People Want The Best But Are Not Willing To Pay For It!!!!

Decorating By missbake Updated 8 Jan 2011 , 7:03am by BillieH

missbake Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 3:11pm
post #1 of 36

I just do not know where to go with this but I love making cakes and I have found I am really good at it! I am starting to do wedding cakes and found that it is a bit more demanding. Not because of the work so much but the brides!!! They want me to create this masterpiece for like $100. As many of you know that wouldn't even cover the cost of materials let alone anything for my time. I always feel like people want something for nothing. On the same token I really want to do this wedding cake but I want something for my time away from my children because I can't just whip out a wedding cake in no time flat. I make everything myself but it still cost me a pretty penny seeing how prices of just eggs have gone up so much! I dont want to have to explain to these people how much time and money it takes to make a wedding cake but I find myself justifing the price. I almost wonder if I had a shop if that would be going on? Can anyone tell me how you figure your prices because this cake in question was to feed 200+ 3 teirs 3 layers thick (mine are about 2-3 inches for each layer) so they are tall pretty cakes, 3 dif flavors and covered with fondent/flowers and I deliver it. my price was $500. Am I going overboard? The main bakery in town charges at least that much and I dont think they even use fondent unless you request it. Someone HELP!!!

35 replies
cakesdivine Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 3:25pm
post #2 of 36

missbake. Sit down and figure out how much your ingredient, paper goods, equipment use, and time are worth. Then decide over and above that how much profit you want to make on the cake. Then you can decifer the price. A 200+ serving cake for $100 isn't even 50 cents per serving. Walmart doesn't even do wedding cakes that cheap. The average per serving rate that most cake people start at is $2.50 to $3.00 per serving for a basic buttercream iced cake, no bells or whistles. Also, look at your equal competition and what their pricing is. You don't want to undercut your competition or sell yourself short either. There is no pride in being the "cheap" cake lady.

dkltll Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 3:29pm
post #3 of 36

I can't answer your question about cake pricing b/c I'm a hobbyist; however, by day I work in a store that sells real wood furniture. We have different price points & have the ability to custom design & finish (staining/painting). It never ceases to amaze me the number of people who come in telling me how they can't find what they want in prefab merchandise. They will then proceed to design from scratch or re-design a piece & actually balk when given a quote for the item. Many people don't understand why a one-of-a-kind is more expensive than a prefab. We just explain to them why handcrafted & unique costs more. My boss also smiles & tells them, "Well, if we're gonna be around next year for you this is what it has to cost."

I doubt this was helpful, just tryin' to let you know that that mentality is EVERYWHERE. If they balk at your price offer them a less expensive option & if they still flinch, smile & tell them to have a good day b/c they aren't really in the market for quality goods.

indydebi Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 3:39pm
post #4 of 36

then you'll enjoy this story. hubby used to do woodworking. A co-worker of mine wanted a custom designed stand to hold a HUGE fish tank. Hubby hates to do a "in the range of" quote on the spur of the moment, but these folks were really pushing. So he told them "in the range of" $200. They about fell off of their chair. The guy proclaimed, "Hell, I only wanted to pay about ten bucks!!!"

Really? The cost of the nails and glue would cost more than that!!!!

Dumba$$es.

brincess_b Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 3:53pm
post #5 of 36

why are you justifying your prices at all? assuming you have done your planning and research, and that $500 dollars will cover your costs and pay you a wage, then thats all you need to know. all they need to know (aside from the marketing of organic/ finest ingredients, home baked, hand crafted, baked with love etc) is 'the price is $500'. dont get into the price of eggs, or how long it takes, or anything. 'yes, a custom designed cake to feed 200 will cost $500'

you need to look at your cake sizes as well - the standard is 4 inches deep. so if you have a 6-9 inch deep tier, that justifies a higher price per serving. also thnk of your bride - how will those slices fit onto the serving plates?

