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

Business By TPACakeGirl Updated 30 May 2014 , 6:32am by SystemMod1

lynn1968 Posted 15 Feb 2011 , 12:15am
post #121 of 413

i'll have to come back and finish the rest of the replies, i just wanted to chime in before i lost my aggravation to reason and common sense....

personally, i'm sooo sick and tired of hearing about the economy and how bad it is. yes, i struggle every day to pay my bills and i have a day job on top of my wife and i owning businesses. that's why we're slowing going to convert part of our store into a bakery, because the economy sucks for us little convenience stores right now. that said, that's why we're not driving a corvette, either.

the 'bad economy' excuse is getting old. i have people all the time expecting trophies and engraving (my other business) to be practically charitable donations. 'well, i've seen them online for such-and-such a price.' fine, then get them online. i know exactly where you're going to order from and what kind of price you'll wind up paying and the shoddy quality you'll get, so knock yourself out. different business, same idea.

i know unemployment is around 9% right now. if you're unemployed, what the helll are you doing buying cakes? but, if you're part of the 91% that *are* employed, what brain cell in your head (since there are so few, do you have names for them?) is driving this sense of entitlement, that bad economics times dictates a complete slash and burn of prices in every single industry to the extent that you price yourself out of business? is it so hard to grasp that the companies giving you the best deals are billion dollar corporations? that half of these places are service industries that get your money on the back end? or that stores sucker you in with 'leaders,' products they almost take a loss on to get you into their store where much time and expense has been given to play on your psychological buying instincts? there are a few out there that will undercut a brick-and-mortar shop, and you take your chances on quality.

why do they discount cars? because they make relatively little money on the actual product, they're making money on the financing. why do they give you a free cell phone? because you're paying for a years long service contract, and the phone itself is cheap to *mass* produce. why does krogers have ten for ten sales? it's not because they plan on losing money, trust me, they expect you to buy lots of other stuff while you're there. how is wally world so cheap? because they're not significantly cheaper, it's half an illusion, and you get what you pay for. (i hate wal*mart. you know they actually sell caskets online? they have a caveat, that being to check with your local ordinances to make sure their coffins meet requirements. but, they're cheap.)

anyway, i guess my point is dealing with people what walk through my door can be... challenging. and, yes, some absolutely do think they're doing you a favour by offering you a deal where you'd lose money as if you should jump on it just to have some business.

TPACakeGirl Posted 15 Feb 2011 , 2:58pm
post #122 of 413

MyDiwa~~ I can't wait to see what my goddaughter's cake looks like at her party since I guess they are now going with a grocery store or Walmart cake. Her parents spent so much money on this big 3 year old festival to impress their daughter's daycare parents, that I assume the cake will be a let down comparatively. Especially since I did a 3D cake for them last year.

Sincollins~~ Be careful with giving deals to friends and family if you plan on charging them regular prices later. That is how I got myself into this predicament. I did the exact same thing. I would give them a deal but tell them that if anyone asks, the cake really costs X amount. Well, that worked with strangers, however, my friends and family were not too thrilled when the following year, they were no longer getting the special pricing themselves. Your friends and family are going to be happy as long as they are not having to pay you what you are worth. They really don't care how much it costs you or whether you go into debt for them, as long as it's not hurting their wallet. I have had 3 or 4 friends who gladly paid for the supplies without complaining. The rest were shocked that I would ever expect them to pay anything over $50 for a cake.

lynn1968~~ Funny anecdote. I used to be a personal trainer. It's amazing to me that when the economy collapsed, no one had money to work out anymore, however, everyone seems to have money for cake.

