Need Advice On This Customer, Please, And My Price!

Business By Cakey Updated 3 Sep 2012 , 12:09am by EvMarie

kelleym Posted 1 Sep 2012 , 6:50pm
post #31 of 57

I agree with EvMarie, I also do not understand the offer of such a large discount. It kind of comes across as "oops, I did charge too much", and negates your previous explanation of why your costs are what they are.

jason_kraft Posted 1 Sep 2012 , 6:54pm
post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvMarie

I'm not sure why you're offering such a large discount. You gave her a price, she agreed with no problem & paid. The product was good & everything went over with out a hitch right?



Agreed...it sounds like you really don't want this person as a customer, but then you offer such a steep discount you'll be taking a loss on her next order?

You really don't need to go into detail explaining your pricing structure on your web site, usually just publishing a starting price with a note saying more complex decorations will cost more is enough. You may also want to rethink pricing by the inch...if you have an order for cookies with a complex design, your cost will be about the same if you have a 3" cookie vs. a 5" cookie.

stephdover4 Posted 1 Sep 2012 , 6:56pm
post #33 of 57

I think its a good, solid response to the situation. I live in a small town too, and you're right, you have to address it correctly in order not to make her mad.

The discount is a bit much since I feel that she is looking for something for nothing; with 50% off she would then be getting exactly what she was looking for in the first place.

Just my thoughts...good luck!
Steph

Cakey Posted 1 Sep 2012 , 7:01pm
post #34 of 57

Yeah, EvMarie, you are right. She is snarky and probably would take that as an invitation to walk all over me, so I'm going to take your advice and do 25% off her next order. Then at least she's not bullying me into lowering my prices. Thanks!

denetteb Posted 1 Sep 2012 , 7:03pm
post #35 of 57

I have just been following along, but I think your email is too much information. Too specific and too apologetic. I don't think most people break down their pricing structure to the point of number of colors, size per inch, etc etc with each customer. Especially unless it is asked at the point of ordering so as to keep within a budget or something like that. So I don't think you should apologize to her for not doing that. It is saying you did something wrong, when I don't think you did. (I don't sell cakes, just coming at it from an outside point of view.) Another thing, if you go into such detail with her, potentially she will evaluate all your future jobs and check to see how the pricing is, order something just under the inch size, or other silly things that will only make your life more difficult. Just say your price is based on your total cost of ingredients, overhead, packaging, hourly rate based on level of difficulty, size of cookie and number of colors on the design type of statement. I do think the comparison per inch and per color discussion regarding the Etsy person is great. And the freshness factor. I also don't think offering a discount on future order is needed or warranted. If you do decide to offer her something, don't make it open-ended as you currently have it. Say she wants 50% off a 3 tier birthday cake. If you feel it necessary, make her a little something to thank her for her feedback and move on.

jason_kraft Posted 1 Sep 2012 , 7:06pm
post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakey

so I'm going to take your advice and do 25% off her next order. Then at least she's not bullying me into lowering my prices. Thanks!



But she did bully you into lowering your prices. If she does place an order with you with the discount, she will expect similar treatment for all future orders, and when people ask her how much she paid others will also expect a discount.

Now if you did something wrong or messed up an order I could see offering a discount, but you've done absolutely nothing wrong here (aside from not having confidence in your pricing strategy).

cakesbycathy Posted 1 Sep 2012 , 8:29pm
post #37 of 57

Please do not send her that email. The tone- which has repeated apologies in it - makes it sound like you don't know what you are doing. Even if you don't, you certainly don't want a customer to think so. If you want to explain your pricing that's one thing, but keep it simple. And for heaven's sake, DO NOT offer this woman a discount.

I would send something along these lines:
Hi Jennifer, thanks so much for your feedback. It made me realize that I could add a an explanation of my pricing structure on my Facebook business page. For large decorated cookies with three colors on each cookie and a variety of colors in the order, my price is $1.00 per inch, and the crayon cookies were 4½ to 5 inches.

I looked at the Etsy shop you mentioned, and her cookies are beautiful! I found her Hello Kitty cookies comparable to the crayon cookies since they are highly decorated with three colors, and her price per cookie with bag and bow before shipping costs is $2.91 per cookie. When you add the shipping cost, they end up being $3.91 per cookie, which is more than $1.00 per inch since they are 3-inch cookies. Her mini cookies are much less because of the size.

