silbella Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 9:26pm
post #1 of

I was recently contacted about doing a cake and gave a very fair quote.  The woman then emailed me saying she only had a budget of x ($40 less than the quote) and asked if I would work with her on the price.  What are some suggestions how to handle this?  She also mentioned in the email that a friend of hers would also be contacting me about a cake, so I'm afraid if I "work with her", I am opening the door for the friend to want to be "worked with" as well.  I'd honestly be ok meeting half way to get the sale, but again, is this hurting me in the long run?  Thanks and any advice/experience with this would be appreciated!

26 replies
erin2345 Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 9:31pm
post #2 of

Seriously .... $40?  That would annoy me.  Can you take some elements off the cake and therefore change the cost?  If there is nothing to remove/change to make the cake cheaper, then just tell her that the cake you designed costs $xx and maybe give her some cheaper suggestions (single tiered, smaller etc.)

 

I would not ever lower my price for anyone.

maybenot Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 9:43pm
post #3 of

I'd change the design so that it takes less labor and/or materials OR cut back the # of servings to decrease the cost. 

 

My pricing is based primarily on the number of servings, so the easiest way to cut the cost is to make it a smaller cake.  If the original design calls for handmade/custom items like multi-loop gum paste bows/flowers, etc., then getting rid of those can lop off a good bit of labor $$pretty quickly.

 

If $40 is a deal breaker, she can cut smaller slices or have less wow factor.

brenda549 Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 9:44pm
post #4 of

I "work" with customers by providing them options that are within their budget (fewer servings, fewer details, etc). No way am I coming down on my prices because they cannot afford it.  

morganchampagne Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 9:50pm
post #5 of

A

Original message sent by brenda549

I "work" with customers by providing them options that are within their budget (fewer servings, fewer details, etc). No way am I coming down on my prices because they cannot afford it.  

Precisely what I do. [B] I don't do more work for less money[/B] But I will take the time to rearrange designs or elements so that it fits in their budget.

leah_s Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 10:13pm
post #6 of

I just had someone last week want to "work on" my cost for a brownie.  Seriously.  

"Can you make them smaller and charge less?"

NO.

Actually I make them the size they are because they are a good value at that size, I've worked out my costs for that size and they fit the packaging.  And otherwise, just no.

morganchampagne Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 10:24pm
post #7 of

A

Original message sent by leah_s

I just had someone last week want to "work on" my cost for a brownie.  Seriously.   "Can you make them smaller and charge less?" NO. Actually I make them the size they are because they are a good value at that size, I've worked out my costs for that size and they fit the packaging.  And otherwise, just no.

Everyday I wonder just how much farther ppl are going to go. The minute I think I've seen the worst of it....*sigh*

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 10:33pm
post #8 of

If you mean 'work on' as in 'lower', nope. I will definitely give a customer other options, or a simplified version of what they want,t hat fits their budget. Like others have said.

 

I do have a minimum order price though, that I will not budge on.

silbella Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 10:57pm
post #9 of

Thank you all for your advice!!  I completely agree with it all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brenda549 

I "work" with customers by providing them options that are within their budget (fewer servings, fewer details, etc). No way am I coming down on my prices because they cannot afford it.  

 

And nicely put brenda549!  I like your approach and will offer her a smaller cake/less detail as opposed to lowering my price.  

Cakes by Bri Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 12:05am

AI literally had quoted a cake price for someone yesterday and she said " okay I'm looking around for the cheapest person" ....... Really? Go to Walmart then.

howsweet Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 2:32am
Quote:
Originally Posted by silbella 

I was recently contacted about doing a cake and gave a very fair quote.  The woman then emailed me saying she only had a budget of x ($40 less than the quote) and asked if I would work with her on the price.  What are some suggestions how to handle this?  She also mentioned in the email that a friend of hers would also be contacting me about a cake, so I'm afraid if I "work with her", I am opening the door for the friend to want to be "worked with" as well.  I'd honestly be ok meeting half way to get the sale, but again, is this hurting me in the long run?  Thanks and any advice/experience with this would be appreciated!

 

Yes, doing anything to lower the price of cake in your community is bad for you in the long run and anyone else in your area doing cakes. Plus if she gets the cake cheap and goes on a national forum declaring the price of cake, it may hurt even more than just bakers in your area.  It's not just this one cake, but it the cumulative effect of a lot of people doing it. And a lot of people seem to be doing it. It seems like there's a new post on this board everyday with a similar question. And I have a feeling not everyone comes on here to ask.

 

It's unlikely that you'll get any good word of mouth business from this other than her friends who probably want the big discount, too. That you'll get more business from this is the oldest line in the book. The person saying it may believe it, but it doesn't matter, it's not likely to be true.

vgcea Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 10:10am

AYep, I work with them by helping them select a less expensive or less complicated cake. If they insist on the same design for example we could cut back on the servings or reduce the number of sugar flowers (to zero if necessary) to stay within budget.

