smtwngurl Posted 29 Jan 2013 , 6:49am
post #1 of

Hi,

I am a home baker,I just received an order for a 6" cake & 48 cupcakes for a 1 yr olds birthday party (circus theme). I'm only charging her $68 and I'm making gumpaste figures & toppers. After we discussed everything she then asked me to let her know when she could come for a cake tasting. I am not sure how to respond to her on this. The order is only $68 I won't make very much of a profit. I will be spending days on making the toppers. I don't want to spend the little bit of a profit that I will make on making her different combinations of cakes & fillings. Should I just tell her that I can't do the cake? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!!

16 replies
cakeyouverymuch Posted 29 Jan 2013 , 7:22am
post #2 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by smtwngurl 

Hi,

I am a home baker,I just received an order for a 6" cake & 48 cupcakes for a 1 yr olds birthday party (circus theme). I'm only charging her $68 and I'm making gumpaste figures & toppers. After we discussed everything she then asked me to let her know when she could come for a cake tasting. I am not sure how to respond to her on this. The order is only $68 I won't make very much of a profit. I will be spending days on making the toppers. I don't want to spend the little bit of a profit that I will make on making her different combinations of cakes & fillings. Should I just tell her that I can't do the cake? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!!

 

Dear (customer),

 

I regret to inform you that I do not offer tastings for orders under $xxx.00.  Should you wish to sample a variety of our product you may purchase a variety pack of xx cupcakes at $xx.00.  Do you still wish to proceed with this order?

 

Rather than rejecting the order outright, you put the ball in her court as to whether she will proceed with the order. 

 

Just out of curiosity, How much are you charging for the cake, and how much for each cupcake?  How on earth can you be making anything when you are charging grade school bake sale prices?

smtwngurl Posted 29 Jan 2013 , 7:42am
post #3 of

AYes I know I am charging way too little. I charged her $20 for the cake & $1 a cupcake. Even then, people keep complaining that my prices are too high. I was just making cakes for friends then some of their friends have started getting ahold of me. I know I need to set prices & stick to them. Just haven't figured out what to charge yet. I like the idea of sending her that message & I think that's what I will do. Thank you!

cakefat Posted 29 Jan 2013 , 9:43am
post #4 of

Where are you located? I can't begin to imagine where $1 per cupcake is too  much- or $20 per cake. Surely supermarkets charge more than that?

 

I like what 'cakeyouverymuch' said in how to respond.

 

I think there will always be people in the world who will say whatever price is too much for them- in any field- no matter how low the price truly is..that's the way the world goes around....but that also means those people are not your customers so you should focus your energy, talent, and marketing towards a different type of customer. 

 

I think if you continue to make cakes/goodies for below cost (because I don't think you factored in labor, 'overhead' etc in your $68 price)  you will get burned out every easily. JMO.

bumblebeez Posted 29 Jan 2013 , 11:18am
post #5 of

AWow $68 I would have started a base price of $150 for a basic butter cake with b/c frosting and that wouldn't include the price of the toppers. I like the sound of the letter aswell

smtwngurl Posted 29 Jan 2013 , 12:46pm
post #6 of

ACakefat- I live in a small town in Ohio. I have only recently even started charging for cakes. I was making them free for friends, then they started to take advantage so I started charging them the cost of ingredients & now they are taking advantage of that so I am now charging a tiny bit for my time.

My daughter posted some of my cakes on facebook & people are starting to get in touch with me that way. Everytime, I give a price they say oh your daughter said your prices were reasonable so nevermind or oh that's just too much. So then I try to lower them & then, like you said, get burnt out. I still love doing them but its not as enjoyable when I know I am making nothing.

smtwngurl Posted 29 Jan 2013 , 12:50pm
post #7 of

ABumblebeez- I so wish I could get even close to what you charge :( maybe I should just charge what I would like to and if they don't want the cake then oh well

melanie-1221 Posted 29 Jan 2013 , 1:37pm
post #8 of

I only offer tastings for orders of 200+ servings. Lately I have been cutting my cake tops into small squares and freezing them. So far so good , I don't have to put a ton of time and materials into my tastings.

If someone with a small order demands a tasting, to keep the business, I do 3 flavors for $30.00. I 1/4 my recipes and make mini cupcakes,  again , freeze the left overs for the next tasting.

So there is an option, if someone is only willing to pay $20 for a cake, they probably won't want to fork over $30 for a tasting and it's a non-issue.

