How Much Do People Think A Cake Costs To Make???

Business By TPACakeGirl Updated 23 Jun 2016 , 1:30pm by indydebi

Kiddiekakes Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 5:09pm
post #61 of 434

Btrupin... thumbs_up.gif totally agree...


It's like this lame brain email I got yesterday and posted here about...


She at the end tells me she wants a 2D shaped cake and 10 cupcakes for $50.00 icon_confused.gif

Ahhh...Yeah NO!!!...For one ..since when do the customers dictate to me what they'll pay for a cake..If you don't want to pay or can't afford my cakes then politely decine..Don't send me an email saying "Yeah I want to order a cake for 30-40 people but I don't like your prices and only want to pay $50.00

"Will that work for you" she writes at the end..Ahhh ..Will shoving my foot up your A$$ work for yah icon_twisted.gificon_twisted.gif

That one ticked me off all day....Hubby laughed...he's not surprised at idiotic attitudes.

The point is this...There are always gonna be people who can't afford or can't justify paying any amount for a custom cake as Indydebi states..But you don't need to be rude in saying so...Say Thankyou and be on your way...

BCo Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 5:20pm
post #62 of 434

KiddieKakes - you got it!!

I think it's the rudeness or the customer being disrespectful or insulting about our time/talent's worth that sends me over the edge.

I totally get that people can't afford things and I have my limits to what I will pay for different things but that's a personal choice that you need to make on your own. I get the sticker shock thing but please take your negative reaction to it somewhere else besides in my face b/c I don't need to see or hear your displeasure in what I charge. icon_wink.gif

indydebi Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 5:28pm
post #63 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niki11784

Does anyone give a breakdown of the pricing to their customers so they can understand where we are coming from?


Double Hockey Stick No!!!!!!!! icon_eek.gif

Does Olive Garden give me a breakdown with my bill?
Does General Motors share with me their actual cost to make a car?
Does my attorney give me a list of his overhead costs?

No freakin' way! And primarily because the COST OF INGREDIENTS IS NOT THE BIG EXPENSE!!!

Do you think Picasso gives a discount on his paintings if you buy the paint? no, because you are paying for his talent, not his supplies.

Dont' even get started on that bad habit. If you want people to know what your "costs" are, give them a list and let THEM spend half a day running all over the place buying EXA TLY what you need .... and then remind them "Plus you'll have to pay me the $20/hour to turn all of that stuff into yoru awesome looking cake!" icon_twisted.gif

Kiddiekakes Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 5:36pm
post #64 of 434

Way to go Indy!!!! thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

Niki11784 Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 5:41pm
post #65 of 434

Indydebi, ouch but true. I hear what you are saying. Maybe people think they are doing the seller a favor by ordering from them, thats where the attitude comes from?

metria Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 5:42pm
post #66 of 434

my photographer instructor back in community college used to tell us that his clients aren't just paying the big $$$ for his time and his equipment ... they're also paying for his past education! these are skills that we spent a lot of money learning and building on. we're not bagging groceries or flippin burgers, people! cake artists are ARTISTS.

BCo Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 5:55pm
post #67 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niki11784

Indydebi, ouch but true. I hear what you are saying. Maybe people think they are doing the seller a favor by ordering from them, thats where the attitude comes from?




Oh I get this feeling from customers A LOT!!!!

It's take it or leave it for me the more this happens, the easier it is to say goodbye to that potential customer...when someone walks away after being this way towards me I look forward to spending that time with my family and I let out a sigh of relief for not having to have a negative attitude while making a cake for someone who reluctantly finally gave in to except my price and pay for it...Like I was twisting their arm or something!

indydebi Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 6:14pm
post #68 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by metria

my photographer instructor back in community college used to tell us that his clients aren't just paying the big $$$ for his time and his equipment ... they're also paying for his past education! these are skills that we spent a lot of money learning and building on. we're not bagging groceries or flippin burgers, people! cake artists are ARTISTS.




