What Would You Charge?

Business By RMBCakes Updated 1 May 2014 , 4:19am by howsweet

RMBCakes Posted 29 Apr 2014 , 4:46am
post #1 of 69

A[IMG ALT=""]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3227691/width/350/height/700[/IMG]

I completed this cake this morning. It's 6 inches round, with 2.5 layers (it was much too tall with the additional half layer). Scratch baked lemon cake with fresh lemon curd and lemon buttercream. The whole thing used about a bag of lemons with all the zest. The characters are home made MC and the rest is fondant.

I'm a newbie but I've been told I have talent. This is my 6th cake. I've been researching pricing and everything I read says do not undercharge even as a beginner. You end up being known as a cheap baker and undercut other bakeries businesses.

Anyway, what would you all charge?

68 replies
lcubed83 Posted 29 Apr 2014 , 2:00pm
post #2 of 69

I don't sell, so my only comment is I think it would be fairly high for a small cake because of all the molded characters.  It is very cute, and very cleanly put together.

Mattie2013 Posted 29 Apr 2014 , 6:50pm
post #3 of 69

No one can tell you want to charge for a cake, you alone will have to figure out what it cost you to make it.

 

1) Cost of ingredients (right down to the 1/4 teaspoon)

2) Cost to turn your oven on

3) Your cake board

4) Your MC

5) Your TIME

6) Whatever else you need for that cake.

 

These are just some of the things you need to figure out to see if your making a profit on the cakes you are selling.

 

Good Luck.

AZCouture Posted 29 Apr 2014 , 8:30pm
post #4 of 69

AI personally wouldn't sell one so small, unless they were ok with the $150 minimum order, which I can't see many going for around here for a small cake like that. Thing is, it's virtually the same amount of time to make as an eighth inch or a nine inch, so just because it's small, doesn't mean it's quicker or cheaper on my end. But who knows, I made a two serving cake once for a lot more than that, so it could happen I suppose. It's good to institute minimum orders, for your sanity.

howsweet Posted 29 Apr 2014 , 9:00pm
post #5 of 69

ARMB, I would charge about $230-245 for a 6 in cake, 5 inches high with that design. But as a professional, I do more professional work. Your work definitely looks promising! I would recommend you work on making everything skinnier. That includes things like the green trim around the cake. The arms on the characters, clouds, etc. And it probably could be a little cleaner. But these are things you can fix.

Original message sent by Mattie2013

No one can tell you want to charge for a cake, you alone will have to figure out what it cost you to make it.

1) Cost of ingredients (right down to the 1/4 teaspoon) 2) Cost to turn your oven on 3) Your cake board 4) Your MC 5) Your TIME 6) Whatever else you need for that cake.

These are just some of the things you need to figure out to see if your making a profit on the cakes you are selling.

Good Luck.

I'm sorry, I know you mentioned that this was how to determine profit, but all you've explained so far is how to determine costs. Price is determine by the market value of the cake. If it's priced as suggested, that will result is charging the lowest possible amount anyone could. Surely that's not the goal.

And the "you alone" statement - what does that mean? Pricing is based on lots of things, but it's not a personal kind of thing. At least it shouldn't be.

I hate to pounce on this and I'm sure you were repeating this info because it's what's going around, but it's just really wrong and is causing lots of people to just throw good money out the window.

Mattie2013 Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 4:50pm
post #6 of 69

Pounce if you must Howsweet, its ok.  My wording might have been off but basically I feel she is the only one that can determine what to charge for her cake,  she knows where she lives, (market value)  she knows what it costs her to make it and she knows how long it takes her, and she alone will have to figure out what her cake is worth,  its not right for anyone to say that cake is worth 150-250 dollars we don't know squat about what its really worth do we?  Figure out the numbers then price it plane and simple.

