Friends Baking Ugly Cakes For Free!! Grrrrr..ugghhhh

Lounge By Kiddiekakes Updated 7 Nov 2012 , 3:42pm by inspiredbymom

Kiddiekakes Posted 18 Jan 2012 , 4:31pm
post #1 of 22

Just venting....

After going back and forth and sending pictures/prices etc...I lost 2 potential cake customers to the dreaded...."My friend offered to make the cake for FREE" syndrome....

I hate when friends with little /no experience offer to make UGLY cakes for free.....(not being cake decoraters that is..LOL.) and before you all stone me and bash me to death...I understand and appreciate a Mom who wants to make their own cakes for their kids..we all have done it over the years and I am also not oblivious to the fact the economy is not great..but if you are like me..a Virgo and a perfectionist..I wouldn't dare offer to bake/make a cake for anyone if the quality wasn't decent looking...Just saying...

Frustrating January.... icon_wink.gif

Okay that's my rant for the day.... icon_redface.gificon_redface.gificon_rolleyes.gif

21 replies
billiev2000 Posted 18 Jan 2012 , 6:39pm
post #2 of 22

LOL. I know it's frustrating. I live in an area where there there are A LOT of people on food stamps (not that there's anything wrong with that! If you need them, that's what they are there for.) That being said, most of those people would rather go to Kroger and buy a cake from the in-store bakery so that they can pay for it with food stamps. I have lost potential customers because of this. They ask me about a cake, together we plan it out down to the last detail. Then they ask the price. You know my price is going to be more. Then they say, "okay. I'll let you know." And I find out that they didn't want to spend that much cash. icon_eek.gif I'm left thinking WTH! Did you honestly think that I was going to take precious time away from my family, spend x amount on supplies and x amount of labor to give you a $100 cake for $25?!
But I look at it this way: At an event, the cake is a MAJOR part. When the guests are whispering about how crappy the cake is, it's not my name associated with it. You get what you pay for. icon_lol.gif

jgifford Posted 18 Jan 2012 , 7:02pm
post #3 of 22
Originally Posted by Kiddiekakes

Just venting....

After going back and forth and sending pictures/prices etc...I lost 2 potential cake customers to the dreaded...."My friend offered to make the cake for FREE" syndrome....

And speaking for myself only, I was occasionally the "friend". How else are we going to get started on this obsession? icon_rolleyes.gif

Texas_Rose Posted 18 Jan 2012 , 7:46pm
post #4 of 22

That's true, I started out being the "friend" too...but the people I baked for weren't on a custom cake budget.

I understand your frustration, though, especially if you came up with a design for them and then they had the friend make it.

Kiddiekakes Posted 18 Jan 2012 , 10:58pm
post #5 of 22

Ha!Ha! ...jgifford and Texas Rose....I bet your cakes were nice though....LOL

KateLS Posted 18 Jan 2012 , 11:25pm
post #6 of 22

I have to say I do not usually offer to make cakes for others. I only do it as a thank you for something nice someone has done for me or just do it for family. But I must say that assuming that the cake will be ugly, is a bit harsh. I know I'm not perfect, but I must say I think I'm a bit better than some "professionals" I've seen out there. Some of those friends, could be quite talented.

But yes, I understand how it would be frustrating to lose business to them. At least they didn't say "so and so will sell it to me for way less." That, I think would be more annoying to me.

Kiddiekakes Posted 18 Jan 2012 , 11:30pm
post #7 of 22

KateLS..Yeah I realize that is an assumption that the cake would have been less than desirable...But in most cases I think they aren't regular/seasoned decoraters..Just friends trying to help out a friend who maybe doesn't want to spend the money...The fact is though that it wasted my time going back and forth and for that I was annoyed...I felt like she contacted/used me for ideas just so her friend could make it..oh well what can yah do!!

KateLS Posted 18 Jan 2012 , 11:38pm
post #8 of 22

Yes, I agree... That would be very frustrating, and I think I would have also been annoyed if I went through designing, etc. just to have her go with the friend. (Or anyone else for that matter.)

And by the way, I love your cakes! =)

Kiddiekakes Posted 18 Jan 2012 , 11:40pm
post #9 of 22

Thanks..I appreciate that.. icon_wink.gificon_wink.gif

soozicake Posted 19 Jan 2012 , 12:42pm
post #10 of 22

Frustrating but I have to wonder if those 'friends' would do it more than once. A decent cake takes not only financial outlay but time (hours), skills and a good dose of stress, especially if things don't go to plan.

Sadly, there are those who would create a cake and proudly present it no matter the quality! My niece had this happen. Bad news, it was her wedding cake, good news, it was only 1 of the 2 tiers icon_rolleyes.gif !! Lesson learnt - check the friends ability before saying yes.

I have the same sentiment as KateLS. Occasionally I am surprised at 'professionals' workmanship. Luckily this is a minority, there is a big world or true artisans out there (and fantastic learner and pro CC'ers). I have been enlightened and now have huge respect for those who cake for a living.

Karema Posted 24 Jan 2012 , 4:37am
post #11 of 22

I understand your frustration because honestly they shouldn't even tell you that. It would be more professional if they told you never mind they chose to go with someone else. As for having a friend make it honestly it doesn't really matter it's just cake. Oh my I think I just cursed lol. When I had my wedding cake made I thought it would be beautiful. It wasn't! It was made by a friend and it was a hot rainy september day. She drove it in the car for an hour and it melted. I just looked at it and walked away. But guess what? It was one of the best tasting cakes I ever ate! Everyone was talking about how good it was and that is all that mattered at the end of the day. It was special bc she tried and it was good. So I don't think it's about getting an UGLY cake I think it's about losing the order from rude people who are throwing it in your face! And for that they SUCK LOL! Feel better...

