The Gall Of Some Customers

Decorating By reginaherrin Updated 3 Jan 2012 , 3:09am by mcaulir

reginaherrin Posted 28 Dec 2011 , 2:28am
post #1 of 28

So I have had a few customers in the past try to get lower prices a bit but nothing too bad and I always dealt well with it. Well today I have a customer email me to get a quote for a wedding cake that he saw on my website. He wanted the same cake to feed 100 people then a smaller cake just like it to feed 50 and some cupcakes. I gave him a price for each item and told him the delivery fee will depend on location. He emails me back the following:
"Regina,
So just to make sure I am understanding everything correctly with your quote thus far. I see that three cakes and some cupcakes ordered from you will still run me the same price. I have a caterer who is catering my rehersal dinner, wedding ceromony and my after party and she gave me a slight discount. So I plan on ordering a wedding cake, a grooms cake and some cupcakes and possibly chocolate strawberries from you and I am looking at full price?"

Is he kidding? I don't understand why he thinks he deserves a discount just because his caterer is giving him a discount. Also, my prices are lower then a lot of bakeries in my area so techniqually he isn't getting full price. I resonded by letting him know that my prices are my prices and I don't give discounts just because his caterer is. I also let him know that my prices are below most bakeries. I gave him a few other bakeries names in the area that I recommend often as well as a bakery listing site so that he can get quotes from other bakeries. I wordered very nice but did not back down on my prices. I just can't believe the gall of some people that think they are entitled to a discount just because. If he would have asked for a discount that would have been different but just he way he worded his email really rubbed me the wrong way.

27 replies
sillywabbitz Posted 28 Dec 2011 , 3:12am
post #2 of 28

Does he think adding more work for you entitles him to a discount. This idea of 'bulk' discounts for food is crazy to me. Each item is custom, you can't reuse anything for each event...it's food. The caterer made their decision for whatever reason but at least they can reuse tablecloths, placemats and servinging dishes...you're out the same cost regardless of doing the 3 items for the same person.

Norasmom Posted 28 Dec 2011 , 3:12am
post #3 of 28

I would tell him he is getting a discount...that others in the area charge much more.

jason_kraft Posted 28 Dec 2011 , 4:58am
post #4 of 28

Doesn't seem too galling to me, it sounds like he did ask for a discount. I'm not seeing the entitlement here.

I sometimes ask for discounts from small businesses "just because", sometimes I get a discount and sometimes I don't. Doesn't hurt to ask. Plus In some cultures bargaining is the norm rather than the exception.

BlakesCakes Posted 28 Dec 2011 , 5:23am
post #5 of 28

People don't seem to understand that custom cakes are costly in terms of labor, not necessarily ingredients.

It's reasonable to discount several consecutive catered meals because the caterer is getting a discount by buying so much food in bulk and by making a lot of things at the same time and then re-heating.

Not so for cakes. Discounts there pretty much come directly out of the baker/decorator's hide/salary.

Nope, no additional discount and, no cake at all if he decides to have another baker provide the cupcakes and/or secondary cake.

Rae

Foxicakes Posted 28 Dec 2011 , 8:13am
post #6 of 28

No, it never hurts to ask for a discount. But maybe it you explained that the caterer most likely gets discounts from their vendors (as well as a lot of premade foods that all they have to do is re-heat) as opposed to you NOT getting these bulk ingredient discounts and that EVERY morsel of cake, etc. are made by hand by you and your staff (if you have one). It may be a little more clear to him as to why there are no discounts on FRESHLY baked goods!!
Also, I think you did a great thing by giving him other baker's names to be able to price the same order with in order for him to get a true feel for what he is asking...
Personally, I would contact all of the aforementioned bakers and give them a "heads up" that this guy will be calling, just to let them know what this guy is trying to do. Maybe one of them will have a slow week and WILL be able to accomodate him at lower prices. If so, good for both of them!!

Relznik Posted 28 Dec 2011 , 9:28am
post #7 of 28

I don't think it's SO terrible to ask for a discount (not that I would give one, either!) - but I find the way he asked incredibly rude.

Kiddiekakes Posted 28 Dec 2011 , 2:38pm
post #8 of 28

I agree with Relznik..It wasn't that he asked for a discount in the first place...It was the way he asked..It would have made me mad also...

BizCoCos Posted 28 Dec 2011 , 2:53pm
post #9 of 28

agreed!

Sparklekat6 Posted 28 Dec 2011 , 4:37pm
post #10 of 28

HA! Everyone's so much nicer than I am. I would have been like "Yes, you understood everything correctly."

QTCakes1 Posted 28 Dec 2011 , 5:05pm
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Doesn't seem too galling to me, it sounds like he did ask for a discount. I'm not seeing the entitlement here.