There is also a possibility her rates are discounted because of the freshness factor. If you wanted cookies for an event on Monday, for example, she would have to bake and decorate the cookies the Monday or Tuesday before, let the royal icing on them dry for a minimum of 12 hours, possibly even 24 hours, before being bagged and shipped, and then you would receive them on Friday or Saturday where they would have to wait another few days until your event on Monday, and by then they're already a week old.

Hope this explanation is helpful. I know everyone has their own budget to work with. I completely understand if you decided to purchase from her instead, but hopefully I will have the opportunity to bake something for you again in the future.

Thanks Jenn!

EvMarie Posted 1 Sep 2012 , 9:08pm
post #38 of 57

Well said everyone.

If you give her a discount, especially one that is substantial, you will have locked yourself into another order from her. Doesn't sound like you really want that.

I only recommended 25% because my eyes bulged out of my head when I read you were gonna offer 50% off of any product. I guess I was trying to talk you off a ledge.

You honest to goodness didn't do anything wrong. If you truly feel you HAVE TO give this lady a discount to put a fire out...then 10% should suffice. Or, perhaps when it's convenient for you & you have an extra dozen drop cookies or 6 cupcakes...that should oil the squeek just fine.

I sympathize with you. I am a people pleaser by nature. It does NOT go well with business. I am checking myself constantly to make sure I'm charging properly & if I don't care for how I'm being treated in business or in life I've learned to exit gracefully. Sometimes speaking my piece and sometimes keeping my lips zipped.

Everyone is right with NO discount. But, if you're gonna do it, go small & at your convenience. You define your own worth....don't let this lady do it for you.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 1 Sep 2012 , 9:57pm
post #39 of 57

Yeah, PLEASE don't send that email as it is. You're letting her get the upper hand. And as everyone said, if you are going to offer a discount on a future order, make it much less and don't leave it open ended to be on anything she wants!!! 25% off of a dozen cookies is quite different than 25% off of a four tier custom cake. See where you could be setting yourself up for trouble, here?

costumeczar Posted 1 Sep 2012 , 11:24pm
post #40 of 57

CakesbyCathy, that edit of the original email is perfect IMO. Explains the situation but takes out the "my fault" factor. I wouldn't offer her a discount either.

Cakey Posted 1 Sep 2012 , 11:55pm
post #41 of 57

I agree, very good edit by cakes by Cathy. The only thing I'm going to add is "There is also the danger of damage to the cookies or loss of them due to shipping" at the end of the paragraph about the freshness factor. I am happy with that answer, no apology, no discount, but I'm being nice. Thank you! Thanks so much everyone!!! This was exactly what I needed, good feedback from smart, experienced people.

cakesbycathy Posted 2 Sep 2012 , 1:15am
post #42 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakey

I agree, very good edit by cakes by Cathy. The only thing I'm going to add is "There is also the danger of damage to the cookies or loss of them due to shipping" at the end of the paragraph about the freshness factor. I am happy with that answer, no apology, no discount, but I'm being nice. Thank you! Thanks so much everyone!!! This was exactly what I needed, good feedback from smart, experienced people.




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Cakey Posted 2 Sep 2012 , 12:40pm
post #43 of 57

Just had to give an update. I sent that letter last night, and this morning on Facebook she had posted this link as a favorite and then also liked the link, so the picture of these cookies was posted twice. I guess she wanted to make sure I didn't miss it. icon_rolleyes.gif Excellent cookies by a different person on Etsy. I wonder how long she looked to find cookies that were up to 4.5 inches in size for a cheaper price. So I guess that means I lost her as a customer.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/79692147/superhero-cookies-spiderman-captain

sweetideas Posted 2 Sep 2012 , 2:19pm
post #44 of 57

Ok, you lost someone who doesnt want to pay for quality or fresness and wants you to meet her demands? I don't want to pay 35,000 for a new car, but that isn't going to work for me...lol. I don't think she even needed an explanation. It is what it is. Best of luck to you.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 2 Sep 2012 , 2:56pm
post #45 of 57

Well, now, this just proves she wasn't just trying to be nice and helpful with the first email! If you have lost her as a customer, you haven't lost much!

Even in this, she's still not acknowledging the fact that the etsy seller is in a different part of the country, so her costs wouldn't be the same as yours.

Don't worry about her, you don't want her as a customer anyway. Good for you for sticking to your prices!

PinkLotus Posted 2 Sep 2012 , 3:29pm
post #46 of 57

I'd say losing her as a customer was probably a good thing.