One of my favorite stories that I post frequently that demonstrates this very philosophy:

Quote:
Quote:

A woman walking along the street and sees Picasso sitting at a cafe. She gets very excited and asks him to draw her something. He scribbles something on a napkin, hands it to her and says, "that will be $5000." She is aghast and says, "But that only took you 5 minutes!" He looks at her and says, "No, madam. It took me a lifetime."


countrygirll Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 6:18pm
post #69 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by metria

my photographer instructor back in community college used to tell us that his clients aren't just paying the big $$$ for his time and his equipment ... they're also paying for his past education! these are skills that we spent a lot of money learning and building on. we're not bagging groceries or flippin burgers, people! cake artists are ARTISTS.




This is what I am struggling with--most people just want to pay for the supplies and figure "she would love to take her free time and make this wonderful cake for me". I too work a full time job and do this on the side. So while talking to my friend the other day about a cake for a friend of hers, I told her, if she wants her cake for that price, then while I'm making her cake for a for pennies, have her come over and do the laundry, vaccum the house, getting supper ready for the hubby. I asked my friend if she would make a wedding cake that would take approx 24 hours from start to finish, for $2 an hour? Her answer "heck no"....well then neither will I. Even if I did this full time, why would I allow someone to basically tell me that their money wasn't worth my time and tallent? I think its great that we are all educating others out there that cakes are not cheap!!! I like the idea of putting the price, size and maybe state that the cake we created is located on CC--that would help consumers to see how much they really do cost. thank you all for your help!!!

Ali3971 Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 6:39pm
post #70 of 434

I had a lady email me wanting a carved jersey cake to feed 50 ppl all fondant with lettering and numbers. She wanted mocha cake, rasberry filling, and white chocolate buttercream icing. She also wanted a football cake to go next to it with grass around the football. I sent her a qhote and she said "oh wow, thats more than I expected I was thinking more along the lines of $70, thats all I can afford." I told her the time/cost/and talent it takes to make the cake she is requesting would not be cost effiective for me, have a nice day icon_smile.gif

This lady is crazy I am not taking time away from my kids, my fiance, my home and weekend to be a cake slave for the cost of ingredients!! She has a filet mignon taste on a hot dog budget!!!!!!!!!!!

bellaudreycakes Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 6:40pm
post #71 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali3971

I have decided to include what I charged for my cake whenever I upload the pic to CC I hoep I have some followers out there??

It would be so helpful to everyone I think!




I agree! I will start doing this as well, people just don't get all the work that goes into cakes, not to mention the clean up after UGH! My kitchen is always a disaster when I'm done with a cake thats the worst part! I am opening a store front very soon and am very tempted to itemize everything on my website that goes into the making of a cake from the fresh ingredients, figures, boxes, boards, clean-up, time for baking, researching, decorating, back aches, etc. Maybe then they will realize I am getting a "custom cake" and $40 isn't enough icon_evil.gif

lecrn Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 7:09pm
post #72 of 434

This is why I also keep my "day job". I make cakes only when I feel like and for family and close friends. I don't make much of a profit (if any), but I really enjoy decorating. People are just still totally clueless about how much goes into making a cake, even if they're educated on the subject. They still just see an ingredient list. Not only do you need to factor in the labor and utilities, you should consider the time it takes to create a design. Even if you "copy" someone else's cake, it took time to research and send pics to the customer. It takes time to make a sketch, coordinate colors, research a new technique.
It truly burns me up to see a dessert menu @ a restaurant!! We never order one b/c it never lives up to my standards. Yet so many don't think twice about ordering a dried out $5, undecorated piece of cake.

cakesdivine Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 7:29pm
post #73 of 434

Don't you get tired of having to justify your price? It is so rude of people to condemn a person for the price they are quoting. I have to admit at one time in my life I thought the same. I went to a local t-shirt shop for some custom work for our dance studio. A client at our studio found out we needed stuff done and she did it from her home. The local t-shirt shop charged $4 more per item and charged $10 more on the set-up charge. I snipped at the woman that her price was insane. She said to me that she charges what she has to in order to stay in business, and that not everyone's overhead is the same. I didn't quite get it then (I was pretty young and green about business back then), but boy do I totally understand now!

