So I have two customers that ordered a cake from me for next month (Aug 9th to be exact.)
Customer A. hasn't given me any cake details as of yet, I don't know flavor, servings, design...all I have is the date the cake is needed and that it's for a little girls birthday. Do any of you talented and experienced decorators have a cut off date for your customers as to when you need to have all the final details? If so, what is your cut off and when do you no longer allow changes to be made?
Customer B. Contacted me about her cake a month ago and although I did not request a deposit from her I quoted her a price for 08/06 and since the original e-mail from her in early June she has since made changes to her order due to her budget. She contacted me last night to 1.) Change the date to the following weekend and 2.) Change the design/servings yet AGAIN to accomodate her new budget...when do you guys say enough is enough with the changes and what is your cut off to no longer allow the customer to make another change to their order??
I spent quite some time pricing everything out the first time AND the second time and I had already started purchasing the things I am going to need for her cake that it is very frustrating to have to re-design the cake AGAIN!
If you have experiences in this please give me your 2 cents...I need help/advise with how to go about both these customers. I did not request a deposit from either of them but it's not too late to do so I just don't know when is the time to require all important information and when to tell them changes are no longer allowed and price is set!!
TIA for the help and input!!!
AFirst thing, ask for a deposit right now! Once they give you money they really place an order.. For me, a customer can change some details till 10 days before the pick up day. Anyways, if they keep on emailing you 10times and changing things you should stop them right away
AI require a 50% deposit to save the date do ASAP (first come, first served), normally after I have given an ESTIMATE. Or $50 to hold a date with no estimate. Both non-refundable. Once the deets are hashed out, a QUOTE is given.
Changes may be made up until 1 week prior to their BALANCE being paid, which is generally 4-6 weeks prior to the event date. HOWEVER, major design changes which require new sketches, etc., incur a $30 fee. This gives you a little time to issue a new quote and for them to still get their money to you on time.
Also, my contract asks the number of guests invited and what percent they feel will attend. I base my estimate on that number and state that additional cake may be added in the form of a kitchen cake. No drastic reductions in cake size can be accomodated. A) I get suspicious that they are ordering grocery store cake behind my back and B) it may change the whole design and C) I rely on the income promised in the quote by them.
AAnd I should add that I have been emailing them a copy of a contract along with the estimate (or prior to, if they are just curious) so they can be familiar with my policies before they order. Seeing the $30 re-design fee should deter people from making too many changes.