I recently met with a bride that wanted a cake with real ribbon and real flowers on it. I told her the cost would be $3.75 per serving. My base price starts at $3. She emailed me back the next day all upset that the cake wasn't $3 per serving. She wanted to know what that 'extra' money was for since she was purchasing the flowers and ribbon. I told her it was labor for having to prepare the ribbon to go on the cake, put the ribbon on, contact the florist, put the flowers on, etc. I never heard back so I guess she didn't agree with me.
So 3 days later, another consult, another cake that they just want the frosting to look 'a bit messy' (a swirly pattern through the buttercream) with a bead border and fresh flowers. I tell her $3.75. She says she only has budgeted $300 for her cake for 120! I think she thought the price was just going to be $3 per serving also.
I do state that my prices start at $3 per serving and will go up depending on design. I guess they feel that with fresh flowers there is no design? What do you tell people in these instances? I'm considering raising by base prices or getting a better idea of budget/design before wasting my time in the consult. Wondering if others have encountered this and how they handle it.
AWhat does $3 get me if I'm ordering a cake from you? I think the base price could possibly be perceived as deceiving if you can't actually get that price.
Eta: my base price would cover both those designs at no additional charge.
AI would agree that you need to raise your base price. Set it at an amount that will cover an average amount of decoration. If it happens that someone wants a design that you can do for less you can pass that on and probably make them quite happy.
Why not clearly state what your base price includes?
If you have a base price but don't include anything other than cake and icing...you don't have much. No one wants JUST that. You either need to include something like a ribbon and bead border and simply decorated board at your current base price or increase and include it. I wouldn't want to feel like I was getting nickel and dimed for every. single. tidbit of work. Especially if she was buying the ribbon and flowers...$90 ($.75 x 120) seems like a lot for work that would take less than an hour to do.
Some of that has to be included as to what you are willing to offer at that base price.
I do state that my base price is for a simple design (excluding fresh flowers), simply decorated board, ribbon border. Delivery and setup are separate. I charge $20/hr for setup. I charge every bride this $20 fee and it includes putting on the fresh flowers on that have been left at the venue from the florist. If I have to do a lot of stacking and bordering and additional decorations, the set up fee is additional.
Sorry if this is a wacky post....kids keep interrupting and my mind is frazzled!
I had my base price covering the basic stuff (hourly wage, cost of cake, utlities, shopping, clean up time, etc.) but I like your suggestions and I think I'll add a border/simple decoration and increase the base price so I won't run into the issue above again.
Also, how does everyone handle real ribbon? Is this a charge you incur for the bride or do you have the bride purchase?
Also, I don't see many websites where people are defining their 'base price'. Just stating the base price starts at $xx and price will go up depending on design which is what I was doing also.
i agree with you that it sounds like the time is right for a price increase--
fwiw--it's understood that the base price includes a certain amount of decor--like borders and the swirly finish on the icing--and usually more than that for most decorators--
so it's the same for me as the others upthread have stated--unless i had to purchase something additional those cakes would be priced at my base price (plus delivery & tax) for me setting up a cake also is lumped into base price/delivery--i might even toss in some ribbon--might not--depends on what mood i'm in--not flowers though--unless they are simple enough--
we always tried to be careful to not nickel and dime our clients--you might want to determine how much decoration time to allow per cake before you upcharge--1, 2, 3 hours of decoration, whatever--but just give it some thought and consider raising your prices to where you and your potential brides are more comfy--
best to you