A Business Owner Trying To Hire Me For Very Cheap. Insulting!

Business By ConnieCakes14 Updated 12 Apr 2015 , 9:17pm by AJT2012

ConnieCakes14 Posted 11 Apr 2015 , 9:17pm
post #1 of 15

Sorry, I have to vent! It's been bothering me since yesterday. 
This lady owns a party business on the next town over. She's basically a party planner who includes a custom cake in her party packages and is apparently looking for a baker to do the cakes for her business. Calls me up and says she loves my cakes, and is disappointed in her current baker because of the sloppy cakes they give her. Her customers are very unhappy with the cakes.

She wanted to hire me to make her cakes for her party packages. And she explained that she did not like the 6 & 8 inch round tier sizes her baker was making. She wanted BIGGER and better detailed cakes to make a better presentation for her customers. Like a 8in & 10in tiered cake. And also wanted me to make highly detailed dummy cakes for her store display. Her party packages range between $300 to $400.

And get this: She wanted to pay me $45 PER CAKE, 20 CAKES PER MONTH. I tried to explain to her that I am just one person doing all this work being a home based business and I have to keep a limit on the number of cakes I make per week to maintain quality in artistic details. I gave her my price for a 8in & 10in tier cake and she says she can't afford it and refuses to raise the prices of her party packages to accommodate a custom cake. 
well, tough luck lady. No wonder she doesn't like her current baker. She's only paying them $45 per cake.
Anyway, that's my frustrating story. I'm standing firm to my prices. But geez, you'd think another business owner in the party business should know how much custom cakes cost.

Anyone have a crazy story like this?

14 replies
indydebi Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 2:14am
post #2 of 15

Geesh, a 10" cake is a BIG cake for a kid's party.  Roughly 35 servings .... for $45?  Yeah, you're right.  No wonder her other baker left!

Apti Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 3:37am
post #3 of 15

Forget about the venting and her attempt to get wholesale pricing on custom cakes and see if there is a way  you can turn this to your advantage.  After all...you have nothing to lose; just as she had nothing to lose by asking for a super-low price.  That's called negotiating.     (And, by the way, this "business owner in the party business DOES know how much custom cakes cost"; she just doesn't want to pay that because it will reduce her profit margin and result in fewer customers if she passes along the higher prices.   When she called you, you might have said YES.)

business owner in the party business should know how much custom cakes cost.
Read more at http://www.cakecentral.com/forum/t/794762/a-business-owner-trying-to-hire-me-for-very-cheap-insulting#post_7592568#Ibdyb4I1C1OjFCh6.99"bu

Determine a market price (not wholesale) for both a 10"x4" cake and an  8"x4" cake, decorated as she requested,  in either vanilla or chocolate, with buttercream frosting.     Determine EXACTLY how much your cost is in supplies, ingredients, overhead.  Determine EXACTLY how long it takes you in time for everything, and how much notice is needed to create a cake. Do you have freezer capacity to pre-make some cakes and freeze them? 

Prepare a detailed proposal and suggest that she lower her "party package" prices by whatever amount she chooses, then have the customer contact you directly to order their party cake. 

IF you take this approach, then YOU must have all your ducks in a row or you may end up with 17 cakes for one weekend and be working for $1.75 an hour.  The party planner may say NO, but all you've lost is some time working up the proposal.  And....you will have gained some very valuable information for future business.

-K8memphis Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 1:10pm
post #4 of 15

what apti said a million times over plus indy is right too of course -- but negotiate this -- work it out -- you will save time and that's money of course if you can come up with something where she does all the dealing with the customer -- you have an opportunity to learn to work faster and faster --- and make decent steady money -- present several styles of cakes you will do young boy/girl, older b/g, tween b/g, teen b/g, adult b/g plus one or tow generic-- set these dozen styles in stone and make some money --

what about baking sheet cakes and cutting your cake out from there -- tell her she gets more servings and you can bake one cake that fills 2-4 orders -- 

if being artistic is more your thing though and if you can't cake hustle this isn't for you --

best to you but apti is right try & make this an opportunity for yourself

Ta Dah Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 2:15pm
post #5 of 15


@ ConnieCakes14,

I'm sorry that this happen to you but for someone like myself new to the industry, I need to hear that!  I have been making cakes for family members and friends and giving them away. I never used this form but today I received some valuable information and everyone seems willing to help each other. I love it! ConnieCakes14 turn this around for your GOOD!!


Great and valuable insight

Thanks all

SaraClassic Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 2:18pm
post #6 of 15

She's got the process backwards... You do the cakes, she gets 45 for the referral ;)

costumeczar Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 3:51pm
post #7 of 15


Quote by @SaraClassic on 1 hour ago

She's got the process backwards... You do the cakes, she gets 45 for the referral ;)


-K8memphis Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 6:47pm
post #8 of 15

saraclassic and costumeczar -- what do you mean $45 to the party person? why would you want op to do that - i'm missing something...

SaraClassic Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 7:13pm
post #9 of 15

It's like a finders fee, I work with party planners... They get a small fee for getting the business to me But I still make my sale .

A commission paid to an intermediary or the facilitator of a transaction. The finder's fee is rewarded because the intermediary discovered the deal and brought it forth to interested parties.

-K8memphis Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 7:37pm
post #10 of 15

per cake? or per month? maybe per 20 cakes but i would never do that -- i would allow her to tack $45 onto my price though --

SaraClassic Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 8:27pm
post #11 of 15

Yes. That's the idea. And Per cake

-K8memphis Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 8:47pm
post #12 of 15

ok cool but finder's fees like these flow between businesses like you said -- in my case i would allow the event planner to tack on an additional fee to be removed from the bride's pocket not from mine -- 

ConnieCakes14 Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 8:58pm
post #13 of 15

Thanks for the info, Apti. I'm actually doing that with another party planner in the same town as I am in, except her parties are limited to princess themes. Her packages do not include a cake, so if her clients need a cake, they get referred to me. I've explained to the lady about that, in hopes to give her some ideas to create a new, cheaper party package and refer the clients to me. 
She is very aware that the servings amount in a 6 & 8 tiered cake serve 26-28, and she stated that it was more than enough for her parties. But she insists that the cakes be larger for a "better presentation". 
I've thought about going back and messaging her to negotiate something together, like the idea of making a package without the cake...I guess, like you said, I have nothing to lose and the worse she can say is no. lol. 

ConnieCakes14 Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 9:03pm
post #14 of 15

Quote by @-K8memphis on 14 minutes ago

ok cool but finder's fees like these flow between businesses like you said -- in my case i would allow the event planner to tack on an additional fee to be removed from the bride's pocket not from mine -- 

I like that idea!

AJT2012 Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 9:17pm
post #15 of 15

I think Apti is on to something!  ConnieCakes14 you should totally come back with that offer.  What do you have to lose?  Nothing!  What do you have to gain???  Nothing but business!

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