Did I Overprice?

Business By iluvdonuts Updated 18 Jul 2014 , 9:45pm by CoutureCake

iluvdonuts Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 12:18am
post #1 of 32

I have a family member of a friend that wanted to place an order. Great! So i send her my pricing and flavors list etc. She sends a photo of this beautiful cake and says she doesn't need three tiers but enough to feed 45 people and a matching smash cake. She also wants to add butterflies and her daughters name on a plaque.  She sent photos of custom made party decorations that matched perfectly. So i quote her for a (6,10inch) round. 48 servings at $3.50/serving is $165 (my base price for this size) I charged extra for all the sugar roses and piping so the total was $225. The smash cake is free with a tiered cake. (6inch, single layer, buttercream) And now Crickets…..She always responds right away so I'm thinking its too expensive. The list i sent her had my base prices but i also state that they are Base prices and sugar work, etc is priced separately. 

 

All my cakes and fillings are made from scratch, are five inches tall, have four torted layers, and they have a choice of fillings. I crumb coat my cakes in ganache. The cake board is decorated. I follow Wiltons wedding serving chart. Ive done my research and bakeries in my area charge around $3.50 to start for fondant. Im 40min outside Chicago, in Indiana. I am discouraged because there are many home bakers in my area popping up and i know they are charging less. Some are even advertising how affordable they are on online thrift stores! They are also giving larger serving sizes.  I know how much time i will spend on this cake, away from my family, and part of me feels like it should've been higher. Am i crazy?

31 replies
kakeladi Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 12:35am
post #2 of 32

No you did not overcharge.  Not every customer is going to buy.  Don't worry about those other bakers.  They will soon burn out and get very discouraged about working so hard and not making any money.  Just because they advertise they are cheap does not mean they can do a good job on either taste or looks. 

I know the area you live in (somewhat) so I know it's tough to get buyers.  Hang in there :)

AZCouture Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 12:40am
post #3 of 32

ANope. I [B]would[/B] do three tiers for that serving amount, a four inch simply iced smash cake (complimentary with tiered first birthday cakes), and would be in the $350 and up range. And not many would pay it, and that's juuuuust fine.

iluvdonuts Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 12:44am
post #4 of 32

Thank you, this was the second quote in 24hrs without a response. I started second guessing myself. 

iluvdonuts Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 12:47am
post #5 of 32

What size tiers would you have used? How large are your servings? 

-K8memphis Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 1:24am
post #6 of 32

Ait's never easy is it -- but for me, I'm not seeing $55 worth of additional decorating time especially for a two tier - just me --

i think i'd do the striped tier in the 6" :grin:

-K8memphis Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 1:27am
post #7 of 32

 Quote:

Originally Posted by iluvdonuts 
 

 

... Im 40min outside Chicago, in Indiana...

 

i am originally from this area too -- dyer, hammond, schererville all around there -- small world :-D

iluvdonuts Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 1:47am
post #8 of 32

Quote:

Originally Posted by -K8memphis 
 

 Quote:

 

i am originally from this area too -- dyer, hammond, schererville all around there -- small world :-D

Yep..you got it! I grew up in Highland. Moved out to St. John/Schererville area a few years ago. 

 

Im struggling with the extra charge myself, now especially. When i look at that cake i see 100+ sugar roses and piping detail. Im a perfectionist and can spend more time than i should on a cake. 

AZCouture Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 2:08am
post #9 of 32

AOn my phone, and I don't have a chart handy, but I know I've uploaded my chart to different threads here. Anyways, my tiers are about five inches tall, and my chart is basically the Wilton wedding chart, but a little bit more generous. Not quite as generous as Earlene's chart, but more than Wilton.

iluvdonuts Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 2:25am
post #10 of 32

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 

On my phone, and I don't have a chart handy, but I know I've uploaded my chart to different threads here. Anyways, my tiers are about five inches tall, and my chart is basically the Wilton wedding chart, but a little bit more generous. Not quite as generous as Earlene's chart, but more than Wilton.

Thanks, Ill look around. Now that you mention it, I'm pretty sure I've read one of those threads :-) 

morganchampagne Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 2:26am
post #11 of 32

AI have the chart handy! I use this one now it's a happy medium [IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3263658/width/200/height/400[/IMG]

Thanks again AZ

iluvdonuts Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 2:30am
post #12 of 32

Quote:

Originally Posted by morganchampagne 

I have the chart handy! I use this one now it's a happy medium

Thanks again AZ

Thank you!!!

