Cake pops for previous customer

Business By Kitagrl Updated 23 Apr 2011 , 3:28am by Elbow642

jason_kraft Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 4:42am
post #31 of 59

I would be wary about negotiating with customers, it sets a bad precedent. If a customer thinks the price is too high, I will work with them to scale back the design to something less labor-intensive, but I won't drop the price just because they found someone else who can do it cheaper.

scp1127 Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 4:59am
post #32 of 59

This is America. She can charge whatever she wants. And one pop in CA is not necessarily hers. Most people use box mixes and fake chocolate. Mine are scratch recipes and real chocolate. Nowhere near the same thing. I have not offered them on my site yet because of the fact that mine are in no way the same product. After sampling in my sample group, I will let the word spread and then offer to the public. I too, am not lightening fast. But my price is based on my reputation and ingredients. When you do a favor for someone. You do have to take into consideration what amount of money you would have made on regular orders.

Kitagirl is obviously a good businesswoman, and has legitimate concerns about this issue.

Kitagirl, when I am asked to do something out of my reuglar offerings, I do tell them that my price may not be in line with average market price, but here is why...(explain). But none of my prices are at market average, so no surprise.

I just agreed to do a vegan wedding cake for a repeat customer. I have no vegan recipes. The customer would not consider another bakery. I knew I needed to develop a few recipes, and it will be time-consuming. By the end of May, this customer knows I will deliver a great vegan cake.

MamaMia808 Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 9:32am
post #33 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeCasaNova

Like I said my friend charges $2-$3 a pop and lives in LA. It is hard to beat that cost of living.




I think I've got you beat here in Hawaii. icon_cool.gif

JanH Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 9:46am
post #34 of 59

As a new member, I don't think CakeCasaNova realizes that licensed and inspected businesses have a higher overhead than someone baking out of their home for "extra" money:

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopicp-7065480-.html#7065480

Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeCasaNova

I am in LA and I have a friend out here who does cake pops as a side business. It is just her and she charges $2.50 for regular pops and $3 for specialty pops that she bakes out of her home. She wraps hers too. I'm pretty certain the cost of living in LA is much higher than the Philly area too.


SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 10:09am
post #35 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeCasaNova


If you don't want to admit flat out to her that you have never made these sheep pops before, maybe split the cost difference and charge her $4?




I hope this is not the case, but it sounds like you are accusing Kitagrl of being dishonest. Her customer knows that she has never made these before. She is also trying to spare her customer wasted time by letting her know up front the higher cost. I don't see where she did not admit the truth to her customer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

I told her I'd make a few practice ones for her to taste but I'm warning her it may be $4-$5 each...do not want her to waste the time coming to a tasting without being aware I may be more expensive.


scp1127 Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 10:40am
post #36 of 59

And I may be mistaken, but isn't it illegal to bake at home in all of California? We don't usually consider unlicensed bakers in our pricing, as this is the business forum.

Casanova, you are entitled to your opinion, but it may be helpful if you find your way around the site and get a little familiar with various forums before publishing such strong opinions. Kitagirl is licensed and is posting in the business forum. More informal discussions usually take place in the cake decorating forum.

Kitagrl Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 12:54pm
post #37 of 59

Thanks guys!

Yes my customer completely knows that I do not offer cake pops. Her relative purchased the zebra striped high heel shoe cake I made awhile back (one of my favorite cakes actually!) and they loved it so much they decided to contact me for these.

I have been really upfront with her as far as my willingness to do it but also the fact its not something I usually do (not that I can't...I never made a 3D high heeled shoe before either but it worked fine.) and that I will not be able to match her other price. As I said, my cupcake prices are one thing...I can't figure out why hand decorated cake pops should be so much less. Just because its on a stick doesn't mean that it should be cheaper than a cake in a paper, if they both take equal time and equal money to produce.

I haven't heard back from her yet so I assume she is either busy, or just trying to decide if she wants to go with her budget, or go with me...either way is fine. I'd almost rather not take the order but if they are determined to have my cake again, I won't turn them away and will give them some really nice cake pops.

LindaF144a Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 12:57pm
post #38 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

And I may be mistaken, but isn't it illegal to bake at home in all of California? We don't usually consider unlicensed bakers in our pricing, as this is the business forum.




Yes it is.

Living on both coasts, I have found that where housing might be high in one place, the cost of food and other stuff like that is higher than the other so that it all evens out on how much you spend to live in the area over time.