id maybe rethink the number of tiers too, getting 200 servings from three tiers might look a bit wonky! wilton is the industry standard: http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-wedding-cake-3-inch-pans.cfm
xx

ConfectionsCC Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 3:57pm
post #6 of 36

I am having similar trouble with pricing! I am basing my prices on an avg I came up with from local bakery prices. ONE HUGE PROBLEM. There is a "cake lady" down the road, the closest place to get cakes to me, she severely undercuts other bakeries and home bakery prices! To go to a bakery around here to get something like a 2 tier cake in buttercream with fondant accents, you can expect to pay around $50+. She charges only $35!!!!!! I do not understand why or how she is doing this, but its getting her a lot of business because shes so cheap, but its hurting our local market!! It really burns me up bad to know that because she wants to be the cheapest, shes making it look like all cakes should be THAT cheap! I am sorry, but I feel my time is worth more than $35 for a cake...My only guess is she doesnt mind doing the work for free! sorry, venting, just had a long time friend go with this "other cake lady" because she was way cheaper...does walmart even do it that cheap lol!?!?!?

KHalstead Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 4:09pm
post #7 of 36

don't justify your pricing, stick to it!! Here is how the conversations should go:


Customer: How much would a 3 tiered cake to serve 200 people with fondant and gumpast flowers cost

Me: The cake is $3.00/serv. plus $5.00 for each flower........the pic. you gave me shows about 20 so you're looking at $700.00 for your cake, deliver is $1.00/mile......would you like it delivered?

Customer: Whoah!!! I only wanted to spend $150.00!!!!

Me: Well, I do appreciate your consideration....is there anything else I can help you with???

Customer: What can I get for $150.00???

Me: You can get a buttercream iced/decorated cake to serve 60, would you like to order one???

Customer: Um...........let me get back to you

Me: Ok, let me know if I can help you with anything else......have a great day

indydebi Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 4:16pm
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by KHalstead

don't justify your pricing, stick to it!! Here is how the conversations should go:.....


LUV it!!!!!

One variation (from the smarta$$ side of me):

- What would $150 get me?
- About 75 Twinkies. icon_twisted.gif

KHalstead Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 4:17pm
post #9 of 36

lol...............I think you finally rubbed off on me Debi!!!

Melvira Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 4:26pm
post #10 of 36

KHalstead, I want you manning my phone from now on! That is perfect! I hate general-rough quotes, but sometimes it gets someone out of the loop quickly, and you don't waste your time OR THEIRS with personalized meetings and design sessions, only to find out it isn't going to happen.

Pay me what I'm worth, cuz baby, you'll get what you pay for! thumbs_up.gif

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 4:57pm
post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

then you'll enjoy this story. hubby used to do woodworking. A co-worker of mine wanted a custom designed stand to hold a HUGE fish tank. Hubby hates to do a "in the range of" quote on the spur of the moment, but these folks were really pushing. So he told them "in the range of" $200. They about fell off of their chair. The guy proclaimed, "Hell, I only wanted to pay about ten bucks!!!"

Really? The cost of the nails and glue would cost more than that!!!!

Dumba$$es.




icon_eek.gif 10 BUCKS??? My husband does custom woodworking too, so I know what goes into making something like that. You can't even get a particle board version of that at Wal-Mart for 10 bucks! Wow. People are idiots.

indydebi Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 5:14pm
post #12 of 36

AND he wanted it strong enough to hold a HUGE fishtank ... something like 50 gallons!!! icon_surprised.gif

Crazboutcakes Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 5:24pm
post #13 of 36

Just a funny story, I had been asked to do a topsy turvey for someone and the father found out what I was going to charge for it and he said thatit was to much and decided to do it himself...lol ok so he did his home work and it took him 3 days staying up into the wee hours but completed the cake, and if I had to say he really didn't do to bad but when asked weather he do another one he said "I was outta my Freakin mind" lol But at least he realized why the price was what it was... He just found out the hard way icon_smile.gif

Melvira Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 5:31pm
post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazboutcakes

