Charging A Client For Specialty Cutter?

Baking By OneCreativeCookie Updated 22 Feb 2011 , 8:48pm by OneCreativeCookie

OneCreativeCookie Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 3:47pm
post #1 of 15

I have a client who would like a yoga pose cookie for her daughter's birthday cookies. Unfortunately, this shape is not widely available and what is available is very expensive ($12.95 + $6 shipping or set of 5 for $32+ shipping). I do not normally charge anything for cutters as I figure they become part of my arsenal of tools, however, I'm not sure that I would have enough market for a yoga pose cookie to justify spending my entire profit on a cutter.

I know I can hand-cut, but frankly, I'm not very good at it and I would have to charge my client for the extra time spent on the hand-cutting.

Has anyone charged a client for a specialty cutter? Did you charge the full price of the cutter or just a "specialty cutter" fee? Have you given them the cutter or kept it?

Thanks![/img]

14 replies
cakegirl1973 Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 3:59pm
post #2 of 15

I do not charge the customer for cutters, pans etc that I have to purchase to complete their order. I view it as a cost of doing business.

cakeandpartygirl Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 4:04pm
post #3 of 15

I wouldn't charge either unless you are going to give her the cutter after you have completed their order?

OneCreativeCookie Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 4:48pm
post #4 of 15

I completely agree in normal circumstances. Unfortunately, in this circumstance the cost of the cutter would be almost as much as the entire order of cookies (I don't think the order will be more than 12-18 cookies).

I have offered her some other options and maybe if she has her heart set on the one shape she can purchase the cutter and I will use it and return it to her when the cookies are ready. Otherwise, I don't think it is worth my time to complete the order...even if I do add a cutter to my stash icon_wink.gif

For those of you who hand-cut - do you charge extra for a custom hand-cut shape? It certainly takes much longer than using a cutter...

cakeandpartygirl Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 4:58pm
post #5 of 15

What about using a round cutter and cut the image out of fondant and then place it on the cookie?

lilmissbakesalot Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 5:11pm
post #6 of 15

I think the bigger issue here is that $33 will be most of your profit.

I don't charge for cutters or tools to make a cake since it's cost of doing business, but my profit margin is such that losing out on the cost of a tool won't eat it all up. I think you need to think about your costs and how much you are making for the work you put in.

icon_biggrin.gif

jenmat Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 5:13pm
post #7 of 15

How much are you charging per dozen?
It sounds like you wouldn't be charging enough to absorb the cost. I'd just turn the woman down, or tell her she has to purchase the cutter. Normally, this would be the cost of doing business, but this is a VERY unique idea that probably won't be copied again and again.
OR you could say that the charge per cookie will be $xx, due to the specialty design, (no need to tell her of the cutter issue.)

cakegirl1973 Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 5:39pm
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneCreativeCookie


For those of you who hand-cut - do you charge extra for a custom hand-cut shape? It certainly takes much longer than using a cutter...




Yes! I don't sell cookies, but if I am using an exacto knife on fondant, I always factor into the price how long it will take me to cut the shapes. Factor it into the labor charge when you are coming up with a price.

As an aside, I have seen a tutorial on CC about how to make your own cookie cutter. Might be easier to do this than hand cutting them. Just a thought...

Kiddiekakes Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 5:53pm
post #9 of 15

I usually wouldn't charge but she is asking you do do a cookie in which you don't have a cutter readily available and the one she wants is a custom cutter.Most people don't have a problem paying for a custom item as you would have to pay to order it and shipping.I have had customer's that want those clear plastic acrylic cupcake boxes..They are $2.50 each plus shipping...I either give them a price for the cupcakes only or factor in the price of the boxes and shipping and give them the choice.They will either pay it or decline...Unless it is a item you know you will use again and not a one time thing I don't think any business should have to asorb the cost of a specialty item just because a customer wants it..Now if she was ordering 50 or 100 cookies I may eat the cost but not 12...I also would charge extra for your time if you have to hand cut them with an exacto knife..Time is money and customers need to know that they pay for your time no matter what you are doing to create their order.

dsilvest Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 6:22pm
post #10 of 15

Try making your own cutter with a photocopy of the cutter and some tin stripping. I know they also sell make your own cookie cutter sets.
There are videos on how to make them on youtube.

leily Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 7:22pm
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiddiekakes

I usually wouldn't charge but she is asking you do do a cookie in which you don't have a cutter readily available and the one she wants is a custom cutter.Most people don't have a problem paying for a custom item as you would have to pay to order it and shipping.I have had customer's that want those clear plastic acrylic cupcake boxes..They are $2.50 each plus shipping...I either give them a price for the cupcakes only or factor in the price of the boxes and shipping and give them the choice.They will either pay it or decline...Unless it is a item you know you will use again and not a one time thing I don't think any business should have to asorb the cost of a specialty item just because a customer wants it..Now if she was ordering 50 or 100 cookies I may eat the cost but not 12...I also would charge extra for your time if you have to hand cut them with an exacto knife..Time is money and customers need to know that they pay for your time no matter what you are doing to create their order.




Same here. If it's a cutter that i can see using again for other orders besides her i'll absorb the cost (unless it's a larger order like mentioned above). If it's something that is so specialized then i would charge for a cutter if she insisted on the cutter.

I have charged someone for a custom cutter. There is a chiropractor that orders from me and wanted 2 dozen spines. I did charge for that because i had to have a cutter specialy made (still haven't seen anything like it anywhere), it was worth it to them and i have made more since then and did not have any "set up/material" fees.

gbbaker Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 7:48pm
post #12 of 15

I would also charge for the cutter and figure it into the cost, I have had people who want specialty molds for cakes and I figure it into the cost of the cake (I very rarely use any of these things twice). This is a business people need to realize the "real" cost of custom work.

gbbaker Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 7:50pm
post #13 of 15

Sorry, I would give her an alternate idea with a regular cutter if she has a problem with cost

Lcubed82 Posted 22 Feb 2011 , 4:58pm
post #14 of 15

Handcutting adds lots of time.

Making your own cutter is fun, but also takes lots of time to get it just right. I've made several, and unless I am going to use it many times, handcutting is often a more efficient option.

In my custom embroidery business, I charge a setup for custom designs. The customer then owns the rights to the design, so they could ask for it and take it somewhere else later. IN the cookie cutter case, I think I would treat it the same- if she wants THAT design, then she needs to pay for the cutter, then she would own the cutter.

Another option- you could up your price a dollar per cookie, which might not cover the cost of the cutter, but if YOU want the cutter in the end, this would lessen the hit. This is what embroiderers do with non-custom designs they want to own to use with other clients later.

OneCreativeCookie Posted 22 Feb 2011 , 8:48pm
post #15 of 15

Thanks for all of the suggestions!!! You all are so kind and helpful! I have offered her some other ideas that I can do with what I have - no mention of the cutter problem. If she googles yoga pose cookie cutters and wants me to use one that she finds, I will either offer to split the cost with her and I will retain the cutter or she can purchase it and I will give it to her when I am finished with her daughter's cookies icon_smile.gif

I appreciate all the support and the helpful suggestions!

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%