rebeccascakes Posted 30 Mar 2013 , 4:30pm
post #1 of

How much over the price per serving can you reasonably charge for extra detailed fondant and gum paste modeling?

 

 I am not talking about press molds or cutters, but real sculpting and modeling work. Does any one have a general formula for pricing that goes beyond servings. I can't survive on $4.50 to $6.00 per serving with the time and work I put into my cakes. I am having a hard time pricing my cakes.  I don't know how long a cake will take to create so I can't estimate a price by time up front. What would be a fair, but profitable price for this cake that serves 150 guests but has HOURS of detailed modeling and sculpting? I charged $650, but really lost money! Help!

20 replies
-K8memphis Posted 30 Mar 2013 , 5:40pm
post #2 of

 i agree--to me one of the vital areas to become adept at is to be able to look at a piece and determine the average time it would take an experienced decorator--if you are slower or faster so be it--that's to your advantage or disadvantage

 

for all intents and purposes that's a sculpture

 

sure they are square and round cakes but the facades make it a sculpture in my book

 

so you could just go $10 - $12 per serving so $1500-$1800

 

or price it out by each decorated piece--the hat bat ball hotdog peanuts $250

 

the two marquise' plus the flag $125

 

$200 for the four fenway sides depending on what i can't see on the other sides

 

$45 red sox lettering/piping on round cake

 

$5.50 per serving

 

then i might upcharge the whole thing another 10-15% for good luck depending

 

i think i got $1445 pricing individual

 

i think you shorted yourself a grand not that you don't already know/feel that in every aching bone in your body

 

another nugget for you-- cake sculptures are not reasonable they are beyond reason--don't even think about being reasonable--it's not in your job description to be reasonable you gotts be out of this world and so go the prices!

 

and i think the fenways should be more that $50 each--tons of detail--i'd def add the overall upcharge percentage

-K8memphis Posted 30 Mar 2013 , 5:45pm
post #3 of

btw--outstanding work

Godot Posted 30 Mar 2013 , 5:51pm
post #4 of

AGreat cake.

I would have charged $2250.

rebeccascakes Posted 30 Mar 2013 , 6:06pm
post #5 of

Yes. I thought around $1200 minimum. I am not new at this. I have 20 plus years experience. And everyone says my cakes are delicious. I am simply new to selling them. I have been a stay at home mom after choosing to leave the the classroom when I had my own kids. But now my husband has been laid off and I need to work. It is hard to get new clients willing to pay when everyone I know is used to getting their cakes for free! But I am a business now and hope to grow enough to support us while my husband looks for a new job. Thanks for the help and ideas in the break down pricing. I draw up sketches for my clients. I like the idea of attaching a specific price to each element they want. And yes all four sides of the stadium are very detailed! Well. I am building a business and I am grateful for the $650. Thanks for your response.

rebeccascakes Posted 30 Mar 2013 , 6:22pm
post #6 of

Thanks

vgcea Posted 30 Mar 2013 , 6:40pm
post #7 of

Outstanding work! I'm sorry you lost so much money on this, but you're ready for the next one with the input you've gotten. I can not begin to image how long this must've taken. How many hours did you put in this OP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebeccascakes 

How much over the price per serving can you reasonably charge for extra detailed fondant and gum paste modeling?

 

 I am not talking about press molds or cutters, but real sculpting and modeling work. Does any one have a general formula for pricing that goes beyond servings. I can't survive on $4.50 to $6.00 per serving with the time and work I put into my cakes. I am having a hard time pricing my cakes.  I don't know how long a cake will take to create so I can't estimate a price by time up front. What would be a fair, but profitable price for this cake that serves 150 guests but has HOURS of detailed modeling and sculpting? I charged $650, but really lost money! Help!

rebeccascakes Posted 30 Mar 2013 , 6:47pm
post #8 of

I spent about a week on the sculpting. Then 2 days baking and putting it together. It is not regretted time in any way. I love what I do and each cake grows my business and portfolio. So no real loss. And a very happy customer.  I have been doing this for 20 years, but I am new at it as a business. I have been a stay at home mom since leaving the classroom as a teacher to have my own kids. But my husband was just laid off of his job of 18 years so I need to expand. I want to be fair, but be paid appropriately for my time. Thanks for all the helpful advise everyone. And yes, the 4 sides of the stadium were completely decorated also.

rebeccascakes Posted 30 Mar 2013 , 6:49pm
post #9 of

Thanks for all the helpful advise everyone. I have tried to reply, but since I am new to the forum they don't show. I appreciate your answers and am grateful for this forum.

