pm
post #6 of 26

My response: "I named it. Now will you be paying it?"

Dummies.

playingwithsugar Posted 27 Dec 2010 , 4:04pm
post #7 of 26

I'm in the same position. Although I'm no pro, and do not get nearly enough practice, my cakes come out pretty cool. People ask me for prices on my cakes all the time.

Having been a vet here and on other forums, I knew better than to underprice myself for the work involved. And of course, when they hear my price, they don't want to pay it.

I even had one person try to bluff me by telling me they got a better price from Duff. She thought I didn't know he has a $1000 minimum. My price was much less than that.

So, here I am, only doing cakes for family and friends. I never charge for them - they are always considered my gift. I get the satisfaction of creating, and they get a fabulous gift for far less than I would have to pay for the same thing.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

cabecakes Posted 27 Dec 2010 , 4:21pm
post #8 of 26

This is why I don't even consider one day going into business. I'll stick to family and friends. My time is too valuable to waste it on people who want champagne cakes on a beer pricelist.

Sparklekat6 Posted 27 Dec 2010 , 5:07pm
post #9 of 26

Yeah I've gotten really good at just saying "No." I always figure I make too much at work per hour and if I spent 7 hours making a buz light year figure the time alone would cost more than $150. Now when I go to parties and people ask if I am available I always say I'm too busy.

alvarezmom Posted 27 Dec 2010 , 5:18pm
post #10 of 26

I already told my hubby that this year I was only making cakes for family only! Just my siblings and his one sister and my neices and nephews and that was it! I am so tired of people thinking they can get a custom cake for $20!

idgalpal Posted 27 Dec 2010 , 10:37pm
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by playingwithsugar



I even had one person try to bluff me by telling me they got a better price from Duff. She thought I didn't know he has a $1000 minimum. My price was much less than that.

Theresa icon_smile.gif




I think I saw somewhere (probably on here!) that Duff raised his minimum price to $1200 or $1400. Seriously I think Fabulous Cakes is one of the best shows because it does show prices. I am just starting to sell some of my cakes, and lucky enough to have a commercial kitchen to work out of for free. I can usually tell when someone starts out the conversation with "I don't want to spend very much, but I want......" that I'm busy whenever they are going to want the cake, because they're heading down the Walmart path of prices!

debster Posted 27 Dec 2010 , 11:10pm
post #12 of 26

Well when she said name your price that's just what you did, I wouldn't do that cake for under 300 either. If that were a wedding cake they would pay much more than that for 5 tiers. Great job on Buzz. Don't feel bad it would of taken me that long for him also.

Rosie2 Posted 27 Dec 2010 , 11:20pm
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cabecakes

This is why I don't even consider one day going into business. I'll stick to family and friends. My time is too valuable to waste it on people who want champagne cakes on a beer pricelist.


Ditto!! icon_biggrin.gif
Plus I've read the Bridezilla's stories and yikessss, I'll never make a wedding cake!!

cakeandpartygirl Posted 28 Dec 2010 , 12:30am
post #14 of 26

I just saw the cske that you are referencing and omgoodness!!!! That lady is off her rocker in fact she has fallen down and can't get up!!!! Tell her to go and buy all of those figures and then put them on a walmart tiered cake. She'd still spend over 100!!!

microbiology1 Posted 28 Dec 2010 , 1:28am
post #15 of 26

First off, your cake was awesome! Second that cake was worth a minimum of $300 (for 3 tiers). Period. Case closed. Tell her to sell crazy somewhere else!

dl5crew Posted 28 Dec 2010 , 1:58am
post #16 of 26

I must be mean or something. I stopped doing free cakes for family and friends. The last wedding cake I did was my limit. Now they pre-pay, or go to another baker (which suits me just fine.)

Stand you ground, you are worth your price and more.

bibbles6598 Posted 28 Dec 2010 , 9:40am
post #17 of 26

You guys have thoroughly made me laugh!! I put the toy story cake on the "show your duff" cake contest that just ended and my friends shared the link so of course..you get the people who think your gonna do them cakes like that for $50.00. No I"M NOT your personal cake decorating machine....I'm NOT going to pay out of MY pocket to make YOU a cake. I realize $100.00 is alot of money to most of us but it's not alot for the Toy Story cake. I've been telling everyone that I'm busy. I just don't want to deal with it. But thanks everyone for the positive comments!

