How Much Should I Charge?

Decorating By raizelmercedes Updated 27 Jan 2015 , 5:16am by julia1812

raizelmercedes Posted 24 Jan 2015 , 3:43pm
post #1 of 14

Hello cake friends!

 

I am new to this site and to cake decorating!  I was wondering if you all would give me your input...

I've been making cakes for my family for about a year now.  I just starting doing it because it's so much fun, but people have been asking my sisters if I would sell them.  I was just wondering how/what I should charge.  I wouldn't want to charge too much, as I am still learning, however I would want to make it worth my time.  (I teach part time, work at a restaurant and I am still going to grad school and am barely paying the bills!) Anyhow, any and all input would be much appreciated! I've attached a picture below so you get an idea of my work.

 

Thank you :)

 

 

13 replies
Jedi Knight Posted 24 Jan 2015 , 4:34pm
post #2 of 14

AHow many portions?

Have you added up all of your costs, including overhead, all ingredients, and non-edibles (boards, boxes, supports, etc)?

How much time did this project take?

crumbcake Posted 24 Jan 2015 , 4:39pm
post #3 of 14

AI've read on blog they charge 3times the cost of ingredients to make the cake

craftybanana Posted 24 Jan 2015 , 5:16pm
post #4 of 14

And don't forget to charge more than minimum wage for your hourly rate. And Do Not Undercharge because you are new. Too many people will take advantage of that and you will burn out really fast. And don't charge less than your grocery store cakes, those stores are actually losing money on those cakes just to keep people shopping there. Your cake is not a Walmart cake, so don't price it like one. Like Jedi said, tally up all your costs and time then compare it to the market price (what other people in you area sell similar cakes for).

Jedi Knight Posted 24 Jan 2015 , 5:24pm
post #5 of 14

ACrumbcake..... Who are *they*, and who is the dumb@$$ who made up this so-called 'rule'?

Let's say my costs for a cake are $75, including overhead, ingredients and non-edibles...... and the cake decorations/preparations have taken 12 hours - should I then only charge $225 for the cake?

That's an hourly wage of only 12.50, plus I need to pay taxes, unemployment etc from that. That is just not enough profit to sustain a business.

I'd just LOVE to b*tchslap the person who first started this crap@$$ rumor about 3×ingredients.

-K8memphis Posted 24 Jan 2015 , 5:29pm
post #6 of 14

cute cake --

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by raizelmercedes 
 

  I wouldn't want to charge too much --

 

 

 

hear me out for a second --  this ^^^ statement is the exact wrong way to go --  you literally need to charge as much as you can -- people can get good cake anywhere -- no where can they get your cakes -- that's rare and special -- if it's worth your time and energy as busy as you are then folks gotta pay for it and that's only gonna happen if you charge 'em for it -- 

 

to address the fact that you are rather new at this -- some people want to order from you because they want to support you so make 'em anything easy for you --

 

others are going to bring you  pictures so you have to be ready to say "no i don't do that style" -- "i can do a cake like this for you instead" don't take on more than you can handle and when you're new you don't always discern the complexity of a design just by looking at it -- you can also tell peeps "i'll get back to you in 24 hours" so you have time to think it through and accept the order or offer what you can do for them --

 

but first you need to check with your local authorities, health department, zoning, code enforcement, hoa, apartment super, city ordinances -- to be sure you can do this legally -- it's different everywhere so you just gotta hit the ground running and find out in your area -- be prepared to receive/decipher conflicting information--  just the nature of the game --

 

people in general and you in particular do not understand what goes into selling custom cakes -- starting off not wanting to charge too much is classic and wrong headed -- no offense -- it's the perfect recipe for burn out -- trust me on this -- read up on it on this board by doing a search -- upper right hand corner of the computer screen -- 

 

whether you continue as a hobby or take it on as business -- as persuasively as possible i want to urge you to rethink limiting yourself to not want to charge too much -- if you've got a product people want why don't you want top dollar for it -- if you're not ready to charge top dollar then that's another matter --

 

not to mention hello kitty is copyrighted so if you made that one it's infringement -- if you bought it you're probably ok -- there's a lot to this and that's why it's important to get paid for your expertise --

 

best to you

Norasmom Posted 24 Jan 2015 , 6:03pm
post #7 of 14

I love that cake, you did a great job!

