KarisCakes Posted 4 Oct 2011 , 3:47am
post #1 of

I live in an area where I know I can't charge a lot for cakes (Cottage law state) and when ever anyone discusses prices on here I always feel like mine are pretty low. Well this week, I lost 2 orders because they thought the price was too high. The first was for a custom, very detailed 2 layer, 10 inch round for $40. The other was for a custom very very detailed 3 tiered double layer cake, 8 inch, 10 inch, 12 inch for $115, for a baby shower. Good grief, it's the size of a small wedding cake!!
Anyway, I can't lower my prices, I'll make nothing, I just wanted to vent, that I'm bummed. Both of these orders will go to the grocery store I'm sure.
Anyone else been here?

16 replies
southerncross Posted 4 Oct 2011 , 3:55am
post #2 of

I live in a small rural area and I've seen a decrease in my orders. I've been baking here for a while and my prices are pretty well known. The nearest other custom baker is 20 miles away. We've both seen a decrease in order and feel that it's a direct result of the troubled economy.

Vista Posted 4 Oct 2011 , 3:58am
post #3 of

I can totally relate. But remember that you are not desperate and your time is valuable. If people can not appreciate your art and pay you what it is worth then let them eat their store bought cake!!

pastryjen Posted 4 Oct 2011 , 4:01am
post #4 of

I don't have a business but just did a 6,8,10 wedding cake as a gift for a really, really close friend and hubby. If I charged, I would say I'd charge about $350. Can't believe that order was for an even larger cake for $115 - that's just nuts. Where are these people getting their numbers from?

Sorry you are losing them but glad to see you are sticking to your guns! The right ones will come along.

jason_kraft Posted 4 Oct 2011 , 9:38am
post #5 of

You dodged a bullet there, you would probably be making virtually zero profit from those orders. It sounds counter-intuitive but you may need to increase your prices, with your prices so low you are attracting the wrong kind of customers. With higher prices you will need to spend some time marketing in more affluent areas near you and networking with venues and wedding planners to find customers who are looking for quality over price, but in the end you will make more money by doing less work.

carmijok Posted 4 Oct 2011 , 10:04am
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

You dodged a bullet there, you would probably be making virtually zero profit from those orders. It sounds counter-intuitive but you may need to increase your prices, with your prices so low you are attracting the wrong kind of customers. With higher prices you will need to spend some time marketing in more affluent areas near you and networking with venues and wedding planners to find customers who are looking for quality over price, but in the end you will make more money by doing less work.




Agree totally. thumbs_up.gif

cakelady2266 Posted 5 Oct 2011 , 3:23am
post #7 of

Been there done that. The current economy sucks but not as bad as 2008 & 2009. People are still getting married and some are still having decent sized weddings this year. In 2009 my largest brides cake served 165. But enough about me.

I totally agree with Jason_Kraft (and am truly pained by it, lol). You really need to find your target market. You have to pay some dues along the way but you can make more and work less. You will still have meetings, calls, emails from the "budget" brides but there are other solutions out there for them. By "budget bride I mean the ones who want a whole lot and don't want to pay for it. Don't get sucked into a "accommodating/compromising/sacrificing" giving it away type business.

Skidoochic Posted 7 Oct 2011 , 1:02am
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The other problem I have seen lately is EVERYONE thinks they can do a cake since all these cake shows are on TV. I actually spent three weeks discussing the perfect cupcakes for a 1yr old boy's party, ordered the special liners and one week before the "Event" the mom called me and said her aunt thinks she can do it- so thanks, but no thanks! Oh was I irritated!

Like everyone said above - stick to your guns.

pastryjen Posted 7 Oct 2011 , 1:25am
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidoochic

The other problem I have seen lately is EVERYONE thinks they can do a cake since all these cake shows are on TV.




Isn't that the truth!

heartsnsync Posted 7 Oct 2011 , 2:16am

There is no way you could have done those cakes for any less, that's for sure. I think the others are right on that you have to stick to your guns. I have only been in business for three months and have been struggling with weeding out those who want my cakes but don't want to pay my prices and those who understand the quality they are getting and don't blink an eye.

Just this evening I got a call for a cake order and the lady thought she misheard me on my price but I confidently said it again and told her that I was a custom gourmet bakery and that my prices reflect the quality that is being produced. She placed the order! I was proud of myself. I would rather do without some orders and establish my reputation with the people who appreciate the quality product. Otherwise, I will never make this a successful business.

