Lost First Customer Today =(

Decorating By rissadragons Updated 12 Aug 2011 , 12:33am by rissadragons

rissadragons Posted 10 Aug 2011 , 8:16pm
post #1 of 15

So, I usually don't post much on here but I feel really bad about this situation! I had a customer that contacted me last week requesting a themed character cake for her toddler's birthday. For the number of guests she was inviting I suggested a two tiered cake. After discussing it she decided she wanted a single tiered cake, nothing too fancy.

I sketched 3 different designs for her starting with a simple design to a very decorated design with gumpaste characters and sent them to her the next day. She then decided that she wanted something with more "pizazz" and "wow". She told me she wanted a tiered cake. So I sketched a tiered cake for her. No response.

The next day she asked me if she responded to me, I explained no and she said the cake was cute but was searching the net to find other cake designs. She then sent me links to several cakes most of them similar to what I sketched for her.

Well to attempt and shorten this story, she wanted a cake with all the different designs mixed into one, which honestly would have been a mess. I got her to agree that putting all those designs together wouldn't give her the look she originally wanted. She agreed and took just a couple of elements from each cake and I sketched another design for her.

The next day she emails me asking again if she had responded, then said "I kinda remember the design you sent but I don't think you got the right blue or the right yellow".

While we all know we can do our best to recreate a specific color it's almost impossible unless its a primary color to make it exact. She's talking about the light blue not being the right light blue and same with the yellow not being the right light yellow. Not only that but she "kinda remembers the design"!!!

We all know that we take time to design a cake for our customers, with themed cakes and unfamiliar characters we research them as well! I really wanted to do the cake but I would hate to agree on a sketch, make the cake and it still not be the right blue or yellow.

I also do not want to completely copy another cake artists cake like I think she was starting to suggest! It really stinks to lose out on what would have been a fun cake but I finally just told her that I really tried to make a design that her toddler would love but I didn't think I was able to create what she was envisioning and wished her the best of luck to find someone that could.....

For those that took the time to read my short story, thank you and what would you have done?

14 replies
Kiddiekakes Posted 10 Aug 2011 , 8:34pm
post #2 of 15

What I think is 2 things....


1. She was so wishy washy she couldn't decide....or couldn't afford

2.She was just feeling you out for free designs and cost with no real intention on booking...Tire kicking...

Don't be discouraged..we all get them!!

enoid Posted 10 Aug 2011 , 8:35pm
post #3 of 15

Let her go. I see pain in the A** written all over her. Not worth the headache, heartache, money and in the end she will want a refund too.

((((Hugs)))) to you for the trouble she has already put you through.

Chellescakes Posted 10 Aug 2011 , 8:37pm
post #4 of 15

if she wasn't sure if she had responded to you makes me think she had several cake designers jumping through hoops for her. You are probably better off without a client like this.

Claire138 Posted 10 Aug 2011 , 8:40pm
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chellescakes

if she wasn't sure if she had responded to you makes me think she had several cake designers jumping through hoops for her. You are probably better off without a client like this.




I agree.

janeoxo Posted 10 Aug 2011 , 8:41pm
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chellescakes

if she wasn't sure if she had responded to you makes me think she had several cake designers jumping through hoops for her. You are probably better off without a client like this.




Exactly what I was thinking!

QTCakes1 Posted 10 Aug 2011 , 8:42pm
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiddiekakes

What I think is 2 things....


1. couldn't afford

2.She was just feeling you out for free designs and cost with no real intention on booking...Tire kicking...

Don't be discouraged..we all get them!!




TOTALLY spot on...except for I think she couldn't pay. We all get them. What you need to ask for is numbers and budget, that way you know wether or not they can afford you. Then talk about A design and then get a deposit. Doing a bunch of designs is working for free, DON'T DO IT. After the first sketch, let them know you really can't go further without a deposit. That way you feel beeter and not like your waisting you time.

Eisskween Posted 10 Aug 2011 , 8:45pm
post #8 of 15

Agree with getting rid of her. I worked with a bride like that, kept changing the design. Finally got her locked in and she calls me three days before the wedding asking about a topper, if I would charge extra (um...yeah) or if she could supply one (um...yeah). Thing is, the original design had no topper. Go figure. I just couldn't wait to get it over with and her off my list.

