aem1029 Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 2:13pm
post #1 of

So I was asked to make this cake....

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For an 8 inch cake, covered in fondant, with fondant figures, the fondant manhole cover and hand cut fondant decoration, I gave them a price of $115.  There is a lot of detail in this cake.  I told her I could do butter cream with the fondant detail for $100.  I really hate working with fondant and can get my bc nice and smooth that I figure I would offer that option.   I also gave her the option of scaling back the decoration (removing the buildings) for $85.  She is a friend (not a close friend so I didn't discount) and she was very appreciative of my response but found someone to do it for $60...that's right, $60!!  I don't know about the other baker but this cake would take me 4-5 total hours of prep...at $60 minus cost of material, you are paying yourself around $5/hour.  How is that worth it?  My teacher told me years ago, that her cleaning lady gets paid $20/hour so she wants to make $20/hour.  I have kind of stuck with that reference because this is a business, not a hobby.  If I was a hobbyist, maybe $60 would have been sufficient.  Am I way out of the ballpark on this one??

25 replies
CakeRae80 Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 3:12pm
post #2 of

I would've come pretty close to that price.  I would've been closer to $90 for my area, but that's a lot of work and sculpting.  I'd love to see what the $60 cake looks like when it's finished...

mooj Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 3:22pm
post #3 of

I agree with CakeRae80... wonder what the $60 cake looked like!  I would say that your price is exactly what I would have charged.  Fondant and gum paste are expensive and so are the ingredients for a cake and the cake board, etc.  I think people forget that cake decorators are really artists - and should be compensated for their talent.  If what they want is a Wal-Mart price, then they should go to Wal-Mart for a cake!

mrs44 Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 4:22pm
post #4 of

no ma'am you did not over price.  People want something for nothing.  I had a wedding cake scheduled for August 3 and when I called to say I had not received her deposit she informed me she had found someone to do it for half the price. I had changed my vacation to accomodate her and she didn't even have the courtesy of cancelling her order.  I was going to do a 300 serving cake for $550.00. I thought that was very reasonable.

mrs44 Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 4:22pm
post #5 of

no ma'am you did not over price.  People want something for nothing.  I had a wedding cake scheduled for August 3 and when I called to say I had not received her deposit she informed me she had found someone to do it for half the price. I had changed my vacation to accomodate her and she didn't even have the courtesy of cancelling her order.  I was going to do a 300 serving cake for $550.00. I thought that was very reasonable.

Paperfishies Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 4:36pm
post #6 of

What I've come to realize is, people who don't decorate cakes have no idea how much time is spent on one cake, they think if Kroger, Sams, Costco, Walmart, Publix, etc can sell them a cake for $40 then we can too. 

 

A while back a friend of a friend asked me to make her daughter's first birthday cake and wanted a tiered Minnie mouse cake.  When I quoted her a price she about fell over and told me there is no way she could afford that, someone else had quoted her like $50 or cheaper, something ridiculously low.  (which I don't believe for a minute, because if someone is giving you such a low quote, why are you going to continue shopping around).

Anyways, she went with the other baker and a friend sent me a picture of the cake and it was awful.  It was a single 10 inch round with icing thrown on and 2 6 inch rounds for the ears, flat cake, no tiers.

 

This kind of thing happens in ALL types of businesses...I used to be a makeup artist, women would contact me for a quote, when I would quote them they would say, "oh, this other lady quoted me $25"  Well, ok, if you want to trust a Mary Kay lady who just decided to do this for fun and has been doing it for 3 months, to do your wedding day makeup, more power to you."

JennaGee Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 4:45pm
post #7 of

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I charged this one for about $90. It was for a friend who has ordered many cakes from me in the past (i've only been at this for about a year). Head is sculpted cereal treats, it's an 8 in cake with the fondant manhole cover and fondant nunchucks. But after all the work into I put into this cake I realized I underpriced (really because of lack of confidence). I didn't mind in this case because I know she will continue to order cakes from me either way.  Stick with your base cost and work your way up with what you think your labor is worth. Do not second guess yourself!

aem1029 Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 4:48pm
post #8 of

I didn't think so either.  I'm friends with her on facebook so I'll be watching to see if she's posts a picture of the cake.  I just can't imagine it being anything near the caliber of the one in the picture but we'll see.   Thank you all for reassuring me!  It is much appreciated!

jason_kraft Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 4:56pm
post #9 of

AThere's also a copyright issue here, you would need to contact Viacom (the copyright owner for TMNT) to get permission in order to legally sell the cake.

aem1029 Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 5:09pm

well, i'm glad someone underbid me then.  :-)

TheSugarLab Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 7:26pm

I was asked to make a cake like that a few weeks ago. I explained the copyright issue and that I could do a background with the cake and then we could add the TMNT (from a licensed source) on the cake. I still was around $100 for the cake she needed so I don't think you overpriced at all! 

