I'm making a graduation cake for someone and I need help with the price. I'm doing a 3 tiered round cake. 10, 8 and 6 inch rounds. The top layer is going to be a graduation cap. All fondant. Is $175 too cheap? I've never sold a cake this size before normally only single round cakes. Please help!
Hard for me to say in all honesty...because of where i live and i don't know the pricing in your area...
In my opinion - that is giving the cake away.....
At least double your price....please.
Sell cakes at a *too low* a price - and you will become known as *the lady who does great cakes CHEAP*.
Don't do that to yourself.....
My starting price would be $300 and go up if the decoration is very time cosuming
For me that would be 74 servings, at $4 piece for fondant, so $296 total.
You need to sit down and figure out what it costs you to make a cake that size, how long it will take you, how much your time is worth, and what profit you want to make from it.
Thanks everyone, this is really helpful. This is only my 2nd cake that I'm actually selling, I started just making cakes for my kids and hubby, next thing i know, nieces and nephews now to friends of friends of friends lol. The chart I use says a 10, 8 and 6 inch cake would give me 60 servings. (I use this site http://shinymetalobjects.net/cake/calculator/cakulator.cgi?pan=Round%2C+6%22&pan=Round%2C+8%22&pan=Round%2C+10%22&option=2&option=Select+Cakulator&chart=wiltonParty2Inch&chart=Select+Chart&calculate=Calculate%21&.cgifields=pan) I have to give her a price by Monday so I have some time to boggle prices.
I would add up the cost of all the ingredients for the three cakes including all boxes and boards and decorations. Having established what I would like to earn per hour for my labour, and knowing how long a smaller cake takes to make - you could work out how many hours roughly it will take you. Not forgetting to charge for design concept time, shopping, parking charges, cooking clearing up kitchen, client consultation, and last of all actually decorating it. Is the lady collecting or delivering - as this will take further time up. So many cake decorators leave money on the table by not actually being aware of the amount of time they are taking, nor actually knowing exactly how much they would like to earn per hour over and above the cost of the cakes. Plus a proportion of your business expenses needs to be added to the cakes too. But if you have just started out I would at least price the cakes out and have a good guess at an hourly charge out rate to add on to the price. Check a local bakery to try and discover what is 'normal' for a similar cake in your vicinity.
Even if this is only your 2nd cake, I believe that talent can be just as important as how many cakes you've sold.
In my area, that would be very high for a cake. You don't want to out-price yourself no matter how great you are, because that won't get you any business at all.
In some areas, that would be low, so you have to figure that part out going by your region.
Being an occasional home baker, I don't even try to add in any labor costs because no one here would bother paying that price. If I like what I'm doing, then things can stay the same.
The cost for me to make a cake that size would be $55 in fondant, batter, frosting & supports. That would leave you with $120 (if you start at $175). Now consider the amount of time it will take you to design the cake, purchase materials, bake the cake, cool the cake, frost it, decorate it, and clean up from start to finish. Other costs that need to be taken into account if applicable are: website, marketing, license fees, insurance, business phone, P.O. Box, office supplies, etc. If you can do all of this within 12 hours, and no additional fees apply to you, you'll be making $10/hour. If I were to sell this cake, it would be closer to $300. Don't forget about the cost of utilities & gas that will be used up in the process also.
I had an interesting discussing with a very talented cake maker in London. She is amazingly busy and her cake charges are on the high end. She said she felt a bit guilty to have effectively a queue for her work when other cake decorators were not getting any work at all - and she was the most expensive. I asked her what she felt she was doing differently than the others with no queue. She said, "I will not budge on price. If they say they cannot afford it - I try and amend the design so that the labour and the contents and the decorations are within their budget, but I never ever do the cake anyway to the original design. What if another contract turned up who were willing to pay my rate. Now I would be stuck creating a cake for half the price and turn away a sensible contract". She stands firm and says., "Well that is the price, Like it or leave it." (But nicely obviously)!! This is why she has a queue of people who love her work and come back for more. Her work is excellent and she has learnt to remain calm, produce a product that everyone wants and not be pushed around on price!
Thanks to everyone who posted with their thoughts/advice. I've come down to a price and design and everythings a go. I have to have it done and delivered by next Monday so I'll post pics then!
Thanks again everyone!