Perusing around craigslist in my area, I thought I'd type in "cakes" to see if anyone advertised on it..
Then I clicked on a listing for "Professional Cake Decorator" and this is what the text says:
https:// www. facebook .com/pages/xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Single tiered cakes starting at just $20!
Two tiered cakes start at $60!
I xxxed out her website facebook site because I didn't want it to be a bashing or anything - but what frustrates me is that she is purposely and clearly undercutting other custom cake businesses/bakeries.
Really?! $20 for a single cake!?!? $60 for a two tiered cake?? ..and the cakes she's showing are all fondant covered.
Now I know what a caller was talking about yesterday:
Caller: I wanted to order a two layer birthday cake. (I'm assuming two tiers).
Me: Great! Just to let you know my two tiered cakes start at $140. (I always do this to screen out people that don't have it in their budget so I don't waste time).
Caller: Oh..... Well there's a lady that said she can do it for $60.
Me: Oh okay, well that's an amazing price and I think you should take advantage of that!
Caller: But I want you to make the cake because I like your cakes better.
Me: Sure, I can absolutely make the cake for you, but like I mentioned, they do start at $140 and unfortunately I can't lower the price because I bake every cake from scratch. The ingredients and materials I use are more expensive than a box of cake mix from Walmart. Plus, I treat each cake like a piece of art and it does take time to make them properly.
Caller: Well what if it's okay if you use cake mix? I don't care. Can you lower the price?
Me: Sorry, but no, I pride myself on baking from scratch and how my cakes taste and I don't want people to taste a cake I make and think that that's how my cakes normally taste like.
How many people were you trying to serve?
Caller: Around 10-15 people
Me: Well we can always do a single tiered cake for something closer to your budget. My smallest 2 tiered cakes serves up to 44 people and that sounds like much more cake than you may need.
Caller: But I want a 2 layer (tiered) cake. I want it to look impressive!
Me: Since you have your heart set on a two tiered cake, and you do have a $60 budget, I think your best bet would be to go with the other lady.
Caller: *sigh* Okay, fine, thank you. *click*
...I've had 4 of these calls in the past week alone and now I know why... ugh.
Okay rant over. I just wanted to vent to people that get it.
I feel your pain!
It is because of cake decorators popping up everyday that I decided to give this up as a full time career and return to the work force and do this as a hobby for my regular clientele!
You dont want 1000 clients with a 50.00 budget
You want 50 clients with a 1000.00 budget!
AIt usually comes back to haunt such bakers in one way or another. Either he/she will make a gross $20 cake, get a bad review, and lose a client, or he/she will make a phenomenal cake, but no profit, turning him/her away from cake business. Such people have existed and always will. They don't last. You're not losing business to such people. I bake solely from scratch as well. The clients those undercutting bakers get are clients I, personally, wouldn't have wanted to begin with.
AYou have to remember that she said this,
"Caller: But I want you to make the cake because I like your cakes better. "
People will come to you. Giving quotes that don't turn into biz are a fact of life. Persevere and you will find your groove.
Msbelle and Ellavanilla: Oh I know and agree with what you've said :) which is why I've learned to stand my ground (thanks to what I've read here on CC!).
I know what is and what isn't worth my time and how much I need to charge to make a profit with all the expenses and time taken into account.
I don't see people wanting a budget cake as my target customer anyway... I just get annoyed at how giving out prices like that can give people unrealistic expectations... It's cheaper than a grocery store cake for Pete's sakes! Lol
It usually comes back to haunt such bakers in one way or another. Either he/she will make a gross $20 cake, get a bad review, and lose a client, or he/she will make a phenomenal cake, but no profit, turning him/her away from cake business. Such people have existed and always will. They don't last. You're not losing business to such people. I bake solely from scratch as well. The clients those undercutting bakers get are clients I, personally, wouldn't have wanted to begin with.