SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 1:40am
post #1 of

Well not really stealing... they are paid for... but I just found out tonight that a lady is buying cakes from me and re-selling them!

I had a lady send me a message with a picture of a cake, it was a very different design so it stuck with me. I sent her 2 price quotes on different sizes.  Well, this afternoon I had a call from another customer asking if she could send me a picture of a cake she wanted.  When I receive the pic, it's of the same cake.  I found this strange because of the design... it's very unique.  So I sent her a message back telling her that it was odd that i had just had someone send me the same exact cake.  So she calls, we get to talking and it turns out that she quoted the same cake to her for more than I was going to charge... and has been doing this for quite some time.  It also turns out that I have done every cake that this lady has ordered from the cake thief. 

I'm asking what I can do about this.  I have no idea where to start.  I am inspected by the health department, and have spent thousands of dollars building a cake shop so I can be legal... and this lady wants to buy my cake and jack the price up???? I'm ticked!  I'm almost certian that she isn't licensed by the health department and isn't paying sales tax like I do... So I will start with those 2.  But as far as my creative work... what can I do????

Help!!!!

Thanks in advance

Kelli

44 replies
heartsnsync Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 1:54am
post #2 of

Well, I don't know what you could do legally.  However, professionally I would not ever sell her another cake.  She is one nervy lady!

kazita Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 2:27am
post #3 of

AExactly never sell her another cake but I would one more time take an order from her and get her name and address and than see what you can legally see what you can do about this. Maybe you already have her name and address than go from there. You have every right to be angry about what this thief is doing!! Another thing you can do is next time she orders a cake raise your price enough to where she will have a hard time resaleing your cake if she ask why such an increase tell her that you found out that she's resaling your cakes and gaing a profit from your hard work so you feel that you have been under selling yourself and you no longer will do that. Stick to your guns this lady has quite the nerve

SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 3:03am
post #4 of

I had to tell a few lies to get all the information I needed from her... didn't really feel bad about it either :)

but I was able to get her address and a list of all the cakes she has ordered from me.  All in text messages so I can use them as evidence later if needed.  After thinking about it, I'm really not sure I can do anything about it.  People can resell anything they purchase I guess... the only thing I think I may be able to do is get the health department involved since I'm fairly confident she isn't licenesed... I was advised by the health department that I could not sell food to someone and then them resell it... I have to have a whole different license for that.  So I'm not sure if that's something that can be used or not.  I will no longer be selling to her.  She's wanting to bring me a deposit on this cake tomorrow, so I've advised the customer to just cancel her order with her.  The mean ticked off part of me wanted to let the jerk pay me a deposit on it first... but 2 wrongs don't make a right... although I would be getting back money she has made off me! lol

AZCouture Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 3:17am
post #5 of

AWell, now you know you can charge more.

AZCouture Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 3:19am
post #6 of

AI mean, if she's marking them up it must be a pretty significant amount to make it worth her while?:D

tiggy2 Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 3:20am
post #7 of

You should let her buy the cake and resell it so you have proof for the health department (assuming the customer would back you up).

kazita Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 3:38am
post #8 of

AAs she shows up to put down the deposit for the cake I would tell her that the price has increased by a lot and if she questioned it I would comfort her on the whole resaleing of your cakes than at least you hopefully get rid of her and an added bonus would be that she made a trip to your shop

BomCakes Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 5:02am
post #9 of

 Why don't you take a picture of the fanciest cake you've done for her, run it in the newspaper and publicly thank her for being your best customer! She could "win" a gift cert good toward her next order."Check out my other cake designs that "so and so" has purchased on my website!

cheatize Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 5:13am

If you are not allowed to sell cakes for resale, I would not sell her one more crumb. Now that you know, you would be party to an illegal transaction. 

BlakesCakes Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 5:22am

I know it's fun to think up ways to zap someone when we're feeling mad and offended, but the easiest thing to do is to just contact the person, tell her that you found out that she's been re-selling your products, that your license doesn't allow for re-selling/wholesale, and that you can no longer keep her on as a client because it jeopardizes your livelihood. 

 

JMHO

Rae

DiddleMeSweet Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 5:30am

AHow horrible! I am seriously shocked that he lady she was selling them to actually found YOU! Just goes to show karma is a b***h! Maybe you can sue her for making a profit off your cakes. In short she stole from you. I would then co

vgcea Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 5:33am
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes 

I know it's fun to think up ways to zap someone when we're feeling mad and offended, but the easiest thing to do is to just contact the person, tell her that you found out that she's been re-selling your products, that your license doesn't allow for re-selling/wholesale, and that you can no longer keep her on as a client because it jeopardizes your livelihood. 