Love2BakeCakes Posted 15 Feb 2011 , 4:15pm
post #123 of 413

I too have run across this situation a few times. From this site I have learned to set a base price. I have gotten quite a few orders for smaller scale cakes (2 layers only). In this particular instance I had a man who wanted to order an anniversary cake for his wife. We communicated back and forth for a few days, and everything was a go. Once I told him my base price, the customer "wasn't feeling well all of a sudden" and vowed to get back to me. Of course I never heard from him again. Then I had the lady who wanted a character cake for her twins who were turning 2. She had a laundry list of allergies that I had to take into consideration. She also wanted the cake to feed 30 people, and spend under $50 for it!! She told me she saw a cake in the supermarket for $19.99. I explained to her the difference between cakes from decorators and supermarket cakes (no disrespect to them). I told her that without going any further I already know her cake will be over $100.00. (What is she ... nuts!!!) She told me she will go to the supermarket or look into making it herself.

I have learned from my fiance and my father to NEVER sell myself short. They both told me "the customer who pays my price is the customer for me. The customer that does not pay my price is NOT the customer for me." That is now my mantra and I do not stray from it.

As decorators we know all that we put into our creations. We know that we can bust a cake out in a few minutes, but it's the decorations and all the other added extras that we put into it ... "ya know, the stuff that makes us decorators and the customers say "wow."

If you get nothing else from this messae, understand this ... "Never sell yourself short. You are worth the price that you charge. The client that is for you will meet your price."

sincollins Posted 15 Feb 2011 , 4:28pm
post #124 of 413

TPACakeGirl ~ great advice, you have to be careful when dealing with family and friends! They are so often the ones who will take advantage of you (sometimes without realizing it). Which is why I explained upfront the situation and exactly how many cakes I was willing to do for them at cost price. Once they use them up, they start paying full price. I've been lucky with my family and have had no problems... so far. And I still give them the option of supplying the ingredients and just paying me for my time icon_smile.gif

BCo Posted 22 Feb 2011 , 9:03pm
post #125 of 413

Ok- so I guess TAG, I'm it for today...I have had 4 inquires about cakes today and get into the details and sent off the quote and then nothing, crickets... chirp chirp chirp...never to be heard from again icon_smile.gif Then the latest was the usual, "I found this picture and I want this exact cake and I love it and I need it to serve 40 people" - send of the $150 quote and get back - "oh, we only wanted to spend $50 what can you do for that?" Classic I find myself giggling when I send off the quote b/c I just have a feeling from each one of them on what their reaction is/was ( I wish my quote could be sent with a little camera to get their facial reactionicon_smile.gif after there is no response or they come back with what can you do for 50 bucks!! LOL I did suggest that she try Costco or a grocery store b/c they would be the only place they could get a cake to serve 40 people for $50!!! There is a reason they are not called CUSTOM Costco icon_smile.gif

Ok- hopefully no more of that for today!

TPACakeGirl Posted 23 Feb 2011 , 12:35am
post #126 of 413

For $50 you get a quarter sheet cake with buttercream frosting, buttercream roses and a buttercream shell border-- just like at the grocery store.

bobwonderbuns Posted 23 Feb 2011 , 12:52am
post #127 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by TPACakeGirl

For $50 you get a quarter sheet cake with buttercream frosting, buttercream roses and a buttercream shell border-- just like at the grocery store.




And as my students would say "them are some BAAAAAD shells!!" Cake snobs, all of them!!! icon_lol.gif

TPACakeGirl Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 3:29pm
post #128 of 413

So, I guess I'm no longer invited to my goddaughter's bday party? Once I advised that I can't make the cake for free, I must have been crossed off the list. The party is in 8 days, and I have yet to receive my invitation. WOW!!!

Jeff_Arnett Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 4:40pm
post #129 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by TPACakeGirl

I quoted one at $125 and the other was $175. Both people told me my prices were ridiculous, and that they find it hard to believe a cake can cost that much to make.

Do you have this issue too? How much do people think it costs to make a cake?




Let's see...a box of cake mix is about $1 and a can of icing about $1.50. Your time and talent is your charitable donation to the betterment of the world as a whole.....so yeah, you are way too high! LOL

TELL THEM TO HEAD TO THE NEAREST WAL-MART AND BE SURE TO ASK FOR GUM PASTE SCULPTURES ON THEIR CAKE!!! I'm sure wal-mart can give them just what they need!

rosiecast Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 5:02pm
post #130 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlk

I would like to see the cake that was 'cheaper' than $125 for a 3 tier cake ! icon_eek.gificon_eek.gif

With any thing - you get what you pay for....

