Marketing

Lounge By Jadedragon88 Updated 6 Sep 2013 , 8:25pm by Jadedragon88

Jadedragon88 Posted 3 Sep 2013 , 4:39pm
post #1 of 21

(So this is a partial rant) I recently tried to market myself on a social media site. I just wanted to get work for some things to put in my portfolio. Pricing for basic cake balls were $20 for a dozen and $15 for a dozen basic cupcakes (swirl frosting, sprinkles, marble effect, etc all included in the pricing). After just the ingredients and packaging supplies alone I am making just about a $5 profit (if even that).
 

Intro other baker: She comments on my post saying she can make them for cheaper, then continues to post up pictures taken off of google as "samples" of work she can do. States that she will do $10 for 2 dozen cake pops, and $15 for 2 dozen cupcakes. No one cares that she hasn't posted any of her own work up, all they care to see is the price.

 

I'm honestly trying not to get too upset about the whole situation, but the pictures she's posting up are these elaborate cake balls and cupcakes that I know would take at least 5 hours to finish decorating a dozen! Cake balls with fondant flowers or 3D characters at $10/$15 for 2 dozen??? She's out of her mind!

 

So what do you do when there are people who undercharge like this? Do you just do your business by word of mouth through friends? Should I call her out? (or would it even matter?) I understand wanting the cheapest price, but I'm not going to do all that work for nothing!

20 replies
jason_kraft Posted 3 Sep 2013 , 5:14pm
post #2 of 21

AI would just block her from your business's FB page. If you want to pursue the matter you can try to find out more information about her business, and if she's not operating legally (licensed and inspected depending on your local laws) you can contact the health dept to have her shut down.

Your pricing does seem to be on the low side, don't forget that you need to account for the cost of your labor. Let's say a dozen cake balls takes you an hour to complete from start to finish, and you pay yourself a wage of $12/hour. If your ingredients and allocated overhead (utilities, license fees, insurance, etc.) are $15, your cost would be $15 + $12 = $27. If you have a 25% markup for profit, your final price would be $34/dozen.

kikiandkyle Posted 3 Sep 2013 , 5:46pm
post #3 of 21

AIf you need to do work for your portfolio do it for free, if you teach your customers that your product is worth so little they'll expect it to always be so cheap. You can make two dozen cupcakes and cover so many different flavor and decor options, you only need to have two or three, even one to take a photo, and you can scrape the buttercream off and reuse the cake to do even more. Same goes for cake pops, you only need one in each variety although it's harder to reuse them obviously!

CakeGeekUk Posted 3 Sep 2013 , 6:15pm
post #4 of 21

Hi Jade, I agree with Kiki & Kyle about not pricing your product too low.  It can be very hard to get your prices back up to a decent level and customers will be unhappy when they can't always get your cakes for the low prices you used to make them for. 

 

It doesn't take much work to get a portfolio together - just a selection of different samples and let your customers know that you can make the product in different custom colours, designs, etc. 

 

Give your portfolio cakes away as gifts, but then start charging the market rate once you're up and running.

 

Undercharging will backfire and it can become very disheartening after a while working for very little and getting grief off customers when you try to bring your rates back up to normal.  Good luck Jade!

 

PS one piece of advice for putting a portfolio together - make sure your pic are really well shot in good light (natural daylight is always best) with pretty backgrounds.  Makes a huge difference!

CakeRae80 Posted 3 Sep 2013 , 7:40pm
post #5 of 21

When I want to do a certain type of cake/cupcake that I haven't done I do it for free for something that I'm going to.  None of my friends/family ever ask for free cake, but if I have the time and have to bring something, I'll do it the way I wanted to and then I have it for my portfolio. 

Jadedragon88 Posted 3 Sep 2013 , 7:44pm
post #6 of 21

Jason- I didn't even think to look into baking laws. I didn't know there were any restrictions for selling baked goods. Thanks for bringing that up since I'll have to look into that myself then! The pricing I set was just so I could bake things for my portfolio.

 

I think everyone all made a good point about not pricing too low in the first place though, since I do not want to have any issues when I do want to charge a higher price. I tried pricing $5 higher earlier, but felt that no one would buy them with so much competition out there and I did not have much to show yet. 
 

Jadedragon88 Posted 3 Sep 2013 , 7:47pm
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeGeekUk 

Hi Jade, I agree with Kiki & Kyle about not pricing your product too low.  It can be very hard to get your prices back up to a decent level and customers will be unhappy when they can't always get your cakes for the low prices you used to make them for. 

 

It doesn't take much work to get a portfolio together - just a selection of different samples and let your customers know that you can make the product in different custom colours, designs, etc. 

 

Give your portfolio cakes away as gifts, but then start charging the market rate once you're up and running.

