julianabrcup Posted 13 Dec 2012 , 4:01am
post #1 of

So I've been very uncomfortable about my cupcake "business", if that's what I can call it. I need honest and blunt opinions.

 

I charge around 2 dollars per cupcake, more (10%) when fondant is needed in the decoration. I usually get two or three orders a month, which I don't think is enough. I wish I would get more. My cupcakes are made with the best ingredients I can find and I really take my time into making the best cupcakes I can, both in quality as in visual attraction.

However, I have had complains about my price, saying that it is too much to charge for cupcakes like mine. I have a friend who also bakes and sells, but she mainly uses fondant for her decorations. I don't think fondant is in any way good to bite in, so I usually prefer to keep it simple when using it, and I tell my customers that - i.e, I don't make a whole christmas tree out of fondant, but rather a buttercream tree with a fondant star. Well, this friend of mine has had so many customers that she's actually paying her whole wedding party with cupcake orders!

I really don't understand what makes her get my customers than me. I've had people coming to me saying that they hate her cupcakes, that they don't taste good, but she still gets loads of orders.

 

Should I drop the quality of my cupcakes and start charging less? Or should I jump into fondant decorating completely?

What exactly do I need to do? What am I lacking?

 

Thanks everyone for any help.

10 replies
bittersweety Posted 13 Dec 2012 , 7:20pm
post #2 of

AFirst off, do you give a discount for larger orders? I personally charge $2.75 per cupcake but reduce it to $28.00 for a dozen. Are you advertising yourself well? I wouldn't worry overly about adding a lot of fondant decorations...it's never been a large request for me personally so I don't think that should be a make or break kinda thing...

kazita Posted 13 Dec 2012 , 7:40pm
post #3 of

AFondant makes very pretty cakes and cupcakes but the taste of fondant. YUK I prefer the taste of buttercream. So maybe mostly buttercream with fondant accents

AZCouture Posted 13 Dec 2012 , 8:02pm
post #4 of

Well I guess I'll ask. Are hers better than yours? Are they beautifully done? Is she a good business person and knows how to sell her goods? 

jason_kraft Posted 13 Dec 2012 , 8:07pm
post #5 of

AIf people are complaining that your prices are too high, you may in fact be charging too little and attracting the wrong kind of customer.

Where are you located, what is your marketing strategy, and who is your target market? Are there areas you can focus on with more affluent customers that are willing to pay more for quality?

julianabrcup Posted 13 Dec 2012 , 8:22pm
post #6 of

@bittersweety: I give 10% discount to order bigger than 12 cupcakes, mainly because my recipes yield 12. I do have a website/blog with fairly more advertising than her business.

 

@kazita: I agree with you in every word!

 

@AZCouture: I have never tasted her cupcakes, but as I said I have had people coming up to me and saying her cupcakes taste horribly, complaining mostly about how they are dry, burnt and too sweet. I think her fondant work is kind of unskillful, she uses a lot of molds instead of doing by herself, and I have seen a fly stuck into one of her cupcakes once.

 

@jason_kraft: I thought about that, and I have updated my prices to $2.25. Since I did that, I've had a drop in my orders and I constantly consider going back to $2.

 

As a side note, everyone, I live in the capital of Brazil. Yeah, it's a different market from USA, but I don't think that should be a big issue when charging my goods.

You can all check my work in my website: www.cupcakeando.com.br . I'm not exaggerating when I say I really do take my time with my cupcakes, you can see that on this order I got: http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cupcakeando.com.br%2Freceitas%2Fcupcakes-de-tutti-frutti%2F&act=url

 

(please do not mind the awful google translation of my mother language, 'cause it really sucks)

kimmisue2009 Posted 13 Dec 2012 , 9:23pm
post #7 of

I just checked out your site and already have a cupcake crush on you!  Your work is lovely, creative, innovative, and original.  I cannot imagine that you are charging too much. 

kimmisue2009 Posted 13 Dec 2012 , 9:24pm
post #8 of

Oh, and the translation is positively delighful! :)

vgcea Posted 13 Dec 2012 , 9:58pm
post #9 of

Your cupcakes are cute! I'll have to agree with Jason on this one. Your pricing may be too low hence you're attracting the 'budget' market. I tend to have this issue too. So my goal is to not drop my prices but to focus on reaching out to a different segment of the market. 

 

Another thing I considered that you may want to think of is creating a separate product line that reaches out to those budget clients you have. Rather than dropping the quality of your product, you could create a less customized line. So it's basically cupcake with buttercream swirl. No fancy fondant topper, no customized anything. That way you're not spending time creating custom toppers for people who cannot appreciate the work that goes into it. 

julianabrcup Posted 17 Dec 2012 , 1:12am

Thanks guys!

 

I'm actually considering creating a special product line for "gourmet cupcakes", or something like that, like you suggested @vgcea. Maybe that'll help my finances.

Amazingly, I've got many orders this last two weeks, not sure why, and people aren't complaining about the price. :)

vgcea Posted 17 Dec 2012 , 4:08am
Quote:
Originally Posted by julianabrcup 

Thanks guys!

 

I'm actually considering creating a special product line for "gourmet cupcakes", or something like that, like you suggested @vgcea. Maybe that'll help my finances.

Amazingly, I've got many orders this last two weeks, not sure why, and people aren't complaining about the price. :)

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