Stitches Posted 3 May 2013 , 1:57pm
post #1 of

I probably don't need to tell you any more then the title of this thread says. So you've talked about doing a cake for a client. You've shown them your policy page, they've filled out all the information on your form for what they want. But they keep coming back for more options, more ideas, more of your time....then you realize really are just searching for the cheapest cake they can get out of you when they are asking for price after price on designs.

 

Do you have any recourse when your fed up with them? Do you write them and tell them "your driving me crazy for your stupid LITTLE cake, stop or I'm dropping you"?

 

What do you do?

 

Anyone dare to write on their policies page these kinds of limits?

  • "We limit the number of cake designs and pricing options to 3 per order." 
  • "If you insist on testing our nerves we can and will drop you."
  • "We don't care how much money you have or what your name is, we treat all customers the same."
19 replies
liz at sugar Posted 3 May 2013 , 2:03pm
post #2 of

"I'm sorry, but I've priced out all the options I have available.  I'm sorry that I'm unable to assist you with your order." 

 

Keep it short and simple.

 

Liz

liz at sugar Posted 3 May 2013 , 2:11pm
post #3 of

Stitches, You may also want to start your communications with how much a plain cake costs.  Potential customers then know it won't get any cheaper than that.  Instead of working down from a number, start at the bottom and work your way up with extras.

 

Or, as we used to do in the last industry I worked in (custom draperies) you can offer good, better, best choices, with prices that correspond.  At a bakery, it would be a good way to upsell decorations, because people rarely want only the "good" choice: they almost always want to purchase the "better" or "best" option.

 

Liz

denetteb Posted 3 May 2013 , 2:25pm
post #4 of

I don't sell cakes but it seems if you have a base price per slice, then no matter how basic they go, that is your minimum price.  Can you just say what your base price is, then let them run with the ideas till the  cows come home and it won't get any cheaper.  Tell them to let you know when they have made a decision on the design.  I wonder how much of the back and forth and back again is because they really don't understand that base price concept and they think they can work around it.  If you are firm from the start that should nip it pretty early.  If they start batting around a bunch of ideas, just have them let you know when they know what they want, but that the price won't change.

Stitches Posted 3 May 2013 , 2:43pm
post #5 of

I do have a min. and do state that in the beginning. I also explain I charge according to how elaborate the design is, that's how much time it takes me to make items plus the costs of the ingredients for those extras.

 

It's like they start to count how many flowers do I get for $45.00, how many bows do I get for $25.00. Now how big is that bow? I've gotten wiser and I don't under price one design to the other (that they show me) unless there is a HUGE difference in the difficulty or simplicity.

 

Serious, don't we have the right to drop someone? Because............... companies always write prices are subject to change......well how about a disclaimer like  "I reserve the right to drop your project at any time if you piss me off, are too stupid, or don't respond in a timely manor."

Baker_Rose Posted 3 May 2013 , 2:46pm
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by liz at sugar 

"I'm sorry, but I've priced out all the options I have available.  I'm sorry that I'm unable to assist you with your order." 

 

Keep it short and simple.

 

Liz


What she said.   It will end everything or they will realize they have to choose one of the already agreed upon designs.

 

From this point on, start increasing your price quotes with this person.  If they mention the increases say that you need to factor in the time you are spending with them in the design process and that cost will be factored into the final price.

cakecraving Posted 3 May 2013 , 3:15pm
post #7 of

Stiches...You crack me up. Im sure you can put something like we have the right to refuse services to anyone for any reason. Then you dont have to point out how stupid or annoying they really are. Although I find it hilarious so go right ahead :)

jason_kraft Posted 3 May 2013 , 3:37pm
post #8 of

AIf the back-and-forth starts to get out of hand, as the vendor you have the power to cut it short at any time. Explain that your schedule for the customer's event date is starting to fill up, so if the customer wants to complete the order and reserve the date, a final design with a non-refundable retainer is required within X days. If you don't hear back or changes are still being requested after X days, inform the customer that their order has been cancelled and wish them the best of luck with their event.