 

Undercharging will backfire and it can become very disheartening after a while working for very little and getting grief off customers when you try to bring your rates back up to normal.  Good luck Jade!

 

PS one piece of advice for putting a portfolio together - make sure your pic are really well shot in good light (natural daylight is always best) with pretty backgrounds.  Makes a huge difference!

Giving them as gifts would be an awesome idea! I don't know why I didn't think of that! And yes, I need to make sure to set up an area with better lighting to take photos for my portfolio. :) Thank you for the advice!

BatterUpCake Posted 3 Sep 2013 , 7:54pm
post #8 of 21

$10 for 2 dozen cake pops???? Can I get her number?lol

Godot Posted 3 Sep 2013 , 8:04pm
post #9 of 21

AMe too. I'll quadruple the price and make a killing.

BatterUpCake Posted 3 Sep 2013 , 8:07pm
post #10 of 21

depending on the quality! I am taking a cake pop class Thursday. They are way too much work to charge so little. Maybe when I learn some tricks of the trade they won't be so bad. As too the original question, just ban her!

CakeRae80 Posted 3 Sep 2013 , 8:15pm
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake 

depending on the quality! I am taking a cake pop class Thursday. They are way too much work to charge so little. Maybe when I learn some tricks of the trade they won't be so bad. As too the original question, just ban her!

That right there in red is a great point! I tried to do some w/my kids last month and I swore to never do them again...and we did them just for fun to see what it was like.  I still have nightmares!

Jadedragon88 Posted 3 Sep 2013 , 8:33pm
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeRae80 

That right there in red is a great point! I tried to do some w/my kids last month and I swore to never do them again...and we did them just for fun to see what it was like.  I still have nightmares!


LOL My fiance said my first attempt at cake pops made our kitchen look like a chocolate bomb exploded in it. They are A LOT of work, but you would only know that if you made them. From the outside looking in, they look so simple. lol

jason_kraft Posted 3 Sep 2013 , 8:35pm
post #13 of 21

AWouldn't it be a shame if someone placed an order for several dozen cake pops using a fake name and an untraceable phone number, then neglected to pick them up and pay for them?

shanter Posted 3 Sep 2013 , 8:41pm
post #14 of 21

Talk about a nightmare!!!

icon_eek.gifouch.giftapedshut.gif

BatterUpCake Posted 3 Sep 2013 , 8:41pm
post #15 of 21

JASON!!! Even though this woman has no business ethics I wouldn't wish that on anyone....but she would only be out about $40 and 40 hours of work...lol

BrandisBaked Posted 3 Sep 2013 , 10:23pm
post #16 of 21

A

Original message sent by jason_kraft

Wouldn't it be a shame if someone placed an order for several dozen cake pops using a fake name and an untraceable phone number, then neglected to pick them up and pay for them?

Not cool.

AZCouture Posted 3 Sep 2013 , 10:39pm
post #17 of 21

Quote:

Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

Wouldn't it be a shame if someone placed an order for several dozen cake pops using a fake name and an untraceable phone number, then neglected to pick them up and pay for them?

But it could happen, and didn't anybody else used to prank the pizza places back in the days before caller id??

jason_kraft Posted 3 Sep 2013 , 10:44pm
post #18 of 21

A

Original message sent by BatterUpCake

JASON!!! Even though this woman has no business ethics I wouldn't wish that on anyone....

Agreed, which is why my question was a hypothetical. I have no doubt it would be an abject lesson on pricing and business practices though, even if the customer did pick up the cake pops and paid the asking price.

jason_kraft Posted 3 Sep 2013 , 10:52pm
post #19 of 21

A

Original message sent by Godot

Me too. I'll quadruple the price and make a killing.

If the cake pops can freeze well and are consistently high quality items this might actually be a feasible strategy (assuming compliance with food safety laws). Place an order for 10 dozen cake pops (negotiating the price down to $5/dozen since you obviously deserve a discount for buying in bulk), do a quality test, freeze them, then resell and thaw as needed for $36/dozen.

This is called arbitrage...it happens all the time in the world of finance but I don't believe anyone has tried cake arbitrage yet.

kikiandkyle Posted 3 Sep 2013 , 10:59pm
post #20 of 21

There was that member who suspected her hairdresser was selling on her cakes a few weeks back.

Jadedragon88 Posted 6 Sep 2013 , 8:25pm
post #21 of 21

Quote:

Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

Wouldn't it be a shame if someone placed an order for several dozen cake pops using a fake name and an untraceable phone number, then neglected to pick them up and pay for them?

OMG, that would be terrible! LOL But apparently this lady can pull out elaborate cakes out of no where since she's charging nothing for them, so maybe it wouldn't even be a loss to her. lol

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%