Cake Quoting/pricing Help

Business By jfraelich Updated 26 Jul 2014 , 4:46am by KellyKSD

jfraelich Posted 25 Jul 2014 , 3:07pm
post #1 of 13

AI have a small home cake business, and I get a lot if requests for cake quotes but when I give them an estimated price, I usually either don't hear back from them or they say it's out of their price range. I want to see if I'm charging too much or if people are just looking to get a super cheap cake from a "home" business. Can anyone tell me what they would quote for a cake like this (minus the doll)? I said $135. Am I asking way too much?? [IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3268126/width/200/height/400[/IMG]

12 replies
Norasmom Posted 25 Jul 2014 , 3:20pm
post #2 of 13

Nope, you are charging too little.  That's a beautiful, expensive cake!

 

A lot of times people are looking for a cheap home baker, they don't understand we are no cheaper than a bakery, and in fact, some of our costs can be higher, say, if we don't' buy in bulk.  We still pay insurance, electricity, gas,water, educational costs, e.t.c…

 

You can't lower your prices or you won't make any money.  Your demographic may just be people who cannot afford expensive cakes.  Custom cakes are a luxury item and people sometimes want them at a budget price.  Those are customers you don't want.

 

You can scale down your cakes to make ones that take less time and aren't elaborate.  I don't want to do this, I tell people right away that I only make a certain kind of cake, that takes time and is custom.  No sheet cakes with edible images of cartoon characters. To me that is boring and since it can be had by any grocery store, not worth my time.

 

So it might be worthwhile to market to a different demographic.

Gingerlocks Posted 25 Jul 2014 , 3:48pm
post #3 of 13

I agree with Norasmom, I think you quoted to little for that cake; people inquiring about pricing and then not getting back to you is par for the course, so I wouldn't be too worried about it if I were you. Many people buy things based on price and price alone, and they do the same with cakes..hence there is cake wrecks. You don't have to cater to the lowest end of the market to make a living.

-K8memphis Posted 25 Jul 2014 , 3:57pm
post #4 of 13

the map says you're within the metro phoenix area -- it says gilbert is 30 minutes to phoenix -- you should be able to find a worth your while clientelle willing to pay what you're worth -- which btw is more than you charged probably ;) -- keep going -- you're almost there 

jfraelich Posted 25 Jul 2014 , 8:57pm
post #5 of 13

Thank you for the encouragement!! Since I'm just getting started, I was starting to doubt myself about pricing because of the lack of client follow through. (I agree that I probably should charge more, but since I am new, I figured that I'd better start out modestly :)

 

Hearing that I'm not crazy and that I'm not asking too much is exactly what I need to hear! Thank you, thank you!

AZCouture Posted 25 Jul 2014 , 9:03pm
post #6 of 13

AShoot, there are plenty of high rollers in your area. I'm in podunk [I]Yuma[/I] for heaven's sake, and mine are ten to twelve dollars a serving for certain designs. So, find the people who won't settle for mediocre, and sell the living daylights out of yourself and why your product is worth it. ;) But I don't envy the market up there, holy cow there are probably ten times as many decorators up there than are actually needed. I would imagine you have to work really hard to stand out.

MimiFix Posted 26 Jul 2014 , 12:22am
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfraelich 
 

Thank you for the encouragement!! Since I'm just getting started, I was starting to doubt myself about pricing because of the lack of client follow through. (I agree that I probably should charge more, but since I am new, I figured that I'd better start out modestly :)

 

Hearing that I'm not crazy and that I'm not asking too much is exactly what I need to hear! Thank you, thank you!

 

OP, if pricing is a concern I hope you rethink who you are appealing to. A customer base of people who want "affordable prices" will only find you working many hours for less than minimum wage. Sadly, your website addresses custom cake prices by denigrating your competition, accusing them of gouging the public. Three of your web pages reinforce this thinking. 

 

Home page: "Not only will you fall in love with our delicious desserts, but your wallet will love us, too!"

 

About Us: "The concept behind Sugar Smitten Cake Co. is simple yet powerful: to create cakes, cupcakes, and cake pops that taste as amazing as they look without costing a small fortune."   

 

Sugar Smitten Signatures:  "...your wallet will be satisfied as well! Our prices are very reasonable, allowing you to pay a fraction of the price that you would at any other bakery... and you'll be much happier with your final product, too! It is Sugar Smitten's guiding principle at work here: delicious cakes, beautiful designs, and affordable prices." 

