Childs Birthday Party Cakes Price

Business By Aimeesc Updated 22 Mar 2012 , 8:48pm by cai0311

Aimeesc Posted 18 Mar 2012 , 4:26am
post #1 of 34

So I decide after 7 years of cake decorating to start a home base bakery after mastering gumpaste roses, I decided it was time. I advertised in a local Facebook group because I noticed that multiple people had asked for cakes. I got an e-mail from a gal that said she wanted a basic white cake with buttercream frosting as lightening McQueen in 1.5 weeks (I got no other information). I e-mailed back asking her how many people she was serving and if she preferred a 2D or 3D cake so I can accurately give her a quote (I have a picture of a 3D cake on a 8" round on my website). She says she wants a 2D of Lightening McQueen to feed 40 people and a small 3D for her son. I quote her $60/$30, that way if she wanted to eliminate the 3D, she could get a better idea.

Keep in mind, the nearest cake shop is a major city around 40 minutes away, so your only local choice is the grocery store or a Wal-Mart. I got the "Let me talk to my husband and get back to you" answer, I know that answer, I give that when I don't know how to tell someone no. I am within 40 minutes of Charlotte, NC, am I pricing too high? I planned on doing a double height sheetcake in the shape of McQueen to feed the 40 with a smaller 3D version of him for the child. I have received orders since then so I am not feeling discouraged. How often do you get orders from people that expect a lot but want to pay so little? (FYI, that was 3 days ago I gave her the quote and I haven't heard back from her since, so I know I don't have her order).

33 replies
scp1127 Posted 18 Mar 2012 , 5:41am
post #2 of 34

I see that you are new. You may want to look up the threads on licensed/copyright/trademarked property. You could face fines for doing that type of cake. Before you say yes, take a look at the information on this subject and make sure you are willing to take the risk.

Aimeesc Posted 18 Mar 2012 , 3:01pm
post #3 of 34

Yes, I have read that, it was after I had said yes to the order, so maybe it was divine intervention that she didn't want the order. icon_smile.gif

I did get an order for an iCarly theme, I told her that I would do a mouse and laptop instead because of that reason.

TheSweetTreat Posted 18 Mar 2012 , 3:14pm
post #4 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

I see that you are new. You may want to look up the threads on licensed/copyright/trademarked property. You could face fines for doing that type of cake. Before you say yes, take a look at the information on this subject and make sure you are willing to take the risk.




OMG! This thread was not to educate anyone on copyright. This post was not helpful at all. Why does there have to be so much policing of this forum? It's downright irritating.

bellacakecreations Posted 18 Mar 2012 , 3:26pm
post #5 of 34

To answer your question Aimeesc happens every now and then. I find that it is happening less often as I get a bigger client base. I had a woman ask for a tiered cake to serve 50 guests, with an edible image, hearts on wires, and in fondant for $60.....sorry can't help you. Two days later she contacted me asking if I could help her design something more in her budget and before I could respond to that one she sent me another message saying she was cool with the original price I quoted for the cake she really wanted. In other words she shopped around, the either told her they couldn't do it exactly as she wanted or she dreaming of a cake out of her price range. I've also had a few that said let me ask my spouse....of course they never get back to you. It's all about people seeing what you have to offer and knowing what kind of time you put into it. I used to kill myself doing cakes cheap because I wanted to get them out there but it's really not worth it. Charge what you are worth and be proud of it. The clients will find you. icon_smile.gif

leah_s Posted 18 Mar 2012 , 3:50pm
post #6 of 34

YES, TheSweetTreat, copyright infringement absolutely *does* have a place in an answer about pricing. Because if you decide to take that sort of risk, you'd better be pricing accordingly.

Ditto verifying whether a questioner is legal and licensed and insured. Because if you're going to take the risk of not being legal (whatever that means in your location), then you'd better have money in the bank to pay your fines. Or, conversely, if you'd paid you licensing and insurance fees, you need to be sure to include a portion of those fess as a cost of business in your pricing.