I sometimes ask for discounts from small businesses "just because", sometimes I get a discount and sometimes I don't. Doesn't hurt to ask. Plus In some cultures bargaining is the norm rather than the exception.




I agree with JK on this one. A lot of people feel it doesn't hurt to ask. What's the worse, but hat you say no. I think he only brought up the caterer to make his' asking more valid. Nor harm no foul in that either.

karateka Posted 28 Dec 2011 , 6:31pm
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparklekat6

HA! Everyone's so much nicer than I am. I would have been like "Yes, you understood everything correctly."




Me, too.

jenmat Posted 28 Dec 2011 , 6:32pm
post #13 of 28

While I agree that asking can't hurt, HOW you ask can hurt. As a wedding customer, I am establishing a relationship with my vendors. This is based on mutual respect and trust. If you begin the relationship with poor communication, you immediately put the vendor ill at ease, and therefore less likely to work with you. They should still treat their customers with professionalism, but that barrier of a bad first impression will still be there.

If a bride approaches me and treats me like an expert, I am MUCH more likely to offer extras. If they come to me with a "Let me get this straight- you're treating me like everyone else?", I will automatically be more cautious. This of course can be rectified; I've had several relationships with customers start out rocky and end very positively, but it's always the best policy to start out the business relationship with mutual respect.
This is one of the reasons I don't like those "12 questions you should ask your baker" articles from wedding magazines. While some of those questions are VERY useful, the article usually implies that the baker is trying to cheat you somehow, and that simply isn't true (most of the time!). This then leads to brides treating their vendors like predators versus team players.

grandmomof1 Posted 28 Dec 2011 , 7:45pm
post #14 of 28

Dave Ramsey teaches in his financial workshops that you should always ask for a discount. You may not always get one, but quite often you do. I went with a friend to a store to buy centerpieces and candles for her daughter's wedding. She was at the register checking out. I spoke up and jokingly asked the clerk if he discounted since she was buying bulk and purchased all of their candelabras. He looked at me kind of funny, didn't say anything. When he gave her the receipt, he told her he discounted it 15 percent and looked at me and grinned. In Italy, I have been told the merchants expect you to negotiate the price and to never pay full price for anything.

Annabakescakes Posted 28 Dec 2011 , 8:06pm
post #15 of 28

I agree with those who said that it isn't so bad he wanted a discount, it was the way he " asked" by not really asking, but by trying to "shame" you into giving him one with out actually asking for one.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 29 Dec 2011 , 1:46am
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relznik

I don't think it's SO terrible to ask for a discount (not that I would give one, either!) - but I find the way he asked incredibly rude.




Bingo. He may not have meant it that way, but it sounded rude and entitled.

FromScratchSF Posted 29 Dec 2011 , 5:38am
post #17 of 28

I HATE the "can you give me a discount?" question. To me, it's rude. I'm not K-Mart, I don't do blue light specials. Sure, ask that big chain retail store for your discount, they will never know if their under-paid cashier gives you one. But don't ask small (or in my case, micro) businesses that are busting our hump for every sale. I nip that question in the bud quickly. No discount.

howsweet Posted 29 Dec 2011 , 10:54pm
post #18 of 28

He is getting a discount - he only has to pay one delivery fee for all 3 cakes icon_smile.gif

reginaherrin Posted 30 Dec 2011 , 7:28pm
post #19 of 28

I don't mind people asking for discounts, they usually don't get one, but this guy did not ask for one, he just expected one. It IS very galling that someone would just expect to receive a discount just because. No where in his email did he say anything to the effect of "so if I order more then one cake can I have a discount?". So I don't understand the few who did think he asked for a discount. I haven't heard from him since and that is just fine for me.

Annabakescakes Posted 30 Dec 2011 , 8:18pm
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by reginaherrin

I don't mind people asking for discounts, they usually don't get one, but this guy did not ask for one, he just expected one. It IS very galling that someone would just expect to receive a discount just because. No where in his email did he say anything to the effect of "so if I order more then one cake can I have a discount?". So I don't understand the few who did think he asked for a discount. I haven't heard from him since and that is just fine for me.