Strubbette Posted 26 Jul 2013 , 8:48pm

I would have charged right about the same price.

I used to take it personally when people would say they found someone to do their cake cheaper ( usually Walmart) until I realized what my time is worth. Now I just let them go and pay for their frozen,  pre-made, unoriginal cakes. That just means extra time with my family on the weekends.

CakeRae80 Posted 29 Jul 2013 , 7:24pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strubbette View Post

I would have charged right about the same price.

I used to take it personally when people would say they found someone to do their cake cheaper ( usually Walmart) until I realized what my time is worth. Now I just let them go and pay for their frozen,  pre-made, unoriginal cakes. That just means extra time with my family on the weekends.

I agree I don't take it personal if they want a cheap cake.  I look at it that I give them the quote, that is my price and I'm sticking to it.  If they want someone cheaper, then go for it.  I won't be loosing sleep at night over it.

aem1029 Posted 29 Jul 2013 , 8:06pm

Oh, I didn't take it personal, just shocked at the difference in price!  I'm not going to beat myself up over it.  Like you have all said, you get what you pay for.  I'm looking forward to what her cake looks like.  I do hope in all honesty that it's not a wreck!  I would feel bad.

CakeRae80 Posted 30 Jul 2013 , 5:32pm

I just got asked this weekend to make a 3 tier prince themed baby shower cake.  She said that she saw people tag me on a facebook yard sale page and say I was reasonable.  She also asked for a link to my site, so I gave that to her.  Once she looked at my cakes, she wanted a pregnant belly cake with 25 cupcakes.  So I asked her how many people she would have at this party, to which she replied 25.  So I told her 1. I only do orders for cupcakes by the dozen and the cupcakes alone would feed the people coming (because she was inviting 25 so they wouldn't all show probably). 2. I told her that my belly cake would feed about 44 so that with the cupcakes would be 68 servings. 

 

So I quoted her $151 for a belly cake and 24 cupcakes, $121 for the belly cake by itself, $45 for 3 dozen cupcakes with fondant decorations, $69 for a 10" round baby butt cake fondant covered and $55 for a 10" round baby butt cake buttercream covered.  I figured that I'd throw in those other options since she said "reasonable" that way they weren't too much but still gave her the amount of cake she needed.  I never heard back from her....so I'm going to guess that I wasn't "reasonable" after all.

 

I also want to say that I hate that people have tagged me in this facebook page because I don't sell yard sale priced cakes.  Also, what one person thinks is reasonable another might night.  In my area, reasonable usually equals dirt cheap!!  Just thought I'd share in light of your issue you posted about.

kikiandkyle Posted 30 Jul 2013 , 8:01pm

AYou can untag yourself if it's becoming an issue. Remember that you are not a cake charity, the person who you have to be reasonable with is yourself. You deserve to make a reasonable wage for your work, no matter how much that might be a problem for the people who want your cake but can't afford it.

howsweet Posted 30 Jul 2013 , 11:22pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeRae80 View Post

I just got asked this weekend to make a 3 tier prince themed baby shower cake.  She said that she saw people tag me on a facebook yard sale page and say I was reasonable.  She also asked for a link to my site, so I gave that to her.  Once she looked at my cakes, she wanted a pregnant belly cake with 25 cupcakes.  So I asked her how many people she would have at this party, to which she replied 25.  So I told her 1. I only do orders for cupcakes by the dozen and the cupcakes alone would feed the people coming (because she was inviting 25 so they wouldn't all show probably). 2. I told her that my belly cake would feed about 44 so that with the cupcakes would be 68 servings. 

 

So I quoted her $151 for a belly cake and 24 cupcakes, $121 for the belly cake by itself, $45 for 3 dozen cupcakes with fondant decorations, $69 for a 10" round baby butt cake fondant covered and $55 for a 10" round baby butt cake buttercream covered.  I figured that I'd throw in those other options since she said "reasonable" that way they weren't too much but still gave her the amount of cake she needed.  I never heard back from her....so I'm going to guess that I wasn't "reasonable" after all.

