How Do I Figure Out What To Charge For A Gingerbread House?

Business By ciescanoodle Updated 11 Nov 2014 , 3:34pm by MimiFix

ciescanoodle Posted 26 Oct 2011 , 5:42am
post #1 of 16

I did a large complicated gingerbread house last year for a contest. Someone saw a photo of it and said they want me to build them one this year. I'm not sure how figure out what to charge! I worked so long on that house last year... Realistically, it would be hundreds of dollars but I can't figure out what the market price out there is... I can't find much online to compare to. Anyone have ideas on this?

Much appreciated!

15 replies
Apti Posted 26 Oct 2011 , 6:24am
post #2 of 16

Welcome to the forum. Good luck on the pricing. I did my first GB house last year using the Wilton Giant Gingerbread Kit. I ended up buying a lot of extra candy, etc. and it took me about 15 hours to complete the house. I donated the house to the Before/After School Program (about 150 kids). It made the large school room smell wonderful for about 3 weeks!

A teacher asked to purchase one. I am a hobby baker and had NO idea of price, but charged her $50 which covered another Giant GB Kit, and some of the cost of the different candies, but not my labor. I looked around online and figured that in a store that house would be about $150-$300 (depending on geography, store, etc.).

Here's a link to my houses. They are pretty traditional. I'll try and branch out this year to other styles.

Depending on your skill level, geography, etc., I'd suggest you try for at least $150 for a large GB house. For an exceptionally well done, complex, large GB house, maybe $200+.

The "comparables" I found on line were nowhere near the complexity of even my GB House, let alone some of the fabulous creations here on CC.

ciescanoodle Posted 26 Oct 2011 , 5:16pm
post #3 of 16

Your house is great! I love it. Thanks for the advice. Just as a reference I'm putting up photos of the one I did last year (I'm going to try to figure out how to do that now). It's two Brooklyn brownstone buildings. I really loved it. I'm not going to do the same one for this customer but something as grand and a little out of the ordinary. I think I will charge $250.


Apti Posted 27 Oct 2011 , 2:39am
post #4 of 16

Go for it! Let me know how it turns out. And thank you for the compliment.

MimiFix Posted 27 Oct 2011 , 3:03am
post #5 of 16
Originally Posted by Apti

I did my first GB house last year using the Wilton Giant Gingerbread Kit.

Really nice job, Apti! I like the clean lines and bright colors. (If you fill a house with extra candy you can charge more.)

CakesByTheSugarCains Posted 27 Oct 2011 , 3:39am
post #6 of 16

Pricing is always the hardest thing for me... I always think I am charging a lot, but end up spending more time than I ever imagined on each cake!! I am going to try a gingerbread house this year for fun! I love the one that Apti posted here!!

Apti Posted 27 Oct 2011 , 4:21am
post #7 of 16

mimifix--Have you sold GB houses? Any ideas on pricing?

CakesByTheSugarCains--Thank you for the compliment. I used the Wilton Giant GB House Kit and purchased a lot of extra candy and made a lot of extra royal icing.

I used a 16"x16" ceramic floor tile purchased at Home Depot ($2) as the base and just put royal icing on the tile surface. Since the bottom of the tile is rough, I glued cardboard to the bottom of the tile so it could be placed on a table without scratching the surface. You could also purchase a 12"x12" tile for smaller houses. These make wonderful bases since they won't bend!

Apti Posted 27 Oct 2011 , 5:23am
post #8 of 16

p.s. Just found another thread dated November 2010 on the same topic with lots of great info/pricing/tips/links:

MimiFix Posted 27 Oct 2011 , 11:15am
post #9 of 16
Originally Posted by Apti

mimifix--Have you sold GB houses? Any ideas on pricing?

I started selling gingerbread houses in the early 1980's. Ingredient costs were small compared with our time so I aimed for the assembly line method. I used a very large cookie cutter and skipped a few details such as chimney and stained glass windows. While those are nice details, customers were looking for affordable holiday theme decorations more than prize-winning artistic pieces. The selling point for these houses was our own hand-rolled colored cookies in holiday shapes that we used for decorating.

