JenHCakes Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 9:35pm
post #1 of

In the middle of January an acquaintance wanted me to make a customized cake. She sent me a picture of a picture of a pregnant belly cake and described how she wanted the purple replaced with pink, the pink replaced with black. I agreed to make the cake and have it ready for her baby shower event. I charged her $60. The cake took me 6 hours to build I used a small doll dress cake pan for the breasts and a pyrex bowl for the belly. I always send my customers a picture so that if there is any thing they want to add or change I have the time to do it. After I sent her a picture she said the breasts were not they same size (although I used the same pan and used a level) and that they baby foot was too big. I told her that the bikini top would be adjusted but the picture doesn't do it justice and I haven't heard back from her! Below is a picture and from showing it to a few other friends I am now making 2 more of the same cake. I believe I did great since I only had a picture of a picture. How should I handle her complaints? I am not a business I do this for fun. My total costs for the cake =$35 and it took me 7 hours to do.

*

50 replies
AZCouture Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 9:42pm
post #2 of

So, where's the original photo?

JenHCakes Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 9:43pm
post #3 of

She send it to me through facebook let me see if I can pull it off.

JenHCakes Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 9:46pm
post #4 of

This is the one she sent to me on facebook!

AZCouture Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 9:47pm
post #5 of

Yes, you can pull it off. Just right click the photo and save to desktop, and upload it here. Or take a screenshot.icon_smile.gif

jason_kraft Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 9:48pm
post #6 of

ASince you are accepting money for the cake you are running a business. If there is a cottage food law in your state and you can legally sell cakes made from home, and you had this customer sign a contract that outlines your policies for order changes you should follow those policies and offer to make the changes she's requested for an additional charge. The bikini change should be done for free IMO since it does look asymmetrical.

If you can't legally sell homemade cakes, I would charge $0 for this cake (and any future cakes until you are legal) and refund any money that has already been paid.

JenHCakes Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 9:54pm
post #7 of

 

Because I am new it will not let me post anymore, I guess. Can I at least charge her for the supplies?

This is the original photo she sent through facebook.

jason_kraft Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 9:58pm
post #8 of

A

Original message sent by JenHCakes

[URL=http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/2916285/]Can I at least charge her for the supplies?

Accepting any compensation for a cake (even just supplies) would require compliance with applicable local laws. The risk is pretty low if you are dealing with close friends and family only, but for an acquaintance (especially one that is unhappy with the product) you should err on the side of caution.

-K8memphis Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 10:10pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


Accepting any compensation for a cake (even just supplies) would require compliance with applicable local laws. The risk is pretty low if you are dealing with close friends and family only, but for an acquaintance (especially one that is unhappy with the product) you should err on the side of caution.

 

 

brilliant answer

 

yes i agree

DeliciousDesserts Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 11:18pm

AThe cake is very cute. I do have to admit that the foot is a bit large. That would be a very big baby!

The photo she sent shows the foot to be about 3 x larger than the belly button. In comparison, your version the foot is about 4-6x larger. The breasts may not be off if the angel is off. Hard to tell.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 11:19pm

ADitto Jason.

vgcea Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 11:54pm

So you're making 3 of these cakes total? And each one costs you $35 (plus your labor of 21 hours total), and she's only paying $60?  Not only are you giving the cake way for free, but you're paying her to receive the cake for free. 

 

Have you considered cutting your losses, giving her the cake for free and a refund with an apology? I have found people are very forgiving when 'free' and 'refund' come together. Wanna bet she would contact your ASAP if you offered the above?

 

People don't care if you're doing a cake for fun when they pay you money to get something done.  When money changes hands, it stops being fun. 

 

P.S. If she accepts, you can use the other two for practice, take pics to add to your portfolio, and reward the loved ones that have lost 21 hours of your precious time and energy. 

-K8memphis Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 12:02am
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea 

So you're making 3 of these cakes total? And each one costs you $35 (plus your labor of 21 hours total), and she's only paying $60?  Not only are you giving the cake way for free, but you're paying her to receive the cake for free. 

 

Have you considered cutting your losses, giving her the cake for free and a refund with an apology? I have found people are very forgiving when 'free' and 'refund' come together. Wanna bet she would contact your ASAP if you offered the above?

 

People don't care if you're doing a cake for fun when they pay you money to get something done.  When money changes hands, it stops being fun. 

 

P.S. If she accepts, you can use the other two for practice, take pics to add to your portfolio, and reward the loved ones that have lost 21 hours of your precious time and energy. 

 

 

whoa--chalk up another one for the thread of brilliant answers!

 

perfect

mom2two Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 12:04am

AI think it looks great. I would've been happy to pay for this cake. Cut your loss and tell her she can have her cake done elsewhere and i promise she'd pay more than the $60 you are charging her. She might change her tune real quick.

ibeeflower Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 1:10am
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea 

People don't care if you're doing a cake for fun when they pay you money to get something done.  When money changes hands, it stops being fun. 

 

I love this because it's so true.

JenHCakes Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 1:35am

I am making 2 more for different friends of mine. I met up with her in person earlier tonight and we came to an agreement. I removed the fondant on the belly part, the foot and flower/ribbons. And recovered it without the foot, I knocked off ten dollars for the inconvience. She appologized, I apologized, we hugged it out and all is good. She did feel bad about supplying such a poor quality picture. I have only had one other complaint, so I wasn't sure how to handle this one. I definately learned my lesson (this is why I sit down with people to dicuss cake details instead of facebook messages).

fearlessbaker Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 1:53am

$60 for that,really?  That's a give away and the same as saying you know your work is not wort it.  I would charge at least $100-120. Those are Los Angeles prices anyway. Where do you live?

carmijok Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 2:20am

First of all, your big  mistake is letting anyone see the cake before it's finished and ready for delivery.   All you're doing is opening yourself up to changes that more than likely would not have been an issue had you not asked.  Trust me, even if you have everything they expect, customers will FIND and look for something to change when given the opportunity.  Don't give it to them. 

