MerlotCook Posted 17 May 2012 , 12:46pm
post #1 of

I've been working with this bride for 2 months now. Cake tasting, design sketch, multiple emails every week, etc. I wrote up her quote and emailed it to her - $490 for a 178 serving cake, which includes delivery 40 miles away. She emails me back and said that is completely out of her budget, and can I do less detail or something to bring down the price. The cake isn't even very detailed as it is- some combing and scrolling is it. I told her what my price per serving was in the very beginning. Errr.... I think my new first question is going to be "What budget are we working with?"

Now on to more emails so I can see what to do to fit in her budget- and her wedding is only 3 weeks away. But if the order doesn't go through, I'm spending the day at the local brewfest which I was not going to get to go to because of this cake order icon_smile.gif

32 replies
QTCakes1 Posted 17 May 2012 , 1:11pm
post #2 of

Her wedding is in 3 weeks and you are over priced? Time is money. Why are you waisting yours? Go to the local brew fest!

Bdsn8ke Posted 17 May 2012 , 1:20pm
post #3 of

I agree go to the local Brewfest. I just had a similar thing happen and it's really frustrating. She's crazy she's getting a good deal.

shannycakers Posted 17 May 2012 , 1:41pm
post #4 of

You need to stand firm on her price, if the cake is really detailed, tell her you can at most take 50 dollars off and do way less detail work, otherwise that is the least expensive you can go. For a wedding of 178 people, she must have a big enough budget or she would have cut the guest list, that is NOT a cheap wedding. She is trying to nickel and dime you. Guarantee you she will still want the cake regardless. Do not be swayed to go cheaper. The brew fest is looking better and better with this bride.

scp1127 Posted 17 May 2012 , 1:52pm
post #5 of

You needed to have the budget and the ballpark price discussed in the first five minutes. Not doing this wastes your time and the time of the client. All other details should be discussed after the price. It isn't her fault if she didn't know the price. Now she has even less time to find a baker within her budget. Two months ago, she had time.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 17 May 2012 , 1:57pm
post #6 of

I wouldn't waste any more time than necessary on this bride. You can send her one more quote, a bare bones basic based on the number of servings she needs (Don't do ANY more design work!!) and if basic is too much for her, there's really nothing more you can do.

In the future, don't give out any sketches without a retainer in hand. It's too easy for people to take all of your hard work on a design and hand it off to someone else who will do it for cheaper. Good luck!

MerlotCook Posted 17 May 2012 , 5:21pm
post #7 of

Thanks guys! She has 150 people who have rsvp'd and has $300 for the cake. She found me from my website where I clearly state it costs at least $2.50 a serving. Funny how the bride who called me wanting a budget cake (not seeing my website) thought $2.50 a serving was very reasonable. I do feel sorry for this gal, though, with only 3 weeks. I am the only baker within 100 miles so I don't know what else she'll do. I might give her my plain and simple option and free delivery just because it is the first cake for a new resort who has been passing my name around. Lesson learned, I reckon!

leah_s Posted 17 May 2012 , 7:04pm
post #8 of

$2 per serving (with free delivery) IS NOT REASONABLE. Did you say "resort"? Her lack of proper budgeting is NOT your problem. She wants the cake, I guarantee you she will pay for it.And this is why I got out of the wedding cake biz. And the PP is correct, you never ever hand out a sketch until they hand over the $$.

cubbycakes Posted 17 May 2012 , 7:38pm
post #9 of

Im pretty new to this and I dont sell my cakes but not even seeing your design I would say she is getting a steal! (and with delivery!) Dont feel sorry for her, she obviously doesnt feel sorry for you having to do all that work on her cake for as little money as she can squeeze you down to. Stick to your guns. Have her find someone else to do it and I bet when they quote her on the same cake she will realize what a deal she has with you!

jgifford Posted 17 May 2012 , 7:44pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by MerlotCook

Thanks guys! She has 150 people who have rsvp'd and has $300 for the cake. She found me from my website where I clearly state it costs at least $2.50 a serving. Funny how the bride who called me wanting a budget cake (not seeing my website) thought $2.50 a serving was very reasonable. I do feel sorry for this gal, though, with only 3 weeks. I am the only baker within 100 miles so I don't know what else she'll do. I might give her my plain and simple option and free delivery just because it is the first cake for a new resort who has been passing my name around. Lesson learned, I reckon!




