Charging A Friend For Cupcakes And Cake Pops

Business By mabv812 Updated 8 Sep 2015 , 12:40am by Apti

mabv812 Posted 5 Sep 2015 , 3:15pm
post #1 of 30

So my friend ia hosting a baby shower for someone along with a few other hosts. She asked me to do the cupcakes month ago and I said sure. As of yesterday she told me they need 2 dozen carrot cupcakes, 2 dozen vanilla cupcakes, and 2 dozen lemon cake pops. From what I read online going price for cake pops in San Diego is $24/dozen and cupcakes $3 each. I told her I would do it all for $100 (since I know her). Was that a decent price? She never gave me a budget and I'm not sure ahe realized how expensive baked goods are.

29 replies
Pastrybaglady Posted 5 Sep 2015 , 4:04pm
post #2 of 30

Did she even think you were going to charge her?  Lots of friends and family don't.  Did you tell her the retail price and then the discounted price?  The price you gave her was very cheap, but I'm sure she doesn't think so.

Shockolata Posted 5 Sep 2015 , 6:02pm
post #3 of 30

Did you even cost the materials and petrol to go shopping for ingredients and deliver the cakes? Sometimes we come up with a price thinking it is reasonable and thinking we are going to make a profit whilst having fun but in the end when we do the costings we realise we are actually subsidising our client-friend! Can't tell you how many times I have made that mistake! Nowadays, I cost things first, then tell them the cost and if they are OK with it, we proceed. If not, they can buy from the shops. My contribution to their party/celebration is my personal labour but I expect them to pay the cost of electricity and cleaning and petrol and packaging as well as the ingredients. 

mabv812 Posted 5 Sep 2015 , 6:39pm
post #4 of 30

I don't really know who the baby shower is for so I assumed it was a paid gig. That's the impression I got from her. I also asked her multiple times for her budget and her response was "i didnt think about it .i was just gonna have you quote me the price and I'd run it by the other hosts".  To me it is also a very discounted price, but i didnt explain the to her. I will probably barely make a profit. Btw I havent heard back from her since i told her the price.

Webake2gether Posted 5 Sep 2015 , 7:15pm
post #5 of 30

My guess is that since you've not heard back from her she is likely going elsewhere. Which to me wouldn't be a bad thing if it were me I'd be relieved I wouldn't want to do all of that for next to nothing. 

mabv812 Posted 5 Sep 2015 , 7:32pm
post #6 of 30

True! It's on my day off so I'd rather relax. But it hasn't been 24 hrs sinceI told her so she is probably asking the other hosts.

Webake2gether Posted 5 Sep 2015 , 7:34pm
post #7 of 30

I was under the impression that it had been awhile since you told her the price so my apologies for assuming :)

johnson6ofus Posted 5 Sep 2015 , 9:16pm
post #8 of 30

When friendship and client mixes, I find it best to offer a "polite and easy" way out for the person.  Similar to, "I would normally charged $________, but since we are friends I would like to help, I will do it for $__________. If that is out off your budget, we can cut back the large order or you can just go to ____________(insert local cheap mass market place---Costco, Walmart, etc) and get some cakes/ cupcakes/ cookies there."

Do it with a sincere face and NO "dig" in it. As we know, cheap mass market baked goods are still edible, just not custom goodies. 

*Last edited by johnson6ofus on 5 Sep 2015 , 9:17pm
Snowflakebunny23 Posted 5 Sep 2015 , 9:25pm
post #9 of 30

If it is a friend and i would have given them a gift , I make cakes usually at a smidgen above cost price.  They pay the all the materials etc.  if I'm not invited the party (or wouldn't expect to be) but they are still a friend then I give them a slightly better rate than the norm but not by much.  I am making my oldest friends' wedding cake in 3 weeks time.  I have known her for all bar 3 years of my life so I wanted to give her the cake completely but she refused and insisted she paid something.  I costed it up and the materials only are going to cost £200!  Ok, it's a big cake, but still, people do not understand the cost of these things...

johnson6ofus Posted 5 Sep 2015 , 9:27pm
post #10 of 30

... and the OP says this is really a friend of a friend thing. She doesn't know the honoree/ prego.

Pastrybaglady Posted 5 Sep 2015 , 10:40pm
post #11 of 30

If there is a committee no way they will all agree to pay $100 for dessert.  When there's a group the lowest price will win out.  Just happened to me recently but I expected it.  The order is a lot of work that is actually for someone you don't know.  Be relieved if they pass on your very generous offer!

