tuffstuff Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 3:06pm
post #1 of

I was sooooo steamed yesterday and still a bit upset about a cake order I made from someone who I considered a cake friend. I met her at a cake day-of-sharing thing a few years ago. I recently quit doing cakes for health reasons but I had already agreed to make a groom's cake for a friend of mine so I figured, "oh, I'll just buy it from my cake friend". Had never done it before and I figured I'd finally get to taste her cake.

I called her to see if I could pick up the cake early and I mentioned that the wedding starts at 6 pm. She was like, "wait.... this is for a wedding?" She got all attitude-ish and goes on to explain that she would have charged me more if she had known it was a groom's cake. She assumed it was for a baby shower because it was a rubber ducky. I NEVER said it was for a baby shower even though she claims I did (I checked the facebook messages! That was our only method of communcation!). I didn't purposely try to mislead her - it just never came up.

And that's besides the point - why on earth would you charge more just because it's for a wedding?? She would have done absolutley nothing different! It seems almost like price gouging to me- taking advantage of brides, assuming they will pay more for their "special day".

What really upsets me is that I have always been so nice to her - referring business her way, GIVING her some cake supplies I didn't need anymore, which included around 50 brand new cupcake boxes, and I let her borrow my damask stencil once for a cake she was doing.

I just don't get it.

She was like - "you would've done the same thing - charged the same way" - um NO... I don't care whether you're going to have it at your wedding or stuff it in your face in a dark closet. A cake is a cake is a cake. Same price - I don't care what it's for - the labor and supplies are all the same (charging extra for delivery/set up, I can understand).

Oh, and I saw this morning she already removed me as her friend on facebook. Classy. I am soooo glad I didn't take her up on being a business partner with her. Now I see her true colors.

What do you think? Is this a normal way to charge? I hope not. Just doesn't seem right.

55 replies
jgifford Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 3:13pm
post #2 of

This is exactly why I've always charged the same amount for a serving of cake, no matter what it was for. As you said, delivery fees, equipment deposits, etc., are added on to some cakes, but the amount for the cake doesn't change.

Sorry you had to deal with this. Now you see her true colors.

MimiFix Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 3:36pm
post #3 of

We all rationalize our own behavior, so I'm sure she feels justified in charging more and removing your apparently fake friendship from her Facebook account. Take that!

Hey tuffstuff, revel in the knowledge that you are not partners.

TinkerCakes Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 3:37pm
post #4 of

Alot of people do charge differently for a wedding. They charge for wedding serving sizes... or party serving sizes.
*I agree with you though, I think it should be the same.

Millysweetdeals88 Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 3:58pm
post #5 of

This sounds like one of those life experiences that make you sit back and say. "The more people I meet, the more I love my dogs". I can understand how you feel, it sounds like she is most interested in making the most money out of each order rather than being fair and having that customer be a repeat. I also agree with charging per serving for all cakes, the set up fees, delivery, fondant and other special decor should be extra. This way you are not overpricing but are also getting paid fair for your hard work. Just learn from this experience and move on. You did nothing wrong.

mommachris Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 3:59pm
post #6 of

I don't charge differently. Stacked is stacked and carved is carved no matter what the theme of the party is that the customer is having.
She's not very smart. If you have different price structures, people will get mad.
Who needs that?
Still people do it and it breeds mistrust of the consumer.

Can you imagine pulling that if you owned a Limo company.
"You'd like a car for 4 hours, okay, that's $100 a hour for $400."
"Okay, can you pick us up and take us to the church at 10 am on Saturday?"
Wait a minute...you didn't say it was for a wedding. That's $150 an hour because those events have all sorts of emotional issues and things have to be 'perfect'. We charge more for those bookings."

That doesn't fly. As a driver you are supposed to be there on time, act professionally and have enough gas in the car to get us to the location. Where does the extra fee come from?
The same thing for a cake. It needs to be delivered on time, look like what was agreed on, be structurally sound and taste wonderful whether it's a wedding or a kid's party.
Anyone that does different prices is gouging.


Now she's lost a very nice friend over her 'policy'.

mommachris

MJbakes Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 4:07pm
post #7 of

I'm still fairly new to this and even though I haven't done a wedding cake I still have it set that my price/serving is still the same. If you think about it, you are making a bit more money on a wedding cake since the wedding vs party servings are different.