Just a funny story, I had been asked to do a topsy turvey for someone and the father found out what I was going to charge for it and he said thatit was to much and decided to do it himself...lol ok so he did his home work and it took him 3 days staying up into the wee hours but completed the cake, and if I had to say he really didn't do to bad but when asked weather he do another one he said "I was outta my Freakin mind" lol But at least he realized why the price was what it was... He just found out the hard way icon_smile.gif




Priceless. You can't GET advertising like that. Awesome!

jenmat Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 5:48pm
post #15 of 36

I had a bride that I met with recently, with a wedding planner in tow.
She wanted a tiered fondant cake to feed 250 people (no sheets, it had to be all in the tiers), a custom designed gumpaste cake topper with the bride in her gown pulling the groom away from a plasma screen tv icon_confused.gif AND a 3D pontiac GTO cherry red convertible for her father's bday .... her budget?
$500.

I hate this planner. She is nuts. Sitting at the table with this bride I OVER quoted her just to tick off the planner. I hope I never hear from the planner again. She's nuts- its not just the customers.

You learn real fast in this business that you can't let people trample all over you when it comes to ANYTHING, including price.

88nikki88 Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 5:56pm
post #16 of 36

I give you all a LOT of credit, I don't bake for money, but this stuff would drive me CRAZY! I really like baking cakes for friends and family, but I can't tell you how many times I've said no (well, OK, TRIED to say no, I'm a total sucker!) to family calling and asking me to make a cake with like 2 days notice for a party they're having. People have NO idea of the amount of work that goes into it.

On the flip side of this, I myself tend to not realize just how much goes into it. I have made dozens of birthday/party cakes, some of them serving up to 100 people, and recently my Uncle talked me into doing his wedding cake, as they couldn't afford a "real" one. He gave me $100 to pay for ingredients, and I stupidly thought it would be more than enough. Turns out it's more like $170 in ingredients/supplies for a 3 tier, 232 serving cake! Who knew? But I look at it as a HUGE learning experience, and I really enjoyed decorating it icon_smile.gif

Melvira Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 6:08pm
post #17 of 36

jentreu, do you suppose that coordinator was willing to do her work for $150? Coordinate the whole wedding, etc. Yah... I BET she was working on a budget. icon_mad.gif

indydebi Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 6:32pm
post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by 88nikki88

..... my Uncle talked me into doing his wedding cake, as they couldn't afford a "real" one.



a REAL one? icon_eek.gif

Uncle: We can't afford a REAL cake
Me: So...... you're planning on serving your guests fake, plastic cake?

(Big sigh!)

How did you hold yourself back?

dkltll Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 6:41pm
post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMasterSRC

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

then you'll enjoy this story. hubby used to do woodworking. A co-worker of mine wanted a custom designed stand to hold a HUGE fish tank. Hubby hates to do a "in the range of" quote on the spur of the moment, but these folks were really pushing. So he told them "in the range of" $200. They about fell off of their chair. The guy proclaimed, "Hell, I only wanted to pay about ten bucks!!!"

Really? The cost of the nails and glue would cost more than that!!!!

Dumba$$es.



icon_eek.gif 10 BUCKS??? My husband does custom woodworking too, so I know what goes into making something like that. You can't even get a particle board version of that at Wal-Mart for 10 bucks! Wow. People are idiots.




icon_lol.gificon_cry.gificon_lol.gificon_cry.gificon_lol.gificon_cry.gif
Deb, I often think to myself, "Dumba$$!" I think that same customer has been in my store. icon_lol.gif
CakeMaster, you would be amazed at the number of people who tell me, "Oh, I can get that at Walmart much cheaper." To which I usually reply, "Cheaper" would be the operative word & when you're ready for a piece that won't fall apart in few months come back & see me.

butterfly831915 Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 6:41pm
post #20 of 36

