How Do You Feel When A Customer Says "thats Too Pricey&

Decorating By Emmar308 Updated 23 Aug 2011 , 10:39am by jo_ann

Emmar308 Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 5:26pm
post #1 of 26

So i have been to'ing and fro'ing by email with a potential customer. She asked for a quote for a carved character style cake, so i quoted £50 for said cake serving 30 / 35. She was worried this wouldn't be enoufh portions so she asked for a quote for a head only (flat) carved cake and 30 cupcakes with fondant heads of character. For this a quoted £30 for the cake and £1.25 each for the cuppies, so a total of £67.50. She's now told me this is out of her price range. I'm wondering if she thought the cake and cuppies (more servings!) would be cheaper than the cake only? Do you feel bad when a customer says you're too expensive? Do you begin to doubt yourself? I think i feel a bit crappy because i was recommended to her too. Should i just toughen up???

25 replies
Kiddiekakes Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 5:32pm
post #2 of 26

Nope..not one bit..I have worked hard over the years to hone my craft and I'm not gonna work for free.Not everyone can afford my cakes..That's okay..but I don't feel bad because there are plenty that can...

jason_kraft Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 5:39pm
post #3 of 26

We occasionally get customers who say we're too pricey...when that happens we offer a simpler cake at a lower price, and if that's still too expensive we direct them to Costco.

It helps that we list starting prices on our web site, so if a customer reads the web site (which is sometimes a big if) and sees the starting prices are already beyond their budget they know not to bother contacting us.

QTCakes1 Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 5:41pm
post #4 of 26

Yup. Toughen up. You'll feel a lot worse when you are working way inott he night to make a perfect cake and reflect on how little money you got paid, cause you reduced your price. One of my favorite vendors sent me a client who I had to tell no to, cause she was on a "budget".

fooby Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 5:52pm
post #5 of 26

Other than what Kiddiekakes says, if you think about the long hours it takes to bake, make icing, ice cakes, smooth icing on cake, cover cake in fondant, decorate, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, yada, yada, yada LOL.... then No! If the client says it's too expensive, then these people are not your clients. Point them to the nearest bakery icon_smile.gif

kendra_83 Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 5:57pm
post #6 of 26

I ran across this quote that I repeat to myself from time to time when a client makes me feel as if I'm attempting to rob them. "Do not work for free under the guise of good exposure. It is bad exposure. If you don't value your own work, neither will anyone else." Tell them your clients are people who want something different than they can get at a supermarket. Do not apologize for being proud of your work. Remember, you're spending precious moments of YOUR life on each project and your time and talent is very valuable.

fondantgrl Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 6:11pm
post #7 of 26

Give them directions to the closest WalMart. icon_biggrin.gif

bobwonderbuns Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 6:18pm
post #8 of 26

Stick to your prices. This is not a bartering situation like some brides seem to think. "my price for this cake is xxx." PERIOD! I had one gal say "well when I meet you maybe I can talk to down." ha ha ha ha ha!!! Well sweetie, you can try but like I said, you wouldn't go to the fanciest restaurant in town and say "I'll pay you $15 for that $35.00 steak dinner you make." icon_rolleyes.gif

jennifercullen Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 6:21pm
post #9 of 26

I get the 'too expensive' thing from people, and I only charge my cost lol. I've toughened up a (tiny) bit and am adding on £10 each time just so that I'm not working evey night on cakes that I sometimes don't want to make and getting nothing from it. Sometimes not even a thankyou... the thing is, if you did charge less or gave her a discount or something, I could almost guarantee you someone else would come and tell you they couldn't afford it to see if they get a discount. And someone else, and someone else lol.

cakesbycathy Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 6:30pm
post #10 of 26

When someone says they cannot afford you/you're too expensive, etc. You say:
"That's okay. Everyone has a budget they have to work with. Not everyone can afford a custom cake. Thanks for thinking of me."

