Undercharged For A Cake...how To Let Them Know...

Decorating By buttercuppie Updated 31 Jan 2011 , 3:58am by ritchie70

buttercuppie Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 6:13pm
post #1 of 17

So don't ask me what happened (I think it was lack of sleep during Christmas) but I gave a potential client too low of a price on a cake. She ended up getting the cake at that price...no worries there...it's completely my fault so of course I eat it (no pun intended icon_biggrin.gif ).

Question is...when I'm delivering the cake I kinda want to tell her (in a nice way) that the price she paid is actually lower than what she should have been charged. Reason being is that I don't want her telling people what she paid and if they contact me I don't want them thinking that I'm overcharging them b/c she told them what price she paid. (make sense?)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

And yes I know...no more price quoting when I'm so tired I fall asleep typing!! icon_lol.gif

16 replies
1234me Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 6:22pm
post #2 of 17

I would be honest and upfront and explain that you misquoted her but understand that was your mistake but you wanted her to be aware of what the correct price was in case she or her friends ever wanted to order something similar in the future!

buttercuppie Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 6:26pm
post #3 of 17

That's what I figured...just wanted to make sure I wasn't being rude if I did that...

...I'm seriously slapping myself over making that mistake...LOL! Live and learn...and then double check your math!!


aligotmatt Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 6:41pm
post #4 of 17

I wouldn't tell someone that when I delivered their cake. If someone else calls, then you can say something like, well I gave that price because I was offering a promotion at the time...

I just wouldn't take a cake to someone and tell them I rattled off the wrong price and they are getting a great deal.

letsgetcaking Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 6:44pm
post #5 of 17

Here's a quote I saved on my computer from a thread on CC a while back about giving cakes as gifts


Advice a friend gave me about giving away professional services, which might also be relevant here:

If you do things free/pro bono/as a gift, prepare a bill anyway. List your regular price, and then if it is a total gift, write off "paid in full" or "With my compliments" or something of that nature.

She made that suggestion to keep in people's minds that what you are doing has value, without you making a song and dance about it. The preparation of invoices is a normal business procedure and it is not unusual for an automated business record keeping system to spit them out somewhat automatically. The personal "write off" and note makes it friendlier while still making a point.

I know it's not a gift, but maybe you could write up a receipt with the normal price on it and write out that she was given a discount. You can tell her when you drop off the cake and receipt that it was your mistake for misquoting, but then she'll see your regular price.

artscallion Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 6:58pm
post #6 of 17

I agree with aligotmatt. I would not indicate, in any way to her on delivery. It makes it sound like you're hinting that she pay the higher price, even though you're telling her not to. She may interpret it as a passive aggressive way to guilt her into paying the higher price. It could be awkward and make her feel uncomfortable for paying a lower price she didn't even ask for.

Even if you did it through an invoice, I think ti would feel the same to the customer. I would think, "well why is she even mentioning it if she's not trying to get me to say oh well, no I'll give you the full amount."

As aligotmatt suggests, deal with it on future customers. No need to make this one feel bad or awkward for your mistake.

Chasey Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 7:00pm
post #7 of 17

I like the idea of an invoice. She deserves to have something that says paid in full anyway so why not show the real price minus a line that says promotional discount and the actual total you are charging her?

Then you can have it marked paid in full and not have to say a word. She'll be looking at it (I think) to ensure it's not a bill, kwim? icon_smile.gif

aligotmatt Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 7:15pm
post #8 of 17

There are only 2 cakes that I've done since really making cakes (not counting all those $30 8" rounds I spent 20 hours on each when I first got going), but 2 wedding cakes where I sat down and started working, and then kept working, and then looked at the contract and thought, holy cow, I'm 17 hours in on this beast for only $600?! 2 times. I delivered it, took my pictures, and left.

I've sat down with many many brides since and they'll go ooooh I looove that cake, how much did that cost?? And I say, well, they certainly didn't pay enough for as long as it took me, tell them my woes of early cakedom or leave it at that. Nobody has ever said, "well I want it for what they paid..."

And I think the invoice thing could bring a negative effect to you, rather than her feeling grateful, maybe spreading the word that you're an under bidder.

buttercuppie Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 7:22pm
post #9 of 17

Believe me, underbidding is not something I have to worry about here...LOL.

I think that I'm just going to play this one by ear when I get there...if there is a possible opportunity to bring it up then I will but I'm not going to hunt her down to tell her (ie if she asks for additional business cards, then I feel okay bringing it up)...I'd rather keep the relationship open and honest up front and not appear to be deceptive down the line to either her or other potential clients.

have a great weekend!!!

letsgetcaking Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 7:36pm
post #10 of 17

I'm curious, what exactly does "underbidder" mean? I'm guessing (from context) it means someone who gives a low price in order to win a contract and then raises their price later, forcing the client to pay more?

Anyway, as a customer, I would not think anything was underhanded or that you were fishing for more money in the situation I suggested above.

cindyloowho Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 8:01pm
post #11 of 17

I agree with artscallion and aligotmatt. I think discussing the price at the delivery might make the customer feel awkward and unsure about ordering from you again. I think you are better off just delivering your beautiful creation with a smile icon_smile.gif New customers will understand price changes, especially in this ecomony!

Annabakescakes Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 8:07pm
post #12 of 17

I did that before, and I let the lady know in a lighthearted manner. Basically laughing at myself. I don't think she took it as passive agressive or felt weird, and it saved me from having to feel like I had to charge all her friends that low price.

I simply told her over the phone that I didn't know what happened, but I had misquoted her the cost of the cake, and that I wasn't worrying about it, and I didn't expect her to pay the difference, I was considering it a "stupid tax" on myself. Just please don't quote the price to anyone, the cake would have cost $172, not $117. And we laughed about it and she said she was glad she got such a good deal, and we laughed some more.

Since then I have done cakes for 4 of her co-workers, and cakes for her co-workers families and friends and more for her family, and one her daughter ordered for her. All these cakes were full price, and I did not even get the bat of an eyelash when I told them my price. And they have all been very pleased.

CWR41 Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 9:53pm
post #13 of 17

If you don't mention it somehow this time, she may expect the same price the next time for the same/similar size.

buttercuppie Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 10:02pm
post #14 of 17

exactly my thoughts!!!

indydebi Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 10:05pm
post #15 of 17

Humor is a great diffuser and I use it all the time.

I would definitely let her know in a "laugh at ME" type of conversation just so she knows what a deal she got and that she's not gettign that cake at that price again.

Annabakescakes Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 10:10pm
post #16 of 17
Originally Posted by indydebi

Humor is a great diffuser and I use it all the time.

I would definitely let her know in a "laugh at ME" type of conversation just so she knows what a deal she got and that she's not gettign that cake at that price again.

That is basically what I meant, just less, "wandering". I tend to wander around a lot when I am writing. lol I would hate to look like I jacked my prices up , like a bait and switch. Lure them in and the first cake is cheap, then you really "stick it to them" with the second.

ritchie70 Posted 31 Jan 2011 , 3:58am
post #17 of 17

Hi, all.

I've never worked in the cake industry (I just find this site fascinating) but I've done the auto repair and florist industries.

Some people are very touchy - just in general. If you tell them anything they freak and get all weird. (Like my mother-in-law, for example... icon_smile.gif)

But you can usually detect the touchy freak-out weirdos pretty easily.

Assuming you aren't dealing with one of those, you can probably just be honest - but make fun of yourself when you do it, as others have suggested.

Or just describe it as your policy - "I always charge people what I quote them, it's one of my most important business rules, but I really messed up the pricing on your cake!"

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