Did I Charge Enough For This?

Decorating By mariak Updated 18 Feb 2012 , 10:15pm by TheSweetTreat

mariak Posted 18 Feb 2012 , 5:45pm
post #1 of 13

I can never get my pricing right. First I get people who want an Ace of Cakes cake at a Walmart price.(Not that mine are near that quality, but you get what I mean.) Then I get the few people that say I am not charging nearly enough. I have really been trying to make sure I am making it worth my time. I just did this cake and I quoted them 40 but after doing it I think I undercharged them. It was an 8 inch cake no special filling or flavor, but the fondant work took some time. What do you all think?
LL

12 replies
dukeswalker Posted 18 Feb 2012 , 6:07pm
post #2 of 13

My BC cakes start at $2/serving & $3/serving for fondant - so for and 8in cake my starting price $50 - for that one I would have been in the $80 range.

costumeczar Posted 18 Feb 2012 , 6:08pm
post #3 of 13

I hate to say it but you WAY undercharged for that. For an 8" fondant cake my base price would be $110, then you have to charge for the decorations on top of that.

Don't base your pricing on what your customers tell you. You need to figure out how much it costs you to make the cake, then add money for your decorating time, utilities used, shopping time, etc onto it. Once you get a price that you know is enough to make it worth your time to even bother making the cake that's the price. Not everyone will be able to afford it, but so what?

I'll bet that if you added up everything it cost you to make that cake, including gas to get to the store and your electricity for the stove you probably made about 50 cents an hour on it. Not cool.

sweetcakesbyjen Posted 18 Feb 2012 , 6:10pm
post #4 of 13

It depends on where you are from, but I see you are in Kentucky. I am in Ohio, so we're not too far from one another, and I would of charged $60.

sweetcakesbyjen Posted 18 Feb 2012 , 6:13pm
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

I hate to say it but you WAY undercharged for that. For an 8" fondant cake my base price would be $110, then you have to charge for the decorations on top of that.

Don't base your pricing on what your customers tell you. You need to figure out how much it costs you to make the cake, then add money for your decorating time, utilities used, shopping time, etc onto it. Once you get a price that you know is enough to make it worth your time to even bother making the cake that's the price. Not everyone will be able to afford it, but so what?

I'll bet that if you added up everything it cost you to make that cake, including gas to get to the store and your electricity for the stove you probably made about 50 cents an hour on it. Not cool.




Oh to be able to make that much on that cake..lol...

costumeczar Posted 18 Feb 2012 , 6:55pm
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcakesbyjen

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

I hate to say it but you WAY undercharged for that. For an 8" fondant cake my base price would be $110, then you have to charge for the decorations on top of that.

Don't base your pricing on what your customers tell you. You need to figure out how much it costs you to make the cake, then add money for your decorating time, utilities used, shopping time, etc onto it. Once you get a price that you know is enough to make it worth your time to even bother making the cake that's the price. Not everyone will be able to afford it, but so what?

I'll bet that if you added up everything it cost you to make that cake, including gas to get to the store and your electricity for the stove you probably made about 50 cents an hour on it. Not cool.



Oh to be able to make that much on that cake..lol...




That's why I usually only do wedding cakes icon_wink.gif My pricing is the same for a cake regardless of what it's for, but people still have Costco prices in their minds when they think of birthday cakes. I do get some clients who will pay that much for a fondanted 8" round, but for the most part if people are shopping for birthday cakes they want to pay $15 for it. Most of the clients who I have who get birthday cakes either want something 3-D or they were wedding cake clients of mine before, so they know what they're paying for.

I just don't think it's worth my time to spend 4 hours on a cake with that many little fondant figures or whatever, then pay $30 for the ingredients and the fondant, to get minimum wage. I'd rather take a nap. thumbs_up.gif

jason_kraft Posted 18 Feb 2012 , 6:59pm
post #7 of 13

Our price for an 8" cake with BC starts at $44, and plain fondant is another $30. With those decorations I probably would have charged another $30 for a total of $104.

If the ingredient cost for the cake was $10, overhead (liability insurance, etc.) was another $10, and it took you 5 hours (including baking, decorating, and cleanup), with a $40 price you are looking at a wage of $4/hour with zero profit.

mariak Posted 18 Feb 2012 , 8:12pm
post #8 of 13

Thanks everyone for your input. I know it was proably too cheap. My problem is most of my costumers are used to the walmart price. I myself , even though I know everything that goes into the cake and that it is worth it, would not want to spend tons on a birthday cake. So for me to look at someone and tell them it will be like eighty dollars for a cake that will feed about twenty people is very hard.

