Please Help, How Do You Answer To This ?

Decorating By CakeswLove Updated 9 Apr 2011 , 3:37am by JanH

CakeswLove Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 4:02pm
post #1 of 61

Ok I was contacted by UMASS last month to do a cake for a country singer named Jason Aldean. He will be giving a concert in April 29 and they wanted to gift him something special. We meet with the director two weeks ago and he and he just called to ask a few questions about our contract. We require 50% deposit down first two weeks prior to the event and the other 50% two days before or the day of delivery....... Well he just told us that they won't pay till after 2 weeks of the event, WHAT ????? Do you go to a very nice restaurant have dinner and expect to pay weeks after ? Or go Walmart and get a birthday cake and then pay for it two weeks later ? icon_mad.gif NOT only do they want to pay late but they are requiring a 3D sculpted cake for only 15 people ?? And they want a BIG cake, again WHAT for 15 people ?? We agreed to do the cake but my husband told them it had to be for more people if they wanted something nice and big, when we told them the price he wasn't very happy either .......... They had sketches of what they wanted and it has LOTS of details ! We went very cheap on them $200 when its way more than that! Because they didn't want to pay much tapedshut.gif Could you please HELP ME icon_cry.gif I need to give him an answer today via email and what I have in mind is not very professional icon_confused.gif Any help would be greatly appreciated !

60 replies
Kiddiekakes Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 4:12pm
post #2 of 61

I would simply tell him that your 3D Cakes start at XX amount of dollars and that is it icon_wink.gif ..No cake for say..15 people...tell him your price and that your require 50% payment deposit before you even start that cake.That is standard in your industry.You can't float the cost of the ingredients etc until they decide to pay you icon_confused.gificon_confused.gif Hubby used to be self employed and he got paid when the contract paid out so sometimes it was as long as 60 days..Now you tell me how to support a family of 4 and a house/bills etc being paid every 60 days...Just can't do it...Needless to say hubby is no longer in construction...

The point is they want to dictate to you how much they'll pay and when they will pay it...I say stand your ground. thumbs_up.gif ..If they decline then it probably is for the best and less aggrevation anyway!!!

And don't get me started on $200.00 for a 3D sculpted cake that they want to be huge.... icon_eek.gificon_eek.gif now way for that money....JMO icon_wink.gif

Tell them to contact Duff..his minimum is $1000.00

dinascakes Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 4:21pm
post #3 of 61

I would stick to my guns!! Simply and politely state that the cake is $200 and that you require 50% deposit up front and the balance paid at least 2 weeks before the delivery date. If this is not possible, then I would say that I'm very sorry but we will not be able to do business.

OR you could go the other route and just say "oh look at that, I just got booked for that weekend! Sorry" icon_smile.gif

Getting paid 2 weeks after the fact is just ridiculous! And what actually guarantees you that you will get paid? Sounds like a scam to me!!

TinkerCakes Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 4:22pm
post #4 of 61

OMG! I HOPE you work it out somehow...you are doing a cake for JASON ALDEAN!!! JASON ALDEAN!!! Great advertising for you!!! Of course you have to stand your ground and get the money you deserve....but JASON ALDEAN!!! LOL! Sorry, I would be really excited...can you tell??? icon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gif

neecies_sweets Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 4:22pm
post #5 of 61

i agree with kiddiekakes--- you can be very gracious about it, something along the lines of..."i'm so sorry and i wish i could accommodate you, but our policy is ..."

my experience is that this type of customer starts out being a problem and then gets worse from there! if you lose the work, you may be lucky you did!

good luck icon_smile.gif

CakeswLove Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 4:24pm
post #6 of 61

Thank you Kiddiekakes, I am just so frustrated....... we drove 45 minutes to meet with this guy, we spent 10 minutes talking icon_confused.gif he gave us the sketches we gave him the contract thinking we were getting some kind of payment (because we had talked on the phone about it) instead he asked to keep the contract and that he would be contacting us soon , to tell us this ??? icon_sad.gif Then they had a budget of $100 my hubby told him no way for that amount of money so he told him $200 and he almost passed out icon_eek.gif they are making a pretty buck on this concert he told us they had 7,000 tickets sold so far starting at $150 per ticket icon_confused.gif and they wont pay us till two weeks after ?? I am just so dissapointed icon_redface.gif , thank you for your quick response icon_sad.gif

CakeswLove Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 4:28pm
post #7 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason-Lisa

OMG! I HOPE you work it out somehow...you are doing a cake for JASON ALDEAN!!! JASON ALDEAN!!! Great advertising for you!!! Of course you have to stand your ground and get the money you deserve....but JASON ALDEAN!!! LOL! Sorry, I would be really excited...can you tell??? icon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gif




Same thing I was thinking when I got the call icon_biggrin.gif but then dissapointment came crashing down icon_cry.gif ............. I wish we could "work" out something too icon_sad.gif

ycknits Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 4:30pm
post #8 of 61

You can lose money on the poor, the stingy, or the rich and famous.... but any way you look at it, you're giving away your artistic creation and losing money. If you want to do baking for charity, there are some more compelling charities out there than a country rock star icon_smile.gif Sounds like your hubby has his head on straight!