We rolled out and cut, baked, and put together as many houses as we had room for. Then added icing, candy and cookies. I had to keep reminding everyone that we were not creating works of art. At the end we went back and added a few details. Once the houses were finished and wrapped, they were placed all around the shop and looked gorgeous as holiday decorations.

I always heard customers saying that they wished they had time to make their own so in the late 1980's I began selling houses that were already constructed but not decorated. Customers got a tub of icing, a box of assorted little holiday-shaped cookies, and candy. These houses were "under construction" so they weren't real attractive, but customers loved having the choice. Here's a photo of the do-it-yourself GB. The second photo a customer sent us.

Pricing? Remember this was thirty years ago. Fully decorated and filled with candy $75. Decorated $50. Under construction $20.

At some point the larger food manufacturing companies began selling real cheap "kits" so it might be hard to sell those now. The small cookies were sweet shortbread that I sold year round. For additional visual we made some without color but used poppy seeds. Recipe is in my cookbook Home Baking for Profit. During the rest of the year, one of our best-selling cookies was large Poppy People. I sure miss my beloved bakery...

Apti Posted 27 Oct 2011 , 2:01pm
post #10 of 16

Thanks MimiFix, for all the info. Those prices 30 years ago make the $150+ pricing sound reasonable for GB houses in 2011. I LOVE your idea of the colored cookie decorations to go around the GB house. That would be perfect for the kids when they come over this year to do their GB creations.

teddibubbles Posted 13 Feb 2014 , 5:34am
post #11 of 16

I love Gingerbread houses I wanted to make one that did something..... but could be made by real food yet last for years. so I made this .... people told me its ugly and im no artiest. and i should just stop trying..

I was very hurt.. i consider myself a good artist.. so you all know ginger stuff. pleae tell me your real thoughts please .

20x16 REAL CANDYLAND CLOCK this clock has all new parts. Built in 6 months coated to last Years and years this

Working clock movement with Working pendulum. (note bird is ornament only )







sarahlc8 Posted 24 Jul 2014 , 2:16pm
post #12 of 16

I don't know if any of you can help but.... I have been asked to do a GB workshop for a homeschool community.  I would provide a already assembled house's and provide the frosting & candy along with helping along the way. Ages 4-10.  My question is I'm not sure what to charge.  Any suggestion?

Sweet Affection Posted 11 Nov 2014 , 1:02pm
post #13 of 16

AHi everyone,

I've just made 4 gingerbread houses as samples, 2 smallish 11cm x 15cm and 15cm high and 2 larger ones 13 x 14cm and 19cm high and wondering if anyone can give me any idea how much I could sell them they took me all afternoon and evening to decorate, I baked them on Sunday, and all the washing up both times. I've just started a Facebook page business to get started and a bit worried of over pricing them, thanks

[ATTACHMENT=1999]image.jpg (2,043k. jpg file)[/ATTACHMENT]

Sweet Affection Posted 11 Nov 2014 , 1:08pm
post #14 of 16

ABy the way I'm in Melbourne, Australia

-K8memphis Posted 11 Nov 2014 , 2:07pm
post #15 of 16

teddibubbles -- your clock is amazing/brilliant/wonderful plus a lot of other great adjectives 

MimiFix Posted 11 Nov 2014 , 3:34pm
post #16 of 16
Originally Posted by Sweet Affection 

I've just made 4 gingerbread houses as samples... and wondering if anyone can give me any idea how much I could sell them they took me all afternoon and evening to decorate... I've just started a Facebook page business to get started and a bit worried of over pricing them, thanks


Greetings! I'm in the US, so my response may not pertain to your area. Handmade and decorated houses are beautiful, but you must target the upscale customer who doesn't care about prices. For the most part, people interested in these items are looking for the decoration not the taste and don't care how delicious it might be. Since the average shopper can now purchase a much cheaper factory made decorative gingerbread house, your sales potential can be severely limited. If you also make other gingerbread items (sleighs, gingerbread people, reindeer, etc) you may create sales. But labor-intensive gingerbread houses are a tough sell unless you're willing to work for less than minimum wage.


We often say here on CC that we shouldn't compare our products to Wal-Mart products. However, with this particular item, we need to remember our customers' main goal.

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