Attack Of The "cheap Cake Ladies" Vent.

Business By Mybearsbaby Updated 24 Mar 2014 , 11:56am by swtangel102

Mybearsbaby Posted 17 Mar 2014 , 10:02pm
post #1 of 105

AMy county seems to be overrun by cheap cake ladies!! I am self taught and am still expanding my client list and skill set, but I work hard and I value my time spent away from my husband and one year old son. I usually overlook the cheap cake ladies and say if someone wants to settle for less quality or if a baker wants to basically give their cake away like a cheap cake hooker then that is up to them. However, today's incident "took the cake" (pun intended). This girl on Facebook asked if anyone knew of a good cake baker. A lot of my customers tagged me in the post, so I commented and included my information, as did some of the other local bakers who were tagged. Then this girl commented under all of our info that the poster should find out all our prices and she would do it cheaper than we could. It was the last straw.. Maybe I shouldn't have but I commented back.:[IMG ALT=""]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3206169/width/350/height/700[/IMG]

After this she commented back and said she is new and trying to get her name out there and that it was no different than Walmart price matching...really?? I told her if she really felt the need to do that then she should pm, but that if she prices like Walmart, when she wants to them raise her prices, her customers will have come to expect walmart prices and she will be losing money. Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut, but I am fuming!!!

104 replies
Mybearsbaby Posted 17 Mar 2014 , 10:13pm
post #2 of 105

AMy county seems to be overrun by cheap cake ladies!! I am self taught and am still expanding my client list and skill set, but I work hard and I value my time spent away from my husband and one year old son. I usually overlook the cheap cake ladies and say if someone wants to settle for less quality or if a baker wants to basically give their cake away like a cheap cake hooker then that is up to them. However, today's incident "took the cake" (pun intended). This girl on Facebook asked if anyone knew of a good cake baker. A lot of my customers tagged me in the post, so I commented and included my information, as did some of the other local bakers who were tagged. Then this girl commented under all of our info that the poster should find out all our prices and she would do it cheaper than we could. It was the last straw.. Maybe I shouldn't have but I commented back.:[IMG ALT=""]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3206172/width/350/height/700[/IMG]

After this she commented back and said she is new and trying to get her name out there and that it was no different than Walmart price matching...really?? I told her if she really felt the need to do that then she should pm, but that if she prices like Walmart, when she wants to them raise her prices, her customers will have come to expect walmart prices and she will be losing money. Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut, but I am fuming!!!

Mybearsbaby Posted 17 Mar 2014 , 10:15pm
post #3 of 105

AI edited to cut out her name, because even if she is a cheap cake lady, she shouldn't be openly bashed. I don't hate her or want to be a cyber bully...just need to vent lol! How do y'all deal with cheap cake ladies and undercutting? 3 times this week it has happened. Today it was just too much.

AZCouture Posted 17 Mar 2014 , 10:34pm
post #4 of 105

AIt's awful isn't it? That decorators have the mentality of being cheap, that fair compensation for their own hard work isn't even considered? I can't relate to it, I just can't. I never went into this with any intention other than being profitable and enjoying myself.

natt12321 Posted 17 Mar 2014 , 10:39pm
post #5 of 105

AI have been so close to telling cake ladies off before now, I understand why you did it!

I was tagged in a thread where someone had quoted £30 for a 2 tier cake with black lace and 2 hand painted silhouette characters on it, I couldn't check out the work of tbe person who quoted (super common in my area cos there are loads of "illegals" as I have come to call them, floating around.

I made a point to the OP about cheap vs quality, but I'm not sure that was a great idea either....

Mybearsbaby Posted 17 Mar 2014 , 10:44pm
post #6 of 105

A

Original message sent by AZCouture

It's awful isn't it? That decorators have the mentality of being cheap, that fair compensation for their own hard work isn't even considered? I can't relate to it, I just can't. I never went into this with any intention other than being profitable and enjoying myself.

I know... I did start put priced a little less than I should have, but I have always tried to remind myself that my time is worth something, even in the beginning. If I don't make any money or even worse,lose money, it is not worth the ttime spent away from my family. I love what I do, but I agree that I do this to be profitable while doing something I love.

