Customers Expecting Walmart Prices

Decorating By amberc727 Updated 5 Jul 2013 , 1:11am by BatterUpCake

scp1127 Posted 15 Apr 2011 , 5:11pm
post #31 of 73

I don't do them either. You can't be everything to everybody. My cakes are marketed as fine ingredient artisan cakes. I make cupcakes too. But cute figures and unnatural food coloring do not fit with the image I want to make. I think Jason was saying that his clients do not come to him for gimmicks. The ingredients are front and center in our markets. I will do cake "truffles". But they will be my recipes and no ducks or pumpkin shapes. I will lose those customers.

jason_kraft Posted 15 Apr 2011 , 5:16pm
post #32 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by warchild

Jeepers, you could have said that in wee bit nicer way. Such as we don't make cupcake cakes as there is no demand for them in our area etc, and leave it at that.



Except there is still some demand for them, if we advertised that we made cupcake cakes I'm sure we would sell quite a few.

I'm sorry if you were offended, but I was just stating the reason we don't make those kinds of cakes. I've seen some great-looking high-end cupcake cakes out there, but based on our experience and the prices people are willing to pay for cupcake cakes we're just not comfortable making a professional-looking cupcake cake that can be priced for the mainstream market.

As I said, there's nothing bad about cupcake cakes, and I didn't mean to knock anyone who still makes them. If you're happy with your product, your customer is happy with your product, and you are making a decent profit, then go for it. icon_smile.gif

bakencake Posted 15 Apr 2011 , 5:43pm
post #33 of 73

just saw lorieleann's blog and saw that her cupcakes are baked in parchment baking cups. are these parchment squares that are fitted into a cupcake pan or are they pre made and just inserted into the pan? they look so good. this is what it looks like
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-m1dhZgh4BAI/TYqEGSq1knI/AAAAAAAAAYM/6CowsZqUbcI/s1600/vanillamixberrybc.jpg

bakencake Posted 15 Apr 2011 , 5:43pm
post #34 of 73

oops. meant to start my own post. sorry.

warchild Posted 15 Apr 2011 , 6:30pm
post #35 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by warchild

Jeepers, you could have said that in wee bit nicer way. Such as we don't make cupcake cakes as there is no demand for them in our area etc, and leave it at that.


Except there is still some demand for them, if we advertised that we made cupcake cakes I'm sure we would sell quite a few.

I'm sorry if you were offended, but I was just stating the reason we don't make those kinds of cakes. I've seen some great-looking high-end cupcake cakes out there, but based on our experience and the prices people are willing to pay for cupcake cakes we're just not comfortable making a professional-looking cupcake cake that can be priced for the mainstream market.

As I said, there's nothing bad about cupcake cakes, and I didn't mean to knock anyone who still makes them. If you're happy with your product, your customer is happy with your product, and you are making a decent profit, then go for it. icon_smile.gif




No worries, I'm not offended. I've only made a few cupcake cakes and that was some years back when they were all the rage.
I was more concerned about decorators that still do make them as its so easy to hurt anothers feelings with words not really intended. Thats it.. Thats all I was trying to get across. That we all need to stop and think before we say it, or type it.

Coral3 Posted 15 Apr 2011 , 6:50pm
post #36 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

Ok, I have to add this aspect. I live in a small town and a while back I had my first person EVER stiff me on a cake. She got the cake and didn't pay for it. (Long story as to why I didn't get cash up front) Long story short, her ONLY grandson turned 1 this year, she want a very specialized cake (Chuggington) that no one else around here can do. (This is where my rambling is pertinent... not something she could get at WalMart) So... since she stiffed me $25, instead of calling me and giving me the $25 she owed plus the amount for the new cake up front (which I would have happily done for her) she had to drive 80 miles away to get a cake from a specialty baker, paid twice what I'd have charged, then 80 miles back home to the party. No lie. 160 miles. What do you spose that cost in gas in her older SUV? Her daughter asked me why I wasn't doing the cake and I told her, she never asked. She still owes me for the last one. She was like, "SHE NEVER PAID YOU!?!?!" Nope. Sorry to go off on a rant.