AZCouture Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 3:47am
post #13 of 32

AThere it is...glad to hear it's working for ya!

morganchampagne Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 4:25am
post #14 of 32

AOh yes! I have found too with clients they don't have as much cake left over (I could never get with wilton, seemed too low so I used earlene) . It's in my office, and on both my personal and business cells.

Smckinney07 Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 6:53am
post #15 of 32

AI don't think it's overpriced at all and I'm close to Terre Haute in Central IL. I think $55 is low for the royal icing piping and flowers, butterflies, a name plaque etc.

I know sometimes it's nice to get a second opinion on pricing, especially when your new but as long as you've done your homework and have everything accounted for there is no reason to justify your prices to anyone! You need to charge whatever you charge in order to make a profit.

Don't get into the habit of second guessing yourself and don't back down if a customer doesn't like your prices.

When I first started out I spent a lot of time worrying about other decorators in my area; many work from home so they didn't think they had any overhead or just wanted to make cakes for extra cash or whatever reason. I would lose orders because they charged practically nothing, and more often then not would provide subpar cakes. None of these decorators are still in 'business'. These shops are usually in the 'Cheap Cake' Groups on FB (really, that's how they advertised). Every few months these shops pop up and are gone just as fast. *I feel like I should add a disclaimer stating I have nothing against home bakers lol*

You need to focus on providing a great product and good customer service. I've found having a minimum order requirement has helped 'weed out' certain people who aren't willing to pay what I require for my services.

costumeczar Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 12:04pm
post #16 of 32

Not overpriced at all...When you start thinking 'Maybe it's too expensive" finish the sentence, it should be "maybe it's too expensive FOR HER." Not everyone has the budget to get a custom cake exactly the way they want it, but that doesn't mean that you need to drop your prices. If you know how much you want to make per cake and how much you have to charge to do it, don't haggle with people. If everyone dropped their prices because people want what they can't afford my son would be driving a Lamborghini when the dealer felt sorry for his budget.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 12:52pm
post #17 of 32

$225 is more than reasonable for that cake, and I don't $55 is too much to do the extra decoration. All those tiny little sugar roses and scalloped stripes would be very tedious and time consuming!

 

We start at $4 per serving for fondant, so our starting price for 48 servings would be $192. We'd probably be at around $250 for that cake as a two tier.

 

All that to say, no, you did not overcharge! :)

iluvdonuts Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 1:05pm
post #18 of 32

Thanks everyone.  I don't intend on lowering my prices.  I may adjust my servings a bit. Its too bad, i was excited about that cake!

-K8memphis Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 2:15pm
post #19 of 32

Ai think a certain amount of decor is of course included in the price of the cake, typically the board, the borders, some flowers, an inscription, random piping--

then in particular for this cake there's stripes with piping, bow loops, butterflies, and extra roses-- so I don't see much that would warrant almost three hours additional work @$20/hr. -- not even two hours worth at $25/hr --it doesn't take that long to pipe those roses or do the snails trail on the stripes -- if you charge people for your perfectionism in this economic climate without being fully established you won't get work -- but i don't need to tell you that -- i don't think the final prices listed here were overboard necessarily -- whatever the market will bear--

but i think $55 over base price for that decor is way high if you see what i mean-- just my opinion of course -- roses and snail trail take [I]a little[/I] extra time-- takes minutes to make butterflies & bow loops if you're already rolling out stripes and borders --

if the local places are at $168 for fondant cake ($3.50 x 48) and you are a third higher-- clearly you are pricing yourself out of your market with $1 over market price --

when your dance card is full and you can afford to be picky go for it -- in the meantime it might be worth your while to ask her if you could do a molded rose or a blossom flower or a nice quick ribbon rose (piping would be faster for me) do the stripes on the 6" instead of the 10" to conserve energy on the snails trail--talk her into a scallop trim on the stripes that you just cut out instead of piping trim--

consider giving two price points-- how much to do it exact and how much to do it efficiently/economically for both of you -- y'know and describe the changes you'd make -- people might be willing to eat $20 $25 upcharge for decor --

iluvdonuts Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 4:17pm
post #20 of 32

So i just heard back and she placed the order for $225. :D  She said she is giving me control over the cake and if i need to scale back on detail its fine as long as the overall look is achieved. Also that she does not want to go over $225. 

