Need Help With Last Minute Order

Business By karukaru Updated 21 May 2012 , 12:32pm by cms2

karukaru Posted 5 May 2012 , 4:06pm
post #1 of 15

Hi Everyone. I just started my business this year (I am in a cottage food law state) which is mainly a facebook page where people see my work. 2 weeks ago I made cookies for a first birthday party and I only charged the woman $2 per cookie and $.50 per cookie to wrap them with a bow. This woman loved the cookies and posted them on her facebook page and an online mommy group and tagged me. So far I have had 4 people asked me for prices (Although no solid orders have come through yet.) I decided to raise my price to $2.25 for a 2" cookie and up because I underestimated the time it took for me to bake and decorate (and I already changed the pricing on my page.) This woman just asked me to quote her on 175 onesie cookies for next weekend!!! I have on my website that I require a 2 week minimum and that rush orders have a fee. I need advice as to how to charge her and If I break down the price or not. I have $50 rush fee for cakes but I never thought of the rush fee for cookies. I was thinking about maybe charging $2.25 plus a $.15 per cookie rush charge and $.50 for wrapping and a bow (if she wants them wrapped.) Is this reasonable? It is very tempting for me to get the order without the rush fee because it is a lot of money and I need it (I am not sure if the lady saw my prices and my guidelines or not and I am not sure if the woman that referred me told her how much I charged.) At the same time I do not want to feel underpaid and I do not want to set a precedence. Also, should I explain to her about the rush fee or should I just give her a total price. What would you do? Thanks in advance.

BTW, These are the cookies that she saw online. The ones that I charged $2.50 (including wrapping) for:
http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2317161/1-cookies

14 replies
karukaru Posted 5 May 2012 , 4:45pm
post #2 of 15

I forgot to add that I live in the Ft.Lauderdale/Miami, FL area so it is not a small town.

reginaherrin Posted 5 May 2012 , 4:51pm
post #3 of 15

I know from experience how much time it takes to make and decorate onesie cookies (I almost decided not to ever make decorated cookies again but since I don't normally have ordered for cookies its not a big deal). Your price is still good for those kinds of cookies even with the rush fee. I think you should go with your gut. If you are able to make a profit and can live without the rush fee and are afraid she won't pay the rush fee then don't charge it. But if you are going to work yourself to death in order to get these cookies out then yes charge it. HTH

karukaru Posted 5 May 2012 , 5:04pm
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by reginaherrin

I know from experience how much time it takes to make and decorate onesie cookies (I almost decided not to ever make decorated cookies again but since I don't normally have ordered for cookies its not a big deal). Your price is still good for those kinds of cookies even with the rush fee. I think you should go with your gut. If you are able to make a profit and can live without the rush fee and are afraid she won't pay the rush fee then don't charge it. But if you are going to work yourself to death in order to get these cookies out then yes charge it. HTH



ShouldI tell her about the rush fee or just give her a full price without breaking it down? I thought of breaking it down because I am not sure if she knows what I charged the other lady or not.

kelleym Posted 5 May 2012 , 5:13pm
post #5 of 15

Yes, tell her about the rush fee. That way she will understand why the cost is higher, and will also have an incentive to order earlier next time.

karukaru Posted 5 May 2012 , 7:36pm
post #6 of 15

Yes, that makes sense. Thank you icon_smile.gif

ajwonka Posted 5 May 2012 , 9:04pm
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

Yes, tell her about the rush fee. That way she will understand why the cost is higher, and will also have an incentive to order earlier next time.




definitely! Especially since the rush fee will significantly increase the price over that of her friend's order!

karukaru Posted 6 May 2012 , 2:50pm
post #8 of 15

THe lady replied to me and said that $2.40 is more than what she want to spend. I am not sure what she was expecting to pay for decorated cookies in such short notice. It sucks not to get the money but part of me is relieved that I don't have to make 175 cookies. The maximum I have done is 50! Thanks for your help!

carmijok Posted 6 May 2012 , 3:34pm
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by karukaru

THe lady replied to me and said that $2.40 is more than what she want to spend. I am not sure what she was expecting to pay for decorated cookies in such short notice. It sucks not to get the money but part of me is relieved that I don't have to make 175 cookies. The maximum I have done is 50! Thanks for your help!




Let her try and get decorated cookies like this for less! Good grief. Next time someone inquires, before you quote something you might ask them if they've reviewed your pricing list...and have a minimum order amount on there so you may be able to weed through the bargain hunters. And put your rush order fee in all caps! thumbs_up.gif In red! icon_lol.gif

Occther Posted 6 May 2012 , 9:38pm
post #10 of 15

A thought about the "rush order" policy. A lot of customers don't understand the time it takes to make specialty cakes and cookies. Instead of adding to the cost for a "rush order," why not offer a discount for those who order in advance? For example - price of cookies is $2.50 - with a 10% discount if ordered two weeks in advance. Then, if someone calls you with a "rush order " (and you know you won't have time to meet their needs), you can always reply that you are already booked. This way you will give potential customers that idea that you are very busy and they need to get their orders placed in a timely manner.

jason_kraft Posted 6 May 2012 , 9:49pm
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Occther

A thought about the "rush order" policy. A lot of customers don't understand the time it takes to make specialty cakes and cookies. Instead of adding to the cost for a "rush order," why not offer a discount for those who order in advance? For example - price of cookies is $2.50 - with a 10% discount if ordered two weeks in advance. Then, if someone calls you with a "rush order " (and you know you won't have time to meet their needs), you can always reply that you are already booked. This way you will give potential customers that idea that you are very busy and they need to get their orders placed in a timely manner.



