MommyMonsterof2 Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 4:21pm
post #1 of

700

 

 

 

 

These are a few of the sugar cookies and (1) tired cake I have done so far, and I'm at the point where I need to know what to charge when people ask me for something... especially cakes!!! I don't want to undercharge & be taken advantage of, but I don't want to rob people either, and give them something they love for an affordable price.  Thanksicon_smile.gif

56 replies
bct806 Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 4:43pm
post #2 of

Figure out how much it costs you to make them. Then check out this link.

 

http://jasonkraftblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/the-magic-pricing-formula/

 

No one can really tell you how much to charge. It is based on your own costs and the area in which you live.

MommyMonsterof2 Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 4:54pm
post #3 of

AThank you! With the cake I had no idea because it was my first one.

bct806 Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 5:02pm
post #4 of

You're welcome! Have you ever used royal icing on your cookies? It gives it a more polished look and the taste is so much better. 

BatterUpCake Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 5:10pm
post #5 of

Also check local bakeries...not grocery bakeries. Send them a picture of the John Deer cake and say you want something similiar to this pic you found and what woud they charge. I wouldn't do it with every cake because their time is valuable but it will give you an indication of your market.

bct806 Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 5:17pm
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake 

Also check local bakeries...not grocery bakeries. Send them a picture of the John Deer cake and say you want something similiar to this pic you found and what woud they charge. I wouldn't do it with every cake because their time is valuable but it will give you an indication of your market.

 

Ditto the not grocery store bakeries. That is NOT your target audience. Not sure I would ask local bakeries, especially not by making them think that you are going to order from them. Most have websites, some with prices but most specialty cakes are specialty prices and not listed. BatterUpCake, I just noticed you are from Norfolk, Va! I miss it! I am from a town across the James but moved here to Florida for my hubs. I miss having 4 seasons!

BatterUpCake Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 5:33pm
post #7 of

I just had a very good friend in NY tell me today that people wouldn't pay $2/slice for cake there. She has been doing this for over 20 years and her cakes are beautiful. I had to call a few bakeries to convince myself what my work was worth. And it was recommended to me here. It wasn't fair for me to use a formula of how many hours I worked because something that took me 6 hours may have taken an experienced baker 1...anyhow pricing is a sticky subject and the old timers on here do not like discussing it. You have to kind of figure it out for yourself using some of the tools provided by Jason and others. No one can tell you what to charge for your cake in your area....

bct806 Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 6:14pm
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake 

I just had a very good friend in NY tell me today that people wouldn't pay $2/slice for cake there. She has been doing this for over 20 years and her cakes are beautiful. I had to call a few bakeries to convince myself what my work was worth. And it was recommended to me here. It wasn't fair for me to use a formula of how many hours I worked because something that took me 6 hours may have taken an experienced baker 1...anyhow pricing is a sticky subject and the old timers on here do not like discussing it. You have to kind of figure it out for yourself using some of the tools provided by Jason and others. No one can tell you what to charge for your cake in your area....

I have definitely learned they don't like discussing it! I have seen some very heated conversations and most center around price. 

MommyMonsterof2 Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 6:18pm
post #9 of

AI checked with one of the bakeries that do cakes like this, and it was very helpful (price wise) Where I'm located there aren't any bakeries (that includes ones in places such as WalMart) for at least 30 miles! I don't like to judge price by the hours I spend, because I'm new and slow lol! Some people expect to find a cake off of Pinterest or Facebook and have you do it for a store bought cake price<~~~~~ This the problem I ran into! :( I know it's a sticky subject

jason_kraft Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 6:21pm

AAlso be aware that the John Deere logo is copyrighted, so you would need to get permission from the company before using it.

MommyMonsterof2 Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 6:22pm

AGood to know!!!! How would I go about doing that (not that I plan on doing a cake like this again!)

BatterUpCake Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 6:23pm

They can't get a cake like that at WalMart. So if they want a WalMart price recommend they go to WalMart and tell them to keep you in mind when they want a special, custom cake. It can be done without being rude. I am by far no expert on pricing....all I can do is pass along what some of the people here told me.

jason_kraft Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 6:24pm

A

Original message sent by MommyMonsterof2

I checked with one of the bakeries that do cakes like this, and it was very helpful (price wise) Where I'm located there aren't any bakeries (that includes ones in places such as WalMart) for at least 30 miles!