I agree!

cakesdivine Posted 2 Jan 2012 , 4:57pm
post #21 of 28

WOW, this post really shows the generational gap. 30 somethings and under in general have an entitlement persona. It is so annoying, and extremely rude behavior. If I give a discount, I may or may not tell the client why. If I publish a coupon that is the only discount they receive. But to ask for a discount or try to guilt me to give you one it is JUST WRONG! I don't go to my hair dresser who has her prices clearly posted and say well since you only really trimmed my hair I want a discount. She would laugh at me! It is respect for the professional that is lacking so much today. When you ask for a discount you are asking them to take food from their table. They have to make a living, and just because they are making that living doing something they love does NOT mean they should make less because you view them as a lesser professional. People charge what they charge to be able to pay their bills!

carmijok Posted 2 Jan 2012 , 5:24pm
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesdivine

WOW, this post really shows the generational gap. 30 somethings and under in general have an entitlement persona. It is so annoying, and extremely rude behavior. If I give a discount, I may or may not tell the client why. If I publish a coupon that is the only discount they receive. But to ask for a discount or try to guilt me to give you one it is JUST WRONG! I don't go to my hair dresser who has her prices clearly posted and say well since you only really trimmed my hair I want a discount. She would laugh at me! It is respect for the professional that is lacking so much today. When you ask for a discount you are asking them to take food from their table. They have to make a living, and just because they are making that living doing something they love does NOT mean they should make less because you view them as a lesser professional. People charge what they charge to be able to pay their bills!




thumbs_up.gif

writersblock15 Posted 2 Jan 2012 , 5:36pm
post #23 of 28

I only bake for hobby but in my full time sales job we tell "price shoppers" that our discounts are available to our good customers only. There have been several instances where we were greedy for the sale and did discount and ended up getting burned. The client would take our price to a competitor who then would discount even more to get the sale. They would bring in the competitors offer and ask for us to discount even more. It was like a ping pong game.

Another thing, once you start discounting to a client, you can never charge them full price again. They will always expect a discount and so will any future clients they recommend.

mcaulir Posted 3 Jan 2012 , 12:23am
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Doesn't seem too galling to me, it sounds like he did ask for a discount. I'm not seeing the entitlement here.

I sometimes ask for discounts from small businesses "just because", sometimes I get a discount and sometimes I don't. Doesn't hurt to ask. Plus In some cultures bargaining is the norm rather than the exception.




The email in the OP is written in a very "Are you kidding me? I'm ordering three things and I'm still paying full price?" kind of way. That's the entitlement.

If he had written, "Since I'm ordering thre items, I'm wondering if a discount is possible?", that would be asking.

And I think it does hurt to ask sometimes. It hurts the small business owner, who has to deal with the unpleasantness of 'standing up' to people. It hurts the relationship between vendor and client, the vendor now wondering what else the client will be asking for, and feeling that their skill and product aren't seen as worth the asking price. And it possibly hurts other customers, who might now be paying higher prices to accommodate the discounts that others are receiving, because it doesn't hurt to ask.

jason_kraft Posted 3 Jan 2012 , 2:27am
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcaulir

The email in the OP is written in a very "Are you kidding me? I'm ordering three things and I'm still paying full price?" kind of way. That's the entitlement.



I suppose it could be taken that way...the way I read it, the customer was asking a direct question (obviously with the hopes of getting a discount), and the reply would be a direct answer, something on the order of "that's correct, the price for your order is $XX".

Quote:
Quote:

And I think it does hurt to ask sometimes. It hurts the small business owner, who has to deal with the unpleasantness of 'standing up' to people.



If a business owner finds it that unpleasant to stand up for themselves to customers, entrepreneurship might not be their ideal field.

reginaherrin Posted 3 Jan 2012 , 2:30am
post #26 of 28

I have to say the same thing about the age of people doing this. I am in my early 30s myself so it sucks to say it but I find most people that do ask for a discount or think they deserve it are between 30-40 but I find it mainly with the ones that have more money to spend. And most of these people follow it up with saying something like "I will be sending you tons of business", which never happens. And I totally agree that once you discount you can't ever charge full price.

reginaherrin Posted 3 Jan 2012 , 2:45am
post #27 of 28

Jason- I have to respectfully disagree with you about the customer asking a direct question about a discount. It was totally not direct it was more "so I have to pay full price even though my caterer is giving me a discount". I don't have problems with people asking for discounts, I can turn them down if I want or if I happen to be running a special that month I will gladly give it to them. Also, I am a small business but he does not know that, my city is very big and is in-between 2 bigger cities so for all he knows I could have a huge customer base so I really don't think that was his bases for expecting a discount. Also, the fact that he does not even know me or anything about me and is emailing me like he does was strange for me.

mcaulir Posted 3 Jan 2012 , 3:09am
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft



Quote:
Quote:

And I think it does hurt to ask sometimes. It hurts the small business owner, who has to deal with the unpleasantness of 'standing up' to people.


If a business owner finds it that unpleasant to stand up for themselves to customers, entrepreneurship might not be their ideal field.




Oh sure, but that doesn't mean it's not unpleasant. I do things all the time that are unpleasant that I'd rather not if it could be avoided.

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