 

JMHO

Rae

^^ This! It's not like she robbed you. She ordered a product, you quoted a price which she paid. The cake became hers to do with as she pleases. While her actions may be unethical, they're not illegal (caveat: the part about reselling which contradicts your HD's guidelines could be construed as illegal, but that's a totally different situation between her and the HD). Meaning, if you sued her, you would have no case... unless you have a trademark on your cakes or something... again the case would be trademark infringement-- totally different story.

 

I know you're mad and would like to show her but you still have a business image to protect. Just tell her you've found out, and will not be selling to her anymore.

DiddleMeSweet Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 5:34am

AHow horrible! I am seriously shocked that he lady she was selling them to actually found YOU! Just goes to show karmas is a b***h! Maybe you can sue her for making a profit off your cakes. In short she stole from you. I would then contact an attorney...find someone for a free consultation. It wouldn't hurt to ask...then take it from there.

If you go by a baker name/ logo...copyright it...for business purposes. But honestly I think you can sue her. best of luck!

fcakes Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 5:36am

AWow...this is a first! Never thought I'd hear something like this! Lol! I think you should increase the prices of her future orders and see if she still buys them from you....let her give you regular business!

vgcea Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 5:47am
Quote:
Originally Posted by DiddleMeSweet 

How horrible! I am seriously shocked that he lady she was selling them to actually found YOU! Just goes to show karmas is a b***h! Maybe you can sue her for making a profit off your cakes. In short she stole from you. I would then contact an attorney...find someone for a free consultation. It wouldn't hurt to ask...then take it from there.
If you go by a baker name/ logo...copyright it...for business purposes. But honestly I think you can sue her. best of luck!

In that case everyone who resells anything they bought would be up for a lawsuit. EBay would be a land mine. When a person PAYS for a product, you the seller give up your ownership rights in exchange for payment. The same way you can't sell something and go back and just take it home because you made it, uh uh, it stops being yours after you sold it. IF OP has her cakes copyrighted she may be able to sue, but even then the case is not for reselling but for copyright infringement.

carmijok Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 6:33am

Even if you stop selling to her, she could still purchase your cakes by having someone else buy them for her.  Here's a thought.  Why not put your business card (protected of course) on top of the cake board directly under the cake so no one can see it until the cake is eaten!  Or maybe at least have it under the board.  

Wait!...you can even make it a selling tool for all your cakes!   Instead of just your business card you could put a 'thank you for your business' card/ coupon with an offer of some kind from your business so they'll know how to contact you directly!  Ha ha!  Hey what about a receipt taped under the cake board with how much your customer paid for the cake?   OK...it's late.  I'm tired and punchy.  I'll stop now!icon_lol.gif

vgcea Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 6:39am

icon_lol.gif Imagine the client's shock. I love those ideas hehehee!

cazza1 Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 6:43am

Apart from being mad you should also feel extremely flattered.  Not only does she think that your work is good enough to resell but that it is good enough to resell at a big mark up.  Take the positives from the experience.
 

Crazy-Gray Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 9:32am

I think this is a clear sign that you can up your prices- there are clearly people willing to pay the mark up- very few of us ever get hard evidence for product value like that so make use of it!

 

I appreciate it's frustrating that she's made money from your product but maybe this is a good oppertunity for you to sidestep the temptation of revenge (believe me I'd be fuming too!), but make use of her contacts/customer base instead.

 

I'd suggest offering this person a commision for bringing you customers- I do this mutually with local bakeries who don't offer the kind of cakes I make- clearly none of those who actually bought from her came to you for a price or they'd have noticed the price difference and bought from you directly. She may therefore be able to increase your custommer base on top of your increased prices- just be sure that they are marketed as YOUR cakes not hers lol.