(Ex. I charge $4/serving for a basic cake. Well if I did 6" 8" 10" for a party that's 60 servings, if I were to do it for a wedding that's 74 servings. It's the same size cake, but because its wedding servings, you get more out of it, hence the client would pay more for it. Am I making sense or just rambling lol.)

costumeczar Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 4:19pm
post #8 of

I don't get the "party serving" vs "wedding serving" junk...It's a load. The cake costs the same to make, it takes the sme amount of time to decorate, and it should cost the same regardless of what event it's for. If they were going to use it for a food fight and none would be eaten I wouldn't charge zero for it...I've figured out my costs and I charge per cake, not per event or per serving.

TinkerCakes Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 4:43pm
post #9 of

I agree costumeczar, I have been going crazy trying to figure out what I'm going to charge when I start selling, the party serving/wedding serving sizes just didn't seem right. I just said... forget it, I'm going to figure out the cost per cake and charge that way.
I will tell people what the cake will serve in a range between wiltons and earlenes cake chart, for instance....an 8 inch round will serve between 15-24 people (depending on how large you cut the servings.)

TheItalianBaker Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 4:43pm

If I was you, I would go to get all your things back!

gatorcake Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 4:44pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommachris



Can you imagine pulling that if you owned a Limo company.
"You'd like a car for 4 hours, okay, that's $100 a hour for $400."
"Okay, can you pick us up and take us to the church at 10 am on Saturday?"
Wait a minute...you didn't say it was for a wedding. That's $150 an hour because those events have all sorts of emotional issues and things have to be 'perfect'. We charge more for those bookings."

That doesn't fly. As a driver you are supposed to be there on time, act professionally and have enough gas in the car to get us to the location. Where does the extra fee come from?
The same thing for a cake. It needs to be delivered on time, look like what was agreed on, be structurally sound and taste wonderful whether it's a wedding or a kid's party.
Anyone that does different prices is gouging.
mommachris




Poor analogy. First whether others consider it valid or not there is a difference within the industry between wedding servings and party servings. This difference exists in part due to what people expect from cake, in terms of serving, based on the event. Thus the different serving charts for different events. I was just at a birthday party at a local zoo and the staff member in charge of cutting the cake cut party servings not wedding servings. This was the serving size most expected, not the thinner wedding serving size.

Second it is not necessarily price gouging. In fact if you charge per serving and vary serving sizes based on the type of event, you actually make less money on non-wedding cakes. A 6-8-10 in party servings Wilton chart is 60, wedding servings is 74. Wedding servings are what are cut at weddings. If a decorator chooses to follow these two charts then they are making less money for a cake by opting to use party servings for non-weddings. To make the same you would have to have different prices per serving. So it is not necessarily price gouging if the person in question would have calculated different servings based on the event. She would have then charged her "normal" fee based on wedding servings and not been gouging anyone.

It is very possible that the individual in question simply charges "more" for weddings. However it is also possible despite her poorly worded exchanged she merely uses different serving charts based on the event--a difference which is dependent on the amount of cake that is traditionally served at particular events.

mommachris Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 4:46pm

I'm with you.
You tell me if the cake is the only thing served. To me that means you'll be cutting Jethro Bodin size pieces. If there is a sit down dinner, the slices will be as a dessert for people already full of good food.
All that tells me is that you'll need a larger cake for party number one. It still costs me the same amount of money and time to make a 14 inch no matter how many people you decide to feed it to at your event. Why would I charge differently for it?

mommachris

JGMB Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 5:00pm

At least you haven't lost your sense of humor -- I love the "stuff it in your face in a dark closet" line! thumbs_up.gif

Oh, and she's definitely a jerk . . .

mommachris Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 5:05pm

Still...
How many people you put in the limo doesn't matter to me. If the riders are wearing long white dresses and carrying flowers, doesn't matter. I don't change the seats in the limo ( or make my cakes any taller) for weddings. The price should be the same. I still have to drive to your house ( delivery is included in my orders).
Here's what matters:
Are you having a sit-down lunch for you bridal shower or a light tea. Some of those bridal shower cakes are just a detailed and large as wedding cakes. So...do we now have a 'bridal shower' price list, too? How about a retirement cake schedule and a Baby's first birthday one too, since sometimes those mom's need as much attention as a bride. icon_wink.gif
The price ( per serving) of the cake shouldn't change. Just the amount of cake you need.

mommachris



mommachris

jenmat Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 5:15pm

I charge more for wedding cake servings. They take more time, I make them taller, and I factor in the cost of delivery (which is not included in party servings). I also factor in the cost of my time going back and forth over the course of a year, tastings, and design consults.
Weddings take more time to arrange, not necessarily to execute, and that is really where my charge is factored in.
That said, if you ordered a rubber ducky cake and I made you one and found out it was for a groom's cake, I wouldn't care one bit. Why? Because you made it easy for me! You are picking it up, you didn't ask for a tasting, and we obviously didn't communicate for a year.
If a bride ordered a 2 tiered cake at my party pricing, picked it up and didn't give me any issues, then I would happily do it for her.
I charge for the "wedding experience".

costumeczar Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 5:21pm

I tell people that a standard serving is 1" x2" x height of the cake, or about 8 cubic inches. If they want bigger servings they need to order more cake. If they cut the pieces thinner they'll get more out of it. It's up to them.

