Pricing Out A Wedding Cake For A Bride With A Very Low Budget!

Business By ConnieCakes14 Updated 22 Oct 2014 , 3:10pm by BomCakes

ConnieCakes14 Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 1:48am
post #1 of 38

AThis lady wants me to make this four tiered wedding cake to feed 100 people. I told her the sizes of the tiers will be 12", 10", 8", 6" for that many people. I charge 2.50 per serving, so just the cake costs $250. Adding a rhinestone stand, two brooches, ribbon, and letter monogram equals $350 for everything. I told her my quote and she says she can't afford it, and her budget is $200-250. I said I can try to give her some option, but I'm not sure what to do?

My first option is to replace two tiers with dummy cakes and purchase a sheet cake on the side, but even that option pushes over $300. My second option is to have her pay for the full price, and offer a 90% buyback deal for the return of cake stand, brooches, and letter monogram (so she's basically renting them for $10). As a cake decorator, I can always reuse them, right? What do you all think?

[IMG ALT=""]http://www.cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3282023/width/350/height/700[/IMG]

37 replies
kakeladi Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 1:51am
post #2 of 38

...........My second option.............

 

Probably would not have thought of it but this is a nice option.

AZCouture Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 1:58am
post #3 of 38

AWhat a hassle. I'd exert my energy booking the date with someone that has an appropriate budget for what she wants.

Bunny0410 Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 2:00am
post #4 of 38

When is the wedding?.. Can she not pay in installments?

 

What type of cake is it? Can you make a cheaper type of cake/filling?

melmar02 Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 2:07am
post #5 of 38

AHave you considered telling her you can make just the cake for $250 since that was your base price, and she can provide the stand, ribbon, and broaches. She can get all that stuff at Michaels or Hobby Lobby bit by bit with 40% off coupons then you're not stuck chasing it back down after the wedding. If you go this route, I would make it very clear that all materials she is providing are due 2 weeks (or whatever) before the wedding along with final payment. I would also tell her how much ribbon would be needed so she doesn't come up short.

ConnieCakes14 Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 2:08am
post #6 of 38

A

Original message sent by Bunny0410

When is the wedding?.. Can she not pay in installments?

What type of cake is it? Can you make a cheaper type of cake/filling?

It's just plain white cake with all-butter vanilla buttercream, and marshmallow fondant. The wedding is in December. I didn't think about payment installments. Maybe I can relay that to her and see what she thinks.

ConnieCakes14 Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 2:17am
post #7 of 38

A

Original message sent by melmar02

Have you considered telling her you can make just the cake for $250 since that was your base price, and she can provide the stand, ribbon, and broaches. She can get all that stuff at Michaels or Hobby Lobby bit by bit with 40% off coupons then you're not stuck chasing it back down after the wedding. If you go this route, I would make it very clear that all materials she is providing are due 2 weeks (or whatever) before the wedding along with final payment. I would also tell her how much ribbon would be needed so she doesn't come up short.

I charged her for the materials because I was going to order them all online. I found them all looking exactly like the picture and pretty cheap too. Stand, ribbons, brooches, monogram...all for $100. I figure she can return them to me after the wedding and get $90 back. If she doesn't, I'll keep the money. The downside to that option is that she might not even have $350 upfront.

hmcakery Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 2:26am
post #8 of 38

I agree with AZ. You've stated your price. If she can't meet it, it's not your problem and you both need to move on. Walmart offers wedding cakes for cheap.

FrostedMoon Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 2:37am
post #9 of 38

The option with dummy cakes doesn't sound like it should be cheaper to me.  You still have to cover & decorate the dummies, and then you have to do the sheet cake, too.

 

I personally wouldn't offer the $90 buy back.  What if they come back damaged, or you get only part of what was used?  Will you feel comfortable telling her she can't have her money back?

