Just Because You Ask About A Cake Doesn't Mean It's Ordered

Decorating By cakelady2266 Updated 17 Feb 2011 , 3:51am by cakegirl1973

cakelady2266 Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 6:36pm
post #1 of 24

Saturday when I was eyeball deep in cake the phone rings. The lady on the phone is a facebook "friend" and someone I barely know and this is what she said "I need the ladybug cake tomorrow". WHAT!!!!, I stop what I'm doing, dig out my work order book and she's not on it. I told her she hadn't ordered a cake and I couldn't do it on short notice. This is what she said, "but I ask you about the ladybug cake the other day", and I say "yes you ask me how many would it serve and I messaged you back gave her my email address and phone numbers and told you I needed to know which cake you were asking about, how many it needed to serve, what flavor and when you needed it and I never got a response back"". She thought all she had to do was ask a question and the cake would be ready.

This would be funny if it weren't true. She isn't the first one to do this. I get emails and facebook messages asking questions about cakes EVERYDAY, all day. These back and forth emails go on for days or weeks and in the meantime I'm booking serious customers that know how to place an order. By the time the "question askers" get around to getting there act together I'm booked up and they are ticked off "because I've been asking about this cake".

Why would anyone think just because they asked about a cake that would constitute an order?

23 replies
etr2002 Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 6:52pm
post #2 of 24

Maybe you should start putting a disclaimer at the bottom of your FB messages about cakes that clearly states a cake is not ordered with a mere inquiry. I know it seems silly but maybe you wouldn't have this problem so often.

cakelady2266 Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 7:15pm
post #3 of 24

I tried that etr002, but it's still the same. It seems people have blinders on or don't know how to use all areas. You know the type, the ones that post questions about cakes and prices in the status area rather than send a private message to you. Or leave a comment under a photo, which you never get notifications of.

etr2002 Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 7:23pm
post #4 of 24

Cakelady,

People never cease to amaze me. I don't know what you can do to stop this because it seems like you are already taking the precautions by putting a disclaimer and telling them in the message to contact you directly. Sorry that I'm no help! Good luck though!

DianeLM Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 7:35pm
post #5 of 24

You need to state up front that only a deposit will guarantee a spot. IMO, if the event is two weeks away or less, payment in full will be required, but that's up to you.

Even though you still may need to finalize the details, the deposit can be 50% of the estimated cost. So, if she wants the ladybug cake for 40 people, for example, she needs to send a deposit of $100 to guarantee her spot. Then, you collect the balance, whether it's $100 or $200 or $50 a week or two before the event.

Ambar2 Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 7:57pm
post #6 of 24

Maybe just making a note on facebook that you will NOT be taking any orders unless is by a phone call. I understand that emails can be good in the way that if the customer says something wasnt done you have written proo,f but its too much of a PIA cause people dont check their emails often or "never received" the email. People suck sometimes....

leily Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 8:00pm
post #7 of 24

I always state during inquiries that the cake is not ordered until a deposit is received. Even if they're previous customers i always state this after answering their first question.

BlakesCakes Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 8:01pm
post #8 of 24

You know, even though this isn't the first time I've heard of this happening, it still just amazes me icon_eek.gif

I mean, if I go to a car dealership and ask about the cost of ordering a car in a specific color and trim package, in what world do I call back a few weeks later and ask when I can pick it up????

I loved the story about the shoemaker and the elves when I was a kid, but I've NEVER found a fully decorated cake on MY counter when I stumbled into the kitchen in the morning............... icon_cool.gif

Rae

cakelady2266 Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 8:15pm
post #9 of 24

I am so totally tired of getting this on Facebook status area...."how much are your cakes" or "can you make a Barney cake". I don't think your profile page and status area are the best place to discuss prices, and is can you make a (fill in the blank) cake a question of ability or availability. One lady suggested I name my cakes and put a price on them. Really people, it's hard enough to get people to understand the concept of custom cakes, they will never understand that prices are based on certain things.

