Cheeky Customer

Business By Leikeilana Updated 25 Aug 2011 , 7:57am by mommachris

Leikeilana Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 10:44am
post #1 of 23

So we get a call from a customer who wants to come and see us at our shop. We tell him we dont have a shop, we operate from home and only bake for orders. We give him our URL to check cakes and pastries on facebook, he gives excuses that he doesnt have internet and does not know how to operate one.

Ok fine. So we do our daily chores return home and he comes and as soon as he sits down. Asks whats you famous cake. What chocolates do you use? Do you mix it with white chocolate? What oven? Do you cook the chocolate with cream? How long is the shelf life. He then pulls out a very fancy phone that looks like its connected to internet....hmmmm?

Ok this guy is asking to many personal questions. I say it is personal because he is asking in detail how we make our elaborate cakes. We conclude that he bakes as well.

He then orders a chocolate gateau 8'' and 10''. As he talks to my husband and makes his deposit. I ask how he came to know of us, and he says "long story" and he did his research....Really funny reply. Alot of people are happy with telling us whom told them or where they found out.

As he leaves he then tells us he comes from a commercial baking background and he will be presenting these cakes to someone...have no idea who? he will say its "his".....WHAT? He also tells us that his mothers cakes are sold in supermarkets around the city.

I suspect he supplies to a local restaurant and was told to improve on his death by chocolate, and was told about Craigs ganache....Im guessing thats what he meant by "research"

The next day he calls asking more questions. I know there are threads here saying it shouldnt matter, we shouldnt worry because we are getting business. But I dont think I will rest, knowing that he is crooking someone out there and charging much more then we are. And he is purposefully saying it is his.

Yes we are a small business, but money is not everything to us. If we can learn to strengthen our intergrity and character when coming across these dealings that Id choose the latter over money.

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22 replies
Norasmom Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 11:36am
post #2 of 23

How unethical of him! Good for you for being cautious!

Mammadukes Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 12:22pm
post #3 of 23

Hi with all those RED FLAGS he was waving wow lol you had every reason to feel leary and cautious sometimes we don't listen to little voice inside us that says RUN RUN NOW I can tell you 1 thing you are a lot nicer then I would have been I wouldn't have answered any of his questions at all and more then likely wouldn't have taken his order. I had a lady once ask me at a craft show how I got the sugar on my lollipops Quote " its not like we're in competition here " as she's 2 tables over selling Lollipops herself lol remember the little voice you hear in your head is not always a sign of MADNESS good luck love to hear what happens : )

costumeczar Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 12:47pm
post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leikeilana


Ok this guy is asking to many personal questions. I say it is personal because he is asking in detail how we make our elaborate cakes. We conclude that he bakes as well.




I've had people do this to me, they just seem to be asking too many specific questins about aspects of my business that they don't need to worry about, Sure enough, I found out later that they're opening their own businesses. It's pretty obvious when people are trying to get free information.

If anyone asked about the specifics of my recipes I would tell them that when I turn the recipes in to the state inspector they have "trade secret" written on them for a reason!

cakesbycathy Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 3:14pm
post #5 of 23

Time to stop having contact with this guy. I would be worried he would purchase cakes from you and then pass them off as his own.

I would tell him that you are no longer able to accept any orders from him and that you have been more than helpful up until now but will not be assisting him any further. And be firm about it.

cakestyles Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 3:27pm
post #6 of 23

While I was reading this my first thought was that he was an inspector from the Health Department because his behavior sounded "fishy".

I bake from home too and I've had people who ask questions that the average customer wouldn't "know" to ask. I simply say, I'm sorry I don't give out the specifics of my recipes and methods. It's obvious that these particular people are either already in business or want to be. I'm all for helping out my peers but I won't give out my secrets.

If he admitted to "passing off my cake as his own" I would have either declined to do business with him or put a nice large up-charge on the order so he wouldn't order...but most likely I'd flat out turn him away.

You know what you should do.....somehow put your company logo/name right on top of the cake board but hidden under the bottom tier so that when his client is cutting the cake they'll see that the cake was made by you.

momtofourmonkeys Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 4:17pm
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakestyles


You know what you should do.....somehow put your company logo/name right on top of the cake board but hidden under the bottom tier so that when his client is cutting the cake they'll see that the cake was made by you.




icon_smile.gif Love It! And he wouldn't be the wiser!

terrylee Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 4:50pm
post #8 of 23

Danger...Danger...Will Robinson......Ohhhh Nooooo....you want your name on it.....YOU bake it.

sugarlover Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 5:02pm
post #9 of 23

ummm something is really fishy about him. i wouldn't trust him as far as i could throw him!

ReneeFLL Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 5:46pm
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by momtofourmonkeys

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakestyles


You know what you should do.....somehow put your company logo/name right on top of the cake board but hidden under the bottom tier so that when his client is cutting the cake they'll see that the cake was made by you.



icon_smile.gif Love It! And he wouldn't be the wiser!




Love it, love it, love it! thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

ajwonka Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 6:04pm
post #11 of 23

[quote="momtofourmonkeys"]

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakestyles


You know what you should do.....somehow put your company logo/name right on top of the cake board but hidden under the bottom tier so that when his client is cutting the cake they'll see that the cake was made by you.




That's an incredible idea! If you do, please tell us how you did it! I hope you get a reply from the customers once they discover who REALLY did all the work!

mommachris Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 8:29pm
post #12 of 23

You know that comment came up before about 'copyrighting' a cake by putting your card on the board (under plastic wrap ) to be sure that when they get to the bottom of the cake EVERYONE will be reminded where to get another yummy cake just like it.
Keeps people honest.
And it's good advertising.

mommachris

BlakesCakes Posted 20 Aug 2011 , 8:53pm
post #13 of 23

I love the idea of the business card under saran on the cakeboard, but the truth is, often those who eat the cake never get to see that board.

