120 Cupcakes And I Don't Want To Underprice!!

Baking By Bettyviolet101 Updated 14 May 2011 , 2:29am by Evoir

Bettyviolet101 Posted 13 May 2011 , 11:40pm
post #1 of 20

I have a cup cake order of 120 and I was told to charge 1.00 dollar a cupcake by a family member. Is that way to little? We pretty much ONLY have grocerie stores around here so no one will understand if I charge to much but I don't want to charge to little either! I called the grocery stores and safeway was 1.99 a cupcake or 1 dozen for 6.49 bashas was .99 each or 10.99 a dozen and walmart was .88 each but not sure about the dozen. that seems all over the place with prices. Advice?

19 replies
sugarlover Posted 14 May 2011 , 12:04am
post #2 of 20

DO you plan to decorate the cupcakes? If so will definitely need to charge more than $1.

foxymomma521 Posted 14 May 2011 , 12:09am
post #3 of 20

A dollar a cupcake will not make it worth your while. I did 120 cupcakes last summer for what I thought was "cost" of $75, and was negative at least another $20 when I was done.

scp1127 Posted 14 May 2011 , 12:15am
post #4 of 20

Is it scratch or mix? I charge $3.00 for my scratch cupcakes. I don't use mixes, but the price should be lower for them.

foxymomma521 Posted 14 May 2011 , 12:22am
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

Is it scratch or mix? I charge $3.00 for my scratch cupcakes. I don't use mixes, but the price should be lower for them.



I don't agree with this. It costs me more to make a doctored chocolate cake mix than it does for me to make The Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate cake. It's inaccurate to make a blanket statement like that. You don't know her costs compared to yours.

Allie06 Posted 14 May 2011 , 12:32am
post #6 of 20

I'm a scratch baker and a hobbyist, and when I was asked to do cupcakes for a friend who was willing to pay for ingredients, I charged $20 a dozen. Fully decorated. I felt like almost $2 a cake covered it all completely.

scp1127 Posted 14 May 2011 , 12:36am
post #7 of 20

There is more than cost of ingredients in a cupcake. A fine baked good is worth more because it requires a higher level of baking. The box mix can be made, even the doctored ones, with little experience. Check out the trends... these pricey cupcakes are making their way to many towns and the standard is rising because of the skill level of the bakers. Yes, it is a blanket statement that is true.

Bettyviolet101 Posted 14 May 2011 , 12:50am
post #8 of 20

Wow 75 bucks with 20 short??? I just did a very quick calculation for what 100 cupcakes would cost and I am already up to 55 dollars and I am leaving out a lot of things. I gotta say I know its a HUGE debate, which I have chosen to stay out of mind you, about scratch vs. mix but I disagree with that statement as well. I have a very very good from scratch apple cake but I do others from box as of now and I had someone at a party tell me my yellow cake from box with my from scratch chocolate frosting tell me, and I quote, "that cake was the best cake I have had in a loooonnnggg time!" My customer being happy is all I care about. I am working on making scratch but am not there yet. I would rather give them a yummy box cake than a junky scratch cake. Also just because I can't cook from scratch yet does not mean I have to sell myself short and lose money on the cupcakes I sell. Anyways thank you EVERYONE for you advice I really appreciate it!! icon_smile.gif

foxymomma521 Posted 14 May 2011 , 12:56am
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

There is more than cost of ingredients in a cupcake. A fine baked good is worth more because it requires a higher level of baking. The box mix can be made, even the doctored ones, with little experience. Check out the trends... these pricey cupcakes are making their way to many towns and the standard is rising because of the skill level of the bakers. Yes, it is a blanket statement that is true.



How does that make the statement true? icon_confused.gif

sunset74 Posted 14 May 2011 , 12:57am
post #10 of 20

I think when SCP1127 said the charge would be less using a boxed mix she was meaning if you did not doctor the boxed mix which is cheaper to use generally cheaper then doing a scratch mix. Yes if you are doctoring it though it does cost more. I am not sure that it is more then a Hershey's cake, but were you buy your ingredients it might be.

As for the OP, I tend to go a bit cheaper on my cupcakes depending on who they are for. For the people at work I do a dozen for 18, filled is 21, and if you buy more then 2 dozen you get them 15 a dozen or filled 18. Now most on here are going to go NUTS when they see that price and tell me that I am wrong and the truth is I am NOT wrong, these are the people I work with that only make 8 bucks an hour, they can not afford and will not pay 36 dollars a dozen for cupcakes. If I was selling to just anyone these would not be my prices. Most of the places here get 3 dollars a cupcake for the slightly bigger then standard cupcakes. Many on here say their standard cupcakes go for 3. dollars. I personally would probably also offer a discount for more then a certain number unless they are asking for several flavors. Then it is hard to give a discount given you will have to mix multiple batches. Also it can vary on the ingredients. For example Strawberry cupcakes usually cost more to make then chocolate or Vanilla because usually you make vanilla and then add strawberries. So see what your cost is going to be to make all the cupcakes and then add for time. And don't try to do what the grocerie stores charge...they can do it in mass production, yours will taste way better and the icing and ingredients fresher.

cakesbycathy Posted 14 May 2011 , 1:04am
post #11 of 20

How are they going to be decorated?
I charge $1.50 for a swirl of frosting and some sprinkles.
Any kind of flower work or other design starts at $2.25 and goes up. You want a cupcake that looks like a pirate? That'll be $3.50 baby.

I just took an order today for cupcakes with hand-sculpted flowers on them. They are going to be a huge PITA to make and I told her that (I used the words labor intensive to be professional icon_wink.gif ). I am charging $6 EACH.

