From Grand Majestic Cake To Simple Blah!

Decorating By Buttercream_warrior Updated 25 Feb 2011 , 5:17am by Buttercream_warrior

Buttercream_warrior Posted 23 Feb 2011 , 5:06am
post #1 of 13

rant alert- what an evening this has been ..i got a call at 4 from a man who wants to order a cake for his wifes 40th birthday for this saturday..he already rented the vfw and got a caterer and now he wants an awesome cake..he got me soo excited..he said the colors are pink and black and her favorite colors are red..so he wants that in there..he wanted a 3 tier with bling and everything else cus she was such a free spirit person..so i sketched an awesome cake for her sent it to his email..and i got an email back from her best friend saying,,noo.. we only want pink and black and i want you to match her decorations which are pink and black zebra...sigh..i think ive done like a hundred zebra stripe cakes this year so my excited level dropped really low ..then the price issue came up..i explained that i charge 2.75 a slice for bc...and they wanted the cake to feed 50 so i quoted her 150 ..i included the delivery and extra deco too in that price so i thought i was being reasonable..she stuns me by saying that she only expected to pay50 to 60..omg...i spent the whole evening going back and forth for this..sigh. in the end we compromised and she agreed to pay me 75 for a 12 inch simple pink and black cake..sigh..what a night..but amazingly i feel better ..lol thanks cakers even if no one reads this or comments..it feels good just to have this out there..lol!!

12 replies
cake_architect Posted 23 Feb 2011 , 5:24am
post #2 of 13

i read it! and you're from beeville? i'm in corpus! well currently in kingsville at TAMUK lol, but nevertheless close by =D i'm sorry you went through all that! some people just don't get it =/

cathyscakes Posted 23 Feb 2011 , 5:39am
post #3 of 13

I'm getting to the point where I just want to do cakes that I want to do. lol. I do it as a hobby and they are usually a gift, so if i'm not inspired I turn them down. Its just no fun to do a plain cake that I have already done, so I politely tell them that I can't. I might steer them in another direction, something new that I would like to try, and if they want a free cake they take me up on it. I know if it was a business you couldn't do that, but if I were getting paid it would be disappointing, but fine I guess. I totally understand where you are coming from.

indydebi Posted 23 Feb 2011 , 9:40am
post #4 of 13

She only expected to pay 50 or 60 for a 3 tier cake "with bling"??? icon_eek.gif

This is why the first question isn't "how many do you need it to feed?" but it's "What are you looking to spend?" (THEN find out how many they are looking to feed!)

Dont' go to all of the design work until you know what they are budgeting. Odds are good, as are shown in this excellent example, that they haven't a clue and they need educated on that up front.

ChilliPepper Posted 23 Feb 2011 , 11:38am
post #5 of 13

I don't charge by serving as here in England celebration cakes tend to cut very frugally with small servings given. My charges are by size and content of cake and degree of complexity with design and modelling, eg basic price for 1 model or basic applique, price rising per model or gum paste flowers etc. I think I would have told them to go elsewhere if they thought your original price was too much as I think it was more than reasonable.

CP x

cutiepiecupcake Posted 23 Feb 2011 , 12:20pm
post #6 of 13

oh it's one of the MOST important lessons I have learnt from CC so far.. and I have put it HIGH on my priority when I begin the 'quoting' process - Budget comes first.. nothing else is entered into until I get a $ figure to play with.. then and only then will I begin discussions on the design process. I have set up a quote form on my website.. and I then reply with an official quote that expires in 14 days. Upon the customer signing and agreeing to confirm the quote they are abiding to my terms and conditions, that way I am covered with the whole 'but that's not what I asked for'.. or 'I didn't expect to pay that much'.. nope, it's all there in writing! I have learnt from a similar situation.. I spent nearly two days wasting my time communicating fantastic elaborate ideas with the potential customer, only to realise I didn't start out with establishing the most important fact first.. "What is your budget?" It went from fab to grocery store drab real quick after I finally got around to giving her a price icon_sad.gif Waste of both of our time. Lesson learnt. I do feel really bummed for you.. wish you didn't have to endure such a waste of your good effort.

letsgetcaking Posted 23 Feb 2011 , 1:27pm
post #7 of 13

Buttercream_warrior, I'm sorry that happened to you. I'd feel upset after all that design work, too.

As someone who is researching starting my own business, I was hoping I could ask a question to go along with this topic. For those that ask for the budget right away, are the customers ever standoffish about giving that info to you? I'm just wondering because I think if I was a customer in the market for anything, I'd be a little leary of giving that information out - thinking the business would just make sure to use up the whole budget. For instance, we're looking for a house right now, and there's no way we're going to tell the seller how much we've been approved for. Anyway, I was just wondering if that has been an issue for anyone and how you overcome that.