I didn't realize it then but she taught me a very valuable lesson. But, now I have to seem to qualify constantly why I charge what I charge. I get so tired of that!...LOL! But, they have to be educated somehow, but many, especially those who have never owned or ran a business, will never get it. ..sigh..

QuadCities Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 7:30pm
post #74 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetts99

I'm sorry I do not remember who stated it first but, has anyone been on the Ace of Cakes website! $1000.00 minimum! I am all the time having this agrument with my DH! He thinks I overcharge. So I pulled up the website and showed him. He says OH but he has a degree and a shop and ect.... really?! Ok so I do this from home, and alot of the cakes in my gallery are ones I have done for my kids, or family, but don't even those of us who do that deserve to be paid accordingly? I, unlike alot of you do not have a "customer base" I have a few friends and my church that I do things for but I have found that my "friends" are the ones that don't want to pay for my work. Also does anyone elses DH want you to make things just to take into work, for free!?




SWEETTS99, how I can so relate to this .. BIG TIME!! I get it at work .. when you going to bring something mm-good in for us to sample, SAMPLE? .. I tell them if they want this, they can pay .50 a cupcake .. YEAH RIGHT! not .. they are not going to do this and I do not take anything in either .. I have everything on my website of what I sell, the costs .. I even made pies for a place {cafe} in my hometown and she did not want to pay 12.00 for a cherry pie she could get it from Chicago for $8.00 .. She loves my pies but not for what I sell them for .... So she can get her pies from a factory an pay low and get pooh .. This CC Forum is great to read .. It's just not only I that has this problem with people wanting baked goods for nothing ..

indydebi Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 7:35pm
post #75 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geneseo

I get it at work .. when you going to bring something mm-good in for us to sample, SAMPLE? ..


I had the same thing at a job I had. I'd tell them "when I get your check that reserves yoru oven time."

sweetts99 Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 8:01pm
post #76 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I had the same thing at a job I had. I'd tell them "when I get your check that reserves yoru oven time."



LOL I love that! May I use it?

imakecakes2 Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 8:41pm
post #77 of 434

Over the years I found that I've also undercharged. What's helped me out is before I consult with a client, I give them a brief rundown on how I charge for work. So I'll say something like, "before we meet to discuss plans for your cake, please know I have a $100 cake minimum for all sculpted cakes, and the price generally goes up accordingly in regards to design, cost of materials, labor, how many people it will feed and delivery...if you would like to take some time to think it over I understand, or if you'd like to proceed and book a consultation I'd be glad to set a date and time" this works well in an email too. You could also use what ever other formula you use to price your work, I use the minimum price to set the stage for the rest of the conversation. I find it lets people off the hook easily so they don't feel stupid for not understanding that the work is expensive. I think that's where alot of the attitude comes from. And prefacing your sale like this gives your client a better idea of the cost of your work. This way I don't waste my time laboriously discussing a cake that someone won't buy because of sticker shock. They know I'm expensive right out of the gate. they take it or leave it. Also too, I charge separately for consultations, again, time is money. If they book with me i refund the money into the final cost. If they don't book with me, atleast I'll leave with a check for my time. These days I only take on the projects that will pay for my time, and/or clients that appreciate my work.

TPACakeGirl Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 9:05pm
post #78 of 434

In all honesty, I think I'm partially to blame for my own issues. When I first started out, I would make a lot of practice cakes. I didn't want to throw them out, so I would bring them to work or give them away. I think people got used to the free stuff. I think that's where some of the sticker shock came in.

