Attended First Bridal Show

Business By BatterUpCake Updated 28 Aug 2013 , 2:08pm by BatterUpCake

DeliciousDesserts Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 4:44pm
post #61 of 97

A

Original message sent by DeliciousDesserts

Even if you explain away or dismiss my very valid points, the final point remains: this is Not the bulk of her sales. This is not her target audience.

It will work for some. Certainly don't turn those away, but focus on the mass.

jason_kraft Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 5:14pm
post #62 of 97

A

Original message sent by DeliciousDesserts

Of the 40 something bakeries I know, only one has a stand rental more than $30. That one stand has only been rented twice.

If no one else carries more expensive stands, it's difficult to say whether or not the more expensive stands would be rented, since we don't know how many times different types of stands were requested.

My point was that it doesn't make financial sense for a single decorator to buy an expensive stand to rent out if only 1% of the decorator's clientele will spring for it, which is probably why most decorators don't. Especially when you consider different stand sizes. It's a different story if every decorator in the area can offer that more expensive option in a variety of sizes to those 1% of customers with no upfront expense and no carrying costs.

Annabakescakes Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 5:29pm
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dead horse

jason_kraft Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 5:37pm
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AWell I think this is a very interesting discussion. :)

BatterUpCake Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 5:39pm
post #65 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 

dead horse

LMAO!!!!

DeliciousDesserts Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 5:40pm
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AJason, I may not have been specific enough .

All of us own stands ranging $40-$200. Some of us have Sarah stands. There are 3 other bakers that have the same diamond band stand. All of us, except the one, charge $30 to rent.

This isn't an issue if offering more expensive stands. Sometimes, the market rate reaches maximum. In this case, $30. Sure, if we all collectively raised the fee.... Oh never mind.

Speaking from lots of experience & counsel with rental companies, this would not be a good idea in my area. I'm sure there are some areas with a market for this.

Still, focus should be on different target. ...unless of course she comes up with the most incredible must have expensive stand.

jason_kraft Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 5:43pm
post #67 of 97

A

Original message sent by DeliciousDesserts

All of us own stands ranging $40-$200. Some of us have Sarah stands. There are 3 other bakers that have the same diamond band stand. All of us, except the one, charge $30 to rent.

So regardless of the size or quality of the stand, you charge the customer $30 to rent it?

DeliciousDesserts Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 5:48pm
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AIn most cases, yes. The exception are my dinky pedestal stands. I charge $15 for those. Occasionally, I waive the fee.

My $90 gold wood, my $130 silver round, & my $50 silver square are all $30.

SugaredSaffron Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 5:51pm
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I'm in the UK but I rent stands to brides and also rent stands from other business' and then rent them to my brides if that makes sense. For me, I'd prefer to rent then keep a whole lot of different size stands especially as I work from home. I would love the wooden cake stands here but alas, no one is doing them. As far as I know at least.
 

jason_kraft Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 5:54pm
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AOK, I can see now why this wouldn't work in your area. It does seem like an unusual price structure so I would assume other markets are more value-driven...for example, in the SF Bay area I had no trouble charging rental fees of $50 for a $150 stand, $30 for a $90 stand, and $10 for a $30 stand.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 5:59pm
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AIf my clients knew the difference I prices of stands that may work. It's hard enough describing the difference between a $3 per serving cake & a $5 per serving cake. I'm not about to try to explain the difference in cost of the silver & the white wood.

It's so much easier (on both of us) to pick a stand that compliments the cake. I'm not going to get into haggle over $20 when the cake looks better on one that costs a bit more. Flat fee! I do the same with flavors. Sure the lemon costs me more to make than white. Yellow is less than marble. It all evens out with the flavors & with the stands.

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 6:50pm
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AThe only people I can see renting in that fashion are hobby bakers, small businesses just starting up, or home bakers without much storage room. For people like me, the only way I would even consider it would be if the rental was $10 or less, included delivery and pick up and an ironclad garuntee that if that stand breaks, warps, wobbles, etc, and in any way damages a cake, the owner of the stand is responsible for any monetary repercussions. In other words, it wouldn't be worth your while. Rental pricing around here works about the same as dd was describing, my plateaus and stands go for $25 to $35, with the exception of a my cupcake stands, they go for$50 to $75. Most decorators are aware there is no need for a stand of every size, lol, that would just be silly. I have 43, just counted the other day, and even then I'm not close to having a square and round in every size from 8" to 22". What you have is your target market telling you, "bad idea."