 

**I did say these were just some of the things you need to figure out- knowing full well there was much more to it.

enga Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 5:02pm
post #7 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie2013 
 

Pounce if you must Howsweet, its ok.  My wording might have been off but basically I feel she is the only one that can determine what to charge for her cake,  she knows where she lives, (market value)  she knows what it costs her to make it and she knows how long it takes her, and she alone will have to figure out what her cake is worth,  its not right for anyone to say that cake is worth 150-250 dollars we don't know squat about what its really worth do we?  Figure out the numbers then price it plane and simple.

 

**I did say these were just some of the things you need to figure out- knowing full well there was much more to it.

ITA, and use her (what's great about her products) unique selling points to stand out.

 

 And there is so much more to pricing, maybe we as start looking into "how to price a product" instead of how to price a cake. 

howsweet Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 5:14pm
post #8 of 69

AMattie, I have a real problem with stressing that statement because it's taken to mean that pricing is extremely individual, almost in a vacuum. And it's not true. There are people in her area who can tell her what the cake would go for.

Check websites of national chain cupcake stores... They sell their cupcakes for about the same price whether they're on Rodeo Drive or a small town. And those prices are in line with independently own shops around here.

And the other thing that's overstressed is that cake prices vary drastically. They really don't, or shouldn't. I realize they literally do because I lose business to people selling cake for half what I do. But that's not something you want to encourage.

howsweet Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 5:23pm
post #9 of 69

AIt a big fat old myth that prices should vary wildly. And I think it got started here on cc. People post, oh cakes just don't sell for that here. How often do those people have the slightest clue how much cakes go for "here" when all they've done is get feedback from their friends, family and acquaintances? Or worse their silly price fixing cake club, but that's another story... Haha

Anyway, it led to some bizarre notions. All bizarre notions are tinted in a tiny bit of fact, location is a factor. But it's been blown up into something completely wrong and is widely believed to the point that if you try to explain it people just can't believe it.

-K8memphis Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 5:42pm
post #10 of 69

Quote:

Originally Posted by howsweet 

It a big fat old myth that prices should vary wildly. And I think it got started here on cc. People post, oh cakes just don't sell for that here. 

 

 

i agree-- i mean they vary some from continent to continent--but that not that much--the biggest variations come from being in lightly populated areas and from high end designer decorators--duff, ron etc-- but those are normal fluctuations -- nothing odd there

 

plus everytime someone says "no one can say what you should charge" i just laugh--they'll sure tell you how much is too little and if they deem your work substandard then they're quick to report 'back to the grindstone you've charged too much'--funny (price fixing all aside of course) like you gotta wander in the wilderness till you find a burning bush price behind a rock somewhere--please -- in other words--in between that high & low is "the price"--but god forbid we tell yah--

 

and the biggest shock of all--you can charge more the better and bigger you get--srsly?  :lol: 

ugcjill Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 5:46pm
post #11 of 69

Pricing is often dubbed a personal decision based on someone's geographic location, but I don't see it that way. A $700 cake is a $700 cake, whether it is sold in a large metropolitan area or a small town. My area has an average per capita income of $18,000 per year. That means I don't sell many expensive specialty cakes. I don't bother advertising them, either, because it draws people away from cakes they actually WILL buy. I won't make specialty cakes for a lower price just because people can't afford it. I don't see many BMW's on the streets of my town, so I assume that they aren't priced lower for my region either.

 

One of my biggest sales problems is when people send me a picture of a cake that is unpolished and unprofessional, and ask for a quote based on the pic. I struggle with this because I quote a price based on the work I produce, and the picture I often receive is not worth my prices. This is difficult to convey to my potential customer, and they suffer sticker shock and don't order.

 

I would make that cake for $230. Many of the changes HowSweet mentioned apply, skinnier is better for detailing. A larger, thicker cake round is needed, and you can practice techniques for enhancing the appearance of the sky, clouds and ground with painting tutorials. Little details make the difference.

 

And since a potential customer will expect to pay $40, I would first point out my minimum order amount and steer them immediately toward buttercream. I would recommend any beginner to not sell cakes until they can no longer call themselves a beginner. Your confidence will be much higher and you will be more in line with success.