And that's all you say. You do not barter back and forth on price and you do not make yourself crazy explaining why your freshly made, custom designed cake costs more than the grocery store.

Not everyone will be able to afford you. THAT'S OK. Save all your hardwork for those that can.

madcobbler Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 6:56pm
post #11 of 26

I follow the 3F's when dealing with all people and all situations. That is to be firm, fair, and friendly. I don't negotiate on price because I charge a fair market price. I don't compete with supermarket cakes pricing because that's like comparing apples to oranges. I offer x amount of flavors at x price for x designs. Simply quote your price and tell the customer to get back to you by such and such date to confirm order and collect payment. I don't let emotions get in the way of business or allow customers to take advantage of me. If they don't like your price they can shop around for a cheaper price if cost is an issue. I also offer some flavors/types of desserts that my competition doesn't that helps ensure business sales.

LisaPeps Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 6:57pm
post #12 of 26

I couldn't afford to buy custom cakes, I'd go to sainsburys or tescos and get one of their ones for £15. In the UK I find people don't know the price of custom cakes. I only do this as a hobby but I tell anyone who asks that my minimum price is £40, and for that I'll do an 8" round or square + decorations. Carved cakes and bigger cakes are more. I still haven't sorted my pricing out properly but I don't feel so bad doing a cake when I know I'll at least be getting £40.

Lcubed82 Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 7:17pm
post #13 of 26

[url]When someone says they cannot afford you/you're too expensive, etc. You say:
"That's okay. Everyone has a budget they have to work with. Not everyone can afford a custom cake. Thanks for thinking of me." [/url]

I'd be careful with the "you can't afford me" reference. Customer education about why the price is what it is may bring them back, after they have mulled over the quote. Don't count them out, or offend them!

southerncross Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 7:33pm
post #14 of 26

I'll only start to doubt my pricing when NOBODY buys my cakes. 'Til then I figure there are lower priced cakes somewhere else...and higher priced cakes elsewhere as well. I don't have to sell to everyone at a price that everyone wishes to pay. (If someone can't afford to buy a cake then, bless their hearts, they best learn to bake for themselves)

caymancake Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 7:59pm
post #15 of 26

Ditto with everyone else - when I started I priced myself really low - and when I was working out the time it took, the cost of materials etc. I was paying people for me to do their cakes! Your prices sound very reasonable for the UK so hold your ground! The thing is that now everyone wants custom cakes - but they haven't a clue about the cost of materials, the time that goes into them, etc. Be polite, but be firm. Custom cakes are superior in taste and personalized details - they are edible pieces of art and should be treated as such! Good luck!

creativethoughts Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 8:09pm
post #16 of 26

I agree don't sweat it! If you give one person a discount then they will tell a friend who will want a discount and pretty soon you will have a never ending cycle of people wanting discounts and saying well you gave this price to so and so! If you value your self, your work and your time then your bound to find others who do as well!

Emmar308 Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 8:25pm
post #17 of 26

After reading all the advice / encouragement given by you all, i decided to send the lady in question a polite and friendly email - i explained that although the smaller cake cost less, the work involved in the 30 cupcakes was not inconsiderable thus the cost involved. I thanked her for considering my company for her daughters cake and wished her daughter a very happy birthday. I received a lovely reply, thanking me for my time, explaining she is a supply teacher with no work at present and she hopes to be able to buy one of my cakes in the future. I feel happy about the way i handled this, and i still have a potential future customer icon_smile.gif

loulou2 Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 8:54pm
post #18 of 26

I'm glad you were able to end things on friendly terms. People don't know that it takes the same tools & time to make a small cake as it does a large one. Cupcakes are time consuming if each is decorated to match the bigger cake. I think you handled it well icon_biggrin.gif

MikeRowesHunny Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 9:23pm
post #19 of 26

Geez, if that's what you guys are getting for custom cakes back home, I'm staying put where I am! I charge, and have no problem getting , a minimum of 4 euros (about £3.50) PER SERVING for my cakes, and the majority of my wedding/involved cakes come in at 6-8 euros per serving (£5.25-£7). I would be giving my work away at your prices. No way!

