IFancyCake83 Posted 6 Mar 2012 , 9:12pm
post #1 of

A friend asked me for a "sampler" so that she could share with friends and co-workers...basically to help get me some more orders. Since I am not yet licensed, I cannot sell but I set up a trivia game via my facebook page and people play and win a dozen cupcakes. She recently won one of the trivias and loved her cupcakes!

Anyway, I updated her on Saturday letting her know I would be preparing her order and it would be ready for pick up on Sunday at 4pm.

I am up very early on Sunday preparing the sampler and was finally finished at 3:30pm. I sent her a quick text (since this is how we've been communicating) and told her that the cupcakes are ready. In reply, she says that her husband has the car and can she pick up on Monday. No problem, Monday is fine, I'll be home at x-time. A few seconds later, she texts me back and says that she has to take her mother somewhere on Monday but will contact me after her errand. Uh, okay. That's fine.

Monday night comes, I do not hear anything from her. I text her, no reply. It's 9pm, I give up, go to bed.

It is now Tuesday and I still have the cupcakes with no word from her. I am baffled. I am going to call her in a few minutes but I really feel like this is strange.

How can this be prevented in the future? Even though there is no charge, a lot of time and money went into this "sampler" and I just don't understand why she asked for them if she wasn't going to bother to pick them up.

18 replies
pmarks0 Posted 6 Mar 2012 , 9:31pm
post #2 of

In terms of this friend, don't rebake the sampler. If it's a basic cupcake and swirl with american buttercream, you could freeze them, and them take them out the morning that she's actually showing up. She is taking advantage of your friendship because they're free.

Going forward, if your sampler is generally the same flavours each time, I would bake them up and freeze them. I've frozen cupcakes and a ziplock and never had any issue when they've been defrosted. And same with the buttercream. Freeze it in smaller amounts so you just have to take out what you need. I often put the frozen buttercream back through the mixer quickly just to bring it back and then pipe it on. People won't even be able to tell you froze them.

I'm sure others may have some other suggestions.

jason_kraft Posted 6 Mar 2012 , 9:49pm
post #3 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by IFancyCake83

I just don't understand why she asked for them if she wasn't going to bother to pick them up.



Probably because she didn't need them for a specific event and they were free. Once you become a legit business and get paying customers this shouldn't be as much of an issue, especially if you collect deposits up front.

IFancyCake83 Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 2:58pm
post #4 of

Thanks you guys.

I have a lot to learn and Jason you're probably right FREE + not for anything in particular = take her good ol' time about picking up / responding lol!

I did call and she did come to get them icon_smile.gif. I am relieved to be done with it.

PMarks- I did not think of baking and freezing the samples- good call. Whenever I have leftover frosting, I do freeze that but I've never frozen the cupcakes. Will give that a try.

cheatize Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 4:28pm
post #5 of

I had a customer do the same thing so free isn't always the problem. She, naturally, got a bad vibe from me when she finally called and when she picked them up.

She hasn't called since. This is a customer with 6 kids, so there was a lot of potential there. However, I'm not at her beck and call so I had to let the idea of her future business go. Sad, but I can't put up with that.

colababy Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 5:06pm
post #6 of

I feel you a guy did me like that last month. I advertise on Facebook, and this guy ask can he order some cupcakes for the following weekend, I said OK. I made the cupcake the following weekend and text the guy, and didn't hear from him in a week. When he finally contact me on Facebook, he said his wife didn't need them that's why he didn't call me. I told my husband if he want an order from he, he will have to pay upfront before I take his order. Lucky my son came home and I gave them to him and his friend. The point is that we don't eat cake all like that, and I don't make cakes and freeze them. They are made when I get orders, people don't realize we can't afford to what unwanted cake to waste. Too much time goes into making cakes or cupcakes and decorating them.

KoryAK Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 5:57pm
post #7 of

Colababy - never, ever, ever make an order without SOME sort of deposit or credit card number or SOMETHING. As you can see, HE didn't consider it a real order because he hadn't paid for it.

Debbye27 Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 6:13pm
post #8 of

when you freeze cupcakes....does the liner stay in tact? or do you remove it before freezing?

Apti Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 6:17pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by KoryAK

Colababy - never, ever, ever make an order without SOME sort of deposit or credit card number or SOMETHING. As you can see, HE didn't consider it a real order because he hadn't paid for it.




ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE A HOBBY BAKER AND BAKING FOR FRIENDS/FAMILY!!!!!!!

Make them give you SOMETHING. A suggestion is a small dollars ($10-$15) donation that you can apply to a charity or microloan like Kiva. You can get the client's email address when you receive the $10-$15. You can then send an email link/forward showing the money was donated to the charity in their name. (Kiva is a wonderful microloan organization and charges $25 for a microloan.)

If you don't get the $$ BEFORE YOU TURN ON THE OVEN, then no whining if/when they act like idiots.

jason_kraft Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 6:22pm

To play devil's advocate, for smaller orders with limited decorations a deposit may not be necessary. The majority of our business is relatively basic birthday cakes and cupcakes, and we only require deposits on larger orders (over $200). In four years and 700+ orders we've only had one no-show, and we were able to remove the writing, re-frost the top, put it in the freezer, and sell it to another customer a week later.