My story is getting less than 2 weeks notice being asked to do a 5 tier fondant covered wedding cake with 40 handmade gumpaste roses with black satin ribbon at the base of each tier,quoted price $350 icon_surprised.gif was told ok do it, told them - hey gotta have the money for stuff upfront, $200 now and other $150 at pick up, oh ok when do you need that by? (Gave a day or two to get the money to me) Call me five minutes before they are to bring me money asking again how much it was, remind them and get a txt saying oh well they won't pay more than $100 for that. Um lady I already have 100 in it and that was just my sps, cake drum and fondant. Not including everything else they wanted. I just got back an oh well. Well I find out they do the cake themselfs, they do a three tier fondant covered cake, plastic fake flowers and no dividers between tiers all just on top of each other each tier the same size, the fondant wrapped around the side and a circle to cover thetop then a string of buttercream at the seems, held together with skewer sticks and that it tasted like butt and paid way more than a $100 for it and still thought that i was over charging them!?! Really um did you not add all your stuff up? Well yes it took them 5 days and costed more but yet they still said it saved them a ton of money. Really how was that you still had to go buy sheet cakes cause the cake was so nasty. Oh well at least I stuck to my price and it was under priced to begin with. Just makes me laugh. I know my cakes are not great but lots of people like them and really I get lots of compliments.

tokazodo Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 6:54pm
post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by butterfly831915

My story is getting less than 2 weeks notice being asked to do a 5 tier fondant covered wedding cake with 40 handmade gumpaste roses with black satin ribbon at the base of each tier,quoted price $350 icon_surprised.gif was told ok do it, told them - hey gotta have the money for stuff upfront, $200 now and other $150 at pick up, oh ok when do you need that by? (Gave a day or two to get the money to me) Call me five minutes before they are to bring me money asking again how much it was, remind them and get a txt saying oh well they won't pay more than $100 for that. Um lady I already have 100 in it and that was just my sps, cake drum and fondant. Not including everything else they wanted. I just got back an oh well. Well I find out they do the cake themselfs, they do a three tier fondant covered cake, plastic fake flowers and no dividers between tiers all just on top of each other each tier the same size, the fondant wrapped around the side and a circle to cover thetop then a string of buttercream at the seems, held together with skewer sticks and that it tasted like butt and paid way more than a $100 for it and still thought that i was over charging them!?! Really um did you not add all your stuff up? Well yes it took them 5 days and costed more but yet they still said it saved them a ton of money. Really how was that you still had to go buy sheet cakes cause the cake was so nasty. Oh well at least I stuck to my price and it was under priced to begin with. Just makes me laugh. I know my cakes are not great but lots of people like them and really I get lots of compliments.




This story is so funny and I am at work, in a room full of children other wise I would be rolling on the floor, tears running down my cheeks, peeing my pants!
Butterfly, YOU WIN!

Crazboutcakes Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 7:07pm
post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by 88nikki88

..... my Uncle talked me into doing his wedding cake, as they couldn't afford a "real" one.


a REAL one? icon_eek.gif

Uncle: We can't afford a REAL cake
Me: So...... you're planning on serving your guests fake, plastic cake?

(Big sigh!)

How did you hold yourself back?




lol this.... icon_lol.gif

DaPom Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 7:08pm
post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi


One variation (from the smarta$$ side of me):

- What would $150 get me?
- About 75 Twinkies. icon_twisted.gif






Debi - I love the smart@$$ part of you, we could be twins in that area!

I have a hard time with pricing as well. The only thing we have here is the grocery store for a cake without driving 35+ miles. I can't compete, nor do I want to, with their prices for shipped in frozen cake slabs that they slap some icing on.

Folks don't understand that I pay retail for my supplies because it would cost even more for me to drive somewhere where I can get baking supplies at wholesale, and I perfer to use the freshest ingredents possible. I finally came up with a worksheet that I use where I fill in my actual costs for things like eggs, my "mix" of dry ingredients for a base cake to make a standard 2 layer 8" round cake, oil, powdered sugar, cocoa, icing colors, decorating bags, cake boards, cake boxes, etc,. When I figured it up that way I was shocked at how much it actually costs me to make a cake. I didn't even include replacment costs for pans, tips, etc.

