Old Customer New Prices?!?!

Business By Lwarmke79 Updated 16 May 2015 , 12:37pm by camomama5

Lwarmke79 Posted 14 Apr 2015 , 11:18am
post #1 of 15

So last year I was just starting to charge customers for custom cakes. I charged $65.00 for a 12x12 square that fed 48 with custard and fruit filling with about a hundred words on the cake and a chalace. 

Now the customer returns and wants the same cake. I will admit I had no clue how to charge for cakes last year. Now I do and would not make this cake again for less than $150.00 

She said she understands the change and that I rent a commercial kitchen but she can't spend more than $100 for the cake. She says it can be smaller but she still wants the details the same and so the price is still higher than $100. 

She wants a 10x10 with chalace filling and "God Bless So and So on your first holy Communion May 17th 2015" 

For this cake without fresh fruit filling I would charge 4.00 per serving, Making it $120. 

How do I explain again that this is my price politely. I just did 5 jobs last week and did not have to explain myself/pricing to a single client, so I know I am not out of line.

So lucky that she is a repeat client but the price game is making me mad.

Any advice appreciated!!!

14 replies
johnson6ofus Posted 14 Apr 2015 , 12:34pm
post #2 of 15

"I am sorry but I under estimated some costs and the amount of time to complete all that detail last year. I can do it smaller for $__________, I can do it without the fruit filling for $_______________. I am sorry if you are disappointed."

<Insert customer argument here>

"I am sorry- that will not be possible." Repeat offer.

And do this as often as your patience lasts...




Lwarmke79 Posted 14 Apr 2015 , 12:45pm
post #3 of 15

Thank you very much, exactly what I was looking for. patience is thinning. Already on 10 emails!!

Lwarmke79 Posted 14 Apr 2015 , 1:07pm
post #4 of 15
To my Client,


I am sorry that I under estimated some costs and the amount of time to complete all that detail last year. Going forward I can do a 10" square cake with Buttercream filling and buttercream icing, the wording and detail noted for $120.00
I completely understand if this does not work for your budget. 

I sincerely appreciate your business and you considering me again for your custom cake needs.


We'll see how she takes this??
johnson6ofus Posted 14 Apr 2015 , 1:37pm
post #5 of 15

awesome lwarm.


What can she say? I am sure the cake is worth it, but it is just a matter if she wants to adjust her budget to get it. 

Lwarmke79 Posted 14 Apr 2015 , 1:43pm
post #6 of 15

She obviously enjoyed last years cake. Right? So atleast I know she likes what I bake. 

She said my husband hates buttercream so I don't  think he'll  go for it but I will get back to you. 


Way to blame it on hubby ;)

cupadeecakes Posted 14 Apr 2015 , 1:53pm
post #7 of 15

As you work out your pricing structure, you will lose some clients that were initially only using you because you were the cheapest option in town.  It hurts a little to lose a customer that took a chance on you at the beginning.  I think some of the examples above are great, but I have explained to my past clients that my ingredient costs have changed and that I have gotten better at my job over the past couple of year, so I deserved a pay raise.  I bet they got a raise at their job over the last couple of years...


If they decide to go elsewhere I always tell them that I'll still be here next year if they're unhappy with their new cake person.

Jedi Knight Posted 14 Apr 2015 , 5:46pm
post #8 of 15

In November my employee was on vacation. I sat in the kitchen by myself decorating a cake, thinking the whole time - I forking HATE this.

The next person who called for a cake was quoted a price 40% higher than the price I would have quoted a week earlier (I wasn't cheap then, either. I am not, and never have been, the cheap cake lady).

Just like that, overnight, I raised my prices by 40% across the board and we are still fully booked.

Lwarmke79 Posted 14 Apr 2015 , 6:13pm
post #9 of 15

Thanks for the hope!! I know my prices are fine. Not cheap by any means. But doable in my area. 

camomama5 Posted 15 May 2015 , 1:24pm
post #10 of 15

I agree with all of the above. After you do your research and come up with your pricing, stick with it. You will not get every customer. I've found that even in areas that seem to be lower income, look at what people are spending their money on. Out here in this "lower income" area people are still taking vacations, going out to dinner ALOT, buying toys (4 wheelers, snowmobiles, dumping money to race a car every week, etc). These people are not poor. It's where they spend their money.  I've had lots of people tell me "I'm going to have you make our graduation cake, wedding cake, etc" but then when they find out they can't get my work and taste for sheet cake prices, they vanish. I never ever count on that when people tell me that.  I love how people rave about how my cakes, cupcakes taste and promise to have me make their (insert any occasion) cake but what they really mean is "Since I know you, I think I can get it cheaper than a grocery store sheet cake and still have the same quality" So irritating. My commercial kitchen is almost done (off my house)  then I can actually advertise and reach my target clientele, not people who want something for nothing. Grrrrrr..........

costumeczar Posted 15 May 2015 , 4:43pm
post #11 of 15

I just raised my minimum for wedding cakes to $500 because it isn't worth it to me to do one for less than that anymore. I had two people not write back after hearing that, oh well, see ya.

Last week two people wrote for dates that I was already booked for, and when they asked for referrals I asked what their budgets were. One had a $650 budget for 150 people plus delivery to a venue that takes forever to get in and out of because of their security (A local museum). She did say that she was "willing to go as high as $3.75 a serving" though.

The other one said that she wanted to be between $300 and 400 for 120 people. These are the people who have no idea how much a custom cake costs to make and deliver. You'll always get people like that who are horrified at how much your prices are because all they have to compare it to is the sheet cake pricing they've always had from the grocery store.

Then you'll get the people who just don't really look at the cake as a priority. There are plenty of those too, they want a cake but if it's what they consider expensive they'll happily go get a cheap one from somewhere else and not worry about it. 

Don't ever bargain or lower your prices just because those people exist in the world... 

johnson6ofus Posted 15 May 2015 , 5:04pm
post #12 of 15


Quote by @costumeczar on 20 minutes ago


....horrified at how much your prices are because all they have to compare it to is the sheet cake pricing they've always had from the grocery store.

I think this is 95% of it ^^^^

costumeczar Posted 15 May 2015 , 7:59pm
post #13 of 15

 

Quote by @johnson6ofus on 2 hours ago


Quote by @costumeczar on 20 minutes ago


....horrified at how much your prices are because all they have to compare it to is the sheet cake pricing they've always had from the grocery store.

I think this is 95% of it ^^^^

 Yes, I think that most people are just totally clueless and have no point of reference.

Apti Posted 15 May 2015 , 8:29pm
post #14 of 15


Quote by @Jedi Knight on 14 Apr 2015 , 10:46am

In November my employee was on vacation. I sat in the kitchen by myself decorating a cake, thinking the whole time - I forking HATE this.

The next person who called for a cake was quoted a price 40% higher than the price I would have quoted a week earlier (I wasn't cheap then, either. I am not, and never have been, the cheap cake lady).

Just like that, overnight, I raised my prices by 40% across the board and we are still fully booked.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!     I wanted to clap out loud when I read this.


camomama5 Posted 16 May 2015 , 12:37pm
post #15 of 15

I laughed out loud at that too hahahaha

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