Hello everyone! So I have one of those annoying pricing questions! Here it goes: I was actually trying to get pricing on a window graphic for my vehicle and the guy giving me the quote asked me how much I would charge for a birthday cake for his daughter. He wanted red velvet with cream cheese frosting to feed about 35. He wanted fondant with a panda wearing a teakwondo uniform with some bamboo shoots and a few flowers. I figured out my cost for a 10" and factored in the time that I thought it would take me to do it and estimated between $150 and $200 figuring to keep it around $150 unless he wanted to add a bunch of flowers. I told him if he wanted I could sketch something up. Haven't heard anything back! Did I go way too high? I thought that was about the right price because it will take me a while to make the panda, flowers and bamboo but I am pretty slow so maybe I over estimated my time?
Thank you in advance!
AThat sounds like the right ballpark, I don't think you overbid. How much was the customer's budget?
Oh good that makes me feel a lot better! You know he didn't give me a budget and I didn't even think to ask before I quoted. I guess maybe he is just one of those that didn't realize how much a custom cake costs! I'm a little surprised that I haven't heard anything from him since I was looking at getting a quote from his as well for my window graphic! Doesn't seem like good business to not at least just say wow that was more than I wanted to spend!
AThat may be in the right ballpark. A sketch is always useful! You said panda on it. Is this a figurine or drawn on top? Did the client know which?
That estimate was for a figure on top which the client did know. I wasn't sure about including a sketch. I almost drew something up but then I decided that I wasn't sure I wanted to put the extra time into it until I heard back from him. Do you typically provide a sketch with your quote? Thank you :)
Not unless they are sitting in front of me, because I'm not spending my time sketching just to have them shop my artwork around to others. My drawings are horrid, but it's the concepts that I come up with that I want protected. I'll sketch it out before we meet, but if I don't get the gig, they certainly don't get to use my idea anywhere else either.
AWithout knowing his budget there's really no way to know if the quote was over budget or if he just hasn't had a chance to reply yet. Asking about the customer's budget is critical, since if the budget is lower than the value of the requested cake you have the opportunity to scale the design down to reduce the price.
Luckily you have another reason to follow up, so if you still haven't gotten a quote for the window graphic within the next couple days you can contact him and casually bring up the cake quote.
I agree with Jason..
Thank you everyone for your responses. I feel so much better knowing that I am in the right ballpark with my estimate! Next time I will definitely find out budget first! I will be following up with him about my graphic soon because I do want that despite the whole situation so hopefully he will have some feedback for me then!
Thanks again everyone!
The first thing that went through my head was, "He was hoping your quote would be close to his quote and you could, sort of, maybe...I dunno, trade services?" Or maybe I'm way off and he's just been too busy to get a quote to a potential customer. Feelin' snarky today.
That is actually exactly what my husband said. I almost expected him to come back and suggest that when I gave him the price. Honestly the graphic should be about the same price. I don't think he has been too busy because we have had quite a few emails and he has responded very quickly up until I gave him the price. He is actually waiting on me to give him the exact size I need. I gave him the size of my window but and my logo but I need my hubby to add my phone number and web site to it so I know if it is going to take up the whole window. Hmmm maybe he is waiting on me so he can do the quote and offer the trade?? Wishful thinking probably...I really wanted to get my first client :)
Nothing wrong with your first client trading services with you (unless you wanted that first dollar bill to frame) as long as you're getting a fair exchange...it's when someone thinks they can exchange a little something for a big or elaborate cake that causes a problem. You do great work - I hope it works out well for ya.
AJust wanted to post an update...I thought for sure I wasn't going to hear from this client but I finally did and he wants me to do the cake! Yay so excited to have my first customer!!! Now hopefully my cottage food app gets approved quickly...fingers crossed. He did ask if I wanted to trade so I may go that route. I will have to call around and see if the window graphic is worth around the same as the cake which I think it is. Thanks again everyone for all your help. Now I have to go draft up a contract. I was so not expecting to get a client so quickly!