I also tell them that I have no control over whether the people at the venue cut the pieces larger or smaller. That's why I say that this cake will serve this range of servings, but what you end up with depends on how the person wielding the knife cuts it.

There are a lot of factors that go into what size cake you'll need, not just the number of guests. Sit-down dinner or not, frat boy cutting the cake, drinking crowd or not, etc etc etc.

Regardless, I charge a flat amount for a cake, then they can cut it however they want. I help them figure out what arrangement of tiers will be right for their particular event based on all the factors they have going, then charge them based on the size cake they ordered, not on whether it's a birthday or a wedding.

tuffstuff Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 5:36pm

Hmm.. so what's the lesson to be learned here?

TheItalianBaker, I liked your response icon_biggrin.gif

Gatorcake, I see what you're saying. She didn't offer up the party vs. wedding size thing when I asked what her reasoning was. Maybe I would've been less mad if she had, though I don't agree with it.

Jenmat, very well said. If my order had been a huge tiered cake, I could maybe understand feeling miffed.

What's funny is I have read various "advice for brides on a budget" articles that encourage hiding the fact that it's for a wedding to get a lower price.

Cherylc418 Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 5:53pm

Yes the price difference drives me crazy too! When I did my market research i found that almost EVERYONE charged differently for wedding vs. party. It was ridiculous and it made me feel cheated and I was ONLY getting quotes. I charge the same price for whatever occasion, and my cake servings are the same for whatever occasion. I'm all about making a living, but my main goal is to provide an awesome cake with realistic serving sizes at an affordable price, whatever the occasion. Your "friend" sucks for being so rude about the cake. At least you don't have to worry about her trying to nickel and dime you anymore. Ridiculous!

costumeczar Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 6:04pm

Well, look at it this way...If you tell the people at the grocery store that your teenaged son can eat that entire box of cereal at once, so it's only one serving, so they should charge you less for it, I doubt they'd go along with it. I don't know why I came up with that example. icon_rolleyes.gif

tuffstuff Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 6:10pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Well, look at it this way...If you tell the people at the grocery store that your teenaged son can eat that entire box of cereal at once, so it's only one serving, so they should charge you less for it, I doubt they'd go along with it. I don't know why I came up with that example. icon_rolleyes.gif




I literally LOLed icon_lol.gif

Cherylc418 Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 6:23pm

Lololololol....sigh.....lol

jason_kraft Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 7:14pm

Price discrimination (charging different prices for the same item depending on the customer) happens all the time, and if you can do it successfully it can significantly add to your profitability and/or expand your reach downmarket as some customers subsidize others. Issuing coupons is one common example.

I don't think it's unethical to charge different prices for wedding cakes vs. party cakes, but if you happen to classify a customer in the lower price bracket incorrectly and your cost difference is not significant it's probably better to just let it go.

sweetideas Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 7:28pm

To me the fair thing to do would be to explain the size per type of wedding/event, and if more are needed, advise a larger cake, which will make you more money in the longrun. I ordered more cake than I needed because I know my family would want bigger cake slices (we are in the midwest, go figure!) lol. I don't know why a grooms cake would make any difference anyway.

Cherylc418 Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 7:37pm

Just because it happens all the time and can increase your profit margin doesn't mean it's right. It's the same flour, the same eggs, it's the same product. As a consumer I would rather be upcharged because I chose an intricate or difficult design, not simply because I was getting hitched. Thus, I treat my customers as I would like to be treated. It all boils down to what each individual business owner deems fair business practice. I tend to be the exception rather than the rule in my market and am encouraged that this will help drive the kind of business I want.

