Told My Pricing Is Too High...

Decorating By paula0712 Updated 11 Jun 2013 , 1:32pm by Sweet_Cakes

paula0712 Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 3:34pm
post #1 of 42

I charge $4.50/per serving for my cakes. I was just wondering if this seems out of line. I was told that I'm too high and that Safeway has cheaper prices.

41 replies
LindaF144a Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 3:43pm
post #2 of 42

Where do you live?
Location makes all the difference when it comes to price.

EmmyNoah Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 3:43pm
post #3 of 42

I think your pricing depends on your location, but it seems fine to me. I charge $5 a slice. If they think it's too much, tell them to step on to Safeway and ask Safeway to make them a specially designed, freshly baked cake.

Sorelle Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 3:50pm
post #4 of 42

That is high for my area. Starting prices for me are 2.50 for butter cream. 3.50 for fondant and 4.50 for sculpted, and I get told the same thing!

paula0712 Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 3:53pm
post #5 of 42

I live in Regina, Saskatchewan Canada. My 1 layer character cakes are $35 and then my custom cakes, 3D cakes or tiered cakes start at $4.50 per serving. I quoted a lady today a "baby" blocks cakes 6" square cakes, covered in fondant, 2 layers each (12 servings/ cake) and she wants the 4 blocks reading "baby" $216. The lady then told me my prices were "ridiculous". How would you have charged?

EmmyNoah Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 3:54pm
post #6 of 42

Have you done some research on your competitors' prices? Start there and see what they charge.

Sucrea Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 3:54pm
post #7 of 42

From what I can tell it really depends on where you live. I just bake for family and friends but I know that Safeway can do it for cheaper than I could if I was selling them. However, I make my cakes fresh and I make my own bc with real butter and mmf. We recently had a dinner party at a restaurant and had to purchase a cake because of health dept rules (no outside food can be brought in unless purchased from a health dept approved location). It was from a major grocery store chain. The cake was so bad that no one finished their pieces including the kids. We threw the cake away and everyone kept telling me that next time can I just purchase a box to make it look like I bought the cake or we will go home and have cake. Good quality cake costs more. You wouldn't go to McDonalds and expect a great steakhouse steak so why not the same with cake!

paula0712 Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 3:58pm
post #8 of 42

I did research my competitors... I'm 1/2 as much as they are!! I don't understand people. Is it because I'm out of my house and not a storefront bakery?

mayo2222 Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 4:04pm
post #9 of 42

What? You mean your custom cakes are more expensive than the chain grocery store in town? **Shocked Face**

Bluehue Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 4:06pm
post #10 of 42

LOLLL - It never ceases to amaze me how people think they can buy a one off cake for the same price as a mass produced one.

Console yourelf with this thought...
Many want a cake they can't afford - but they won't tell you that.
Instead they will tell you that your prices are too high.

Once i had a customer ask me to lower my price -
I looked icon_rolleyes.gif at her and said -

Please do not ask me to lower my price for you - because perhaps Madame is wanting the wedding she can't afford - instead of the wedding she can afford.. Ask your florist to lower her price - then you will have more money for the cake you want me to make.

After the blank look went from her face she said - ohhhh i couldn't do that...

REALLY!!! i said - well don't ask it of me.

15 minutes later we continued with the consult and after she added two more things to her wish list - the price went up again.

She got her cake - and i got my price.

Never go backwards -


Abbiedal Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 4:07pm
post #11 of 42

don't mean to take away from your thread but I'm in the same boat I cook for friends and family its a hobby but I at least expect to get paid for the supplies and a little of my time and a friend ordered a 2 layer 6 &9 with a fondant top layer handmade cow and buttercream decorated bandana type bottom she saw on someones site and was offended that I said $65.00! The fondant alone is $20.00 if I don't have a coupon for michaels.....I'm so furious I don't want t make the cake.
Many of us don't get our supplies wholesale and even if we did isn't our time worth something and again I'm not a professional its just a hobby for now!!!! Thanks for letting me get that off my chest people just don't understand what it takes to make thse cakes!!!!

jaynepickle Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 4:11pm
post #12 of 42

If they have issues with your prices, tell them to go to Safeway. Obviously Safeway can sell their cakes for less because they taste like cardboard and look like crusted toothpaste. If you are selling a quality cake that is decorated/created/molded/etc... then you should be charging more than a supermarket. People who are cheap will get a cheap product. I think that is a perfectly respectable price to charge. I charge $5 per slice. Sometimes more depending on the amount of detail involved.

cakesbycathy Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 4:13pm
post #13 of 42

The answer to that is "Of course I'm more expensive! You can't get a freshly made custom designed cake from Safeway."