AZCouture Posted 17 Mar 2014 , 11:35pm
post #7 of 105

AIt's just going to keep happening unfortunately. As long as there are customers that only care about getting the cheapest cake possible, with no regard for actual quality, and decorators who don't give a rat's butt about it either, it will continue. Until they get burned out and start selling healing oils or have jewelry parties. And another will step in to take their place.

Relznik Posted 17 Mar 2014 , 11:36pm
post #8 of 105

Quote:

Originally Posted by natt12321 

I have been so close to telling cake ladies off before now, I understand why you did it!

I was tagged in a thread where someone had quoted £30 for a 2 tier cake with black lace and 2 hand painted silhouette characters on it, I couldn't check out the work of tbe person who quoted (super common in my area cos there are loads of "illegals" as I have come to call them, floating around.

I made a point to the OP about cheap vs quality, but I'm not sure that was a great idea either....


They wouldn't even get a simple single tier cake out of me for thirty quid!!!!;)

Mybearsbaby Posted 17 Mar 2014 , 11:45pm
post #9 of 105

A

Original message sent by natt12321

I have been so close to telling cake ladies off before now, I understand why you did it!

I was tagged in a thread where someone had quoted £30 for a 2 tier cake with black lace and 2 hand painted silhouette characters on it, I couldn't check out the work of tbe person who quoted (super common in my area cos there are loads of "illegals" as I have come to call them, floating around.

I made a point to the OP about cheap vs quality, but I'm not sure that was a great idea either....

I don't blame you...I would have too :)

Original message sent by AZCouture

It's just going to keep happening unfortunately. As long as there are customers that only care about getting the cheapest cake possible, with no regard for actual quality, and decorators who don't give a rat's butt about it either, it will continue. [B]Until they get burned out and start selling healing oils or have jewelry parties[/B]. And another will step in to take their place.

Lol so true

ellavanilla Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 7:12pm
post #10 of 105

you know, in some industries, the lowest quote is thrown away. It is assumed that the lowest priced vendor probably can't complete the job properly, without raising prices at the end or doing shoddy work. The idea is to encourage vendors to price the job correctly for the work to be done. 

 

 

hmmmm

morganchampagne Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 7:29pm
post #11 of 105

AWOW!! I always assumed ppl undercharged out of ignorance...Not as a marketing strategy. How awful

Mybearsbaby Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 7:30pm
post #12 of 105

A

Original message sent by ellavanilla

you know, in some industries, the lowest quote is thrown away. It is assumed that the lowest priced vendor probably can't complete the job properly, without raising prices at the end or doing shoddy work. The idea is to encourage vendors to price the job correctly for the work to be done. 

hmmmm

Very good point! I like your line of thinking :)

howsweet Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 8:09pm
post #13 of 105

Mybearsbaby, where you said "not very nice", I would substitute unethical and irresponsible. What she's doing is beyond not very nice. There isn't really "nice" in business competition anyway. I don't expect my competitors to be nice.

Quote:

Originally Posted by morganchampagne 

WOW!! I always assumed ppl undercharged out of ignorance...Not as a marketing strategy. How awful


It's not much of a marketing strategy. She just thinks it is. The fact that she thinks it's anything at all like WalMart price matching shows she not an aggressive go-getter, but an ignorant person with more nerve than business smarts.

Mybearsbaby Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 8:21pm
post #14 of 105

A

Original message sent by howsweet

It's not much of a marketing strategy. She just thinks it is. The fact that she thinks it's anything at all like WalMart price matching shows she not an aggressive go-getter, but an ignorant person with more nerve than business smarts.

Amen! And you are right about beyond not nice...I am generally a passive person who just lets stuff roll off my back, but this was just too much! What is really funny is some of my fellow local cake bakers, my competition, agreed and liked my comments :D

howsweet Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 8:27pm
post #15 of 105

And I forgot to add, I realize you could have used more scathing words than "not nice", but were trying to be as civil as possible :D

HelloSugarCakes Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 8:35pm
post #16 of 105

I only make cakes for friends and family & I charge just for ingredients & utitilities and don't actually make a profit however to quote £30 for a two tier cake with lace is just obscene and outright using undercutting as a marketing strategy is just so so wrong. So many people do this and adopt attitudes that cake should be cheap because it's 'just cake' that it's making my decision on whether or not to make my hobby a business very very difficult indeed! It must be so infuriating for those of you whose livelyhood it is potentially damaging.