I no longer feel guilty when I quote a price for a cake and someone balks, because I know exactly how much it will cost me and how much my time is worth. icon_smile.gif

Crazboutcakes Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 7:10pm
post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by butterfly831915

My story is getting less than 2 weeks notice being asked to do a 5 tier fondant covered wedding cake with 40 handmade gumpaste roses with black satin ribbon at the base of each tier,quoted price $350 icon_surprised.gif was told ok do it, told them - hey gotta have the money for stuff upfront, $200 now and other $150 at pick up, oh ok when do you need that by? (Gave a day or two to get the money to me) Call me five minutes before they are to bring me money asking again how much it was, remind them and get a txt saying oh well they won't pay more than $100 for that. Um lady I already have 100 in it and that was just my sps, cake drum and fondant. Not including everything else they wanted. I just got back an oh well. Well I find out they do the cake themselfs, they do a three tier fondant covered cake, plastic fake flowers and no dividers between tiers all just on top of each other each tier the same size, the fondant wrapped around the side and a circle to cover thetop then a string of buttercream at the seems, held together with skewer sticks and that it tasted like butt and paid way more than a $100 for it and still thought that i was over charging them!?! Really um did you not add all your stuff up? Well yes it took them 5 days and costed more but yet they still said it saved them a ton of money. Really how was that you still had to go buy sheet cakes cause the cake was so nasty. Oh well at least I stuck to my price and it was under priced to begin with. Just makes me laugh. I know my cakes are not great but lots of people like them and really I get lots of compliments.




oh I alwasy take 1/2 down 2 weeks before the event and the other at pu time so the money is not out of my pocket and that does not include wedding cakes that's another story icon_eek.gif

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 7:37pm
post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkltll

Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMasterSRC

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

then you'll enjoy this story. hubby used to do woodworking. A co-worker of mine wanted a custom designed stand to hold a HUGE fish tank. Hubby hates to do a "in the range of" quote on the spur of the moment, but these folks were really pushing. So he told them "in the range of" $200. They about fell off of their chair. The guy proclaimed, "Hell, I only wanted to pay about ten bucks!!!"

Really? The cost of the nails and glue would cost more than that!!!!

Dumba$$es.



icon_eek.gif 10 BUCKS??? My husband does custom woodworking too, so I know what goes into making something like that. You can't even get a particle board version of that at Wal-Mart for 10 bucks! Wow. People are idiots.



icon_lol.gificon_cry.gificon_lol.gificon_cry.gificon_lol.gificon_cry.gif
Deb, I often think to myself, "Dumba$$!" I think that same customer has been in my store. icon_lol.gif
CakeMaster, you would be amazed at the number of people who tell me, "Oh, I can get that at Walmart much cheaper." To which I usually reply, "Cheaper" would be the operative word & when you're ready for a piece that won't fall apart in few months come back & see me.




thumbs_up.gif Exactly! It's all about the QUALITY you're getting! People don't get it!

88nikki88 Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 7:45pm
post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by 88nikki88

..... my Uncle talked me into doing his wedding cake, as they couldn't afford a "real" one.


a REAL one? icon_eek.gif

Uncle: We can't afford a REAL cake
Me: So...... you're planning on serving your guests fake, plastic cake?

(Big sigh!)

How did you hold yourself back?




Yeah, that's how I felt on the inside, LOL. I always said I would NEVER try a wedding cake, because I was afraid I couldn't pull it off, and I KNEW I'd be getting in WAY over my head. But because I was kind of annoyed, I took the chance, figuring since it wasn't a "real" cake, it didn't matter if it turned out with leaning tiers and torn fondant, right? icon_wink.gif Saved me a TON of stressing, LOL.