Hmmm...perhaps she didn't pay the specialty baker for the second cake either, so her only cost was the 160 miles worth of fuel which, compared to paying you for two cakes, was a 'bargain'. icon_confused.gif

mack06 Posted 15 Apr 2011 , 6:51pm
post #37 of 73

I recently started doing cakes but I've cooke all my life for pleasure. My fr iend who knows me very well asked for a cake somthing simple for a repass. she asked how much, I went to the price list and she took a peek. I charged her 1/3 of the coast I cant wait to see what she gives me. Especially since i'm unemploy. icon_confused.gif

fondantgrl Posted 15 Apr 2011 , 7:04pm
post #38 of 73

Then tell her to go to Walmart or get lost !!

What a cheapskate.. If ignorant people know how quality good cakes are made , then they would shut up and not complain based on ignorance.

Maybe this is a good reason that you should avoid her and not be her friend anymore. She is an ignorant opportunist. El cheapo !! or tell her to make it herself and not bother you anymore. So sorry she wasted your time. Be smart. Don;t be a martyr.

fondantgrl Posted 15 Apr 2011 , 7:13pm
post #39 of 73

Or maybe you could have told her to go to the White House, then maybe she will get it for free. icon_cool.gif

Coral3 Posted 15 Apr 2011 , 7:14pm
post #40 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

I don't do them either. You can't be everything to everybody. My cakes are marketed as fine ingredient artisan cakes. I make cupcakes too. But cute figures and unnatural food coloring do not fit with the image I want to make. I think Jason was saying that his clients do not come to him for gimmicks. The ingredients are front and center in our markets. I will do cake "truffles". But they will be my recipes and no ducks or pumpkin shapes. I will lose those customers.




icon_surprised.gif What!?...no cute figures!? You poor thing. You're missing out on the fun part! icon_sad.gif

I guess the trick is in knowing how to use colour effectively, so it doesn't look 'gaudy' and in making the cute figurines WELL, which is easier said than done.

Melvira Posted 15 Apr 2011 , 8:25pm
post #41 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coral3

Hmmm...perhaps she didn't pay the specialty baker for the second cake either, so her only cost was the 160 miles worth of fuel which, compared to paying you for two cakes, was a 'bargain'. icon_confused.gif




No doubt. I'd love to know. And she is one of those people that is involved in EVERY work from home opportunity (NOT bagging on that at ALL) so she is constantly inviting me to all those parties. It's tempting to go, order a bunch of stuff and tell her I'll pay her later. See how much of my order I get. Ugh.

mack06 Posted 15 Apr 2011 , 8:40pm
post #42 of 73

Yupp ! She paid me what I quoted, and she drives a BMW ! I know she's a hard to please person I'm just glad it was nothing major. I'm sure they will enjoy the cake, It's a talent she lacks..

costumeczar Posted 15 Apr 2011 , 10:21pm
post #43 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coral3

Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

I don't do them either. You can't be everything to everybody. My cakes are marketed as fine ingredient artisan cakes. I make cupcakes too. But cute figures and unnatural food coloring do not fit with the image I want to make. I think Jason was saying that his clients do not come to him for gimmicks. The ingredients are front and center in our markets. I will do cake "truffles". But they will be my recipes and no ducks or pumpkin shapes. I will lose those customers.



icon_surprised.gif What!?...no cute figures!? You poor thing. You're missing out on the fun part! icon_sad.gif

I guess the trick is in knowing how to use colour effectively, so it doesn't look 'gaudy' and in making the cute figurines WELL, which is easier said than done.




Unnatural food color isn't necessarily gaudy, but it's still unnatural. If that's not the image of your product then it just doesn't fit, it doesn't mean that you don't know how to use it.

I don't do cupcakes at all because I don't like them. I son't like makign them and I don't like eating them. Doesn't mean that I don't know how to make them but I choose not to. I don't do a lot of "cute figures" either, actually. Can't say that I mind icon_rolleyes.gif

Coral3 Posted 15 Apr 2011 , 10:27pm
post #44 of 73

...fair enough.

