carmenscake_helsinki Posted 30 Apr 2013 , 2:20pm
post #1 of

I need to vent! Honestly can't anymore with clients and their lovely phrase: Can you give me discount?

 

I got an inquire last week. The client called me asking how much I charge for my cakes and asked straight way for a discount... I said I can't give a discount. As I was on my way to a trip abroad, I politely told him to write me an email and I could answer him as soon as possible. Looked like he didn't like it but I'm sorry, I'm not going to pay 3,00 euros per min. for his long phone call when he can write me an email explaining everything.

By the way, he is a friend of one of my clients who ordered 2 cakes in the past and actually she was the one contacting me initially asking for a cake for him...She said his friend would like to have a cake for 8 people... I said that I make minimum size for 10 people. And she said: "Ok, I cc this email to my friend, so he knows it's a minimum of 10"

 

Can't understand why he didn't contact me initially...

 

To make it short, he sent me a picture of a cake he wanted. The picture was: 2 tier cake, with modeled girl, many flower, huge number 2 on the top and other things.

What he wanted: the cake as on the pic. for 10 people....icon_eek.gif

 

I wrote him a huge email explaining that I don't make 2 tier cake for 10 people. I can do it for a minimum of 30 slices and I suggested to have 1 tier cake, telling him it would look very similar, just one tier difference. .

 

He wrote me back saying it was fine and pleased if I could make it with rainbow colors (the original cake is pink). I said fine, no problem with rainbow colors and told him how much the delivery fee would cost.

 

From our last email that was yesterday morning until today afternoon I got 8 phone calls from different numbers. I did not answer, I'm abroad and I don't want spend my salary receiving phone calls. If the person calling wants something will let a message on the answer machine.

 

Anyway he writes me an email saying that he tried to call me several times and said: " I just wanted to know if you could make the cake on the pic. for 25 slices and if you could give a discount if I pay cash?"

 

I asked myself if he understood what I wrote him on my previous emails. Honestly, I can't with it.

Do they ask for a discount when they go to the restaurant, for example? NO! What they do? They go to the restaurant they know they can pay for. Same thing with cakes, go to the baker you know you can afford.

 

I'm really thinking to drop down this order and just say: I'm sorry I don't give a discount. Here is a list of other bakers, you can contact them and see which one suits better to your budget.

 

I also tought to ask him about his budget, but honestly, for someone who initially wanted a cake for 8 now wants a cake for 25, I'm not sure if he knows how much he wants to spend on his cake, he has no idea...

 

I'm sorry for this long post. I just needed to "talk" to someoneicon_cry.gif

19 replies
jason_kraft Posted 30 Apr 2013 , 2:35pm
post #2 of

AIn some cultures negotiating is very common and often works when dealing with a vendor providing a custom product or service. All you have to do is reiterate your prices and let the customer decide if they want to continue with the order.

BrandisBaked Posted 30 Apr 2013 , 5:30pm
post #3 of

ASince you are not paying credit card or paypal fees, you could decide if you want to pass that savings on to him. Personally, I would, because there is no way to dispute anything when you pay cash.

lorieleann Posted 30 Apr 2013 , 6:11pm
post #4 of

i've learned that the 'pay in cash' is an old school code to pay under the table and to keep the transaction off the books, thereby avoiding tax and passing that savings on to your customer.  I had a customer pose the 'pay cash' scenario and didn't understand it. A friend had to explain it to me. Say if you wanted to buy some tile, you could run it through the showroom with licensed installers, or ask the guy to sell you some other product out the back door for a cash price and then hire the tile layers directly without the company instal fees. In some industries it is a common practice when dealing with an individualized product with a level of service, to be able to work the price down. It shouldn't be taken as an insult, just a mis-applied way of doing business. 

 

that being said,  I think if you want to take the order, you take the reins and teach him how the sale is going to go down:  you send the invoice, he pays the money for a non-negotiable price that you set.  He sounds like he is taking his 'real world' experience and trying to apply it to buying a cake, not understanding that this is more of a retail transaction instead of a service that is negotiated. 