It's ALL relevant to pricing.,

sillyoldpoohbear Posted 18 Mar 2012 , 4:00pm
post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aimeesc

How often do you get orders from people that expect a lot but want to pay so little?




Constantly, but don't back down. There will always be someone in this life that wants something for nothing. It does get a bit tedious at times the moms that 'want the moon on a stick' to show off to the other moms at their little darlings party, but I learned to stop stressing about it a long time ago. I had one who was always wanting everything but wanted to pay nothing so in the end I had to say " yes you can have that on your cake, but it will only be 2D with your budget." No she hasn't come back, but their are lots of people who have been to her kids parties & still have cakes from me & recommend me to others. They're the kind of people you want to hang on to.

I know it's hard when you start out & I did give in to people to get their custom but in the long run it isn't worth it. They will always expect something for nothing forever then. And that will drive you crazy icon_smile.gif

TheSweetTreat Posted 18 Mar 2012 , 4:29pm
post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

YES, TheSweetTreat, copyright infringement absolutely *does* have a place in an answer about pricing. Because if you decide to take that sort of risk, you'd better be pricing accordingly.

Ditto verifying whether a questioner is legal and licensed and insured. Because if you're going to take the risk of not being legal (whatever that means in your location), then you'd better have money in the bank to pay your fines. Or, conversely, if you'd paid you licensing and insurance fees, you need to be sure to include a portion of those fess as a cost of business in your pricing.

It's ALL relevant to pricing.,




I understand that copyright infringement may have a place in some way to pricing, but the second poster couldn't even be bothered to answer the actual question. She could have at least answered the question FIRST then did a P.S. at the end to mention copyright.

Also, I'd love to hear from those who have actually been fined for making character cakes. Are they out there?

scp1127 Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 5:21am
post #9 of 34

To The SweetTreat:

I am the second poster that you are referring to. Please note that this is the businesses forum where business share legal business advice. Look on the forum heading.

The person is new. I also pm'd her.

For your information, the reason I did not answer her question is 1, it is illegal, and 2, She is in SC. I am looking into moving to SC in a few years, and unless something has changed recently, it has the most strict HD rules I have seen, including no baking for money out of your home. I do not answer questions of this kind ever, especially when they are entered in the business forum.

Also SweetTreat, many of us who are legal businesses answering posts in the legal business forum, find your last comment about who really gets fined, not only irritating, but just downright ignorant. You, who obviously has no respect for the property of others, do not need to propagate bad/illegal information.

TheSweetTreat Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 12:54pm
post #10 of 34

Let me first start by saying that I do NOT create character cakes or anything that would violate copyright. I make cupcakes with pretty swirls on top for fun. I occassionally make cookies with generic designs on them. I do value people's copyrighted property. I am also a photographer and understand the importance of copyright. I am not ignorant.

You say that this is the business section so you should be free to give legal advice (ehh not really a good idea), but then you state that YOU don't give legal advice. So which is it? My original point is that members like you get your feathers so ruffled when someone mentions character cakes that you can't even be bothered to answer their original question. You go on your rampage about how illegal it is, and then you start the scare tactics of saying that someone is going to come knock on your door (could be 20 years from now!) and slap you with a hefty hefty fine. I just want to know if those people actually exist out there.

You may not answer questions like the OP's, but you could have at least said THAT instead of just jumping right in about the use of a McQueen cake. That's my point. She is new to this forum and that type of behavior might cause her to leave and not come back. Is that really good for this forum?

TheSweetTreat Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 1:36pm
post #11 of 34

Let me first start by saying that I do NOT create character cakes or anything that would violate copyright. I make cupcakes with pretty swirls on top for fun. I occassionally make cookies with generic designs on them. I do value people's copyrighted property. I am also a photographer and understand the importance of copyright. I am not ignorant.

