MasterPieceCake Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 8:01pm
post #1 of

Hello Cake Central Family! 

 

I am fairly new to CC but I read threads daily. After spending 35 mins on the phone with a potential customer I need to vent.... Oh yeah and get some advice!!!

 

Situation At Hand: To sum it all up I received an email w/ some photos about a Angry Birds Cake 4 pictures to be exact. This client informed me he had an $100 dollar budget.

(*Mind you all 4 example cakes were 3 tiers*)

 

So I chose which cake I felt I  would be willing to do for that amount. (photo attached)  

 

icon_surprised.gifI have NEVER read here on CC or anywhere else where someone is willing to do a 3 tier cake for $100 

 

So I spoke with this client via telephone today and basically he wanted to add more Fondant decorations. (Birds, Grass, Eggs) He also wanted the cake to be 16" tall NOT including a 5" crown topper. Without going over his "SET IN STONE BUDGET"

 

I have included a photo of the cake example. Now I'm not new to baking but I am fairly new to doing this as a business. So I want your advice about how to handle this situation. Am I expecting to much $$$?

I'm located in Houston, Tx

36 replies
reginaherrin Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 8:10pm
post #2 of

I am not sure how many people he needs to feed so would not know what sizes you needed to do but if it was a 6", 8" and 10" I would already be over the $100 mark for just 3 tiers with not much decorations.  The crown and all the beaks would be extra and put my price well over his budget.  I am in the DFW area and am fairly lower in my prices then most bakeries.  What you need to do is tell him your prices per serving and let him know what he can get for his budget even it if means going down to a smaller 2 tier with out all the details he would want.

jason_kraft Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 8:11pm
post #3 of

AHe can either stick to his budget or add additional decorations to the cake, not both. If the customer insists on the additional decorations without paying more, it might be time to back out of the transaction (considering you quoted such a low price you might want to just back out anyway).

CWR41 Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 8:17pm
post #4 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterPieceCake 

 

icon_surprised.gifI have NEVER read here on CC or anywhere else where someone is willing to do a 3 tier cake for $100 

 

Am I expecting to much $$$?

Are you questioning why you are willing?

You can't expect more than the budget you agreed to.

How many servings are required?

His budget might cover the cost of a 4" x 5" x 6" three tier.

Mamasmanna Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 8:23pm
post #5 of

I'm new to posting as well but I wouldn't take the order unless he wanted to go smaller. 

remnant3333 Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 8:26pm
post #6 of

That cake looks like it is worth more than one hundred dollars. I think you will lose money on that deal. Between your time, ingredients, electricity and clean up, it sounds like you are getting the worst end of this deal. Your time is valuable and you should get paid more.Of course, you can't blame a customer for trying to get a cake for less but sometimes you have to put your foot down and stick to your guns!!!

good luck!!
 

MasterPieceCake Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 8:39pm
post #7 of

I kind of already knew I was low-balling the price. I am trying to build my customers and my cake portfolio and I figured it would be mostly for experience and not for any sort of profit. 

 

By time time the conversation was over I was just unsure if I should have budge for the sale, or gracefully declined! 

 

The last thing I head from the customers is that he was going to speak with his wife and he ensured me he would be calling back.

At this point if he is still demanding those specs for that price. I WILL be declining. 

MasterPieceCake Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 8:41pm
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by remnant3333 

Of course, you can't blame a customer for trying to get a cake for less but sometimes you have to put your foot down and stick to your guns!!!

good luck!!

 

Thanks so much.... I will be STICKING!!!! 
 

MasterPieceCake Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 8:45pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWR41 

Are you questioning why you are willing?

You can't expect more than the budget you agreed to.

How many servings are required?

His budget might cover the cost of a 4" x 5" x 6" three tier.

He was wanting 6x8x10 tier.

I wasn't expecting more than I agreed to until he started adding more decorations. 

Daisy70 Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 8:48pm

Hi There! I'm also in the Houston, Tx area and from experience...I would say don't do it for $100. My 3 tier cakes don't go lower than $130 and that's the lowest I would do with less fondant detail. It's a lot of work and you won't make much profit. If he has a budget of $100, then he needs to alter his request by going lower. Trust me...no one else is going to make a cake for him with that much detail at that cost. Have you seen 3 Brothers Bakery? They charge $450 for a 2 tier baseball theme wedding cake.  It's like I've read from someone else before, if he doesn't want it, then you didn't need that customer to begin with.