 

@AZCouture has excellent advice. Also, it may help you to search CakeCentral for pricing discussions. Good luck!

AZCouture Posted 26 Jul 2014 , 12:30am
post #8 of 13

AAnd no, why do you think you need to be cheaper just because you're new?

Original message sent by MimiFix

OP, if pricing is a concern I hope you rethink who you are appealing to. A customer base of people who want "affordable prices" will only find you working many hours for less than minimum wage. Sadly, your [URL=http://www.sugarsmittencakeco.com/]website[/URL] addresses custom cake prices by denigrating your competition, accusing them of gouging the public. Three of your web pages reinforce this thinking. 

[COLOR=16443C]Home page: [B]"Not only will you fall in love with our delicious desserts, but[/B][/COLOR] [COLOR=0000CD][B]your wallet will love us, too!"[/B][/COLOR]

About Us: "[COLOR=551132][B]The concept behind Sugar Smitten Cake Co. is simple yet powerful: to create cakes, cupcakes, and cake pops that taste as amazing as they look[/B][/COLOR] [COLOR=0000CD][B]without costing a small fortune[/B][/COLOR][COLOR=551132][B]."[/B] [/COLOR] [COLOR=16443C] [/COLOR]

Sugar Smitten Signatures:  "...[B][COLOR=551132]your wallet will be satisfied as well![/COLOR] [COLOR=0000CD]Our prices are very reasonable, allowing you to pay a fraction of the price that you would at any other bakery[/COLOR][COLOR=551132]... and you'll be much happier with your final product, too! It is Sugar Smitten's guiding principle at work here: delicious cakes, beautiful designs, and[/COLOR] [COLOR=0000CD]affordable prices[/COLOR][COLOR=551132]." [/COLOR][/B]

Oh dear, yeah, you're purposely appealing to people who probably have no business spending money on a custom cake in the first place. :(

liz at sugar Posted 26 Jul 2014 , 12:47am
post #9 of 13

Yes, please rethink your website language.  Just because being "wallet friendly" may be an appealing thought to YOU, it isn't to your target customer.  You are attracting cheapskates.

 

Liz

jfraelich Posted 26 Jul 2014 , 12:49am
post #10 of 13

@MimiFix Those were really good points! I never thought about the potential draw that tiny statements like that can have... I have already addresses those pieces on all of my profiles :) Thank you for pointing that out. And @AZCouture You are right, too! I am completely appealing to the wrong customer. My original thinking was that statements like those would help attract customers, which I think it is- but it's the wrong customers.

 

As for the lessened prices, I have been considering revising them. After the feedback, I am going to give it some serious consideration :) 

AZCouture Posted 26 Jul 2014 , 12:57am
post #11 of 13

AI see lots of well done cupcakes, but no detailed tiered cakes, do you have any experience with those?

jfraelich Posted 26 Jul 2014 , 1:10am
post #12 of 13

@AZCouture I have gotten requests for two-tiered (and three-tierd) cakes, but those are the customers who typically decide to go with someone else after they get quoted. I have a lot of customers who just want a single tier cake (I have done a couple of weddings and it seems like the majority of the requests I've been getting are for a sweetheart cake). I do have some tastings for weddings coming up soon and those customers would be for tiered cakes. I've practiced doing them, but I haven't had any customers follow through with orders yet. 

KellyKSD Posted 26 Jul 2014 , 4:46am
post #13 of 13

Jessica,

 

I'm going through the same thing. I actually just posted about this a week or so ago. Same deal -- small home baker, with people who are totally shocked by the quotes. You are not quoting too high! People have unrealistic expectations of what it costs to make a custom cake, and yes, you probably are getting folks who think because you are a small home baker you will be cheaper than a "real" bakery. I have a full-time job and most of my contacts have come through there, so because caking isn't my only source of income, people think I should just do it for fun. Plus, when I started making cakes (before I even knew I could do a decent job:)) I just had people mainly cover the cost of ingredients, so I still get people who say, "well you made this cake for Susie for this price." It's hard to explain that I'm actually trying to make a business out of this now, but that's exactly what I do. Just explain the time and effort that goes into a custom cake, and all the great things about your product (tastes great, made from scratch, whatever you think makes your cakes special). And if they can't afford it, they can't. It's better for my sanity to let an order go than to burn up a weekend making a cake that I'll get next to no money for.

 

And I would agree with the above comments regarding the website references to price. Even if your prices are significantly lower than the bakery down the street, unless the person has already called them for a quote, they probably won't think so. Good luck to you! :smile:

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