Am I Overcharging Or Just Being Oversensitive?

Decorating By Emmar308 Updated 21 May 2011 , 4:08pm by cabecakes

Emmar308 Posted 19 May 2011 , 4:29pm
post #1 of 12

I'm beginning to wonder if i am overcharging for the area i live in - (i live about 30 miles from Scotlands largest city). From all my enquiries i would say not even half result in orders being placed, i presume this can only be put down to price. Today a lady called requesting a 9 inch square madeira cake decorated (sugarpaste) in a Disney Cars theme (including 2 handmade sugarpaste cars atop), i quoted £45 ($73) at which point she indictated this was more than she was expecting and said the lady who usually does her cakes charges £30 ($48.50). I have calculated all my ingredients etc, so my price is usually around double the cost of ingredients. I think this is fair (my husband thinks i undercharge!), but in the current economic climate maybe i'm wrong?

11 replies
hbarberycakes Posted 19 May 2011 , 4:55pm
post #2 of 12

I don't think you did. And if the lady is comparing your prices to another cake lady I'd politely say to go to the other cake lady. I think your price is more than reasonable and I almost agree with the hubby icon_smile.gif

platinumlady Posted 19 May 2011 , 5:13pm
post #3 of 12

I'm with you husband you may be undercharging. At first I wanted to be the lowest price around until I started calculating my cost and overhead. I found I was doing hours and hours of work on the cakes & not even breaking even & I just could not continue to do that. You know what your work is worth & if someone doesn't want to pay it then that's not the customer you were looking for.

Jody130 Posted 19 May 2011 , 5:17pm
post #4 of 12

By looking at all your beautiful cakes, I would say you definately UNDERCHARGE!!, your cakes are beautiful and you take alot of time with them, so I would not worry about her comments. Keep up the GREAT work!

Jody130 Posted 19 May 2011 , 5:24pm
post #5 of 12

By looking at all your beautiful cakes, I would say you definately UNDERCHARGE!!, your cakes are beautiful and you take alot of time with them, so I would not worry about her comments. Keep up the GREAT work!

sweetflowers Posted 19 May 2011 , 5:33pm
post #6 of 12

I wonder why she is asking you for a price on a cake if she has another lady who usually makes her cakes? Is it because the other lady doesn't do hand molded cars or other specialty items (or her cakes aren't as good tasting?). You have to charge what your ingredients and time is worth. Do you want to be so busy with orders and only make $2 and hour for specialty work? Stick with your prices.

Emmar308 Posted 19 May 2011 , 8:42pm
post #7 of 12

Thankyou so much for your replies, i'm going to stick with my pricing structure as it is and accept that you can't please everyone! I think today i just had a wee crisis of confidence icon_redface.gif

lilmissbakesalot Posted 19 May 2011 , 9:17pm
post #8 of 12

You are definitely undercharging... by a lot. a 9" square cake will serve 36 (at least) so you are charging about $2/serving (USD) or about £1.25/serving. That's not nearly enough... especially not for hand moulded figures and such.

Think of all of the work you will do... the baking and making fillings, the filing, the icing, the fondant, the decorating, the figure work... that's HOURS of work. Then to only make £22.5 for that... no way. You want to be making at least minimum wage... and I say much more since what you do requires special skills.

Your husband is right... you are undercharging.

Itsacakepop Posted 21 May 2011 , 3:40pm
post #9 of 12

I also think you are undercharging. The people that don't order would probably still not want to pay your price even if you reduced it some, but the people that do order probably recognize your skill and would be willing to pay more.

jason_kraft Posted 21 May 2011 , 3:46pm
post #10 of 12

Depending on market conditions you may be overcharging or you may be undercharging. If you've calculated your cost for a product (including the cost of your labor and overhead, which will probably be more than twice the ingredient cost) and you are charging at or below your cost, you are undercharging. If you are charging above 30% of your cost AND you are having trouble booking orders, you may be overcharging -- but on the other hand you may just be targeting the wrong market.

BTW it's probably a good thing you didn't get that order, since selling a cake with custom-made Cars decorations (as opposed to buying licensed Cars toppers for a more generic cake) would be infringing Disney's copyright on the characters and could put you at risk for a lawsuit. I strongly recommend removing any cakes with copyrighted characters from your photo gallery ASAP.

June_m Posted 21 May 2011 , 3:56pm
post #11 of 12

Where abouts are you? I'm in glasgow and I charge around £30 for an 8" But if it's a Disney cake etc I buy figures from the Disney store. X

cabecakes Posted 21 May 2011 , 4:08pm
post #12 of 12

I would look at it this way. What is your time worth to your skill level? If you are an amateur and do amateur work, you would charge less. The customer shouldn't pay for your learning the trade. If you do professional work and have taken the time to learn the trade, you should be paid like a professional in the market. Irregardless of "hard times". You do the work, you get paid (period). If people can't afford it, they don't buy it. It's not less work for you, because they can't afford it. I would not go by the market, I would go by what it costs for ingredients and how much your time is worth to you or it wouldn't be worth your time to do it at all. I am still learning, so I only do cakes for family and friends, and I only ask that they pay for the ingredients so I can afford to continue to practice. If I was doing it for a profit, I would charge a reasonable amount for my time. As I only do this as a hobby though, I also do not have the stress involved with being a "professional in the trade".

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