GarciaGM Posted 7 Oct 2011 , 2:45am

I've been doing all kinds of pricing math lately. My most recent frustration was the Pokemon cake for my son's birthday (latest pic in my photos). I added up my ingredients, materials, and time and came up with $225 for that cake. I surveyed my mom and my sister what they thought a fair price would be for the cake (not necessarily what *THEY* would pay, but what it would be worth in a retail setting). My sister said "No less than $50" and my mom said "At least $75." Of all people, I felt like they would have known better. That's at least 66 servings of cake (3-layer 12" rounds on the bottom and the Wilton sports ball pan on top) and 7 Pokemon guys, so even if I did the cake for $2 per serving, we're talking $132. Am I out of my mind, or are they?

So, KarisCakes, I've pretty much come to the same conclusion that everyone else here is saying. You've got to find the right target market, and most often, your family members are the first ones to be excluded from that group.

heartsnsync Posted 7 Oct 2011 , 3:20am
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarciaGM

So, KarisCakes, I've pretty much come to the same conclusion that everyone else here is saying. You've got to find the right target market, and most often, your family members are the first ones to be excluded from that group.




You are so correct! A few months ago my mother-in-law found out how much I charge for my cupcakes and she was floored. She said, "Why would anybody pay that for cupcakes when they can go to Wal-Mart and get them for $3.00 a dozen?" I cried! She felt bad. We made up. But, she still was clueless. I mean, just in cake flour, butter, imported vanilla, pure cane sugar, and such ingredients alone our costs are more than $3.00 a dozen yet people want not only that price but our art work as well for not much more. Nope. Not happening! I either get the price my products are worth or I don't do it.

kickasscakes Posted 7 Oct 2011 , 3:27am

yup... everyone is a cake artist now. They charge next to nothing, and the people that actually have paid a lot of money to get the training, and education to do what we love suffer, cause Jo-Blow can do it cheaper...
Ya, bites me too!

indydebi Posted 7 Oct 2011 , 4:50pm

Karis, my numbers show an 8/10/12 cake will serve 118 people (24+38+56). they really thought a cake for over 100 people should cost LESS THAN $100???? Less than $1/serving!!!!!!!?????? And for a baby shower, for god's sake? icon_eek.gif

And if this economy is SO BAD ... like everyone seems to say/think it is .... then why in the hell are they throwing a party (that they can't afford?) for OVER ONE HUNDRED PEOPLE!!!!??????

People who talk out of both sides of their mouth make my a$$ tired. Either the economy is ok (since they are throwing a Big-A$$ party) or it's not ok and they are idiots for trying to throw a Big-A$$ party with no money.

Yeah ... in case you can't tell, I'm in a mood today!

Paperfishies Posted 7 Oct 2011 , 4:55pm

People make me mad. If someone can't spend $40 on a custom cake, then they need to head over to walmart and pick up a premade cake. People need to realize if they can't afford something then it wasn't meant to be.

mariacakestoo Posted 7 Oct 2011 , 5:21pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by pastryjen

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidoochic

The other problem I have seen lately is EVERYONE thinks they can do a cake since all these cake shows are on TV.



Isn't that the truth!


It's an epidemic. And in my area, there are downright scary fan pages where people are posting photos of ttheir offerings, with dirty dishes in the background, kids, the messy kitchen, and the worst of all: dirty hands/fingernails holding cake pops. Gross! What are people thinking?!?!?

Lemmers Posted 7 Oct 2011 , 6:07pm

I do understand what everyone is saying about everyone thinking they can do cakes and therefore potentially 'stealing' customers through cheap offerings. However in my personal case, I know darn well I am nowhere near as good as the majority of cakers here on CC, so when i do go live with my cake business I will be charging what seem low prices, purely because I know that my skills are not yet worthy of charging the same price as someone who has been doing this for years already. And any customer will be able to see my work and what they are getting for their money. As such I plan to avoid wedding cakes to start with, as they are such a high profile, once in a lifetime cake that I would rather point a bride in the direction of someone I know can give them the perfect, flawless cake they no doubt want.

I know some of you will probably read this and say "well, why go into business now then?" but it is purely because I simply cannot afford to keep dishing out free cakes to all my friends and family, and want to be legal so I can at least charge for ingredients until my skills are down pat and then feel I can rightfully charge for my time as well. It will be friends and family to start, and if I get anyone else approach me based on what they've seen then fair enough!

I do agree though that nasty dirty nails holding a cake pop is not appealing thumbsdown.gif

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