Pricing Help Please!!! Customer Is Driving Me Crazy!

Business By cakerbaker75 Updated 17 Mar 2013 , 10:53pm by SweetTzippy

cakerbaker75 Posted 13 Mar 2013 , 3:25am
post #1 of 26

I have a customer who likes to wheel and deal.  She would like 50 mini DRESS Cakes which are fondant covered have a gum paste bodice and bow and the bodice will be covered in tiny candy pearls,  The dress part will be piped with royal icing pearls, swirls , stripes.  She wants all the cakes different and each a different color.  The Brides cake will be white and larger!  She has also order a cupcake cake, cupcakes in the pattern of a bridal gown with a fondant belt and silver broach!  She was ok with what I quoted her for the cupcake cake ($200) But the individual cakes is where she is giving me a hard time.  I quoted her $15 each for a simple one then she started adding all the extras.  She then down priced it to $13 each.  Did i mention she also wants these in their own clear box tied with an organza bow and she also wants the dresses to sparkle(lustre dusted). Is $15 too much or too little.  Here is a pic I took of a sample I made for her which she didn't want to keep therefore didn't pay for it.

 

Please Help.  i was thinking of quoting her $1200 for the whole package would also include delivery!  Am I crazy?  Oh ya and she also mentioned that doesn't have a budget but yet she keeps talking me down on price.  i simply just asked in one of our conversations what kind of budget she has and she said NONE! 

 

The dresses are made using the mini wondermold pan by wilton, and the brides cake will made with the regular size wondermold pan! Pic does not show box, but is is a clear box tied with a bow! They cost about $1.50 per plus shipping!

 

 

 

Thank you for your replies!

 

25 replies
jason_kraft Posted 13 Mar 2013 , 3:45am
post #2 of 26

A$1200 sounds like a fair price for everything, not including delivery and setup (we charge $1/minute for both). If the mini cakes are more of a pain (how long will each take you?) then feel free to increase the price, I was thinking $20 each.

If she's not OK with paying $1200, she can either downsize the order (reduce the complexity and/or number of the cakes) or find another baker.

EDIT: Sorry, I didn't notice there was also a bride's cake. How many servings will it be?

stefkovic Posted 13 Mar 2013 , 3:51am
post #3 of 26

I would say you are about right at 1200.00. Those single cakes are going to take alot of time to do. Especially if you have to do every color in the crayola crayon box. Good Luck!

meriem Posted 13 Mar 2013 , 7:55am
post #4 of 26

Don't negotiate with her. calculate all your costs and an estimate of your time and pay yourself accordingly. your going to be cursing yourself if you don't they look like they are a lot of hard work. Also she didn't pay for the sample because she didn't want to keep it?? she still should of paid for it, you wouldn't of made it and spent your time if it wasn't for her. you could of charged her and deducted it from the price if she orders. I used to be terrible with pricing, taking the order just so I have an order, even though I don't own a business, I realised people are taking advantage and I don't want to be working for free even though I enjoy it. she came to you for a cake, you didn't go to her

leah_s Posted 13 Mar 2013 , 9:18am
post #5 of 26

A^ this. Do. NOT. Negotiate. your prices are your prices. Bargaining cheapens the whole profession. We do not sell used cars. We sell edible art. Those mini cakes individually boxed run $35each some places.

cakesbycathy Posted 13 Mar 2013 , 4:32pm
post #6 of 26

"Dear client,

The price for the whole package (list what she is getting:  mini dress cakes in individual boxes plus bows, larger cake, etc) is $X.  Delivery and set-up will be $x.

Given the amount of time and detail that this order will entail, the price is firm.  A non-refundable deposit of $X is due in order to reserve the date.  Please let me know by (insert date here) if you will be placing the order."

shanter Posted 13 Mar 2013 , 4:49pm
post #7 of 26

I was thinking $25 for the minicakes. I find that they are a pain to make.

kikiandkyle Posted 13 Mar 2013 , 6:19pm
post #8 of 26

$15 seems low thinking about how much time each one will take, it has to be at least 1 hour per cake, plus all the supplies and ingredients - cake, fondant, pearls, luster dust, board, box and ribbon. Lowering it is going to leave you out of pocket, if you aren't already. 