There might be a reason for this...if you live in a very small market there may not be enough people who are willing to pay for quality to support a custom cake business.

bct806 Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 6:27pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


There might be a reason for this...if you live in a very small market there may not be enough people who are willing to pay for quality to support a custom cake business.

When I lived in VA, it just meant that I lived in the country and nothing was close by.

jason_kraft Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 6:30pm

A

Original message sent by MommyMonsterof2

Good to know!!!! How would I go about doing that (not that I plan on doing a cake like this again!)

If you call John Deere corporate headquarters they should be able to direct you to the right person.

howsweet Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 7:34pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by bct806 

 

 Not sure I would ask local bakeries, especially not by making them think that you are going to order from them. Most have websites, some with prices but most specialty cakes are specialty prices and not listed.

I would be thrilled if a home baker asked me to help with pricing. I'm ready and willing to help anyone who doesn't want to undercharge. That includes people pretending to be customers - as long as they are succinct about it. However, what I don't appreciate is if they go back to their little online group of undercharging home bakers who squawk that my prices are insanely high and opt to be led by the blind leading the blind.  (I'm referring specifically to a Facebook group, not this forum).

bct806 Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 7:53pm

If someone wants to come out and ask then fine, but I still don't think pretending to order a cake is the best way to go about it. Besides, I would think that asking for the price of one cake isn't really going to teach them how to price their cakes in the future. 

jason_kraft Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 8:01pm

AI also wouldn't mind if someone pretended to place an order with my bakery, the most it would cost me is a few minutes or so writing a reply.

Relying solely on competitors' prices is never a good pricing strategy, but knowing what other businesses in the area are charging provides valuable data points to help you figure out what the market price is.

MommyMonsterof2 Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 8:29pm

AI could never call a professional and pretend to place an order to scope out their prices! Mostly because I just don't think that's right (just be honest), and for another I know my skill is no where near their level!

I just believe offering someone something at a price and quality that I would be willing to pay! And most are absolutely fine with that, but there are others who aren't! I paid a hefty price for my wedding cake years ago, and didn't bat an eye because it was gorgeous, although I still hear today how awful it tasted because of the fondant.

BatterUpCake Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 9:22pm

Your skill on the John Deer cake was at their level...I thought the exact same way and the pro's on here ate me for breakfast. They do not like having their prices undercut by home bakers. It is not fair to them. Of course you adjust your price according to your skill level. Do you mind me asking what you charged for that cake? Or if you didn't charge for it what YOU think you would have charged...

DeliciousDesserts Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 9:37pm

A

Original message sent by BatterUpCake

Your skill on the John Deer cake was at their level.. [B]whose? I must have missed something. I read the whole thread a couple of times trying to find someone comparing skill levels. I didn't see any so I'm confused.[/B]

.I thought the exact same way and the pro's on here ate me for breakfast. [B]thought skill level the same? Who ate you for breakfast and why?[/B]

Do you mind me asking what you charged for that cake? Or if you didn't charge for it what YOU think you would have charged...[B]good question[/B]

MommyMonsterof2 Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 9:54pm

AI'm acquiring skills as I go, and I only started doing cakes a couple months ago, so I thought people would take offense if I charged what someone who has years of experience under their belt, so I quoted the lady $75 for a three tiered fondant cake. She said, " Oh No, I can't do that!" So, given this lady goes to my church and I know people don't have a lot of money these days, I told her $30 for a tiered 90% buttercream cake; technically I didn't get paid for anything because that covered the supplies.

Jess155 Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 10:05pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyMonsterof2 

I'm acquiring skills as I go, and I only started doing cakes a couple months ago, so I thought people would take offense if I charged what someone who has years of experience under their belt, so I quoted the lady $75 for a three tiered fondant cake. She said, " Oh No, I can't do that!" So, given this lady goes to my church and I know people don't have a lot of money these days, I told her $30 for a tiered 90% buttercream cake; technically I didn't get paid for anything because that covered the supplies.

 

You charged $30 for a 3 tier??  Did you tell her that was only to cover the supplies and all your hard work would be thrown in for free?  Because if you didn't you are doing a great disservice to those who charge for their labor and overhead. 

