Everything That You Ever Wanted To Know About Pricing But Were Afraid To Ask.

Decorating By enga Updated 27 Mar 2014 , 10:00pm by SystemMod2

enga Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 6:06pm
post #1 of 40

Ladies and gentleman, I believe we must address the elephant in the room, "PRICING". This seems to be the most heated topic EVER on CC. It starts off innocent enough, then one spark and POOF!!! it goes down in flames.

 

Tempers flare, backs and tails puff up, the claws come out complete with hissing and growls, before you know it there's fur flying around, the place is in shambles, and all that's left of the thread is an empty void that helps no one. And once again we go back to our perspective corners to lick our wounds until the touchy subject comes up again...........What was the saying  about insanity?

 

I would like to propose an end to the insanity. I have heard some really good ideas on how to price your cakes in between the cat calls that made a lot of sense but they were lost with the deleted threads.

 

Please post how YOU price your cakes, offer explanations about the basic principles about markups, profit, and pricing. Provide your favorite links to sites that helped you understand how to price your products. Do you have a special serving chart that you created and would like to share?

 

Post anything that you think might help someone whose struggling with the PRICING dilemma so that we can bury this poor dead horse that we have been beating for years. Don't you think it deserves a proper funeral? 

 

Here are a few that I found helpful

 

http://www.culinaryone.com/how-much-should-i-charge-for-home-baked-foods

 

http://www.marketingteacher.com/lesson-store/lesson-pricing.html#

 

http://www.erica.biz/2010/story-strangle-your-business/

39 replies
AZCouture Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 6:32pm
post #2 of 40

AMeh...it's always going to be a hot topic. Facebook, here, everywhere. It's not going to change. I applaud your effort, but the next 20 new members of CC won't know about the scandalous nature of the topic and the cycle will continue. I actually posted a pretty similar question on my business page not 20 minutes ago, actually.

IAmPamCakes Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 6:39pm
post #3 of 40

AThe arguments will never end. Pros will always have their way, and home bakers will always swear theirs is the right way to price. You can't win, because someone will ALWAYS jump in to defend BAD pricing advice, and all heck breaks lose. I've pretty much given up, because as a whole, we can't agree on anything.

AshCakes1988 Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 6:49pm
post #4 of 40

I 100% Agree with Egna, because really, weren't we all "new" to cake decorating at some point in our lives? I have a lot of issues with this myself. Because of my schedule, Im still "new" to all of this, but I get orders monthlyfrom friends and family, and occasionally people who hear about me through the grape vine. Without a legitimate business license or store front, it becomes a nerve wracking topic giving someone a price for a cake, or what you know a cake should be worth. Ive done my fair share of looking up this topic, and even calling bakeries to see what they charge to make sure im not "undercutting" the other bakeries. That is the last thing I want to do. Im not here to harm someone elses bakery by giving a ridiculously low price to a customer. I still want to make a profit, and eventually be able to open my own store front. So with that said, aren't we were on this site to learn? To help? Offer Advice or ask for advice? To appreciate eachothers work and talents? Its a little frustrating reading some of these threads where certain members basically frown upon this question, and its really never answered.

 

I agree that its not an actual science to price a cake. It depends on Location, Ingredients, time, difficulty and what you as a baker think you deserve to make. But one good read I found was on...

 

http://rosebakes.com/how-to-charge-for-cakes/

 

I hope this and what Egna posted above was helpful to those who are still scratching their heads looking for answers.

IAmPamCakes Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 6:55pm
post #5 of 40

ABut there is a 'science' to pricing a cake. A basic formula that everyone should know. Ingredients + overhead + labor + profit. Add in some common sense and business ethics, and you've got a pretty good start to pricing your cake. It's really not hard. But there are some people who think that it's wrong to run a business like a business - and that's where the trouble starts.

AZCouture Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 6:56pm
post #6 of 40

ANo Ash,.some of us actually approached our businesses with serious thought before starting out. We did research first, and figured out what we needed to do before we started selling. So yeah, it's a bit baffling when questions like "how much do I charge for this" pops up. Really, it's a silly question. Why on earth would I, in a different town, with different costs, different skills, different market, possibly be in a position to tell you (general you, not you specifically) what to charge for a specific cake?

AZCouture Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 6:57pm
post #7 of 40

AI don't take anyone seriously who asks that question. Cause that says so much about their business practices in general. Now, "how do I price my cakes?", that I'll spend time on.

enga Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 6:59pm
post #8 of 40

Well I hope not because the cycle needs to end. I hope that Heath will implement threads like this so that new members wont have to learn about the horrors of asking pricing or repetitive questions. 

