I know there have been posts before on this issue. I was just wondering what everyone does as far as family was concerned. Do you make them pay full price, give a discount or don't charge at all?
My SIL wanted me to do a topsy turvy cake for my oldest niece and asked me for the price. She said she only wanted 2 layers (I think it looks good w/at least 3) so I gave her quotes on a 10 & 8" and then a 8 & 6". (She didn't tell me how many people it needed to feed.) I told her if she did the 10 & 8" I'd put a 6" 3rd tier on top for free. But I figured out my prices lower than normal and then took an extra 10% off. Of course she doesn't know any of this, because I feel I don't need to explain that I'm discounting heavily for family.
After not hearing from her I emailed her and she said that she had to watch her budget and she ordered a sheet cake from a grocery store. That was fine that she did that, I understand cakes are pricey. My prices are as is, and my time is valuable so I feel I don't owe anyone an explanation. But it made me wonder, should I do my nieces cake at no charge or half priced since they are my only two nieces?
We have many common friends who I've done cakes for for free for their birthday. But that was my gift to them, I got them nothing else. They have also never asked me to do the cakes, I've done them as a surprise to them. I also only do this when we celebrate as a group. I am never invited to celebrate my nieces birthdays b/c it's usually for friends of theirs which is again is fine, but if I'm not going then I feel I shouldn't have to offer my cake up for free.
The only disappointing part is, she did want me to do her a cake. This is a surprise party, so she doesn't know she's even having it. I just hope she doesn't think something horrible when I didn't do her cake.
For me it just depends on the family member. My husband has a very large family so to giveaway all party cakes to them would be ridiculous. If I'm invited to the party, I'll typically give the cake as a gift if its a reasonable cake for a normal amount of people. If it's for a lot of people or has super detailed fondant or something like that, I'll give it to them for just my cost. If it's a party I'm not invited to, like a kids party, then I'll usually charge them and give them a small discount.
People don't realize how much cakes cost when they're actually quality cakes. They're so used to seeing how prices from big box stores like walmart, sams club, and local grocery stores. Because of this, when I'm giving the cake as a gift or giving a discount I always make sure that I put a bill written up with what the actual cost of the cake would have been. This way they see how much of a gift it actually is. Its also helpful when one of their party guests asks how much a cake is from me, they're not telling them the price that I would charge a family member.
AI think it would have been a good idea to let her know exactly what the discount was because most people think these cakes are a lot less than they are and you don't want her to incorrectly assume that was the normal price.
For family I do them at cost and they are all very appreciative since they know that these cakes are expensive.
At the end of the day you gotta do what you feel is right for you, but when you give a discount you should definitely tell them about it.
I never charge close family members; and I always reserve the right to decline/change/simplify a request... I suggest you speak with your SIL. She probably has no idea about the cost of cakes in terms of both ingredients and time. For family harmony, please share with her what you posted.
Thanks for the suggestions, I guess I felt if anyone knew I gave a discount, they would expect it all the time. I suppose that is the reason that I never told her that it was greatly discounted. I liked the idea of printing up a receipt so that they can see how much it really is.
She used to order cakes from a very expensive bakery that is about a half hour from where I live for the girls' birthdays. So she does understand the price of good cake.
When I emailed her to find out, I told her I just needed to know for booking purposes and that she wouldn't hurt my feelings. She didn't hurt my feeling (I honestly didn't want to do a topsy turvy cake but was going to b/c it was my niece) I just started thinking about it after the fact and wondered what others did.
AMy sister, brother, and mom get cakes free but I have complete control over design. There's another group that I just don't do cakes for because I don't like the drama. Speak with her and if things don't go like you want.you can become "booked" lol
I never discount, either I'm giving the product or charging for the product. Otherwise, it can be frustrating and one can end up feeling taken advantage of, and truly, no one knows how to take advantage better than family, No?
Family and very close friends are free unless they are placing a large order, like for a work event, to give out as Christmas gifts and so on.
If I offer, because I really want to make the cake, for some reason, it's also on me.