My friend ordered a giant cupcake and 18 regular sized cupcakes from me. She said that she didn't want a discount, but I insisted. I'm not sure if she saw my prices online, so I'm not sure if she'll still be shocked by the price. I'm making a giant cupcake (3 layers of chocolate cake) with a fondant wrapper and hand sculpted gum paste Olivia the Pig on top. The cupcakes are just 9 chocolate ( I added on some chocolate bows, no big deal) and 9 vanilla. For the vanilla, she requested a strawberry on top and a cream filling. Currently, my prices start at $2.50 per serving. According to Wilton, the cupcake is about 18 servings plus 9 chocolate cupcakes is $67.50. I charge $10 per gum paste character and the strawberry cupcakes would be $3.00 min. per, which is another $27. That total is $104.50. I was going to charge her around $70 or so. This may seem like a lot her though, especially considering that we all know that despite what Wilton states are serving sizes, a giant cupcake will not appear to serve 18 (3 6 inch layers). What do you think?
Well, discount or no discount you need to discuss pricing BEFORE you accept the order. She is a client so she should be treated like any other client and have all the information needed to decide if she wants to place an order up front.
Now, if this is a really good friend (and I mean like best friend quality) then you could just ask her what her budget is and decide if you want to do the order for that amount.
No matter what, you need to give her an invoice with the regular price listed and then her discount so she doesn't tell people how much she paid and then other people either think that is your regular pricing and expect cheap prices from you.
$104 sounds insanely low. How many hours will it take you to make all that?
You need to always let the client know the price of a cake before making it!
I know I should have discussed price ahead of time. Really not sure why I didn't. I guess when I heard what she wanted, I didn't think it would be that much to begin with. Total rookie mistake.
As far as how long it will take, to bake and make icings, etc. about 2 to 2.5 hours. The gum paste figure was 1 hour, and then to actually put it all together, I figure, another 2 hours or so.
I always like to send an email with the pricing in a situation like this. That way if she is shocked by the pricing, she isn't doing it in front of you. If she can't afford it she can email you back and let you know. At that point you can decide what you want to do as far as a deeper discount.
Also, it's easier to start a conversation and say, "Hey, did you get my email about the pricing for your cake order", instead of having to bring it up. I would imagine if she did not originally want to accept the discount and then she sees it applied to the total in the email that she will be very happy with the price. I always like to do discounts by percentage. In your case, you are offering her a 33% discount. That is generous, and I think she will see it that way too.
The best thing to do is come up with an across-the-board discount that you will give to family/friends (assuming you want one). Pick a number and stick with it. I find it is much easier to talk money when it's a pre-determined policy rather than off the cuff, especially to family. My "Happy Family Discount" is 25%. Now they know they can order it as simple or complicated and large as they like and I don't feel guilty for charging (I know, I know I shouldn't at all but I'm a girl so it happens lol). I do always tell them the regular price and then their price so they still understand (and will tell those who inquire) the true value.
And yes, ALWAYS talk price before accepting an order.