Take that, dead horse!!!

BatterUpCake Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 6:53pm
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LOL...I am listending. And not disagreeing.

vgcea Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 8:17pm
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AAll this talk of vendors and renting is all cute but can we back up just a wee little bit and put the cart right back behind the horse?

BatterUp, I've got questions for you. I haven't really been paying much attention so you may have started this cake stand thing more 2-3 months ago but from my recollection you[I] just[/I] started making cake stands. No?

I took the liberty of checking out your site, and I see your prices are pretty comparable to Sarah's Stands (which has a solid reputation-- established through empirical data, meaning they've been tested by both the maker and the market and they work).

I also noticed that the max weights on your structures are significantly higher than Sarah's stands.' And I may be off with your dimensions but one of the stands had dimensions that would have me worried as a caker with a bit of understanding of physics. How did you come about your weight data? Has your product been market tested? I'm not talking about placing a 4-tier dummy cake on it. I'm talking true product testing-- 4-5 tier ganached and fondanted cake (or equivalent weight) sitting on the stand for 6 hours (average time a wedding cake sits on the stand) with repetitions of this set-up over a period of multiple uses similar to what a high production wedding cake designer might use over the useful life of the product to actually gauge the structural integrity of your product?

As a customer taking a gander on a new entrant to the market who wishes to charge premium prices, I need to see that you've done your homework and done it well.

To better help you understand, we cakers often suggest brides look at a decorator's past work to judge what the decorator can do. A new caker doesn't just come out of Wilton Course 4 and start charging like Ron Ben Israel. WE on CC often advise: test out your cakes on family and friends, do your homework and then when you know your product is solid, bring it to the market and charge proper prices. Have you had cakers test out your products? Picked a few lucky ones and given them a stand to test for you... at their own risk?

What I see you're doing is the equivalent of that Wilton Newbie who thinks because she graduated Wilton she's Sylvia Weinstock. Could this newbie actually be at the level of or better than the best out there? Probably but there's gotta be evidence her product is solid, hence the portfolio building and practice we so encourage. To show that she's got the goods and she's solid enough to roll with the best of them. Your stands are pretty but where's the [U]evidence[/U] that they work and are worth the $? Your product may very well be better than Sarah's but do you know that? Do I?

STRUCTURE: Yes, you may have experience with wood work but is it cake stand specific? It's okay to know you can build a cupboard but we both know the structural specifics of something with 4 legs spread over a wide base equal to the dimensions of the top of the structure is very different from a cake pedestal with a smaller base relative to the top with it's intended use relatively top heavy, and designed to manage a center of gravity different than that of a cupboard.

I noticed in one thread someone had mentioned a pedestal looked awkward because the pillar was too narrow and too tall and suggested you shorten it to make it look better, and your response was along the lines of okay. But nowhere did I see a discussion or even a suggestion of the more sound rationale of why you pedestal with a too narrow too tall column could be a potential structural cake wreck waiting to happen because anyone with a basic understanding of physics might think along the lines of: Shorter, wider column means lower center of gravity and a wider base => increased stability of the structure. Shortening it to make it cute is secondary. I want to believe you were thinking along these lines when you said okay. Were you? Because you should.

I want you to succeed, I'm a supporter of entrepreneurship in all its forms but when I see you building your sky scraper with no evidence (note EVIDENCE meaning it may exist but from my perspective as a prospective client, I can't see it) you've done your homework, had your product tested in real life conditions (and standing on your cake stand does not count), and created a solid foundation to build on, all I see is a fad or a potential one-hit wonder wanna be.

Come correct or go home.

P.S. Do you have liability insurance for your stands should it happen that for whatever reason it fails to perform and a client comes after you?

Annabakescakes Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 8:32pm
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Oh, Vgcea.... you are so right! We have been arguing semantics, but you have a very good point. I honestly don't trust a brand new cake stand like that... They scare me. 