TinkerCakes Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 4:32pm
post #9 of 61

Say you'll do the cake for $100, with front row tickets, backstage passes and YOU want to give the cake to him!!!! THAT would be worth it....and take lots of pictures for advertising! Let us know how it works out!

KarenOR Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 4:34pm
post #10 of 61

Okay, this is only mildly related...
But CakesWLove ...OMG...your work is amazing!!!
I was looking at the toppers and what you charge and was blown away. You should charge way more!
Granted, I don't have a business, I'm just a hobbyist, but I know how long it takes me to do that kind of thing, and $10-$20 wouldn't even be worth it!
Your stuff is worth so much more than that!!!
Just sayin'... icon_smile.gif

CakeswLove Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 4:41pm
post #11 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenOR

Okay, this is only mildly related...
But CakesWLove ...OMG...your work is amazing!!!
I was looking at the toppers and what you charge and was blown away. You should charge way more!
Granted, I don't have a business, I'm just a hobbyist, but I know how long it takes me to do that kind of thing, and $10-$20 wouldn't even be worth it!
Your stuff is worth so much more than that!!!
Just sayin'... icon_smile.gif





icon_biggrin.gificon_redface.gif Thank you KarenOR you are so Sweet icon_smile.gificon_rolleyes.gif I wish my customers saw it that way icon_wink.gif

P.S. you made my day thumbs_up.gificon_biggrin.gif

awatterson Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 4:44pm
post #12 of 61

Did he say why they had to pay 2 weeks after? That just sounds odd.

CakeswLove Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 4:47pm
post #13 of 61

By the way the director found us because he saw the news last month when we won the Dr. Seuss Cake Contest at the Springfield Museum icon_biggrin.gif I was pretty excited to be a part of this, I was going against 6 major bakeries and the Culinary Institute of Conneticut and WE WON icon_cool.gif We didn't win anything since the cakes were donated but we got to be on the news and will be on the newspaper this coming Saturday the 9th icon_wink.gif

Thank you ladies for all your responses ........ icon_smile.gif Cake Central Rocks thumbs_up.gif

cricket0616 Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 4:48pm
post #14 of 61

I wonder what they would say if you told them you wanted front row tickets and would only pay half price and you would pay for it two weeks after the show!!!!

CakeswLove Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 4:49pm
post #15 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by awatterson

Did he say why they had to pay 2 weeks after? That just sounds odd.




He told my husband because of payroll issues icon_confused.gif He said the payment comes from the comittee ?? Really don't know but I am just so dissapointed icon_cry.gif

awatterson Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 4:50pm
post #16 of 61

Keep us posted about what you decide to do. Your cakes are beautiful.

KarenOR Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 4:52pm
post #17 of 61

Well, there is a lot of red tape and committees and such in Universities, no doubt.
I would be pretty sure that they would make good on the deal, if you decide to go that route.


Maybe you should ask for tickets for having to wait 2 weeks icon_smile.gif Course, I have no idea who this guy is, but still...

KarenOR Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 4:55pm
post #18 of 61

I would pretty confident that they will make good on their payment. There is a ton of red tape in Universities.

However, maybe you should ask for tickets to the concert for having to wait two weeks icon_smile.gif
Of course, I have no idea who this singer is, but if you do....then go for it.

Just tell them, that you don't conduct business that way, but you would be willing to make an except for UMASS if....then state your demands!

jenmat Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 5:10pm
post #19 of 61

From what I've heard, this 2 weeks thing is pretty common. I would rewrite your contract for him and have him sign it.

As far as pricing, I would stand your ground very firmly. Any business person can understand that costs dictate pricing. If you are wishy-washy with this person, he will trample all over you. He is in business and will not have a problem asking for what he wants. You are in business too, and you should not have any problem telling him what you need to accomplish his vision.

In the future when this happens and you are unsure of your quote, just get his contact info, tell him you will do a bid, and get back to him. On the spot bidding is tough because it allows waaay too much negotiation if your backbone isn't strong enough.