Anyway back to the topic:

I always wonder about someone who says "where they live, it costs this much", that is other-speak for "I want to pay this price". How you do know for sure that is the price.

Those cake pops are labor intensive. I should put that all in caps. That is the fundamental problem with cake pops and other elaborately designed cake items seen on the internet. As a hobby baker who is opening a store I can see the problem. When I was making stuff for my hobby I could spend all the time I wanted making something adorable, just as Bakerella did (I am NOT knocking Bakerella here, so do not take this the wrong way against her). Then someone else wants them replicated times 200 not knowing how long it takes to create those to perfection like Bakerella has done.

It is the labor they are paying for, not the product. And once you start lowering your price, you start doing a disservice to yourself.

And the ones with the mini-marshmallows on them do not look as cute as the Bakerella pops IMO.

If you are looking for a sheep look, try rolling the cake pop in ground up coconut flakes and then you "glue" on the other parts with melted chocolate.

Still I will emphasize again, they are not paying for a cake pop, they are paying for your labor to make the product look the way they want. You should charge what you think is fair for your labor. If it is $5 per pop, then go for it.

I can see where I would charge $5 for that. I also know my area enough that $5 will turn people away. But I would also tell people exactly what I have to do to get it to look that perfect - hand place each and every single sugar pellet WITH tweezers, then the legs and face, and that is AFTER you have done everything to get your base cake ball ready also. So your price should at least be the price of your cake pop and then some.

And you cannot compare cupcake price to cake ball price. Cake balls are more LABOR intensive. Again, it is the labor, not the product.

And I hope you have insurance. Bakerella didn't have to worry about 200 people biting into one of those cakeballs and cracking a tooth because it is totally covered in cement-hard sugar pellets. That is the other problem with making something that looks pretty, it doesn't always equate into being something one can easily eat, as Bakerella stated in her post.

Personally when it comes up that someone wants me to make these for my business, I will not make them with the pellets. I don't want the risk on my head. I will first educate them on the price, then the ease of eating and then give them an alternative that would work for both of us. I can see where a coconut covered sheep could come in at a cheaper price than $5.

Kitagrl Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 1:06pm
post #39 of 59

Thanks! I did see some coconut covered cake balls and thought maybe that would be super cute!!!!!

I agree about the pearls...I do have insurance but I'm not thinking it would be wise to put so many pearls like that...I don't even like using my pearls on cupcake orders unless requested because of how hard they are.

If she wants to go ahead with the tasting, I may go ahead and make some up with coconut and a few other ideas (like the little Wilton white sprinkles) and see what she thinks...it will also give me a feel of how time consuming they are so I will know if I can go cheaper or stick to the higher price.

WykdGud Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 3:32pm
post #40 of 59

Since my cake pops are mostly made as a way to "recycle" cake scraps, I can't compare it to making cupcakes (the amount of cake used in them). My pops are simply a way to make some money off of something I would have otherwise thrown in the garbage (or would have ended up on my thighs). icon_smile.gif
I always just keep my scraps in the freezer until an order comes in for the pops - and I can bust them out in a matter of minutes if necessary.

Kitagrl Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 3:34pm
post #41 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

Since my cake pops are mostly made as a way to "recycle" cake scraps, I can't compare it to making cupcakes (the amount of cake used in them). My pops are simply a way to make some money off of something I would have otherwise thrown in the garbage (or would have ended up on my thighs). icon_smile.gif
I always just keep my scraps in the freezer until an order comes in for the pops - and I can bust them out in a matter of minutes if necessary.




Oh okay. Well for 200 in a custom flavor I'd end up having to bake specially for the order, I'm assuming....

Its not really something I want to get involved in (same way with custom cookies) but if a repeat customer asks for them, or if somebody wants to order them as favors to match a cake (which is when I've done cookies) then I'm okay doing them, it just might not be as cost effective as if they would go to a person who ONLY did cookies or ONLY did cake pops.

WykdGud Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 3:42pm
post #42 of 59

I'm not arguing with you, just pointing out why I thought the price was a bit high. I do them quickly from scraps, so my profits are already high on them. If it takes you longer or you bake specifically for this order, than perhaps a higher price is justifiable.

Kitagrl Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 3:43pm
post #43 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

I'm not arguing with you, just pointing out why I thought the price was a bit high. I do them quickly from scraps, so my profits are already high on them. If it takes you longer or you bake specifically for this order, than perhaps a higher price is justifiable.