Trust me, you did the right thing. Wish I would have.

yorkshire-rose Posted 10 Aug 2011 , 8:48pm
post #9 of 15

Hi there, I can totally empathise with your situation! I have been in the predicament twice now and only yesterday someone was going down the same path and I told her that I wouldn't be able to accomodate such a cake and kindly said I hope she finds a designer to do it.
It is hard to turn customers and the chance to create great cakes, but if it's starts to feel like a stress than it's not the cake for you!

The first time I was in the situation was a wedding cake, where the cake design was agreed but the Bride'zilla' couldn't provide me with interpretation of pale-dusky pink. I had visions of getting it all wrong, I asked if I could contact her florist to match the cake and her response was "do what you think".. a nightmare. Well I never did receive a thank you card, however when I set up the cake my pink matched exactly what the party decorators had interpreted as well! So I didn't take great offence to this.

Just recently I had made various things for a west end musical themed cake only to be cancelled 4 days before and as I knew the person I was too kind to take a deposit!!

Yesterday a lady wanted a 1 tier Christening cake which had to incorporate three designs for her three different aged children 1 girl and 2 boys... I daren't even think of the mess it would look and declined icon_smile.gif

weirkd Posted 10 Aug 2011 , 9:03pm
post #10 of 15

I saw a big red light flashing on that one and walking away from it is the best thing you could of done! I had one like that a few months ago. She said that her original cake designer dropped her. I found out why! What a pita! Not to mention I was dealing with her and her daughter (but didnt know it at the time) because they both had the same name for peats sakes!

Then after doing two elaborate cakes for her at a really cheap price, the day she was suppose to come pick up I started getting phone calls at 6am,8am wondering why I hadnt returned her phone call from the first one. So when I tried to call her back I explained to her since Im usually up until the wee hours doing the cakes that I dont get up at 6am!

So then she said that she would be by at 9 to pick up the cakes. Ok, fine. Her daughter shows up but doesnt have the money with her. So of course I didnt let the cakes go. They come back an hour later (she supposedly lived around the corner) with a check. She takes the cakes and drives off.

Next morning I get a phone call saying that her daughter hated her cake because it wasnt the right color of blue and it wasnt four tiered (which was explained to her mother by the same name, that for 50 people that cake was way too big and would be smaller). So the daughter demanded her money back, said that no one would eat it, that they threw it away and her daugter was in tears.

So said whatever, told her to come get her money. (at this point I was so ready to put them on the cake nazi list). Told her that since I hadnt cashed the check yet that she should bring cash for the other cake.) So the mother comes by and apologizes and wants to pay for the other cake later in the week when she gets paid (can you tell by now that it wasnt the cake but she couldnt afford it in the first place?). Told her no, just the money for the other cake.

So after about an hour of hearing her life story and how she is cheating on her husband with her first love, blah,blah,blah, she starts talking about her granddaughter and her hair color. So she proceeds to show me a picture of her from her cell phone. And guess what her granddaughter was eating?? Yep, you guessed it! The cake! So now she is definetly on the list that I will never make a cake for!!

Moral of my long story is that when there is a red light flashing telling you that there is something wrong, go with f your gut! You will save yourself a lot of grief!!

Bettyviolet101 Posted 10 Aug 2011 , 9:09pm
post #11 of 15

Run......I really can't get over the "did I respond to you?" Thing. Totally wierd. Its not worth the stress and odds are no matter what you do she won't be happy with it!

btrsktch Posted 10 Aug 2011 , 11:18pm
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by QTCakes1



TOTALLY spot on...except for I think she couldn't pay. We all get them. What you need to ask for is numbers and budget, that way you know whether or not they can afford you. Then talk about A design and then get a deposit. Doing a bunch of designs is working for free, DON'T DO IT. After the first sketch, let them know you really can't go further without a deposit. That way you feel better and not like your wasting you time.




DITTO

teresa13 Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 12:21am
post #13 of 15

CORRECTION!!! You did not LOSE your first customer - you very wisely CHOSE to DECLINE service to a customer who most likely was a ticking time bomb!! There is a BIG, BIG difference and you are much better off for making that decision.

Bunda Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 6:31am
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by teresa13

CORRECTION!!! You did not LOSE your first customer - you very wisely CHOSE to DECLINE service to a customer who most likely was a ticking time bomb!! There is a BIG, BIG difference and you are much better off for making that decision.




agree. better stay away from people like that

rissadragons Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 12:33am
post #15 of 15

Thank you all VERY much!!!!

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