HelloSugarCakes Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 8:36pm
post #17 of 105

And I can't help but immediately think 'cake wrecks'

Claire138 Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 9:02pm
post #18 of 105

She's also making a mistake bc as the OP said it's better to make friends with your competition than have them as and "enemy". 

Mybearsbaby Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 9:20pm
post #19 of 105

A

Original message sent by howsweet

And I forgot to add, I realize you could have used more scathing words than "not nice", but were trying to be as civil as possible :D

Lol yep...my daddy always said "You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar." I was trying to be as nice as I could while still being firm and getting my point across. :D There was a lot more I kind of wanted to add in but I knew I probably should keep the rest of my thoughts to myself or posted here...the "cake hooker" comment I posted here seriously almost got posted to her on fb haha :) But that would have done nothing but tick people off, ruin my reputation and lower me to her level...but I did consider it for a while before deciding it wasnt wise. haha :D

Original message sent by HelloSugarCakes

And I can't help but immediately think 'cake wrecks'

:D

Original message sent by Claire138

She's also making a mistake bc as the OP said it's better to make friends with your competition than have them as and "enemy". 

I definitely believe this whole heartedly. You just never know when a baking acquaintance may need you or you need them. Plus, to me it is a respect thing. Yes they are my competition, but I shouldn't try to do them dirty. That's just not right.

CakesbyKadi Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 9:46pm
post #20 of 105

There is a bakery here (home bakery) that tells her customers to get quotes from me and she will beat the price. She has openly bashed me, filed false police reports on me, followed me around stores to see what I buy... She is so ridiculous. I ignore the heck out of her, but it just seems to feed the fire. My prices are higher than "Walmart  pricing" but a little lower than some high end bakeries here due to only being open a year. I increase gradually as I master more things, but if you go to me and "Experienced Bakery X" our prices are only different by 10-20 dollars. Cakes in Oklahoma are cheap, anyway, compared to where some of you are from.

Mybearsbaby Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 10:23pm
post #21 of 105

A

Original message sent by CakesbyKadi

There is a bakery here (home bakery) that tells her customers to get quotes from me and she will beat the price. She has openly bashed me, filed false police reports on me, followed me around stores to see what I buy... She is so ridiculous. I ignore the heck out of her, but it just seems to feed the fire. My prices are higher than "Walmart  pricing" but a little lower than some high end bakeries here due to only being open a year. I increase gradually as I master more things, but if you go to me and "Experienced Bakery X" our prices are only different by 10-20 dollars. Cakes in Oklahoma are cheap, anyway, compared to where some of you are from.

Oh wow!! That person sounds straight up crazy!

costumeczar Posted 19 Mar 2014 , 12:31am
post #22 of 105

Here comes the lecture, so watch out...The new reality in the world of cakes is that this kind of thing happens all the time because the market is totally saturated and it isn't going to change. I've been in business as a home-based baker for about 15 years, and when I started there were no cottage food laws, tv shows making it look like so much fun, or tutorials for how to do everything available online. I agree that it's frustrating to be undercut so openly, but yeah, it's a marketing strategy for some people whether we like it or not.

 

The fact is that people in general DO NOT CARE about getting the best-quality cake, they just want a cake that's "nice" and within their budget. The cakes that you and I look at and think "oh my, that one looks like it went through the carwash" look really good to people who can't do any cake decorating at all. It's a sad situation, but it's par for the course these days. I just watched a cake class online that was showing how to make a butt-ugly cake and it was being presented as a masterpiece, so standards for most people are very low.

 

If you want to be able to charge more for your cakes, you need to target the customers who DO care. The way to do that is going to be different for everyone, but those people do exist, and it's your job as the marketing department of your business to find them. posting messages like that on facebook is generally not going to win you any points with customers, they'll just see it as sour grapes even though we all understand the feeling behind it.