I know... thumbs_up.gif

LindaF144a Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 7:31pm
post #44 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

I'm not arguing with you, just pointing out why I thought the price was a bit high. I do them quickly from scraps, so my profits are already high on them. If it takes you longer or you bake specifically for this order, than perhaps a higher price is justifiable.




I have to disagree with this. AGAIN, it is not the product, it is the labor. Your profit is more than in the scrap of cake you are using. It is in the mixing, rolling, shaping, dipping, decorating and then packaging. Your profit for all for all of that cannot possibly be covered in cake scraps. All you get from using the scraps is cheap material, not labor costs.

Kitagrl Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 7:35pm
post #45 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144a

Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

I'm not arguing with you, just pointing out why I thought the price was a bit high. I do them quickly from scraps, so my profits are already high on them. If it takes you longer or you bake specifically for this order, than perhaps a higher price is justifiable.



I have to disagree with this. AGAIN, it is not the product, it is the labor. Your profit is more than in the scrap of cake you are using. It is in the mixing, rolling, shaping, dipping, decorating and then packaging. Your profit for all for all of that cannot possibly be covered in cake scraps. All you get from using the scraps is cheap material, not labor costs.




This is true...even with cakes....I charge just as much for a 20 serving hand sculpted cake, like a purse or an animal, than I would for a 100 serving wedding cake done in buttercream and scrolls. I'm using more "cake" for the wedding cake, but I'm using more labor for the sculpted cake.

WykdGud Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 7:43pm
post #46 of 59

I never disputed there should be a charge for labor. But for those who are set up to produce several at a time and have more experience - we are faster at it and therefore, the labor costs are lower as well. There are shortcuts that make the process much quicker (which is why I can't wait to get my new cake ball roller!)

My argument regarding the ingredient costs was in direct relation to the claim that there is just as much cake in the balls as there is in a cupcake. I was simply pointing out that the amount of cake used in my pops is irrelevent since it was essentially "waste".

Kitagrl Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 7:48pm
post #47 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

I never disputed there should be a charge for labor. But for those who are set up to produce several at a time and have more experience - we are faster at it and therefore, the labor costs are lower as well. There are shortcuts that make the process much quicker (which is why I can't wait to get my new cake ball roller!)

My argument regarding the ingredient costs was in direct relation to the claim that there is just as much cake in the balls as there is in a cupcake. I was simply pointing out that the amount of cake used in my pops is irrelevent since it was essentially "waste".




Its not necessarily waste...you still paid for that cake....all costs are relevant. That's like me saying that using the leftover frosting from Cake A means I can give my customer with Cake B a discount because I'm using icing from Cake A....no...its all supplies I paid for. Its still cake and icing that I had to purchase. And now I'm selling my talent and labor to the public by turning that cake and icing into their order.

Not being nasty...just don't agree with your point of view.... thumbs_up.gif

Kitagrl Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 7:53pm
post #48 of 59

Oh...and regarding being faster at it...that means you can take more orders...which means you are set up for volume.

I am not set up for volume....I actually TELL people I am not set up for volume...so my business is somewhat considered a "boutique". "Boutique" focuses on quality rather than speed and volume.

I'm not saying yours is NOT quality....I know that somebody is going to jump on that...but I'm saying my business has never claimed to do volume work, or to do anything quickly in order to push out more product. So how fast I do my work has nothing to do with my pricing because I'm not set up for doing ANYTHING in volume amounts. I price by quality and also by uniqueness... I'm willing to tackle projects other bakeries turn away... that sets me apart to an extent. So, again...I'm willing to tackle a cake pop project maybe others will not do....but if she DOES have someone who can do it in her budget, then by all means, she should order those if she would like.

WykdGud Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 7:58pm
post #49 of 59

Cake scraps ARE waste. If you don't find a use for them (such as cake balls) they end up in the garbage. You can't paste them together into a cake for another customer. You can, however, use the remainder of a batch of icing to ice another cake. Totally different things. And the cost of cake scraps are calculated into the cost of the cake you sold - right? If I take an order for an 8 inch cake and there are scraps left from trimming/leveling it - it doesn't matter because that cake was already "paid for".

Kinda like selling a plate of food at a restaurant. If I buy a steak, but don't finish the steak and it heads back into the kitchen - they aren't out any more money because I didn't eat it. And if they could legally turn that leftever scrap of steak into some stir-fry dish for another customer, then they've just lowered their ingredient costs and increased their profit margin on that stir-fry dish.