Calling around to Walmart and the grocery store is fine but if they want grocery store prices then they can go to the grocery store.

I bet dollars to donuts that your well-meaning family member hasn't got any freakin" clue what kind of work goes into caking and frankly you shouldn't be asking them for advice IMO. Just because they think you should only charge $1 each does not mean it's what you should do.

Kristie925 Posted 14 May 2011 , 1:11am
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxymomma521

Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

There is more than cost of ingredients in a cupcake. A fine baked good is worth more because it requires a higher level of baking. The box mix can be made, even the doctored ones, with little experience. Check out the trends... these pricey cupcakes are making their way to many towns and the standard is rising because of the skill level of the bakers. Yes, it is a blanket statement that is true.


How does that make the statement true? icon_confused.gif



Because in her world, cakes from a mix are automatically inferior to a scratch cake. Good thing that's not the truth in everyone's world. icon_wink.gif

Bettyviolet101 Posted 14 May 2011 , 1:24am
post #13 of 20

Sunset74: Well SCP1127 actually said " A fine baked good is worth more because it requires a higher level of baking. The box mix can be made, even the doctored ones, with little experience" which has nothing to do with pricing of anything. Again I say if the customer is happy or even more than happy then you are good to go! icon_smile.gif Well i dont' think you are wrong for doing that for your co workers I think that is nice! And yes 3 dollars is way to high for here too!

Cakesbykathy: I like your prices a lot. I was concluding 1.50 to 2.00 per basic cupcake would be appropriate. So Then I am curious about this: I live in a place where very few people have even heard of fondant. Let me put it to you this way: These towns are filled with people who have never left! lol!! So I want to be able to appeal at least a little but not undersell myself. At this point also I am fine with 2 cakes or cupcake orders a month anyways so I am not dying for business or anything. I am still trying to figure out pricing for cakes and such as well! Any help with that would be great. I was thinking for birthdays charging less and weddings charging more. What do you think?

Bettyviolet101 Posted 14 May 2011 , 1:25am
post #14 of 20

Oh I am sorry cakesbykathy also they are just basic swirl with maybe sprinkles or such. The bride also wants a a giant cupcake cake to cut. Not sure what to charge for that either!

jason_kraft Posted 14 May 2011 , 1:34am
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettyviolet101

I just did a very quick calculation for what 100 cupcakes would cost and I am already up to 55 dollars and I am leaving out a lot of things.



You need to continue those calculations and get a good picture of what your total costs are before you can even think about trying to accurately price your products.

It might help if you list what you've come up with so far, including the cost of ingredients and packaging necessary for the order; how long you are planning on spending to bake, decorate, and package the order; how much your time is worth; how much annual overhead you have (liability insurance, estimated added utility costs, license fees, accountant fees, etc.); and approximately how many orders you expect on a yearly basis.

indydebi Posted 14 May 2011 , 1:49am
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettyviolet101

I have a cup cake order of 120 and I was told to charge 1.00 dollar a cupcake by a family member.


unless the family member is in the baking business, their opinion means diddly squat. Family will ALWAYS give an opinion based on what they want to PAY ... not on what you should CHARGE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettyviolet101

I called the grocery stores and safeway was 1.99 a cupcake or 1 dozen for 6.49....


They charge $2 for one and $0.50 each if you buy a dozen? icon_eek.gif Wow, you are right .... prices ARE all over the place! this kind of pricing just leads me to believe their cupcakes are loss leaders and have an even more-than-usual lack of impact on what YOU charge.

jlynnw Posted 14 May 2011 , 2:12am
post #17 of 20

check the style of the $1.99 a cupcake to the 6 or 12 packs. The group packed are generally a quick swirl and a dash of sprinkles. The individuals are specialty style - they look like a frog, have a flower something a bit special that requires t$me. It is all about your time and expense not what a "friend" thinks. Listen to Indi, she will not lead your wrongly.

Bettyviolet101 Posted 14 May 2011 , 2:14am
post #18 of 20

Jason: Okay so I have the very basic ingredients and such. I am going to get insurance but am not yet sure about licensing because the new law that just passed might not require it. I have a lot of calling to do. But those are all very good points. I have ingredients, travel into town, and extras like electric bills and such. Anyways I have a lot more research and figuring to do I just love all the advice you guys give icon_smile.gif

Indydebi: I know I hear you! lol the family member was my mom and she has no idea about cupcakes but she is ALL for me making maximum profit. She has seen how much work goes into my cakes though and she is rather boggled by it. But I for sure agree she was a bit off on this one! icon_wink.gif

Bettyviolet101 Posted 14 May 2011 , 2:16am
post #19 of 20

jlynnw thanks for that as well. I am finding that indydebi has a rather good reputation on here! icon_wink.gif

Evoir Posted 14 May 2011 , 2:29am
post #20 of 20

My only advice is to sell per cupcake, with no discount for 100. So if you sell 1 for $2, then 100 will be $200. There are no real economies of scale to be passed on the customer for one-off orders like these, especially if you are a noob. (newbie).

I have 3 cupcake sizes and charge approx. $2 (mini), $3 (kid size) and $4 (adult) for basic scratch flavours and BC swirl (I don't offer texas sized anything). Each decoration is priced according to level of complexity as I hand-make these too.

One other piece of advice: probably double the time you think you will need to make this order if you are not experienced. You won't be able to charge double the labour cost, but do allow plenty of time to get them all done, comfortably. As you gain more experience you will produce goods faster, and hence your profit will increase. But we all have to start somewhere! I just am a big fan of hitting the market at the right price and not charging all over the place. But you need to calculate all your costs as Jason Kraft mentioned, and work from there.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%