 

Second $60 is not enough to charge for something like this...even if you ARE baking illegally.  Keep in mind you're setting yourself up to be the 'discount baker' who undercuts everyone and then eventually feels resentment for having to produce detailed cakes for less than what your ingredients cost. 

 

You gave this cake away.  If you don't put value on your time, no one else will either. 

JenHCakes Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 8:01am

AI live in a very small town in Delaware. The only place to go to get a cake is a Walmart that's 30 miles away. I had never made this cake or seen it before so I wasn't sure how much supplies I would need or time it would take. I realize now I should have charged a little more but due to the demographics I can't see charging a lot.

mbranko24 Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 12:22pm

AHi JenH!! I am from Delawarevas well (just a hobby baker) Where are you located? I am in Newark, right near the state line into Ellyon, MD.

JenHCakes Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 1:51pm

AI am in Lincoln in-between Georgetown and Milford.

mbranko24 Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 2:05pm

AI agree with the others as well about pricing. IF you were to sell cakes, the $60 you charged would have been too low. But I hate to tell you, and I am not saying this to be mean, it is illegal to sell cakes in Delaware- we have no Cottage Food Law. I have been asked numerous times to sell, and have declined, because of us not having the law in place here.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 5:41pm

Ha ha Ha!  Not funny.

 

Just now got a call from a mother to be.  She wants a belly cake.  Her baby shower is Hawaiian theme so she wants the hula outfit.  Budget....wait for it....$50!!

 

Ummmm NO!!  NO!  NO!!

 

I tell her that would be about $160. She wants to know if I have any suggestions for making it herself.  Yes, I do.  Visit Cake Central for lots of tips and suggestions and visit Cake Wrecks to see how horribly wrong it can go.  

carmijok Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 6:31pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeliciousDesserts 

Ha ha Ha!  Not funny.

 

Just now got a call from a mother to be.  She wants a belly cake.  Her baby shower is Hawaiian theme so she wants the hula outfit.  Budget....wait for it....$50!!

 

Ummmm NO!!  NO!  NO!!

 

I tell her that would be about $160. She wants to know if I have any suggestions for making it herself.  Yes, I do.  Visit Cake Central for lots of tips and suggestions and visit Cake Wrecks to see how horribly wrong it can go.  


Hee hee hee hee!

Annabakescakes Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 7:06pm

A[quote name="DeliciousDesserts" url="/t/753981/help-customer-is-complaining-before-she-even-gets-the-cake#post_7357700]

...... She wants to know if I have any suggestions for making it herself.  Yes, I do.  Visit Cake Central for lots of tips and suggestions and visit Cake Wrecks to see how horribly wrong it can go.   [/quote] lmao! My new favorite quote!!!

cakeyouverymuch Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 7:18pm

To the OP,

 

Just to put things in perspective:  You're out $35 for product (actually ptobably $40 with the redo) and she paid you $50 (after you took off $10 for the re-do).  You claim to have 7 hours in before the redo, so say a total of eight hours of work . . . . for $10 dollars??  And I'm guessing you didn't take into account your fuel costs to shop for your products, your electricity costs to bake the cake and keep the lights on while you worked and reworked the cake, your electrcity and water costs for clean up, your costs for the cake board and the fuel you used to go buy it, your fuel costs to deliver the cake. . . . . etc. . . . etc. . . . etc.

 

How much are you paying your other two customers to take their cakes off your hands?

JenHCakes Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 8:16pm

AWow I think I will delete mt account. I asked a simple question and instead have been the butt of everyone's jokes. I grew up watching my grandmother bake wedding cakes, those are actually the only memories I have. When I bake I feel like for those 7 hours I am with her again. I was baking this cake for a friends sister, whom I don't know that well, I wanted to help make her day special. I understand I should have charged more, thank you to those of you who made fun of me for it. I was unaware that Delaware did not have a cottage law, thank you (seriously). And I will continue baking for my two children, family, and close friends. I am a single unemployed mother who bakes to release stress and have memories of times I wish I could go back to and be frozen. Maybe some should remember that this forum is to help not ridicule.

jason_kraft Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 8:20pm

A

Original message sent by JenHCakes

Wow I think I will delete mt account. I asked a simple question and instead have been the butt of everyone's jokes. I grew up watching my grandmother bake wedding cakes, those are actually the only memories I have. When I bake I feel like for those 7 hours I am with her again. I was baking this cake for a friends sister, whom I don't know that well, I wanted to help make her day special. I understand I should have charged more, thank you to those of you who made fun of me for it. I was unaware that Delaware did not have a cottage law, thank you (seriously). And I will continue baking for my two children, family, and close friends. I am a single unemployed mother who bakes to release stress and have memories of times I wish I could go back to and be frozen. Maybe some should remember that this forum is to help not ridicule.

People sharing opinions that differ from your own is not the same thing as ridicule.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to give someone a cake to help make their day special as a gift, you just can't legally charge for it if you are not compliant with your local laws.

JenHCakes Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 8:25pm

AI understand that (now). But I was directing that message to those who thought my predicament funny, amusing, or those who thought my price too low. They do not understand that I am not out to make money, I am making memories.

AZCouture Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 8:37pm

Can you quote the people who were mocking or laughing at you, cause I'm not seeing that anywhere.icon_confused.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%