Would You Pay A 'proper' Price For My Cakes?

Decorating By jennifercullen Updated 25 Sep 2011 , 2:43pm by jennifercullen

jennifercullen Posted 24 Sep 2011 , 3:27pm
post #1 of 19

I dont really know how to word this correctly, I do know that a lot of you personally would not pay for a custom cake, so I'm not going to ask if you'd buy my cake. I have only been making cakes since the end of March this year, so I know I am not experienced and I dont want to set up a proper business because I'd like to be a LOT more experienced before I do that.

My thing is, I make cakes now for friends and family, which isn't exactly a massive network! I only charge people what it costs me to make the cake for ingredients and little extras like boards dowels etc. But for example, this month I've had a total of 9 cakes. (I still have 3 to do this week) and one set of cupcake toppers. I've worked pretty much every night this month on cakes so I'm feeling like I would like to start charging a bit more for them. I'm wondering if you think I can justify this with my level of skill?

I still only plan on doing them for friends and family, not trying to get a network of clients or anything...

18 replies
ConfectionsCC Posted 24 Sep 2011 , 3:54pm
post #2 of 19

I think you cakes are great!!! If you live in a state with a cottage law, I would give serious thought into trying to get a licensed kitchen so that you can sell them legally. You don't have to advertise or anything, maybe just a FB page and word of mouth until you feel your skills are worthy of higher prices and more customers! I am doing this now because making "favors" all the time became very overwhelming and costly. Not to mention the # of hours I spent making these cakes for no $$ icon_sad.gif Go for it! It is soooooo worth it!!

scp1127 Posted 24 Sep 2011 , 4:10pm
post #3 of 19

This may sound a little odd, but as much as I'm against illegal baking, my issue is with unlicensed bakers soliciting strangers. The good old boy network among friends and family are usually not a part of the retail trade, as most of these transactions take place because people have a friend or loved one with a certain skill.

If you counted in the cost of your pans, electricity, cutters, laundry, paper towels, plastic wrap, storage containers, trash bags... you get the picture, you are probably charging no way near your cost when you charge for ingredients. Let your family know that your ingredients only pricing is actually unrealistic and you need to make sure you cover your costs. If you add something for your time, that is your perogative. Just give your family the new pricing structure and offer to adjust size and detail if the new plan is beyond some budgets.

jennifercullen Posted 24 Sep 2011 , 4:17pm
post #4 of 19

I'm actually in the UK, so I think all I need is a food hygiene certificate which I already have through work, and I think I have to get environmental health round to have a look at my kitchen.

It is a lot of time and effort, which I wouldn't mind twice a month as it was in the start, but I'm working every night this month without a full night off I think!

Thanks for your advice icon_smile.gif

rlowry03 Posted 24 Sep 2011 , 4:20pm
post #5 of 19

I think your cakes are lovely! Especially your Tatty Teddy cake! (I saw your comment that you'd never do that one again, but I love it!) I think you could certainly charge more than just ingredients. I agree with scp1127. I don't think friends and family have fall into the "business" side of things. They certainly can if you end up expanding. But in the meantime, I think it would be just fine to have them pay more than just food ingredients, because your time is worth something and I think they should see that.

rlowry03 Posted 24 Sep 2011 , 4:22pm
post #6 of 19

I think your cakes are lovely! Especially your Tatty Teddy cake! (I saw your comment that you'd never do that one again, but I love it!) I think you could certainly charge more than just ingredients. I agree with scp1127. I don't think friends and family have fall into the "business" side of things. They certainly can if you end up expanding. But in the meantime, I think it would be just fine to have them pay more than just food ingredients, because your time is worth something and I think they should see that.

Emmar308 Posted 24 Sep 2011 , 4:31pm
post #7 of 19

Even though you are planning to only sell to friends and family there are still tax implications, so i would be very careful. BTW your cakes are fab!!!

Emmar308 Posted 24 Sep 2011 , 4:31pm
post #8 of 19

Even though you are planning to only sell to friends and family there are still tax implications, so i would be very careful. BTW your cakes are fab!!!

Emmar308 Posted 24 Sep 2011 , 4:32pm
post #9 of 19

Even though you are planning to only sell to friends and family there are still tax implications, so i would be very careful. BTW your cakes are fab!!!

jennifercullen Posted 24 Sep 2011 , 4:33pm
post #10 of 19

Thanks, (scp1127 I posted mine as you were posting yours I think so that's why I didn't write any reply then.) Yes, just to make clear I would only be doing them for friends and family, I definitely don't want to bake cakes for the wider public just yet, I'm still learning so I don't want to jump in so quickly. I think I will just need to develop that here is my price take it or leave it mentality.

