Getting Discouraged

Business By brittsaqtpie1 Updated 20 Feb 2011 , 3:16pm by Baker_Rose

brittsaqtpie1 Posted 18 Feb 2011 , 6:33pm
post #1 of 20

Hi all, I'm new here on the forum. I am a SAHM who just recently found a love of decorating cakes, I'm not a business yet but looking into it, so at the moment it is more of a hobby.

I have an ad on a local news site for my cakes and I have had 2 people request cakes only to back out because my prices are too expensive. But honestly they are not, I don't feel right asking for as much as professional cakes when I am just a beginner and still learning different things. Please understand I'm not trying to undercut other bakeries.

The most recent back out, a lady contacted me to make a 3d version of lightning mcqueen for her sons first birthday party. I told her $60 but she said that's too expensive I can get it cheaper elsewhere or I will make it myself. I just feel so bummed icon_sad.gif The only people who seem to give me experience/business and actually don't mind paying for my cakes are friends and family.

I just feel discouraged icon_sad.gif

19 replies
cakegrandma Posted 18 Feb 2011 , 6:43pm
post #2 of 20

If you are not a licensed business you should not be advertising to sell your cakes. The health dept or dept of agriculture can close you down and even fine you. Secondly, it is against the law to sell any licensed character or reproduce it. The license holders go after people you do so, fines can be very hefty. Even taking the ingredients from someone to make a cake is the same as being paid for it, thus a business.
I would suggest that you check into licensing your business in the state you live in, perhaps they allow home based baking. If they do, you can not sell licensed characters.
Good luck with trying to find out how to go legal and let us know what happens.
evelyn

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 18 Feb 2011 , 6:55pm
post #3 of 20

First of all, welcome to Cake Central! This is a great place to learn everything there is to know about cake decorating! icon_smile.gif

As far as $60 being too much for a 3D cake, I don't know what that lady was thinking, but there is NO WAY she could get what she wants for less than that. $60 is waaaaay too cheap for a 3D cake, no matter where you are located. Our base price for sculpted cakes is $120, and that's a very basic 2D shape.

I SO get feeling discouraged, I have been there! We had the same experience at first that the only ones willing to pay us what our cakes are worth were friends and family. Sometimes you just have to be patient and wait for the right people to come along who will value what you do as a custom cake decorator. That lady, and others like her, are not your customer.

I do agree with the PP that you definitely need to look into the legalities of baking out of your home in your state. There is a lot of good information here about that. Good luck!

brittsaqtpie1 Posted 18 Feb 2011 , 7:09pm
post #4 of 20

Thank you for your replies. I am looking at getting legalized and I already have a food handlers permit and I use a separate kitchen for baking. One of my husbands coworkers wife owns a cake business from her home as well as one of our neighbors. I've talked to them about starting this from my home and how they started and they both told me that as long as I'm doing things the way I am I don't need to get a business license until I make 'x' amount of money since I have a f.h. permit already, though I am having a hard time getting the 'official' information from my state/health department, the people I talk to on the phone aren't much help.

mayo2222 Posted 18 Feb 2011 , 7:24pm
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakegrandma

If you are not a licensed business you should not be advertising to sell your cakes. The health dept or dept of agriculture can close you down and even fine you. Secondly, it is against the law to sell any licensed character or reproduce it. The license holders go after people you do so, fines can be very hefty. Even taking the ingredients from someone to make a cake is the same as being paid for it, thus a business.
I would suggest that you check into licensing your business in the state you live in, perhaps they allow home based baking. If they do, you can not sell licensed characters.
Good luck with trying to find out how to go legal and let us know what happens.
evelyn




You may not want to be so absolute in your statement that its illegal to sell licensed characters. I've done several and its perfectly legal as long as you seek and obtain permission

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 18 Feb 2011 , 7:37pm
post #6 of 20

There is a sticky called States that Allow Home Kitchens at the top of this forum. That might be a good place to start. You can also try googling it, I found a lot of info online, more than anyone was able to tell me on the phone. icon_smile.gif

brittsaqtpie1 Posted 18 Feb 2011 , 8:02pm
post #7 of 20

I looked through there before posting and mine does allow home kitchens, but the links for my state were outdated and trying to sift through the states website is awful. I have finally found the regulations so I'm reading through those right now and making a list of everything that needs to be done. I will be taking down my ad for the time being, just in case (they don't have a rule on that but I will just because) until everything is 100% in compliance. I do not need to have a license just a f.h. permit so that is at least taken care of.

Kitagrl Posted 18 Feb 2011 , 8:18pm
post #8 of 20

Hey girls, her question was not about licensing, it was about pricing....

As far as pricing, hang in there....you just have to find your right clientele. I started VERY slowly and gradually but you need to just network and find out how to get in with the "rich" groups that want to pay money for something fancy like a specialty cake. It just takes time.

jason_kraft Posted 18 Feb 2011 , 8:24pm
post #9 of 20

Before your start selling products you need to put together a business plan, which includes your cost structure (ingredients, labor, and overhead) so you know how much you can charge and still make a profit. Part of your business plan will include your target market, which will help tailor your advertising. Advertising on a local news website probably won't help much, you should look into targeted ads on Google and Facebook.