Coral3 Posted 15 Apr 2011 , 10:38pm
post #45 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coral3

Hmmm...perhaps she didn't pay the specialty baker for the second cake either, so her only cost was the 160 miles worth of fuel which, compared to paying you for two cakes, was a 'bargain'. icon_confused.gif



No doubt. I'd love to know. And she is one of those people that is involved in EVERY work from home opportunity (NOT bagging on that at ALL) so she is constantly inviting me to all those parties. It's tempting to go, order a bunch of stuff and tell her I'll pay her later. See how much of my order I get. Ugh.




You should absolutely do that Melvira! Order goods to the value of $25 and when she asks for payment you can say, "Sure, no problem. Hey, guess what?...with the $25 you owe me for the cake, we're all square! That works out well all around doesn't it?" icon_biggrin.gif

scp1127 Posted 15 Apr 2011 , 11:20pm
post #46 of 73

Coral3, I used to own a marketing company. I am one of those that makes a mission statement and I build my business around that. Because my plan has been around a lot longer than my business, I haven't even learned those things. Again, it just comes down to marketing and presenting a clear message in the moment that you actually have someone's attention.

amcakemaker2011 Posted 16 Apr 2011 , 12:10am
post #47 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by amberc727

This is annoying me so badly, but I'm sure everyone has dealt with it. Customers wanting time consuming cakes and only want to pay Walmart prices. I had a friend of a friend approach me to make a cake and cupcakes for her daughers 1st birthday. She wanted a carved cake and 7 dozen cupcakes, each one topped with a fondant or gumpaste flower. I quoted her $50 for the cake because it was small and covered in buttercream, and $2/ea for the cupcakes. She was appalled. If she wanted cheap, she should have gone to a grocery store or Walmart. icon_sad.gif There's no way I can make scratch made cakes and handmade accents for those prices, nor would I want to!




Walmart's prices are pretty reasonable. What you need to do is call around to all the bakeries in your area and see how much they charge for there cakes. I called around where i live today and for wedding cakes they range from $2 per slice too $3 per person. And the rest of the cakes just depend on the size of it.. Good luck

BakerAnn Posted 16 Apr 2011 , 1:06am
post #48 of 73

While I am new to this forum I'm a long time cake baker and decorator. Clients are no different in this industry than in my other profession - fine art. I do commissioned portraits and people uneducated in that field sometimes expect the same as cake clients: somethin' for nothin.'

Long ago I set my prices on both at a point which with I could live and make a living. I am not at all bothered by people who complain about what I KNOW to be reasonable prices for the work I do. I use only the best oils and canvas for portraits; I use only the best ingredients for cakes. If they were able to create either for themselves, they would be doing it. They cannot, so I do.

The best advice I can give to those just starting out with decorated cakes is not to underprice yourself so badly that people look at you as just the cheapest place to get a cake. WalMart brings in layers flash frozen months before, and in my area the hastily slapped on decorating is nothing short of atrocious.

People will tend to value your work in the same light you do.

The other suggestion I have is to treat this as a business from the get-go (unless you are indeed only doing it for fun). That means a hefty, non-refundable deposit to hold the date and full payment before the wedding!

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 16 Apr 2011 , 2:00am
post #49 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakerAnn

While I am new to this forum I'm a long time cake baker and decorator. Clients are no different in this industry than in my other profession - fine art. I do commissioned portraits and people uneducated in that field sometimes expect the same as cake clients: somethin' for nothin.'

Long ago I set my prices on both at a point which with I could live and make a living. I am not at all bothered by people who complain about what I KNOW to be reasonable prices for the work I do. I use only the best oils and canvas for portraits; I use only the best ingredients for cakes. If they were able to create either for themselves, they would be doing it. They cannot, so I do.

The best advice I can give to those just starting out with decorated cakes is not to underprice yourself so badly that people look at you as just the cheapest place to get a cake. WalMart brings in layers flash frozen months before, and in my area the hastily slapped on decorating is nothing short of atrocious.

People will tend to value your work in the same light you do.

The other suggestion I have is to treat this as a business from the get-go (unless you are indeed only doing it for fun). That means a hefty, non-refundable deposit to hold the date and full payment before the wedding!




thumbs_up.gif Very well said!