Rlowry03 I think I probably would do it again if I were getting paid for it lol. I got in a bit of a mood with it because it was very last minute so I spent every waking minute on it from Saturday evening to Sunday afternoon!

If anyone has any constructive criticism on this thread by the way I would really appreciate it, I won't take offence!

Emmar308 Posted 24 Sep 2011 , 4:33pm
post #11 of 19

Even though you are planning to only sell to friends and family there are still tax implications, so i would be very careful. BTW your cakes are fab!!!

jennifercullen Posted 24 Sep 2011 , 4:37pm
post #12 of 19

Emmar308 that's true, I hadn't even considered it. although I don't think I would ever charge enough to get into a tax bracket (for friends and family) it will be something to think about for the future though detective.gif

diane Posted 24 Sep 2011 , 5:18pm
post #13 of 19

To tell you the truth...I've seen some who have a cake businesses...and there cakes are not nearly as good as yours. I say GO for it! thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

jennifercullen Posted 24 Sep 2011 , 5:41pm
post #14 of 19

Thanks icon_smile.gif I think that settles it... Im gonna go email someone a price for their cake I think



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Emmar308 Posted 24 Sep 2011 , 6:40pm
post #15 of 19

You say you wouldn't be charging enough to get into any tax bracket, but any earning takes you into a tax bracket, even if it means you are not earning enough to pay any tax, Inland Revenue still need to be informed of ANY earnings. Plus if you have a day job, remember any money earned from cakes is ON TOP of your main job pay. I say all of this from experience, as i am currently trying to get on top of my nil returns for PAYE, even though i am taking no wage and due to initial outlays of setting up a business am still in deficit, records still need to be kept x

Rosiepan Posted 24 Sep 2011 , 7:01pm
post #16 of 19

I think your cakes are of a good standard considering you have not been making them for long. took me years to get to the standard I am at and that is because I only do them for family and friends and before I discovered the internet. I know where you'r coming from as I never charge for the hidden things like gas, tool, tins etc. The hardest thing for me was and still is is saying no as I simply couldn't do every request for a cake what with work , family and church life so I have decided tell everyone I will only do milestone birthdays and celebration cakes. I was beginning to resent it. My friends are well aware what value they are getting but are never going to want to pay above Asda prices but because I love cake decorating and not the pressure of doing everyones plus Uncle Tom Cobbly's cake I pick and choose what I want to do so I Keep my prices basic but if you are going to be doing that many in a week you need to charge a more realistic price for your sanity and to cover your real costs. I say go for it you are getting better with each cake you make.

jennifercullen Posted 25 Sep 2011 , 12:14pm
post #17 of 19

Emmar308, I see what you mean. But I'm not actually going into business, just charging a bit on top of ingredients to my friends and family. It won't even necessarily be regular money, I think this month is mire of an exception than a potential norm. I know it is something I should probably still declare, but I think I can probably get away with it until I start to do cakes for strangers...

Rosiepan thanks, I know I'm not at a brilliant standard or anything. And I know most people that are have been doing it for a few years! I think I'm just going to add on a bit each time, for my holiday fund or whatever icon_smile.gif so it still won't be a 'proper' price I suppose. Thanks for the advice and kind words. And your cakes are really lovely! [/quote]

kakeladi Posted 25 Sep 2011 , 1:37pm
post #18 of 19

Your work is GREATicon_smile.gif Yes, I would pay a proper price for one of your cakes. I can't afford to but if money were not an issure *for me* I would buy one based on the pic you have in the gallery.
When you figure 'ingredients only' pricing do include boards, boxes, dowels, etc. Yes, it sounds like you need to raise your price even now. Maybe increase it slowly like 10 or 20% now then in 6 months the same again.
And by the way..... you *don't* need a LOT of experience. In my opinion the only cake in your gallery that is ?able as to suitable for sale is the henna design. The cakes are not level and a bit 'lumpy' looking but I bet it was one of, if not *the* 1st decorated cake you made icon_smile.gif The design work is great, just not the best looking compared to all the others. Please understand I'm not saying you are not a good decorator.......because you ARE!

jennifercullen Posted 25 Sep 2011 , 2:43pm
post #19 of 19

I totally agree with that Kakeladi the henna one was my first ever cake lol. I never thought piping would be so hard then, or at least I didn't think about it. Oh what I've learned since then! I still don't think I could do much better now on the piping lol. Maybe a teensy bit icon_confused.gif

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