Lenette Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 8:22pm

I saw this earlier and it got me to thinking. I think the JenMatt who posted has a valid point. There is a lot more involved with weddings at least around here anyway. Brides take up a lot more of my time (which is fine, it's just a fact) with calls, emails, wanting to meet, tastings. Then I have to talk to the venue to confirm times for delivery and such which is often more than one quick call. I deliver most all weddings and at times have to go back to the venue afterward to retrieve my things from the cake. Also, the additional expense of advertising to brides could be factored in.
So, IMO yes, it does matter that it's a wedding. If I have a bride that wants to treat it like a party cake then great but it never happens like that.

mena2002 Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 8:29pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffstuff

I was sooooo steamed yesterday and still a bit upset about a cake order I made from someone who I considered a cake friend. I met her at a cake day-of-sharing thing a few years ago. I recently quit doing cakes for health reasons but I had already agreed to make a groom's cake for a friend of mine so I figured, "oh, I'll just buy it from my cake friend". Had never done it before and I figured I'd finally get to taste her cake.

I called her to see if I could pick up the cake early and I mentioned that the wedding starts at 6 pm. She was like, "wait.... this is for a wedding?" She got all attitude-ish and goes on to explain that she would have charged me more if she had known it was a groom's cake. She assumed it was for a baby shower because it was a rubber ducky. I NEVER said it was for a baby shower even though she claims I did (I checked the facebook messages! That was our only method of communcation!). I didn't purposely try to mislead her - it just never came up.

And that's besides the point - why on earth would you charge more just because it's for a wedding?? She would have done absolutley nothing different! It seems almost like price gouging to me- taking advantage of brides, assuming they will pay more for their "special day".

What really upsets me is that I have always been so nice to her - referring business her way, GIVING her some cake supplies I didn't need anymore, which included around 50 brand new cupcake boxes, and I let her borrow my damask stencil once for a cake she was doing.

I just don't get it.

She was like - "you would've done the same thing - charged the same way" - um NO... I don't care whether you're going to have it at your wedding or stuff it in your face in a dark closet. A cake is a cake is a cake. Same price - I don't care what it's for - the labor and supplies are all the same (charging extra for delivery/set up, I can understand).

Oh, and I saw this morning she already removed me as her friend on facebook. Classy. I am soooo glad I didn't take her up on being a business partner with her. Now I see her true colors.

What do you think? Is this a normal way to charge? I hope not. Just doesn't seem right.



So what ended up happening? Did you get the cake and were you charged more?

Sorry it just didn't seem like the story ended yet and I'm curious lol...

Sherri2012 Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 9:00pm

I can see charging a different price, too. I've not sold any cakes, but think about it for the future. ( Once I get some more practical experience under my belt) The things people are saying about advertising to brides, spending more time with them, phone, e-mails, consultations, delivery, clean up... and all of that costs a cake maker more time than birthday cakes. Time is money, and every time you are doing something for the customer, you should get paid for it.( even thinking about the design, really!) That's just a good business call. - Though can see where people could not understand.

Not sure how I will set up my pricing, yet, but do see charging more for wedding cakes. It makes sense.

costumeczar Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 10:08pm

I do mostly wedding cakes, and i'd rethink the idea that weddings take more time. The craziest, most high-demand, multiple email sending clients I've ever had have been people looking for birthday cakes. Brides are easy in comparison.

Sherri2012 Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 10:26pm

Yeah. I have only made a couple wedding cakes and a couple birthday cakes. For me, the wedding cakes took a lot more time. By like, 2 to 3 times as much! But, maybe that was just those specific cakes. Guess Ill see if I ever start. But I still can see charging more. Experience might make me change my mind, time will tell.

mclaren Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 10:46pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherri2012

I can see charging a different price, too. I've not sold any cakes, but think about it for the future. ( Once I get some more practical experience under my belt) The things people are saying about advertising to brides, spending more time with them, phone, e-mails, consultations, delivery, clean up... and all of that costs a cake maker more time than birthday cakes. Time is money, and every time you are doing something for the customer, you should get paid for it.( even thinking about the design, really!) That's just a good business call. - Though can see where people could not understand.

Not sure how I will set up my pricing, yet, but do see charging more for wedding cakes. It makes sense.




But in this particular case, the OP DIDN'T go through any of those, she basically ordered a cake with rubber ducky on it and was being asked to pay more just because she mentioned at pick up it was a groom's cake.
How is the caker doing more work for this cake than other cakes she sells?


Costumeczar, you took the words right from my mouth with every post you posted on this thread, exactly what I've been thinking of saying myself. I was about to say myself, if I'm ordering a cake just for me to eat alone but I want a fairly big cake for 1 person just because I love eating a lot of cake, like an-8 inch, is the caker charging me for 1 serving or still charging for the price of an-8 inch?

That's why over here nobody sells cakes by the serving.

But I agree with Jenmat's opinion on charging more based on what goes into making her wedding cakes.

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