Have you seen the thread about the article on The Knot? Sounds like this girl has negotiating down to a fine art. I would give her a price of $375 (her 150 guests/servings at $2.50) plus delivery and then walk away. Period.

unctoothlady Posted 17 May 2012 , 8:36pm

I have totally learned to ask what the cake budget is before we even start talking pricing. Then we discuss what they can get for their budget range.

Cakery2012 Posted 17 May 2012 , 8:50pm

Dont budge that price with delivery IMO. is cheap .She is havingit at the newest resort and you are the only baker in 100miles ? What is she going to do ? You will get other chances to bake for events at that venue Im sure . Stand your ground or else tell her sorry and go to the beer fesr.

vgcea Posted 17 May 2012 , 9:04pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by MerlotCook

Thanks guys! She has 150 people who have rsvp'd and has $300 for the cake. She found me from my website where I clearly state it costs at least $2.50 a serving. Funny how the bride who called me wanting a budget cake (not seeing my website) thought $2.50 a serving was very reasonable. I do feel sorry for this gal, though, with only 3 weeks. I am the only baker within 100 miles so I don't know what else she'll do. I might give her my plain and simple option and free delivery just because it is the first cake for a new resort who has been passing my name around. Lesson learned, I reckon!




Really? You run a cake charity too?

Here's what makes me feel 'sorry': the thought of you slaving over a cake that will probably have marginal if any profit for your business. $2.00 per serving and free delivery 40 miles away. I feel sorry for the family that will miss out on the 10-14 hours of your attention while you service this bride who can afford to have 150 guests at the newest resort in town but not your cake. I think I'm distraught now. Unless you're seriously strapped for the cash, I say spend the time with your loved ones and call it a day.

And while we are on the issue of negotiations a la the Knot article that was mentioned, let me point out the circumstances in your favor:

1. Your website clearly states what your minimum price is. Stick with it. She saw it before she contacted you.
2. This bride had months to shop around but stuck with you. Brides aren't stupid, and they and their helpers (MOB, MOG, Bridesmaids) shop around. If she knew that you're the only one within 100 miles and she even remotely considered that she would not be able to afford you, she would have made arrangements.
3. She's got 3 weeks to the wedding. I dare her to find any reputable baker beyond that 100 mile radius who isn't already booked up OR who wouldn't charge twice your original quote for such short notice.

The circumstances are in your favor. Use that advantage and be prepared to walk away from this time waster if it's not going to be worth it.

jgifford Posted 17 May 2012 , 9:08pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea


1. Your website clearly states what your minimum price is. Stick with it. She saw it before she contacted you.
2. This bride had months to shop around but stuck with you. Brides aren't stupid, and they and their helpers (MOB, MOG, Bridesmaids) shop around. If she knew that you're the only one within 100 miles and she even remotely considered that she would not be able to afford you, she would have made arrangements.
3. She's got 3 weeks to the wedding. I dare her to find any reputable baker beyond that 100 mile radius who isn't already booked up OR who wouldn't charge twice your original quote for such short notice.

The circumstances are in your favor. Use that advantage and be prepared to walk away from this time waster if it's not going to be worth it.





Yes!!!!

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 17 May 2012 , 9:20pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea


Really? You run a cake charity too?

Here's what makes me feel 'sorry': the thought of you slaving over a cake that will probably have marginal if any profit for your business. $2.00 per serving and free delivery 40 miles away. I feel sorry for the family that will miss out on the 10-14 hours of your attention while you service this bride who can afford to have 150 guests at the newest resort in town but not your cake. I think I'm distraught now. Unless you're seriously strapped for the cash, I say spend the time with your loved ones and call it a day.