 

My spirit here is to be helpful - I've re-read my post and it sounds ok to me, but if I come across as bitter, it's because I'm having a bad string of luck with people who have unreasonable expectations these last few weeks.

anaelisabethlee Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 5:57pm
post #12 of 69

A

Original message sent by ugcjill

Pricing is often dubbed a personal decision based on someone's geographic location, but I don't see it that way. A $700 cake is a $700 cake, whether it is sold in a large metropolitan area or a small town. My area has an average per capita income of $18,000 per year. That means I don't sell many expensive specialty cakes. I don't bother advertising them, either, because it draws people away from cakes they actually WILL buy. I won't make specialty cakes for a lower price just because people can't afford it. I don't see many BMW's on the streets of my town, so I assume that they aren't priced lower for my region either.

One of my biggest sales problems is when people send me a picture of a cake that is unpolished and unprofessional, and ask for a quote based on the pic. I struggle with this because I quote a price based on the work I produce, and the picture I often receive is not worth my prices. This is difficult to convey to my potential customer, and they suffer sticker shock and don't order.

I would make that cake for $230. Many of the changes HowSweet mentioned apply, skinnier is better for detailing. A larger, thicker cake round is needed, and you can practice techniques for enhancing the appearance of the sky, clouds and ground with painting tutorials. Little details make the difference.

And since a potential customer will expect to pay $40, I would first point out my minimum order amount and steer them immediately toward buttercream. I would recommend any beginner to not sell cakes until they can no longer call themselves a beginner. Your confidence will be much higher and you will be more in line with success.

My spirit here is to be helpful - I've re-read my post and it sounds ok to me, but if I come across as bitter, it's because I'm having a bad string of luck with people who have unreasonable expectations these last few weeks.

Nope, you sound spot on.

:)

Mattie2013 Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 6:14pm
post #13 of 69

howsweet & K8memphis, 

   Thank you both for your opinions and views on how someone should, could,  or does price a cake, I have always enjoyed reading yours posts regardless if I agreed or not.  I have no intentions of getting into a debate over cake pricing in the end its not going to matter the OP will price & sell her cakes as she wishes just like everyone else does.  Your opinions and my opinion really doesn’t matter all we can do is share our opinions because we all have one.  

 

Have a great afternoon.:-D

-K8memphis Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 6:59pm
post #14 of 69

hi mattie, not a hint of debate from me--except i think all of our opinions are important especially yours--

 

best baking and caking to you

Mattie2013 Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 7:13pm
post #15 of 69

Quote:

Originally Posted by -K8memphis 
 

hi mattie, not a hint of debate from me--except i think all of our opinions are important especially yours--

 

best baking and caking to you

HAHA  -- I Love that will you call my husband and tell him my Opinions are more important too?

 

Lets move on shall we?

 

Have a great afternoon.

enga Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 7:23pm
post #16 of 69

This is the business section, I thought it would be more information given on how to price or what you should take into consideration when pricing. Not knocking down or tearing apart someone else's opinion of how to do it.

 

People research and post links about where or how they tried to figure out how to price after being told numerous times to do their own research, Google how to price a cake, stop being lazy and do it yourself, you are reeking havoc on the industry with your low prices, you're are not god enough to sell cakes and you should not sell another cake until you learn how to price a cake. Only to be told, oh, that website is not a good choice for information or the information is wrong because of this or that.

 

The market is saturated but the industry is still pushing out the idea that you can make money in it. So now it's overly saturated. To be angry about someone undercutting the industry is wasted energy. Better to take that energy to educate people on the importance of pricing than to tell them what they are doing wrong, by giving them complete tools to give the industry it's integrity back. If that is even possible.

 

Someone once said on here that the pricing threads would continue to be a hot topic and that there's is nothing you can do about it. I believe it because no one seems to want to offer this so called right way of pricing. The poor person who tries to learn the proper way to price by doing what you said to do are damned. And God help the person who unknowing comes to this site believing that maybe the pros here will help them to understand something as frustrating as pricing. They are damned for even asking. What are they suppose to do? 