AZCouture Posted 13 Mar 2013 , 6:28pm
post #9 of 26

Wow, yeah, at least $25 a piece.

ibeeflower Posted 13 Mar 2013 , 6:38pm
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakerbaker75 
Oh ya and she also mentioned that doesn't have a budget but yet she keeps talking me down on price.  i simply just asked in one of our conversations what kind of budget she has and she said NONE! 

She won't tell you her budget because she wants to see how low she can get you to go. Do not let her negotiate with you. Be firm on your price. and adjust as needed especially if she keeps adding stuff. The cakes may seem tiny but they look so time consuming. 

AZCouture Posted 13 Mar 2013 , 6:41pm
post #11 of 26

Nothing worse than resenting an order while you're working on it. :(

jenmat Posted 13 Mar 2013 , 7:01pm
post #12 of 26

umm, I don't get that you made her a sample cake and she didn't pay for it? Why would you do that? No wonder she is talking you down. You have proven that you can be manipulated. Time to grow a backbone. Send her a mock invoice with the charge for the sample cake included and everything spelled out so she knows what she is paying for.  

 

I would charge $20 each, no delivery. Those are too much work to go lower than $15!!!! If she wants them for $13, then say, "sure, but then you will be responsible for the packaging after you pick them up."

Paperfishies Posted 13 Mar 2013 , 7:42pm
post #13 of 26

I often find when a customer says they have "No budget", it usually means they want to see how low they can haggle you down and that their actual budget is pretty small.

ccrnnursemom Posted 13 Mar 2013 , 7:56pm
post #14 of 26

This is your business and with costly items to put into the order....You want to make sure that you make a profit and not be in the negative.....If she would go anywhere in south jersey for that product she would easily pay $50- $75 a dress then the box and bow and then about $1500 for the cake......be firm and remember is she wants the product shell pay especially if you are good :) Good Luck

ellavanilla Posted 13 Mar 2013 , 10:37pm
post #15 of 26

considering what a specialty item those individual cakes are, I wouldn't go down on the price at all. 

remnant3333 Posted 13 Mar 2013 , 11:31pm
post #16 of 26

You need to put your foot down. This customer is definitely trying to manipulate you into working for practically nothing!!! Stand your ground. The people on CC have god advice. 13 dollars for those dresses are ridiculously low!!! With luster dust and bows you should at least be charging 25-35 dollars for each one.  This customer is obviously trying your patience for sure!! You should get paid for your work not be taken advantage of. Good luck 

jgifford Posted 13 Mar 2013 , 11:41pm
post #17 of 26

Check CupcakeEnvy's prices - she specializes in the little cakelets.  I think her largest is 4 servings.  She STARTS at $40 and some are up to $85 each.

 

Way too much work for $13 each.  Stand up to her - this is YOUR business, not hers.  Who is she to dictate your prices? Just let her know that your price is your price and that's all there is to it.

Annabakescakes Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 1:18am
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paperfishies 

I often find when a customer says they have "No budget", it usually means they want to see how low they can haggle you down and that their actual budget is pretty small.

That is the honest truth, there.

itsacake Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 1:24am
post #19 of 26

How many cupcakes in that cupcake cake and how long will the decorations take?  How long to make the bride's cake?  How long to make all those little dress cakes.  Though the cost of the ingredients, boxes, boards, etc. is important, the cost of your time and your overhead are going to be the largest part of the cost to your client.   Pearls are pesky little things and always take longer than you think!

 

Last week I spent 4 1/2 hours just slicing a lot of flourless chocolate cakes for a client.   It certainly wasn't hard or stressful rather it was pretty boring, but I didn't mind too much since I had worked the time into my quote and knew I was being well paid for the boredom.  I hate it when it is hard and/or stressful and my time is not well compensated.  I alwyas end up wishing I was reading a book instead.

