Frustrated With Potential Customer

Business By cakegirlnc Updated 15 Mar 2013 , 2:25am by yummy_in_my_tummy

cakegirlnc Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 8:55pm
post #1 of 18

Several people have contacted me the past few days sending me pic of cakes they want me to do and ask me to send them a quote. Then they come back with "wow I wasn't expecting it to be that much" or "can we go smaller", which I give a new quote and never hear back or they say my sister or a friend will do it "cheaper", these people expect something for nothing! Last night a lady sent an email to ask about a topsy turvy checkboard effect cake to feed 25-30 people. Before I quoted her I asked what price range she wanted to stay with, she said between $50-75. Is that possible? I haven't done one except as a dummy cake? I'm getting really frustrated with people wanting me to go thru quotes and several eamils back and forth and back and forth just to say sorry I can't afford it. Urggggg!!

17 replies
AZCouture Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 9:00pm
post #2 of 18

It's been my experience that people that attract these kinds of bargaining/low baller/unrealistic people usually already have super low pricing. Seriously not digging at you, but I would be willing to bet that something about your pricing already gives them thought to ask for even cheaper. 

jason_kraft Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 9:33pm
post #3 of 18

AHow much are you currently charging? What is your marketing strategy and who are you targeting?

DeliciousDesserts Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 11:06pm
post #4 of 18

AIt is frustrating. We all get these. Don't think it's just you or a testament as to what you are worth.

Just got a text from a florist friend. She wanted a price on 100 cupcakes. For her(work with her a lot in the business), $200. That's too much. Really? That's $2 each!!

Right afterwards, got a call about a Lego birthday cake. This person knows I just advertised a 6" x 2" Valentines cake for 2 for $15. She bought one. She was very surprised a custom made Lego cake would be $80.

Sadly, people just don't think in terms of expense. They really don't know. **shakes head**

vgcea Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 11:43pm
post #5 of 18

I've learned to just ask their budget outright, but it's funny how people are so reluctant to say how much they've budgeted, maybe because they're embarrassed-- which should be a clue. If you've seen my starting prices on my site and your budget is low enough to embarrass you then that should be a clue. My pricing is such that I can give a ball-park amount based on my starting prices when they ask, so I'm not going through the trouble of creating an actual quote with everything broken down. I tell them once I know what they want and the ball park range is within their budget, then I create an actual quote. 


I've often felt that if a person is price-shopping, they're a no-go, but I've found that some clients just need a some guidance to help them get something within their budget. Typically these folks are the ones who call me to speak with me after I've given a pseudo-quote via email. If I have to have more than one phone conversation about pricing with a potential client, I typically just tell them I can't do their cake. 


OP, what's your pricing structure like? Do you have starting prices?

IcedandSliced Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 9:13am
post #6 of 18

I learned this trick rather quick.I was stuck in your same situation with people not responding to me or asking for smaller cakes! I have a website set up that I refer all of my customers to before we discuss details. It displays my cake, flavors and BASIC prices for my cake,s by how many mouth they would like to feed. That does not include a bunch of detail work or any rental equipment. That would be my suggest. That will help you weed out the people that don't want to pay even the bare minimum.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 2:52pm
post #7 of 18

AIcedandSliced reminds me of another frustration. I share my basic pricing. Potential clients call about tiered cakes with a guest count of 300 & I advise them $4.00 (now $4.50) per serving base price which doesn't include tax or delivery. All goes well they schedule a consult. I sketch it all out turn the quote around & share that the estimate is $1300. Jaws drop! So I ask how much they were expecting....wait for it....$800. Really?! 300 x $4.50 is $1200.

*face to desk*

Now, I spell it out in my consultation guide. ...$4.50 per serving. The smallest tiered cake we offer serves 35 for a base price of $157.50 which does not include tax or delivery.

People still don read it. How do you not do the math?!!!

vgcea Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 11:33pm
post #8 of 18

AYeah, that's pretty common. $4 per serving? So how much for 50 servings? In another thread someone mentioned that the client may be shooting for a discount for a large # of servings.

Shortkaik Posted 11 Feb 2013 , 8:30pm
post #9 of 18

I would like to say, as a customer, I really appreciate when there is some form of pricing on a website.  Even if it's a base price or a price per serving or a few examples of cakes and what they would charge for them... I hate having to contact vendors for quotes when I have really no idea how much it will cost, only to feel like I'm wasting their time and mine when I find out something is way out of my price range!


(I'm currently planning a wedding - so I'm dealing with this a lot right now!)