You don't need any special disclaimers on your web site about this, but your contract should state that it contains the final design and changes are not possible once the contract has been signed. Of course you can use your discretion if customers request minor changes after they sign the contract.

AZCouture Posted 3 May 2013 , 4:21pm
post #9 of

Easiest way to put a stop to it is to insist that any more discussion regarding their project be done in person. They need to come in, ready to PICK something, pay for it, and be done. It's too easy for people to assume that back and forth via email/phone isn't really taking up any time, but it is. 

erin2345 Posted 3 May 2013 , 4:26pm

I had this happen the other day with a Bride.  She wanted quotes on 2 cake designs, then she wanted quotes on bigger cakes, then what if we added these elements to this cake or those elements to that cake.  And on and on etc.  Then she called me and said "I would like to negotiate the price."  I was like "huh?".  Then I informed her I do not negotiate on price, the price is the price and it is the same for everyone.  So she was taken aback and said she would get back to me.  I thought I had heard the last of her!  The she calls me again, and asks about kitchen cakes to supplement the wedding cake.  I said sure, sounds great, how many more servings do you want.  She wants 25 more, so I tell her it will be x amount.  Then she says, "Ok, can we include that in the cost of the wedding cake?".  I was like "You want this extra cake for FREE?".  Yes.  She did.  I told her I don't give out free cakes.  Then she sounds annoyed again and says she will get back to me.  Again - thought I would not hear back from her.  Then a few days later a man calls and tells me he is the fiance of the bride.  Before I could even hear what he was going to say, I said "I'm booked that day now, good luck!".  I just tell the crazies I am booked.  I cant handle that extra insanity in my life!

Annabakescakes Posted 3 May 2013 , 4:50pm

A

Original message sent by erin2345

I had this happen the other day with a Bride.  She wanted quotes on 2 cake designs, then she wanted quotes on bigger cakes, then what if we added these elements to this cake or those elements to that cake.  And on and on etc.  Then she called me and said "I would like to negotiate the price."  I was like "huh?".  Then I informed her I do not negotiate on price, the price is the price and it is the same for everyone.  So she was taken aback and said she would get back to me.  I thought I had heard the last of her!  The she calls me again, and asks about kitchen cakes to supplement the wedding cake.  I said sure, sounds great, how many more servings do you want.  She wants 25 more, so I tell her it will be x amount.  Then she says, "Ok, can we include that in the cost of the wedding cake?".  I was like "You want this extra cake for FREE?".  Yes.  She did.  I told her I don't give out free cakes.  Then she sounds annoyed again and says she will get back to me.  Again - thought I would not hear back from her.  Then a few days later a man calls and tells me he is the fiance of the bride.  Before I could even hear what he was going to say, I said "I'm booked that day now, good luck!".  I just tell the crazies I am booked.  I cant handle that extra insanity in my life!

Wow. Just, WOW!

Stitches Posted 3 May 2013 , 5:10pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

Easiest way to put a stop to it is to insist that any more discussion regarding their project be done in person. They need to come in, ready to PICK something, pay for it, and be done. It's too easy for people to assume that back and forth via email/phone isn't really taking up any time, but it is. 

No, this person originally wanted a sit down meeting for this cake (for 30 people). I stopped that by telling her I couldn't possibly bring all my books and ideas to a meeting and that working via email was the best way (no that's not exactly how I phrased it).

 

Soooooooooooo just because I said we could do it over email, didn't mean I could give her an endless amount of time. If I had done it her way (seriously) it would have meant me going to her house and sitting there for hours while she thought about things. During which time we'd get interrupted by a number of phone calls and gardeners all needing attention more then me, sitting there.

 

Sometimes you just don't need the money badly enough to deal with the customer.

jason_kraft Posted 3 May 2013 , 6:26pm

A

Original message sent by Stitches

If I had done it her way (seriously) it would have meant me going to her house and sitting there for hours while she thought about things. During which time we'd get interrupted by a number of phone calls and gardeners all needing attention more then me, sitting there.