 

$2.50 a serving sounds on the low side to me for a fondant covered cake, but I get that's what you are offering her.  Perhaps suggest a few different options that won't stretch her budget too much.  Maybe silver ribbon instead of bling?

ConnieCakes14 Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 3:07am
post #10 of 38

AYou guys are right, I shouldn't waste my time on this situation. She pretty much wants a four tiered fondant cake for $150 and I'm definitely not going to do that.

I know my pricing is a bit on the low side. Bakeries around here charge from $2.30 to $6 a slice. I just started decorating cakes five months ago so I'm still learning techniques and pricing out my recipes. Slowly raising my price though!

-K8memphis Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 3:09am
post #11 of 38

Ayour bride needs to pick a different design -- maybe her aunt Louise or someone can cough up the extra for the bling -- it's not up to you -- you are already giving her a great deal --

Annie8 Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 3:37am
post #12 of 38

Would she be willing to downsize to two tiers? Would that get it to the appropriate cost?

ConnieCakes14 Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 3:39am
post #13 of 38

A

Original message sent by Annie8

Would she be willing to downsize to two tiers? Would that get it to the appropriate cost?

I could try asking her that. have her buy a sheet cake for the guests?

Bunny0410 Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 5:06am
post #14 of 38

I recommend sticking to your orginial pricing. Let her haggle with the florist or the photographer. If she wants your cake she will find a way to afford it

 

 If you are building up a buisness, remember you are also building a reputation.

The best new business will come from quality work.

lunawhisper0013 Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 6:02am
post #15 of 38

A[ATTACHMENT=1897]IMG_7727212677944.jpeg (56k. jpeg file)[/ATTACHMENT]

Dayti Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 10:54am
post #16 of 38

How about:

3 tier cake 6", 8", 10" - 60 portions = €$150

40 portions of cake as a kitchen cake, however you want to make it, let's say you charge $1.50 per = $60

Your option of the buyback thingy = €10 - and if it's 3 tiers you would use less bling and ribbon and I would just use 1 brooch on the middle tier. 

Total cost to her = $220 + whatever delivery you charge.

 

But only if you really want the business. I don't do haggling myself.

Smckinney07 Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 12:30pm
post #17 of 38

AThere's a difference between working with someone within their budget & her trying to get a large cake for $150 or whatever. Your prices are very low already, I mean no disrespect but would you be making much (if any) profit from this order? Charge what you will, I'm just saying this sounds like it will be more of a hassle.

I wouldn't like the idea of her purchasing extra cake from Walmart or wherever, and serving that with your cake. You are trying to build your reputation, right? I wouldn't want people confusing my cake with someone else's, not to mention the risk of someone becoming ill (although that's probably very unlikely).

Minimum orders will help you 'weed out' some people who aren't willing to pay you properly for your work and make sure you have some sort of contract to cover you & your customer.

I let people break up their payments if they ask, I require a percentage down and the remainder 3-4 weeks in advance. If they want to break the rest up in one/two payments that's fine but I don't start the cake until its paid in full, it isn't booked until I receive the deposit, & I don't hound people for payments (that might sound mean but I don't have the time). I've learned most of these things the hard way!

Good luck!

mcaulir Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 1:22pm
post #18 of 38

Quote:

Originally Posted by ConnieCakes14 

This lady wants me to make this four tiered wedding cake to feed 100 people. I told her the sizes of the tiers will be 12", 10", 8", 6" for that many people. I charge 2.50 per serving, so just the cake costs $250. Adding a rhinestone stand, two brooches, ribbon, and letter monogram equals $350 for everything. I told her my quote and she says she can't afford it, and her budget is $200-250. I said I can try to give her some option, but I'm not sure what to do?

My first option is to replace two tiers with dummy cakes and purchase a sheet cake on the side, but even that option pushes over $300.
My second option is to have her pay for the full price, and offer a 90% buyback deal for the return of cake stand, brooches, and letter monogram (so she's basically renting them for $10). As a cake decorator, I can always reuse them, right?
What do you all think?


