Okay, Give Me Your Honest Opinion On My Pricing....

Decorating By lolobell Updated 20 Sep 2011 , 3:53am by lolobell

lolobell Posted 5 Sep 2011 , 9:55pm
post #1 of 51

I have a friend...who is having a baby shower. her sister (very picky and demanding) wants a 3 tier fake cake (18 inch, 16 inch and 12 inch) with very specific design ideas (that she has changed her mind 3 times now)...also, 30 cupcakes, and 30 custom cookies bagged and tied.

i charged her $220 for the entire order. the fake cake she thought would be cheaper...welllllllllllllllllll, to cover a cake that size in fondant and to decorate is costing me over $70..not to mention the board, ribbon to trim...design elements. now we are at odds. she wants it all for $150. i can't do that. i had to rent a cricut cartridge to get the designs she wanted...i'm just a hobby baker..i don't have access to wholesale prices...or fancy equipment... SIGH

Am I OVER PRICED?????

50 replies
matthewkyrankelly Posted 5 Sep 2011 , 10:11pm
post #2 of 51

Well, take All of your costs. Add to that an hourly wage for all of the time it took you. Sprinkle in the overhead costs that home bakers and hobbyists forget to account. Add on at least 30% for a profit margin and see what that gets you.

If you are over that amount, you might be a little overpriced. But not much.

jason_kraft Posted 5 Sep 2011 , 10:13pm
post #3 of 51

We typically charge the same price for fake cake as real cake, since the labor cost is about the same, and the cost of the dummy rounds themselves are roughly equivalent to the ingredient cost of the cake. A tiered cake with 18/16/12" rounds would be about 285 servings, and our starting price would be $1425 for the cake alone.

Our price includes the cost of renting a commercial kitchen (since you can't legally sell cakes from home here in CA), without that cost the starting price would probably be in the $800-900 range.

$150 would barely cover the price of the cupcakes and the cookies.

msulli10 Posted 5 Sep 2011 , 10:17pm
post #4 of 51

Did you give her a quote before you embarked on this cake? She shouldn't be arguing with you if she was told ahead of time!

gatorcake Posted 5 Sep 2011 , 10:53pm
post #5 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

We typically charge the same price for fake cake as real cake, since the labor cost is about the same, and the cost of the dummy rounds themselves are roughly equivalent to the ingredient cost of the cake. A tiered cake with 18/16/12" rounds would be about 285 servings, and our starting price would be $1425 for the cake alone.

Our price includes the cost of renting a commercial kitchen (since you can't legally sell cakes from home here in CA), without that cost the starting price would probably be in the $800-900 range.

$150 would barely cover the price of the cupcakes and the cookies.




How do you figure labor costs for dummies are the same as baked rounds? I guess if you are using mixes which minimizes how much you measure or weight. That said with rounds you don't measure ingredients, have mixing time, measure out batter into pans, move them in and out of ovens, level them torte them, and fill them.

The sizes of tiers mention above certainly add to labor of baking. Baking those sized tiers certainly would take more time than how much time it takes to unpack a dummy round. You charge what you charge but it is a bit disingenuous to claim the labor costs of baking are negligible (which is the implication of your claim that the labor costs for decorating dummies is almost the same).

cakeandpartygirl Posted 5 Sep 2011 , 11:04pm
post #6 of 51

No I definitely don't think your overpriced! The cookies I would charge approximately 3 each for a total of 90, for the cupcakes about 60 depending on the design. We are already at 150. Did you order the dummies special for her? With that if she wants a show stopping display she has to be willing to pay the cost. If she wants to cut costs let her get rid of the dummy cakes.

cakestyles Posted 5 Sep 2011 , 11:11pm
post #7 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolobell


i charged her $220 for the entire order. the fake cake she thought would be cheaper...welllllllllllllllllll, to cover a cake that size in fondant and to decorate is costing me over $70..not to mention the board, ribbon to trim...design elements. now we are at odds. she wants it all for $150. i can't do that. i had to rent a cartridge to get the designs she wanted...i'm just a hobby baker..i don't have access to wholesale prices...or fancy equipment... SIGH

Am I OVER PRICED?????




