CMontei2 Posted 12 Jun 2013 , 4:16am
post #1 of

AThese are two recent cakes I've done and I need advice on what all of you experienced bakers think I should charge for these types of cakes. I know how to price normal cakes but I'm getting a lot of calls for 3D cakes. I don't know how to charge when the biggest part of the sculpt is out of rkt. I have no idea how many they would serve. Any information would be appreciated and helpful! Thanking you all in advance :) [IMG][IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3032042/width/200/height/400[/IMG][/IMG]

23 replies
CMontei2 Posted 12 Jun 2013 , 4:17am
post #2 of

AThe second one is this cake [IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3032045/width/200/height/400[/IMG]

bakencake Posted 12 Jun 2013 , 12:46pm
post #3 of

Wow!!! just WoW.!!!! you do an amazing job at creating cakes.  you can easily charge whatever you want.  I know it's not a concrete number, but you can really charge an astronomical fee,  I think that if you want a more concrete answer you need to let us know what your overhead expenses are- have a shop, work from home, how much you spend on your product etc.  I would not charge anything under $300 for those amazing cakes.  

cupadeecakes Posted 12 Jun 2013 , 1:21pm
post #4 of

Your cakes really are superb, but your area will dictate what prices you can charge.  For sculpted cakes, I charge based on number of servings and time involved.  Let's say the cake only feeds 30 people.  At $5 / slice, that's only $150.  But you put 20 hours of sculpting/decorating into it.  If you charge $20 per hour as an art charge, that adds an additional $400 to the price, making it $550.  I'm not saying that's a fair price for those cakes, because again, I don't know your area.

 

When I took Mike McCarey's Big Bird class, we asked him how much he would charge his customers for it (it might have fed 30 people).  He said that he would charge about $900 for it, but that no one in his area had ever been willing to pay that much for it.  Lots of people lived it and wanted it, but they just wouldn't fork over the money to make it profitable for him.
 

Norasmom Posted 12 Jun 2013 , 6:02pm
post #5 of

For those cakes, I would pay $500-$600, assuming I could afford it.  They are perfection!!

 

Cupadeecakes is right, It is all about what people in your area can afford and how educated they are as far as what goes into making a cake.    I hope you are in an area that will pay that for your cakes!  

CMontei2 Posted 12 Jun 2013 , 9:08pm
post #6 of

AThank you guys. I appreciate it! We do have one bakery here that charges up to 1900.00 for sculpted cakes and they don't have near the detail, so everyone says. So, we went to visit and they were right. It is just sooo much work to let them go for a small price. The baby cake has sugar work, sculpting, airbrushing, modeling chocolate, gum paste, fondant not to mention all of the ingredients in the cake. No shop, done from home so at least we don't have that overhead. Thank you for the compliments. I do hate pricing these types if cakes out though. Want to make sure I'm fair and offering a great value!

Deb2013 Posted 12 Jun 2013 , 9:27pm
post #7 of

You're cakes have exquisite artistry and ditto what others have said - you can charge the moon. Find ways to get your cakes exposed to a clientel who can afford the higher prices. With your talent, you can easily get your name on super-special events lists and such. Contact the best caterers, event planners and florists to get your name out there. It may be worth having someone design a brochure showing your cakes, and that you can leave with people or send. Good luck!

liz at sugar Posted 12 Jun 2013 , 9:39pm
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by CMontei2 

 Want to make sure I'm fair and offering a great value!

 

This is a noble sentiment, but based on your talent, you should not be in the arena of offering "great value".  What percentage of the population do you think can afford that kind of art in cake? Five percent? Ten percent tops?  Price yourself accordingly.

 

If you want to price them cheap, you'll work yourself to the bone.  Keep raising your prices until you are no longer getting every bid.  Find a way to get your work in front of people who have the money to spend on luxuries.

 

Liz

manddi Posted 12 Jun 2013 , 10:03pm
post #9 of

A

Original message sent by liz at sugar

This is a noble sentiment, but based on your talent, you should not be in the arena of offering "great value".  What percentage of the population do you think can afford that kind of art in cake? Five percent? Ten percent tops?  Price yourself accordingly.

If you want to price them cheap, you'll work yourself to the bone.  Keep raising your prices until you are no longer getting every bid.  Find a way to get your work in front of people who have the money to spend on luxuries.

Liz

Yep

jennicake Posted 12 Jun 2013 , 10:15pm

Totally agree with Liz.  You have an amazing skill and don't need to focus on providing great value.  People should be paying what your talent is worth!

stephdover4 Posted 12 Jun 2013 , 10:21pm

Hey I understand your problem. I can't advise you on the pricing part as I don't do enough 3D work. However, about getting your name out there, if you don't already know people from your target market contact your local cotillion society and donate a cake to their ball, go to your local country club and donate a cake to one of their big events, that will get your name floating around the right crowd. Then your  pricing them at what you deserve will be much easier when dealing with those with disposable income. :)

AZCouture Posted 12 Jun 2013 , 10:23pm

There is no room for great value when it comes to work like this. There is only one person you need to be fair to, and that's you. You need to make sure you're being compensated well for your time, period. If that's not fair to anyone in your area, then just don't sell. Find other work. Seriously. 