That's when you charge by the hour for the consultation, payable at the conclusion of the meeting.

kikiandkyle Posted 3 May 2013 , 8:01pm

AI think I'd just write something like

"Going by all the designs you've already asked me about, for the number of servings you want and the kind of detail you're interested in, your cake is going to cost somewhere between x and x (keep it a small range). If you have a dollar amount you are trying to stick to, then I am happy to provide you with a quote for how many servings and how much decoration you can get for that amount. Please understand however, that since I also have several other orders to fulfil for my other clients, I cannot keep giving you quotes for each and every cake you are interested in."

mcaulir Posted 3 May 2013 , 8:51pm

I think you can drop them at any time up until the time they believe you've committed to the order. At that time, you can make the rules because they've signed the contract. If the emails get to be too much, tell them that you have time on this order to only respond to two more emails, then ignore the rest.

Cakery2012 Posted 3 May 2013 , 9:39pm

If they haven't signed a contract or made a decision  or put any money down I agree with " Sorry I am all booked up for that week .,

And taking all your books to a sit down appointment I would be charging by the hour and it wouldnt be cheap . I would tell them upfront .

I dont sell cakes but I have learned so much from this site :)

 

 

I also must say if you work from home or have your own little business it seems people think you are running a cake charity . After all its " just cake" @@ ( eye roll ) as some of  you have said. But most of you here put your heart and soul into decorating and its not Just Cake it's incredible   works of ART .

stephg31 Posted 3 May 2013 , 10:47pm

AWe have an electrical company, and if the client agreed and signed off on everything, all changes cost more and they have to sign a change order. With my wedding album, I was allowed 2 free changes, anything else would cost me X amount of dollars. When I do wedding invitations, I have them show me and describe, their ideas. Then I show them good, better, best. Kind of like ordering flowers online, have you ever seen those options? It's this full if its the lowest option, this gets added for the next and so on. I also have an add on menu. Each of these cost this, each of these cost that. It takes a while to set up, but once you get it done, it's a life saver. I've started to so that with my new cakes too. Royal icing flower up to this size are this, fondant/gum paste are this. Break it by medium and size and whatever else you want. Prices are always subject to change. Customers, in any business I've done, can be a pain, and of course, you have the option to drop them BUT, what I've learned in all of my years and ventures dealing with the public...it takes forever and a day to earn a fantastic reputation, but a second to earn a bad one. Good luck!!

cutiepiecupcake Posted 3 May 2013 , 11:34pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by erin2345 

I had this happen the other day with a Bride.  She wanted quotes on 2 cake designs, then she wanted quotes on bigger cakes, then what if we added these elements to this cake or those elements to that cake.  And on and on etc.  Then she called me and said "I would like to negotiate the price."  I was like "huh?".  Then I informed her I do not negotiate on price, the price is the price and it is the same for everyone.  So she was taken aback and said she would get back to me.  I thought I had heard the last of her!  The she calls me again, and asks about kitchen cakes to supplement the wedding cake.  I said sure, sounds great, how many more servings do you want.  She wants 25 more, so I tell her it will be x amount.  Then she says, "Ok, can we include that in the cost of the wedding cake?".  I was like "You want this extra cake for FREE?".  Yes.  She did.  I told her I don't give out free cakes.  Then she sounds annoyed again and says she will get back to me.  Again - thought I would not hear back from her.  Then a few days later a man calls and tells me he is the fiance of the bride.  Before I could even hear what he was going to say, I said "I'm booked that day now, good luck!".  I just tell the crazies I am booked.  I cant handle that extra insanity in my life!

I so want to just 'high-five' you right now thumbs_up.gif

PudsMom Posted 4 May 2013 , 12:13am

I like that idea!
 

Dimps9 Posted 4 May 2013 , 8:45am

Hi, 

 

This sounds very familiar.   I recently experienced the same thing for a 3-tier wedding cake order.  When it came to the client coughing up a deposit they came

back with all sorts of excuses and wanting to extend the time-frame.   I simply thanked them for their interest and wished them well with their endeavours.

These type of clients are simply time wasters.

We all learn from this experience and should stick to our gut feelings and let your "No" mean No..

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