AmysCakesNCandies Posted 12 Jan 2011 , 12:09am
post #1 of

OK so here's another rant about customers and thier unrealistic expectations for the price of a custom cake. Woman call me this evening and she wants a smaller (to serve about 25) 2 tier with zebra striping on 1 tier and a sculpted full size zebra stripe high heel shoe on top, so i tell her it would be around $200 ish and she pauses... "well what if you did a single tier cake under the shoe sculpted to look like an ottoman"... about the same price..... "Well how about a shoe box with the shoe on the lid"... I say that would be about $175... "Oh well I only wanted to spend about $100"... I say "well that will get you the shoe" CLICK. Dead Air. I don't think she liked that very much.

I don't think my pricing for this is too off base, if anything I tend to price on the lower side. Am I crazy to think that she has to be high to get a shoe cake for $100?

People have just been driving me nuts lately!- I had a cake pick up this weekend where the woman wanted a 3 tier cake for her daughter sweet 16 for $75!!!!! Well, she ended up with a 10" round after I explained my pricing (and of course after she called around and realized that my $65 for a fondant decorated 10" round with gumpaste accents on top was a pretty decent price) So anyway, she shows up to pick up her cake in a blinged out Hummer... SERIOUSLY... you have this uber expensive car but won't spend more than $75 on a "super special' (her words) cake for her daughters sweet 16!

OK, done with my rant

42 replies
cylstrial Posted 12 Jan 2011 , 2:13pm
post #2 of

[quote=\\"AmysCakesNCandies\\"]

People have just been driving me nuts lately!- I had a cake pick up this weekend where the woman wanted a 3 tier cake for her daughter sweet 16 for $75!!!!! Well, she ended up with a 10\\" round after I explained my pricing (and of course after she called around and realized that my $65 for a fondant decorated 10\\" round with gumpaste accents on top was a pretty decent price) So anyway, she shows up to pick up her cake in a blinged out Hummer... SERIOUSLY... you have this uber expensive car but won\\'t spend more than $75 on a \\"super special\\' (her words) cake for her daughters sweet 16!

OK, done with my rant[/quote]

That\\'s hilarious! But no, people don\\'t seem to have any idea how much a cake should cost.

brensmom12 Posted 12 Jan 2011 , 2:13pm
post #3 of

I get the fact that we are in a \\"depressed economy\\

imagenthatnj Posted 12 Jan 2011 , 3:27pm
post #4 of

AmysCakesNCandies, I have a friend who does this for a living. We\\'re in NYC, but I know for a fact that just the shoe is $200. The cake is extra. That\\'s the first price she quotes, the figure on top, and then tells people how much a simple cake covered in fondant under it will be, depending on the amount of cake. Your price was extremely reasonable.

imagenthatnj Posted 12 Jan 2011 , 3:33pm
post #5 of

Christopher Garren\\'s website has a pricing page. Look at the bottom to see the pricing for sculpting and decoration. After you\\'re done with pricing that way, it looks like even a wedding cake is cheaper. And it\\'s only fair. People have no idea how much time this stuff takes.

http://www.christophergarrens.com/pricing.php

jenscreativity Posted 12 Jan 2011 , 3:49pm
post #6 of

HOLY CRAP!! LOL! Those prices are wooooo but awesome! When I get really serious..I would love to charge like that..but gosh,,I wonder if a lot of people pay that...That\\'s sooooo awesome! I love it because if you want people to actually see PROOF,,,give them this link and then they\\'ll have a better idea on the pricing! Thanks for sharing!

I understand the dilemma everyone faces,,but again, \\"if they don\\'t want to pay, then someone ELSE will come along your way!!\\"..Oh well,,there loss!

Best of luck to all of you!!

AmysCakesNCandies Posted 12 Jan 2011 , 3:59pm
post #7 of

Thanks for the link... granted its california and everything is more expensive there... but wow $75 and hr-- and thier work is orth every penny!
I only charge my hourlydecorating rate for sculpted cakes at $30/ hr
I think every customer looking for custom sculpted work should have to see the pricing for them, Duff and Buddy!