If you settle for less $$ then you are telling yourself that you are not deserving of your talent and time!




Hmmm, let's give it a couple of months, then let's check cakewrecks. lol

I made a chocolate sour cream cake and calculated just the ingredients to be over $17- not including, vanilla, oil, salt, coffee. Crazy!

cookiemama2 Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 6:04pm
post #131 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by TPACakeGirl

So, I guess I'm no longer invited to my goddaughter's bday party? Once I advised that I can't make the cake for free, I must have been crossed off the list. The party is in 8 days, and I have yet to receive my invitation. WOW!!!





Can't say I'd complain!
Don't have to waste my time, money ...
No gift to buy because we all know a cake isn't a gift!

TPACakeGirl Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 7:23pm
post #132 of 413

My hubby was excited too. He thought it was great that we didn't have to spend the day with a bunch of 3 year olds. I just find it amusing that I was invited when my friend thought I was making the cake for free. Now I'm not. I guess the cake costs more than $125 to make. It also cost me a friendship.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 7:28pm
post #133 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by lynn1968

i'll have to come back and finish the rest of the replies, i just wanted to chime in before i lost my aggravation to reason and common sense....

personally, i'm sooo sick and tired of hearing about the economy and how bad it is. yes, i struggle every day to pay my bills and i have a day job on top of my wife and i owning businesses. that's why we're slowing going to convert part of our store into a bakery, because the economy sucks for us little convenience stores right now. that said, that's why we're not driving a corvette, either.

the 'bad economy' excuse is getting old. i have people all the time expecting trophies and engraving (my other business) to be practically charitable donations. 'well, i've seen them online for such-and-such a price.' fine, then get them online. i know exactly where you're going to order from and what kind of price you'll wind up paying and the shoddy quality you'll get, so knock yourself out. different business, same idea.

i know unemployment is around 9% right now. if you're unemployed, what the helll are you doing buying cakes? but, if you're part of the 91% that *are* employed, what brain cell in your head (since there are so few, do you have names for them?) is driving this sense of entitlement, that bad economics times dictates a complete slash and burn of prices in every single industry to the extent that you price yourself out of business? is it so hard to grasp that the companies giving you the best deals are billion dollar corporations? that half of these places are service industries that get your money on the back end? or that stores sucker you in with 'leaders,' products they almost take a loss on to get you into their store where much time and expense has been given to play on your psychological buying instincts? there are a few out there that will undercut a brick-and-mortar shop, and you take your chances on quality.

why do they discount cars? because they make relatively little money on the actual product, they're making money on the financing. why do they give you a free cell phone? because you're paying for a years long service contract, and the phone itself is cheap to *mass* produce. why does krogers have ten for ten sales? it's not because they plan on losing money, trust me, they expect you to buy lots of other stuff while you're there. how is wally world so cheap? because they're not significantly cheaper, it's half an illusion, and you get what you pay for. (i hate wal*mart. you know they actually sell caskets online? they have a caveat, that being to check with your local ordinances to make sure their coffins meet requirements. but, they're cheap.)

anyway, i guess my point is dealing with people what walk through my door can be... challenging. and, yes, some absolutely do think they're doing you a favour by offering you a deal where you'd lose money as if you should jump on it just to have some business.




Awesome rant. I love it. icon_biggrin.gif

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 7:31pm
post #134 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by TPACakeGirl

My hubby was excited too. He thought it was great that we didn't have to spend the day with a bunch of 3 year olds. I just find it amusing that I was invited when my friend thought I was making the cake for free. Now I'm not. I guess the cake costs more than $125 to make. It also cost me a friendship.




Yeesh, that's really sad. icon_sad.gif What is wrong with people these days??

justkist Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 7:48pm
post #135 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_Arnett

Quote:
Originally Posted by TPACakeGirl

I quoted one at $125 and the other was $175. Both people told me my prices were ridiculous, and that they find it hard to believe a cake can cost that much to make.