QuadCities Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 10:03pm
post #79 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetts99

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I had the same thing at a job I had. I'd tell them "when I get your check that reserves yoru oven time."


LOL I love that! May I use it?




I never knew what to say .. to be nice in saying NO Samples .. This I will use .. LOVE IT .. Thanks ...

Angelfire3 Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 10:41pm
post #80 of 434

I'm in the same boat as everyone. I'm only a hobby baker who usually bakes for my family (usually free of charge) or pot lucks & my husband's job. I would also bake for my friends for a discounted price b/c I feel why should I pay for someone else cake?

With that said, I get the occasional, "You have beautiful cakes. Can you do a cake for___?" (fill in the blank). Of course I will. They get excited b/c they think that b/c I don't have my own business that I will be cheap. I am cheap. But they want a $300 (to some of you CCer's standards) for $30-40. A friend from high school sent me a few facebook & personal emails asking if I could do a particular cake. She told me all of the details (and it was A LOT). I quoted her for $150. I haven't heard anything since.

I undercharged myself. Especially for a 3-D open shoebox cake w/vertical butterflies on the side of it with a gumpaste strappy, gladiator shoe w/silver accents, 50 diamond/jewel shaped teacakes w/a pudding filling, two cake flavors etc. So, yes, I undercut myself. $150 was a steal. I think I'm going to request that I get 50% up front.

No one wants to pay for anything now-a-days!

countrygirll Posted 9 Feb 2011 , 1:54am
post #81 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali3971

This lady is crazy I am not taking time away from my kids, my fiance, my home and weekend to be a cake slave for the cost of ingredients!! She has a filet mignon taste on a hot dog budget!!!!!!!!!!!




HA! I am just loving all these great sayings---I'm keeping track of them for when I need them! You gals are great!!!! thumbs_up.gif

countrygirll Posted 9 Feb 2011 , 2:08am
post #82 of 434

I too am in the same boat with bringing in free samples at work. I like the idea of getting feedback to help improve my recipes, but most of the time, people do not even tell me if they liked it or not. In fact, this friday, we have someone leaving the office and someone else approached me and said "are WE doing a cake for so and so..." Now it's expected that I do the cake because after all I'm the one who brings in free samples. I told this person that I had no idea, but I should have told her to start a money collection to pay for it. I feel bad for the person leaving, but it's not my responsibility to make and pay for the cake!!! After all I'm just a admin assistant!!!!! I'm at the point now where I feel like I'm being taken advantage of....I told my hubby that I will not be brining in samples anymore.......

and you right Angelfire3---nobody wants to pay for anything!!!!!

TPACakeGirl Posted 9 Feb 2011 , 2:17am
post #83 of 434

When a guy at work turned 50, guess who was tasked to make his Over the Hill cake? It's in my photos and was bigger than the picture shows. I paid for it all myself. It cost me almost $150 to make it, and not single one of the 80 something people who ate, offered up a single cent. As a matter of fact, I was royally hurt when the honoree threw away the gumpaste version of himself in the car. I know he has no idea how long it took to make that, but seriously, at least wait till I'm out of the room before you toss it!

My hubby is funny though. When people at his office ask him when he's bringing in more goodies, he tells them, "when you pay for them."

Tarina-rina Posted 9 Feb 2011 , 7:27am
post #84 of 434

I'd rather GIVE a cake from my heart and make it because I want to than to have to figure a price and then hear a whole lot of this and that. I paid $375.00 for a double heart cake here in California two years ago that did not look any better than mine. If people don't want to pay the cost at least for making a cake then let them go elsewhere. It will be their loss for all they will get is a commercial tasting cake with flowers that taste awful. I only make cakes for people I love and care for. But then I am not interested in making money. That is why I retired, so I can do what I want when I want! Making cakes is a lot of fun for me, however people should be willing to at least pay you what it cost to make it, which we all know is as a rule very expensive! I am lucky to have a hobby and a skill, some don't have either one! Ha Ha

TPACakeGirl Posted 9 Feb 2011 , 10:38am
post #85 of 434

I'm not trying to get rich either. I just don't think the economy is good enough. This is why I have a regular full time job. However, I couldn't defend the $1000 debt on my credit card to my husband. He and I were arguing over it, and he's right. It may be a hobby, but it's not a good one if it's eventually gonna put us in the poor house. This is why I agreed with him that people will at least pay for the supplies.