Crazy-Gray Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 10:19am

A

Original message sent by vgcea

Yep, I work with them by helping them select a less expensive or less complicated cake. If they insist on the same design for example we could cut back on the servings or reduce the number of sugar flowers (to zero if necessary) to stay within budget.

Me too, if they can't afford what they initially wanted I do what I can for their budget, and if they're nice a out it I secretly donate an extra hour or two (and conversely I secretly subtract a few hours if they're PITAs)... It all helps to educate them in the true value of cakes :-)

vgcea Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 10:23am

A

Original message sent by Crazy-Gray

Me too, if they can't afford what they initially wanted I do what I can for their budget, and if they're nice a out it [B]I secretly donate an extra hour or two [/B](and conversely I secretly subtract a few hours if they're PITAs)... It all helps to educate them in the true value of cakes :-)

I do this too. Sometimes I would surprise them with a simpler topper or fantasy flower from leftover gum paste and maybe 10 minutes of my time. The response is usually priceless :D

Crazy-Gray Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 10:29am

A

Original message sent by vgcea

I do this too. Sometimes I would surprise them with a simpler topper or fantasy flower from leftover gum paste and maybe 10 minutes of my time. The response is usually priceless :D

Great minds hey?! :-).... Although the other version of the idiom might be more accurate lol

vgcea Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 1:12pm

A

Original message sent by Crazy-Gray

Great minds hey?! :-).... Although the other version of the idiom might be more accurate lol

Hehehe. What's the other version?

melanie-1221 Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 1:20pm

I do work with my clients budget provided it's reasonable.

I will help them re design something more basic, have them select a less expensive filling/ flavor combination, sometimes a smaller cake with cupcakes.

I will not discount my original price and provide them with the same cake.

You already know when their friend comes to you they will be expecting a deal as well, and it snow balls, then you become ' the cheap cake lady'.

I do the same as many of you , if they are a pleasure to work with I will give them a little extra.

Crazy-Gray Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 1:20pm

AThe other version is the one I relate to more frequently; "fools seldom differ!"

vgcea Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 1:53pm

ALOL!

thecakewitch Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 5:35pm

AI just got an inquiry for 45servings with $100 budget. She wants a sheet cake carved into a high heel shoe. It's way off from my per serving price. The annoying thing about this is that my prices are listed on my website complete with a picture of cake sizes with how much it can serve. I swear people don't read anymore!

kikiandkyle Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 6:45pm

AOr think prices are just a starting point for them to haggle down. You don't get if you don't ask right?

I'm sure they wouldn't appreciate it if their boss offered them a 70% pay cut for the same work.

61999 Posted 24 Jul 2013 , 5:58pm

Do other service people come down on their prices regularly?  Maybe some do, some don't. 

In the end you have to answer if you are in this as a business or to be nice.

If it's business then make a profit, pay yourself.

cakesbyss Posted 24 Jul 2013 , 6:40pm

i had this same email on monday as well and that her budget was $40 and she wanted to feed 30 people. i told her i can do one that feeds 10 people for $40. and the design was thomas train. wondering if same one. im from toronto ontario.

frosting22 Posted 24 Jul 2013 , 6:52pm

I did it once and I ended up paying the price for it.. I felt bad for the lady, she wanted a carved cake for her hubby and only had a small budget.. I ended up giving it away and spent to much money on materials and to much of my time on a cake that I made zero on!! 

frosting22 Posted 24 Jul 2013 , 6:53pm

I'll never do that again!!

AZCouture Posted 24 Jul 2013 , 6:54pm

Not really. They describe what they are looking for, and if their budget allows for any type of design at all (if their serving needs are in line with what basic prices for that number of servings) then we proceed to set an appointment and I draw up a couple different ideas around that range. They can choose from those or not. 

AZCouture Posted 24 Jul 2013 , 6:59pm

Now, if we'r talking about a cake that is $1,000 or more, and they would seriously walk over $40, then yeah, they can have it. And anyone that would stay firm with the prospect of $960 in their pocket or $0 in their pocket would be quite foolish if you ask me. On the flip side, I slightly underquoted a really detailed cake a few months back, but never heard back so I thought it was a no go anyways. Well, she contacted me again and says she now needs a cake that is 50 servings less. My original quote for 250 servings stood though, to make up for my miscalculations the first time around. She didn't mind. And I cannot WAIT to make this cake. I have a whole year and a half to wait though....grrrrrrrr. I don't usually copy other designs, but this one, holy mother of gawd it's too gorgeous not to. Waiting to hear back from the designer, as I sent a courtesy email letting her know that I'd like to use her design.

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