I always have, but have noticed how many cake makers do not and wondered why this is. I always get put off when I can't find a price for stuff online, so this is why I chose to list mine. However now I am wondering if there is a reason why others choose not to, also is there a danger that other cake makers may undercut my prices, or am I just being silly?
I don't... there are so many variables; they may want larger or smaller than pictured; they may want a fruit cake instead of sponge; yes, other cake makers may well undercut you; and you would have to remember to update prices from time-to-time.
I have a 'prices from' to give a rough idea (so if they're looking for a cake for £25, they know I'm not the cake maker for them!)
I don't put specific prices, but I do have a starting at... for different levels of cakes and decorating. I also say that the price points are guidelines and that the cost of the actual cake they choose may be different. Depends on what they pick. They are all different. So it's too hard to give exact prices.
I had a whole matrix of prices based on flavor, size, price per special filling by size. It was too much information, offering too many options for folks to mull over, and caused to much agony and order changes, so I just went to the starting price for basic cake sizes and a statement to call or email for a quote. So far it has worked out much better. When I visit sites I want to know how much things are, I don't want to waste my time calling/emailing if you are way out of my price range.
Furthermore, I found that when my friends didn't list at least a minimum price they would get all kinds of calls for folks wanting cakes for ridiculous prices like 24 cupcakes for 15.00 or sheet cakes for 10.00. I think it helps weed out people saving everyone time to show basic pricing info. I should mention that I just started out, doing this for six months, so someone more established probably has more insightful advice.
For cupcakes, I'm fine with listing my prices on the website. Like others have said, it helps weed out people who aren't comfortable with my prices.
For cakes, there's so many variables that I'm not comfortable listing set prices. I do put a range (cakes start at $x per serving) but since I only do custom cakes - and therefore each one is different - I don't want to just say all 8" buttercream cakes cost $x.
I'm not really concerned about other people undercutting my prices, I'm more concerned with making sure I charge enough to make a profit. So I need to take (at least) a few minutes with each cake request and realistically see how much time/materials I'll need to make it. If I post a price on the site I'm stuck with it as the customer already has this in their head. With the quote system, I have flexibility to make sure I am covered.
i have base prices for party cakes and tiered cakes that pare priced by slice as well as a range for add-ons like figures and flowers. I also use it to weed out people who are looking for a more budget cake. And i find it really helps with friends and acquaintances who know what I do and want a cake...I direct them to my site to check it out, then if i am out of their budget it saves an uncomfortable conversation where they have to say no to my estimate.
Thanks everyone, that's good to know that I'm not the only one. I too list a 'from' price and do put a disclaimer saying prices will rise dependant on how elaborate the chosen design is, so I guess that covers it. I like to give people a starting point so I don't get people wanting a cake for silly money (which you invariably must do if you don't list prices). I agree with not caring less if competitors undercut me, but if I ever get to the point where couples are consistently going to the cheaper cake lady around the corner because she's £25 or so cheaper and I'm getting less and less work then I may think again, but hopefully that won't ever happen, although I must say there seems to be more and more home bakers starting up all over the town at the moment.
Yes, it cuts out a lot of BS conversations. And while some may say it scares off potential customers, think about it though. If a person cannot afford $X cake, they can't. Period. They can find out before contacting the caker or after (waste of time). If I can only afford $1.25 per serving and your cakes start at $2.75, I'm not your potential customer. You're not 'losing' me.
I list one basic hypothetical price to give people an idea, but I don't price by the serving so it's a little more complicated than that. Also, some people might incur an extra fee if they seem like they're going to be a giant PITA, but I can't list that on a website because it's completely subjective and based on mood.