Apti Posted 5 Sep 2015 , 11:49pm
post #12 of 30

So my friend is hosting a baby shower for someone along with a few other hosts. She asked me to do the cupcakes month ago and I said sure. As of yesterday she told me they need 2 dozen carrot cupcakes, 2 dozen vanilla cupcakes, and 2 dozen lemon cake pops. From what I read online going price for cake pops in San Diego is $24/dozen and cupcakes $3 each. I told her I would do it all for $100 (since I know her). Was that a decent price?


You gave her the price.  You are responsible for honoring that price.  It doesn't matter if anyone on this forum thinks $100 is a "decent price". 


She never gave me a budget and I'm not sure she realized how expensive baked goods are.
I don't really know who the baby shower is for so I assumed it was a paid gig.

Never, EVER assume.  Would you offer to repair a transmission in a 2003 Chevy because you "assumed it was a paid gig?  Would you "guess" at the cost before repairing the transmission?   She doesn't have to know or even care how expensive baked goods are, You are.   That's why she asked for a quote.


I will probably barely make a profit.  

48 cupcakes and 24 cake pops for $100.   Using "Guess-timates Pulled out of the Air":  72 cupcakes and pops at a cost to you of 35 cents each (ingredients, liners, pop sticks) $25.   + Cost of gas getting to and from the store to purchase ingredients, $5.   Hot water, paper towels, electricity, dish soap, hot water, washing apron and kitchen towels,  $5.  Packaging for pops and cupcakes, $5-$10.    That's $40-$45 BEFORE you include your skill and time and specific flavor combinations of carrot/lemon/vanilla. 


johnson6ofus

When friendship and client mixes, I find it best to offer a "polite and easy" way out for the person.  Similar to, "I would normally charged $________, but since we are friends I would like to help, I will do it for $__________. If that is out off your budget, we can cut back the large order or you can just go to ____________(insert local cheap mass market place---Costco, Walmart, etc) and get some cakes/ cupcakes/ cookies there."

Do it with a sincere face and NO "dig" in it. As we know, cheap mass market baked goods are still edible, just not custom goodies. 

YES!

mabv812 Posted 6 Sep 2015 , 2:20pm
post #13 of 30

Update, she said $100. They may do less cake pops and get macaroons. I suggested they get those made at a bakery since I have no experience with making macaroons.

mabv812 Posted 6 Sep 2015 , 2:21pm
post #14 of 30

Opps she said $100 was fine**

Pastrybaglady Posted 6 Sep 2015 , 3:31pm
post #15 of 30

Will they still give you $100 without the cake pops? Or are they going to want to cut your fee down even more?

mabv812 Posted 6 Sep 2015 , 4:12pm
post #16 of 30

im sure they will want a reduced fee. Not sure how much I would reduce it though.

Apti Posted 6 Sep 2015 , 6:55pm
post #17 of 30

If she said $100 is ok, in my opinion, you should honor your quote and produce the baked goods giving it your very best effort.    Good for you on declining the macarons--these can be a booger to get just right.  I recently took a 3 hour macaron class that was $75, and I have no idea if I can re-create those little puppies at home. 

You provided a flat quote of $100 for 72 items.  If they reduce their order by 10 items (or 15, or 20), then I would reduce the quote by $1.00 per item. This is also an opportunity for you to say that "standard cupcakes are usually $2.00 (or more) each, and cakepops are usually $2.00 (or more) each.  Your quote of $100 was offering a significant discount from YOUR REGULAR PRICING because it was made by a friend." 

Instead of seeing this order (is this your first paid order?) as a negative, see this as a very valuable and relatively inexpensive, cake class, "How to Charge and Quote Cake/Cupcake Orders". This is a great opportunity to learn.

Here are some superb resources on how to price and sell baked goods from home:

http://www.cakeboss.com/Cake-Stuff/Articles/How-Much-Should-I-Charge  

http://www.bakingfix.com/startandrun.html   

Send a private message to Costumeczar on this forum, she has some excellent materials, but I can't find the link.

http://www.cakecentral.com/u/606598/costumeczar

*Last edited by Apti on 6 Sep 2015 , 7:01pm
-K8memphis Posted 6 Sep 2015 , 7:24pm
post #18 of 30

this really bothers me that you're working for so little -- i'd almost rather hear that you donated them -- ouch this smarts --

i would suggest you submit an invoice to her including the real price and the discounted price  just to establish yourself a little better for next time -- then decide if you can afford to give that much away for friends -- should be a reciprocal thing if so  -- i hope you can steer clear of this going forward --

best to you

Apti Posted 7 Sep 2015 , 2:05am
post #19 of 30

K8memphis, why does this bother you?  mabv812 can use this situation to learn things that will be valuable for years and years to come.  I don't know about the rest of you folks, but the absolute BEST way for me to learn the hard lessons is to do it wrong first!   I get so mad at myself that I vow to never, ever, EVER do that particular thing wrong again. 