Even with that there will be someone who thinkds they cabb get it for the same price as a Costco cake.

Oh well, just part of dealing with the general public I guess.

simplysouthern Posted 12 Jan 2011 , 4:16pm
post #8 of

I seriously cannot stand clients this week and it\\'s only Wed icon_sad.gif

HERE IS HOPING things get easier for all of us this year because if not I may be serving prison time for shoving fondant down a cray person throat when they gasp at my prices!!!!!!!

AmysCakesNCandies Posted 12 Jan 2011 , 4:32pm
post #9 of

HERE IS HOPING things get easier for all of us this year because if not I may be serving prison time for shoving fondant down a cray person throat when they gasp at my prices!!!!!!![/quote]


THANKS!! I needed a laugh today!!!

simplysouthern Posted 12 Jan 2011 , 4:43pm

Anytime icon_wink.gif

Annabakescakes Posted 12 Jan 2011 , 4:48pm

[quote=\\"AmysCakesNCandies\\"]Thanks for the link... granted its california and everything is more expensive there... but wow $75 and hr-- and thier work is orth every penny!
I only charge my hourlydecorating rate for sculpted cakes at $30/ hr
I think every customer looking for custom sculpted work should have to see the pricing for them, Duff and Buddy!

Even with that there will be someone who thinkds they cabb get it for the same price as a Costco cake.

Oh well, just part of dealing with the general public I guess.[/quote]


I do not understand how people can charge by the hour for cakes? How in the world do you know how long it will take? When do you tell the customer how long it will take, before or after? If it takes longer, do you charge more? If it is not as long, do you refund? Do you do the cake and tell the customer \\"it took 10 hours, that will be $300, thankyouverymuch\\"? Then what? Do they flip? Do they pay for it, or say, \\"Sorry, I didn\\'t budget that much for cake\\"? I always wondered about all this, that is why I charge by the serving, and kind of \\"guess\\" how many servings it actually is. I know some people charge for the cake they cut away as well, but I charge so much for what is left, that I don\\'t worry about the $2-$5 worth of cake, and my kids wind up mashing it together and eating it.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 12 Jan 2011 , 5:00pm

[quote=\\"simplysouthern\\"]I seriously cannot stand clients this week and it\\\\\\'s only Wed icon_sad.gif

HERE IS HOPING things get easier for all of us this year because if not I may be serving prison time for shoving fondant down a cray person throat when they gasp at my prices!!!!!!![/quote]

icon_biggrin.gif

LOL! That\\'s awesome, thanks for the laugh!

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 12 Jan 2011 , 5:05pm

I do not understand how people can charge by the hour for cakes? How in the world do you know how long it will take? When do you tell the customer how long it will take, before or after? If it takes longer, do you charge more? If it is not as long, do you refund? Do you do the cake and tell the customer \\\\\\\\\\\\\\"it took 10 hours, that will be $300, thankyouverymuch\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"? Then what? Do they flip? Do they pay for it, or say, \\\\\\\\\\\\\\"Sorry, I didn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t budget that much for cake\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"? I always wondered about all this, that is why I charge by the serving, and kind of \\\\\\\\\\\\\\"guess\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" how many servings it actually is. I know some people charge for the cake they cut away as well, but I charge so much for what is left, that I don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t worry about the $2-$5 worth of cake, and my kids wind up mashing it together and eating it.[/quote]

We usually just make an educated guess on how long it will take for us to make it, based on past experience. But our \\\\\\"hourly rate\\\\\\" is figured into our price per serving, we don\\\\\\'t tell the customer, \\\\\\"You pay this much per serving, and this much for labor.\\\\\\" It\\\\\\'s just all part of the same quote. And if it did take us more time to do, that would be our bad, and we wouldn\\\\\\'t jack the price up when we finish the cake. When we figure time, it\\\\\\'s more just making sure our price per serving is in the right ballpark for that cake, more for our own reference than the customer\\\\\\'s.

