Video, Paul Bradford, How To Present Cake Pricing To Clients

Business By Apti Updated 22 Apr 2012 , 11:46pm by costumeczar

Apti Posted 9 Mar 2012 , 4:02pm
post #1 of 14

Paul Bradford, a fabulous UK designer, has just started a blog where he will offer free videos each week.
His first video presentation is about how to present cake pricing options to a customer that comes into his shop.

He focuses on 3 different pricing levels for the customer's dream cake. Standard (2D), Middle with some bling and customization, and "Couture" for top end. This is well worth watching.

http://www.designer-cakes.com/2012/03/what-should-i-charge-for-cakes/

13 replies
rosa369 Posted 9 Mar 2012 , 4:31pm
post #2 of 14

Thank you for sharing!!

vgcea Posted 9 Mar 2012 , 11:11pm
post #3 of 14

Excellent post. Thank you!

bobwonderbuns Posted 20 Apr 2012 , 4:24pm
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Thanks for sharing!!! icon_biggrin.gif

Apti Posted 20 Apr 2012 , 4:56pm
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You are all very welcome.

vgcea Posted 20 Apr 2012 , 5:52pm
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Okay, update. I tried it on a client... she ended up overwhelmed with the different tiers (and there were only 3 of them). I ended up having to back-track, and ask her what her budget was, and then presented her with what she could get (like I usually would've done) and we resolved things pretty quickly after that.

costumeczar Posted 21 Apr 2012 , 3:33am
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I have to agree with vgcea on this one. The three-tiered pricing structure is a wedding industry thing that's been going around for quite a while. Not just weddings, actually, they used it to sell us our vinyl siding too, but it's typical in weddings.

The theory is that people will generally go for the middle tier price, so that's where you should base your pricing. But in my experience, people appreciate fewer choices with pricing. As clients are becoming more educated about these pricing tricks they see through it, too.

I price cakes based on a flat price per cake, not a strict per-serving price, and I promote the fact that I don't nickel and dime people with extra charges added on for everything. The price covers any kind of decorations that the bride wants, so it's structured on the higher end to cover time-consuming desings, therefore simpler designs are just earning more profit because they take less time. The majority of cakes that brides want are fairly simple, so when one comes along that needs more attention it isn't a big deal because it's offset by the ones that are plainer. When they come to me they say "do you charge extra for this or that" and when I tell them no they're genuinely happy. Half the time they then complain to me that when they went to other bakers they were quoted extra charges for everything including the cake board.

The three-tiered structure can work, but you have to be a salesman to pitch it, and I'm not interested in that. I'd rather tell people that they have one price and they can have the flexibility of choosing whatever design they want and not having to worry about it. It tends to go over better.

Apti Posted 21 Apr 2012 , 4:04am
post #8 of 14

I was in medical equipment sales for 30 years. His approach made perfect sense to me.

lol

Evoir Posted 21 Apr 2012 , 4:44am
post #9 of 14

I am finding "less is more" when it comes to providing information. I used to offer costings for everything, because I believe in full disclosure. But now I tend to give people an "upper cost limit" for a cake, and even though it might be the same price if I "nickel and dimed" them in an itemised quote, it is amazing how much happier someone is when they discover that I will deduct some $$$ for simpler elements etc. Intriguing shopper psychology!!

costumeczar Posted 21 Apr 2012 , 11:32am
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evoir

I am finding "less is more" when it comes to providing information. I used to offer costings for everything, because I believe in full disclosure. But now I tend to give people an "upper cost limit" for a cake, and even though it might be the same price if I "nickel and dimed" them in an itemised quote, it is amazing how much happier someone is when they discover that I will deduct some $$$ for simpler elements etc. Intriguing shopper psychology!!




That's exactly what I do...Great minds think alike, hahaha! icon_wink.gif

The approach that he uses makes sense in some ways, but brides do NOT shop like everyone else. They're being bombarded with information from multiple types of vendors who they've never had to deal with before, and they get overwhelmed. Keeping it simple makes it friendlier for them and they appreciate it.

QTCakes1 Posted 22 Apr 2012 , 7:53pm
post #11 of 14

I just have a question out of curiosity. Does the general pricing for the simpler cakes that off set the cake of a more pricey cake still apply if it is extremely elaborate? For example, in general the basic white cake is what is asked for and they might get a little jazzy on an occasion, but what do you do when they want to have a cake the looks like Sylvia Weinstick, slathered in flowers? Does your general cake price still cover that?

costumeczar Posted 22 Apr 2012 , 10:35pm
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by QTCakes1

I just have a question out of curiosity. Does the general pricing for the simpler cakes that off set the cake of a more pricey cake still apply if it is extremely elaborate? For example, in general the basic white cake is what is asked for and they might get a little jazzy on an occasion, but what do you do when they want to have a cake the looks like Sylvia Weinstick, slathered in flowers? Does your general cake price still cover that?




Thats the only time that I'd add anything on, but honestly,nobody wants that.

QTCakes1 Posted 22 Apr 2012 , 10:58pm
post #13 of 14

I figured as much, but I guess for me there is no way my base could cover gumpaste flowers period, unless maybe it's like a 3 roses, which I can just knock out. But if I have 3 peonies or, I don't know, hydrangeas, I have to charge extra even if it is 3 bunches of hydrangeas. Does that fall under nickel and diming to you guys? I definitely wouldn't up charge for things like fondant quilting or stripes, that just makes no sense. But what about individual gumpaste pieces?

costumeczar Posted 22 Apr 2012 , 11:46pm
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by QTCakes1

I figured as much, but I guess for me there is no way my base could cover gumpaste flowers period, unless maybe it's like a 3 roses, which I can just knock out. But if I have 3 peonies or, I don't know, hydrangeas, I have to charge extra even if it is 3 bunches of hydrangeas. Does that fall under nickel and diming to you guys? I definitely wouldn't up charge for things like fondant quilting or stripes, that just makes no sense. But what about individual gumpaste pieces?




Personally, I can knock gumpaste out pretty fast, so I don't bother charging for it unless there's a ton of it like you mentioned before. Sylvia Weinstock-style is going to be more. I have a cake today that I quoted for a cascade of gumpaste on three tiers and I didn't bother to add extra to it, that's not a big deal to me. If making them took me a long time I'd charge extra, but if all they want is roses and filler I can do that during one episode of the Young and the Restless and the Bold and Beautiful and be done with it. The pink cake that I did here did incur an extra charge for gumpaste, but you can see why. http://www.acaketoremember.com/images/tall_cake.jpg

I'd say if you know it's going to take you an unusually long time over the average for doing one cake then charge more.

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