LeslieBruckman Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 4:34am
post #1 of

I've had a customer who is coming in for a tasting ask for a mock up. I've not been asked this before. Is it something I should do, and if so should I charge for it?

Thanks for your opinions ahead of time.

This is my first time starting a new thread!

 

18 replies
Evoir Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 4:55am
post #2 of

AWhat do they mean? Do they want a tasting to order a cake, or do they want you to make a mock up for which they will then look at and decide whether to order an actual cake?

In my business - wedding and big order clients get tastings and a design session. No-one gets to take home a sketch, no one gets to see a mock up. Who is gonna pay for that???

Sounds suspiciously like a potential PITA client to me.

Evoir Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 4:56am
post #3 of

ASorry, I misread your post. They HAD a tasting, now they want a mock up. No it's not normal, and yes, they have to pay for all the materials and your time in making one. Say this and I'm sure they'll decide a cake mock up is not critical.

LeslieBruckman Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 5:09am
post #4 of

They are having their tasting in two weeks (which I charge for) and would like a mock up to go with it to see the detail work. They are wanting 275 three inch, petit four mini cakes done up like Tiffany boxes. So, technically, it won't be much to do because it will be small. But, I feel like my fondant work is good enough for them to see that I can pull it off. :/

To clarify they are real people and not scamming.

I've just never had anyone request a mock up before. This is, however gearing up to be a really large order with a huge price tag. I'm truly excited for it and don't want to risk loosing it. I also don't want it to be set up for them to walk all over me, either.

LeslieBruckman Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 5:11am
post #5 of

And also so far have been REALLY easy to work with. Super laid back. I'm just wondering if maybe they read from some bride magazine they should ask for this or something... and maybe I should talk them out of it?

vgcea Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 5:44am
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeslieBruckman 

They are having their tasting in two weeks (which I charge for) and would like a mock up to go with it to see the detail work. They are wanting 275 three inch, petit four mini cakes done up like Tiffany boxes. So, technically, it won't be much to do because it will be small. But, I feel like my fondant work is good enough for them to see that I can pull it off. :/

To clarify they are real people and not scamming.

I've just never had anyone request a mock up before. This is, however gearing up to be a really large order with a huge price tag. I'm truly excited for it and don't want to risk loosing it. I also don't want it to be set up for them to walk all over me, either.


So at this point they have not decided to go with you, have not put down a deposit or signed your contract right? They've made no commitment to you? I can understand a client expecting much if they've committed to you and are dropping the $$$ for a large order but these folks aren't committed. If you want to, go ahead and do one, but please charge for it that way if they decide to take their big order to another baker, you're not at a loss. If you're feeling generous, you could apply the cost of the mock-up to their order if they decide to order from you.

 

EDIT: Just noticed the mock up would be a small 3 inch cake. You could make that cake and use that as their 'tasting' cake if you don't want to charge extra. If you offer 3 flavors at the tasting, then layer the 3 (hopefully the flavors are complementary icon_biggrin.gif) Not sure how your cakes are set up for the tasting but if you do it this way, the only extra would be the time to decorate which you would be doing anyway if you decide to do a mock-up.

Laurelj Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 5:54am
post #7 of

AWhatever you decide to do, I cannot stress enough, DO NOT let them walk out carrying ANY mock ups or drawings you have provided? Once they have these in hand they are free to go out and "shop"around for a better price. I speak from experience as I am sad to say his DID actually happen to me once.

BlakesCakes Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 7:10am
post #8 of

If all they want to see is a single petit four tiffany box, I'd cut a square of styrofoam the proper size and make one (that I would keep).  I don't think I'd charge for it, since it's minimal material and time.

 

Now, if they want more than that, then YES, they get charged--and I wouldn't do their whole tasting decorated without full compensation.

 

Rae

Cakepro Posted 6 Jan 2013 , 3:43am
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeslieBruckman 

They are wanting 275 three inch, petit four mini cakes done up like Tiffany boxes. So, technically, it won't be much to do because it will be small. 

 

 

I'm just curious...have you ever done a large order of petit fours?   Or any done as Tiffany boxes?  

lorieleann Posted 6 Jan 2013 , 4:22am

AI've seen some really, quite horrible Tiffany box peti fours with google searches...so I can see their customer perspective of wanting to make sure that you can get a sharp little box in the right color blue with a decent bow. Or maybe the thickness of the fondant and ratio of fillings to cake are a concern? Unless you have an exact photo of something similar, I'd probably do one up just to make sure you can meet their expectations as well. Do they want a fondant paneled box with a visible lid, or will it be more of a Tiffany inspired poured fondant pettifour? I can see a box price difference between the two, so mocking up exactly what they want will also give you valuable information on how long each pettifour or mini cake will take, and thus how much you should charge.