EmmyNoah Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 4:24pm
post #14 of 42

If you are charging 1/2 of what your competitors do, then refer the customer to them. Guaranteed, they will be back once they realize that you have the better price and product!

psurrette Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 4:24pm
post #15 of 42

cheap cakes arent got and good cakes arent cheap!

paula0712 Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 4:32pm
post #16 of 42

thank you all for your replies. I feel so much better knowing that I'm not out of line in my pricing. You're absolutely right - you pay for what you get. And I will from now on refer the people who think I'm too expensive to my competitors!

Chasey Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 4:41pm
post #17 of 42

I think sometimes the "per slice" price is alarming people. Like someone posted here or has it in their siggy line...try taking your party to a restaurant and buying them all a slice of cake. Your $5 per guest is reasonable!

But sounds so steep when the buyer thinks "it's just cake." Au contraire!

I am a hobby baker and only give a total price to friends I bake for. Before I give them the quote though, I describe in detail how I would make fondant with marshmallows and powdered sugar to do the yada yada and then we could do fresh buttercream made with real butter and mix with so and so and then cut out this and that and use gumpaste for....You get the idea!! I list out ALL of the work while having a basic conversation so that they get the idea of what goes into a custom cake. icon_biggrin.gif Haven't had anyone complain yet!

Chellescakes Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 10:19am
post #18 of 42

I just had one of those calls this afternoon, It is Saturday here and the lady wanted the cake for Thursday. I consider that fairly short notice.

Then she starts with I just want a 'simple ' cake. ( alarm bells started ringng )
She wanted a cake to feed forty . She wanted the cake to be a Big Four and a big Zero.
BUT she wants the four to be a banana cake ( bananas are really expensive here at the moment)
and she wants a peanut butter cream filling and a strawberry jelly filling , with a cream cheese frosting. and for the Zero she wants a coconut cake , with a pineapple cream filling with a vanilla bean white chocolate ganache . I told her I usually charge 4'95 a serve for a cake like that .

She said but Michel's will do it for just over a hundred , but they won't do the flavours or the fillings.

for just over a hundred neither will I . I don't use packet mixes , I bake from scratch and I would have to go out and buy a heap of ingrdeints for this cake as It is quite different from the mud cakes that I usually do. I told her that the one from Michel's seemed like a good deal and I am sorry that my pricing was out of her budget.

Kiddiekakes Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 2:17pm
post #19 of 42

Hi Paula0712...

I live in Calgary and I am telling you your prices are NOT out to lunch!!! I charge $60.00 for my character cakes although I rarely get orders for them and then I charge $3.00 for BC and $5.00 for fondant/Sculpted.If you look at Safeway/Sobey's/Co-op and all the major grocery chains their cake have risen alot over the past few years too..A Decopac signature 3D cake at Co-op is $70.00 and they look and taste like crap.I would not worry about your prices and the customer who said it is too much.If they want a custom cake they are going to have to pay for it..Besides Saskatchewan is the new take advantage of it!!

paula0712 Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 2:37pm
post #20 of 42

I seem to be getting a lot of those calls now.... did I jinx myself? I had 3 in total yesterday and all ending with "well, I'll let you know" once price is discussed. The problem is these cake shows. Everyone thinks they are getting a super awesome cake for next to nothing because the people that are showcased are "typical" people. These shows need to discuss price occasionally so that the general public who are watching (our potential customers) understand that cakes are not cheap and non time consuming to make like what is portrayed on tv.

bobwonderbuns Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 2:58pm
post #21 of 42

It's funny, the last few calls I got were from the WalMart crowd, one telling me my "competitors" are better priced than I am (they're the EXACT same price!), another telling me that "$3.50 per serving of cake is "OUTRAGEOUS!" (ha ha ha ha ha! Then don't go to Bob Evans dearie, you'll spend more than that for a frozen piece of cake!) icon_twisted.gif On and on they go. And they can keep on going for all I care, I don't argue with people whose prices are cheaper than mine, they know what their stuff is worth! icon_twisted.gif

You know what is funny, I'm nearing the end of the buttercream class I teach and I've had several students tell me "gee, I had NO IDEA how much work there is going into a cake!" That's right -- now go be a good student and TELL THE WORLD!!! icon_lol.gif

obsessed Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 3:17pm
post #22 of 42

I'm also in Saskatchewan so, unless you are getting supplies somewhere that I don't know about (and if you are, please tell me where!), I have a pretty good idea of what it costs you to make the cakes...and I definitely know how much work goes into each of them. Your prices seem just fine to me...