 

Usually people wait until they have a good grasp of the skill to start charging for their work.  If you don't feel that your skills are worth anything (and clearly you don't because you're not charging for them) then don't charge anything at all.  Just make cakes for family and friends for practice until you have your licensed business and skill set ready.

sixinarow Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 10:06pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyMonsterof2 

I'm acquiring skills as I go, and I only started doing cakes a couple months ago, so I thought people would take offense if I charged what someone who has years of experience under their belt, so I quoted the lady $75 for a three tiered fondant cake. She said, " Oh No, I can't do that!" So, given this lady goes to my church and I know people don't have a lot of money these days, I told her $30 for a tiered 90% buttercream cake; technically I didn't get paid for anything because that covered the supplies.

Undercharging is gonna come back to bite you in the...  if you want to practice, practice and give them away. If you don't have the funds to bake and give them away, invest in some dummies to practice on. But I think you're setting yourself up as the "cheap cake lady"... not good for future business endeavors.

AZCouture Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 10:08pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet 

I would be thrilled if a home baker asked me to help with pricing. I'm ready and willing to help anyone who doesn't want to undercharge. That includes people pretending to be customers - as long as they are succinct about it. However, what I don't appreciate is if they go back to their little online group of undercharging home bakers who squawk that my prices are insanely high and opt to be led by the blind leading the blind.  (I'm referring specifically to a Facebook group, not this forum).

Oh how familiar that sounds! tapedshut.gif

MommyMonsterof2 Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 10:09pm

AWell, from this point on I'll just stick to family, if that.

AZCouture Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 10:10pm

$30? I mean really, even if you know nothing about pricing, certainly you couldn't have though that the time spent was only worth $30????

BatterUpCake Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 10:22pm

Delicious...This is from MonsterMommy "Mostly because I just don't think that's right (just be honest), and for another I know my skill is no where near their level!" Referring to calling a bakery to see what they would charge for the John Deer cake.

 

I just believe offering someone something at a price and quality that I would be willing to pay!"...I thought that way but turns out I am a tightwad and just because I wouldn't pay market value for a cake there are many who would. Who ate me for breakfast...some of the people who have been doing this for a long time on here. Why...because pricing is a very sticky subject on here. I am not going to rehash it. Recently the moderator has started intervening in these sticky topics and deleting rude comments.

AZCouture Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 10:34pm

Here's the deal. I don't value high dollar purses and wallets, or shoes, or anything fashionable at ALL. Give me Old Navy jeans and flip flops any day, and I'm happy. On the same token, I sell cakes that feed 10 people for $200 and up at times. Would I pay that much? Maybe once in a blue moon for a special occasion. I am not my target market. I do not pretend to be my target market. And I don't give a good flip if someone thinks my price is unreasonable or too costly. I know how much hard work goes in to it, and would rather put my flip flopped feet up on the couch than bargain with people who by all rights should be going to Walmart for a sheet cake. And 10 years ago, they would have done just that, and not been just fine! But now they can go to Betty Sue down the street who thinks nothing of making $2.00 an hour on her custom cakes so that she can be "affordable".

 

Who the heck ever decided there should be anything "affordable" about a custom cake is off their rocker.

BatterUpCake Posted 3 Jul 2013 , 10:34pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyMonsterof2 

Well, from this point on I'll just stick to family, if that.

I hope you do not feel like you are being attacked. But if you look at the Wilton cake charts and see how many servings your 3 tier was and figured even the cheapest bakers would not charge less than $2.50 a serving for a PLAIN Buttercream cake then even $75 is ridiculously low for that cake. The problem that these folks have been in business for awhile have people have is that when you sell a cake at that price people get the idea that is what a custom cake is worth. My carrotcakewithout icing cost $3 to make in ingredients. That does not cover grocery shopping, gas to get to the store, time spent advertising, time making the cake, electricity, gas, and water. Then clean up time. Add into that businesses who pay rent, employees, insurance taxes, etc... Many of the people on here telling you they wouldn't mind if you called their business and asked what they would charge are pros who own businesses. They have worked years to get to where they are and you are basically saying what they do is worth $30. They will not be offended if you charge appropriately. They are offended when you don't.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%