How Do You Feel About Last Minute Orders??

Business By abchambers Updated 8 Jan 2012 , 9:03pm by CupcakeQT82

abchambers Posted 6 Jan 2012 , 8:34pm
post #1 of 18

It seems to be happening a lot lately - someone sends you an email asking if you can do a cake. Oh, by the way I need it a week from today! I guess they think it can be whipped up in one night???? icon_confused.gif

Well I get one of these today. They want a "3-D princess cake" that feeds about 25 people. And of course they need it next Saturday the 14th. My first instinct is to turn them down. I do work a day job that takes up a huge chunk of my day. And I have a cake this weekend and the weekend of the 21st that will keep me plenty busy. But they I get to thinking. Ultimately I COULD squeeze it in. And I really do hate to turn away people....

What do you guys do? Do you turn them away even if you could *squeeze* it in and let them know you need more notice? Or just suck it up and do it?

17 replies
QTCakes1 Posted 6 Jan 2012 , 8:42pm
post #2 of 18

It really depends on what is going on like you said. If I am willing to do it, I add a high rush fee, and if they are willing to still pay it, I am more then compensated for the inconvience.

CWR41 Posted 6 Jan 2012 , 8:59pm
post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by abchambers

It seems to be happening a lot lately - someone sends you an email asking if you can do a cake. Oh, by the way I need it a week from today! I guess they think it can be whipped up in one night????




I don't consider a week's notice last minute. If they think if can be whipped up in one night, they'd call the night before.

I like QT's answer. Maybe that will work for you.

BakedAlaska Posted 6 Jan 2012 , 9:03pm
post #4 of 18

I do not accept short notice orders. I have discovered that no "rush fee" is worth the stress and strain this places on myself or my family.

Start saying "no". You'll be amazed by how liberating this can be.

melanie-1221 Posted 6 Jan 2012 , 9:11pm
post #5 of 18

It seems all of my order have been rush lately, a few weeks ago the woman called me at 4pm needing a cake the following morning.
Many customers don't really understand the time it takes or the effort involved in making cakes, hence the reason some feel that a cake shouldn't cost more than $30.00
If I don't have anything booked I usually take them , but I advise the customer that it is short notice and of the notice I require for their next cake, and I may have to work with them on a basic design if they are requesting something elaborate.

mommachris Posted 6 Jan 2012 , 11:34pm
post #6 of 18

I think I'd have to turn them away. Not because you can't "squeeze' them in but just because it would be a squeeze. Seems to me like you'd be taking away energy from the cakes that were ordered with respect for your time...read that as early.
I don't like stealing time from others because some one else is unorganized.
Besides you teach people how to treat you. If you CAN get it done for them with no warning why should they call you until the last minute.

Just my opinion...cause you asked for it.
icon_biggrin.gif
mommachris

Kiddiekakes Posted 6 Jan 2012 , 11:35pm
post #7 of 18

I agree with CWR41...1 week is not a last minute order.I would accept it if I can fit it in..If I am booked solid then I decline.What annoys me is when they contact you a week before and laligag to get back to you with the details and then you end up having to chase after them days before like you have nothing better to do...This irriates me....

step0nmi Posted 6 Jan 2012 , 11:53pm
post #8 of 18

for me...it depends on how the person sounds. i just had a lady contact me at the beginning of the week for next weekend. she knew exactly what she wanted and was willing to pay upfront. if that doesn't send them away then I'll do it!

abchambers Posted 7 Jan 2012 , 2:46am
post #9 of 18

Thanks for the input guys! I guess last minute was maybe the wrong phrase. For me, I start preparing (such as baking and freezing cakes) a week out, so I guess it's more of a time crunch than anything. Plus I'm a planner, so I like to be able to have atleast 2 weeks to plan/put together a cake. Just wish I had the luxury of devoting more time to cakes and less time on a full-time job!

I told her I could do it, mainly because I could use the money and practice icon_smile.gif And its probably not as much of time crunch as I imagine in my head.

step0nmi Posted 7 Jan 2012 , 2:53am
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by abchambers

Thanks for the input guys! I guess last minute was maybe the wrong phrase. For me, I start preparing (such as baking and freezing cakes) a week out, so I guess it's more of a time crunch than anything. Plus I'm a planner, so I like to be able to have atleast 2 weeks to plan/put together a cake. Just wish I had the luxury of devoting more time to cakes and less time on a full-time job!