Dear Mr Businessman-
Thank you for letting me know about your company policy of payment. I will have our contract reflect your needs.
As far as the cake price, our quoted price is firm. 3D cakes are very labor intensive and our price reflects that cost. If you would like to adjust your vision to fit into a smaller budget, we will need to have that done by tomorrow.
I would love to do this cake for your event, but I do understand if you need to look elsewhere. If you would like to continue, I will need a signed contract by (date here) so that I can begin the project with enough time to meet the deadline.
Sincerely,
Professional Baker who understands business.

Good Luck, I too like J.A., but I wouldn't be doing a cake for him for free!

KeltoKel Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 5:13pm
post #20 of 61

I have worked at universities and even a community college and all they have to do is submit a check request so that the accounting can cut you a check the day you arrive with the cake. It really isn't that hard.

I agree, you need to turn it around and say that people paying for the concert don't pay 2 weeks after the concert.

I tell people payment is expected when services are rendered.

Heaven for bid they try to say your cake was dry or that they didn't like it and then you are stiffed!

Stick to your guns. With your talent and now your exposure, you don't have time for people like this.

thumbs Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 5:14pm
post #21 of 61

I just had the same thing happen this week.

A high end retirement residence contacted me to make 2 cakes - for 2 different dates at the end of April and early May. One of the cakes is NOT my style and I honestly am not looking forward to making it, but it's for a big media event - so I totally want one of my cakes to be in the media icon_smile.gif

We went back and forth on prices and designs, got the okay and asked to submit a formal invoice rather then a quote. So I did, with my payment date being 2 weeks prior to the events. I received a call back from them saying they are hoping I will have payments by at least 2 weeks after the events.

I was disappointed as there is a lot of supplies involved. However they are a large company and it's simply that the payment takes time to process. I have their word that it has been approved and the payment will be made they just are certain it won't be prior to the events (or at least not the first one).

I am going to go ahead with them as I feel comfortable that I will get the payment without any issues. I would NEVER do this for a person, but because it's a business and everything takes longer to process I understand that.

Hope everything works out for you!

KathysCC Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 5:22pm
post #22 of 61

I don't care who the singer is, (I've never heard of him), I wouldn't do it. The cake business is not run that way and you should tell him that...payment AFTER the cake is made and served...what!?

I also would NOT have reduced the price for him. Let him go find someone else who will make a "big" 3-D" cake for $100 paid 2 weeks after delivery. He will get what he pays for. If he wants you, he should have to pay full price and follow your policies. $200 for a big 3-D cake...no way!

I don't know why, this story sort of makes me angry. I feel like too many cake decorators are being taken advantage of by people who think our skill and effort are not worth much.

It also sounds like they are acting like they are doing you a favor, like their "celebrity" is something you can't say no too. Well, I am not impressed by celebrity and I'd run away from this job.

artscallion Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 5:27pm
post #23 of 61

I work for the Performing Arts Department in a university now. Yes, checks generally are not issued from individual departments. You have to submit a check request with backup to the university's accounting department. This process can take two weeks.

Given that, just about every performer that we book demands a check be handed to them, or their agent, the day of the performance or they won't go on. So, knowing this, we begin the check request process a good two weeks early so we have the check ready. They can do the same for you. They can submit a check request now if you give them an invoice. Then the check can be ready for you in accordance with your standard requirements. They also have access to petty cash funds that are kept on hand for things just like this.

Bottom line...you are two businesses with procedures that happen to conflict with each other. My question is why do their policies win out over yours? Why do you change your policy for them? They're not accommodating you because it's easier for them not to. Tell them this is a one of a kind, custom made item that cannot be put back into inventory. So they MUST pay in advance of it being made, etc. Let them figure out a way around their policy.

hollyberry91 Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 5:33pm
post #24 of 61

I'm an assistant to the business manager of a high profile band and there are a lot of red flags coming up here. Are you sure he really is an employee with Jason Aldean? Is he a tour manager? Business manager? This could be someone trying to scam you into getting a cheap cake. Or a super fan wanting to get a cake to give to the artist? There is no reason they shouldn't be able to pay in advance as well as pay the deposit. A venue that seats 7,000 people more than likely isn't going to be selling all the tickets at the same price point.
Is it a festival? This really sounds like someone trying to rip you off icon_mad.gif

divinecc Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 5:42pm
post #25 of 61

I understand getting into a spot where you think you should lower your price for a good opportunity but the fact is they (your client) will be giving him the cake....not you. As far as Jason Aldean is concerned he probably won't even bat an eye at who made the cake. He will just think it's really cool and thank your client. Not to say your work isn't amazing and shouldn't be recognized, I'm just telling it like it is. I wouldn't do it unless you think there will be repeat business with this person....just my opinion. Good luck with your decision!