The longer we are in business, the less it bothers me when people balk at our prices. We have a formula for pricing, we know WHY we charge what we do, and if they don't want to pay what we charge, they don't truly want one of our cakes. They are not our customer, plain and simple. NEXT! icon_smile.gif

BakerAnn Posted 16 Apr 2011 , 2:39am
post #50 of 73

thumbs_up.gificon_biggrin.gif

mzunique Posted 26 Apr 2011 , 5:14am
post #51 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by mack06

Yupp ! She paid me what I quoted, and she drives a BMW ! I know she's a hard to please person I'm just glad it was nothing major. I'm sure they will enjoy the cake, It's a talent she lacks..




I definitely know how you feel! This just happened to me when I made my friend a very detailed flower pot cake for her mother's birthday. I charged her cost and made that very clear to her. I'm also unemployed and it took me 25 hours to make as I'm a newbie. Since I've known her over 10 years, I really thought she'd throw me a few dollars extra for the awesome cake I made for her, and she didn't give me a dime more. It's honestly not about the money, it's about the appreciation, and I certainly didn't see that from her! Live and learn! icon_eek.gif[img][/img]

mzunique Posted 26 Apr 2011 , 5:14am
post #52 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by mack06

Yupp ! She paid me what I quoted, and she drives a BMW ! I know she's a hard to please person I'm just glad it was nothing major. I'm sure they will enjoy the cake, It's a talent she lacks..




I definitely know how you feel! This just happened to me when I made my friend a very detailed flower pot cake for her mother's birthday. I charged her cost and made that very clear to her. I'm also unemployed and it took me 25 hours to make as I'm a newbie. Since I've known her over 10 years, I really thought she'd throw me a few dollars extra for the awesome cake I made for her, and she didn't give me a dime more. It's honestly not about the money, it's about the appreciation, and I certainly didn't see that from her! Live and learn! icon_eek.gif

carmijok Posted 26 Apr 2011 , 8:18am
post #53 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzunique

Quote:
Originally Posted by mack06

Yupp ! She paid me what I quoted, and she drives a BMW ! I know she's a hard to please person I'm just glad it was nothing major. I'm sure they will enjoy the cake, It's a talent she lacks..



I definitely know how you feel! This just happened to me when I made my friend a very detailed flower pot cake for her mother's birthday. I charged her cost and made that very clear to her. I'm also unemployed and it took me 25 hours to make as I'm a newbie. Since I've known her over 10 years, I really thought she'd throw me a few dollars extra for the awesome cake I made for her, and she didn't give me a dime more. It's honestly not about the money, it's about the appreciation, and I certainly didn't see that from her! Live and learn! icon_eek.gif




You expected her to give you more money out of friendship, yet you didn't ask for it. If someone quotes me a price...friend or not...I pay for what was quoted.
Glad you learned early on! ;D

warchild Posted 26 Apr 2011 , 1:29pm
post #54 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzunique

Quote:
Originally Posted by mack06

Yupp ! She paid me what I quoted, and she drives a BMW ! I know she's a hard to please person I'm just glad it was nothing major. I'm sure they will enjoy the cake, It's a talent she lacks..



I definitely know how you feel! This just happened to me when I made my friend a very detailed flower pot cake for her mother's birthday. I charged her cost and made that very clear to her. I'm also unemployed and it took me 25 hours to make as I'm a newbie. Since I've known her over 10 years, I really thought she'd throw me a few dollars extra for the awesome cake I made for her, and she didn't give me a dime more. It's honestly not about the money, it's about the appreciation, and I certainly didn't see that from her! Live and learn! icon_eek.gif


You told your friend you would make her cake at cost, and that you made it very clear to her you were only charging cost. I don't understand why you'd be upset your friend didn't pay you more money than what you quoted? Not trying to be a stick in the mud, but I wouldn't expect my friends to pay me more than what I charged. If I wanted more money, I would have quoted a higher price.