BatterUpCake Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 8:56pm
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VGcea, Thank you for your comments. As a calibration technician I am very familiar with the laws of physics, weight, balance, and the center of gravity. The person that commented on the stand being tall did not say so because it was unstable because it is not. The width of the bottom base has much more to do with stability than height, although height is a factor too. My pedestal stands are not being built by myself, only the platform. They are being built by a man who has been wordworking and building furniture his whole life. I weight tested my stands by standing on them, stacking coffee and end tables on them uncentered. They are being tested in the market...by customers right now. Some very well known bakers who I have given incentives to try my stands. I understand if you do not wish to purchase my stands. They are not for everyone. But I do stand by the quality and offer 100% guarantee. I do have business insurance up to $2M that covers any of my products causing damages. So I am coming correct in my opinion. I m sorry if you disagree.

jason_kraft Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 9:05pm
post #77 of 97

A

Original message sent by BatterUpCake

I weight tested my stands by standing on them, stacking coffee and end tables on them uncentered.

Some pictures of this testing would go a long way toward establishing trust, similar to how an ad for an overhead garage storage shelf would feature people hanging from the shelf to demonstrate its capacity.

But I do stand by the quality and offer 100% guarantee.

You might need more than this...for this type of product the guarantee should cover the cost of the cake as well in case of structural failure of the stand (with standard disclaimers).

BatterUpCake Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 9:19pm
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As you know I am in the very beginning stages. I came on this site to do market research. I got a lot of good feedback and a lot of interest. If the company making them were selling them himself he would be charging more. He is giving me really good pricing so I can turn a profit. The stands that I myself make are much cheaper. The problem I have with getting pictures is that they are usually sold before I get them in hand and are shipped immediately. I have one on hand that I have not sold and I am willing to do such photos. But let's face it some people are not going to buy my product no matter what. And I am ok with that. Slow and steady is how I intend to build my reputation. When setting my price I took many things into account. The availability of such products on the market. The prices of similar items on Etsy and other companies. What it costs me. Labor...yes there is labor involved for me as well...even the ones that are not crafted by myself personally. I appreciate the fact that some people will be leery of a new product on the market. I am willing to take the time to earn their trust and respect. Additionally I do not compare my stands with others. Mine will stand or fail on their own merits.

vgcea Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 9:21pm
post #79 of 97

A

Original message sent by BatterUpCake

VGcea, Thank you for your comments. As a calibration technician I am very familiar with the laws of physics, weight, balance, and the center of gravity. The person that commented on the stand being tall did not say so because it was unstable because it is not. The width of the bottom base has much more to do with stability than height, although height is a factor too. My pedestal stands are not being built by myself, only the platform. They are being built by a man who has been wordworking and building furniture his whole life. I weight tested my stands by standing on them, stacking coffee and end tables on them uncentered. [B]They are being tested in the market...by customers right now.[/B] Some very well known bakers who I have given incentives to try my stands. I understand if you do not wish to purchase my stands. They are not for everyone. But I do stand by the quality and offer 100% guarantee. I do have business insurance up to $2M that covers any of my products causing damages. So I am coming correct in my opinion. I m sorry if you disagree.

No need to get defensive. As long as you are aware of these things and can properly communicate the pertinent information to your potential customers....

Unless I read your mind I wouldn't know your qualifications or that of the guy building the stands. All that came out after my post. These are things that should be topmost in your communications to potential clients : Who are you and why should I buy your stand? Since you have zero in terms of actual proof that your product works over the long term, it might serve you well to emphasize your technician knowledge and/or do as Jason said and provide other proof that your product is solid.

The only response I have to the bolded is this: *facepalm* (<= You may proceed to get mad about that. I'll understand).

Oh and as for comparing your products to others, no worries, the market will do that for you just fine.

BatterUpCake Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 9:38pm
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If I came across as defensive that was not my intent. I appreciate your concerns and welcome all feedback. I do mention that that they are being produced by a Master Craftsman. And no I did not get mad at your facepalm...As I stated I have offered incentives and a money back guarantee to those that I chose for testing.  I am appreciative to those that are giving me a chance. I realize that what I have on my page is sorely inadequate. I am shopping around for a professional web designer at the moment who has experience with items such as this. I sincerely do appreciate your input. You are stating what many are thinking I am sure and I would rather have honesty so I know up front what challenges I face. Thank you for taking the time to offer your feedback.