 

I wish someone with a business and marketing degree would volunteer to answer the pricing threads. Some one that does not sugar coat things but doesn't tear your head off either. Someone that could offer clear concise unbiased information in a way that everyone can understand. Without the arguments and the drama.

 

Just my humble opinion.

as you wish Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 7:32pm
post #17 of 69

Aenga, I have seen loads of regular member give just the excellent kind of advice you are talking about. There has been an abundance of great information about pricing from howsweet, DeliciousDesserts, costumeczar, AZcouture and mimifix to name just a few off the top of my head. Their information has been consistent, clear and kind, in my humble opinion. :)

MBalaska Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 7:39pm
post #18 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by enga 
 

".......I wish someone with a business and marketing degree would volunteer to answer the pricing threads. Some one that does not sugar coat things but doesn't tear your head off either. Someone that could offer clear concise unbiased information in a way that everyone can understand. Without the arguments and the drama.

 

Just my humble opinion.

 

You mean like an MBA or a CPA?  You gotta Pay For Their Services   $$$$$$ TANSTAAFL

 

You mean like the lack of drama between say, Coke & PepsiCo.  McDonalds & Burger King.

I'm too stoopid to understand all this. :duh:  I'm goinna go bake a cake. :cake: 

AZCouture Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 8:12pm
post #19 of 69

AOhhhh you're so right, it's a big fat conspiracy from the BULLIES to keep everyone in the dark! Lure them in with just enough information to confuse them! Dang it, the gig is up, we've been had. I do see the words lazy, Google, and you're not good enough in this thread alright, in YOUR post, Enga.

AZCouture Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 8:13pm
post #20 of 69

AYou're not too stupid MB, you're trying to comprehend something that's flat out ridiculous.

howsweet Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 8:21pm
post #21 of 69

A

Original message sent by ugcjill

Pricing is often dubbed a personal decision based on someone's geographic location, but I don't see it that way. A $700 cake is a $700 cake, whether it is sold in a large metropolitan area or a small town. My area has an average per capita income of $18,000 per year. That means I don't sell many expensive specialty cakes. I don't bother advertising them, either, because it draws people away from cakes they actually WILL buy. I won't make specialty cakes for a lower price just because people can't afford it. I don't see many BMW's on the streets of my town, so I assume that they aren't priced lower for my region either.

One of my biggest sales problems is when people send me a picture of a cake that is unpolished and unprofessional, and ask for a quote based on the pic. I struggle with this because I quote a price based on the work I produce, and the picture I often receive is not worth my prices. This is difficult to convey to my potential customer, and they suffer sticker shock and don't order.

I would make that cake for $230. Many of the changes HowSweet mentioned apply, skinnier is better for detailing. A larger, thicker cake round is needed, and you can practice techniques for enhancing the appearance of the sky, clouds and ground with painting tutorials. Little details make the difference.

And since a potential customer will expect to pay $40, I would first point out my minimum order amount and steer them immediately toward buttercream. I would recommend any beginner to not sell cakes until they can no longer call themselves a beginner. Your confidence will be much higher and you will be more in line with success.

My spirit here is to be helpful - I've re-read my post and it sounds ok to me, but if I come across as bitter, it's because I'm having a bad string of luck with people who have unreasonable expectations these last few weeks.

Some really good points! I'm always impressed by your insights.

What can help is to show them an example of a poor quality cake pic that was given you in the past and then show the pic of the cake you made from it. I also do that with sketches. I'm terrible at sketching , so I show them examples of awful sketches and then how the cake turned out.

Original message sent by Mattie2013

howsweet & K8memphis,     Thank you both for your opinions and views on how someone should, could,  or does price a cake, I have always enjoyed reading yours posts regardless if I agreed or not.  I have no intentions of getting into a debate over cake pricing in the end its not going to matter the OP will price & sell her cakes as she wishes just like everyone else does.  Your opinions and my opinion really doesn’t matter all we can do is share our opinions because we all have one.  