Short of writing your business name in chocolate on top of the lovely ganache icing....................

I'd cancel the order & return the deposit now that you know he plans to pass off your cake as his own. How can this turn out well? If he gets orders for "his" cake, he'll be coming to you for it--and undoubtedly charging HIS client MORE than he's paid you. He'll also get the credit for the cake--and that's not increasing your overall business.

Now, if YOU want to work for HIM as HIS wholesaler...................never mind.

Rae

MimiFix Posted 21 Aug 2011 , 1:29am
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakestyles


You know what you should do.....somehow put your company logo/name right on top of the cake board but hidden under the bottom tier so that when his client is cutting the cake they'll see that the cake was made by you.




This man's customers would indeed be surprised to see your label on the cake trays.

We had customers who served our cookie trays but told their guests the cookies were homemade. These customers were rather annoyed that as their guests ate the cookies our large label (pasted onto the tray) became visible. Uh, oh. After the holidays we always got complaints about how we "hid" the labels.

Leikeilana Posted 21 Aug 2011 , 3:43am
post #15 of 23

Hi guys well his coming to pick up his eclairs shortly and has asked us not to mention anything about the cake, he wants to keep it a secret esp from the person his coming with.

Unfortunately being the prompt person my husband is, his already done the cake. So we cant put the card, but everyone here, well almost everyone in Fiji knows DH cakes and his signature is his chocolate triangles. So if he wants to do a replica of it, he wont be able too.

Ill let you know how it goes.
As for my DH. His all relaxed and cool about all this and just smiles. Im holding my breath trying not to take it out on him. After all Im just support staff I do the marketing etc and he does the hard work....lol....

cakestyles Posted 21 Aug 2011 , 4:55am
post #16 of 23

Fiji? You live in Fiji? Oh I'm so envious! My husband and I would love to go there some day, it just looks so amazingly beautiful in all of the pictures we've seen!

You're a lucky girl!

Leikeilana Posted 21 Aug 2011 , 5:13am
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakestyles

Fiji? You live in Fiji? Oh I'm so envious! My husband and I would love to go there some day, it just looks so amazingly beautiful in all of the pictures we've seen!

You're a lucky girl!




Iam envious at you all, you are able to get almost everything and anything from shops. Here we improvise and make do with whatever we can find. It doesnt help when DH does not like substitutes, so our price range is higher then normal stores and home based businesses.

Having said that I must put images up, please bare with me. This is our second attempt at setting up an account, the original one we forgot our password so instead of wrecking our brains trying to remember I thought it be easier to set up a new one.

I now have to figure out how to upload images.

Cakestyles...if you or anyone else is in Fiji you are welcome to come home....just a warning, everything here is cool relaxed and dont expect people to be on time. Well here its called Fiji time! icon_smile.gif

cakestyles Posted 21 Aug 2011 , 5:27am
post #18 of 23

Cool and relaxed is exactly what I need. lol Here in the states we're way too impatient and fast paced.

I can understand what you mean about getting supplies, I can only imagine how expensive it must be to have things shipped to Fiji.

We're hoping to get there for my husband's 50th b-day in a couple of years from now.

When we get closer to that time I'll let you know, I'd love to meet you. I would also be happy to bring you guys anything cake related that you may not be able to get. We'll stay connected here on CC I'm sure!

fairmaiden0101 Posted 21 Aug 2011 , 6:15am
post #19 of 23

I would of hiked on over to Walmart, purchased him a chocolate cake and put a Walmart label underneath it-let him explain that to his clients!

Leikeilana Posted 21 Aug 2011 , 6:45am
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by fairmaiden0101

I would of hiked on over to Walmart, purchased him a chocolate cake and put a Walmart label underneath it-let him explain that to his clients!




hahahaha that would be funny. However it would be more than a 10 hour flight and maybe two hour drive from where I stay to the nearest walmart

Leikeilana Posted 21 Aug 2011 , 6:53am
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakestyles

Cool and relaxed is exactly what I need. lol Here in the states we're way too impatient and fast paced.

I can understand what you mean about getting supplies, I can only imagine how expensive it must be to have things shipped to Fiji.

We're hoping to get there for my husband's 50th b-day in a couple of years from now.

When we get closer to that time I'll let you know, I'd love to meet you. I would also be happy to bring you guys anything cake related that you may not be able to get. We'll stay connected here on CC I'm sure!





Definetly a must....Plan and keep us in the loop, we should should meet and thanks for the offer. Lets see if were still doing cakes then...lol. Im sure we will...

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 24 Aug 2011 , 6:00pm
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MimiFix

We had customers who served our cookie trays but told their guests the cookies were homemade. These customers were rather annoyed that as their guests ate the cookies our large label (pasted onto the tray) became visible. Uh, oh. After the holidays we always got complaints about how we "hid" the labels.




I've heard of other bakeries doing this but a little differently. Instead of just putting your label on the board, it's a coupon. Something like "Return this board/tray to XYZ Bakery (include address and phone number) to receive 10% off your next order!" Or some other kind of deal. I thought it seemed like a cool idea to do for a first time customer.

mommachris Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 7:57am
post #23 of 23

That coupon idea is brilliant. How can they then complain about your card and use it for more product at the same time. icon_wink.gif

mommachris

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