Annabakescakes Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 8:50pm

AWith me, for $100, with all that detail, he could get a 1/4 sheet cake.

If he doesn't like it, tough. It is your business, not his. If he wants to kick up a fuss tell him to try to negotiate with the vendors that are supplying any other part of his kids birthday.

MasterPieceCake Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 8:52pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisy70 
 
 Have you seen 3 Brothers Bakery? They charge $450 for a 2 tier baseball theme wedding cake.  It's like I've read from someone else before, if he doesn't want it, then you didn't need that customer to begin with.
Yes I have been by 3 Brothers... I have taken note of there prices as well. Thanks so much for that advice. I'm slowly learning that I cannot please everyone. 
kakeladi Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 8:59pm

What he wants and what he can afford are definately two different things!  Don't let any customer tell you what can be done within their budget.  YOU tell them what you can offer for that amount of $$.  You definately need to learn how to say NO :) 

brenda549 Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 9:12pm

Just the bottom tier (a 10-inch) would be $114 for me.  I would tell him what he can get for $100.  

DeliciousDesserts Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 10:01pm

A

Original message sent by kakeladi

What he wants and what he can afford are definately two different things! 

embersmom Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 10:01pm

OP, it's not you.  There are customers who think they can get what they want for less than they wish to pay.  With a $100 budget, he's going to have to make concessions.  If that turns him off, you're better off refusing the order, both for your business's sake and your sanity.

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 10:12pm

Since you already told him you'd do the pictured one for $100, you kind of screwed yourself there, but I certainly wouldn't add one more detail without making sure he pays for it... he's getting a detailed, tiered cake for $1.35 a serving!

He would be paying triple that, minimum, at most bakeries. Don't let him bully you, and don't undercut other bakeries or yourself!

You aren't the one expecting too much, he is. Honestly, I don't even see how there's a profit in that for you at all.

costumeczar Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 11:25pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by kakeladi 

What he wants and what he can afford are definately two different things!  Don't let any customer tell you what can be done within their budget.  YOU tell them what you can offer for that amount of $$.  You definately need to learn how to say NO :) 

Yes! The smallest tiered cake I'll do is about 40-50 servings and is $220. There's no reason why you should give him more for nothing, he's already getting a HUGE bargain.

kikiandkyle Posted 28 Mar 2013 , 12:40am

He sounds like the kind of client that will still complain afterwards no matter what you do, tell him you can't do the cake and let him find some other sucker to pay for his cake (I couldn't make that with bought fondant for less than $100). 

pieceofcaketx Posted 28 Mar 2013 , 2:24pm

Oh dear, a 10,8,6 for $100!?!

 

Has he signed the contract and paid yet? If not I would let this one go.

 

You can't please everyone and it's okay to say NO!

tracycakes Posted 28 Mar 2013 , 9:42pm

A friend of mine used to quote "I want to be 21 and blond but that's not going to happen either".

My 2-tier custom cakes (6 -8 round) start at $150. He has a budget, you have a price

BakingIrene Posted 28 Mar 2013 , 9:47pm

Here is the line to rehearse or email:

 

"Dear Sir I cannot meet your expectations.  Sorry.  Good luck finding your dream cake."

 

His "expectations" include a wage for you of less than $1.00 per hour--you need to get your local minimum wage if not more. 

 

You have absolutely no reason to accept anything less than your quoted price.  Do NOT waste time on those who do not accept that basic principle of doing business.

Annabakescakes Posted 28 Mar 2013 , 9:49pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by tracycakes 

A friend of mine used to quote "I want to be 21 and blond but that's not going to happen either". My 2-tier custom cakes (6 -8 round) start at $150. He has a budget, you have a price

Oooh! I want back all the money I wasted on crap all these years, since my first job at 14 years old. And I want to look like I did after I had my daughter, when I was 24. I looked AMAZING! All boob, TINY waist, and my thighs didn't touch....

 

Seriously, update please! I want to hear what he said after you told him that he could have a 3 tier, but not this 3 tier, for $100. I would do a 4", 6" and 8", all buttercream, no filling, and the beaks would be drawn on.

MasterPieceCake Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 1:51pm

*** UPDATE***

 

Spoke with the client last night and he informed me that his wife wanted me to complete the cake. 