You say that this is the business section so you should be free to give legal advice (ehh not really a good idea), but then you state that YOU don't give legal advice. So which is it? My original point is that members like you get your feathers so ruffled when someone mentions character cakes that you can't even be bothered to answer their original question. You go on your rampage about how illegal it is, and then you start the scare tactics of saying that someone is going to come knock on your door (could be 20 years from now!) and slap you with a hefty hefty fine. I just want to know if those people actually exist out there.

You may not answer questions like the OP's, but you could have at least said THAT instead of just jumping right in about the use of a McQueen cake. That's my point. She is new to this forum and that type of behavior might cause her to leave and not come back. Is that really good for this forum?

TheSweetTreat Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 1:40pm
post #12 of 34

And before anyone attacks me for not caring about the legitimate businesses, I do care. I had my own photography business and paid $900/yearly to be licensed and insured. I value morals and ethics. I just find it counter-productive to this forum to answer questions in the way the second poster answered. That's all. This isn't the first time I've seen this and that's why I felt the need to say something.

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 2:15pm
post #13 of 34

People are soon going to be scared to post anything here for fear of being attacked. I know I feel that way. It's as though some people on here just sit in front of their computers all day waiting for these types of questions ready to pounce. When do they have time to bake?

Aimeesc Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 2:54pm
post #14 of 34

Although I appreciate the advice, unsolicited or no, I have to agree with TheSweetTreat and The_Sugar_Fairy. This is my first post yet I get these types of responses? Extremely discouraging and unprofessional.

To scp1127, in my profile, is the link to my site, nowhere on there does it say "I bake out of my home", so how do you know I don't rent a kitchen? Is it currently legal in SC? No it is not. However a cottage law is currently in the senate . http://www.facebook.com/#!/SCCottageFoodLaw

Aimee

IvyCakes Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 4:30pm
post #15 of 34

I felt no hostility in scp1127's post. It was a simple, welcome and here is some information you may need. I appreciate that reminders about legality and copyright are brought up to new members on a consistent basis. For those of us who browse the forums daily, it can feel repetitive and unneeded - we of course are aware of these issues. However, new members may not be, and I feel it is better to inform them then keep quiet out of fear they already know.

We often make assumptions after reading posts... spc1127 assumed they may not know all the legality about a newly started cake business. When you don't know all the details and gaps about a person, you subconsciously fill them in your mind. If that leads to us assuming a false scenario, and giving advice accordingly, I don't think it's ever given as a personal attack... More so an attempt to cover any base that may not have been considered previously.

I hope no one takes my response as being hostile or preachy. I think a large part of it stems from the inability to really illustrate our tone through the written word. (You have NO idea how hard it is not to put a smilie at the end of every sentence I write! -_-; ) I'm actually fretting and freaking out everyone will think I'm a horrible person - but maybe that doesn't come across in the way I respond to topics. It goes to show how things can be taken the wrong way when it's the opposite of our intentions! icon_sad.gif


I will not ask for a group hug. I will not ask for a group hug.... .I really won't. *eye twitch*

subyu62 Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 4:44pm
post #16 of 34

I'm not sure I understand why anyone would get offend if a professional offers information that could help someone? Seriously, do you (generic you) think they have nothing better to do with their time? They are gracious enough to answer questions, offer advice, and share whatever they can. If the information they share isn't something you need just thank them and move on. There was no attack in the answer just a simple suggestion.
As for why someone may think the OP was baking from home, possibly illegally, I would assume if someone opens a shop they would already know about copyrights. The OP states she read about it here AFTER saying yes to the order. if not for the pros sharing the info that thread wouldn't have existed for the OP to read.

Personally, I don't think we show enough appreciation for the pros here who are willing to share.

To the Pros : Thank you for sharing you knowledge, and insight with us all. Thank you for always being willing to answer pm's, and for never acting like
someone is bother. What you give us in invaluable and I'm sorry not everyone
sees that.

suzylynn58 Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 5:27pm
post #17 of 34

I see nothing offensive about scp1127's response. I find that the general population has no idea about copyright/licensing laws. They go online and see hundreds of cakes done with these themes and think nothing of it.

