reginaherrin Posted 4 Aug 2013 , 5:06pm
post #1 of

AJust wondering if anyone charges differently for fake dummy tiers. I have only done fake tier a few times and I only charged a little difference, like $10 or so or close to it. I have a upcoming cake and my customer just asked how much it would be to add a fake tier to the bottom. So it would have to be an 18" which i know that size in stryofoam would be a bit expensive so I'm thinking of not charging any less.

18 replies
maybenot Posted 4 Aug 2013 , 10:08pm
post #2 of

80% the price of a real cake tier.

BatterUpCake Posted 4 Aug 2013 , 10:44pm
post #3 of

I wouldn't charge less. The styrofoam is expensive...Unless they put a deposit on the dummy and I get it back. They I would just charge labor. materials, and overhead

howsweet Posted 5 Aug 2013 , 12:36am
post #4 of

I don't see how you'd not charge less unless you're already not charging enough for the cake.  An 18 in round serves maybe 120?  Even if you only charge $4 a serving that's $480. How much do you think the foam piece is going to be?

 

How will the tier be decorated?
 

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 5 Aug 2013 , 1:16am
post #5 of

My ingredients for a cake are a lot more expensive than the styro dummy is, and there is no labour charge for the baking/torting/stacking process, so yes, they cost less.

 

Dallas foam sells 18" dummies for under $10.

reginaherrin Posted 5 Aug 2013 , 3:45am
post #6 of

I've never used Dallas foam and in fact have never heard about them before.  Is that cost with shipping cost?  I would have to order this size since there is no supplier close to me that would carry it so the cost of the dummy would also include shipping.  I just checked the price from where I have bought it before and it would be about $27 with shipping.  Besides baking the cakes there is still the same amount of decorating time involved in this dummy.  Also, does an 18" cake really feed 120.  I keep finding charts that say 115 for weddings but this is not a wedding cake so it should be less servings right?

Annabakescakes Posted 5 Aug 2013 , 6:49am
post #7 of

AAn 18" is 126 servings in my book, and that is what I bill for. If it were a dummy, and price plus shipping was less than $30, I would figure out how long it would take me to decorate, and the cost of the buttercream or fondant, and add it all up. After all my usual charges are added in, I would see if I could live with the price. If not, then I would add a bit more.

Whatever it "serves" has no bearing since nobody is going to eat it, unless they are having goats to the reception. But I can tell you that mixing 32 pounds of batter and baking it then leveling and filling is a huge chore! And if you only have a half 18" since the whole one won't fit in a home oven, then it is going to take you even longer, since you have to mix and bake at least 4 times, and if you have a little ole' 5 qt bowl, then it is going to be at least 5 mixer bowls full to bake the 18" tier.

I'd rather just do the dummy, and will price accordingly.

Also, most if us charge for the cake, whether it is a wedding or a birthday, or if they are going to throw it in the dirt. I ONLY USE THE WEDDING CHART. These topic had been discussed 1000 times, as well, and most just use 1 chart, regardless. It is plenty of cake for most people unless they haven't eaten all day, have a tape worm, or are a glutton.

howsweet Posted 5 Aug 2013 , 2:19pm
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by reginaherrin 

I've never used Dallas foam and in fact have never heard about them before.  Is that cost with shipping cost?  I would have to order this size since there is no supplier close to me that would carry it so the cost of the dummy would also include shipping.  I just checked the price from where I have bought it before and it would be about $27 with shipping.  Besides baking the cakes there is still the same amount of decorating time involved in this dummy.  Also, does an 18" cake really feed 120.  I keep finding charts that say 115 for weddings but this is not a wedding cake so it should be less servings right?


I'm inclined to yield to Anna who says 126. But let's say it's 115, then that's $460 at $4 per serving.  I looked at your website and your prices are incredibly low for such pretty cakes. It says you've been in business 5 years and you're highest rate per serving is 3d cakes at $3.50 per serving?   I stand by what I said originally, the reason you are having this problem is your price is way too low.

 

And the website says you're in Arlington, Texas, so it might be cheaper to drive over to Dallas Foam, than to pay for shipping. Since Arlington is right between Dallas/Fort Worth, it seems to me you have the best of both worlds in terms of a locality to serve customers in both cities. I'm dumbfounded that you'd be making such beautiful cakes for such low prices. You could work half as little and make the same amount.

reginaherrin Posted 5 Aug 2013 , 3:03pm
post #9 of

First, I did not bring up the serving amount, another poster did, that wasn't my question. Second, you are right that the serving charts have been discussed a lot but you are wrong is saying most every one uses one chart.  I too have read these threads and it is a mixed topic.  I use party serving for anything other the wedding cakes and wedding charts for wedding cakes.  My question has nothing to do with which serving charts I use.  I live in Texas where everything has to be bigger and most if not all people in Texas cut bigger pieces and eat all the piece which is why I use a bigger serving chart for party cakes. 