Stitches Posted 31 Mar 2013 , 11:41pm

Although this doesn't answer your question it's how I deal with it. I don't!

Really, I avoid doing the artistic cakes totally (I'm in my 50's and making a profit is more important to me then enjoying what I'm making). Not because I don't like to do artistic work it's just that it's never as profitable as it should be.

 

I can't find clients that understand the artistic skills and are willing to pay for those skills. Seeing artistic cakes all the time on TV and the Internet people just think those kinds of cakes are easy to do.

 

When I do get asked to do extras I charge by the item not by servings per person. Go really high on each item....then I let the client choose how many items and which items they are willing to pay for.

 

Hat: $x dollars

Bat: $x

Hot dog: $x

Red Sox Cake: $x

Score Board: $x

Stadium Cake: $x

 

etc...

 

sorry.........I seemed to get a little whining in there.........

liz at sugar Posted 1 Apr 2013 , 6:20pm

^  This, exactly.  All of the cake shows have created people who think you will just "whip all this up" in an hour, just like on TV!

 

My previous business was a drapery workroom, and all the HGTV DIY shows did the same thing for the curtain/window treatment industry.  Hard to get across to people that there is a difference between taping a sheet up at your window and having real custom draperies. :)

 

Liz
 

Corikiky Posted 23 Sep 2013 , 7:23pm

Oh, I wish I could write this in spanish.

I have exactly the same problem. My cakes are tasty and very good looking, but people don't like to pay the price I deserve. But if I charge the price according with the quality of my work I will have no customers :( and I really want to keep making cakes because is like a hobby for me. But my family is always telling me I am giving art for nothing :(

Smckinney07 Posted 23 Sep 2013 , 9:34pm

A[quote name="-K8memphis" url="/t/756291/need-ideas-for-pricing-all-the-extra-fondant-and-gum-paste-work-that-goes-on-a-cake-that-is-not-covered-by-a-4-to-6-per-serving-charge#post_7377144"] i agree--to me one of the vital areas to become adept at is to be able to look at a piece and determine the average time it would take an experienced decorator--if you are slower or faster so be it--that's to your advantage or disadvantage

for all intents and purposes that's a sculpture

sure they are square and round cakes but the facades make it a sculpture in my book

another nugget for you-- cake sculptures are not reasonable they are beyond reason--don't even think about being reasonable--it's not in your job description to be reasonable you gotts be out of this world and so go the prices!

KMemphis' entire quote was great but the above quote really explains the custom designed cake business, regardless if it's weddinng or party style cakes, etc.

It takes time to build a good customer base that's willing to pay for the work and detail you add to your cakes. That's what makes a customer willing to pay the extra money rather then going to that person that quoted them a smaller fee-most likely they aren't going to put the extra effort and detail work that you will.

Basically, you get what you pay for. Lowering your prices to get more customers isn't going to do you much good in the long run. I would look into Jason's blog.

I think it was DDagle who mentioned she had an entire notebook filled with extra fondant/gp detail pricing, like x amount for fondant bands, etc. Things like that will obviously take some time and experience but I'd aim higher rather then lower regardless, when beginning pricing chances are you'll undercharge more often then not.

This is probably one of the most difficult aspects of the business for me as well.

smittyditty Posted 23 Sep 2013 , 10:05pm

That cake is really AWESOME! I'm sorry you priced it off. I bet you will get tons more business off that cake though.

Then you can just tell them the $1300 price.

While we are on this topic of pricing. Do you show the price of say a mold separate from the item its making or combine for one price?