IndyDebi, I've been lurking on here a long time, and I always enjoy your posts, your humor comes across SO well in writing icon_smile.gif

jenmat Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 7:45pm
post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

jentreu, do you suppose that coordinator was willing to do her work for $150? Coordinate the whole wedding, etc. Yah... I BET she was working on a budget. icon_mad.gif




Yeah, like add a few zeros to that... this planner has burned me more than once- I'm SOOO done with her.

I had a "make your own" experience too- mom wanted a 1st bday cake "tree stump" design with about a dozen little figures having a tea party on top. I didn't want to do it, bid it way up, and the lady very kindly told me because of her budget, she was going to have to try and make something herself.

Fast forward a few weeks and the poor woman sent me a picture of her creation. She told me flat out that she would NEVER attempt it again, that she had NO idea the work that went into even the simple cake she produced-(2 tier pink-iced with a little bow on top. It was leaning and messy but you could tell how much she tried!) She said she spent the night before and after the party in tears, and that my bid was spot on for the work that she had been asking for.

Sometimes ya gotta let them see...

If I tried to build a fish tank stand myself, Flipper would be on the floor in seconds. There's a reason we pay for some things. icon_rolleyes.gif

cakesmart Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 8:35pm
post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by KHalstead

don't justify your pricing, stick to it!! Here is how the conversations should go:


Customer: How much would a 3 tiered cake to serve 200 people with fondant and gumpast flowers cost

Me: The cake is $3.00/serv. plus $5.00 for each flower........the pic. you gave me shows about 20 so you're looking at $700.00 for your cake, deliver is $1.00/mile......would you like it delivered?

Customer: Whoah!!! I only wanted to spend $150.00!!!!

Me: Well, I do appreciate your consideration....is there anything else I can help you with???

Customer: What can I get for $150.00???

Me: You can get a buttercream iced/decorated cake to serve 60, would you like to order one???

Customer: Um...........let me get back to you

Me: Ok, let me know if I can help you with anything else......have a great day




Priceless! I LOVE IT!

jennifer22780 Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 8:49pm
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by 88nikki88

I give you all a LOT of credit, I don't bake for money, but this stuff would drive me CRAZY! I really like baking cakes for friends and family, but I can't tell you how many times I've said no (well, OK, TRIED to say no, I'm a total sucker!) to family calling and asking me to make a cake with like 2 days notice for a party they're having. People have NO idea of the amount of work that goes into it.

On the flip side of this, I myself tend to not realize just how much goes into it. I have made dozens of birthday/party cakes, some of them serving up to 100 people, and recently my Uncle talked me into doing his wedding cake, as they couldn't afford a "real" one. He gave me $100 to pay for ingredients, and I stupidly thought it would be more than enough. Turns out it's more like $170 in ingredients/supplies for a 3 tier, 232 serving cake! Who knew? But I look at it as a HUGE learning experience, and I really enjoyed decorating it icon_smile.gif




ive found myself in that boat quite often--- underestimating the cost for a friend, since i am more than happy to do it for cost right now as i could use the experience/practice. plus i just enjoy it.

LOL on him saying he couldnt afford a 'real' one though.

craCcakeladee Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 12:15am
post #30 of 36

I have a bride who wants a 4 tier, with 4 side cakes, two 8" and two 10-12", and a grooms cake...I know how much it is worth, and how much work will be put into it. I soooo gave her a good deal at $550, and she hasn't returned a message! I know I can't get higher prices because of the area we live in, but come on! I am not doing this stuff out of the kindness of my heart. I do my families cakes for the cost of ingredients. Some woman wanted me to make a 2 tier, fondant covered cake with all the cute detailing, I priced her $65, and she told me that wasn't in her budget...WHAT DID YOU THINK IT WAS GOING TO BE? I never met the woman, was NOT cutting her a deal. She ended up ordering from a woman 40 miles away, paying $40 for a sheet cake that was NOTHING like the theme she wanted, and had to drive all that way to pick it up. Mine would have been delivered. icon_rolleyes.gif People just don't have a clue!

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