KoryAK Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 8:28pm

As an open shop, I also don't require deposits on some of the small cakes and cupcakes that we keep in stock with the same line of thinking - I can sell this to SOMEONE. But before this, when I was home-based, I did NOT turn on the oven without payment. I have no one else to sell it to easily and what are the chances someone would want that exact flavor combo and size?

jason_kraft Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 8:43pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by KoryAK

I have no one else to sell it to easily and what are the chances someone would want that exact flavor combo and size?



Pretty good, if you advertise that flavor combo and size as the current "special". A surprising number of customers have no idea what kind of flavors they want, so it is easy enough to steer them towards what's in stock.

MissJoyous Posted 26 Oct 2013 , 4:16am

Just came across this post, and I do see that it is a couple years old... but I hope someone sees this & replies.

 

I am just opening for business from my home & my sister is telling me, "you've got to get a deposit" ~ where I am from home and will be delivering my orders, I don't want to make an initial trip just to collect a payment.. Is asking for a deposit really that normal of a thing? I'll be charging $24 & $14 for orders; can I please get some input on what's appropriate & if I do go about collecting a deposit, the easiest way to accomplish that.

 

Thank you so very much!

Amylou Posted 26 Oct 2013 , 4:38am

AIf that's all you'll be charging for orders, I would just get the payment up front.

A deposit shows a commitment on the part of your customer that they are serious about going through with their order. If you take a limited amount of orders per day/week, the deposit also covers other orders you could have scheduled. It also can cover time and materials used that you can't resell.

You shouldn't be doing any running around getting you deposits/payments. Have them mail it to you in advance or setup PayPal.

...and yes, deposits are a normal, and necessary thing!

Apti Posted 31 Oct 2013 , 6:53am

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amylou 

If that's all you'll be charging for orders, I would just get the payment up front.

 

yup.    they pay first........THEN get goodies later.

Godot Posted 31 Oct 2013 , 7:17am

A

Original message sent by MissJoyous

I'll be charging $24 & $14 for orders.

I, for one, would like to know how you got those figures.

MissJoyous Posted 31 Oct 2013 , 8:05am

Thank you, I really appreciate you replying on this. I am really initially anticipating selling orders by order ~ which is going to be a dozen regular or 2 dozen minis... so what is the proper way to collect 'up front' then? I do have a business & personal PayPal set up... but they charge a fee (can I add the charge fee to the order?!).. which, over time, will add up. So I am just trying to find the best way to start this, as I am launching my opening next week.

 

Any & all information and advice is really appreciated! I don't have a way to set up online ordering yet... or a program to generate an invoice... I am asking for a week lead time on orders... this money part is the stressful part for me. It's one big change I'm making going from freelance *key word being free" cupcake caterer to the business side... And I'm still not quite sure how to collect such payments; albeit big or small...

 

Thank you for anything you can offer.

MBalaska Posted 31 Oct 2013 , 10:46pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apti 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KoryAK

Colababy - never, ever, ever make an order without SOME sort of deposit or credit card number or SOMETHING. As you can see, HE didn't consider it a real order because he hadn't paid for it.



ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE A HOBBY BAKER AND BAKING FOR FRIENDS/FAMILY!!!!!!!

Make them give you SOMETHING. A suggestion is a small dollars ($10-$15) donation that you can apply to a charity or microloan like Kiva. You can get the client's email address when you receive the $10-$15. You can then send an email link/forward showing the money was donated to the charity in their name. (Kiva is a wonderful microloan organization and charges $25 for a microloan.)

If you don't get the $$ BEFORE YOU TURN ON THE OVEN, then no whining if/when they act like idiots.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KoryAK 

As an open shop, I also don't require deposits on some of the small cakes and cupcakes that we keep in stock with the same line of thinking - I can sell this to SOMEONE. But before this, when I was home-based, I did NOT turn on the oven without payment. I have no one else to sell it to easily and what are the chances someone would want that exact flavor combo and size?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apti 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amylou 

If that's all you'll be charging for orders, I would just get the payment up front.

 

yup.    they pay first........THEN get goodies later.

 

 

Sounds like you folks are speaking from some costly Real Life EXPERIENCE.

Lessons learned. Good For You.  Each of you discovers what is best in your own locality.

Best Wishes to all of you and much success in your future commerce.

howsweet Posted 31 Oct 2013 , 11:01pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

To play devil's advocate, for smaller orders with limited decorations a deposit may not be necessary. The majority of our business is relatively basic birthday cakes and cupcakes, and we only require deposits on larger orders (over $200). In four years and 700+ orders we've only had one no-show, and we were able to remove the writing, re-frost the top, put it in the freezer, and sell it to another customer a week later.


I know you posted this ages ago, but I just wanted to say that I've had the similar experience that people hold up their end of the bargain and I don't even have a store front. I find that a deposit of one third is enough and I don't ask for final payment until the day of. Not once has anyone left me high and dry. (knock on wood). I think people appreciate being treated this way. I know I'm taking a risk that if they had a sudden death in the family or something like that, I'd be stuck with a cake, but I think that's ok because I'm doing business in a way that makes people feel comfortable. My orders range from about $200-$1,000.

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