-frosted- Posted 5 Apr 2012 , 4:46pm
post #1 of

I am new to cake decorating and recently starting selling my cakes. Since I am a beginner, I don't feel as though I can justify charging competitive prices for my cakes, as they are not as neat and perfect as I would like just yet! However, as my cake decorating improves, how do I increase my prices when quoting for existing customers? (You can check out my photos for an idea of what my cakes look like atm) Also, how do I know when my cakes are good enough to charge prices that are comparable with others in the area?
Thanks for your help! icon_smile.gif

13 replies
Moovaughan Posted 5 Apr 2012 , 5:02pm
post #2 of

I took a look at your photos and I don't see why you think you should charge a lower price. I'm suprised you are a beginning, your cakes look very clean and pretty smooth so I don't think you should penalize yourself.

jason_kraft Posted 5 Apr 2012 , 5:13pm
post #3 of

Agreed, you are ready to start charging competitive prices for your cakes, just make sure you figure out your prices based on both your costs and what your local market will bear.

If you need to increase prices just increase them, we raise our prices 5-10% a year to cover inflation. When existing customers ask why the price is now higher, we just tell them our costs have gone up.

-frosted- Posted 6 Apr 2012 , 3:57pm
post #4 of

thank you for the compliments icon_smile.gif
but I must admit that I do try to hide my mistakes when taking photos of my cakes :$, I take photos at angles that don't show the stretch marks or the small tear in the corner lol
for example the inside of the nike shoe does not have a smooth finish, it is patchy and shows lines! And some of the cakes have small dents/lumps/stretch marks
So I guess what I am asking is how many mistakes like those are acceptable if any when selling cakes? lol Is there any room for that?

smbegg Posted 6 Apr 2012 , 4:34pm
post #5 of

Research your local competitor prices and go with something near that. Do not underprice now, or it will hurt you later when people want your original prices. Say you only charge for cost, when you start charging 2-3/serving, then people will gaff at the pricing because it will be SO much higher. Trust me, people will pay. I am amazed at what they will not bat an eye to. If they don't want to pay, they can go somewhere else. I never lower my price for a client.


Stephanie

-frosted- Posted 6 Apr 2012 , 4:46pm
post #6 of

hmmm you're right, it would be tough to increase prices later on.. I would just hate for a customer to notice the flaws and be disappointed! But I suppose they know that I am not a professional and I am just starting out, and that will be reflected in prices that are lower than those of actual retail bakeries (maybe just slightly lower, not too much)

jgifford Posted 6 Apr 2012 , 5:19pm
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by -frosted-

hmmm you're right, it would be tough to increase prices later on.. I would just hate for a customer to notice the flaws and be disappointed! But I suppose they know that I am not a professional and I am just starting out, and that will be reflected in prices that are lower than those of actual retail bakeries (maybe just slightly lower, not too much)




First of all, you're always going to be your worst critic. You will always see the flaws and where you could have done better. A couple of weeks ago, I threw together 10 dozen cake pops for a weekend thing - - in a big hurry. I slapped some swirls on them and dunked some in sprinkles. icon_eek.gif OMG! I couldn't believe how impressed everyone was with them! If I hadn't committed to doing them, I would have canceled - I thought they were awful, but everyone raved about how pretty they were. Lesson learned - - to folks who don't bake and decorate, anything extra is absolutely wonderful. I sometimes think that if they even notice the flaws, they think they're supposed to be there. icon_wink.gif

MelaMang75 Posted 6 Apr 2012 , 5:51pm
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgifford

Quote:
Originally Posted by -frosted-

hmmm you're right, it would be tough to increase prices later on.. I would just hate for a customer to notice the flaws and be disappointed! But I suppose they know that I am not a professional and I am just starting out, and that will be reflected in prices that are lower than those of actual retail bakeries (maybe just slightly lower, not too much)



First of all, you're always going to be your worst critic. You will always see the flaws and where you could have done better. A couple of weeks ago, I threw together 10 dozen cake pops for a weekend thing - - in a big hurry. I slapped some swirls on them and dunked some in sprinkles. icon_eek.gif OMG! I couldn't believe how impressed everyone was with them! If I hadn't committed to doing them, I would have canceled - I thought they were awful, but everyone raved about how pretty they were. Lesson learned - - to folks who don't bake and decorate, anything extra is absolutely wonderful. I sometimes think that if they even notice the flaws, they think they're supposed to be there. icon_wink.gif


I totally agree with jgifford! It took me a long time to learn, but it's totally true! People 99% of the time don't notice the flaws that you know are there. You just have to remember that it's edible art. I think your cakes are great! If your a beginner and feel like you can't charge as much, I get that, but you shouldn't be more than 10% less than the going rate around you. Keep up the good work icon_smile.gif

jones5cm Posted 6 Apr 2012 , 6:08pm
post #9 of

I found that for me, it got a lot easier when I started charging by the serving as a 'base price' rather than saying "I charge $25 for a sheet cake" or " ...$45 for a 3D cake". Then it's less stressful for both you and the client (that's been my experience anyway) HTH

mclaren Posted 6 Apr 2012 , 11:15pm

I looked at your photos... Wow talk abt creativity!

If this is your skill as a beginner, I can't imagine how mind-blowing your cakes will be once you 'improve' LOL

I don't know your prices, but if you think you are underpriced, pls start a revised price scheme ASAP and clearly lay them out to your customers.

All the best!

-frosted- Posted 7 Apr 2012 , 12:32am

thanks your feedback everyone! I am definetly going to come up with a proper pricing system. I am going to start by getting the cakeboss software and go from there icon_smile.gif

and thank you mclaren!!! icon_biggrin.gif
and I wouldn't say they are severely underpriced but certainly much less than bakeries and such, I think that they are fair given that they are for coworkers, but now other people are wanting cakes so I want to know how to price them properly!

scp1127 Posted 7 Apr 2012 , 7:33am

I change my prices whenever I need to do it. For example, I had to add a third tier of pricing in my cupcakes. When I change a method or change an ingredient to one that is higher priced, I just go in and change it.

jenmat Posted 7 Apr 2012 , 10:50am

I think the lesson here is that although you may feel better in the beginning undercharging, you need to be careful how much you undercharge.
If you want to be somewhat lower than more experienced cakers in your area, then great. But if you are dramatically lower, then upping your pricing is going to take longer.
So, if you feel you need to charge lower (and like you said, it's hard to tell in a photograph), then do so by a little. Then, every 6 months or so, raise prices by a certain amount until you are where you want to be.
There was just a discussion on here about a lady who charged way too low for a 3D cake and then got in trouble when she charged the same for a single tier later on. While all the details can be argued and found in that other post, the lesson would be that when you sell yourself short in the beginning, you may lose customers when you figure out what you're really worth. And yes, so be it if that happens, but you want it to happen in the most peaceful way you can.

Nancy_TX Posted 7 Apr 2012 , 1:35pm

Start off charging full price and if you're really not happy with how it turns out, give them a discount to thank them for trusting you as a beginner (don't tell them about the screw up - bet they don't notice). Then when the discount disappears, no one thinks twice about it.

Plus you have the advantage of seeing who are your true customers and who just wants a cheap cake...

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