ETA: Sorry for the messiness, I don\\'t know what\\'s going on with the quote function.

cownsj Posted 12 Jan 2011 , 5:08pm

[quote=\\"imagenthatnj\\"]Christopher Garren\\\\\\'s website has a pricing page. Look at the bottom to see the pricing for sculpting and decoration. After you\\\\\\'re done with pricing that way, it looks like even a wedding cake is cheaper. And it\\\\\\'s only fair. People have no idea how much time this stuff takes.

http://www.christophergarrens.com/pricing.php[/quote]

Wow, I cannot believe his minimum prices are so inexpensive. And his serving prices too, I\\'m amazed, especially with the quality of work we all know he produces from his shop.

KSMill Posted 12 Jan 2011 , 5:24pm

His cakes are amazing! I must practice practice practice!

AmysCakesNCandies Posted 12 Jan 2011 , 5:43pm

The way I use hourly rate:
I only factor the per hour aspect into sculpted cakes because a per serving price does not always work for scultpted cakes. Instead I take a standard per slice price for fondant and add the hourly rate depending on what I estimate the time to be over & above a standard cake. Every sculpted cake is so different that I just base my estimate on past experience. Sometimes a sculpted cake for 20 will take me 3 times as long as a wedding cake for 100 so I need to make sure the price reflects the time it takes. The customer never knows the eqaution that goes into pricing thier cake, they just know the quote I give them. And the quote they get is what they pay, even if I spent twice as long as I estimated the time to be. If I under or over estimate I make note of it so it can help me next time.

rockincakes5 Posted 12 Jan 2011 , 5:48pm

My sister and I are going through the same thing. We are always wondering if we are charging to much. However, after reading this we are not charging enough. Almost daily we have someone order a cake and then ask well how much....and then say well, I am just checking around when we tell them the price.....what is wrong with people?

Annabakescakes Posted 12 Jan 2011 , 6:19pm

[quote=\\\\\\"CakeMasterSRC\\\\\\"]I do not understand how people can charge by the hour for cakes? How in the world do you know how long it will take? When do you tell the customer how long it will take, before or after? If it takes longer, do you charge more? If it is not as long, do you refund? Do you do the cake and tell the customer \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"it took 10 hours, that will be $300, thankyouverymuch\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"? Then what? Do they flip? Do they pay for it, or say, \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"Sorry, I didn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t budget that much for cake\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"? I always wondered about all this, that is why I charge by the serving, and kind of \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"guess\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" how many servings it actually is. I know some people charge for the cake they cut away as well, but I charge so much for what is left, that I don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t worry about the $2-$5 worth of cake, and my kids wind up mashing it together and eating it.[/quote]

We usually just make an educated guess on how long it will take for us to make it, based on past experience. But our \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"hourly rate\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" is figured into our price per serving, we don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t tell the customer, \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"You pay this much per serving, and this much for labor.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" It\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s just all part of the same quote. And if it did take us more time to do, that would be our bad, and we wouldn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t jack the price up when we finish the cake. When we figure time, it\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s more just making sure our price per serving is in the right ballpark for that cake, more for our own reference than the customer\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s.

ETA: Sorry for the messiness, I don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t know what\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s going on with the quote function.[/quote]


OH! The way people speak about it, it sounds like they are telling the customer! lol! It just doesn\\\\\\'t make sense to tell the customer, now I get it! thumbs_up.gif

And this damn site seems to get more and more annoying. I couldn\\\\\\'t even get on last night, (but I could look at ANYTHING else on the whole internet) and my computer locked up when I kept trying. I had to restart it. The attachment function hasn\\\\\\'t worked in months. Now the quotes are messy. Is there another site that is less troubled? I love the info on this site, when I can access it! I\\\\\\'d love another site to look through when I can\\\\\\'t get my \\\\\\"fix\\\\\\" here.