 

K8memphis, the idea of two price points is interesting. I definitely don't want to price myself out of the market, but i do need to charge for my time. I have a hard time walking away from a cake when it just "looks good" Especially now, i feel like they should all look incredible when they go out the door. So its a balancing act. 

-K8memphis Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 4:26pm
post #21 of 32

Agood for you! in the retail bakery world that cake would be completely decorated* in less than an hour -- with the roses & decor made in advance -- food for thought -- *after icing/fondanting

best to you

cakegrandma Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 5:10pm
post #22 of 32

I myself do not think your price is too high, considering you know what your competition charges.  It is a cute cake and I am glad she decided to go with you.

 

I would love to have the chart that was posted however, I can't copy it.  Will someone tell me what the chart is called so maybe I can find and copy it?

 

Thanks every one!

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 5:37pm
post #23 of 32

Quote:

Originally Posted by iluvdonuts 
 

So i just heard back and she placed the order for $225. :D  She said she is giving me control over the cake and if i need to scale back on detail its fine as long as the overall look is achieved. Also that she does not want to go over $225.

Yay! :)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by -K8memphis 

good for you!
in the retail bakery world that cake would be completely decorated* in less than an hour -- with the roses & decor made in advance -- food for thought -- *after icing/fondanting

best to you

But she still needs to charge for her time to make the roses and decor, even if they are made in advance.

-K8memphis Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 5:47pm
post #24 of 32

AI agree she should charge but charging for three hours of work is two hours too much imo--

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 6:12pm
post #25 of 32

Quote:

Originally Posted by -K8memphis 

I agree she should charge but charging for three hours of work is two hours too much imo--

Well, to each their own! She has figured out her costs, time, and hourly rate and come to that price. And it's by no means exorbitant at $225, no matter how the actual price is broken down. In your previous post you mentioned that you felt some of the decor should be included in the basic price. That's fine, but not everyone prices that way. Some people have a base price that just includes the cake itself and maybe some buttercream dots or something very simple like that, and anything beyond it is an extra charge.

-K8memphis Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 6:55pm
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis 

i don't think the final prices listed here were overboard necessarily -- whatever the market will bear--
...but i think $55 over base price for that decor is way high if you see what i mean...
 

 

this is what i said upthread -- i was wordy though and it got lost in there -- even az's price is great at over $300 more power to everyone -- get as much as you can --

 

but in general there are decorators who use too much energy and time to do their job-- for example a bakery owner who had her hands operated on for nerve damage had a lengthy recovery during which she still decorated even though she hired me to step in for her -- she never changed the way she decorated -- she went to therapy she had acupuncture and she had to sell in short order because she completely blew her hands out -- duh-uh -- it doesn't have to be this way --

 

how much it costs, how long it takes, how ergonomic and efficient you work is all vitally important -- contributes to burn out or to success --

 

if op could work up to speed she would be giving herself a big raise -- we're quick to be sure we advise to charge enough money -- i'm just giving a realistic time frame -- 

-K8memphis Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 7:26pm
post #27 of 32

also, fellow hoosier, if you have a flat edge cookie sheet that you can place on a smaller foam dummy or on your turntable -- you can twirl your roses right off your rose nail onto the edge of the pan--no little squares of paper -- no stopping and picking up scissors -- no interruption at all -- just make the rose and twirl the nail head under the edge of the pan and smoosh the rose off so the rose moves off onto the pan -- maybe needs one finger to help scootch it off --will save you a ton of time--

iluvdonuts Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 8:52pm
post #28 of 32

 

This is a cake that was recently ordered. Its an (8,10inch) 62 Servings at $3.50, is $215. Now this is a very simple cake and all decor is included in my base price. My profit will be higher simply because it will take less time. When you compare the two, the first cake, although smaller, is going to take longer. Yes, I will make the roses, etc. ahead of time but it will still take longer than flower blossoms, quilting and a simple bow.  Yet, the price difference is only $10.  My cost of ingredients is a bit higher for the simple, larger cake but my profit is more. Just an example of why i charged extra. 

 

Thanks for the tip on the roses! 

morganchampagne Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 8:55pm
post #29 of 32

AYou do lovely work!

iluvdonuts Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 9:18pm
post #30 of 32

Quote:

Originally Posted by morganchampagne 

You do lovely work!

This isn't mine. I haven't made this order yet. This is the photo the client provided for a quote.

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