Since there is no extra time involved in mixing or baking cake scraps, the labor costs are significantly reduced. This only applies if you are using scraps and not baking specifically to grind it up for the cake balls.

imagenthatnj Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 8:07pm
post #50 of 59

For some reason, I can't see Kitagrl giving her previous customer 200 cakeballs made with cake scraps that she would be saving in her freezer.

I think I know Kitagrl will be baking a cake for these cakeballs and making them as pretty as she can make them.

But I know some people will turn scraps into their next customers meal. Kind of when I used to go to the cafeteria at my workplace and saw chicken sandwiches next day, lots of them, probably made with the baked chicken that was on the menu the previous day. (sigh). I bring my lunch now. I'm going to make sure I don't order stir-fry at restaurants, just in case. Yikes.

Kitagrl Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 8:11pm
post #51 of 59

Ew. And I like stir fry, too....

Soups and chili are suspect too. Haha. Leftover ground up meat and burger from wherever....

I always worry that they recycle rolls or breadsticks at restaurants. LOL.

motherofgrace Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 9:50pm
post #52 of 59

I have to agree with WykdGud.

I would be considered a boutique as well.

I can make then faster just because I make them all the time.


I dont use scraps, I use full cakes for all 10 of my flavours.

motherofgrace Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 9:52pm
post #53 of 59

And Her thoughts on costs is right as well. If I am making my chocolate bars, And I cut off the edges, I divide my costs based on the number of BARS I made out of it. There for, whe. I use the edging for mini pieces for my surprise bags, they are no added cost.... essentially "free". The time and ingredient costs are in with the full bars.

motherofgrace Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 10:00pm
post #54 of 59

sorry i shuoldnt say right, I should say I agree. My bad

scp1127 Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 2:30am
post #55 of 59

I don't use scraps either. I bake an artisan cake and add top shelf liqueurs. I never freeze an edge of a cake, hoping I can sell it. That would go against my company's mission statement. Kitagrl, my business is based on quality, not speed, also. I don't think you are going to get your point across concerning the needs of your clientele. People will pay a premium for small batch baking with fine ingredients. They expect it to be fresh and of the highest quality. There is the profit.

Kitagrl Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 2:33am
post #56 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

I don't use scraps either. I bake an artisan cake and add top shelf liqueurs. I never freeze an edge of a cake, hoping I can sell it. That would go against my company's mission statement. Kitagrl, my business is based on quality, not speed, also. I don't think you are going to get your point across concerning the needs of your clientele. People will pay a premium for small batch baking with fine ingredients. They expect it to be fresh and of the highest quality. There is the profit.




thumbs_up.gif

CakeCasaNova Posted 22 Apr 2011 , 10:23pm
post #57 of 59

Yes MamaMia you definitely have me beat in Hawaii.

This was the first time I was compelled to write even though I have followed and read this blog for a long time as a hobby cake baker. I am quite familar with the site. I don't think I was posting an opinion any stronger than anyone else and I by no means was intending to offend Kitagrl. I was just trying to offer some suggestions and business advice. Kitagrl please accept my apology if my posting came off the wrong way.

I totally agree with you that licensed and inspected businesses have a higher overhead. Although my friend bakes from her home, she does in fact have a license. To whomever said it was illegal to bake at home in California is wrong. You can get a license but there are many stipulations you must meet in order to do so including having a door separating your kitchen from the rest of the house and certain ventilation and plumbing and sanitation.

I guess pricing will always be cheaper if someone is set up to do bulk or has more experience. WykdGud, I agree with you that it is more beneficial if you are using scraps, but in this case I don't think Kitagrl would be using scraps for a 200 cake pop order. Motherofgrace, you said that you are faster because you make them all the time, what would you suggest Kitagrl charge??

motherofgrace Posted 22 Apr 2011 , 11:11pm
post #58 of 59

For me and my area, I would charge $3-$3.50. But location does make a big difference. I also use WASC variations for all my cakes. And my pops are about a TBSP of cake. So size plays in as well.

BUT if you can get $5 each then I commend you! That's fantastic! And I cannot wait to see them!

Elbow642 Posted 23 Apr 2011 , 3:28am
post #59 of 59

I made the sheep pops for a friends baby shower and thought the sugar pearls were way to hard, so I improvised. I took mini marshmallows and pulsed them in my food processor with powdered sugar until the were little ball of marshmallow, then rolled the pops in them. They looked fluffy and were really tasty. I will try to find a photo and post in my gallery.

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