So I have a cake business that I have been advertising recently. Last weekend I actually had a vendor table at a church event and met a lot of people and received wonderful feedback about my products and my work.
Yesterday I received a strange phone call about 7 pm by a man named Mark who had ordered a specialty cake for his daughter's 13 surprise bday party from another person who does cakes. His problem was that that decorator could not do the cake and he got my info from "a friend of a friend" and was wondering if I could do the cake....for TONIGHT. And it is supposed to be an ipod cake. The party was at 8 pm which would have given me just about 24 hours to do the cake. After calling him back and telling him i would do the cake as long as he would pay me in full up front for the last minute order, he appeared grateful and said let me have my wife call you. Price didn't seem to be an issue.
About 10 minutes later I get a call from a different number and a woman. She called me by the wrong name and told me in short that the person that said they could no longer do the cake, now miraculously is able to do the cake and they no longer needed my services. I wanted to scream, but told her i was happy everything worked out in the end and thanked her for calling me.
I really had such a bad feeling in my gut the whole time about this situation, and didn't know what to make of it. Just wondering, based on your experience, what you thought? Competitor or scam/???
Thanks for your input.
Perhaps - and i mean just perhaps - another vendor saw you at the church event - wanted to know what you might charge for such a cake - and got her husband to contact you - then she herself phoned afterwards to *cancel* the order.
Its a far stretch - but stranger things have been known to happen.
Your gut feeling was right - wasn't it?
I would say = Competitor
I occassionally get the odd phone call - going like this
what do charge for a so and so cake.made of so and so - filled with such and such...delivered to over there.
No hello - or kiss my left foot - just wham what do you........
Straight away i know - hellloooooooo, its a competitor.
Lolll - thats when i suggest they come for a consultation...
*click* - lollllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
Over time you can pick them...they are usually rude...lollllll ...with no phone manner what so ever.
Don't fuss over it - there will be another one along the same line one day.
Just do as you said you did - demand payment upfront.
The only problem with them calling for a quote on a cake like this at the last minute is that i quoted him a price higher than what I would normally charge for the last minute inconvenience. So the price doesn't accurately reflect what I would normally charge. Anyway, if it was a test to see if i would take an order so last minute, I guess i passed. But that was only because I didn't have anything else going on this weekend. I dont know if I should just make a rule never to take cakes under circumstances like this one because of the potential of all the things that could go wrong. Do I be the one to 'rescue' the client or be more concerned about my reputation and my time? It's a hard one.
The only problem with them calling for a quote on a cake like this at the last minute is that i quoted him a price higher than what I would normally charge for the last minute inconvenience. So the price doesn't accurately reflect what I would normally charge. True - and perhaps who ever called expected that as it was a last minut order.... Anyway, if it was a test to see if i would take an order so last minute, I guess i passed. But that was only because I didn't have anything else going on this weekend. I dont know if I should just make a rule never to take cakes under circumstances like this one because of the potential of all the things that could go wrong. Do I be the one to 'rescue' the client or be more concerned about my reputation and my time? Tough call - but i would be more inclined to concentrate on my reputation - There can be alot of stress to go with rush last minute orders - One has to be carefull (just like being known as the cheap lady down the road) once word gets out that "esq1031 will do your order last minute" it will be hard to pull the reigns in. It's a hard one. Yes it is - and at the end of the day we all do what suits us - but if i were you, i would stop and think - what type of business do i wish to portray and what reputation do i wish to put out there. Then again, i don't know your situation - and whether you are dependant on every order that comes your way - for me, no, i wouldn't start that trend.
Others will hopefully come along and give you their thoughts and perspective - which will add another aspect on the situation....
Sounds to me like a customer looking for a lower price, or they went back to the original decorator and pleaded with them to make the cake (or offered more money, or both). It's not unusual to get a call back from a different number, considering how many people have cell phones these days, and I've had customers call me by the wrong name before.
I'm just not sure what you were so upset about. It's probably best that you didn't get the order anyway, since the design of the iPod is copyrighted and it's likely the cake would be infringing on Apple's copyright.
I think it was probably good that you didnt take the job last-minute like that. The only people I'd do a last-minute cake for are people i REALLY like, not a random guy who a friend of a friend told to call me.
My take is that wife heard price, freaked out, and called you right away. Rather than just say, "Thanks, but no thanks.", she felt better saying that the original baker was back on track.
And then..............she jumped in the car and ran off to Costco, WalMart, or the local grocery store to scope out something between $13.99 and $24.99 that would serve the number of guests expected to attend.
At the party, she dejectedly apologized for the generic cake, explaining that the original baker had been too deathly ill to produce a masterpiece.
Do I be the one to 'rescue' the client .....?
Disclaimer: As many of your know, I don't sell cakes. I give my cakes away.
I don't NEED the money that comes from cakes (it would be nice, but I can still pay bills and dabble in my cake hobby).
With that said, the only way I would ever "rescue a client" is to charge them a LOT of money for a rush job. (And I'd want 100% of that money delivered in cash/money order/cashier's check with a few hours or I wouldn't turn on the oven.)
When your number is out there, the crazy's come out. It could have been any of the above or something else.