 

To howsweet, as I said I have never heard of Dallas Foam before but have just looked them up.  I'm not sure if it would be cheaper to pick it up or not since Dallas is about 45 minuets or more from me (especially since gas is about $3.60 a gallon)  plus the time it would take to get there and back compared to $6.50 that they charge for shipping may not even be worth me picking it up.  Their prices are great and I am so happy you told me about them as I will be using them from now on whenever I do need dummies (which again is not very often).  On my prices, I am not sure where you are located but where I am I am only slightly cheaper then most bakeries around me, which are mainly home bakeries as there is only a very few storefront bakeries (besides grocery stores).  Also, my prices are basic prices which it does say on my site, but I am steadily increasing my prices.  And btw, this isn't a problem.  I was just wondering how everyone else prices their dummy cakes.  Also, I do get customers from both cities but I am MUCH closer to Fort Worth the Dallas so not so many customers coming from Dallas (especially since there are so many more bakeries there).

BatterUpCake Posted 5 Aug 2013 , 3:35pm

OK. then figure your material costs and your hourly wage for a dummy...simple enough

reginaherrin Posted 5 Aug 2013 , 4:02pm

Okay well thanks so much.  Again I was curious how others price it but I guess I'll just decide how I want to charge and not worry about how others charge.  I would rather do that size in a dummy then in cake just because it should be easier to work with then a cake.  But I do have big ovens and refrigerators if I do have bake a cake that size.

leah_s Posted 5 Aug 2013 , 4:17pm

A lot of use charge 80% of what real cake would cost.  That's why you need to know the serving count, because cakes are nearly always priced by the serving.

reginaherrin Posted 5 Aug 2013 , 4:24pm

Thank you leah I appreciate the input, that was what I was wondering and I will be charging this way.

leah_s Posted 5 Aug 2013 , 4:39pm

Ps.  Dallas Foam is super!

DeliciousDesserts Posted 5 Aug 2013 , 4:45pm

ALove Dallas Foam. Shipping can be expensive especially for the large sizes because on the box. I paid about $150 for set of round & a set of square 6, 8, 10, 12, & 14.

I chafe base price of $4.50 per serving. I charge $4 for dummies.

howsweet Posted 5 Aug 2013 , 10:26pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by reginaherrin 

First, I did not bring up the serving amount, another poster did, that wasn't my question. Second, you are right that the serving charts have been discussed a lot but you are wrong is saying most every one uses one chart.  I too have read these threads and it is a mixed topic.  I use party serving for anything other the wedding cakes and wedding charts for wedding cakes.  My question has nothing to do with which serving charts I use.  I live in Texas where everything has to be bigger and most if not all people in Texas cut bigger pieces and eat all the piece which is why I use a bigger serving chart for party cakes. 

 

To howsweet, as I said I have never heard of Dallas Foam before but have just looked them up.  I'm not sure if it would be cheaper to pick it up or not since Dallas is about 45 minuets or more from me (especially since gas is about $3.60 a gallon)  plus the time it would take to get there and back compared to $6.50 that they charge for shipping may not even be worth me picking it up.  Their prices are great and I am so happy you told me about them as I will be using them from now on whenever I do need dummies (which again is not very often).  On my prices, I am not sure where you are located but where I am I am only slightly cheaper then most bakeries around me, which are mainly home bakeries as there is only a very few storefront bakeries (besides grocery stores).  Also, my prices are basic prices which it does say on my site, but I am steadily increasing my prices.  And btw, this isn't a problem.  I was just wondering how everyone else prices their dummy cakes.  Also, I do get customers from both cities but I am MUCH closer to Fort Worth the Dallas so not so many customers coming from Dallas (especially since there are so many more bakeries there).


I'm in Texas, too and I know very well that cakes go for plenty in Dallas/FortWorth, but you're hooked into customer base that knows where to get cheap cake. I serve my entire metropolitan area and regularly deliver my cakes 45 min-1 hour away.  It's worth it when I'm selling, say,  a 3 tier cake for $400-600.  You do beautiful work and are selling yourself short.  Don't compare yourself to other home bakers as they are obviously undercharging, too. You owe it to yourself to work for an amount that's fair to your precious time and talent. If you aren't extremely angry at me for my posts, please pm me if you would be open to a couple of suggestions to improve you customer base. They probably aren't anything you haven't thought of, but I'd be happy to share what worked for me.

reginaherrin Posted 5 Aug 2013 , 11:45pm

Howsweet, I am totally not upset or mad at any of your posts, so if you have some suggestions for me definitely pm me.  I really don't compare myself to other bakers in my area, there are some the do charge much more then me and some that charge much less then me.  I also want to let you know that I rarely sell a cake for my base price.  Those are just starting prices and most people want a lot of extras on their cake so the final prices on the cakes end up a lot more then the base price.  I also am able to get cake out pretty quickly and only work about maybe 20 hours a week (a few hours on Wednesdays to bake, a few hours on Thursday to fill and crumb coat cakes, 8 hours on Friday to cover in fondant and decorate and 3 hours on Saturday to finish up anything I still need to do).

BatterUpCake Posted 5 Aug 2013 , 11:58pm

But you also need to count in your shopping, planning and cleaning time as well as pricing in boxes, foil, wax paper, electricity, water....

reginaherrin Posted 6 Aug 2013 , 12:16am

Batterupcakes, yes I do all that.

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