I think that most people (aka-cake civillians) are really just clueless. Don't worry, the clients who want a great cake and are willing to pay for it, will find you...and they won't even blink when you quote them a price. icon_smile.gif

paula0712 Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 3:31pm
post #23 of 42

obsessed - where are you located? I get most of my supplies online because there is absolutely no place that I can get supplies, unless just basic stuff...

costumeczar Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 3:46pm
post #24 of 42

These customers are trying to get you to budge on your pricing because they want to pay less. Don't we all.

Here's the script to keep in mind. Fill in the rest of the sentence.

"Your prices are too high..." (...for me, because that's out of my budget. Someone else could pay you but I can't afford that.)

"Your pricing is ridiculous..." (...even though I know nothing about cakes or what they cost and what goes into them I will tell you what you should be charging so that I can pay you what I want to.)

"The grocery store doesn't charge that much..." (...but they don't have the same kinds of cakes either. I know that but I'm trying to get a bargain from you.)

"I just want a simple cake..." (...And if I tell you that it's simple then you'll have to charge me less even though I'll add all kinds of stuff onto it to complicate things for you.)

"Your prices are higher than everyone else in town..." (...not that I know that, but if I tell you that then maybe I can intimidate you because you have to be desperate for the work so maybe you'll cave in to me.)

cakeyouverymuch Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 3:47pm
post #25 of 42

Every caker should have this hung on the kitchen door.

The Caker's Credo

A cake is NOT just flour and water.

If you mix flour and water you get GLUE.

The miracle of cake is that you take the glue,
add eggs and sugar, and you get cake.

Where did the glue go you ask?

You know very well where it went.

It's what makes the cake stick to your hips.

One should pay at least as much for the cake
as one is going to pay for the gym membership
that will help remove it from one's hips.

paula0712 Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 5:08pm
post #26 of 42

cakeyouvermuch - that's awesome! I AM going to post it on my site thank you!

Kellbella Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 5:47pm
post #27 of 42
Originally Posted by cakeyouverymuch

Every caker should have this hung on the kitchen door.

The Caker's Credo

A cake is NOT just flour and water.

If you mix flour and water you get GLUE.

The miracle of cake is that you take the glue,
add eggs and sugar, and you get cake.

Where did the glue go you ask?

You know very well where it went.

It's what makes the cake stick to your hips.

One should pay at least as much for the cake
as one is going to pay for the gym membership
that will help remove it from one's hips.

icon_lol.gifthumbs_up.gificon_lol.gif LOVE IT!!!!

cakeyouverymuch Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 6:21pm
post #28 of 42

Post it far and wide. I'll admit its not all original to me. Part of it comes from a joke e-mail my daughter forwarded to me. I had to change it up because some of the original was a bit naughty, but the final paragraph is all my own.

I don't sell cakes, yet. Most of the cakes on my photo page were eaten by my neighbors as I practice techniques and perfect my recipes. When I do start to charge for them I intend to get full value for the work I put into them. I wouldn't sell a painting for less than its worth just because the customer can buy a framed print at Walmart for allot less, and I won't do it for cakes either.

bobwonderbuns Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 5:36pm
post #29 of 42

I must say I am REALLY tempted to put both the Caker's Creed and the "finish the sentence" blurbs on my website -- WalMart brides BEGONE!!! icon_twisted.gificon_lol.gif

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 6:23pm
post #30 of 42

I've noticed too that it's not just a "cake muggle" mentality. It's not just that they clients don't understand what goes into these cakes or they watch the cake shows and think they are getting that for Walmart prices.

It's because they're coming from the "I never pay full price for anything" mentality. I've been noticing it more and more. My local Marshall's has the phrase in huge letters on their store front. "NEVER PAY FULL PRICE FOR ANYTHING." Therefore, everyone who sees it is thinking every price for everything that is for sale is negotiable. I've heard it online. I even heard it, you ready for this?, from the instructor at a cake class I took. He boasted, "Oh I never pay full price for anything. I use coupons, sales, I go to thrift stores. Whether it's food, clothes, gifts, decor, I don't pay full price for anything." And all the ladies nodded their head in agreement.

I always remember the line in Schindler's List, when Oscar is asking the guy about the shirt he was wearing. The guy warned him it was very expensive. Oscar just shrugged and said, "Good things cost money."

That's what I think. Good things cost money.

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