LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 3:00pm
post #1 of

I know this is a controversial topic on here, but I just think it's important to see the result of undercutting and how it really does affect your local cake market and the industry as a whole.

I got an FB message from someone yesterday asking about a graduation cake for her son. She wanted a shaped cake.

Our shaped cakes are expensive. I'm not even going to try to pretend they're not. They are a pain in the butt, and very time consuming, so they are priced accordingly. They start at about $7-$8 per serving. (That's really not that high compared to other areas, but it's on par with the other custom cake shops in our area) We also will not make a shaped cake smaller than about 40-50 servings. It's just not worth it to us to make a teeny cake in the shape of a dog just because the customer only needs 10 servings.

So, back to the message. We worked up the quote and sent it to her. The quote was $550. She thought I meant $50. When I reiterated $550, she says that she doesn't understand how a cake can be that much, and that all of the other quotes she had gotten had been between $50-$70. (FYI, our plain ol' regular round cakes start at $60, so there's that)

Ok, so since she has gotten all of these other quotes for $50, $70 at most, she now thinks we are just greedy and ridiculously priced. Which is fine for her to think that on one hand, it just means she is not our customer. But on the other hand, all of these other bakers have put this idea in her head (and many others) that a custom 3D shaped cake should not cost more than $70.

Need I say more??

109 replies
Godot Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 3:18pm
post #2 of

AOh hunny you are preaching to the choir!

TheNerdyBaker Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 3:24pm
post #3 of

AHallelujah!!!

IAmPamCakes Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 3:39pm
post #4 of

AI get attitude about my prices too. You can always get it cheaper somewhere else... It sucks.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 3:50pm
post #5 of

IAmPamCakes, it sure does! I don't even care that she can't afford it, that's fine! It's the attitude and rudeness I can't stand!

 

And just to make the point clear, (since this has been a point of contention when discussing this topic in the past) I am not slamming home bakers under cottage food law, 'cause guess what?

 

I am one! :D

 

But just because we work under cottage food law out of our home doesn't mean I am going to work for a pittance since "I'm not a big bakery and I don't have overhead." (which by the way, is a load of crap, if you'll pardon my french)

 

What we do as custom cakers is a specialty, and I'm not going to spend hours on something perfecting every detail and then charge $70 for it. Nope, not worth it.

Godot Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 3:51pm
post #6 of

AOf course one can get a cake cheaper somewhere elsr, but it'll end up on Cakewrecks.

tdovewings Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 4:00pm
post #7 of

Crazy, for that price they can't even get a dog shaped cake from a Wilton pan with the star tip. Bark off!

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 4:06pm
post #8 of

Quote:

Originally Posted by tdovewings 
 

Crazy, for that price they can't even get a dog shaped cake from a Wilton pan with the star tip. Bark off!

Hahaha, bark off, I like that! :lol:

 

I know, right?! What are these people smokin' who are going to charge $50 for a shaped cake???

cupadeecakes Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 4:58pm
post #9 of

Quote:

Originally Posted by Godot 

Of course one can get a cake cheaper somewhere elsr, but it'll end up on Cakewrecks.


This, exactly.  And I don't like being uncut mind you, but if she gets a $50 sculpted dog cake, do you think she'll go back to that baker for future orders?  Probably not.

AZCouture Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 5:34pm

AOh I'm sick to death of the attitude that there is plenty of work to go around. No, not really. Great post.

AZCouture Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 5:48pm

AWhat raises my hackles is the brand new customer who has never ordered a custom cake before and gets bad advice and recommendations for a decorator. Doesn't know to check past work, is excited about the low pricing, and expects a nice cake. They get a hack of a cake, didn't pay much for it, and decides it's not worth raising a fuss over.

But that is the last time they ever order a custom cake again. They could have been a great repeat customer for someone who was running a good business.

pinchofsweetener Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 5:59pm

I get attitude about it too. People just already inherently don’t seem to understand how much cake should cost. Couple that with other people severely undercutting prices and some potential customers think I'm crazy/greedy when I tell them my prices.

 

I had one girl post a picture of a baby shower sheet cake to my facebook page and ask if I could do a similar cake and how much it would cost. She kept insisting that she needed a “full sheet” based on the fact that she had purchased a “full sheet” cake from the grocery store last year and it served 50 people. I told her rather than going by terms of “full”, “half”etc, to just go by how many she needs to feed and we’ll go from there.

 

When I told her what size cake would work for her preferred serving amount and the price, she responded with “Seriously? Thanks but no thanks.” And then proceeded to comment on the picture she posted to MY facebook page and say, “Does anyone know someone who makes cakes for a decent price. I need a full sheet.” I could have screamed.