LeslieBruckman Posted 6 Jan 2013 , 8:30am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakepro 

 

 

I'm just curious...have you ever done a large order of petit fours?   Or any done as Tiffany boxes?  


Just to clarify, I'm saying that mock up of the box wouldn't be hard to do. The actual order is going to be hellish, and I'm going to have to be hiring extra help for the weekend to help me with it. I've actually been fretting over it for a month now. The customers asking for a mock up only added to that stress!

I've not done boxes, but I have done square cakes in fondant. I've also done plenty of cakes with bows, also. And while I don't have any petit fours on any of my sites or advertise them, I have done them for family before. I just didn't get pictures. I've always done the smaller ones with chocolate over them, instead of the poured fondant because I personally prefer it better in taste and in working with it. I am a little nervous about a box with a lid, though... and have been considering doing the upside down method to get a really flat top and square edge. I'm actually going to practice once before I do this mock up.

And I see where you are coming from LorieLeann. That is a good point. I've seen some pretty icky looking ones before. So, I've actually agreed to the mockup as one of the test cakes. Since it's small and I'm getting paid for the tasting, it will work out. Just a little more extra work. They will not be able to leave with it, though.
Also, the customer is getting their petit fours done in a modeling chocolate with a touch of fondant mix that we'll cover each cake with.

Thank you for the advice everyone! The input was definitely needed and every point was discussed with my partner before proceeding. It really helped.

Cakepro Posted 6 Jan 2013 , 5:00pm

I'm glad you are preparing.  There is good reason why I charge $10 - $15 per fussy little petit four.  The smaller the cake, the more of a nightmare they are to do.

 

I would apply the fondant while they are frozen rock solid.  You could do the cake and icing part well in advance.

 

Best of luck!  :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeslieBruckman 


Just to clarify, I'm saying that mock up of the box wouldn't be hard to do. The actual order is going to be hellish, and I'm going to have to be hiring extra help for the weekend to help me with it.

Evoir Posted 7 Jan 2013 , 12:46am

AHi again Leslie,

In light of the type of cakes wanted, I'd highly recommend you bake up a small (4" or 5" square) cake and make up say 4 boxes, time yourself and please charge the right amount for the ingredients and labour required. My minimum charge for 2" chocolate boxes is $8 each, and what you're contemplating is a lot fussier! So price them carefully :-)

Godot Posted 7 Jan 2013 , 9:39am

So, are you making petits fours or minicakes?

AZCouture Posted 7 Jan 2013 , 2:43pm

AI highly recommend making them a mockup in this instance. Then you will know how long it takes and hopefully get an idea of what to charge and NOT get pressured into lowering your price. If you are indeed making mini cakes and not petit fours. I also highly recommend that you order a few mini cake pans for the job as well (google Squire mini cake pans) instead of cutting squares from larger cakes. Exposed crumb is not fun to work with, but individual cakes with their crusts intact are.

AZCouture Posted 7 Jan 2013 , 2:46pm

AI'm sorry, I meant Silverwood mini cake pans, not Squire.

BakingIrene Posted 7 Jan 2013 , 7:25pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeslieBruckman 

They are having their tasting in two weeks (which I charge for) and would like a mock up to go with it to see the detail work. They are wanting 275 three inch, petit four mini cakes done up like Tiffany boxes. So, technically, it won't be much to do because it will be small. But, I feel like my fondant work is good enough for them to see that I can pull it off. :/

To clarify they are real people and not scamming.

I've just never had anyone request a mock up before. This is, however gearing up to be a really large order with a huge price tag. I'm truly excited for it and don't want to risk loosing it. I also don't want it to be set up for them to walk all over me, either.

You charge by the hour for whatever time it takes to make one minicake, starting with the time it takes you to cut a block of styrofoam for the dummy.  

 

This will be useful as you will see whether you want this kind of fussy order.  

 

But the customer MUST pay for your time even if they choose to take the final order somewhere else.

AZCouture Posted 8 Jan 2013 , 7:25pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

I highly recommend making them a mockup in this instance. Then you will know how long it takes and hopefully get an idea of what to charge and NOT get pressured into lowering your price. If you are indeed making mini cakes and not petit fours. I also highly recommend that you order a few mini cake pans for the job as well (google Silverwood mini cake pans) instead of cutting squares from larger cakes. Exposed crumb is not fun to work with, but individual cakes with their crusts intact are.

Just throwing this out there again...just b-cuz.

Evoir Posted 8 Jan 2013 , 10:07pm

AI agree with AZcouture. IF you get the order, invest in the Silverwood pan.

But I wouldn't buy one just for the mock up...too pricey!

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