I think we all have a responsibility to pass that knowledge on to new decorators as well as to our clients. At the top of the children's cake page on my website, I have posted that I don't do copyrighted character cakes, but yet they still ask. With internet exposure there is a much greater risk of getting caught, so I think we would be negligent in not passing that information on to new decorators.

I agree that pricing on a copyrighted cake is a non-issue since it is illegal.

TheSweetTreat Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 5:40pm
post #18 of 34

If the information about copyright is that important then it should be something a new member has to read before they're able to start posting on this forum. Then we can save having such redundant information in so many threads.

Again, my point is that it's not very good for the forum for people to completely disregard the actual question only to use the thread as a soap box for their feelings on something's legality. No one said that member's who share so much information aren't valued. But must we be subjected to a copyright/legal lesson everytime we post a question about something? Just because someone posts a lot of their knowlege about cake decorating doesn't give them the right to behave any ol' way. All she had to do was address the original poster's question in some way and I would have kept my mouth shut. Plenty of people have mentioned copyright on this forum (A LOT), but they still managed to answer the OP's question in addition to their feelings on copyright.

jason_kraft Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 6:52pm
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSweetTreat

But must we be subjected to a copyright/legal lesson everytime we post a question about something?



If that question involves making (and especially selling) a cake with a copyrighted character, then the answer is yes. This is not an opinion or getting on a soap box, it is letting people know what the law says.

carmijok Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 8:00pm
post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by IvyCakes



I will not ask for a group hug. I will not ask for a group hug.... .I really won't. *eye twitch*




LOL!! icon_lol.gif

Bridgette1129 Posted 20 Mar 2012 , 7:47pm
post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aimeesc


To scp1127, in my profile, is the link to my site, nowhere on there does it say "I bake out of my home", so how do you know I don't rent a kitchen?




I think she assumed this by what your first post said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aimeesc

So I decide after 7 years of cake decorating to start a home base bakery after mastering gumpaste roses, I decided it was time.




I am not agreeing with any one here, I am just pointing out that you mentioned you bake from home.

mommachris Posted 20 Mar 2012 , 8:14pm
post #22 of 34

Can't we all just bake cakes?

Sorry..felt a bit Rodney Kingish this morning.

mommachris

Aimeesc Posted 20 Mar 2012 , 8:17pm
post #23 of 34

So what do you call it when you work out of a kitchen but do your paperwork at home? Rental kitchen bakery?

Bridgette1129 Posted 20 Mar 2012 , 8:22pm
post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aimeesc

So what do you call it when you work out of a kitchen but do your paperwork at home? Rental kitchen bakery?




I just say I rent a commercial kitchen icon_smile.gif

jason_kraft Posted 20 Mar 2012 , 8:22pm
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aimeesc

So what do you call it when you work out of a kitchen but do your paperwork at home? Rental kitchen bakery?



This was the setup for my bakery, I would tell people we operated out of a commercial kitchen since that's where all the important stuff happens. People generally aren't too concerned about where you do your paperwork.

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 20 Mar 2012 , 8:41pm
post #26 of 34

So has anyone answered the OP question? I really feel badly for her now. This feels a bit like high school with the bullying and teasing. icon_sad.gif

lorieleann Posted 21 Mar 2012 , 12:58am
post #27 of 34

I saw absolutely nothing offensive, judgmental, or out of line about scp1127's concise and informative response. I would hope to see the same kind of 'head's up' post if someone was asking about the best recipes to use with this tasty and cheap vanilla from Mexico. And like a majority of the shop owners on CC Biz Forum, I'm thinking that scp1127 doesn't have the time to flower up her responses. Seriously, posts full glitter rainbows and unicorn hugs are more the speed of the W-town boards.