 

I am in an area similar to yours. It's VERY difficult to get people to pay for cake. I can't count the number of times I hear " it's just a cake!!" , and " I can get one at Walmart for $20.00".  Walk away, I'd rather lose the order and have the free time to spend with my family than work night and day for no money.

kikiandkyle Posted 29 Jan 2013 , 2:00pm
post #9 of

AI would just say 'I'm a hobby baker, charging hobby prices. If you want a professional bakery experience, you're welcome to go find one'.

-K8memphis Posted 29 Jan 2013 , 2:17pm

and depending which way you go with this

 

be aware that you might want to say to yourself, 'hey i would not/could not pay that for cake'

 

yeah that's why you took the time & effort to learn to diy

 

and then the next one to try & avoid is, 'that's too much money nobody would pay that'

 

hey if someone is wanting to celebrate with food for 50 guests it's gonna cost 'em

 

today's prices are today's prices

 

are gas prices outrageous

 

are food prices outrageous

 

is a tailored suit more than one off the rack

 

just some thoughts for you

 

the cake gods have blessed ohioans!!! run w/that ball

 

or rather price softly wisely and carry a big cake

 

icon_biggrin.gif

cakeyouverymuch Posted 29 Jan 2013 , 6:07pm

Every caker should have this hung on the kitchen door.


The Caker's Credo


A cake is NOT just flour and water.

 

If you mix flour and water you get GLUE.

 

The miracle of cake is that you take the glue,
add eggs and sugar, and you get cake.

 

Where did the glue go you ask?

 

You know very well where it went.

 

It's what makes the cake stick to your hips.

 

One should pay at least as much for the cake
as one is going to pay for the gym membership
that will help remove it from one's hips.

cakeyouverymuch Posted 29 Jan 2013 , 6:15pm

Furthermore:

 

Its not just cake.

 

Its the making of a memory.

 

Its the centerpiece of an occasion joyous or sad.

 

"Remember the birthday party when I turned ten and the cake that mama bought.  Dark chocolate, it was soooo good.."

 

"Remember the cake we had for Nana's 80th birthday.  She was so happy she almost cried."

 

"Remember the cake we had when Ed retired. . . looked like a tackle box.  He sure loved fishing, he did."

 

Remember and remember and remember. . . It's NEVER just cake!

DeliciousDesserts Posted 29 Jan 2013 , 6:18pm

AI try to stay away from "I don't" or "I won't" or "I can't"

We all run into this. My response is: I offer complimentary consultations, including samples, for orders exceeding $150. If there is a particular cake you would like to try, I offer a 6" two layer cake for $15.

jason_kraft Posted 29 Jan 2013 , 6:20pm

AIf you want to make money selling cakes you will need a business plan and a marketing strategy. If you need help putting this together, contact your local SCORE chapter for free business advice relevant to your area.

If I were you I would try to back out of this order and stop accepting new orders until your business plan is ready. For reference, the market value of the order you described is probably 3 to 4 times what you are charging.

kikiandkyle Posted 30 Jan 2013 , 7:32pm

AAlso, if you're spending days making the toppers you're not making any profit at all, unless you usually work for free at any other jobs you have...

BakingIrene Posted 30 Jan 2013 , 7:41pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by smtwngurl 

 I don't want to spend the little bit of a profit that I will make on making her different combinations of cakes & fillings. Should I just tell her that I can't do the cake? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!!

You shouldn't think of any tasting as a bunch of layer cakes.  It makes a lot more sense to give people some neat chunks of just cake and some teaspoonfuls of the different icings and/or fillings that you would recommend.  You put them neatly onto a white dinner plate and give them a real fork, that makes more of a difference. Let them mix and match.

 

And for your home based business, bake up a dozen mini cupcakes of each basic flavour when you are making the cake for any customer, and freeze them.  Instant cake tasting stock.

 

So this particular customer wants your work for free. WHY do you think you should work for FREE???  Please--your state has a minimum wage law and you should be asking at least minimum wage for your time. And when people comment on your prices, you say "sorry, minimum wage applies".

bethlev Posted 1 Feb 2013 , 6:42pm

I only offer tastings for wedding cakes. Period. If someone would like to try a flavor before an order, I will reduce my minimum order $ and allow them to purchase an assortment of cupcakes (their choice on flavors/fillings, no minimum). I charge $2/cupcake and only offer discounts on cupcakes when they order 4 dozen or more :) Stick with prices that will actually allow you to enjoy what you are doing and not make you bitter that you are doing a ton of work for little money. :)

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