Do you have this issue too? How much do people think it costs to make a cake?



Let's see...a box of cake mix is about $1 and a can of icing about $1.50. Your time and talent is your charitable donation to the betterment of the world as a whole.....so yeah, you are way too high! LOL

TELL THEM TO HEAD TO THE NEAREST WAL-MART AND BE SURE TO ASK FOR GUM PASTE SCULPTURES ON THEIR CAKE!!! I'm sure wal-mart can give them just what they need!




This is perfect Jeff! I still under charge on most cakes because I want the order but MAN I should really want me weekends back more!! Your tell em to go to Walmart line might just need to be my new motto! Im framing that gem!

platinumlady Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 8:25pm
post #136 of 413

I totally understand where you all are coming from. I used the Cake Boss software also. I was using it but not putting everything into the price & was guessing on some items. I decided to start putting everything including the cost of box or carriers in the price.

I know my prices are low right now but I read somewhere on here that as your skill craft goes up then start to slowing raise your prices every 6 months to a year. And also to never try and undercut the local bakery. And this is what I do. I had a young lady that wanted a cake similar to the one I made for her niece but didn't want to pay the price & just let her talk through it because I knew the price was a steal..it was a 2 tier 8"& 10" fondant cake for $55. She end up getting the cake and payed the price & was happy when she got the cake. I was not going to bargain on the price.

Also while using the software I learned that my prices are incredibly low. and I will be making adjustments soon. For example: I was only making a profit of $8.35 on a 1/4 sheet cake. So those prices will be raised soon. (Little by little)

I'm still in the process of getting my name out there so more people will know what I do. But I can't honestly see myself stressing over the loss of one customer when I know how much heart and soul I put into each and every cake I make.

SugarRushIowa Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 8:28pm
post #137 of 413

You guys are my heroes! I started dabbling in cakes last fall, and got some really good feedback and felt like maybe I had a knack for it.

Well, 3 weeks ago I was laid off from my job of almost 17 years. We immediately took my son out of daycare....which is saving us $450 a month. In looking at things, it may actually be better for us financially if I bake from home.

Pricing has been weird, and I'm just finally nailing them down. I had so much interest I was winging prices right and left. A good problem to have, but didn't want to get trapped into those prices either. And I haven't been doing discounts for friends and relatives. They know my situation.

My Mom was a beautician and I remember her dragging her scissors and perm and coloring equipment when we visited relatives and her spending her whole weekend 'off' doing hair for free. No one would even offer her anything even for supplies. She finally quit bringing stuff, and thankfully there were no hard feelings, but I definitely didn't want to fall into that.

If someone isn't going to pay my price, they will not have one of my cakes or other baked items. I can't afford to undercut myself and I will have fun doing this no matter what people's issues may or may not be with my prices.

Thanks for the advice and stories!

Coral3 Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 8:44pm
post #138 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by TPACakeGirl

So, I guess I'm no longer invited to my goddaughter's bday party? Once I advised that I can't make the cake for free, I must have been crossed off the list. The party is in 8 days, and I have yet to receive my invitation. WOW!!!




I'm wondering...were you caking at the time they asked you to be godmother? Did you get the job because they assumed theyd get free cakes for all their daughter's birthdays & events from thereon in?

TPACakeGirl Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 8:59pm
post #139 of 413

I was caking then, but I wasn't as popular or as in demand. Not that I'm awesome, but I wasn't as busy with orders and requests as I am now. I would hope they didn't ask my hubby and I to be godparents for that reason. We have been friends for years now. We were in each other's weddings. But who knows anymore. I'm interested in seeing if any of our other mutual friends received an invite.

indydebi Posted 25 Feb 2011 , 4:22am
post #140 of 413

Its also tiresome to hear "food (cake ingredients) dont' cost that much."

Ohhhhhhhhh!!! You wanted just the FOOD!!!! no problem! Back your car up to my back door and I can set you up! I have the 40 lbs of chicken in my freezer, the case of lettuce in my 'frig, the cans of green beans in mypantry.

