AI've started asking people what their budget is for a cake before I waste time drawing up designs and quoting anymore. Todays hilarity brought to you by a potential customer who contacts me saying "I had your banana cake at my shower. It was AMAZING. I need it again. I want banana cake, add nuts, with cream cheese icing, for 50 people." She then sends me some pictures from that satanic pinterest. Beautiful, two tiered creations with fondant/gumpaste multicolored and patterend pinwheels. I compliment her beautiful tastes and ask her what kind of a budget I have to work with so I can draw up a few options for her to consider. She tells me $60. SIXTY. On what PLANET can you get a custom homemade from scratch dessert for 1.20 a person??? I'm getting more and more people like this. WHERE are they getting these prices?? The box stores don't even do cakes like this and I know for a fact the local bakery would charge over $100. What am I missing?? Her favorite design was a 9in 3 layer bottom, 6 in 3 layer top with pinwheels cascading diagonally from top to bottom. She wants that for $60???? I can't.
AYou had me at Satanic Pinterest...bwahahaha! So who paid for the cake from her shower?? Don't give up yet, politely explain your pricing if you think it's worth it, and maybe she'll come around.
AOr suggest a more modestly decorated cake at a lower price point, maybe with one single pinwheel and some stripes or complimentary details that don't take too long to make. I'm not assuming you don't know how to reply to someone with an unrealistic budget, I'm making my comments more for the benefit of anyone else reading who may have the impression that all is lost, and it's definitely hopeless to continue corresponding once a budget like that has been tossed out. ;)
I could figure out where my posts went. It turns out there are two threads?? http://cakecentral.com/t/776026/where-are-these-people-getting-these-prices-from
AI thought the same thing. :D
AThis was my first post on cake central. I guess I did something wrong to make it post twice? And here I am complaining about people being stupid. Haha. Apologies.
No need. You just didn't know the lay of the land. That's a whole lot different from people who want someone to work for them for $2 and hour. Welcome to Reef Central!!
Edit: That was supposed to say Cake Central!
LOL... this must be the topic for the day, I also just posted something similar!
AHer shower cake was purchased 2 years ago by one of my regular customers (who buys from me about 5 times a year for various things). It was an 11x13 banana cake with cream cheese icing. It had her initials and pink border. Very very plain. And it cost $50. That was my best price for a long time customer. How in the world does this woman thinks she can get 20 more servings, WITH nuts (don't know about y'all, but nut prices are comparable to crack these days) and a 2nd tier, covered with fondant pinwheels for 10 dollars more??
AWell there ya go, she just doesn't know, I wouldn't necessarily put her in the category of those with truly unrealistic budgets, more that she just needs some education. Still may not work out, but it's worth a little of your time to explain x I would imagine.
AI told her my basic sheet cakes, standard flavor, buttercream frosting, simple design border and writing, two colors, start at $1.50 a slice and that a two tiered, specialty flavor cake to feed that many would run between 100-140 depending on final design. I haven't heard back. I'm sure she's passed out on a floor somewhere. I hope to God she wasn't driving.
AI know what you mean... this week I got a request for a 3 tier wedding cake that would serve 200 people, her budget.... $100-200. What the !!?? I was very polite (really wanted to fall over laughing!) and told her I charge 3.00 a serving and depending on decoration price could go up from there. She said no way! I suggested lowering the amount of servings, she wouldn't. Sorry I don't work for free. She ended up going to Walmart and paid $250. I can just imagine what that cake is going to look like (and taste). Oh well, on to the next cake order!
AAnd that's right..NEXT!
AI got an inquiry for a 70th birthday yesterday. Her guests will be flying in from her native country (i'm in the US). Her budget is $150 for 100 people! And the party will be this Saturday!
tell her she can have 2 dozen cupcakes with basic frosting.
I have really just stopped making cakes. I'm much happier giving them to people as gifts when the mood hits me than dealing with the "can you believe they wanted to charge me 180 dollars for a two tiered fondant covered and decorated cake"....blah blah blah.....Yes I can and this is why I said no to your order.....Nope I'm out.
They're getting the prices on facebook from the people who don't know better and who get into a low-bidder war trying to "win" the privilege of making cakes at a loss.
"I want a birthday cake for twenty people"
Bidder#1: I can do it for $35
Bidder #2: I'll do it for $30
Bidder #3: I'll do it for $15!!! I can't believe how much these people are trying to charge you!
AI had a lady send me this cake picture last year for her daughter's birthday, needless to say she didn't order from me after telling her the price, she thought ahe could get this cake for....$35!!!. [IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3233090/width/200/height/400[/IMG]
I live in a small town and I swear every other person is in the "cake business". People think because they've taken a couple of Wilton classes at Michaels or because they have mastered the star tip, that they are ready to sell cakes. They do it as a "side" business and they kill the market and destroy the integrity of the business because they promise cakes they can't deliver. I recently was contacted by a bride looking for a 4 tiered cake for 225+ people. It was all buttercream, very simple design. She and I were friends in school (back 20 years ago) and so I quoted her a price of $2.50 / serving approx $560. She contacted me the next day and told me that she would not be using me because my prices were outrageous. She said that she found someone that would do it for less than half of that. In fact, they were only charging $225 ! Seriously !!!
AOmg! I have had friends send me pictures of epic cake fails, but for $35,are you kidding me! Ridiculous!
AI've seen that happen. Recently. I had to sit on my hands to keep from hammering out a strongly worded rant right there on that post.
I had a guy call me yesterday for a 2 tier cake with RKT cubes on top and elaborate decoration on the board - he tells me that his wife called me last week and I quoted her €60 for it. Sure.
Original message sent by ljdills
I live in a small town and I swear every other person is in the "cake business". People think because they've taken a couple of Wilton classes at Michaels or because they have mastered the star tip, that they are ready to sell cakes. They do it as a "side" business and they kill the market and destroy the integrity of the business because they promise cakes they can't deliver.
It's not just in small towns, this is happening everywhere. The cake business as a whole is at a low point as far as glutted markets and pricing goes. If you're relatively new on th scene you're going to struggle for business, and if you're more established you're going to need to change your tactics to maintain your income. And people are being trained by undercutters that $35 is a normal price for a three tiered cake. Once the weekend warriors decide that they don't want to sell cakes anymore and leave the market (which won't happen for quite a while) the people who are left, trying to run profitable businesses, are going to have to deal with that issue for years to come.
ACostume you are spot on! The industry is so skewed thanks to the 'undercutter'.
I met someone the other day who almost fainted when I said a 2 tier cake I've got on display would be £150 and then told me it was rediculous because she had bought her 2yr old daughter a 3 tier cake for £45 just recently. I don't even want to compete with that.
the good news is that we have this medium --cake central, cake boards and the internet --to get the word out on how to do it right/better--back when the baking industry took the first death blow punches of the 'enpowered housewife' tipping point the neighborhood bakery as we knew it just faded into glory--
now there's a second tipping point--but look at how many of us work from home anyhow--and clearly nothing wrong with that-- but it is the result of the initial tipping point--now the tipping point has a tipping point--is tipping, has tupt (i love to make up words ;) tip, tap, tupt -- hahahaha
and we get to DO something constructive about it--that's pretty cool--albeit frustrating--it is a frustrating penny business anyhow--but we can directly inform others on how to succeed--and it's their choice but that's gotta count for something--if we can draw more peeps in so more can learn the better it is--nothing wrong with venting either-
tip, tupt, tapped out
(webster will hug me or hit me when i get there)