Kiddiekakes Posted 24 Jan 2012 , 4:35pm
post #12 of 22

Karema..You're the Best...LOL

cakesbycathy Posted 28 Jan 2012 , 2:11am
post #13 of 22

The first two sentences out of my mouth are : "how many people do you need to serve?" and "What's your budget?"

In less than 30 seconds you can pretty much determine if you should even continue the conversation or steer them to the nearest Walmart. There is no point in spending 30 minutes on the phone or sending more than 2 emails back and forth only to find out they can't afford you anyway.

Btw, I totally get the frustration, too. Been there. Done that. That's how I learned to use those first two sentences icon_wink.gif

2txmedics Posted 5 Nov 2012 , 8:40pm
post #14 of 22

First let me say, Im self taught...and I know how much time, and expense it takes to make a cake...people at work, like my cakes, there moist and fresh  and they for some crazy reason just like how my cakes, thank god for ppl that are use to store bought cakes!


But now ppl at work make comments like, you should bring a cake up here for us! in when we have pot luck meals. so I took one one day...basic cake in a pan, iced...and I got ...oh wow why didnt you make a special cake, all fixed up? Seriously!!! you think Im going to spend hours working on a cake that wont get appreciated?...These ppl know I bake on the side, for family and close friends only. And they are always asking me to take cakes, cupcakes up there. They want me as they say...Try out new designs on them....I even got I like the hulk can you make a cake like that? I said I probably can make something in a bc transfer with one. I got you should make one and bring it up here so I can see it, and we can all eat it. YEAH RIGHT!


I got can you make a hello kitty shaped cake? maybe, why? my daughter is having a bday she is 3yrs old and she would love it, I can pay you 20.00 for a cake in the size that would feed 40 or more ppl...


ARE THEY CRAZY??? or users? lol



HalifaxMommy Posted 6 Nov 2012 , 3:53am
post #15 of 22

A friend asked me to make a cake for her son.  I found a nice simple design online and told her I could make one similar in style.  I told her it would cost $65 dollars and that was just covering my costs.  She wanted to know why it cost was much, I told her butter alone was $12.  She ordered a cake from Costco for $50.


I much prefer to bake cakes for the cake walk or auction at my church. They love my cakes and enjoy them.

cubbycakes Posted 6 Nov 2012 , 8:03pm
post #16 of 22

Ha. This happened to me. A 'friend' of mine asked me to make her sons birthday cake (1st). After much discussion on the design and cost another friend of hers offered to make the 'same' cake she wanted me to make for her for free... That was last year. Her sons birthday is coming up and she is having me do the cake. I guess she got what she paid for...or didnt pay for.

lyndsayscott Posted 6 Nov 2012 , 8:20pm
post #17 of 22

I agree, it is frustrating.  What I tell people is this, "Sure, you can order a cake from Wal-Mart for a significantly less than buying it from me.  However, which cake will they still be raving about next month?  Next year?  A custom cake is just that...CUSTOM!"


Just lost a potential customer this morning because of the same thing.  Oh well, their loss.  Nobody remembers the single-layer, grocery store cake with run-of-the-mill airbrushing.  People remember OUR work!

jgifford Posted 7 Nov 2012 , 12:04am
post #18 of 22

When I first started, I would happily (well, maybe not exactly "happily") lose money to do a cake for a friend or family member.  It was the only way I could justify making a cake - - my family didn't need to eat cake everyday - - and get some much-needed practice. Today, very few of those friends would be able to afford one of my cakes. The biggest problem was that year after year, they still expected me to do a cake for next to nothing. I don't have as many friends as I used to. icon_rolleyes.gif

BakingIrene Posted 7 Nov 2012 , 3:49am
post #19 of 22

I have made free cakes for elderly relatives and in-laws.  I was invited to the party and I volunteered the cake. Cake mix, simple borders, some flowers, all buttercream.  They always loved them. It was great practise.


I stopped making cakes for people ("friends") who demanded a fancy decorated cake for free, when they were working and could afford to pay minimum wage.  I think very poorly of people who demand slave labour.

Annabakescakes Posted 7 Nov 2012 , 4:43am
post #20 of 22

AWell, I sure wish the chicky-poo I was on the phone with today would've clicked over to the other line and had a free cake offered to her! She wasted 20 minutes of my time, and then told me she was on food stamps... I don't accept food stamps! I am a custom bakery, not a grocery store.

jessicups31 Posted 7 Nov 2012 , 10:37am
post #21 of 22

because of the economy one of my first questions is how much are you thinking you would like to spend?  From there I tell them what that will give them sometimes it just works much better since people don't realize how expensive custom cakes can cost.  It also let's the customer know what to expect ahead of time and we don't have to go through a whole session, sketch, etc for them to go with their local grocery store.

inspiredbymom Posted 7 Nov 2012 , 3:42pm
post #22 of 22

Had that last night with a friend of mine.  She wanted a 3D cake.  Either a 6 pk with hand cut logos or a big single with one hand cut logo.  I quoted 75-100.  Pretty cheap right?  We are talking hours!  Did the picture thing and all.  Remind you this is a friend of 20+ years.  After all of that, I got "I'll think of something else".  Another friend last month.  "How much for 2 tiered cake?"  "Starts at 2.00 a serving".  "Anything cheaper?"  "Yes, we can do cupcakes for 9 a dozen."  "That is too much.  I'll go someplace else."


Me, no worries!  I don't want to work for free!  Yippee!  


I used to get bummed and lowered my prices.  After being on CC and getting all of the advice, I have grown a stronger backbone and tougher skin!


OP, have a glass of vino and think of the better paying customer that will walk through your door!  Sorry it happened though.

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