So you charged her $220 and now she only wants to pay you $150? Is that correct?

First of all your price is low compared to what mine would be BUT I hope you didn't start on this order without getting paid up front.

I wouldn't even begin until the price is on a signed contract and the money is in my hands.

There's no negotiating price because your price is your price...period.

If she doesn't want to pay your price then I guess she needs to shop around.

mariacakestoo Posted 5 Sep 2011 , 11:29pm
post #8 of 51

And why the holy hell would someone want a 12" top tier? Was it a dummy cake/cupcake tower or something?

cakeandpartygirl Posted 5 Sep 2011 , 11:32pm
post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariacakestoo

And why the holy hell would someone want a 12" top tier? Was it a dummy cake/cupcake tower or something?




I thought the same thing too! icon_lol.gif

QTCakes1 Posted 5 Sep 2011 , 11:37pm
post #10 of 51

Okay, I just got off the floor from fainting, cause your price was just so LOW! and yes, I am SO with Jason on the dummy!!!I can get that cake mixed and baked in under 1 1/2, so I only give a 20% discount on dummies. My decorating labor cost is ALWAYS the biggest cost in orders. I would be charging $1109, not including sales tax and delivery. And the cost for my area is around the middle range for this country, not the high range.

QTCakes1 Posted 5 Sep 2011 , 11:38pm
post #11 of 51

Oh and by the way, I am a strictly scratch baker.

SweetTzippy Posted 5 Sep 2011 , 11:40pm
post #12 of 51

Cupcakes & cookies alone start @ $150 (more if it requires detailed decoration). Now for the dummy tiered cake... I'd follow Mathew's advice.
Good luck!

BizCoCos Posted 5 Sep 2011 , 11:41pm
post #13 of 51

Honestly, I just don't understand people who continuously want something for a cheaper price when they are already getting a bargain. Dummy cakes should be about th same price as a regular cake, since you are paying for dummies, fondant, decorator skilss and time and lobor plus electricity, etc., good luck

QTCakes1 Posted 5 Sep 2011 , 11:47pm
post #14 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

We typically charge the same price for fake cake as real cake, since the labor cost is about the same, and the cost of the dummy rounds themselves are roughly equivalent to the ingredient cost of the cake. A tiered cake with 18/16/12" rounds would be about 285 servings, and our starting price would be $1425 for the cake alone.




YES, YES, YES, YES, YES!!!!!!! Dummies may not seem expensive, cause you are not buying them in bulk like say butter, but they COST! But if you break down your cake supply cost, it's probably just a little more then dummies. EVERYONE needs to learn how to price dummy cakes, cause the whole wedding industry saying "Go dummy cakes and kitchen cakes, cause it's cheaper and will save you money" is a FALSEHOOD! Can you tell this is a little pet peeve of mine... icon_twisted.gif

MJoycake Posted 5 Sep 2011 , 11:59pm
post #15 of 51

I agree with everyone else! The cupcakes and cookies alone, I'd be charging $195 before tax! I've never offered dummy cakes, but I can't imagine charging too much less than a real cake....aren't the styro dummies expensive?? Plus fondant, and time in decorating??

Don't lower your price, and be sure you get a signed contract and payment ahead on your orders. Best of luck dealing with this woman!

carmijok Posted 6 Sep 2011 , 12:03am
post #16 of 51

If she wants it all for $150 I would say she is welcome to go find someone else to provide what she wants. You are WAY too low for what she should be paying. Are you keeping the dummies or is she? I think I'd run from this little challenge.

Norasmom Posted 6 Sep 2011 , 12:08am
post #17 of 51

Your cookies alone are worth 1$ per inch. So assuming they are 3 inches, you already are at $90. Your pricing is very low, she would never find that anywhere else. But now you know about pricing and profit. I have made the same mistake myself, I consider it the cost of learning.

lolobell Posted 6 Sep 2011 , 12:22am
post #18 of 51

Well, thank you all for the input!!! i am so irritated with the situation.

