I have no ideal what to charge! Yes, I get everything to make a cake, the time I spend...and I feel that I'm not charging enough. But at the same time I don't want my customers to think I am OVER pricing.
So, is there a average price for undecorated cakes (round, sheet cakes & cupcakes) and price for decorated, and then price for exceptional detailed cakes? If so, is there any kind of "rule of thumb"?
Pricing can greatly depend on where you live. There are so many cake television shows that tend to highlight major cities, which can throw you off if you live in the massive in between space. I'm in Texas, and pricing still varies, east to west. Don't hesitate to call other shops and grocery stores to get an idea of where they stand. (it's not stalking if you aren't going thru their trash.) Every cake is going to have it's own little issues which will affect price, but I usually do let customers select a scale, so to speak. A) keep it simple B) little extra and C) go all out. From there, I have a better idea of how much wiggle room I have.
My rule of thumb for pricing for a product is ingredients cost + labor cost + per-order overhead cost (license fees, insurance, etc) + 20-30% for your profit margin.
When you say undecorated cakes are you talking about a plain jane cake or something like a specialty dessert flavor?
I get there being a difference price in buttercream and fondant, because there is an added expense to the fondant. I also understand a different price to sculpted/3d cakes and cakes that are loaded down with gumpaste flowers or a lot of hand molded figures.
But I don't get having a separate price for every thing added to a cake. As a customer, I'd rather have a price upfront rather than have a bunch of add ins added to a basic price.
To me you should price your cakes towards the higher end within reason. If you do a cake that does have more piping on it, then you want to cover that time, but if you do a cake with just borders you are making a little extra money, because you didn't use as much as your labor time.
When you do your price, you want to make sure you do cover your expenses, labor and add in for a profit. If you feel your cakes are too cheap, increase your profit.
Thank you all for your feed back to my question. This really helps me out! Thank You!
Thanks for starting the thread! I was wondering some of the same things and it was nice to read the response! I have been worried about calling bakeries etc... but now I know it is just something I need to do =) I have read a lot of other threads on this with just so much information that it was a little overwhelming and this one has a few perfect responses that were helpful and easy to work through =)
To me you should price your cakes towards the higher end within reason.
Good advice. This also covers any emergency buying you might have to do, such as instead of being able to buy 25 lbs of sugar at sam's for 15 cents a pound, you have to run over to the grocery and buy a 4 lb back for 50 cents a pound ... more than 3 times the money. The butter you usually stock up on when it's on sale may not be on sale when you run out unexpectedly, etc.
On my catering side, this was very important on my choc covered strawberry pricing, because the berries are very seasonal. I specifically remember that a flat of berries in March cost me $38 but a flat of berries in April only cost me $18. I priced them based on the $38 price. If I wanted to discount the April customer "......because I got a really good price this week on the berries for you!", then I have that flexibility and the customer feels they were treated a little special because I passed some savings on to them. But that was always an option, not a rule, and when I did do that, my phrasing made it clear the discount was ONLY BECAUSE I got good pricing that week.