Edited to add, \\"HOLY BACKSLASHES, BATMAN!!!\\" What the crap is going on???

AmysCakesNCandies Posted 12 Jan 2011 , 6:27pm

Had the same problem getting on last night (after I originally posted) and this morning- not sure what is going on

scp1127 Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 12:19am

I couldn't get on last night, but it was a different problem on all three computers and the phone. I am also finding that letters get left out on the posts and I have to go back and fix them. It doesn't happen anywhere else.

cownsj Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 12:31am

They were working on the system last night and got alot of the problems fixed. Not sure of the problems you're having today, but I know others were fixed last night, and they were down for bit with it.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 1:05am

Annabakescakes, glad I could clarify! icon_smile.gif

And I have no idea what is going on with the backslashes! So weird!

GF Baker Posted 12 Apr 2013 , 7:07pm

Im so glad to have found this forum. I have been running a gluten-free bakery for just over a year, and I've almost had it with unrealistic customer expectations.  My cakes are gluten-free, and all-natural, and I still charge a very good price for them. I did a custom cake for someone recently which only cost $85.00 (it was also vegan btw), and even though the cake feeds well over 20 people, the customer told me that it looked too small and that it was too much to pay for that size cake! Did I mention that another one of my customers ordered this same cake and got well over 25 portions from it..I spent 4 hours decorating it, to which is so specific to her daughter that the chances of me selling a cake like this this weekend is close to impossible! She kept telling me that she would pay the invoice online, but never did. Then I finally told her to bring me my cake back because I didn't think she was going to even pay for it. I'm so sick of these cheap people who try to take advantage of cake decorators. I wish these cake decorating shows would tell people how much the cakes actually cost in the end so people don't expect a $1000 cake for $100!  I hear your story, and can totally relate to your frustrations.  These customers cost you money, cost you time, and hassle. Not worth it!

liz at sugar Posted 12 Apr 2013 , 7:20pm

Just take payment in advance, and these problems will be reduced greatly.  At least a non-refundable deposit, if you are uncomfortable asking for the entire amount up front.  I agree though, people are unreasonable, and very hard to deal with at times.

 

Liz
 

johnson6ofus Posted 13 Apr 2013 , 2:22pm

old thread.. but popped over to Chris's website linked here... ok, the pricing page is gone but....

 

"work with you on setting an investment potential for your cake"

 

icon_surprised.gif

 

What? Investment potential of your cake????? I guess you have to cash in your IRA to pay for it......icon_cool.gif

Annabakescakes Posted 13 Apr 2013 , 2:46pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson6ofus View Post

old thread.. but popped over to Chris's website linked here... ok, the pricing page is gone but....

 

"work with you on setting an investment potential for your cake"

 

icon_surprised.gif

 

What? Investment potential of your cake????? I guess you have to cash in your IRA to pay for it......icon_cool.gif

If you go to the "tasting" page, there is a section that says their prices start at $7.50 per slice. I find those prices quite low for the quality of the cakes.  I wonder if any of the cakes pictured are that little?

kikiandkyle Posted 13 Apr 2013 , 3:35pm

ADoes he sell timeshares too, because they always call those investments when your money is usually gone in the time it takes to polish off a slice of cake too!

johnson6ofus Posted 13 Apr 2013 , 7:53pm

I am OK with the $7.50, or better,  pricing for their ART... really.... they are amazing...

 

But calling it an "investment"...come on. Who came up with THAT! We here on CC have a unique appreciation for the talent and time that goes into some of these cakes, but there is no way I would call it an "investment". A special indulgence, sure..... 

SugaredSaffron Posted 14 Apr 2013 , 1:12pm

Photographers call it an 'investment' too.
 

cakesbycathy Posted 14 Apr 2013 , 2:00pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugaredSaffron View Post

Photographers call it an 'investment' too.
 


Well, I can see that.  Pictures are something you can keep forever and you want them to turn out perfect (so to speak).

 

No one is keeping the cake forever.  It's meant to be eaten.

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