I figured i was undercharging. like i said..i mainly only do these cakes etc for friends and family so i never really make money.... This friend has a sister (the one we are discussing) that is running the show. Now, my friend (the mom to be) is having issues too. I just got done talking to her and now she wants to omit the cupcakes and make the cake real. WHAT!? that is a wedding size cake. I told her "NO" that i couldn't do that....nor WOULD i do that. it is ridiculous. let me remind you that this shower is for 30 PEOPLE. BUT...they want it grand so they are making me crazy. I have NEVER made a fake cake nor have i ever decorated one so large....I'm stressed enough about that let alone this picky woman and making her happy. I am inches from saying forget it.

What gets me about it is my friend has seen me go to lots of trouble for people and make no money...she's always the one who tells me to start charging what i should. well................

and forgive my ignorance but why the shock on the 14 inch tier...? cuz it's soo large!? i suggested a 12....i am lost on this one!!!

QTCakes1 Posted 6 Sep 2011 , 12:28am
post #19 of 51

18", 16", and 12" is just huge. Did you mean to say 14"? Just the same, when you hear those sizes you just think of MASSIVE!

cakeandpartygirl Posted 6 Sep 2011 , 12:35am
post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolobell


and forgive my ignorance but why the shock on the 14 inch tier...? cuz it's soo large!? i suggested a 12....i am lost on this one!!!



I was wondering why would she want a large top tier unless she is using it as a cupcake stand or using it to display something, it seems that it would be squatty. Honestly if I wanted something grand I would go tall. But from what you say she is being cheap. Why would she think that it would be cheaper to get a 12, 14, and 16 in. cake than 30 cupcakes. It bothers me when people are hagglers, she is trying to get from you eat she couldn't get from a bakery, especially at that price.

Eta: for bad bad grammar! icon_lol.gificon_cry.gif

mariacakestoo Posted 6 Sep 2011 , 12:41am
post #21 of 51

You really need to ask this person what her deal is with those sizes. Quite frankly, someone that insistent with going big, AND having those sizes concerns me. I hear "big and grand" all the time, but no one ever ever tells me the size of the tiers. That's just odd. And a 14" top tier would look darn stupid, sorry, no other way to say it. I can't stand using a 6" for a top tier, it's too big for my tastes, I prefer a 4 but can handle a 5. 14"....whyyyyyyy?

cakestyles Posted 6 Sep 2011 , 1:11am
post #22 of 51

I agree the tier sizes are just dumb. Grand is one thing...those tier sizes won't look grand, they'll look short and fat.

If she wants grand she'll need to be educated on what grand costs and looks like.

Grand to me is 5 or more tall tiers.

cathyscakes Posted 6 Sep 2011 , 1:14am
post #23 of 51

Those sizes do sound massive, and you are going to hate covering that 18" cake in fondant. Not sure what your design is, but you could make a 12" 9" 6" cake sitting up on a pedistal and it would look grand. I would just do it in cake and forget the rest of stuff, for that price, and I know that would be not be enough. Maybe you need the big cake for your design, I feel she is asking alot from you.

lolobell Posted 6 Sep 2011 , 1:25am
post #24 of 51

Oh, i'm so worried about how this dummy cake will look now!! It was HER REQUEST to have an 18..16 and 14. like i said...i've never done one before...i am beyond nervous!!!!

she wants it on a fondant covered board with ribbon accents too...(of course)

the design is 3 different blues, with silvers and white......fleur de lis, the babies name...oh and she wants lot of silver dragees for blink.

AHHHHHHHH!!!!! i want out!!! haha!!!!