 

I also want to say that I hate that people have tagged me in this facebook page because I don't sell yard sale priced cakes.  Also, what one person thinks is reasonable another might night.  In my area, reasonable usually equals dirt cheap!!  Just thought I'd share in light of your issue you posted about.


That term, "reasonable" really irks me. I don't know if I'd even be able to hear anything else she said after that word was uttered in that context. It means anything but reasonable. I would have considered interrupting her at that point and saying something along the lines of that if she's looking for the cheapest possible price, that's she's barking up the wrong tree. I'd phrase it differently.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 12:46am
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet View Post


That term, "reasonable" really irks me. I don't know if I'd even be able to hear anything else she said after that word was uttered in that context. It means anything but reasonable. I would have considered interrupting her at that point and saying something along the lines of that if she's looking for the cheapest possible price, that's she's barking up the wrong tree. I'd phrase it differently.

Yeah, when people say "reasonable", what they mean is "as cheap as I can possibly get it because I don't value your work and think you're being unreasonable when you charge what you deserve."

CakeRae80 Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 2:12am

AI agree, the unfortunate part was she had Personal messaged me on Facebook. So I didn't get to actually talk to her. People who have said on this site that I'm reasonable have bought cakes from me and it wasn't at a cheap rate. But they've raved about the taste and the way they were decorated. So I am assuming with all that in mind, my prices are reasonable for the work I do.

howsweet Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 7:05pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveMeSomeCake615 View Post

Yeah, when people say "reasonable", what they mean is "as cheap as I can possibly get it because I don't value your work and think you're being unreasonable when you charge what you deserve."

Perfect definition! We need to start a caker's dictionary or translator app.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 8:23pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet View Post

Perfect definition! We need to start a caker's dictionary or translator app.

Yes! Someone who actually has skillz in technology should totally get on that. Not me. ;) 

shanter Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 8:47pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveMeSomeCake615 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet View Post

Perfect definition! We need to start a caker's dictionary or translator app.

Yes! Someone who actually has skillz in technology should totally get on that. Not me. ;) 

 

Clean and modern = lots of ruffles and flowers and dots and figures.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 9:03pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanter View Post

 

Clean and modern = lots of ruffles and flowers and dots and figures.

 

 

Ha ha ha ha I just fell out laughing!

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 31 Jul 2013 , 9:11pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanter View Post

 

Clean and modern = lots of ruffles and flowers and dots and figures.

Also works for "We just want something simple..."

nathanjsgrama Posted 1 Aug 2013 , 12:11am

AUnfortunately not all good deals are deals at all. I recently had someone request prices for 2 different cakes. One pregnant belly cake all covered with fondant, special hand made decorations also make of fondant AND a large 2 tier 10" and 8" all covered with fondant and special hand made decorations with tons of colors and details. When I checked back with her a couple of weeks later she said that she had found someone that would make BOTH cakes for $100.00. I thanked her for the consideration and wished her a wonderful and beautiful shower. The night before her shower she was on FB asking if anyone knew of someone that could make a last minute cake for her because the other person had fallen off the face of the earth and she could not get in touch with her. No cakes and no excuses!!! Had she contacted me instead I would have done my best to accommodate her with a cake, obviously not the ones she originally wanted but it would been nice. Oh well, she never asked.

CakeRae80 Posted 1 Aug 2013 , 12:51pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanjsgrama View Post

Unfortunately not all good deals are deals at all. I recently had someone request prices for 2 different cakes. One pregnant belly cake all covered with fondant, special hand made decorations also make of fondant AND a large 2 tier 10" and 8" all covered with fondant and special hand made decorations with tons of colors and details. When I checked back with her a couple of weeks later she said that she had found someone that would make BOTH cakes for $100.00. I thanked her for the consideration and wished her a wonderful and beautiful shower. The night before her shower she was on FB asking if anyone knew of someone that could make a last minute cake for her because the other person had fallen off the face of the earth and she could not get in touch with her. No cakes and no excuses!!! Had she contacted me instead I would have done my best to accommodate her with a cake, obviously not the ones she originally wanted but it would been nice. Oh well, she never asked.


Holy cow! I can't believe that someone said they'd do all that for $100.  At the cakes alone covered in fondant my price tag added up to $275 and that's not with the prices of the hand made decorations!! No wonder the person "fell off the face of the earth"...

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