Oh wait! You wanted the chicken COOKED? There's a cost to that. You wanted the lettuce turned into a beautiful salad? There's a cost to that. You wanted the food delivered? There's a cost to that? Set up in a beautiful buffet? Cost. Fancy chafer pans that keep the food hot? Cost. Staff to handle all of this PLUS the set-up, clean-up? Cost. Use of my van to get it there? Cost. All plates and silverware? Cost.

But just the food? Heck darlin' I can help you out if you just want the FOOD! That's the EASY part! icon_twisted.gif

cloetzu Posted 25 Feb 2011 , 10:47pm
post #141 of 413

I just found this thread and IMHO the answer to the thread question, "How much do people think a cake costs to make??? " is 'far far less then it really does'... at least that has been my experience.

i mostly make cakes for friends and family and am often asked how long it takes me to make these cakes and how much it costs - and folks are often shocked to hear the answers. they really do not realize how much supplies cost nore how much time it takes to make a custom cake. many of them only buy grocery store cakes so they are used to those rates, or they make a box mix and add packaged frosting so expect to hear low costs.

I then 'educate' them on the details and they start to understand the difference between a custom cake and a mass produced slab with bucket frosting icon_wink.gif

Spectra Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 3:48am
post #142 of 413

This is such a great thread, mainly because I've been having issues with a friend of mine. When I first started decorating and she wanted fondant covered cakes for her in-laws birthdays, or boyfriend, etc, I would do them for cost, almost $25 for an 8 inch round cake covered in fondant. I did this for the practice and she was the only one I was doing this for.

Months pass and she continues to come to me, but now it seems there is an occasion for a cake almost every other month. The recent one was 3 weeks ago when she wanted a fondant cake for a co-worker's birthday. I already knew that she would expect to pay only cost. (I told her once that someday I'd probably charge $80 for a fondant covered 8 inch cake and she told me I better be careful because there are people around town who well sell it for A LOT less!).

It made me so mad! I felt like I was being used. Did she really expect that she can pay for just the materials and I'd gladly spend hours/days working on a cake for a stranger so she can look good? I am sick and tired of stressing over cakes that I hate doing (ie. logo and/or character cakes) for literally pennies! It's taken the fun out of it when I sit there resenting the cake SO much!

While another great friend of mine wanted a scratch banana cake, with Bavarian filling and cream cheese frosting and she INSISTED on giving me a lot of money for it BECAUSE, in my opinion, she is a real friend who RESPECTS me!

It's honestly a huge eye-opener into who your friends really are.

platinumlady Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 5:55am
post #143 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectra

(I told her once that someday I'd probably charge $80 for a fondant covered 8 inch cake and she told me I better be careful because there are people around town who well sell it for A LOT less!).

It made me so mad! I felt like I was being used. Did she really expect that she can pay for just the materials and I'd gladly spend hours/days working on a cake for a stranger so she can look good? I am sick and tired of stressing over cakes that I hate doing (ie. logo and/or character cakes) for literally pennies! It's taken the fun out of it when I sit there resenting the cake SO much!

While another great friend of mine wanted a scratch banana cake, with Bavarian filling and cream cheese frosting and she INSISTED on giving me a lot of money for it BECAUSE, in my opinion, she is a real friend who RESPECTS me!





Your time and effort is very valuable! Don't let someone ... anyone take advantage of your talents. There are a couple of people that I promised a free cake when I first started decorating & some waited & some took advantage of it right away...After that they all pay what I would charge a customer. No complaints & No moans.

I would tell her to have the other people give you a call (ie co-workers, her friends family etc) There's no reason that you should be baking all these cakes and not getting paid for them and not getting credit for them. If she wants to go some where else where the price is "cheaper" let her...that's one less stress for you. icon_wink.gif

ccalvin Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 6:17am
post #144 of 413

Indydeb- I just love your smart a$$ comments ! Keep up with the replys,I enjoy a good laugh! That is so true,people do not have any clue,idea or imagination when it comes to the preperation of the things we do.
You really have to have a backbone with these people and set them straight,friends or not,or you"ll be walked all over forever.
Just tell em' like it is,be blunt with them,and stop beatin' round the bush !