There is a info page on Facebook that has email address, phone numbers and website info. Why is it so hard to get some of that info and go from there.

cylstrial Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 9:55pm
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by leily

I always state during inquiries that the cake is not ordered until a deposit is received.




Yep, put this on your website, facebook acct, and whatever else you use. And when you are getting off the phone with the inquirer, say, "Thanks for inquiring about this cake. Remember that your cake is not booked until you give me a 50% deposit".

That should really cut down on the trouble!

LisaR64 Posted 15 Feb 2011 , 12:05am
post #11 of 24

Every quote I give clearly states (in large type) that we require a minimum 50% deposit at least 2 weeks prior to delivery.

Yet, more often than not, I hear back from the client 4-5 days before delivery, asking where to send the check. It's very inconsiderate and makes planning my work more difficult.

I like the idea of adding a statement that the order is NOT complete until the deposit has been received.

cakelady2266 Posted 15 Feb 2011 , 3:11am
post #12 of 24

I was even more amazed when I went back through the photos (about 400 plus) on my facebook page and saw how many people ask "how much for this cake" or "I want this cake for my son's birthday next year".

If any of you have a business page on facebook, you know you don't get notifications that someone left a photo comment. And I also love this, the people that leave their phone numbers and want you to call them.

pinkpiggie78 Posted 15 Feb 2011 , 3:24am
post #13 of 24

This is always one of my worst fears... especially those folks that you talk to on the phone, tell you that they are mailing a deposit, and then you never get one. Things do get lost in the mail...

I do have this as part of my signature on emails...

Please remember all cakes are reserved on a first come, first served basis by deposit and that I only take a limited number of orders each week. Cakes are not considered ordered until deposit is received.

dreamcakestoo Posted 15 Feb 2011 , 3:28am
post #14 of 24

Having been a receivables manager for years before opening a cake shop, I got my money when the cake was ordered. Even though I have a facebook page, I've never had anyone ask the price on a picture or even ask for prices over Facebook. I think all my fans were customers first. Anyway, I required payment up front but I did take deposits on cakes costing over $200 if it was ordered more than a month in advance and all cakes had to be paid in full two weeks out if they were deposited. They're special ordering a cake and I don't know too many places that don't require you to pay in full for special orders...

dreamcakestoo Posted 15 Feb 2011 , 3:30am
post #15 of 24

I also warned people that I was booked three weeks out most of the time so if you passed that mark without paying for it you were probably not going to be able to order it from me.

costumeczar Posted 15 Feb 2011 , 4:06pm
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by leily

I always state during inquiries that the cake is not ordered until a deposit is received. Even if they're previous customers i always state this after answering their first question.




I agree with this, but take it one step further and tell them that unless they have a contract in their hand with my signature on it, they don't have a cake order placed. I don't sign anything until I have their signature on the contract and a deposit, so there are no mistakes.

If you don't do contracts I'd recommend that you get one in place, or at least write up some kind of a standard order form that needs to be signed by both you and the client. WIth email and scanners sor eadily available now there's no reason why you wouldn't be able to email something over to the client and get them to send it back to you the same day, and they can give you the deposit on paypal.

I'm also assuming that you all make people pay in advance, right? You're not still getting payment on delivery of the cake, are you?icon_rolleyes.gif

AmysCakesNCandies Posted 15 Feb 2011 , 5:22pm
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakelady2266

I am so totally tired of getting this on Facebook status area...."how much are your cakes" or "can you make a Barney cake". I don't think your profile page and status area are the best place to discuss prices, and is can you make a (fill in the blank) cake a question of ability or availability. There is a info page on Facebook that has email address, phone numbers and website info. Why is it so hard to get some of that info and go from there.




I've had this happen to me several times, and every time I put a comment under thier asking them to please call or email with thier estimated guest count so I can calculat an acurate price for them. NEVER ONCE has any of theese facebook comment questioners ever contacted me.