 

When I had the groom propose a 'cash sale' to me, I kindly replied back to the bride the modifications that I could make based on the price point that the groom had suggested to me that he wanted to be at.  She had no problem telling me that the original quote was just fine (and I have a feeling that he had a talking to about trying to 'make a deal' with vendors). 

jason_kraft Posted 30 Apr 2013 , 7:18pm
post #5 of

A

Original message sent by lorieleann

i've learned that the 'pay in cash' is an old school code to pay under the table and to keep the transaction off the books, thereby avoiding tax and passing that savings on to your customer.

I don't think you can generalize this, I've worked with quite a few companies who give a discount for cash because they can get the money right away and don't have to pay credit card fees. This discount is usually in the 5% range, if they were evading taxes the discount would be more.

Now if the vendor does things like avoiding issuing an invoice or writes you a vague handwritten receipt, that's a different story.

costumeczar Posted 30 Apr 2013 , 7:35pm
post #6 of

The paying in cash to get a discount for the credit card fees is something that people do here occasionally. The credit card fees are something like 2.75%, though, so that would be the most I'd offer!

 

I also agree that being paid in cash is a good way to not have to deal with people pulling credit card payments back.

 

But if you don't want to give discounts at all that's your prerogative. Sometimes that just opens a can of worms for future orders.

kikiandkyle Posted 30 Apr 2013 , 7:45pm
post #7 of

The general experience around here seems to be that customers who are a pain before you even take their order continue to be a pain for a long time after the cake is out of the door. Unless you feel some particular need to make this man's cake, do yourself a favor and pass.

carmenscake_helsinki Posted 30 Apr 2013 , 8:06pm
post #8 of

Thank you all for your replies!

I do not work with credit card, so I don't have any fee to pay.

In Finland is more likely to have the money transfer or cash, specially in this kind of business.

I don't see any reason to give this man a discount. I would give his friend a discount as she ordered cakes from me in the past and actually sending me clients, but not to him.

 

I told him again that's the price and I can't do any low.

He came up saying I did a cake for someone else cheaper...Yes, I did, last year before the TAX raised in here. Waiting for his answer now...

Already said that if he is not happy with my offer I can give him some contacts from other bakers. Honestly, my fingers are crossed to have him saying he wants to go with someone else!

costumeczar Posted 30 Apr 2013 , 11:05pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmenscake_helsinki 

Thank you all for your replies!

I do not work with credit card, so I don't have any fee to pay.

In Finland is more likely to have the money transfer or cash, specially in this kind of business.

I don't see any reason to give this man a discount. I would give his friend a discount as she ordered cakes from me in the past and actually sending me clients, but not to him.

 

I told him again that's the price and I can't do any low.

He came up saying I did a cake for someone else cheaper...Yes, I did, last year before the TAX raised in here. Waiting for his answer now...

Already said that if he is not happy with my offer I can give him some contacts from other bakers. Honestly, my fingers are crossed to have him saying he wants to go with someone else!

I'd suggest that if you feel that way to just tell him that you think he'd be better served going to someone else! I had a groom first try to get me to price match someone else, and I said no. Then they emailed again a few days later and said that they wanted to hire me but they wanted me to change part of my contract. i wrote him back and said that I couldn't do that and I totally understood that it meant they'd be going with someone else, and that I hoped it worked out for them with whoever they chose. You just have to "fire" him in a way that makes it look like you're being generous about it! icon_razz.gif

jason_kraft Posted 30 Apr 2013 , 11:13pm

A

Original message sent by costumeczar

Then they emailed again a few days later and said that they wanted to hire me but they wanted me to change part of my contract.

I'm curious, which part of the contract did they want to change?

liz at sugar Posted 30 Apr 2013 , 11:30pm

Carmenscake, if this man persists, and you don't plan on making him a cake, ask him why he feels he deserves a discount from you?  He isn't a past customer, he isn't your mother or father, what makes him so deserving of you earning a lower hourly wage for his benefit??  If he isn't a total fool, he will at least feel sheepish for asking the question.

 

Liz
 

costumeczar Posted 1 May 2013 , 12:04am
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


I'm curious, which part of the contract did they want to change?