Niki11784 Posted 9 Feb 2011 , 2:55pm
post #86 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by TPACakeGirl


My hubby is funny though. When people at his office ask him when he's bringing in more goodies, he tells them, "when you pay for them."




Same here! I think its obnoxious- this guy keeps asking my husband when I am going to make him a cake- my husband told him to go get his own wife to bake him cakes icon_smile.gif

cakewhiz Posted 9 Feb 2011 , 4:15pm
post #87 of 434

This has been a very interesting discussion. I have been creating cakes for 35 years now, and this year, I have decided to charge according to the requests of my customers. With the advent of Cake Boss and Charm City Cakes on TV, these programs have given the general public great ideas for purchasing cakes. As all of you know, the public does not have a clue as to the time and ingredients that goes into the over the top custom decorated cakes.
I have learned over the years that there is nothing worse than undercharging for a cake and then baking, designing, and decorating the cake knowing you did not charge enough.
I have a minimum size party cake of 35 servings. The base price is $3.00/serving or $105.00. (California) The price goes up from there depending upon the decoration. It just does not pay for me to do cakes for less than 35 servings. There is no money to be made there. I do not consider my customers my friends. I do not give discounts to anyone. However, that being said, I have on occasion given a cake as a gift. I learned very early on in this business that if you bake only for friends....you will never have customers.
I have often thought that we should all include the price of the cake whenever we post a photo of a cake we have decorated. It would also help to include the state that you are from as prices are different across the U.S. I will do this in the future.
Do all my customers accept my proposal on a cake they have requested....no. But, I have decided that that is OK. They are certainly free to go elsewhere and try and get it cheaper. I know the time and the amount of work I put into my creations. I am now happy with the prices I am asking for my cakes because I am worth it.

lilmisscakes Posted 9 Feb 2011 , 7:14pm
post #88 of 434

I never realized how many people have the same issues as I do with customers. People always bargain with me. When I was first starting out I figured it was better to charge less and get my name out there than to turn down work. But then people started talking about how much they paid and I couldn't raise my prices to what they should be. I can't afford to give away cakes.

indydebi Posted 9 Feb 2011 , 7:18pm
post #89 of 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilmisscakes

When I was first starting out I figured it was better to charge less and get my name out there than to turn down work. But then people started talking about how much they paid and I couldn't raise my prices to what they should be.


Thanks for sharing! Its one of the biggest issues that is discussed on here and the hardest lesson to learn! thumbs_up.gif

LadyDi469 Posted 9 Feb 2011 , 8:34pm
post #90 of 434

In my state (AR) you can't bake and sell from your home unless you have a county certified kitchen-and it must be a separate building from your home. You can sell by "word of mouth only" no advertising of any kind.

I have made some practice cakes and given them away to elderly friends or as baby shower gifts to the mother. My son has a friend who is getting married and she asked how much I would charge for a wedding cake. He told her he didn't know but he has known of me giving some cakes away, but not ever giving away a wedding cake. Well, the girl called me and said "your son said you would make my wedding cake for free". I told her it wasn't free and we would have to discuss what she wanted.

I get messages from the "bride to be" changing her mind of what her wedding these will be. All her ideas are completely tacky and some aren't fit for a wedding. I told my son that no matter what she wants, if this cake is for free, she's getting a tasteful, not tacky wedding cake.

So in the state where I live, most don't even consider $20-$30 for any kind of cake. They think because you know how to make them, and you can't sell them from your home....then they must be free!!!!

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