AirForceWife Posted 27 Feb 2011 , 5:22am
post #145 of 413

Once, I had some friends call me up the night before their TRIPLET'S first birthday party, two girls and a boy. They wanted a mickey mouse type cake but couldn't find anythign they liked so they called me. They didn't think the colors were right for a boy and girls. So I made three little cakes, two pink mickey heads and one blue mickey head on top. I only covered it in buttercream because I definitely didnt have time to do fondant or anything else. They asked me how much, and because they were friends I gave a discount, and they never paid me!!!!!!

TPACakeGirl Posted 27 Feb 2011 , 8:59am
post #146 of 413

Spectra~~ Don't let your so called friends put you in that position anymore! If someone really wants your cakes, they need to pay for them, what they are worth, or they don't get the cake. I've lost business over the last few months because my supposed prices for my friends were unreasonable with them only paying for supplies. I have just said, "ok. I really hope you do find it cheaper somewhere else." All the while I know, there is no bakery in this area that is going to do their 3 tier cake and only charge for the supplies. In my head, I say, "good luck to you."

AirForceWife~~ I hope those people are not your friends anymore!! It's for reasons like that, that I now make everyone book a month in advance for custom cakes, and all orders require 50% down 30 days before the due date. I no longer find it in my heart to be so accomodating. I just couldn't figure out why I was stressing myself out with last minute orders.

Cake_Karen Posted 27 Feb 2011 , 11:29am
post #147 of 413

I am at a point where I will not justify my prices to anyone anymore.

Thats my price if you want to pay it great I will make your cake for you .....if you question the price move on to the supermarket and buy one off the shelf. It makes no difference to me....Well it does really its the difference of standing in the kitchen for hours and hours to make next to nothing or sitting down and relaxing.

About time people woke up to the fact a cake is not about the ingredents cost its payiing for the skills of the person making it.

Tell the people that wont pay your prices to crank up their own ovens and bake a cake themselves!!

swoozie Posted 27 Feb 2011 , 1:07pm
post #148 of 413

If people start to complain about price where I work, I have to be generous and give the some options. icon_smile.gif The grocery store, Wal mart, or for less than $2.00 you can buy a box mix and make it yourself. ( Just trying to be helpful!)
Most of the complainers are on cakes that are tiered. Sure the cakes on the cake shows are COOL and you WANT one.... Then you have to PAY for it. If that is too much we can to the same concept in a sheet cake. oh and next year when you kids birthday is on the SAME DAY! call me more than the day before to order a cake. Sorry I better go I am starting to rant.

AirForceWife Posted 27 Feb 2011 , 3:18pm
post #149 of 413

TPACakegirl- Yeah I see what you mean now. I havan't been making cakes for very long, about 2 years maybe. I used to give them away absolutely for free just to grow my portfolio. Now even when I tell someone $60 I feel like they think that is crazy. The grocery stores around here sell their cakes for like $30-$40, so when they hear my price their eyes jsut about bug out of their heads. These grocery stores just dont do the kind of decorating that I do, and they just settle for it. Oh well I guess when the right person comes along it'll be worth it. And I do know there arent many or even any bakeries around ehre that do specialty cakes. Their loss I guess.

MyDiwa Posted 1 Mar 2011 , 1:14pm
post #150 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by AirForceWife

Once, I had some friends call me up the night before their TRIPLET'S first birthday party, two girls and a boy. They wanted a mickey mouse type cake but couldn't find anythign they liked so they called me. They didn't think the colors were right for a boy and girls. So I made three little cakes, two pink mickey heads and one blue mickey head on top. I only covered it in buttercream because I definitely didnt have time to do fondant or anything else. They asked me how much, and because they were friends I gave a discount, and they never paid me!!!!!!




Now those are some really great friends to have! Really. Because they make you snap into shape right quick. After that, you think long and hard when the next request comes along from ANYONE, and sooner rather than later, you're doing yourself more and more favours!

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