klamb17 Posted 18 Feb 2012 , 8:37pm
post #9 of 13

Very cute cake, and I agree with everyone about not charging enough. I know where I live people want walmart prices too. I don't think they even have a clue of how much time it involves plus talent. You are getting a custom cake, not a frozen one at walmart or costco. I have the same problem too, it's hard to tell people how much you charge sometimes. In all honesty though, with my budget I wouldn't pay anyone for my prices unless it was a special event, wedding, graduation, etc...not a birthday lol. Plus I suffer from chronic pain so it's not like I can whip one up and not suffer physically for it.

dawnybird Posted 18 Feb 2012 , 8:41pm
post #10 of 13

Mariak,
You sound exactly like me. The people in my small town would never pay $80 or more for a small cake (or even a larger layer cake). They tell me instead to just make a plain cake with no decoration. But the decorating is the only fun part for me - a chance to use my creativity. I love that part. I get so sick of people telling me I'm not charging enough (friends, not customers!!). I consider this a hobby and if I have fun and make a few bucks to buy myself another decorating gadget, that's my choice! Most hobbies only cost money - this one gives me pleasure and pays its way, plus a little extra. I don't need it for my living expenses. If it stops being fun, I'll stop doing it except when I feel like it! And that's all I have to say about that! icon_smile.gif

jenscreativity Posted 18 Feb 2012 , 9:27pm
post #11 of 13

In my area, I charge 3 for b/c and $4 for fondant, so for this cake to feed 20ppl, I would've charged at least $100 or so..The lesson I learned way back is make sure you charge what you are worth, because you will end up doing so many cakes underpriced, and exhaust yourself plus words gets around how cheap you are and ppl will take advantage of that.

Wouldn't you rather charge much higher, and do less cakes, yet you would enjoy doing it more to take your time on it, plus knowing you are getting what it's really worth,,and then word will get around for your higher prices, and some ppl will overlook it as CUSTOM made cake and not just slopped iced cakes. It works, trust me! You cake is great btw! No more undercharging girl..you will NOT regret this advice down road once you are rocking and rolling! At least, try it and if repeating customers call and your price is BIG this time , and they ask why, just state the first cake was discounted, OR that cake ingredient prices has skyrocketed especially dairy and it's really true actually, so you have to raise the prices for your times worth.

Best of luck,,

FullHouse Posted 18 Feb 2012 , 9:41pm
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariak

Thanks everyone for your input. I know it was proably too cheap. My problem is most of my costumers are used to the walmart price. I myself , even though I know everything that goes into the cake and that it is worth it, would not want to spend tons on a birthday cake. So for me to look at someone and tell them it will be like eighty dollars for a cake that will feed about twenty people is very hard.




There are people out there who want a custom cake and understand what it is worth. Those are the people who are our clients. The ones who do not want to pay custom prices for a birthday cake will go buy the type of cake they can afford (heck, I would not have custom cake in my budget for a basic birthday either).

You will burn out very quickly making little to no $ on these cakes. If you are doing this as more of a hobby and are happy to break even or just make enough for a new cake toy, great (though let us know if a year how you feel). Otherwise, charge what you are worth.

I would charge about $80-$90 for that cake if it were buttercream, $100-$110 for fondant, and I am certainly not the most expensive in my area. Yes, I do have people go off to Target for their cakes after getting a quote, but I have others who happily purchase my cakes and then come back and tell me how much they loved them.

You may lose some orders, but what if taking the $40 order means that you have no time to accept the $80 order that someone calls to place because you are already booked with the $40 one? Last time I had someone decide my cake wasn't in their budget, I wound up with 2 more ordering cakes for the same day, and those cakes were bigger than the 1st inquiry, so it worked out to my benefit that the smaller order decided to go with a grocery store cake.

If you have a hard time telling people a price, let them know that you will have to figure it out and you will send them an email with a price quote. To save yourself some time, do let them know, you start at $xx per serving and fondant figures, etc. are priced on complexity. If they have a reasonable budget, you can work with the design to fit the budget, NOT reduce your price. If 5 fondant figures are too expensive, suggest 1 main figure or a smaller cake.

TheSweetTreat Posted 18 Feb 2012 , 10:15pm
post #13 of 13

Mariak, just remember that you are not your customer, but it doesn't mean that you shouldn't charge appropriately. Before I had my second child I was a wedding photographer and in the beginning I had to determine how much I would charge to shoot someone's wedding. I sat back looking at the cost and thinking man...I wouldn't even hire me!! I couldn't afford to! However, I'm not marketing to people like me with smaller pockets...I'm marketing to people who value good custom photography and set aside the proper budget for it. (I did have a great photographer at my wedding because it was a priority for me) Those people exist out there and you just have to find them.

If you're work is good then you need to seek out the proper clients who will gladly pay your prices, and they do exist. Don't waste time with the bargain shoppers like ourselves icon_wink.gif Your work is good from what I see in that photo and definitely worth more than a measley $40.

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