 

Undercharging is what brings a business down.  If you truly want to be a legitimate business that profits, it will be impossible to hold down all of the jobs you have because you will be baking and learning about the business of baking.   When you spend enough time making cakes you will know exactly what your time, ingredients and overhead are worth, without even asking.  I am out of breath just thinking about you having 2 jobs and grad school.

 

That being said, I am going to assume that cake is about 30 servings.   For a 30-serving fondant cake, an experienced baker would charge about $150.00 or more, and not feel that is too much.

 

It takes tremendous strength to ask for what a cake is worth, the general public is, indeed, used to grocery store cakes and the prices associated with them…so sometimes it's a fight to earn your keep.

-K8memphis Posted 24 Jan 2015 , 6:10pm
post #8 of 14

Quote:

...I've been making cakes for my family... because it's so much fun...

 

 

what i was trying to say is charge as much as possible if you want it to stay fun -- 

 

fair market value for the cake in your picture should go for at least $3.50 $4.00 a serving to $5 $6 a serving depending on where it's sold, or more for premium ingredients etc. 

 

if it's an 8x6 you need to be able to say 'that'll be $200 thank you very much' give or take a few --

 

or just keep it fun and do for family because some of those people saying they want to order don't understand this process and aren't going to pay what you're worth kwim?

raizelmercedes Posted 24 Jan 2015 , 7:09pm
post #9 of 14

Thanks for the input everyone, I appreciate it!  After I made this cake, someone asked if I would make the same size cake for a baby shower, but the cake included a few large-sized figurines with intricate detail.  I quoted her $150, but it was too much money.  So then I was unsure of my price, however I felt my time was worth every penny!  I know there is so much to take into consideration when pricing, I guess I would just need to sit down and figure it all out.  Just wanted to make sure I was on the right track.  Thanks again!

-K8memphis Posted 24 Jan 2015 , 7:18pm
post #10 of 14

good for you -- see people don't know what that level work entails -- and this endeavor can stay fun when you do it for family srsly

 

good for you

Jedi Knight Posted 24 Jan 2015 , 9:04pm
post #11 of 14

A

Original message sent by -K8memphis

...........not to mention hello kitty is copyrighted so if you made that one it's infringement -- if you bought it you're probably...........

This statement really surprised me. It wasn't but just a few years ago that K8 was all gung-ho about NOT respecting intellectual property and she seemed to strongly advocate breaking copyright law (as she deemed it ridiculous).

Hmmmmmmmm........

cakesbycathy Posted 25 Jan 2015 , 2:24am
post #12 of 14

Quote:

Originally Posted by raizelmercedes 
 

Thanks for the input everyone, I appreciate it!  After I made this cake, someone asked if I would make the same size cake for a baby shower, but the cake included a few large-sized figurines with intricate detail.  I quoted her $150, but it was too much money.  So then I was unsure of my price, however I felt my time was worth every penny!  I know there is so much to take into consideration when pricing, I guess I would just need to sit down and figure it all out.  Just wanted to make sure I was on the right track.  Thanks again!


I'm saying this as gently as possible....get used to it.

 

Most people DO NOT understand the amount of work that goes into making a cake like that.  They will never understand why they can't have the masterpiece they saw on Pintrest for the same price as a sheet cake at the grocery store.   You need to take a lot of time and research to figure out how to price appropriately.  But even when you do, you're also going to find there are plenty of bakers who will make that cake for the same price as a grocery store sheet cake.   If you want to do this for fun then you really may want to reconsider doing it as a business. 

shanter Posted 25 Jan 2015 , 11:34pm
post #13 of 14

Please keep in mind that starting a cake-selling business that it is a business - all expenses and income tracked, bookkeeping, license(s), health department inspections, food safety course, taxes, liability insurance, operating expenses until you show a profit (1 year? 2 years? more?), etc. etc. etc. It isn't just baking and decorating cakes. Your sister's friends are just paying you a compliment. They have no idea what is involved in running a cake business.

julia1812 Posted 27 Jan 2015 , 5:16am
post #14 of 14

A

Original message sent by Jedi Knight

This statement really surprised me. It wasn't but just a few years ago that K8 was all gung-ho about NOT respecting intellectual property and she seemed to strongly advocate breaking copyright law (as she deemed it ridiculous).

Hmmmmmmmm........

http://www.cakeboss.com/Cake-Stuff/Articles/Copyrighted-Cakes

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