AZCouture Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 6:05pm

AI hope you deleted that and banned her!

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 6:07pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 

Oh I'm sick to death of the attitude that there is plenty of work to go around. No, not really. Great post.

Exactly! There's NOT enough to work to go around! Any market can only bear so much competition before it's oversaturated. And when the competition is oversaturating the market AND charging ridiculously low prices just to get business, it devalues the market as a whole.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 

What raises my hackles is the brand new customer who has never ordered a custom cake before and gets bad advice and recommendations for a decorator. Doesn't know to check past work, is excited about the low pricing, and expects a nice cake. They get a hack of a cake, didn't pay much for it, and decides it's not worth raising a fuss over.

But that is the last time they ever order a custom cake again. They could have been a great repeat customer for someone who was running a good business.

Yes to this too!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by pinchofsweetener 
 

I get attitude about it too. People just already inherently don’t seem to understand how much cake should cost. Couple that with other people severely undercutting prices and some potential customers think I'm crazy/greedy when I tell them my prices.

 

I had one girl post a picture of a baby shower sheet cake to my facebook page and ask if I could do a similar cake and how much it would cost. She kept insisting that she needed a “full sheet” based on the fact that she had purchased a “full sheet” cake from the grocery store last year and it served 50 people. I told her rather than going by terms of “full”, “half”etc, to just go by how many she needs to feed and we’ll go from there.

 

When I told her what size cake would work for her preferred serving amount and the price, she responded with “Seriously? Thanks but no thanks.” And then proceeded to comment on the picture she posted to MY facebook page and say, “Does anyone know someone who makes cakes for a decent price. I need a full sheet.” I could have screamed.

Ohhhhh no, I think I would have lost it! :x I hope you deleted that and blocked her!

pinchofsweetener Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 6:16pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 

I hope you deleted that and banned her!


That's exactly what I did. Try to find a cheap baker on someone else’s page? Not on my facebook crazy lady! Honestly when stuff like that happens I don’t feel a loss in the slightest. More like I just dodged a bullet. Good riddance!   

 

Still,  it just lends more credence to the fact that people don’t understand what custom cakes should cost. And that does irritate me.

AZCouture Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 6:27pm

AYeah, you probably wouldn't have won with her no matter what. I can usually tell by the cake they asking for, and if that's not enough, the language they use is bell ringing. Sad that I can profile like that, but it's just really predictable by now. "How much 4 dis but only 2 tires?" That usually goes nowhere.

pinchofsweetener Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 6:36pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 

Yeah, you probably wouldn't have won with her no matter what. I can usually tell by the cake they asking for, and if that's not enough, the language they use is bell ringing. Sad that I can profile like that, but it's just really predictable by now. "How much 4 dis but only 2 tires?" That usually goes nowhere.


Haha. Oh goodness. Yeah, the more I do this, the more I'm starting to figure out which initial interactions seem promising and which do not. 

BTW, I see you're in Yuma. Fellow Arizonan. Go Arizona :smile: 

morganchampagne Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 6:40pm

AIts really sucks...thankfully (or not) who charge really low around here aren't very good. So the difference is clear. I just notice this attitude like they HAVE TO HAVE ORDERS. And they'll quote whatever just to be booked. They all burn out. It's sad.

AZCouture Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 6:41pm

ASpideysense! Where in Arizona are ya? Won't be long now, our "lovely" summers will be here soon. Unless you're in a fabulous part of the state with nice cool summers

pinchofsweetener Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 6:45pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 

Spideysense! Where in Arizona are ya? Won't be long now, our "lovely" summers will be here soon. Unless you're in a fabulous part of the state with nice cool summers


LOL. Oh no, I'm in Tucson. By noon it's already baking here. We barely had a winter at all. I look forward to the 2 or 3 fluke days in the "Spring" where we get what my DH and I affectionately call "San Diego weather." Then it's face melting heat and scorching seat belt buckles! Haha

AZCouture Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 6:46pm

A

Original message sent by morganchampagne

Its really sucks...thankfully (or not) who charge really low around here aren't very good. So the difference is clear. I just notice this attitude like they HAVE TO HAVE ORDERS. And they'll quote whatever just to be booked. They all burn out. It's sad.

What I don't understand is the people who just jump in with skills barely above Wilton Class 1, or even worse in some circumstances. Why not hone your skills, get away from using tinfoil boards, and actually have something that stands out and sets your work apart from the other five people who just started a page this week? Why would anyone want to complete against that? And if that's all there is your area, that's all people want to buy, then even more reason to wait, OR just find another job if you're only it for the instant gratification of a sale. There's already those other five, why be the sixth?

