JBaringer Posted 23 May 2013 , 3:09am

I am meeting with some clients that are wanting a cake that although not large is labor intensive and I know I will put at least a minimum of 50 hours into it.  Even if I paid myself a ridiculous $10/hour that would be $500 which doesn't even make sense.  I feel the cake is worth at least $750 but how do I present that to them?  How do you get people to understand that it's more than just flour and sugar thrown together?

 

This is the part I am struggling with the most....being assertive in my pricing.  I feel like people just don't understand how many hours you put into this....not just making the cake but the cleaning!  the planning, the shopping, etc...

 

any advice or words of wisdom on how to educate my clients or present my pricing "eloquently" ?

13 replies
Annabakescakes Posted 23 May 2013 , 3:31am

AI would tell them over the phone it email, I don't have the cake balls to tell it to their faces, lol. I do think that "warming them up" to it is in order... Letting them know it is a 60 hour project, and that you make hourly wages...

kazita Posted 23 May 2013 , 4:06am

AI for sure would be telling them that the cake will take a minimum of 50 hours to make and even at minimum wage its gonna cost them x amount of dollars.

tracyaem Posted 23 May 2013 , 12:54pm

Wow, what kind of cake do they want? 50 hours seems like quite a lot! I have no idea what level you are at or how quickly you work. I'm am very much a beginner so I know certain things (ugh... flowers) take me hours whereas I'm sure others on these boards could knock the same thing out in 5 minutes. So in that case, I wouldn't charge the customer an hourly wage because that doesn't seem fair. They shouldn't pay for me to learn on the job.

 

That said, if it truly is a complex, over-the-top detailed cake that will require 50 hours of work then you should charge accordingly. If doing the cake for less than $750 will be a loss for you, then feel confident in your pricing and be prepared for them to walk away and have no regrets. I never understood why businesses (small or large) take unprofitable orders. It's a business - if you're not making money, don't do it. I would rather have no orders than have unprofitable ones.

BakerBee7468 Posted 23 May 2013 , 2:07pm

AI agree that you don't want to put time into a cake that isn't profitable. Just tell them straight that this is going to take alot of hrs and that you charge hourly. Don't give them a cake for less than its worth. If they don't want to pay it they'll go somewhere else. You should do orders only for those willing to pay your prices

cai0311 Posted 23 May 2013 , 2:26pm

I list starting prices on my website. This helps weed out poeple that are looking for cake but can't/won't pay a starting price of $4/serving for buttercream and $4.50/serving for fondant (my current starting prices).

Crazy-Gray Posted 23 May 2013 , 2:39pm

AI like to give a conservative price right from the start based on complexity (time). I would email before you meet something like "with this level of detail you are looking at around £800, I can add/take away complexity for you depending on your budget;we can discuss this when we meet next week... ".

Jess155 Posted 23 May 2013 , 2:50pm

I'd be prepared to present a less labor intensive cake along with the original plan.  People do not know how labor intensive cakes can be.  Although 50 hours does seem like a lot. 

Relznik Posted 23 May 2013 , 3:13pm

Also, don't sound apologetic for your prices!  It sews seeds of doubt in the customer's mind.

 

You've chosen a really beautiful cake and I'm sure you appreciate how labour intensive it is.  The price for this cake, as shown, is $750

 

 

Sounds better than

 

It's really lovely, but it's going to take me ages and I'm afraid I'm going to have to charge you $750...  is that OK?
 

Crazy-Gray Posted 23 May 2013 , 3:19pm

A

Original message sent by Relznik

Also, don't sound apologetic for your prices!  It sews seeds of doubt in the customer's mind.

You've chosen a really beautiful cake and I'm sure you appreciate how labour intensive it is.  The price for this cake, as shown, is $750

Sounds better than

It's really lovely, but it's going to take me ages and I'm afraid I'm going to have to charge you $750...  is that OK?

 

Well said :-)

jason_kraft Posted 23 May 2013 , 4:53pm

AExcellent advice so far in this thread.

Getting a rough idea of the customer's budget before you even meet with them is critical, otherwise you risk wasting your time and the customer's time. If the customer specs out a cake that is over their budget, I find it helps to itemize and break down the product into components wherever possible. For example, if the customer requests a $750 cake that includes a $100 topper and their budget is $700, you might suggest scaling down the topper to something that would take half as long to make.

JBaringer Posted 23 May 2013 , 10:36pm

Wow, really good advice everyone.  Thank you!  Tomorrow is my consultation with the couple.

 

How do I politely ask their budget?

 

The cake I am referring to is the groom's cake.  I am not concerned about the wedding cake as from what I gather it is pretty simple to execute.  But the grooms is a sculpted cake with A LOT of details.

jason_kraft Posted 23 May 2013 , 10:44pm

A

Original message sent by JBaringer

How do I politely ask their budget?

I generally start by asking how many people they will need to serve, then follow up with something like "about how much are you looking to spend on your cake?".

costumeczar Posted 25 May 2013 , 11:55pm

What happened?

 

To answer the how to ask the budget question, I usually say "Is there a budget that you want to stay within?" because that implies that you're working with them on it. Then if they say $100 for what would be a $800 cake you can crush their dreams.

 

But definitely do this before you meet with them, just to establish that they're in the same ballpark as you are, or meeting with them will just be a waste of everyone's time.

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