Trying To Decide What To Do.

Decorating By ReneeFLL Updated 22 Nov 2013 , 2:38pm by ReneeFLL

ReneeFLL Posted 18 Nov 2013 , 5:40am
post #1 of 16

ASorry for the long post, but I know I will get lots of advice to help me decide what to do.

Normally I don't have trouble wording emails to customers, but this situation is different. A little background. Sometimes I will bring a very nice custom cake to events that I attend. This is my choice and I decide what flavors and design that I want to do. I made one for a company where a group of us got together and were given a tour and free tastings. The design was of an item they sell made to look just like it. This was about 2 years ago.

Now a group of us is going to another company which basically sells the same kind of thing. I had mentioned to the person organizing this (getting a bus since it is 2 hours away and letting us know how much it will cost each of us) that I had made a cake for so and so company and described it. I mentioned that I might also do one for this company. Later I had mostly decided not to do it due to the time and expense involved. I then get an email from her asking if I am going to make a cake. I respond "I am not really sure". I then get another email saying it would be great for me to make one to surprise the company. Also asking how can she help.

She is a good friend and the group going are friends. There will be about 20 of us and the company is a small business. For a cake like this I would sell it for $200.00 - $250.00 depending on the design. At this time I am not really interested in doing a free cake. That is why I had decided against it. If half (I would say about 100.00) of the expense was covered then I would do it. I asked hubby what he thought and he said I should either do it for free or just don't do it. When he suggested to do it for free I then asked him if he would fly for free. He then understood why I was not interested in giving a free cake. I don't want to out right tell her no since she asked if she could help. Below is how I was thinking of responding.

Hi XXXX, I was originally thinking of doing a cake, but for the most part had decided not to due to the time and expense involved. If the group would be interested in covering half of the cost involved then that would help. A cake like this would cost around $200.00.

I was thinking if she was really interested she could ask the others if they would like to help out or she could chose to pay by herself. Since she asked if she could help I was thinking this would give her some options or just not have me make it.

What do ya'll think?

15 replies
jason_kraft Posted 18 Nov 2013 , 5:45am
post #2 of 16

ADoes this person know that the cake you made two years ago was done for free?

cakefat Posted 18 Nov 2013 , 5:47am
post #3 of 16

I agree with your husband only for the fact that you first mentioned/brought up the topic of the cake that you made and  you mentioned that you might do one again for wherever you're going to now.

 

If you hadn't already done this and they asked you..then I'd charge but IMO to bring up the topic of the cake that you did and mention that you may bring one again...and then ask for money for the cake is tacky.

 

If you don't want to make the cake for free now, don't and just say you don't have time and leave it like that. 

howsweet Posted 18 Nov 2013 , 6:45am
post #4 of 16

AI agree, if you don't want to do it, just explain that you won't have time. That's much better than having them be all like, "she wants $100?". You might consider mentioning that it takes about 8 hours (or however long)

JWinslow Posted 18 Nov 2013 , 7:03am
post #5 of 16

I would just be up front with this like your email note. 

What you did two years ago has nothing to do with the time and expense of today.  If you don't want to do it for nothing then you shouldn't.  This is a custom cake after all.   Just my opinion.

johnson6ofus Posted 18 Nov 2013 , 7:19am
post #6 of 16

I would just say, "I cannot afford the time or expense of that right now..."

 

If she questions that further say, "It is 12 hours of labor and $100 in materials...." Then wait and see what she offers.

 

I agree with a PP, don't ASK for the money, but see if they offer. If there is no offer, no cake... go back to "I cannot afford the time or expense of that right now..."

Kimdarella Posted 18 Nov 2013 , 7:45am
post #7 of 16

I agree with those who have suggested not to mention the $100, it could sound like you are trying to get the money out of her.

 

It's not what you meant I know, but it could be interpreted that way :)

 

If pressed I would cite other commitments and then the expense (That it is a $200-250 retail cake) as being the reasons.

ReneeFLL Posted 18 Nov 2013 , 4:48pm
post #8 of 16

A

Original message sent by johnson6ofus

I would just say, "I cannot afford the time or expense of that right now..."

If she questions that further say, "It is 12 hours of labor and $100 in materials...." Then wait and see what she offers.

I agree with a PP, don't ASK for the money, but see if they offer. If there is no offer, no cake... go back to "I cannot afford the time or expense of that right now..."

I like this the best, but I am thinking that saying that I can't afford the time and expense right now would sound like I can't do it at all. What about also adding the part about the time and money involved in the same email. This would leave it open that I can still do it, but also lets her know what would be involved.

Or I could say that it is 12 hrs of work and 100.00 in expenses. If she could get the expenses covered then I would be willing to do the work. I know asking for money sounds tacky, but she did ask how she can help and lets her know what is involved.

johnson6ofus Posted 18 Nov 2013 , 5:02pm
post #9 of 16

Yes, some modification is in order. Maybe just changing to "time AND expense" would help? Indicating you would donate the time, just not cover the expenses? 