Also do you put hours next to each item with price or just price?

Hat (x$) 4hours

howsweet Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 12:19am

My quote came in at about $1600, but that didn't include the bat  because I wasn't sure how I'd do it and the lettering on the scoreboard because I don't know how they were cut. So it would be more...very nice cake.

 

Oh and I didn't quote the striped bag.

rebeccascakes Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 12:31am

Thanks all for your comments and help and support. I love the idea of individually pricing each item and adding it to a base cake price. I used this formula on a recent cake order. I drew up progressively more detailed cake ideas with the last, most intricate ideas being presented last. The customer fell in love with the last drawing and was willing to pay for all the extras! It worked great. I actually got my asking price and the customer was thrilled!

     I do not regret any cake I have done, even the way under-priced ones. Each has been a learning experience and has boosted my portfolio for future orders! I will always take the extra time for the intricate details because I love the artistic aspect of this job. I love what I do and I don't do it for the money, but I like the money!! But I am going to start asking for more money for the extra time I take.

     I am moving to Houston, Texas in 2 weeks. I know the cake business will do better there than here in Melbourne, Florida. We are moving with my husband's new job.

I am going to start off from the very beginning pricing my art work for its true value!! 

Norasmom Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 12:36am

That cake is amazing, so neatly done!!

 

It's hard to find a customer who will pay this amount, but that is a $1500-$1600 cake.  I have a hard time quoting prices on custom cakes because each one I make is the first one I make and I have no idea how to charge.  However, for you, moving forward, you should quote high prices.  You should make that cake for the Red Sox players when they win the World Series.  (I'm not from Boston or anything....:grin:)  They are an example of an entity that would pay top dollar for your talent.  

 

You may have to scale down your cakes to those that are affordable, particularly so your time will be compensated.  I bet you can make something that's still exquisite but doesn't take as long.

vgcea Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 12:49am

A

Original message sent by rebeccascakes

Thanks all for your comments and help and support. I love the idea of individually pricing each item and adding it to a base cake price. I used this formula on a recent cake order. I drew up progressively more detailed cake ideas with the last, most intricate ideas being presented last. The customer fell in love with the last drawing and was willing to pay for all the extras! It worked great. I actually got my asking price and the customer was thrilled!      I do not regret any cake I have done, even the way under-priced ones. Each has been a learning experience and has boosted my portfolio for future orders! I will always take the extra time for the intricate details because I love the artistic aspect of this job. I love what I do and I don't do it for the money, but I like the money!! But I am going to start asking for more money for the extra time I take.     [B] I am moving to Houston, Texas in 2 weeks. [/B]I know the cake business will do better there than here in Melbourne, Florida. We are moving with my husband's new job. I am going to start off from the very beginning pricing my art work for its true value!! 

Let me be the first to welcome you!:D You're gonna love Houston.

liz at sugar Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 1:03am

Quote:

Originally Posted by rebeccascakes 
 

I drew up progressively more detailed cake ideas with the last, most intricate ideas being presented last. The customer fell in love with the last drawing and was willing to pay for all the extras! It worked great. I actually got my asking price and the customer was thrilled!

 

This is a great sales technique, sometimes referred to as "good, better, best".  You present 3 progressively more intricate/expensive options, and almost all customers will choose "better" or "best".  Rarely does anyone see the "good" option as a good value when they see how much more they can get for a little more money.

 

Liz

vgcea Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 1:10am

A

Original message sent by liz at sugar

This is a great sales technique, sometimes referred to as "good, better, best".  You present 3 progressively more intricate/expensive options, and almost all customers will choose "better" or "best".  Rarely does anyone see the "good" option as a good value when they see how much more they can get for a little more money.

Liz

... Then one day you get the customer who wants the "best" option for the price of the"good" and would absolutely not back down. LOL!!!

rebeccascakes Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 3:59am

Thanks VGCEA! I am excited. We went house hunting last week and found a home in Kingwood!! Love the neighborhood!! My husband will be working at the George Bush Airport, so Kingwood keeps his commute short!. We have never lived in a big city!

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