 

If you run into this undercutter posting like this again, I'd suggest that you post something along the lines of  "If you're interested in talking to me about your cake, please call me or send me a message.  I don't match the cheapest prices in town, like Walmart does, but my cakes are far superior to Walmart's! I'll provide an excellent quality cake at a reasonable price."

costumeczar Posted 19 Mar 2014 , 12:31am
post #23 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakesbyKadi 
 

There is a bakery here (home bakery) that tells her customers to get quotes from me and she will beat the price. She has openly bashed me, filed false police reports on me, followed me around stores to see what I buy... She is so ridiculous. I ignore the heck out of her, but it just seems to feed the fire. My prices are higher than "Walmart  pricing" but a little lower than some high end bakeries here due to only being open a year. I increase gradually as I master more things, but if you go to me and "Experienced Bakery X" our prices are only different by 10-20 dollars. Cakes in Oklahoma are cheap, anyway, compared to where some of you are from.

Can you say "restraining order" and "cease and desist?" She sounds like a psycho.

CakesbyKadi Posted 19 Mar 2014 , 12:34am
post #24 of 105

Quote:

Originally Posted by costumeczar 
 

Can you say "restraining order" and "cease and desist?" She sounds like a psycho.

Yep! We have everything on file and our lawyer is notified of everything in case we need to do anything about her. She hasn't made us lose any business, so we are waiting for now.

costumeczar Posted 19 Mar 2014 , 12:37am
post #25 of 105

Quote:

Originally Posted by CakesbyKadi 
 

Yep! We have everything on file and our lawyer is notified of everything in case we need to do anything about her. She hasn't made us lose any business, so we are waiting for now.

What fun, huh?

CakesbyKadi Posted 19 Mar 2014 , 12:40am
post #26 of 105

Quote:

Originally Posted by costumeczar 
 

What fun, huh?

Yeah. The sad part is her cakes are very messy and unprofessional. She claims to have years of experience, but she doesn't turn out what she claims. People finally stopped paying attention to her, though. I think she learned the hard way it's better to network and help each other rather than hiss and scratch.

Mybearsbaby Posted 19 Mar 2014 , 12:56am
post #27 of 105

A

Original message sent by costumeczar

Here comes the lecture, so watch out...The new reality in the world of cakes is that this kind of thing happens all the time because the market is totally saturated and it isn't going to change. I've been in business as a home-based baker for about 15 years, and when I started there were no cottage food laws, tv shows making it look like so much fun, or tutorials for how to do everything available online. I agree that it's frustrating to be undercut so openly, but yeah, it's a marketing strategy for some people whether we like it or not.

The fact is that people in general DO NOT CARE about getting the best-quality cake, they just want a cake that's "nice" and within their budget. The cakes that you and I look at and think "oh my, that one looks like it went through the carwash" look really good to people who can't do any cake decorating at all. It's a sad situation, but it's par for the course these days. I just watched a cake class online that was showing how to make a butt-ugly cake and it was being presented as a masterpiece, so standards for most people are very low.

If you want to be able to charge more for your cakes, you need to target the customers who DO care. The way to do that is going to be different for everyone, but those people do exist, and it's your job as the marketing department of your business to find them. posting messages like that on facebook is generally not going to win you any points with customers, they'll just see it as sour grapes even though we all understand the feeling behind it. [B] If you run into this undercutter posting like this again, I'd suggest that you post something along the lines of  "If you're interested in talking to me about your cake, please call me or send me a message.  I don't match the cheapest prices in town, like Walmart does, but my cakes are far superior to Walmart's! I'll provide an excellent quality cake at a reasonable price."[/B]

Great advice! Thank you! I probably will use this exact wording next time I am confronted with the issue or something very similar. It is excellent wording!

costumeczar Posted 19 Mar 2014 , 1:34am
post #28 of 105

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mybearsbaby 


Great advice! Thank you! I probably will use this exact wording next time I am confronted with the issue or something very similar. It is excellent wording!

Thanks...It took me a while to figure out the second part because it's hard to imply that your competition sucks and still sound upbeat, hahaha!

Mybearsbaby Posted 19 Mar 2014 , 1:39am
post #29 of 105

A

Original message sent by costumeczar

Thanks...It took me a while to figure out the second part because it's hard to imply that your competition sucks and still sound upbeat, hahaha!

Haha :D

AZCouture Posted 19 Mar 2014 , 3:17am
post #30 of 105

AAnd to add to Costumeczar's bucket of sunshine and kittens (complimentary by the way, that's keeping it real!), if your town already has so many people fighting over work, why join in? Unless you can offer something that's obviously a notch above everyone else's work, or you specialize in something specific (and really shine at it), why bother?

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