 

Remember, most people "just don't get" what goes into a "cool" cake. She won't know if you don't tell her. 

 

Best of luck!

howsweet Posted 18 Nov 2013 , 6:53pm
post #10 of 16

So you actually do want to do it, but just not for free?

MimiFix Posted 18 Nov 2013 , 10:43pm
post #11 of 16

Quote:

Originally Posted by cakefat 
 

... to bring up the topic of the cake and mention that you may bring one again...and then ask for money for the cake is tacky.

 

I'm sure you mean well, but it does sound as if you're trying to sell a discounted cake. It just seems really weird, and continuing to talk about this makes it seem even more weird.  

-K8memphis Posted 18 Nov 2013 , 11:48pm
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReneeFLL 

... Later I had mostly decided not to do it due to the time and expense involved. I then get an email from her asking if I am going to make a cake. I respond "I am not really sure". I then get another email saying it would be great for me to make one to surprise the company. Also asking how can she help...

 

 

i have had people offer to help defray the cost of me doing a cake for a charity event--but they offered--it is a little tricky to ask but you could start the ball rolling by asking her what does she mean by offering to help you? she seems to be opening the door there i mean she surely she doesn't mean she'll wash the dishes for you-- so i would ask her what she means by that--but people think it's just flour sugar and eggs so it could be quite a shock to learn it's $100--

 

so you need to weigh  this all out and decide how important this is to you and to her to proceed --

 

in fact that is one way to approach it -

 

-just say something about the average person doesn't usually realize that a cake like this costs over $200--at this time it's not possible for me to invest that much but that you can contribute the labor--so it's not a good time for you to do the cake--

 

see that let's her off the hook --then if she wants to she can come up with an idea a counter offer--but no pressure in the  meantime

 

she's kinda got the door open so i'd see what she means by that if you really want to do it i think but i'd try & ask it in a real round about way

ReneeFLL Posted 18 Nov 2013 , 11:59pm
post #13 of 16

A

Original message sent by howsweet

So you actually do want to do it, but just not for free?

The cake would be fun to make, but it really doesn't make a difference to me. No I don't want to make it for free.

Original message sent by MimiFix

I'm sure you mean well, but it does sound as if you're trying to sell a discounted cake. It just seems really weird, and continuing to talk about this makes it seem even more weird.  

I don't need to sell a discounted cake. The cake would need to be done for this Saturday and I already have a ton of stuff to do. I would only do it for her and this situation. Not really sure why you think it is weird that I talked about it.

Maybe some more details might explain it a little better. Two years ago a group of us got together and went to a business. We were given a tour and free tastings. Now a friend has organized a trip to another business. She picked the business and set it up for a group of us to go. She puts on an event every year which involves about 50 of these businesses and I think this year was the first time that this business attended her event. About 10 or so of us help her with this event which is a lot of fun. In the past 5 years we have seen it grow from being small to a big success. When she asked if I would be interested in the tour she also mentioned about the first group that went 2 years ago. I don't really remember who brought up the cake I made for the first tasting. It very well could have been me since she and a lot of my friends are always asking about my cakes and wanting to see pictures.

Also, I would never get any orders from this business since they are 2 hours away. The only thing I would get out of it would be some pictures, but I can always do dummy cakes if I want to. They're a lot less trouble. When she emailed she said she had just talked to one of the owners and how nice she is and what a great surprise it would be. Also asking me if she could help. I don't think she meant to help bake or decorate. She lives about 30 miles away and has no decorating skills. She also has a very busy schedule. I think showing up with a custom cake would be more of a benefit to her and her event than it ever would be for me. This is why I would do the cake for a discount, but not for free. Again I am not trying to sell a discounted cake. I don't need to.

-K8memphis Posted 19 Nov 2013 , 12:04am
post #14 of 16

yeah makes more sense now--sure i'd ask what she means by offering her help

 

it might be well worth it to her to contribute financially but then again i'd be careful to lessen any possible sticker shock

MBalaska Posted 20 Nov 2013 , 11:52pm
post #15 of 16

trying to decide what to do...........and you run a profitable cake business.........Mimi is correct...... odd.

and tell your friend she can come over and wash dishes some day if she doesn't want to throw down any cash$$$$$.

ReneeFLL Posted 22 Nov 2013 , 2:38pm
post #16 of 16

A

Original message sent by MBalaska

trying to decide what to do...........and you run a profitable cake business.........Mimi is correct...... odd. [SIZE=11px][COLOR=4B0082]and tell your friend she can come over and wash dishes some day if she doesn't want to throw down any cash$$$$$.[/COLOR][/SIZE]

It's different due to the circumstances, and everything is taken care of.

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