Cakey Posted 2 Sep 2012 , 3:42pm
post #47 of 57

Agreed, it's not a big deal if I lost her as a customer. It's a load off my mind that I dealt with it professionally, didn't get bullied into doing what she wanted, and was nice about it, too. I couldn't have done that without the help of everyone here who gave me such great advice on how to handle this. Thanks again!

Godot Posted 2 Sep 2012 , 4:24pm
post #48 of 57

Ugh, some people.

Even if she did want to order from you again - you should really consider being fully booked for the rest of her life.

costumeczar Posted 2 Sep 2012 , 5:23pm
post #49 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakey

Just had to give an update. I sent that letter last night, and this morning on Facebook she had posted this link as a favorite and then also liked the link, so the picture of these cookies was posted twice. I guess she wanted to make sure I didn't miss it. icon_rolleyes.gif Excellent cookies by a different person on Etsy. I wonder how long she looked to find cookies that were up to 4.5 inches in size for a cheaper price. So I guess that means I lost her as a customer.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/79692147/superhero-cookies-spiderman-captain





What a she-devil bitch! "No cookies for you list" for her.

On another note, those cookies are violating all kinds of copyrights.

Cakey Posted 2 Sep 2012 , 7:03pm
post #50 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar




What a she-devil bitch! "No cookies for you list" for her.




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Cakey Posted 2 Sep 2012 , 7:04pm
post #51 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Godot

Ugh, some people.

Even if she did want to order from you again - you should really consider being fully booked for the rest of her life.




Right? Seriously.

jason_kraft Posted 2 Sep 2012 , 7:14pm
post #52 of 57

On a completely unrelated note:
http://marvel.com/help/contact

jason_kraft Posted 2 Sep 2012 , 7:20pm
post #53 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakey

Just had to give an update. I sent that letter last night, and this morning on Facebook she had posted this link as a favorite and then also liked the link, so the picture of these cookies was posted twice. I guess she wanted to make sure I didn't miss it. icon_rolleyes.gif Excellent cookies by a different person on Etsy. I wonder how long she looked to find cookies that were up to 4.5 inches in size for a cheaper price. So I guess that means I lost her as a customer.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/79692147/superhero-cookies-spiderman-captain



That Etsy store's price for cookies including shipping is $3.16 unwrapped in a box. Your price was also $3.16 each ($60/19), including individual bags and ribbons.

costumeczar Posted 2 Sep 2012 , 7:35pm
post #54 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

On a completely unrelated note:
http://marvel.com/help/contact




Hahaha! I wrote a note to that shop owner about the copyright thing. If she doesnt take that listing down then Etsy might.

MimiFix Posted 2 Sep 2012 , 7:38pm
post #55 of 57

... and that's what I love about you both (jason and costumeczar). Just when I think a thread has been beaten to shreds, you guys come along and make me laugh. Thank you.

BlakesCakes Posted 2 Sep 2012 , 9:19pm
post #56 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft


That Etsy store's price for cookies including shipping is $3.16 unwrapped in a box. Your price was also $3.16 each ($60/19), including individual bags and ribbons.




After taking in all of the copyrighted goodies, THIS ^^^^ was my next revelation.

Your beotchy customer is very math challenged............probably the type who rounds $99 down to ..........$50.

She's clearly not considering the cost of shipping--which is money spent by the vendor that NEVER increases the size of the cookies or the complexity of the design--in my opinion, it's wasted money.

I'd rather have fresh cookies, bagged & tagged, for the same amount of money. She'd rather be able to say that she was right.

If anyone ever mentions it, you can truthfully say, "My price is EXACTLY THE SAME as the Etsy vendor, except that you get fresher cookies, bags & ribbons, and you never have to worry about breakage or non-delivery."
I might even be tempted to post that as a comment on the FB post........and see if the witch removes the post.

JMHO
Rae

EvMarie Posted 3 Sep 2012 , 12:09am
post #57 of 57

Good Lord. Some people will never be satisfied until they leave a conversation thinking they got the last word in.

Just shrug her off & laugh. What a joke. Who has time to be fishing around for the proof to make her point??? Simple people, that's who.

The best thing to do is suck all the lessons you can out of her and drop it. And, her. I love being booked for the rest of your life! That's great.

I guarantee she'll see something you do that's wonderful down the road and just HAVE TO HAVE it. Whoopsie...booked.

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