Honestly, the only high school vibe i'm getting is from members trying police how another member posts. Really? Where else is is appropriate to butt in to another person's style of communication? When at the bank and the teller isn't to your liking in dealing with another customer...do you comment and share your disapproval? And also be so bold to think that your idea of how 'things should be' is what everyone wants? Live and let live, post and let post.

lorieleann Posted 21 Mar 2012 , 1:15am
post #28 of 34

and to answer the OP. . . Learn to be comfortable setting your prices and knowing your value. When I first put myself out on the market, I spent a lot of time fretting about being too cheap or too expensive. It was a beautiful day when I felt comfortable quoting a cake and having it turned down. An even better day when I quoted, was haggled...and stuck to my estimate (and got the order at the original price).

If your work can stand up to your price point, the business will come to you.

scp1127 Posted 21 Mar 2012 , 5:26am
post #29 of 34

Thank you for your support....

I did read the first line of the post about the home bakery and did get a good laugh when she asked how I would assume that.

In SC, it is my understanding that even if the commercial kitchen is on your property, it must have separate water and sewer. Now that is some intense HD law. The rest of the code is pretty much FDA verbatim. I didn't think they had changed the law since I looked it up about six months ago. Honestly, if I move there, it is going to be a top priority to find a home that I can make the changes and still be profitable. It will be tough.

My feathers never get ruffled and I don't care what people say. The law is the law. I can add the unicorns, but I am definitely not that person. You also have never seen me personally attack anyone who has attacked me. Some chimed in on this thread.

I'm not trying to be mean. I state the facts and you can look them up yourself, then choose to follow or ignore. I don't care. But you will know.

Look at my post on the thread about the venues needing business licenses. All but one poster thought that was rediculous. But it is the law everywhere. I posted where they need to be licensed. It was informative and actually an issue that I have not seen addressed on CC. Now the readers will have to decide if they want to comply with every area where they deliver. Some people will make some calls, and probably most will ignore it.

With the internet, people are not realizing what new trails they are leaving for tax departments, business licensing, and copyright/trademark infringements. Have you all ever googled your CC screen name? It's all there. You are famous. In banking, Paypal, Square, Google checkout, your transactions are all there. The difference between your W-2 and your deposits... all there.

And by the way, the Feds do knock on your door. Did you get that post and the one by costumeczar. They knocked on mine and took my books with no notice just to be a witness for the prosecution. They have to make sure nothing gets changed so they can't give notice. All ten witnesses had their books audited by the Fed tax fraud dept.while they were looking for evidence against the defendant. My books were the only ones that didn't get fines and penalties... and we were just witnesses.

In the last two years, the business forum has changed a lot. Most unlicensed bakers pose their questions so that they are not blatant and we are happy to answer when it is not thrown in our faces. We are all well aware of copyright/trademark laws, we discuss licensing, tax, LLC's, liability insurance, employee law, signing leases, loans and grants (or the lack of), and many more topics pertinent to running a business from home or a storefront. I personally am glad to see the open discussions of how to circumvent laws pretty much disappear. Those topics have no place on a public forum. I'm sure there are many who would rather it be the way it was.

On the other hand, this last year seemed to have a multitude of members work hard to open their licensed businesses. Much more than the year before and the years I read CC but was not a member. The volume of help and advice to those members has been bountiful from seasoned CC business owners. This information has also been helpful to those aspiring business owners. I will bet that business plans top the list of most discussed topics in the business forum. That is new in the past year. And we all have a clear understanding of copyright/trademark laws and possible sanctions. Not all will comply, but we know.

So if staying in the dark about business in the Business Forum is what you want, I think those days are gone. And if you start counting posts, you will see another shift in the past two years. The posts that are for complying with laws far outnumber the ones who state that laws have no place in the business forum. This is how it should be.

I have spent many hours helping people with their business issues in PM's and in posts. I always help as much as I can and answer every question. Most of these people are strangers, but I feel like I have gotten to know these people and I hope that all of my suggestions make them tons of money. Their success is my only reason for helping. So I really don't care about the few who want to leave out the legal side of business in the business forum.

IvyCakes Posted 21 Mar 2012 , 2:33pm
post #30 of 34

.............*GROUP HUGS* spc you are so COOOL!!! thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif (And I totally had cheesy Hallmark movie music playing in the background while I read that post - it was epic.)

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