If your friend went to the neighborhood bakery and ordered her cake, she would have paid what the bakery charged. She would not have given them a few dollars extra for the awesome cake they made for her. Theres really no difference between the bakery and yourself, when you think about it. You both charge customers, friends included for your work. If a discount is given to a friend, great, but to expect more money because the discount was given doesn't make sense. Why give the discount in the first place then?

Kitagrl Posted 26 Apr 2011 , 2:48pm
post #55 of 73

I think some people just do not KNOW....

I am past that as far as my business, but recently a friend of mine requested 24 cupcakes last minute. "Sure" I said...."just pay me what you want, I don't even usually sell "only" 24 cupcakes so....yeah just pay me something."

Dumb me....I figured she'd at least pull out a $20 or something...she got here and carefully counted out $14 for her 2 dozen cupcakes.

I think that's how much they are at Sam's Club....(She would have freaked at my base price of $2.50/ea)

I really think she thought that was a fair price...somehow people have this idea that homemade stuff is cheaper than store bought stuff? (I'm a licensed home baker) when in reality, that $14 probably barely covered my supplies (though thankfully I had leftover icing)...box....cupcake insert...papers....cake...ingredients...etc.

I know to be booked next time. LOL. But it just really showed me how much people think cake is worth. About a year ago I quoted a good friend a three tiered fondant cake and said "I'll give you 50% off since you are a friend, and that will be this much" and they gulped and thought even the half off price was at the top end of their cake budget.

*Sigh*

That's why I hate working with people I know and prefer to just reach the clientele that do not mind paying boutique prices for a boutique cake!

indydebi Posted 26 Apr 2011 , 4:08pm
post #56 of 73

and I'll again share a story ....

hubby did woodworking. friend wanted a stand made to hold a big fish tank (50 gallon? it was super huge). hubby sketched out a rough idea and quoted sometihng like $200 ----- $250 (super discounted for a 'friend'). Friend went thru the roof and said, "I was only planning on paying around ten bucks!!"

Ten bucks. For a wood stand, that is hand crafted, and strong enough to hold a fish tank full of water. Really? REALLY?

scp1127 Posted 26 Apr 2011 , 5:13pm
post #57 of 73

When a friend asks about a fondant cake, I say, "You don't want me to make you a cake. That one is $350.00." Then they can say, "Yes, I do", or "Wow, your'e right". Now the price is established in a nice way.

Melvira Posted 26 Apr 2011 , 6:37pm
post #58 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Ten bucks. For a wood stand, that is hand crafted, and strong enough to hold a fish tank full of water. Really? REALLY?




Sheesh, no doubt! I'd be willing to pay at least... like... eighteen bucks for that. icon_lol.gificon_rolleyes.gif Could you make me one of those hand crocheted name doilies you make... I'll give you six bucks and tell EVERYONE (who asks) who made it! icon_lol.gif

warchild Posted 26 Apr 2011 , 7:21pm
post #59 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Ten bucks. For a wood stand, that is hand crafted, and strong enough to hold a fish tank full of water. Really? REALLY?



Sheesh, no doubt! I'd be willing to pay at least... like... eighteen bucks for that. icon_lol.gificon_rolleyes.gif Could you make me one of those hand crocheted name doilies you make... I'll give you six bucks and tell EVERYONE (who asks) who made it! icon_lol.gif




icon_lol.gifthumbs_up.gif

BakerAnn Posted 26 Apr 2011 , 8:29pm
post #60 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

and I'll again share a story ....

hubby did woodworking. friend wanted a stand made to hold a big fish tank (50 gallon? it was super huge). hubby sketched out a rough idea and quoted sometihng like $200 ----- $250 (super discounted for a 'friend'). Friend went thru the roof and said, "I was only planning on paying around ten bucks!!"

Ten bucks. For a wood stand, that is hand crafted, and strong enough to hold a fish tank full of water. Really? REALLY?




A mere acquaintance asked me just last week to donate an oil painting (which he would describe exactly what he wanted) for a cause I know nothing or care nothing about. I suggested since he was very much involved in that cause he might wish to purchase a small painting from ones already in my studio and donate it himself. He was aghast that I would expect him to pay for it!

People! icon_eek.gif

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