 

The next few words confirmed what I already knew in my mind.( I WAS NOT TAKING THIS ORDER)

 

He wanted to add a few more fondant decorations, A name banner along the bottom, Two fondant crowns on top instead of one. 2 Flavors for the cake (1 Red Velvet, 2 Chocolate tiers) and fillings for each tier. Oh wait I cannot forget!!! He also wanted the cake delivered and set up (he dropped the last cake for a special event) All within the $100. 

 

I had already let this order go but I used the situation to practice my patience and customer service skills!! (Turning a negative into a positive) 

 

Thanks to the advice of @bakingirene I kindly declined the order : "Dear Sir I cannot meet your expectations.  Sorry.  Good luck finding your dream cake."

 

He told me I should STRONGLY reconsider. This is for his son's 1st birthday and he is expecting over 100 guest who will see this cake. He is more than sure I will get some repeat business! icon_rolleyes.gif He tried to convince me that since he is a first time customer and has not tasted my cakes that he is taking a high risk!!! WOW

 

Anyways I kindly repeated I was unable to complete his request within his budget. I offered what I could do for that price. He wasn't having it! I closed the call by saying well I really appreciate your time if you have and questions please don't hesitate to give me a call. 

MasterPieceCake Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 1:54pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes  .

 

Seriously, update please! I want to hear what he said after you told him that he could have a 3 tier, but not this 3 tier, for $100. 

 

*** UPDATE***

 

Spoke with the client last night and he informed me that his wife wanted me to complete the cake. 

 

The next few words confirmed what I already knew in my mind.( I WAS NOT TAKING THIS ORDER)

 

He wanted to add a few more fondant decorations, A name banner along the bottom, Two fondant crowns on top instead of one. 2 Flavors for the cake (1 Red Velvet, 2 Chocolate tiers) and fillings for each tier. Oh wait I cannot forget!!! He also wanted the cake delivered and set up (he dropped the last cake for a special event) All within the $100. 

 

I had already let this order go but I used the situation to practice my patience and customer service skills!! (Turning a negative into a positive) 

 

Thanks to the advice of @bakingirene I kindly declined the order : "Dear Sir I cannot meet your expectations.  Sorry.  Good luck finding your dream cake."

 

He told me I should STRONGLY reconsider. This is for his son's 1st birthday and he is expecting over 100 guest who will see this cake. He is more than sure I will get some repeat business! icon_rolleyes.gif He tried to convince me that since he is a first time customer and has not tasted my cakes that he is taking a high risk!!! WOW

 

Anyways I kindly repeated I was unable to complete his request within his budget. I offered what I could do for that price. He wasn't having it! I closed the call by saying well I really appreciate your time if you have and questions please don't hesitate to give me a call. 

-K8memphis Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 2:11pm

good for you

MsGF Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 2:17pm

Good for you!   There are some customers who aren't worth the trouble.   I wouldn't do the cake you posted, with tiers fo 6-8-10 for one cent less than $265.00 maybe more.   We can't make everyone happy.  And we can't let ourselves be taken for a ride either.  You are worth so much more than he was willing to pay.  Remember that next time.  If you want to practice make dummys and add them to your portfolio. Or make cakes and donate them.

 

I'm really glad you turned it down.  thumbs_up.gif

Annabakescakes Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 2:48pm

Thank heavens! And thank you for the update! I used to really hate turning people down, but now I am like "whatever!" I would rather sit and watch tv, or get caught up on the laundry, before making a cake for nothing.

costumeczar Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 3:13pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterPieceCake 

 

 

 

 

He told me I should STRONGLY reconsider. This is for his son's 1st birthday and he is expecting over 100 guest who will see this cake. He is more than sure I will get some repeat business! icon_rolleyes.gif He tried to convince me that since he is a first time customer and has not tasted my cakes that he is taking a high risk!!! WOW

 

Don't you love this? I know a DJ who says he gets this line all the time. He says that when someone tells him how much business he'll get from their event he says "That's great, let's put a referral program in place. You book your event at full price, and whenever one of your guests books an event at full price and says that you referred them, I'll send you $100. I'll put it in your contract, and you should be able to earn a lot based on the number of people you said will book events from seeing us at your party. That will be a win-win for both of us." He said that most people shut up right after that and the subject of discounts never comes up again.

AZCouture Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 3:33pm

Oh that's a good one right there! 

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