 

If she refuses this generous offer, never sell to her again and maybe even warn other bakeries of the name.

soozicake Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 9:51am

Absolutely love Camijok's idea of the business card or coupon under the cake.  Like your thinking....I would not have thought of that. icon_lol.gif

BakingIrene Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 3:32pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpecialtyCakesbyKelli 

I had to tell a few lies to get all the information I needed from her... didn't really feel bad about it either :)

but I was able to get her address and a list of all the cakes she has ordered from me.  All in text messages so I can use them as evidence later if needed.  After thinking about it, I'm really not sure I can do anything about it.  People can resell anything they purchase I guess... the only thing I think I may be able to do is get the health department involved since I'm fairly confident she isn't licenesed... I was advised by the health department that I could not sell food to someone and then them resell it... I have to have a whole different license for that. 

Write this reselling customer a letter advising that you will no longer accept orders from her. NO REASON to be stated. Send it by registered mail.

 

Discuss with a lawyer the option of sending this reselling customer a "cease and desist" letter as well. This letter might be cc'd to your board of health.

 

Put all the text messages together and print them onto paper.  Download and print both sets of pictures onto paper.  Prepare a written complaint to your health departrment advising them that you have just found out that this named person is reselling from you against your consent (very important).  Include a copy of your letter to her.

 

To protect yourself:  do business by email NOT text messages (easier to print). Make sure you have a street address (which you can google for new customers).

 

Your contracts may include a statement that the person named in the contract is the end consumer.  Write that as a separate item that requires a signature. Then you have fulfilled your obligations under law.

 

You need to treat this seriously because one despicable but effective way to destroy a licensed business is to create exactly such "violations".

Spuddysmom Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 3:48pm

whether or not you can pursue legal action - do find out how much your cakes have been resold for and then rethink your pricing. Her profit might be substantial to go to all of this trouble. Hopefully her old "customer base" is now yours once word gets out to any of her previous customers.

chaka1 Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 4:07pm

Put your name on the box with marker or on some sticker so she'll have to at least buy new boxes. Can just imagine her face picking up a cake and seeing that on the box. But she'd probably have the nerve to ask for a different box....jerk. I don't know the laws on this but I don't know if you could NOT sell someone a cake. She may turn it around on you for being prejudice to her or something. I would send her something in writing and return receipt that she has to sign for stating that you believe she is reselling your cakes and you are not licensed for that and that you prefer she buys elsewhere. Maybe even tell her you have notified the health department regarding this and hopefully that will shake her up a bit too. If she talks to you in person make sure to have another person around as a witness. Some people are crazy so be careful. Good luck.

jason_kraft Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 11:30pm

AFind out how much she is selling them for, and increase your prices to match. Problem solved.

Sparklekat6 Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 11:46pm

Wait a minute, all the people saying there's no legal recourse.  What if you are an artist and you paint something and someone buys it and sells it again representing it as their own work.  I don't think it would be a problem if they lady is selling it and admitting that it's someone else's work but she must be claiming it's hers and isn't that where the legality issue comes in?  I don't think you'd have to copyright a cake just like you wouldn't be expected to copyright a painting??  Art is art. 

debster Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 12:19am

That's what I was thinking , raise your prices you know your too low if someone can do no work and make money off of you. What people don't think of.

EROTIC-BAKER Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 2:59am

I do cakes as a hobby with the hopes of one day owning my own business like you. I design my own cakes and I am by far not a rich person so what I do which is something I learned really young is to do what is called a "poor man's copy write". I would create my design and then mail it to myself and never open the envelope. I would also take a picture of any design I created with the dated imprinted on the picture and detailed information about the creation and mail it to myself and never open the envelope just in case I have to sue someone. I don't know if this is something that will hold up in court or may help you, but you can speak with an attorney for legal advice. I believe that as long as you have solid proof that this type of transaction is taking place you may be able to be compensated for it, but again speak with an attorney to make sure. 

I agree with everyone else if possible don't sell to this person anymore and add a disclaimer to your website if you have one. 

Good luck.

jason_kraft Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 3:35am

AThe "poor man's copyright" is a waste of a stamp, it does not prove anything since it is trivial to reseal an envelope.

http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html

In any case, if a cake is sufficiently original to be protected under copyright, the first sale doctrine allows for the legal resale of an original copyrighted work (but not copies of said work) without permission from the copyright owner.

lucky4clover Posted 15 Dec 2012 , 4:21am

The simple fact of the matter is that this woman is committing fraud if she is passing your work off as her own.  There is such a thing as intellectual copyright that covers ideas and designs.  You would have to speak to a lawyer about that.  I would, however, let her know that you are aware of what she has been doing and that you want it to stop immediately.  Then I would stop doing business with her and make sure the other bakeries in town know what has been going on.

 

Good luck!

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