Evoir Posted 28 Dec 2010 , 12:10pm
post #18 of 26

I feel a bit different from most of you about this sort of thing. I get more offended by family and friends thinking my work is worth some paltry sum. I would rather give my full price to a stranger and let them take it or leave it. People who can't afford my prices will walk, and I will not lose a wink of sleep over it.

cakesrock Posted 29 Dec 2010 , 12:44am
post #19 of 26

For a while I was charging for 'ingredients' so that I could 'practice'. I spent endless hours making cheap, nice cakes for people who didn't appreciate what they were worth (my time specifically). The orders flooded in and while I was burning the candle at both ends and my family was suffering. Oh, except the recipients of the cakes were happy with a great custom cake for the cost of a crappy grocery store one...I won't do a custom cake business until I can do it properly or not at all.

bibbles6598 Posted 29 Dec 2010 , 4:18am
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesrock

For a while I was charging for 'ingredients' so that I could 'practice'. I spent endless hours making cheap, nice cakes for people who didn't appreciate what they were worth (my time specifically). The orders flooded in and while I was burning the candle at both ends and my family was suffering. Oh, except the recipients of the cakes were happy with a great custom cake for the cost of a crappy grocery store one...I won't do a custom cake business until I can do it properly or not at all.





OH MY GOSH! THATS ME EXACTLY! Yeah, to get practice I would just charge for my supplies....I'm already sick of it..

BlueMoon73 Posted 29 Dec 2010 , 4:46am
post #21 of 26

Yeah I was doing the same as cakesrock. Or giving my friends "bro deals" NO MORE!! My mom even said I charged to much until she actually helped me make a cake and then she said I needed to charge more!! I also do not mind if people say no once I tell them how much. As was said, go get a grocery store cake, that won't taste as good and won't be personalized!! Fine by me!! People really have NO clue what goes into making a cake!!

retaunton Posted 29 Dec 2010 , 5:01am
post #22 of 26

Your cakes are awesome....it is frustrating when people don't understand the cost involved just in the supplies when you are a hobby baker and the time involved.

Coral3 Posted 29 Dec 2010 , 5:24am
post #23 of 26

I don't sell cakes, and only make them for family. I would rather charge nothing and feel like I'm making a gift, than charge too little and feel like I'm slaving away for a pittance. So unless it's someone I'm happy to give it as a gift to, I won't make it.

I always think that charging friends or family a token amount for a cake gives them the idea that that's all the cake is worth.

Ebonyswanne Posted 29 Dec 2010 , 6:13am
post #24 of 26

I used to get annoyed like you and I don't blame you for feeling that way. Now I just let it ride off my back its not worth me getting worked up over.

I give the quote, then its totally up to the person if they chose to go with me when it comes to making the cake with all the decorating and details. I'm very clear about deposits, final payments etc and time frames too for making the cake. I'm never rude, I just feel people often don't have any idea how long it takes, so I've set boundaries and they appreciate it more. Give you posture! After all how many people make a decent cake at home for less than $20 in ingredients for starters....

The cake sounds wonderful! Buzz would take ages to make, I was thinking of making him for my daughters 3rd birthday.

bibbles6598 Posted 29 Dec 2010 , 8:38am
post #25 of 26

Yeah, I have "someone" in my family, I won't say who...but I did her first cake for free because it was the first cake I did after taking my class at the college. Well, then she has me do another one for supplies only....and then I did YET ANOTHER ONE for supplies only. Now she's just asking me to do cakes (just small ones, she'll say) like she's expecting them for supplies only. For a while, I thought, "whoa, she's doing alot..Im only using half a package of gumpaste (small wilton kind) and she's buying me TWO" Boy I thought I was getting something. What a whacked up mentality. I don't like being used and it being EXPECTED that I'm gonna do a cake for supplies only. From now on, only cakes for my immediate family will be done at no cost. Because once you start that roller coaster of people expecting things for free...it's hard to stop. But I've stopped it because she asked me to do a cake for her husband and I'm like "what's your budget". She doesn't have any money so her asking is evidence that she wants it for free although she'll buy the supplies with her food stamp card. Just stating a fact..not making fun of anyone who uses food stamps... Anyway, I didn't do her husbands cake so...maybe I'm getting a backbone. icon_smile.gif

rephastie Posted 29 Dec 2010 , 9:48am
post #26 of 26

I'm glad I'm not the only one who got burned doing cakes "supplies only". I agreed to do 2 cakes in 2 days, a spongebob and a doll cake. After I got the supplies, I told her $45 for the 2 (NZD), and she was SHOCKED and tried to pull out of the cakes!!
To give her credit, she saw spongebob and apologized, saying she didn't realise how awesome they would be icon_biggrin.gif
Anyway, definitely stick to your guns and charge what they're worth. We gotta educate these people!!!
Steph

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