I went back and looked at his email...He wanted to change the section about the client being responsible for collection fees in case they sued me, and the section that said that I wasn't responsible for refunding money in the case of a disaster-type situation that prevented me from delivering the cake. He wanted to have me be responsible for refunding the entire amount plus 10% and also letting them pick up the cake themsleves. The contract already says that the client had the choice of picking the cake up themselves but I wasn't responsible for refunds. The thing is, if I can't deliver it because of weather, there's no way they'd be able to pick it up unless they were driving a tank. I've driven through floods to deliver cakes, literally floated my car through the water for a few seconds. But the cake got there.

 

SO... when someone asks ahead of time to change something from a 0% refund to a 110% refund, then adds something that makes it easier to sue me, I will pass on that particular client. icon_rolleyes.gif

costumeczar Posted 1 May 2013 , 12:05am
Quote:
Originally Posted by liz at sugar 

Carmenscake, if this man persists, and you don't plan on making him a cake, ask him why he feels he deserves a discount from you?  He isn't a past customer, he isn't your mother or father, what makes him so deserving of you earning a lower hourly wage for his benefit??  If he isn't a total fool, he will at least feel sheepish for asking the question.

 

Liz
 

Because he's super special and probably awfully good-loking to boot! Or so his mama told him.

liz at sugar Posted 1 May 2013 , 12:28am
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar 

Because he's super special and probably awfully good-loking to boot! Or so his mama told him.


Oh, then free cake for him!  What was I thinking??  :)

 

Liz

jason_kraft Posted 1 May 2013 , 12:43am

A

Original message sent by costumeczar

SO... when someone asks ahead of time to change something from a 0% refund to a 110% refund, then adds something that makes it easier to sue me, I will pass on that particular client. :roll:

Good call on that one. For the disaster clause he might have been thinking of a situation where the baker was sick or injured and would be unable to deliver. I don't know what he was thinking on the collection fees, unless he routinely gets sued by vendors for non-payment.

costumeczar Posted 1 May 2013 , 2:41am

A

Original message sent by jason_kraft

Good call on that one. For the disaster clause he might have been thinking of a situation where the baker was sick or injured and would be unable to deliver. I don't know what he was thinking on the collection fees, unless he routinely gets sued by vendors for non-payment.

Yeah, I didn't care to find out what he was thinking, I figured it was worth a pass.

The thing about the disaster clause is that it basically says that if the cake is already done and ready to go, but something happens to prevent delivery that's out of my control I'm not responsible for that event happening. We tend to get both hurricanes and ice storms, so there have been situations where the entire area was hunkered down while the storms pass through. If that was the situation the wedding would probably be rescheduled to begin with, so the 110% refund for mother nature wasn't going to fly with me.

Annabakescakes Posted 1 May 2013 , 4:47am

AThis thread is highly entertaining!!

carmenscake_helsinki Posted 1 May 2013 , 7:08am
Quote:
Originally Posted by liz at sugar 

Carmenscake, if this man persists, and you don't plan on making him a cake, ask him why he feels he deserves a discount from you?  He isn't a past customer, he isn't your mother or father, what makes him so deserving of you earning a lower hourly wage for his benefit??  If he isn't a total fool, he will at least feel sheepish for asking the question.

 

Liz
 

Yes, Liz I was already thinking to ask why should I give you a discount???

 

Reading his email again, he really tried to make things under the table as Lorieleann said. It's the first time it happened to me and I also didn't understand what he meant.

 

I'm contacting the other baker already to advice her, because even if he insists with me, I'm sending him OUT anyway.

carmenscake_helsinki Posted 3 May 2013 , 2:24pm

I'll have to do it I guess....He didn't insist anymore in a discount and decided for the first option I gave him that was a 10 people cake. At this point I couldn't be unprofessional and say" no I don't do your cake anymore"

 

At least looks like he understood. Hope after he get's his cake he doesn't come to be a pain again...

Thank you for your advices!

cakesbycathy Posted 4 May 2013 , 11:31pm

You certainly don't have to do it.  You can always tell him you are booked, which is what I would be since this order just has "pain in the neck"  written all over it.

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