Stephy42088 Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 5:44pm
post #26 of 61

That is how many companies do it, the man himself is not paying you, the company he represents is and thats what their rules are. I do a lot of business with some large companies who have similar pay structures, except I don't get paid until 45 days after services were received!! unless it is over XXX amt of dollars and then I usually get paid within 2 weeks. I think you should do it for the exposure and the chance to do this cake for such a high profile singer. the payment schedule is just company policy and the way many large companies such as this do things.

carmijok Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 5:45pm
post #27 of 61

I''m not understanding who is paying you? The university or the concert promoter. If it's the concert promoter...run! They never pay anyone they don't feel they absolutely have to...and I think you'd be last on the list--plus if he's from out of state, I wouldn't hold my breath.

Jason Aldean is a big name in country music, yes...and if you feel like the 'advertising' is worth it then do it. But just what kind of 'advertising' will you get? exposure to a lot of people from out of town? Or will a picture of you with your cake and Jason Aldean hanging in your shop suffice? Just don't expect to be paid.

If they are balking at $200 and don't wish to conform to your policies you need to ask them AND yourself 'what's in it for me?'
Take it from one who for years would 'volunteer' her marketing and advertising agency to worthy causes 'for the exposure'. It never worked in my favor. Everyone just started thinking of me as a soft touch--or that I would charge less than anyone else. It's real hard to get out of that particular pigeon hole so don't start. If you don't believe your work is worth it, why should anyone else...including Jason Aldean's bunch.

Unless you're a fan and want front row seats and backstage passes as part of the deal, then I wouldn't waste my time. Let someone else get stiffed.

SugarFiend Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 6:12pm
post #28 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeswLove

Quote:
Originally Posted by awatterson

Did he say why they had to pay 2 weeks after? That just sounds odd.



He told my husband because of payroll issues icon_confused.gif He said the payment comes from the comittee ?? Really don't know but I am just so dissapointed icon_cry.gif




Seriously? Payroll issues? Committee? He used those words? If so, I would run far and fast. UMASS is not going to have payroll issues (not to be confused with accounting issues), period. If they're having trouble meeting payroll, ain't no WAY you'd be seeing payment for a cake, like EVER. I'm curious about the "committee" too. OMG. The "Let's-Meet-and-vote-about-what-not-to-pay" Committee? Committees are not needed to decide to pay bills. Maybe to approve major expenditures, but not to buy a cake. Having been in accounts payable for a major company (and knowing how slow it could be), the "committee" term chosen just doesn't sound legitimate. It sounds like b.s.

Sounds like someone dropping names to get favors, IMHO. I would so run away. I'm wondering if Jason Aldean would see the cake at all. The "15 people" thing is yet another red flag to me. Like his band and entourage alone wouldn't be more than 15 people? Sheesh.

Maybe I'm just too suspicious! icon_confused.gif

CakeswLove Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 7:07pm
post #29 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by divinecc

I understand getting into a spot where you think you should lower your price for a good opportunity but the fact is they (your client) will be giving him the cake....not you. As far as Jason Aldean is concerned he probably won't even bat an eye at who made the cake. He will just think it's really cool and thank your client. Not to say your work isn't amazing and shouldn't be recognized, I'm just telling it like it is. I wouldn't do it unless you think there will be repeat business with this person....just my opinion. Good luck with your decision!




That is one thing he made clear, they will be taking credit for the cake not us
icon_sad.gif I even asked if we were going to be invited to the event, his reply : well we have pretty much sold out icon_confused.gif so maybe this is NOT for us icon_sad.gif

Last year we got to do the 10th year Anniversary Cake for Hard Rock Cafe in Universal Studios Orlando, without hesitation they gave us a check and backstage passes to the concert and the private event........ so maybe next time, God has good things in store for us, just not the right time icon_rolleyes.gif

carmijok Posted 6 Apr 2011 , 7:46pm
post #30 of 61

That is one thing he made clear, they will be taking credit for the cake not us
icon_sad.gif I even asked if we were going to be invited to the event, his reply : well we have pretty much sold out icon_confused.gif so maybe this is NOT for us icon_sad.gif

Last year we got to do the 10th year Anniversary Cake for Hard Rock Cafe in Universal Studios Orlando, without hesitation they gave us a check and backstage passes to the concert and the private event........ so maybe next time, God has good things in store for us, just not the right time icon_rolleyes.gif[/quote]

Good for you to back out of this!
You might tell them that as much as you'd love to do a large 3D carved cake for less than what you'd do a regular cake...AND to have no recognition, AND the chance to get paid 2-weeks AFTER the event, you feel compelled to give someone else this great opportunity! icon_wink.gif

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