 

If the client doesn't want to pay what you think you ought to charge, walk away. $1200.00 for the whole package is way too low.  I think I'd be charging close to that just for the dress minis.  There is a lot of intricate picayune stuff there and time is going to add up fast!

BeesKnees578 Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 3:35am
post #20 of 26

Just tell her that after having a conference call with your fellow cakers regarding the complexity of the order, since you've never had to quote one of this magnitude, that you have decided that $xx.00/cake would cover your expenses (give her a legit number of how much each one would take x 50 + the brides cake, blah blah).  If she can't see the amount of time that it's going to take and appreciate that....then give her the names of some bakers in your area if she'd like to comparison shop. 

Bomatebaker Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 8:29am
post #21 of 26

You need to stand your ground. People can only take advantage of you when you allow them to.

 

I lost a ‘friend’ as a potential customer couple of days ago because I refused to give her a 3-tier cake birthday cake for her kids for the price of a 2-tier. The cake involved quite a bit of detail  and would include making Figures of her kids for the cake. I said ‘cause she is a friend I’d take off the cost of the Figures and a little something more, but she kept insisting that she had already blown her budget. I tried to find a compromise and offered her a 2-tier version of the cake which her budget could cover, but that was NOT good enough either. She insisted that the 3-tier had the ‘wow factor’! This girl just would NOT budge! She wanted a wow cake, but did not want to pay the wow price!! She kept begging me over the phone and going on about how her kids would absolutely love the cake. I definitely had no intention of negotiating with her. Either you pay for the 3-tier or order the 2-tier version, which was within her budget…… I’d surprised her last year with a free cake for her birthday party and she loved it. But now that was time to actually pay for a cake, she wanted me to give in to her. She is a Caterer herself and her prices are NOT cheap! The 2 people I recommended to her in the past all complained about her high prices. She did NOT care cause she was still getting orders from other people. Now it’s her turn to pay for a service and she was trying to corner me into selling myself short.

If I had given in to her begging I would have lost almost £100! I knew that if I took that order I would have been so angry with myself and probably not done as good a job as I could have on the cake ‘cause I would not be happy about the whole thing. Just because we’re friends doesn’t give you the right to try and take advantage.

 

I must admit it was reading such threads as this one on CC that gave me the encouragement to stand my ground! I don’t need every potential customer. I only want those who can afford my cakes and appreciate the time I put into them.

 

 

Oh btw, did I mention that she has booked a limousine for the party and the venue is in a big fancy hall at a hotel???? 

lynne7583 Posted 17 Mar 2013 , 4:43am
post #22 of 26

Tell her too go too other bakers and get a quote. I bet they will charge her much more than $1200 excluding delivery. you are selling yourself short. However I am like you. I try too please the customer and sacrifice my time, money and energy. As other's have said, I would charge $25 per dress. 

confectionaryperfection Posted 17 Mar 2013 , 5:39pm
post #23 of 26

i think your price is right on.. i would get much more but im in manhattan.. also just a suggestion.....  i would losen the fondant on the dress skirt, so it doesnt look so rounded and pregnant... and it is easier... 

Annabakescakes Posted 17 Mar 2013 , 8:58pm
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by confectionaryperfection 

i think your price is right on.. i would get much more but im in manhattan.. also just a suggestion.....  i would losen the fondant on the dress skirt, so it doesnt look so rounded and pregnant... and it is easier... 

I thought it looked a bit pregnant, as well, but I thought that sliding the bodice forward a bit so it wasn't too poochy looking in the front.

Norasmom Posted 17 Mar 2013 , 10:21pm
post #25 of 26

When she lowers the price, you up it.  Have a little fun with her.   She sounds like a total p.i.a....icon_biggrin.gif  What she's asking for is very time consuming!!

SweetTzippy Posted 17 Mar 2013 , 10:53pm
post #26 of 26

"Do. NOT. Negotiate.
your prices are your prices.
Bargaining cheapens the whole profession. We do not sell used cars. We sell edible art.
Those mini cakes individually boxed run $35each some places."

 

Well said Leah_S !!!!  Totally agree !!!  thumbs_up.gif

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