Buttercream_warrior Posted 23 Feb 2011 , 2:36pm
post #8 of 13

[i used to be leary of the budget thing too..but ive come to learn that i know how much time my cakes take and i feel personally that they are worth every bit that i qoute them..what gets me is that they expect me to come down on prices..they wouldnt ask the florist,or even the place they rent the hall from to come down..so if they cannot except my price then i move on..i did learn a lesson from this experience..i think what happened here is i orriginally talked to her husband first and he said he wants a gorgeous cake for her so i was going along with his plans..then i get the email from her friend thats helping him put this party together and she changed it all up..i really wish she was the one who called me first then none of this wouldve gone down...oh well the best experience is live and learn

VanillaCoke Posted 23 Feb 2011 , 4:04pm
post #9 of 13

I never even think about coming up with a design until I have a deposit. They can see my work portfolio and taste my cake for free, but that's where I stop being nice icon_smile.gif. I see too many posts like this!

cutiepiecupcake Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 9:17am
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by letsgetcaking

Buttercream_warrior, I'm sorry that happened to you. I'd feel upset after all that design work, too.

As someone who is researching starting my own business, I was hoping I could ask a question to go along with this topic. For those that ask for the budget right away, are the customers ever standoffish about giving that info to you? I'm just wondering because I think if I was a customer in the market for anything, I'd be a little leary of giving that information out - thinking the business would just make sure to use up the whole budget. For instance, we're looking for a house right now, and there's no way we're going to tell the seller how much we've been approved for. Anyway, I was just wondering if that has been an issue for anyone and how you overcome that.




Most clients who are serious about ordering a custom cake (and that is what you supply them with.. an original custom cake.. special and unique.. edible art!!) are about to celebrate a special occasion have obviously put time into planning this celebration including setting aside a budget for decorations, catering, hire of hall etc... the portion of budget set aside for the 'special cake' they are seeking is no less important than the other costs - this is especially the case with weddings and milestone birthdays. Have confidence in yourself when you ask this question.. let it roll off your tongue as though it is your standard proceedure in the ordering process.. because it should be and will be if you want to enter into business seriously. I think buying a house and buying a cake are two VERY different situations - one you are spending hundreds of thousands on and the other under a thousand - Apples with oranges there my dear icon_wink.gif Look at it this way.. when you go into an exclusive type of gift store to buy a present for a special occasion and the assistant offers you her advice, she will normally ask straight up "so what is your budget.. or what are you willing to spend?" I'm not offended, it is a practical question and one that avoids wasting not only my time but the assistant's also - don't show me the crystal when I can only afford glass icon_smile.gif

letsgetcaking Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 4:09pm
post #11 of 13

Thank you for the reply, Cutiepiecupcake. That makes a lot more sense the way you've explained it. There is so much to learn about this business, and I think putting the things I've learned to practice is going to be dfficult at first. Thanks again for your insight.

Jeff_Arnett Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 4:37pm
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttercream_warrior

rant alert- what an evening this has been ..i got a call at 4 from a man who wants to order a cake for his wifes 40th birthday for this saturday..he already rented the vfw and got a caterer and now he wants an awesome cake..he got me soo excited..he said the colors are pink and black and her favorite colors are red..so he wants that in there..he wanted a 3 tier with bling and everything else cus she was such a free spirit person..so i sketched an awesome cake for her sent it to his email..and i got an email back from her best friend saying,,noo.. we only want pink and black and i want you to match her decorations which are pink and black zebra...sigh..i think ive done like a hundred zebra stripe cakes this year so my excited level dropped really low ..then the price issue came up..i explained that i charge 2.75 a slice for bc...and they wanted the cake to feed 50 so i quoted her 150 ..i included the delivery and extra deco too in that price so i thought i was being reasonable..she stuns me by saying that she only expected to pay50 to 60..omg...i spent the whole evening going back and forth for this..sigh. in the end we compromised and she agreed to pay me 75 for a 12 inch simple pink and black cake..sigh..what a night..but amazingly i feel better ..lol thanks cakers even if no one reads this or comments..it feels good just to have this out there..lol!!




Glad you stood your ground and explained why the cost was what it was....where do ppl come up with these prices for such outlandish work?
I am not in the charity business!

Buttercream_warrior Posted 25 Feb 2011 , 5:17am
post #13 of 13

Glad you stood your ground and explained why the cost was what it was....where do ppl come up with these prices for such outlandish work?
I am not in the charity business![/quote]

thank you jeff...i learned sooo many lessons from this fiasco..lol

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