Pricing Opinions

Business By marushka Updated 17 Oct 2015 , 6:57am by Magda_MI

marushka Posted 15 Oct 2015 , 7:05pm
post #1 of 23

Hi I am about to offer my services at my place of work for any one needing a special occasion cake. This is not a move to a new career (yet, I'd love to some day) but just something for extra money.

I know I will not get what these cakes are really worth (with all the time and materials I don't even get $10/hr). I have been selling these for at most $60 for the 12" ish cakes

I would really appreciate anyone telling me what is a reasonable amount to charge for any of these cakes.



Link to all cakes


*Last edited by marushka on 15 Oct 2015 , 7:17pm
22 replies
Apti Posted 16 Oct 2015 , 5:19am
post #3 of 23

$120-$200 a cake.  By the way, selling at work may not be a good idea.  It's kinda like dating somebody at work; if you have a fight, you're gonna see 'em the next day.  There have been lots of threads on here in the past 5 years that talk specifically about "so-and-so at work ordered a cake and didn't pay", or "so-and-so wasn't happy with their cake", or "my boss's daughter's wedding cake was a disaster",...... on and on and on. 

Second, co-workers are not your "market".  People who have disposable income and expensive tastes are your market.

Your cakes are far too detailed and nice to be selling for peanuts.

marushka Posted 16 Oct 2015 , 5:34am
post #4 of 23

Thank you! Although my place of work and the town I work in is known for their disposable income, I had not thought about the issues that could arise with co-workers.  That is definitely something to consider.  

I will look through the boards of how else I'd get a market.  If you (or anyone else) knows of some good links I'd be grateful for the suggestions.

Thanks again!

*Last edited by marushka on 16 Oct 2015 , 5:35am
Apti Posted 16 Oct 2015 , 6:03am
post #5 of 23  

I'd suggest you send a private message to Costume Czar in the link above and ask about her new book on cake businesses from home.  She is a wealth of information.   Another CC member, mimifix, has a book that is linked below.  The cakeboss software (NOT affiliated with TV's cake boss) is discounted with a CakeCentral membership.

*Last edited by Apti on 16 Oct 2015 , 6:03am
Jedi Knight Posted 16 Oct 2015 , 6:11pm
post #6 of 23

Jeezy peezy.

Why go through all that trouble and spend all your time just to break even (if you're lucky). I suspect, with your time added in, that you are actually PAYING people to take these cakes off your hands.

You do realize that you're dumping the prices of other, legit, businesses in your area?

marushka Posted 16 Oct 2015 , 6:13pm
post #7 of 23

I just love making cakes for fun and would like to make some money on them.  I don't mean to dump anything on anyone. 

*Last edited by marushka on 16 Oct 2015 , 6:14pm
Jedi Knight Posted 16 Oct 2015 , 6:14pm
post #8 of 23

Jeezy peezy.

Why go through all that trouble and spend all your time just to break even (if you're lucky). I suspect, with your time added in, that you are actually PAYING people to take these cakes off your hands.

You do realize that you're dumping the prices of other, legit, businesses in your area?

Jedi Knight Posted 16 Oct 2015 , 6:16pm
post #9 of 23

Oops - it posted twice for some reason.

But you're NOT making money selling  12" cakes for sixty bucks. That's what I'm saying.

marushka Posted 16 Oct 2015 , 6:17pm
post #10 of 23

Right, that's why I posted here. I didn't mean to annoy anyone, just looking for some help.

Jedi Knight Posted 16 Oct 2015 , 6:22pm
post #11 of 23

What kind of help? You've already told us that you charge $60 for a 12" cake.

Have you costed out your recipes etc properly?

marushka Posted 16 Oct 2015 , 6:29pm
post #12 of 23

I was just looking for help with what would be a more reasonable price range because as you suggested and I suspected, I am not charging enough.

 I'm just trying to learn more if people suggest charging by the slice, by the hours, the design, quality of materials.  I really don't know I was just hoping someone would kindly advise, it's okay if not.  

-K8memphis Posted 16 Oct 2015 , 6:56pm
post #13 of 23

it's true that the market has more cakers than ever so it kinda goes both ways -- there's 10,000 more legit businesses and probably 100,000 more cakers enabled constantly -- maybe even add a zero to both numbers idk -- we ever live here to share every trade secret we know -- there is nothing protected in this industry --

the ball started rolling with norman wilton 60 years ago when he made the decision to open the door for/to homemakers and that's just where we are right now -- we've put a lot of the mom&pop bakeries out of business now we are our own worst competition --

good on you for upping your game! go for the gold -- hell yes use your contacts at work! life is risk -- go for it -- I mean all that could happen is there could possibly be an issue and you can figure it out when it happens --  in the meantime...

