AI have a friend (I use that term loosely) from my old job who recently ordered a cake for his wife's birthday. He wants a 1/2 sheet cake... When I priced it, he acted like I was crazy because he could get one for $20 at the store... acted like he was doing me some huge favor by giving me his business. I very rarely do sheet cakes (unless they're accompanying a wedding cake basically) so I don't know a ton about how to price them. He asked for it to be $30 (apparently we can just name a price for things we want now) and I said ok because I felt so stupid from earlier. Now it's a few days away and I realize that this is a complete waste of my time. I'm so busy as is with my full time job, grad school, and not to mention cakes for actual customers who don't question my prices! It doesn't really seem worth it to take time out of my schedule to break even (actually I probably won't because I need to buy a new 12x18). It's so unprofessional but at this point should I just cancel? I feel really guilty but if he wants to pay grocery store prices, why not just let him go to a grocery store? To be honest, there's a good chance I won't see him again since I don't work at the place that I know him from anymore. I'm just struggling with feeling taken advantage of, but guilty because I don't want to let anyone down. Help!
Since it's a few days away, I don't think you can cancel on him (well I suppose you can, but I think it would be really bad form).
I think we've all taken orders that we regret later on when we're stuck with the actual work of filling them and realize that we're losing money and time. Best thing to do is learn from it and make sure you don't underprice in the future. I'd also make sure to give him an invoice with the cake that clearly says your original price minus the discount that gets you to the $30. That way he doesn't go around telling everyone you'll make cakes for that low price and he understands that he got a deal.
I would be willing to bet that the one he could get at the grocery store is not made from scratch and probably tastes like cardboard!!! That is why it would only be $20.00 because it would never taste as good as yours. Sounds like you are sometimes too nice for your own good but you are not the only one that this has happened to.
Just chalk it up as experience and I agree with tracy about the invoice with the discount so they will not tell everyone you make cakes for a dirt cheap price. Sounds as if you are very busy with school and everything else you have to do!!! Hang in there and take it one day at a time!!! Good luck/Mary
A$30?!? I would cancel the cake and be honest with him.
AI would go to Costco, order a cake and sell it to him.
^^This. Then I would add a few bc roses and/or scrolls and make sure he understands that this is what he can get for $30. And DON"T FEEL GUILTY about it. He now believes that he can bully you into whatever price HE thinks is acceptable. And don't for one minute think he won't be back, because he will so save yourself future aggravation and end it now.
AAnd the next time someone tells you they can buy a cake at a grocery store for less, tell them that's exactly where they should go. Your cakes are of higher quality, a work of art and a focal point or display piece. If they can't appreciate that, then that's not the kind of client you want. Grocery stores use a cake mix or frozen cake with frosting that comes out of a bucket and a decorator that has 10 mins or so to crank out a cake.
yeah I don't know why I let him push me into it! I guess I was just caught off guard or something and felt stupid. This was something I struggled with when I first started out, but it's been years and I know better at this point.
He kept saying "I'm just trying to help you out and give you business." Which is obviously not the case because I have a very successful business of people that are willing to pay for quality work. Ugh, lesson learned.
I won't cancel, just because I think it's a bad thing to do (even though I'd love to wait until the day of the party and just tell him to go to a grocery store!), but perhaps I'll just make it with a box mix and store bought icing ... and my goodness, I'm not spending the amount of time I usually do on cakes. I'll act like I'm getting paid $30...
Thanks for the advice everyone!
You always know how to make me feel better!