 

None of that is your responsibility. It's not your job to work out a way for her to get what she wants for the price she wants to pay.

 

And no, you can't always reuse brooches etc. What are the chances that you'll really use those exact lengths of blingy ribbon again? Two different widths? Or that someone else will want the exact brooches that this bride uses? Or that your next bride will have the same letter monogram, or if by some miracle they do, that they'll want the exact same style?

 

You will kick yourself if you do this - if she wants to pay $250, she needs to order a 250 dollar cake.

ConnieCakes14 Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 2:59pm
post #19 of 38

A[quote name="Smckinney07" url="/t/779075/pricing-out-a-wedding-cake-for-a-bride-with-a-very-low-budget/15#post_7546917"]There's a difference between working with someone within their budget & her trying to get a large cake for $150 or whatever. Your prices are very low already, I mean no disrespect but would you be making much (if any) profit from this order? Charge what you will, I'm just saying this sounds like it will be more of a hassle.

I wouldn't like the idea of her purchasing extra cake from Walmart or wherever, and serving that with your cake. You are trying to build your reputation, right? I wouldn't want people confusing my cake with someone else's, not to mention the risk of someone becoming ill (although that's probably very unlikely).

Minimum orders will help you 'weed out' some people who aren't willing to pay you properly for your work and make sure you have some sort of contract to cover you & your customer.

I let people break up their payments if they ask, I require a percentage down and the remainder 3-4 weeks in advance. If they want to break the rest up in one/two payments that's fine but I don't start the cake until its paid in full, it isn't booked until I receive the deposit, & I don't hound people for payments (that might sound mean but I don't have the time). I've learned most of these things the hard way!

[/QUOTE]

Thank you. I am also learning the hard way. Lol. After pricing everything out, I'd only be making 1/3 of the full price as profit. This would have been my first wedding cake to make. As exciting as it was, it got a little frustrating trying to fit to her budget. I want to help her, but I'm not budging from my pricing at all. I can't afford it. I'm tired of people trying to walk over me, and if I budge, she'll probably go around telling people I am easy to haggle down. Definitely don't want that kind of reputation.

Your deposit and payment method is going to be my method too. and print out contracts. I had another bride wanting to make me a four tiered wedding cake for 150 people by the end of this month, with Italian cream cake and butternut frosting! I quoted her $600 for it and need a full deposit by this week or it's too late. She hasn't contacted me or paid me, but is going around town telling people I'm making her cake. Crazy! Boy is she going to be surprised...lol.

Annie8 Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 3:10pm
post #20 of 38

Quote:

Originally Posted by ConnieCakes14 


I could try asking her that. have her buy a sheet cake for the guests?

I've had a few wedding clients that come in wanting a large cake and then after receiving pricing, decide they'd rather downsize to 2 tiers and have sheet cakes for their guests.  With some cake designs, it works to downsize and for some, it does not.  In looking at this cake, I would think a 2 tier would work, but as someone else said, I'd want to make sure you were also getting the sheets cakes in the order because you don't want a potentially subpar cake being associated with you.  As for switching it to dummies, with the amount of fondant, ribbon, and bling needed, you wouldn't really be saving much in my opinion.  Yes, you'd be saving the cost of making cake for those tiers, but you'd still have to frost them, fondant them, and decorate them, which is a huge part of the cost.  If she's unwilling to listen to your recommendations, maybe it is best to just say no.  If you feel comfortable with your contract for accepting payments, then that is an option for you. Stick to your instincts. 

johnson6ofus Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 4:12pm
post #21 of 38

BTW, it seems a consensus on here is about 1/3 to 1/2 of the COST (including shipping, tax, etc.) for item "rental" that you can REUSE. So her "bling" would be $35-$50 RENTAL if you could reuse it all (not $10!).

