Frequently Asked "how Much Would You Charge For This??"

Decorating By sunshine1531 Updated 7 May 2014 , 7:34pm by sunshine1531

sunshine1531 Posted 3 May 2014 , 3:40pm
post #1 of 10

I am still very new to this, but lately every customer has been showing me a picture and asking "How much would you charge for this cake?"  Maybe it's just me because I don't really know what I am doing yet as far as pricing goes but I have found this question to be very frustrating!! Do any of the seasoned cake decorators out there who sell their cakes find this annoying too, or is it just me??  I just feel like I can give them a round-a-bout estimate, but I am not totally sure on a price before I do a cake because I do not yet know how much all of the ingredients will cost me, nor do I know the amount of time and skill it will take to complete it either. I'm sure I feel this way because I haven't been doing this very long. I have read that many of you require a deposit and then final payment 2 weeks before cake delivery which must mean you know what the cake will cost before you spend the time making it.

 

I have read many of the forums on here about pricing cakes to try to learn. Should I be asking them "what is YOUR price range"?

 

Any and all help is appreciated! Thanks soo much!! :-)

9 replies
MimiFix Posted 3 May 2014 , 4:49pm
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunshine1531 
 

I am still very new to this, but lately every customer has been showing me a picture and asking "How much would you charge for this cake?"  Maybe it's just me because I don't really know what I am doing yet as far as pricing goes but I have found this question to be very frustrating!! Do any of the seasoned cake decorators out there who sell their cakes find this annoying too, or is it just me??   

 

I have read many of the forums on here about pricing cakes to try to learn. Should I be asking them "what is YOUR price range"?

 

Any and all help is appreciated! Thanks soo much!! :-)

 

Yes, ask customers their price range. But first you must know what price range you can accommodate. And you're right, it's very annoying. We get that here on CC all the time. I hope you continue reading the many pricing threads found using the search function. Good luck in your new business!

howsweet Posted 3 May 2014 , 8:37pm
post #3 of 10

AYou might find it less frustrating if you would take the time to learn what cakes go for. The way to price out a cake is not to add up your flour and sugar each time. IIt's to learn what similar cakes should sell for and to then create an internal pricing method. Like $5 per serving, plus bows, toppers, extra stripes, flowers, etc

You can't be in business and not tell customers what you'd charge them to do a cake. If you get annoyed every time a customer asks for a price, somethings wrong.

howsweet Posted 3 May 2014 , 8:47pm
post #4 of 10

AAnd that doesn't mean you shouldn't know your costs, of course.

sunshine1531 Posted 3 May 2014 , 10:45pm
post #5 of 10

I'm not expecting to not tell someone what I would charge them for a cake. I was simply having difficulty coming up with a random number to tell them when they show me a picture. Was just looking to see if anyone had any advice or tricks in how they figure up their price should anyone show a picture and ask the same question. Since starting cake decorating this past february for the first time, I have begun to research prices in my area. I will just keep doing that. Thanks for the help...

as you wish Posted 3 May 2014 , 11:33pm
post #6 of 10

AYou can't really give a price when they just show you a picture; you will have to ask them for some details. Ask what size cake and/or how many servings they require, what kind (flavour) cake and filling they want, fondant or buttercream, etc. Then you will be able to apply the pricing structure that you have worked out as howsweet advised.

kakeladi Posted 4 May 2014 , 1:56am
post #7 of 10

...............having difficulty coming up with a random number to tell them when they show me a picture. Was just looking to see if anyone had any advice or tricks in how they figure up their price should anyone show a picture and ask the same question..........

 

That's where pricing b y the serving comes in handy.  When shown a picture, have a basic price per serving in mind, then quickly take into consideration how difficult/easy that style is and adjust price up or down.

Of course, one must look at a picture and make sure in your mind that you can do a similar version.

candiandi Posted 6 May 2014 , 6:54pm
post #8 of 10

AI am new as well so I feel your pain! Take a day to yourself and cost everything out that goes into your cakes (ingredients, colors, utilities etc) shop around and pick a product you plan to stick with and divide the cost of that product by what you need per batch. For example, I know that it costs me .55 for one cup of butter milk and for a cake for 50 people I will need to multiply my batch 4 times. Record all if this and keep it on hand. When someone orders a cake from you and say "what's this cost?" I always first ask them how many people the cake will be for. You can then calculate and go from there. Take your costs of goods and multiply by 3 or 4 and that will give you a good idea where you should be. Everyone does it diff but I charge per slice. Once you know your cost of goods it will help a lot. If your cost is for example 15.00 per batch and one batch can feed approx 25 ppl then divide 15/25 to give you cost per slice. You can then see where you want to be on your profit margin. I know this sounds confusing and not everyone does it this way but this works best for me.

howsweet Posted 7 May 2014 , 4:01pm
post #9 of 10

Quote:

Originally Posted by sunshine1531 
 

I'm not expecting to not tell someone what I would charge them for a cake. I was simply having difficulty coming up with a random number to tell them when they show me a picture. Was just looking to see if anyone had any advice or tricks in how they figure up their price should anyone show a picture and ask the same question. Since starting cake decorating this past february for the first time, I have begun to research prices in my area. I will just keep doing that. Thanks for the help...


Oh, I see, you're looking for an internal pricing method. What I find works for me is I first figure up a base price of $5 per serving. Then if there's a bow, that may add $35. Lots of stripes, $10. Big peony, $20. 3d simple fondant monkey, $45. Etc.

 

Since I know what prices should be and how much work a cake is going to be, if the number that results from my calculation doesn't seem like enough, I'll add on extra - maybe $20-$30 more. I don't generally charge extra for tiering, but if it's a small cake or a large cake, I do. If you're figuring up pricing for a a 5-7, the price is going to come in much lower than a 5-8, but they are just about the same amount of work, so this is a case where I charge for tiering asd add a little extra in.

 

You may know that your cakes fall between $7-10 per serving, but I find that when worded that way, it tends to scare customers off. So I avoid saying a price per serving to a customer. I give them them the total price.

sunshine1531 Posted 7 May 2014 , 7:34pm
post #10 of 10

thanks howsweet...that pricing method seems helpful and I think I will be able to build something off of that! :-)

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