 

There are members like you with thriving businesses that can offer a plethora of information on pricing. I'm just asking them to share that information without it being a heated discussion. A pool, if you will, of information and ideas, that are not archived but readily available for easy access. I'm still hoping that it will be a part of a FAQ's queue.

 

I sorry, that answer was for you AZ

Rosie93095 Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 7:06pm
post #9 of 40

Ash, why are you selling cakes without a "legitimate business license"? That is where most of the folks on this site get the most frustration...

AshCakes1988 Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 7:10pm
post #10 of 40

Because I just recently moved multiple states away, so Im working on getting it at my new address, but thanks for your concern :)

AZCouture Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 7:10pm
post #11 of 40

A

Original message sent by Rosie93095

Ash, why are you selling cakes without a "legitimate business license"? That is where most of the folks on this site get the most frustration...

Exactly! Enga, is the kind of comment that you want met with open arms? Here illegal baker, even though you know what you're doing is wrong, and are thumbing your nose at the people who are doing it right, we're here to spoon feed you advice to help you keep on keeping on. Nah, that order I lost to you us no big deal, it was just going to help feed my family, but shoot, you have a family to feed too, how silly of me! Here's the years and years of my hard work, on a silver platter, just for you.

AZCouture Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 7:13pm
post #12 of 40

A

Original message sent by Rosie93095

Ash, why are you selling cakes without a "legitimate business license"? That is where most of the folks on this site get the most frustration...

Exactly. But we're the meanies...it's backwards land!

AZCouture Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 7:14pm
post #13 of 40

AWait...you're new to this, but are starting your second business? I don't get it.

AshCakes1988 Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 7:18pm
post #14 of 40

Wow. What a fun helpful site this is. Unfortunately the state I have literally just moved to, has rules and regulations for almost everything having to do with at home bakeries, (which I agree with.) So between my full time job and other responsibilities I am one by one Im trying to adhear to to these and make the appropriate changes and fixes I need, so I can become legal. And since ive been here, I havnt sold a cake, so technically Im not an illegal baker. My post was not to push anyones buttons, or to point fingers and call anyone out. So thank you. I apologize for offending you AZCouture.

AshCakes1988 Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 7:19pm
post #15 of 40

I worked helping a baker at a restaurant where I learned quite a bit. I would say NEW because I havnt been doing it for years and years. Any other questions?

enga Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 7:19pm
post #16 of 40

I ask that members please not withhold information on how you price your cake because you think that people are illegitimate or illegal. That defeats the whole purpose of this thread, which is to share information freely with all members. 

AZCouture Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 7:23pm
post #17 of 40

ARules and regulations? What's wrong with that? And your story is just full of holes, sorry, if I'm misinterpreting it, then I guess I'm just slow today.

AZCouture Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 7:25pm
post #18 of 40

A

Original message sent by enga

I ask that members please not withhold information on how you price your cake because you think that people are illegitimate or illegal. That defeats the whole purpose of this thread, which is to share information freely with all members. 

So you want us to explain in great detail, even posting our personal matrixes, charts, etc that we've slaved over for years, and are specific to our businesses? No. What you posted yourself is the helpful answers. People can develop their own procedures from those. It's ok for people to do a little work themselves, right?

IAmPamCakes Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 7:25pm
post #19 of 40

AI ask that members not rub their illegal status in my face (not you Ash, I'm being general), but I don't see that happening. What makes you think that all my hard EARNED efforts will be shared so freely with people who don't want to work for it?

AZCouture Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 7:36pm
post #20 of 40

AI know there's plenty of good threads on this very site about pricing, looks like you forgot to tell people that they can search for pricing help right here as well. I didn't realize those links were outside of CC.

I would suggest investing in Cake Boss software as well, or taking the Craftsy class on pricing.

enga Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 7:36pm
post #21 of 40

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by enga 

I ask that members please not withhold information on how you price your cake because you think that people are illegitimate or illegal. That defeats the whole purpose of this thread, which is to share information freely with all members. 

So you want us to explain in great detail, even posting our personal matrixes, charts, etc that we've slaved over for years, and are specific to our businesses? No. What you posted yourself is the helpful answers. People can develop their own procedures from those. It's ok for people to do a little work themselves, right?

No I don't AZ and its not okay. I'm asking you to simply offer a few tips on pricing that may help someone understand it better that's all.  I will post my matrix, it's just a simple EXCEL sheet we learned in school. Nothing fancy, just a basic formula, I hope it helps some one.