Jess155 Posted 11 Feb 2013 , 8:54pm
post #10 of 18
Originally Posted by Shortkaik 

I would like to say, as a customer, I really appreciate when there is some form of pricing on a website.  Even if it's a base price or a price per serving or a few examples of cakes and what they would charge for them... I hate having to contact vendors for quotes when I have really no idea how much it will cost, only to feel like I'm wasting their time and mine when I find out something is way out of my price range!


(I'm currently planning a wedding - so I'm dealing with this a lot right now!)

I agree!  I feel like if I have to ask about price, it's probably out of my range anyway! 

DeliciousDesserts Posted 11 Feb 2013 , 9:23pm
post #11 of 18

AHat is exactly why I have the base price listed in my FAQ. I thought about putting prices on the images in my gallery. I found that confusing for some clients. For some reason they only read the price & not the description of size & flavor.

Annabakescakes Posted 11 Feb 2013 , 11:12pm
post #12 of 18

AI am raising prices and changed my serving count, so it is hard to go back and change all the prices. But a serving amount and a chart gives most people with a brain an idea.

I guess the old adage was,"if you have to ask, you can't afford it." We have changed it to also mean, " if you have to ask, it's probably your turn." When playing cards ;-)

SaltCakeCity Posted 12 Feb 2013 , 6:56am
post #13 of 18

Hey Cake Girl NC,

     This situation sucks, I'm so sorry! I'm in Utah and I used to hear the "my sister's cousin's friend's babysitter's aunt can make me a cake for much cheaper" excuse all the time! In that scenario, I always say "Wonderful! I hope it turns out beautifully for you!" I figure if they are expecting my cake prices to match Walmart, then they're not the clients I'm after anyway.


I have a pretty clear pricing list on my website that I think weeds most of these people out (and I've also seen other cakers simply copy and paste my pricing sheet onto their websites too with the same formatting and font... how funny!). Even with this pricing sheet in place, I did just have someone low ball me last week just like AZCouture said people do. I was shocked! My prices are clearly listed on my website but the bride said her budget was $100-150 and then immediately asked for a cake tasting. I told her the cake she has in mind would cost at least $250, not including delivery/tax, and I don't do cake tastings for anything less than $175. She wrote back and said "Great! Let's do the $250 cake and you can add on the delivery charge." Hilarious! I will be over double her original "budget" but she said okay to it. 


Just remember that there are lots of cake clients out there. Some cakers will do the topsy turvy cake for $75 and lose money in the process and the client will not be happy with the product. Stick to your guns and know that the clients you WANT to do cakes for will respect the prices because they understand the quality of cakes! Happy caking! :)

tabathaba Posted 12 Feb 2013 , 12:43pm
post #14 of 18

One big thing that helped me was setting up a minimum order. Even if you don't have a pricing schedule on your website, it will still help weed out the customers that don't want to pay for what they are getting.


I don't even consider it if it's not over my minimum and if they try to get me lower that that on an estimate I will just say, I have a minimum order of $xx. Then if they have a very low budget you can work with something closer to your minimum order that is simple and works in their budget and is worth your time.

cakegirlnc Posted 15 Feb 2013 , 9:34pm
post #15 of 18

AThanks so much everyone. I do have a price list with starting prices but as some of you have said these people tend to overlook it. I do have a lady who said i want this with this and this, she knew exactly what she wanted. I gave her a quote. & she was like ok, I'll drop off deposit. Period,gotta love those customers who don't argue about price and can actually read a price list. I'm doing two different orders for her. Thanks again everyone. Best of luck to you all!

Annabakescakes Posted 16 Feb 2013 , 5:01pm
post #16 of 18

AI do love them! I had a lady contact me a out a mascot cake, and I don't want to do it, so I quoted high, and she says,"that's fabulous! When can I give you a payment? do you take a check? " heck, I'll be happy to do it for the price I quoted :-D

cocoaandcherry Posted 16 Feb 2013 , 5:34pm
post #17 of 18

LOL that happened to me, I said them: the larger the more expensive, a bigger cake requires more work and structure... they never came back.

yummy_in_my_tummy Posted 15 Mar 2013 , 2:25am
post #18 of 18

I know this is an older thread, but I just had to pipe in....


I've always had starting prices and a minimum on my website, but I still get the occasional budget shopper. Not sure if they don't read what I have posted on my site, or what. WIth the budget shopping, usually when I give them a quote (assuming they've seen my website info), they say something to the effect of "I didn't think it would be that expensive!" And then they try to negotiate!!  The way I see it, you don't negotiate your grocery bill at the check out, so why would my CUSTOM cake be any different?


Just updated my website to include "PRICES ARE NOT NEGOTIABLE" as well as a tab on "Why Custom Cakes are so Expensive". Hopefully that will weed 'em out!


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