you need to price like the highest priced bakery in your area -- seriously -- since you were so low you don't want to gradually increase because you've invested enough time there -- you don't want to gather another load of  clients that pay too little because you'll lose them when you finally get where you're going you have a nice body of work that showcases your skills go. for. it. something like $4 to $7 a serving is 'normal' base type pricing depending on your locality -- practice in the mirror saying "that'll be $600" till it comes out smoothly and convincingly --

establish a minimum order amount $250, $300 something like that or more where peeps won't be able to dumb you down on price per serving when they are after your ingenious art --

oh yeah watch your copyrights -- some of your stuff is protected and you need to have permission or not accept those orders --

i expect you to have a lucrative and fun part time job -- why not right

best to you

p.s. by base price I mean some art work adds an extra fee for example some people allow an hour or two of decor in the base price for one tier cakes -- then maybe a coupla hours included in base price for tier cakes -- then after that add on an extra fee but don't necessarily present that to the client just give the client one price unless they specifically need an explanation

*Last edited by -K8memphis on 16 Oct 2015 , 7:01pm
Pastrybaglady Posted 16 Oct 2015 , 6:58pm
post #14 of 23

If you're going to sell you really need to learn as much as you can about the stuff that comes before turning on your mixer.  You need to know the health codes and what is permissible for you to sell and where, you need your health and safety certificate, you need to know copyright laws and what is not permissible, you need to cost out your supplies and how much it is actually costing you when you make these cakes - it's a lot more than you think when you add ingredients, electricity, soap, paper towels, parchment, pan grease, all before you even get to your time. Then of course there is the work of figuring out the going prices for baked goods in your area - and no, do not call bakeries asking for fake quotes!  There are forms to be filled out, fees to be paid, perhaps inspections and you may need insurance.  Not everyone can make a real go of it and make a profit.  If all you want is to make a little money you can certainly do that but you will eventually come to resent putting all your time and effort and coming away with little more than the satisfaction of having made something beautiful.  The struggle is real!

craftybanana2 Posted 16 Oct 2015 , 7:10pm
post #16 of 23

Just wanted to pop in and say don't get discouraged by some of the posts on here. The business side of things is not for the faint of heart! Also, if/when you do go to selling, be careful about copyrighted characters, those are a no-no and the big guys are cracking down more and more on home bakers who do so. Good luck! :)

marushka Posted 16 Oct 2015 , 7:36pm
post #17 of 23

Thank you so much for the useful responses!  I really appreciate the supportive advice.  I am actually taking a few small business classes at Adult Ed, as well as baking  courses at culinary schools and it's always great to get tried and true book recommendations so I will definitely read up.  My neighbor runs a food truck and have had long conversations about how much work running your own food business is, learning about the good and bad. I have no doubts that it's hard work, bits of info like the copyrighted characters are extremely helpful too!  

Thanks again :)

-K8memphis Posted 16 Oct 2015 , 7:38pm
post #18 of 23

some people, a lot of people just start making these jaw dropping gorgeous cakes and people start inquiring -- the momentum is there and it's all happening and they need to learn the business end on the fly -- this is a very common way to get into caking either as a hobby, a paying hobby or as a business --

not to mention colette peters started her cake career doing cakes for her job -- didn't hurt that she had an art degree and her employer at the time was tiffany's but it's very common happens all the time --

you got this!

-K8memphis Posted 16 Oct 2015 , 7:43pm
post #19 of 23

I like all your work -- the mostly black & white one with the furry coated guy carrying the red present -- that is really cool -- looks like a pencil drawing  great stuff

Magda_MI Posted 16 Oct 2015 , 8:53pm
post #20 of 23

I love the Freddie Mercury one, and as a longtime Whovian, I have an affinity for the TARDIS.  Nice work!  And unfortunately, your coworkers are unlikely to want to pay you what your time and expertise are worth.  Most people have no clue what the ingredients and supplies cost, much less how much time it takes.

*Last edited by Magda_MI on 16 Oct 2015 , 8:54pm
Apti Posted 17 Oct 2015 , 4:09am
post #21 of 23

K8memphis~~The black and white is based on the work of Edward Gorey.  I LOVE his work!   Marushka, you did Edward Gorey proud with that cake.

marushka Posted 17 Oct 2015 , 6:32am
post #22 of 23

Thanks so much!  The Gorey, Mercury and Tardis were all my husband's birthday cakes (which were free of charge :)  Yeah I was talking to my boss and she said people will never understand how much time it takes to make these cakes just like she's a knitter and people would never pay her for her time for what it takes to even make a pair of socks.   It's tough to convey the value when people have no idea so it'll be interesting to find out more of the business end and figure something out.

Magda_MI Posted 17 Oct 2015 , 6:57am
post #23 of 23

Yes, people are so used to buying things which are mass produced and/or made in countries where labor is cheap, that they have no clue what a reasonable price is for something handmade and custom.

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