AZCouture Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 6:49pm

AAh, much cooler where you are! I could handle living there for sure. Rather be up on Mt. Lemmon, but maybe in my retirement years. I have a few friends down there, I know one for sure is a member here, Lorie of Sugarsong Cakes.. She always has a nice venue in the backgrounds of her photos, and has beautiful work as well.

tdovewings Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 6:55pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 


What I don't understand is the people who just jump in with skills barely above Wilton Class 1, or even worse in some circumstances. Why not hone your skills, get away from using tinfoil boards, and actually have something that stands out and sets your work apart from the other five people who just started a page this week? Why would anyone want to complete against that? And if that's all there is your area, that's all people want to buy, then even more reason to wait, OR just find another job if you're only it for the instant gratification of a sale. There's already those other five, why be the sixth?

 

You got it! Made me think of a cupcake business one of my friends launched last week. In her pricing section she has....wait for it.

 

25 cupcakes/$20

50 cupcakes/$35

100 cupcakes/$70

 

My first thought was, you have no idea what you are doing! How do you package cupcakes in boxes of 25! She begs for FB likes every hour. Arrgghh!

pinchofsweetener Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 6:56pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 

Ah, much cooler where you are! I could handle living there for sure. Rather be up on Mt. Lemmon, but maybe in my retirement years. I have a few friends down there, I know one for sure is a member here, Lorie of Sugarsong Cakes.. She always has a nice venue in the backgrounds of her photos, and has beautiful work as well.


Yes, it's definitely cooler here than Yuma. Whenever we take summer road trips and stop for a quick rest in Yuma, I feel like I can barely breathe it's so darn hot. Haha. I give you major props for being a resident! But it still gets blazing hot here. We do love to go hiking and for picnics up on Mt. Lemon in the summer since it's cooler up there. And I never take our gorgeous mountain views for granted. Very beautiful for sure.

OP, sorry for the randomness on your post. LOL. Forgive us Arizona gals.

AZCouture Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 7:01pm

ATdove, that is just ridiculous. I mean wow! Has she even made, packaged, and transported one hundred before? Not a big deal for most, but she can't possibly think that will earn her any money at that price. Woooooow.

morganchampagne Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 7:30pm

A

Original message sent by AZCouture

What I don't understand is the people who just jump in with skills barely above Wilton Class 1, or even worse in some circumstances. Why not hone your skills, get away from using tinfoil boards, and actually have something that stands out and sets your work apart from the other five people who just started a page this week? Why would anyone want to complete against that? And if that's all there is your area, that's all people want to buy, then even more reason to wait, OR just find another job if you're only it for the instant gratification of a sale. There's already those other five, why be the sixth?

I dont know!!! But ill tell you the different responses Ive got when Ive suggested it:

"Youre young, you had the time to hone your skills, Im older, I have to go for it now!"

"I dont want to waste materials, i can only practice if I get orders"

"Well, youre making a career of this, so of course you have to do it differently..this is just a part time job for me!"

I dont understand what ever happened to just plain research and development. I had a plan..and I took almost two years before I put it in motion. I went to classes, I spent every hour i had on youtube or here learning techniques, I bought books. I take pride in being professional. I just dont get why somebody would choose to go into an industry handicapped.

morganchampagne Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 7:32pm

Theres just simple things I think that really make a difference. 

iredoo Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 7:53pm

Quote:

 Ok, so since she has gotten all of these other quotes for $50, $70 at most, she now thinks we are just greedy and ridiculously priced. Which is fine for her to think that on one hand, it just means she is not our customer. But on the other hand, all of these other bakers have put this idea in her head (and many others) that a custom 3D shaped cake should not cost more than $70.

You just wait... those 3D printers will make all of that soon. :) Yum.. plastic.

 

Back on point, there are customers that are better left for others to please. Trust me, I know.

Holstar Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 8:05pm

A[@]AZCouture[/@] your cakes are amazing

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 8:54pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 

Yeah, you probably wouldn't have won with her no matter what. I can usually tell by the cake they asking for, and if that's not enough, the language they use is bell ringing. Sad that I can profile like that, but it's just really predictable by now. "How much 4 dis but only 2 tires?" That usually goes nowhere.

This is so true. We've been doing this about 5 years now, and I can always tell pretty much instantly the way it's gonna go! Makes it hard to even be motivated to do a quote when I can feel the "no way that's too expensive" coming!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by pinchofsweetener 

OP, sorry for the randomness on your post. LOL. Forgive us Arizona gals.

Haha, no worries! Glad you found a fellow Arizonian! :-D

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Holstar 

@AZCouture your cakes are amazing

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%