How Do You Respond To These Situations In A Nice Way?

Business By abchambers Updated 7 Jun 2012 , 2:05am by costumeczar

abchambers Posted 2 Jun 2012 , 5:25am
post #1 of 11

I got an inquiry from a potential customer today. She wanted a Little Mermaid cake for her daughters birthday in July. She needed it to feed about 35-40 people. She even attached some really cute, creative, detailed pictures to go off of. After sending her some options and pricing, the reply I get back is, "Do you have any options for a cake costing around $35?"

My first reactions is "Ya, go to Walmart!" but obviously I don't want to say this to the customer. It wouldn't be the first time I've gotten a reply like this, just curious to know what everyone's go-to response is to this type of inquiry?

10 replies
SRumzis Posted 2 Jun 2012 , 5:38am
post #2 of 11

I always refer to my minimum, which is $100. It's on my website too. That usually weeds them out.

Norasmom Posted 2 Jun 2012 , 1:11pm
post #3 of 11

Just tell her that due to the cost of ingredients and labor involved in the cakes you bake, you are not able to provide a cake with that number of servings at that price. How can someone expect a cake so inexpensively, even from Walmart??

Norasmom Posted 2 Jun 2012 , 1:16pm
post #4 of 11

Just tell her that due to the cost of ingredients and labor involved in the cakes you bake, you are not able to provide a cake with that number of servings at that price. How can someone expect a cake so inexpensively, even from Walmart??

costumeczar Posted 2 Jun 2012 , 3:23pm
post #5 of 11

I would write this (I've written it a few times...)

"I'm sorry, but I can't do it for that price. I have a $100 minimum on all cakes, and for the cake with the design that you're talking about it would be $xxxxx. If your budget changes or you have a change in design let me know and I'll be glad to talk to you about it."

The mention of the minimum, and the actual price will give them an idea of what they need to deal with, so if their budget changes but it still isn't that high they'll know that you won't be able to do it.

SoFloGuy Posted 2 Jun 2012 , 4:22pm
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by abchambers

I got an inquiry from a potential customer today. She wanted a Little Mermaid cake for her daughters birthday in July. She needed it to feed about 35-40 people. She even attached some really cute, creative, detailed pictures to go off of. After sending her some options and pricing, the reply I get back is, "Do you have any options for a cake costing around $35?"

My first reactions is "Ya, go to Walmart!" but obviously I don't want to say this to the customer. It wouldn't be the first time I've gotten a reply like this, just curious to know what everyone's go-to response is to this type of inquiry?




Just tell her sorry, but your cakes start at $___ per serving. Tell her to try a supermarket bakery or a Walmart if she has such a tight budget, and that they may not even be able to accommodate her for that many people for that price. Or tell her to find someone who is new at baking or is a student in a baking course.

vtcake Posted 2 Jun 2012 , 9:35pm
post #7 of 11

tell her also that Little Mermaid is a copyrighted image and thus you can't even duplicate it legally.

scp1127 Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 9:54am
post #8 of 11

Tell them to go to Walmart if you want the customer to bad-mouth your business without even trying your product. It's never good business to insult a customer.

southerncross Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 10:44am
post #9 of 11

These are always frustrating situations...and most bakers eventually have this happen. I don't think it's a good idea of insulting anyone for any reason. I try to give those potential customers the benefit of the doubt....so many see the price of a box of cake mix and think well, $35 is a sizable mark up over the cost of the ingredients. Remember, most of these people don't bake (reminds me of my ma's saying "if you understood,you wouldn't have ask and if you have to ask, you wouldn't understand") . A simple explanation that your cakes cost X said with a smile is sufficient.

Seashell48 Posted 7 Jun 2012 , 1:54am
post #10 of 11

OK ladies I have a question for you as to how to handle this:
A co-worker asked to make a cake 3/4 tier cake for her daughter pre-wedding party.
They wanted a fondant cake with beach theme decorations because she is getting married in
Cancun next month. So I purchased the silicone molds to make the gum paste/fondant seashells, starfish, decorations, etc etc. I painted with pearl dust, they were beautiful!
I started to prepared the decorations 2 weeks in advance, they selected a cake out of some pics I sent her. The cake was an ivory cake with very soft pastel color sea creatures.
A few days before, she told me that the daughter wanted a bride/groom figurine on top of the cake, I have already purchased an expensive beach theme topper, and also wanted the seashells decorations "Orange color to match her dress!!
How do you explain politely that you cannot change the style and coloring days before the party? I was fumming but I stay calm and try to reason with these people. Make a long story short, I did it my way, with some peach tone corals, everyone on that party loved, but that left me a bit afraid that this will happen again, what do I do to prevent this?

costumeczar Posted 7 Jun 2012 , 2:05am
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seashell48


A few days before, she told me that the daughter wanted a bride/groom figurine on top of the cake, I have already purchased an expensive beach theme topper, and also wanted the seashells decorations "Orange color to match her dress!!
How do you explain politely that you cannot change the style and coloring days before the party? I was fumming but I stay calm and try to reason with these people. Make a long story short, I did it my way, with some peach tone corals, everyone on that party loved, but that left me a bit afraid that this will happen again, what do I do to prevent this?




Make them responsible for buying any toppers, you shouldn't purchase those. Also, have a contract that says any changes after XXX days before (you decide how many) will incur an extra fee of XXX amount. That usually stops peple from changing their minds.

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