Sometimes an error can save a lot of future grief by imparting an indelible lesson.

costumeczar Posted 7 Sep 2015 , 2:08am
post #20 of 30

So true, @Apti  

-K8memphis Posted 7 Sep 2015 , 2:21am
post #21 of 30

because it sucks to learn the hard way because she's working for free  because those things are uncomfortable -- the order looks wonky now with maybe lopping off a third of the money which wasn't enough to begin with --

not sure why that wouldn't be obvious, ladies

edited for typo


*Last edited by -K8memphis on 7 Sep 2015 , 2:28am
Brookebakescake Posted 7 Sep 2015 , 2:58am
post #22 of 30

K8 was showing some compassion.

I'd much rather learn a lesson by figuring it out or having someone tell me than by learning the hard way. The hard way sucks.  And, no, you do not HAVE to learn the hard way.  

Apti Posted 7 Sep 2015 , 8:15am
post #23 of 30

Mabv812 asked a question and I provided answers according to my opinions and experience.   Anonymous computer forums do not allow the ability to utilize body language and tonality in speech. 

MBalaska Posted 7 Sep 2015 , 9:12am
post #24 of 30

if you want money for your baked decorated goods, speak up, speak out, be clear & concise about it.  Be business like from the first moment you start to discuss it; when you are dealing with a friend or a relative......

or else they will want it for FREE every time and trouble will start brewingkissing.png

Natka81 Posted 7 Sep 2015 , 11:25am
post #25 of 30

Hi @MBalaska, how are you? My brother moved to Alaska for three and a half years. US Army sent him there (contract ). I so want to visit Alaska sometimes  next year.

-K8memphis Posted 7 Sep 2015 , 9:01pm
post #26 of 30

apti, i thought your answers were wonderful for op -- very good information thorough, kind, straight forward -- great stuff -- yes i was just grieved for op -- not really sure what happened beyond that in this thread -- you gave great advice in a very digestible fashion as usual --

facepunch.png


johnson6ofus Posted 7 Sep 2015 , 9:13pm
post #27 of 30

Yeah.. I didn't quite get it either. This whole form is for advice to avoid learning "the hard way"---trial and error, do overs, unpaid orders, etc. Clearly, when you "suffer" as a result of a bad business decision, you will certainly remember the lesson better.  

Everyone learns in their own way. So pointing out how you may learn and others may learn are all part of the learning curve of life. 

Many of us have been taken advance of, and many of us "feel the pain" when we see it happening to others.

OP is "doing her friend a favor" by discounting, yet the friend will probably not appreciate it, nor understand the value of what was offered.  Like a PP on CC who donated detailed, hand painted cookies and watched them sold for 50 cents at a fundraiser (priced like the store bought Oreos!) ! 



*Last edited by johnson6ofus on 7 Sep 2015 , 9:19pm
mabv812 Posted 7 Sep 2015 , 9:17pm
post #28 of 30

I appreciate all the comments here. I feel as if every bit of advice had good points for me to take into the future. I don't regret making the baked goods for my friend at this price, she is my friend after all. But I am definitely more prepared for future conversations about business!! Thanks for all the support. I am now working on a vanilla cupcake recipe. Which is def trickier than it seems. I have a post on the baking forum about my cupcake troubles. 

mabv812 Posted 7 Sep 2015 , 9:17pm
post #29 of 30

I appreciate all the comments here. I feel as if every bit of advice had good points for me to take into the future. I don't regret making the baked goods for my friend at this price, she is my friend after all. But I am definitely more prepared for future conversations about business!! Thanks for all the support. I am now working on a vanilla cupcake recipe. Which is def trickier than it seems. I have a post on the baking forum about my cupcake troubles. 

Apti Posted 8 Sep 2015 , 12:40am
post #30 of 30

We are all here for you as you learn, @mabv812.     The people on the CakeCentral and Wilton forums were invaluable as I was starting out with questions like, what is a dowel?  What is a tier?  How do you keep fondant from wrinkling?    Why are my cupcakes flat?

It's definitely an adventure!


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