On the original topic. I have never had this happen, but I'm always paranoid it will. When someone sends an email enquiry about cakes I always finsh my response with. "If you would like to order this cake, please call or email with the following details..... (insert needed info). Once I recieve this info I will send you an order form for your review" I hope I never have that gut wrencjing feeling... sorry you had to.

indydebi Posted 15 Feb 2011 , 5:24pm
post #18 of 24

I always phrased it this way:

"Your 50% deposit puts you on my calendar. The 50% balance (due 2 weeks prior) actually gets the oven turned on."

AmysCakesNCandies Posted 15 Feb 2011 , 5:28pm
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I always phrased it this way:

"Your 50% deposit puts you on my calendar. The 50% balance (due 2 weeks prior) actually gets the oven turned on."




Short, concise and to the point.... not to mention mildly humerous. icon_biggrin.gif

Christy0722 Posted 15 Feb 2011 , 5:36pm
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I always phrased it this way:

"Your 50% deposit puts you on my calendar. The 50% balance (due 2 weeks prior) actually gets the oven turned on."




I actually used a line similiar to this just a few weeks ago. A lady inquired about a cake for her son in March. I gave her all the info, price quote, etc. I then told her that until a deposit is made, your date is NOT inked in on my calendar....only penciled....and that can be erased very easily!!

indydebi ~ you're my idol!!! icon_wink.gifthumbs_up.gificon_wink.gif

Kitagrl Posted 15 Feb 2011 , 5:52pm
post #21 of 24

There's only one thing worse than having someone who is slow to make a decision, does a consult, and then tries to book a month later when you no longer have the date available....

...and its the person who is slow to make a decision...does a consult...drops off the map...then pops back up wanting the date and you DO still have it available but you're sick of working with them. HAHAHA.

(Have one like that right now...bigger order though, so didn't want to turn it down. I'll take the aggravation for the cash.)

cakelady2266 Posted 17 Feb 2011 , 3:18am
post #22 of 24

I put on the Facebook status for people inquiring or ordering a cake to get my contact information on the info page otherwise the cake was no to be considered ordered. And since it is a business page I am not currently alerted to any comments left on my page or under photos in the albums.

It still blows my mind that anybody would think a comment under a photo was all it took to get a cake.

cakelady2266 Posted 17 Feb 2011 , 3:38am
post #23 of 24

Oh and while on the subject of clueless customers, I hate when this happens.....Getting jumped about a cake when you are delivering a cake or happen to be standing near a cake?

I was delivering my great nephews 1st birthday cake a couple weeks ago when one of the party guest ran over with phone in hand. She had my facebook page pulled up and was scanning through asking the price of different cakes. I had a bride and grooms cake waiting in my shop that needed to be finished and delivered. I told her she would just have to give me a call and we could go over the details and I could give her a quote. Similar thing happened when I was serving cake at my son's school party, a boat load of folks wanted to know what I charged for this and that.

I don't want to appear snooty or whatever, but I don't think a public gathering or public forum is the proper place to discuss what I charge. Not just because there are many factors to each cake but I find it in poor taste to talk money open in the wide open.

Does this happen to anybody else or am I just magnet for these types?

cakegirl1973 Posted 17 Feb 2011 , 3:51am
post #24 of 24

I accept orders by phone and by email. At the close of my conversation or email, I always am certain to ask, "Would you like to place an order for this cake?" If the answer is they need to think about it (i.e. price shop) then I always respond that my baking schedule is filled on a first come, first served basis. This is also on my website. I have not had a problem.

My minimum order is $50.00, and I only require a contract and a deposit for cakes over $100.00. The deposit must be paid via Paypal for party cakes if the order is made less than two weeks before the date the cake is needed. I think this prevents the "check is in the mail" problem. For cakes less than $100.00 they can pay me CASH when they pick-up the cake, if they don't want to use PayPal. I make it a policy of no cash, no cake. I make this clear at the time of the order. Only once has someone showed up with a check, and I held firm to my policy. They went to the ATM and came back with cash for their cake.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%