 

Edit: I really like the idea of using my technical background in advertising. I never thought of that. And that is why I am here.

vgcea Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 9:47pm
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AYou're welcome. I wish you the very best of luck and good fortune. I believe if you do this right, you can and will succeed (even if I'm giving you a hard time in the process). Hey, better the CC family vets you than the general public... and you know we don't play. :D

BatterUpCake Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 9:52pm
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Exactly....I want to see me succeed too! lol Thanks again. I would like to hold some kind of drawing or something to give one away...but I can't do it here. Any ideas about that and how I would get the word out to the correct audience? I suppose I could message bakers on FB and have them like my page for a chance to win...but that seems kind of tacky to me.

BatterUpCake Posted 28 Aug 2013 , 12:06am
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Here is the first feedback I got just today ""My son's cake was unbelievably heavy. I was so  glad to have my stand.  I was concerned about the height but it was solid  as a rock.  I moved stand with the cake on it from the dining room to  another to take pictures and back again.  The cake didn't move and the  stand did not wobble at all.  It is a weighty stand - I thank you!!!!!   I will be ordering more stands and not  just when I need them  - haha  My husband does wood work ....  He recognized the quality immediately."

Dayti Posted 28 Aug 2013 , 12:09am
post #84 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake 
I would like to hold some kind of drawing or something to give one away...but I can't do it here. Any ideas about that and how I would get the word out to the correct audience? I suppose I could message bakers on FB and have them like my page for a chance to win...but that seems kind of tacky to me.

Not tacky, but make sure you read the fine print on Facebook about doing giveaways on your FB page. I recall that obligating people to like your page for a chance to win is a big no-no. I know everyone does it, but don't get caught out. I don't think you can announce the winner on FB either, you would have to announce it on your website and link that page on your FB. It's a pain in the a** but they have lots of rules about it, not just the 2 I've mentioned.

BatterUpCake Posted 28 Aug 2013 , 12:10am
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Thanks....good info

Dayti Posted 28 Aug 2013 , 12:13am
post #86 of 97

Regarding the tall stand/small base thing, even if the cake is able to stand on the stand for the required time - hours, usually - I would be concerned if someone bumped into the the table. A stand with a lower centre of gravity would not wobble at all, whereas I think yours might. I know they are probably fairly heavy so they might not wobble if there is NO cake on it, but with a cake added which makes the whole set up even taller...I dunno. Do you think it would be ok? I wouldn't be able to order one since the shipping would be prohibitive to get it over here, but food for thought for you re. stability?

BatterUpCake Posted 28 Aug 2013 , 12:19am
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It's all food for thought. I did just post feedback from someone with a tall stand. But in doing my research here I have found that most people wanted the shorter stands anyway, so I changed the product.

vgcea Posted 28 Aug 2013 , 12:23am
post #88 of 97

A

Original message sent by BatterUpCake

Here is the first feedback I got just today ""My son's cake was unbelievably heavy. I was so  glad to have my stand.  I was concerned about the height but it was solid  as a rock.  I moved stand with the cake on it from the dining room to  another to take pictures and back again.  The cake didn't move and the  stand did not wobble at all.  It is a weighty stand - I thank you!!!!!   I will be ordering more stands and not  just when I need them  - haha  My husband does wood work ....  He recognized the quality immediately."

;-D You could make a feedback section for your stands so folks can read the testimonials.

BatterUpCake Posted 28 Aug 2013 , 12:25am
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I put it smack dab in the middle of my existing page!

cakefat Posted 28 Aug 2013 , 12:30am
post #90 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea 

I noticed in one thread someone had mentioned a pedestal looked awkward because the pillar was too narrow and too tall and suggested you shorten it to make it look better, and your response was along the lines of okay. But nowhere did I see a discussion or even a suggestion of the more sound rationale of why you pedestal with a too narrow too tall column could be a potential structural cake wreck waiting to happen because anyone with a basic understanding of physics might think along the lines of: Shorter, wider column means lower center of gravity and a wider base => increased stability of the structure. Shortening it to make it cute is secondary. I want to believe you were thinking along these lines when you said okay. Were you? Because you should.

 

 

I was wondering about that as well. Honestly it could be from cement but with that particular stand, it didn't look sturdy to me because of the pillar.

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