AZCouture Posted 12 Jun 2013 , 10:24pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephdover4 

Hey I understand your problem. I can't advise you on the pricing part as I don't do enough 3D work. However, about getting your name out there, if you don't already know people from your target market contact your local cotillion society and donate a cake to their ball, go to your local country club and donate a cake to one of their big events, that will get your name floating around the right crowd. Then your  pricing them at what you deserve will be much easier when dealing with those with disposable income. :)

But on the other hand, don't fall for it when people ASK you to do this. "Oh you'll get such great exposure, everyone will be calling you" No. No. No. 

vgcea Posted 13 Jun 2013 , 4:34am

AEvery now and then I find threads on topics like this profitability vs talent and input. If you cannot find a client base to pay what these cakes are worth then it may not be profitable or sustainable to continue to produce these cakes for less than what they are worth. I guess you've got to ask yourself first if you're going to focus on being a business person or an artist and then your choices after that would fit how you define yourself. Under ideal circumstances there should not be a separation of both roles but in a case like this where you have such a high-quality premium product of a value that only a very small fraction of the population can truly afford, you might have to decide if spending 20 hours on one cake and selling it for less than it's value is profitable vs creating 4 to 5 less labor intensive cakes at their true value.

This reminds me again of that thread AZCouture posted that showed Artisans who hand-crafted suits of the highest quality "art-ing" their businesses to extinction because the value of their products far outweighed what the market could sustain.

Sucks to say this but for long-term profitability you're either going to have to modify the market to fit your product (change your target market and focus on getting clients with more discretionary income as described in the earlier posts) or modify your product to fit the market. Most CC'ers hate the idea of modifying the product to fit the market because it sounds like I'm saying create cheap cakes. No, what I'm describing is what many of us already do with the client who wants bells and whistles on an average budget. We help them trim those expectations to fit their budget while maintaining our profitability.

stephdover4 Posted 13 Jun 2013 , 4:35am

You're exactly right  AZCouture, NEVER EVER if they ask for it. I learned that the hard way!!

stephdover4 Posted 13 Jun 2013 , 4:37am
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

But on the other hand, don't fall for it when people ASK you to do this. "Oh you'll get such great exposure, everyone will be calling you" No. No. No. 

You're exactly right, NEVER EVER if they ask for it. I learned that the hard way!

Apti Posted 13 Jun 2013 , 6:09am

Ditto to all the wonderful advice submitted by Liz at Sugar, vgcea, AZ Couture, deb2013, cupadeecakes, etc. 

 

If  your geographic area/clientele will NOT profitably support the amount of work and resulting customized perfection, scale down your time and perfectionism and sell gorgeous, profitable, NON-3D cakes.   Put your 3D cakes in a totally separate pricing arena.  

 

Quote from cupadeecakes:

"When I took Mike McCarey's Big Bird class, we asked him how much he would charge his customers for it (it might have fed 30 people).  He said that he would charge about $900 for it, but that no one in his area had ever been willing to pay that much for it.  Lots of people loved it and wanted it, but they just wouldn't fork over the money to make it profitable for him."

 

Some ideas:

1.  Reserve your awesome 3D skills for cake show entries.  Contact your local ICES representative to see what cake shows may be in your area.   Exhibit at County Fairs.  Collect awards for your resume/portfolio.

http://ices.org/

 

2.  Identify high profile society charity events in your area.  Submit a charity cake for auction.  Make sure you tell the local newspapers and news stations about your cakes for each charity auction.  Submit a press release blurb with a photo and description.   You may get mentioned as a "fluff piece" of news.

 

3.  Identify high profile professional or collegiate sports teams in your area and donate a cake with their mascot.

vgcea Posted 13 Jun 2013 , 9:32am

AWow! Awesome avenues you've described there Apti. Now those are ways to connect with the high profile clients who can afford this kind of work. I can totally see a sports team going nuts over the kind of detail in your work OP.

Annabakescakes Posted 13 Jun 2013 , 3:50pm

What should you charge? ANYTHING YOU WANT! Those are way better than any Styrofoam crap I have seen Duff churn out, so I would at least have a $1000 minimum for those fine pieces of edible art. They are AH-mazing!

Apti Posted 13 Jun 2013 , 4:33pm

CMontei2~~I've sent you a private message.

 

vgcea~~thank you!   OP's amazing Gator is what prompted the line of thought.

Claire138 Posted 13 Jun 2013 , 4:55pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephdover4 

You're exactly right, NEVER EVER if they ask for it. I learned that the hard way!

Dittoicon_sad.gif

cupadeecakes Posted 13 Jun 2013 , 5:04pm

A photographer friend of mine (that gets these same type of "exposure" requests) told me a response she gave to someone asking her to take photos for the exposure.  She told them "That's sounds great, but let's do ti like this - You pay me 100% of my cost upfront, I'll do the job and every gig I get from the exposure I'll give you 10% of your money back.  After I get 10 gigs, you'll be MAKING money!  Of course, they weren't nearly as interested in that deal.  So she came back with, "What?  Don't you like making money?!?"
 

Apti Posted 13 Jun 2013 , 5:09pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupadeecakes 

A photographer friend of mine (that gets these same type of "exposure" requests) told me a response she gave to someone asking her to take photos for the exposure.  She told them "That's sounds great, but let's do ti like this - You pay me 100% of my cost upfront, I'll do the job and every gig I get from the exposure I'll give you 10% of your money back.  After I get 10 gigs, you'll be MAKING money!  Of course, they weren't nearly as interested in that deal.  So she came back with, "What?  Don't you like making money?!?"
 


Please tell your photographer friend that she is brilliant and has an admirer out in cake-land.

Deb2013 Posted 13 Jun 2013 , 5:26pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupadeecakes 

A photographer friend of mine (that gets these same type of "exposure" requests) told me a response she gave to someone asking her to take photos for the exposure.  She told them "That's sounds great, but let's do ti like this - You pay me 100% of my cost upfront, I'll do the job and every gig I get from the exposure I'll give you 10% of your money back.  After I get 10 gigs, you'll be MAKING money!  Of course, they weren't nearly as interested in that deal.  So she came back with, "What?  Don't you like making money?!?"
 

Ha! That's precious! (and a darn good retort!)

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%