Have a great afternoon.:D

We're not discussing opinions. Pricing concepts are pretty much universally agreed on. That is until you start reading someplace where people who don't know anything about it are spouting opinions based on nothing except the previous thread. Anyone is free to go ahead price in any way they're heart desires, but being is business is very hard and a huge numbers fail or give up every day. It's reasonable behavior to try and find out the correct information and forget about speculation. If you want to succeed.

Original message sent by as you wish

enga, I have seen loads of regular member give just the excellent kind of advice you are talking about. There has been an abundance of great information about pricing from howsweet, DeliciousDesserts, costumeczar, AZcouture and mimifix to name just a few off the top of my head. Their information has been consistent, clear and kind, in my humble opinion. :)

Countless times, I have said generally what to do and not a single question if they are not quite sure how to go about it. (I've also explained the hows). I think that's very odd. But start talking about costs and the conversation will deteriorate into can I freeze $1.20 worth of batter to save money? And the same person may have sold the cake for $50 too little.

The thing that boggles my mind on these threads is that instead getting a bunch of questions like how do I get so much for my cakes like you do? I get suspicion, resistance and argument over the advice I'm giving out. Why wouldn't that be something that would be appreciated? If someone can explain that to me, I would love to know.

AZCouture Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 8:30pm
post #22 of 69

AAnd quite frankly, all the advice in the world doesn't matter in this situation because the OP didn't ask for it. She asked how much we would charge.

howsweet Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 8:34pm
post #23 of 69

A*their*

howsweet Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 8:41pm
post #24 of 69

A

Original message sent by AZCouture

You're not too stupid MB, you're trying to comprehend something that's flat out ridiculous.

Sometimes there are just so many things wrong that it's not worth bothering to try to make sense of something, other than for a practice exercise in a logic class. This page lists like 200 ways something can be wrong [URL=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies[/URL]

AZCouture Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 9:01pm
post #25 of 69

AI don't understand how the multiple, countless, informative threads that already exist about pricing aren't good enough. How come referring to those or pointing someone in that direction isn't [B]good enough[/B] or isn't helpful?

Claire138 Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 9:04pm
post #26 of 69

Is it me or are there more and more pricing questions - sometimes up to 5 or more a day than there used to be? I don't remember the site being like this in the "olden days" (?)

howsweet Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 9:07pm
post #27 of 69

A

Original message sent by AZCouture

I don't understand how the multiple, countless, informative threads that already exist about pricing aren't good enough. How come referring to those or pointing someone in that direction isn't [B]good enough[/B] or isn't helpful?

I think it's a good idea. It's a pain to repeatedly post the same info. Only problem I have is if they search they are probably more likely to find bad info than good.

Original message sent by Claire138

Is it me or are there more and more pricing questions - sometimes up to 5 or more a day than there used to be? I don't remember the site being like this in the "olden days" (?)

It's probably because there is someone new starting up a business daily with most states now having passed cottage food laws.

IAmPamCakes Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 9:09pm
post #28 of 69

AI think it goes in phases. I remember a rash of pricing threads (usually very dramatic), then it died off for a bit. It seems that the rash is coming back. Lol

howsweet Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 9:11pm
post #29 of 69

AAlso, this is cake season.

bilbo Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 9:29pm
post #30 of 69

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 

Ohhhh you're so right, it's a big fat conspiracy from the BULLIES to keep everyone in the dark! Lure them in with just enough information to confuse them! Dang it, the gig is up, we've been had. I do see the words lazy, Google, and you're not good enough in this thread alright, in YOUR post, Enga.

And the worst are those who quote "peace and love, respect everyone's opinions" and hack away at anyone that dares disagree with their narrow minded way of thinking. They gleefully chase off members with their venom, don't have a lick of business sense and dumbed down the entire business section of this site. Good job.

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