ChilliPepper Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 9:38pm
post #20 of 26

MRH - it really does depend on the area you live in. The UK is badly hit by recession and I live in the North East which is not very affluent recession or no recession. When I am faced with customers who try to barter on my prices I point out that they are getting additive free home baked cakes, fillings and icings and the cakes they order are custom made which takes a lot of my time and creatiity. If after that they still thing I am too expensive then I politely suggest smaller or less elaborate cakes. Sometimes they book, sometimes they don't. But I always get deposits now as have been let down too many times.

CP xxx

Coral3 Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 10:05pm
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

When someone says they cannot afford you/you're too expensive, etc. You say:
"That's okay. Everyone has a budget they have to work with. Not everyone can afford a custom cake. Thanks for thinking of me."

And that's all you say. You do not barter back and forth on price and you do not make yourself crazy explaining why your freshly made, custom designed cake costs more than the grocery store.

Not everyone will be able to afford you. THAT'S OK. Save all your hardwork for those that can.




^agree, but I would probably leave out the 'not everyone can afford a custom cake' part - people could be offended by that & I think they'll get the message without it anyway.

I would say: "That's okay. Everyone has a budget they have to work with. Thanks for thinking of me and best wishes for your event"

Coral3 Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 10:17pm
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmar308

After reading all the advice / encouragement given by you all, i decided to send the lady in question a polite and friendly email - i explained that although the smaller cake cost less, the work involved in the 30 cupcakes was not inconsiderable thus the cost involved. I thanked her for considering my company for her daughters cake and wished her daughter a very happy birthday. I received a lovely reply, thanking me for my time, explaining she is a supply teacher with no work at present and she hopes to be able to buy one of my cakes in the future. I feel happy about the way i handled this, and i still have a potential future customer icon_smile.gif




That's great. thumbs_up.gif And you didn't offend her, which is key. Many people make the mistake of be short/blunt/offensive with people who can't afford their products...without considering that down the road a bit if/when that lady's circumstances change she could potentially be one of their best customers.

JGMB Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 10:35pm
post #23 of 26

I'm glad it worked out well for you! And, no, you don't ever have to feel bad. It's not like in the olden days when there might be one bakery in town and, if someone couldn't afford it, their child had to go without a birthday cake. Now, every grocery store makes cheap cakes, so customers can buy one there if you're out of their price range. No guilt necessary on your part.

Dreme Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 11:20pm
post #24 of 26

Uh....no and no.

I haven't had too many people say it out loud to me, most just stop contacting me. I try and get their budget beforehand to see what I can do. Sometimes I just have to tell them, I'm sorry I cant do it for the price they are asking.

If I can I may do like jason_kraft and offer something simpler. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I don't feel bad because not everyone is my clientele.

dldbrou Posted 23 Aug 2011 , 1:38am
post #25 of 26

I know everyone has a budget, so why don't you just start off with a simple question? May I ask what is your budget so that I can design in that price range."

If their budget is unrealistic, then educate them.

Explain that your prices reflect your equipment, supplies, turning on your oven, labor and most important your amazing talent.

I would also state that they can get cakes less expensive at the big box stores, but they do not offer all the flavors and freshness that you do.

jo_ann Posted 23 Aug 2011 , 10:39am
post #26 of 26

I just had someone call last night and want a sweet 16 cake for this Saturday to serve 150 people. When I told her that it would cost $525 she almost had a heart attack. She asked me how big the cake was that I made her younger daughter in Jan. and when I told her it served 50 and was $175, she said that would be to small. So I finally asked how much she wanted to spend. $150 - $200. So she wants a 100 more servings than January's cake and spend at the most $50 more. Really.

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