AshCakes1988 Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 7:37pm
post #22 of 40

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 

Rules and regulations? What's wrong with that? And your story is just full of holes, sorry, if I'm misinterpreting it, then I guess I'm just slow today.

 Where in my response did I suggest there was something wrong with this? I think If I read above, I said I agreed. Which is why in all my spare time, I am making the appropriate changes needed to obtain my license. This is also why I have not taken an order, at my new location. I think I am done explaining my back story though.

 

And IAmPamCakes- not trying to rub this in. Just stating.

 

AZCouture Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 7:57pm
post #23 of 40

A

Original message sent by AZCouture

I know there's plenty of good threads on this very site about pricing, looks like you forgot to tell people that they can search for pricing help right here as well. I didn't realize those links were outside of CC.

I would suggest investing in Cake Boss software as well, or taking the Craftsy class on pricing.

If this is not helpful enough, then I don't know what to say. I can't help people who can't be bothered to put tiny bits of effort in themselves. There are already countless threads with countless examples of pricing instruction. What good is one more?

IAmPamCakes Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 8:03pm
post #24 of 40

AI wasn't referring to you specifically, Ash. I'm just remembering some threads where members really rubbed their illegal/undercutting status in our faces, then expected us to hand over information freely. It makes some of us, who have really worked for it, a little bitter. If you're taking all the right steps to become legal in your new location, good for you. That's definitely a good thing!

AZCouture Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 8:05pm
post #25 of 40

AHere. I just Googled "how to price cakes". I didn't scroll down, but there are undoubtedly thousands of other pages to click on. [IMG ALT=""]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3211763/width/500/height/1000[/IMG]

AZCouture Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 8:06pm
post #26 of 40

A

Original message sent by IAmPamCakes

I wasn't referring to you specifically, Ash. I'm just remembering some threads where members really rubbed their illegal/undercutting status in our faces, then expected us to hand over information freely. It makes some of us, who have really worked for it, a little bitter. If you're taking all the right steps to become legal in your new location, good for you. That's definitely a good thing!

Agree! What you (Ash) wrote though didn't quite add up before your clirifications, hence the questions.

shanter Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 8:08pm
post #27 of 40

Quote:

Originally Posted by enga 
 

Well I hope not because the cycle needs to end. I hope that Heath will implement threads like this so that new members wont have to learn about the horrors of asking pricing or repetitive questions. 

 

<snip>

 

Remember the thread Heath started just because of the pricing questions/newbies? He asked for suggestions and was given some really good ones. Were ANY of them implemented? Not that I can tell. Everyone has opinions on how to price a cake; there is no one answer. For some of us, the irritation comes with

 

How to price my (or this) cake and:

"I'm just starting out so I can't charge much."

"I bake at home so I don't have any overhead."

"I'm a hobby baker but I do sell cakes."

"[No information about the size of the cake, how many servings it is, whether it is for 200 or 40 people]"

"[describing a cake but no picture]"

 

I don't know why people think everything should be handed to them on a silver platter so they don't have to do any work themselves. There is a ton of information on the web and on CC about pricing cakes, but some posters don't want to do any work - they just expect someone who has done the work  to give them a number, which makes no sense at all.

 

The only sensible answer to the "what should I charge for this cake?" is to tell them how to figure it out for themselves to make a profit and not lose money.

MimiFix Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 8:11pm
post #28 of 40

Thanks enga, valiant try. But sorry, you do realize this has been addressed MANY times. Now we're simply waiting for more members to find this thread and add even more fuel to the open-pit fire.

 

Also, people come to CakeCentral to learn. It is uncalled for to send them to other sites that will reap the benefit of people clicking on ads. 

AZCouture Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 8:14pm
post #29 of 40

Quote:

Originally Posted by MimiFix 
 

 

Also, people come to CakeCentral to learn. It is uncalled for to send them to other sites that will reap the benefit of people clicking on ads. 

I didn't even look at the links she provided when I opened the thread for the first time, I just assumed they must have been to the numerous helpful threads right on this very site, and I couldn't believe they were to other places when I went back and looked. Very odd.

AshCakes1988 Posted 27 Mar 2014 , 8:16pm
post #30 of 40

Thank you IAmPamCakes- Really the last thing I want to do is hurt other bakeries around me. I respect this business. In the past ive only made for family and very close friends. Ive turned down orders because I don't feel right doing what I know is illegal, and could potentially hinder my ability to BECOME legal.

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