And while we are on the issue of negotiations a la the Knot article that was mentioned, let me point out the circumstances in your favor:

1. Your website clearly states what your minimum price is. Stick with it. She saw it before she contacted you.
2. This bride had months to shop around but stuck with you. Brides aren't stupid, and they and their helpers (MOB, MOG, Bridesmaids) shop around. If she knew that you're the only one within 100 miles and she even remotely considered that she would not be able to afford you, she would have made arrangements.
3. She's got 3 weeks to the wedding. I dare her to find any reputable baker beyond that 100 mile radius who isn't already booked up OR who wouldn't charge twice your original quote for such short notice.

The circumstances are in your favor. Use that advantage and be prepared to walk away from this time waster if it's not going to be worth it.




thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

wildflowercakes Posted 17 May 2012 , 9:21pm

You told her up front what you charge. It is posted on your website. You have worked with her for 2 months and she never said anything about the cost being too much. She's weaseling you! Something else to consider when word spreads you reduced the cost of the cake for her how many others will want the same price? As far as the resort let your work speak for you. I can't tell you how many times I have had someone call and say something like, "My sister or brother or the bartender friend of mine works at the hotel where you delivered a cake. She, he, they, said it was gorgeous can I visit with about a cake I am needing?" Hold your ground. icon_smile.gif

southerncross Posted 17 May 2012 , 9:34pm

You're considering delivering a wedding cake at a price that's less than she would have to pay for a grocery store cupcake! I'm the only fondant caker within 75 miles and I assure you that my price is what it is ($3.50 per serving...no if and or buts). I agree with the poster who suggested that perhaps the bride needs to cut down her guest list if she cant afford them. I've work with a local wedding planner/designer and have on occasion to give brides a reality check when they want to have 400 people at the reception at a fully decorated special venue with a sit down dinner and flowers and music and multi tiered ornate cake and liquor, etc all on a budget of $2,000! Stick to your price.

Apti Posted 17 May 2012 , 10:11pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea

Quote:
Originally Posted by MerlotCook

Thanks guys! She has 150 people who have rsvp'd and has $300 for the cake. She found me from my website where I clearly state it costs at least $2.50 a serving. Funny how the bride who called me wanting a budget cake (not seeing my website) thought $2.50 a serving was very reasonable. I do feel sorry for this gal, though, with only 3 weeks. I am the only baker within 100 miles so I don't know what else she'll do. I might give her my plain and simple option and free delivery just because it is the first cake for a new resort who has been passing my name around. Lesson learned, I reckon!



Really? You run a cake charity too?

Here's what makes me feel 'sorry': the thought of you slaving over a cake that will probably have marginal if any profit for your business. $2.00 per serving and free delivery 40 miles away. I feel sorry for the family that will miss out on the 10-14 hours of your attention while you service this bride who can afford to have 150 guests at the newest resort in town but not your cake. I think I'm distraught now. Unless you're seriously strapped for the cash, I say spend the time with your loved ones and call it a day.

And while we are on the issue of negotiations a la the Knot article that was mentioned, let me point out the circumstances in your favor:

1. Your website clearly states what your minimum price is. Stick with it. She saw it before she contacted you.
2. This bride had months to shop around but stuck with you. Brides aren't stupid, and they and their helpers (MOB, MOG, Bridesmaids) shop around. If she knew that you're the only one within 100 miles and she even remotely considered that she would not be able to afford you, she would have made arrangements.
3. She's got 3 weeks to the wedding. I dare her to find any reputable baker beyond that 100 mile radius who isn't already booked up OR who wouldn't charge twice your original quote for such short notice.

The circumstances are in your favor. Use that advantage and be prepared to walk away from this time waster if it's not going to be worth it.




What she said.

BlakesCakes Posted 17 May 2012 , 10:16pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by MerlotCook

....I told her what my price per serving was in the very beginning......




If this is the case, then she's playing with you. Maybe she read that stupid article on the Knot yesterday about negotiating with every vendor while taking the "about to walk away" stance.

At this late date, she should be more worried about YOU bailing than you should be about her cancelling the order.

Tell her today:
Take it or leave it. No more discussion.
Pay the deposit in CASH by no later than tomorrow. No cash deposit by tomorrow = no cake.
Payment in full is due no later than 2 wks, before the event.
Any more changes incur a $50 change fee PER change.

Buy your tix for the BeerFest on Sat.............