 

Like someone said, used cut ribbon and a letter"D" wouldn't qualify as "reusable" in my book. 

 

But on a cake pedestal, or something like that...maybe. 

johnson6ofus Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 4:21pm
post #22 of 38

Oh, when I last shopped for a new car, I really wanted the BMW roadster, but got a Corolla. It wasn't the BMW car salesman who had to try to "fit" my dream car into my actual budget. 

Edible Art Co Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 5:15pm
post #23 of 38

Quote:

Originally Posted by ConnieCakes14 

I had another bride wanting to make me a four tiered wedding cake for 150 people by the end of this month, with Italian cream cake and butternut frosting!

That's very nice of her :D

Claire138 Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 5:53pm
post #24 of 38

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnson6ofus 
 

Oh, when I last shopped for a new car, I really wanted the BMW roadster, but got a Corolla. It wasn't the BMW car salesman who had to try to "fit" my dream car into my actual budget. 

Exactly!

I honestly find these kind of clients just depressing. I know that not everyone can afford to buy an expensive cake be it for a birthday, christening, wedding or whatever but then there seems to be - esp for a wedding - a budget for everything else. Why are cake decorators treated as though they were standing down the market place or at the fair so that they can be bargained with??? This does my head in. I had a client today who turned me down bc " oh, I was only thinking of spending €100" - for a multiple tiered cake for 100 people! Sure, I'll just wave my cake fairy wand and do it........

 

Even if you're just a beginner if you are ready to make wedding cakes then you have to be ready to charge what they cost. I'm not keen on the idea of having to chase down a client afterwards for stuff to be returned & all - just think, they will be on their honeymoon etc and then when they get back they'll be settling down. Seems like it's more trouble than it's worth. You have to decide though if this is the route you want to take.

Gingerlocks Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 6:22pm
post #25 of 38

Quote:

Originally Posted by lunawhisper0013 

 

I laughed way harder then I should have at this..;-)

craftybanana Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 6:23pm
post #26 of 38

AThe Something Borrowed could be a relatives brooch. I have a friend who bought one from a thrift store (costume jewelry) for her bouquet, could work for the cake too. My throwing bouquet was my topper too, but I really liked the flowers and wasn't going for bling, I also saved $400 bucks by not having alcohol, ha ha.

lunawhisper0013 Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 6:42pm
post #27 of 38

AI had someone low ball me on a cake recently. I explained to her that she was basically asking me to work for below minimum wage once all the supplies and such were factored in. I don't ask for much comparitively, but I am worth at least $10/hour and, if they don't agree, there is always someone who makes them cheaper

MBalaska Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 6:54pm
post #28 of 38

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gingerlocks 
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by lunawhisper0013 

 

I laughed way harder then I should have at this..;-)

 

 

Me too.  It actually kind of cheered me up.....after I stopped laughing.

leah_s Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 7:50pm
post #29 of 38

What Bunny0410 said.

Also, that's a lot of cake for 100 . . . 6/9/12 round = 100 servings. If she's invited 100 people, she won't need 100 servings anyway.  About 75% of invited actually show up.  In that case a 75 serving cake 6/8/10 would be enough.  Don't over-cake and do stick to your price.  

Don't let her budget become your problem.  Brides always find the $ to get what they want.

craftybanana Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 8:34pm
post #30 of 38

Quote:

Originally Posted by leah_s 
 

What Bunny0410 said.

Also, that's a lot of cake for 100 . . . 6/9/12 round = 100 servings. If she's invited 100 people, she won't need 100 servings anyway.   About 75% of invited actually show up.   In that case a 75 serving cake 6/8/10 would be enough.  Don't over-cake and do stick to your price.  

Don't let her budget become your problem.  Brides always find the $ to get what they want.

I second Leah, I invited 125, 90 showed up, but only about 75 could eat cake.... We were eating cake for a loooong while after that (100 serving size cake). I recall my planner said about 15% of guests don't come.

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