Putting aside the licensed character issue, $60 for a 3D cake is extremely low, you will probably end up barely breaking even.

cakegirl1973 Posted 18 Feb 2011 , 8:43pm
post #10 of 20

I agree that $60.00 is a very low price for a 3D cake. They are very time consuming. At that price, factoring in the costs of ingredients, utilities, and labor, I would be in the hole. My base price for a 3D is $120.00.

ninjacaker Posted 18 Feb 2011 , 11:12pm
post #11 of 20

Hahahaha Not falling for this one. Good try though!

1234me Posted 18 Feb 2011 , 11:19pm
post #12 of 20

[quote="Kitagrl"]Hey girls, her question was not about licensing, it was about pricing....
quote]

I agree - answer her question ...gee!

Don't get discouraged. If you are making a product and style people like, they will pay the price you are asking. eventually!

CWR41 Posted 18 Feb 2011 , 11:33pm
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by brittsaqtpie1

I'm not a business yet but looking into it, so at the moment it is more of a hobby.

I have an ad on a local news site for my cakes and I have had 2 people request cakes only to back out because my prices are too expensive. But honestly they are not, I don't feel right asking for as much as professional cakes when I am just a beginner and still learning different things. Please understand I'm not trying to undercut other bakeries.

I just feel discouraged icon_sad.gif




Actually, there is no question mark in the OP's entire post... "Getting discouraged" is probably more of a "vent", but because it's in the Business Forum, they're going to get professional opinions concerning all aspects of the business. (which IS a business, not just a hobby because prices are being charged and advertisements are being utilized.) Therefore, I see no harm in mentioning what's legal or what should be considered with copyrights and such.

writersblock15 Posted 19 Feb 2011 , 12:06am
post #14 of 20

I would recommend finding a different source for advertising. It appears the readers of that website don't fit into the right demographic for your cakes. Try advertising in local print papers in middle to upper middle class neighborhoods. It may cost more money to do this but you'll make more money. In any business you have to spend money to make money.

indydebi Posted 19 Feb 2011 , 12:56pm
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by brittsaqtpie1

..... she said that's too expensive I can get it cheaper elsewhere or I will make it myself. (



First, she can't even GET it elsewhere, let alone cheaper. Walmart doesn't make cakes like that. So, fine .... wish her well and let her try.

Second, I LUV it when they say they will do it themselves! icon_twisted.gif those people always turned into my best customers when they experienced ALL that was involved in the process AND their cake ended up looking like crap! icon_biggrin.gif So, fine ... wish her well and let her try.

mombabytiger Posted 20 Feb 2011 , 12:17am
post #16 of 20

I agree with 1234me.

When someone asks a question, could everyone please refrain from putting in your two cents about legality? (Unless the question is about legal issues of course).

It's very tiresome to read the same admonitions over and over. If I want to be nagged, I'll call mom.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 20 Feb 2011 , 12:27am
post #17 of 20

The only reason I said anything about legalities is because it was already brought up, and then she said she had been having a hard time finding info about it. So when I stated that there was a sticky about it, I was just trying to be helpful. My initial post mainly addressed her post about feeling discouraged.

costumeczar Posted 20 Feb 2011 , 2:06am
post #18 of 20

Nobody should feel bad about giving business advice in the business forum. Some people have no idea that they need to be licensed to sell cakes, and it might save someone from being caught and fined for doing it illegally.

It sounds like the OP is getting her ducks in a row, so that's good, but anyone who's advertising and selling Disney characters is leaving themselves wide open for those attorneys to find them, and they don't play around. If someone on here warns someone about not doing it, and it saves them some trouble in the long run, then it's a good thing.

jason_kraft Posted 20 Feb 2011 , 4:15am
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mombabytiger

When someone asks a question, could everyone please refrain from putting in your two cents about legality?



If someone posts that they are doing something that opens them up to legal risk (i.e. selling cakes with licensed characters without permission), the right thing to do is to let them know and point them to the information they need to resolve the situation. No one needs to apologize or defend themselves when they share relevant information.

If you don't want to hear anything about the legalities of the cake decorating business, I would advise sticking to the Cake Decorating forum instead.

Baker_Rose Posted 20 Feb 2011 , 3:16pm
post #20 of 20

Back to the original question about you being new and "too expensive". You also need to consider that there are a LOT of people out there who think a new cake decorator at home should be cheaper than dirt!! I had the same thing when I was first doing them at home (20+ years ago).

Since I was at home people thought that I didn't have the RIGHT to charge as much as a bakery, no matter what decoration I was doing. (and they didn't hesitate to tell me so) Unfortunately I was bullied back then and had rock bottom prices. I used all my "cake money" to buy more cake pans and decorating stuff to financially support my hobby. Today things are really different. I am now a seasoned Pastry Chef with many cakes behind me and 37 years of scratch baking experience, so my prices now reflect that.

So if you are running across the people who think it's "just cake" then tell them you don't work that way. Cake means something to you, even if it doesn't mean anything to them! Those are the people who usually end up at Wal-Mart anyway.

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