Rae

MerlotCook Posted 17 May 2012 , 11:40pm

Wow-some awesome points here. I told her I will do a 150 serving cake, and instead of the free anniversary tier in a year, I will do the top 6" free. This knocks off almost $100.
Thanks all!

Apti Posted 17 May 2012 , 11:43pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by MerlotCook

Wow-some awesome points here. I told her I will do a 150 serving cake, and instead of the free anniversary tier in a year, I will do the top 6" free. This knocks off almost $100.
Thanks all!




Good compromise. I hope you get a lot of future referrals from this venue.

CakeRN Posted 18 May 2012 , 12:10am

Your time is worth more.. Don't come down and don't give free delivery. Why do cakers think they have to bow down to people that want to cheat you out of a negotiated price? Do you think she had the wedding dress people knock off a bunch so she could get her dress cheaper?. Or the florist? Or even the resort itself? Why is your service worth less than anything else? Gas is not cheap either... Stick to the price and get cash in hand before doing the cake......all of the money. Not part of it ALL of it.

Crazboutcakes Posted 18 May 2012 , 1:34am
Quote:
Originally Posted by southerncross

You're considering delivering a wedding cake at a price that's less than she would have to pay for a grocery store cupcake! I'm the only fondant caker within 75 miles and I assure you that my price is what it is ($3.50 per serving...no if and or buts). I agree with the poster who suggested that perhaps the bride needs to cut down her guest list if she cant afford them. I've work with a local wedding planner/designer and have on occasion to give brides a reality check when they want to have 400 people at the reception at a fully decorated special venue with a sit down dinner and flowers and music and multi tiered ornate cake and liquor, etc all on a budget of $2,000! Stick to your price.





I totally agree! I just had a bride call me and she was told of the charges for buttercrean and fondant per serivng and told her send me her ideas and it went from there. It went back and forth maybe 4 emails and than a consultation.Where I live nobody does what I do, and I don't mind telling people to go to walmarts. With that many people and delivery, she was getting a deal and your cutting yourself short! I have had many people come and ask for quote on weddings or 3D's and the ones that say "oh that's to expensive" I juts plainly tell them I sorry, and forget about it. I know how much time it takes to do some of these cakes and how much time away from my family so I don't feel quilty and neither should you. Three weeks away, if she calls you back say this is it and that's that! Go to the brewfeast and have a good time.

jason_kraft Posted 18 May 2012 , 1:38am
Quote:
Originally Posted by MerlotCook

Wow-some awesome points here. I told her I will do a 150 serving cake, and instead of the free anniversary tier in a year, I will do the top 6" free. This knocks off almost $100.



Making the 6" tier free will take $100 of the order? How much is the new total?

MerlotCook Posted 18 May 2012 , 1:49am
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by MerlotCook

Wow-some awesome points here. I told her I will do a 150 serving cake, and instead of the free anniversary tier in a year, I will do the top 6" free. This knocks off almost $100.


Making the 6" tier free will take $100 of the order? How much is the new total?


No, taking off 28 servings from 178 to 150 and giving her the 12 servings from the top tier takes off 40 servings or right at $100. I normally include the top tier in the serving size and give them their 1 year anniversary cake for free. The bride liked the sizes better for the 178 servings, but only needed 150.

Apti Posted 18 May 2012 , 2:19am

I got it. Still think it's a good compromise and gets you the $2.50 minimum per serving.

I hope you are still charging for delivery.

Definitely get the money BEFORE delivery on this one!

jason_kraft Posted 18 May 2012 , 3:00am

I would insist on a 50% deposit right away to confirm the order, and let the customer know that if you don't receive the deposit within a few days the order will be cancelled.

brenda549 Posted 18 May 2012 , 3:18pm

Forget the deposit, I would insist on payment in full. You are within 3 weeks of the wedding. No more playing around with this one.

AZCouture Posted 18 May 2012 , 5:47pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by brenda549

Forget the deposit, I would insist on payment in full. You are within 3 weeks of the wedding. No more playing around with this one.


No kidding, there is no time for a deposit, it's time to pay in full.

Cakery2012 Posted 19 May 2012 , 3:23am

Yes make sure she pays in full NOW !

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