The idea of adding a premium for a rush order is to push the price of the order above market price, both as a deterrent to last-minute orders and to take advantage of the economics of the transaction (in a last-minute situation there are fewer suppliers available and demand is higher).

If your posted prices already build in the rush order premium you will be above market to start with and will lose business.

If you want to communicate your schedule to customers do so directly on your web page (both your home page and the order form page) indicating when you are booked through.

scp1127 Posted 7 May 2012 , 11:04am
post #12 of 15

I think one issue is being missed. Customers don't care about your schedule. They simply ask about a date and a price. They may not know to schedule in advance and not every event has a long lead time.

Also, many customers are not repeat customers and you are not teaching anyone a lesson. Customers do not take well to reprimands. And don't think for a minute that you are the only inquiry. And there is always another baker who can take your place on a future order when a surchare is added.

I agree with Jason. I use a calendar in plain sight on my site. I also welcome last minute orders and will gladly do them if time permits. If it doesn't, I always refer to a bakery with more employees that can handle last minute orders.

My point is this: Irritate a customer and you are setting yourself up for a customer who will tell about your rush order price and who will certainly shop sooner the next time, but maybe not with you. A simple, "Yes, I have time,", or, "Sorry, I don't", is a much more customer-friendly response.

Customers want solutions, not aggravations. And with the web, a replacement for your complany is only a click away. Think of how you personally would react to a "Rush" charge, unless it's your plumber on Saturday night, but that's an emergency, on-call, higher wage payout, situation.

Goodwill has always had a high place in business. Luckily, not every business gets this and it opens many doors for those who do practice it. We all have customers. Policies that are counterproductive to a business's growth make way for the new businesses and new customers for someone else.

A rush order that requires you to hire extra help at a higher rate is an exception, but customers understand this. Also, in-demand, fully booked companies working at capacity can do this. But again, it's more an issue of paying over-time or asking employees to work on days off.

karukaru Posted 21 May 2012 , 3:37am
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

I think one issue is being missed. Customers don't care about your schedule. They simply ask about a date and a price. They may not know to schedule in advance and not every event has a long lead time.

Also, many customers are not repeat customers and you are not teaching anyone a lesson. Customers do not take well to reprimands. And don't think for a minute that you are the only inquiry. And there is always another baker who can take your place on a future order when a surchare is added.

I agree with Jason. I use a calendar in plain sight on my site. I also welcome last minute orders and will gladly do them if time permits. If it doesn't, I always refer to a bakery with more employees that can handle last minute orders.

My point is this: Irritate a customer and you are setting yourself up for a customer who will tell about your rush order price and who will certainly shop sooner the next time, but maybe not with you. A simple, "Yes, I have time,", or, "Sorry, I don't", is a much more customer-friendly response.

Customers want solutions, not aggravations. And with the web, a replacement for your complany is only a click away. Think of how you personally would react to a "Rush" charge, unless it's your plumber on Saturday night, but that's an emergency, on-call, higher wage payout, situation.

Goodwill has always had a high place in business. Luckily, not every business gets this and it opens many doors for those who do practice it. We all have customers. Policies that are counterproductive to a business's growth make way for the new businesses and new customers for someone else.

A rush order that requires you to hire extra help at a higher rate is an exception, but customers understand this. Also, in-demand, fully booked companies working at capacity can do this. But again, it's more an issue of paying over-time or asking employees to work on days off.



The rush charge is common around here. Also, none of the bakeries I know take last minute orders. I might be a small home based bakery but last minute orders alter my schedule so It has to be worth it for me to do it. I am sure there is always someone willing to do it but that doesn't mean that I have to. Many places around here charge $5 per cookie so my prices are fairly competitive. I don't work for peanuts.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 21 May 2012 , 5:01am
post #14 of 15

But what if you do have time, but it ends up costing you more money to get the ingredients needed because you have to pay extra shipping or pay more for them because you don't have time to order them from your usual source? What if you have to work later than you normally would to complete the order? Does that not justify at least some extra compensation?

Whenever I have had to pay more for something because of being last minute (whether shipping or otherwise) I am not frustrated with the business, I'm kicking myself for not remembering to order sooner.

FWIW, we charge $3 per cookie, and that's for very basic decoration. Your quote was extremely reasonable! Rush charge or no, this woman would not have wanted to pay. Glad you don't have to deal with decorating 175 cookies, I'm tired just thinking about it! icon_wink.gif

cms2 Posted 21 May 2012 , 12:32pm
post #15 of 15

I would have loved to know what the customer thought 175 custom cookies would have cost. Wow, my eyes just want to pop out of my head just thinking about the work involved in that many cookies. I think your rate was fair and I certainly don't think she could have found them cheaper elsewhere.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%