I told her I could do it, mainly because I could use the money and practice icon_smile.gif And its probably not as much of time crunch as I imagine in my head.




last minute is different for everyone icon_wink.gif

I feel your pain....even though i have a part time job it can definitely leave me drained by the time i need to get stuff started for cakes. and everyone is feeling the money crunch...we could always use help! write stuff down...put it in a word document..whatever you need to do icon_rolleyes.gif good luck! icon_lol.gif

QTCakes1 Posted 7 Jan 2012 , 4:10am
post #11 of 18

One week would be last minute for me as well. I require, doesn't mean I get it, 1 month notice.

scp1127 Posted 7 Jan 2012 , 5:56am
post #12 of 18

I don't do as many wedding cakes as you all do, but I do get last minute orders. I have on my site to please call, as I may have the time. I listen to the order, decide if I can do it and accept or decline. If I decline, I refer to a friend who has a higher production shop and she can handle the orders. I feel that if I advertise it, the backup referral always gives the person a cake in the end.

wafawafa Posted 7 Jan 2012 , 6:58am
post #13 of 18

I have Lot of these calls , some time I accept sometimes with a higher price I apologize not to do it ,

Making cakes its time consuming , and alot of customers dont get attention to that

JoanieB Posted 7 Jan 2012 , 3:29pm
post #14 of 18

Being able to plan is certainly preferable. But considering you're working full-time a week is definitely a stretch when you have other cakes to complete. I recently received an email on a Wed night for a naughty bachelorette cake they needed by Friday. I really didn't want to stress myself out over a cake that wasn't going to turn a big profit so I emailed her back and told her I could do it with a $50 rush fee attached fully expecting her to decline. She emailed me back and said "Let's do it" and paid me online within minutes. I ended up profiting over $125 on that relatively small cake and am happy I ended up doing it.

Ultimately what I'm saying is, given your situation, only you can really determine if the added stress will be worth your time whether it's financial or educational. In my case both those were true. I also received tons of praise from the ladies of the party and never even met a single one of them! LOL Definitely all worth it.

1234me Posted 7 Jan 2012 , 8:04pm
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiddiekakes

I agree with CWR41...1 week is not a last minute order.I would accept it if I can fit it in..If I am booked solid then I decline.What annoys me is when they contact you a week before and laligag to get back to you with the details and then you end up having to chase after them days before like you have nothing better to do...This irriates me....




We must have some of the same customers icon_smile.gif I hate having to email people over and over to get little details. What annoys me even more is if I send them an email with questions, and they only answer a few icon_smile.gif

As for last minute orders, I never take them if it is less than a week's notice.

If I am fully booked, I may squeeze them in if I need the extra money icon_smile.gif

jennifercullen Posted 7 Jan 2012 , 10:15pm
post #16 of 18

I dont actually have a business (so why I'm in this forum.. who knows? icon_lol.gif ) but I do make cakes for friends and family, and actually half the time I do feel like I'm in business because I'm so busy. It seems to be certain people who do this to me all the time. I only bake and decorate etc after 8pm when my kids are in bed and asleep, so depending on how many cakes I have to do that week I can start them a week or so in advance if freezing. Plus I'm also a planner, I hate getting an order that I dont have time to think about, because if I dont have time to plan out the details and sometimes order what I need for my vision online, nothing goes to plan lol. I end up stressed and annoyed and with a cake which, while I've never had any complaints, I dont feel is good enough. Yet if I think its POSSIBLE to fit it in I say yes, I really need to learn to say no. Its no wonder I have grey hair at 25!

KarolynAndrea Posted 7 Jan 2012 , 10:52pm
post #17 of 18

I get this a lot. If I am not booked, I will take it. But under certain circumstances....Payment in full right away, must have all info within ____ hours, no changes can be made, and let them know since I am so busy, this is the detail I am able to do.
I wouldn't think of it as punishing people. (Well, no since YOU didn't give me enough time!) Instead I tell them I am happy they want me to do it for them, and apologize if I can't. And hopefully the next time they will think of me.
I have learned that people don't always plan ahead and have come to be thankful that I can make some extra money that week.
***I should mention that I have no kids and this is all I do! icon_smile.gif

CupcakeQT82 Posted 8 Jan 2012 , 9:03pm
post #18 of 18

For me one week is pushing it, and I have had the last 2 of my last 3 orders within a week. However both customers knew it was last-minute but as they were fairly free weekends for me I took them because I like the practice more than anything (and the money is a bonus). If it's something elaborate or requires alot of supplies I don't have easily on hand I would have to turn them down. The closest cake-supply store is almost an hour away and I have a 2 month old and a 2 1/2 year old so it doesn't make it "a piece of cake" for me to squeeze a long trip into. HTH

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