TheCakeJeannie Posted 6 Sep 2011 , 1:33am
post #25 of 51

Tell her to decorate the heck out of the room and cake table and you'll make her a 10",8",6" beautiful cake on a nice tall stand, that feeds 30 ppl, for free as your shower gift! Maybe someone can make her a, 18"16",14" DIAPER cake with lots of bells and whistles, lol!
Best of luck with this project! Try not to go crazy over it though and do what's best for you! You must post a pic! icon_biggrin.gif

cakestyles Posted 6 Sep 2011 , 1:33am
post #26 of 51

If you don't take control of this situation right now you will regret it.

Nobody can make you do something you're not comfortable doing...just say no. It's that easy.

The size cake she wants will serve well over 250 people...does she know that?

CreativeCakesbyMichelle Posted 6 Sep 2011 , 1:37am
post #27 of 51

All of that on the cake, plus the cookies and cupcakes, and she thinks she can get all that for $150??? No way. I'd tell her to go find someone else to do it. Covering those huge dummies is already going to take a ton of fondant, plus buying the dummies, putting all the silver dragees on by by hand, etc.....nope, nope, nope, sooooo not worth your time for that small amount of money. I'd tell her you will do cookies OR cupcakes OR a smaller tiered cake, like a 4in, 6in, 8in which would be more than enough to feed 30 people. I mean, what the heck would they even do with the ridiculous amount of cake they would get from a 14in, 16in, 18in?? Sounds like they are just being absolutely ridiculous. Trying to make everything "grand" at a baby shower so you can try to pretend you have tons of money when you really can't afford it just makes you look foolish.

MJoycake Posted 6 Sep 2011 , 1:40am
post #28 of 51

One way to deal with this is to show her what the cake pans look like stacked on each other. If you don't have pans that size, you could suggest she goes to Michael's or a local kitchen store to see what those sizes actually look like stacked. I show all of my brides the cake pans and stack them upside down to show them approximately what the cake would look like. It's amazing how if you don't work in cake, the sizes really mean nothing. Sounds like these people just have a bigger is better attitude.

I'd go about it sounding confident....something like "I've been considering your request in terms of how the finished product will look - If the look you want is "grand and elegant", my suggestion for a cake that looks the most proportionate, gives the effect you are looking for and is in your price range, will be a 12", 9", 6", which would look very elegant standing on a cake pedestal as the centerpiece for your occasion - this option with the 30 cupcakes, and 30 individually bagged and tied cookies will break down in pricing to $____.__. Once you've made your final decision according to this new information, I'll send you the contract and will require the signed contract and 50% non-refundable deposit immediately. The remainder will be due 2 weeks before the event date. Looking forward to hearing how you'd like to proceed. Thank you so much!"

MJoycake Posted 6 Sep 2011 , 1:46am
post #29 of 51

I'd also recommend working backwards from her budget at this point as well. You can say - if your budget is $150, these are the products I can offer you.....(then YOU decide what you're willing to do for that - break down what you charge for cupcakes/cookies and see how many she can get - don't forget a delivery fee if you plan to charge one). Then get back to her with your proposal and if you're really just hoping to get out of it ...add a line saying something to the effect of "I understand if you were hoping to get more for your money, but I am not in the position to offer products at less than wholesale. Please feel free to find another baker if what I'm offering is not what you're looking for"

lolobell Posted 6 Sep 2011 , 2:02am
post #30 of 51

great, great advice from some experienced people. First, let me say, "Thank you" for taking the time to talk me through this.

I've been trying to post pictures for the past hour of the sketch i did so you all can see it...is anyone else having trouble posting this evening?

Secondly, I am going to sit tonight and construct an email to her using all of the advice given to me here...My main concern is getting the dummies in time if she decides to make it smaller...i still haven't received the sizes that she requested and it's been almost 2 weeks...I used the recommended site of Dallas Foam that I saw on CC...So, i'm not sure i could find smaller ones in time...but, maybe i can talk her into a real cake.....

what a mess. my friend is now not talking to me anymore today.....after i told her i would never consider making a real cake that size...so dumb....we are talking 30 people...NOT 300.

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