Family Discounts On Cakes?

Baking By pineapplesky407 Updated 26 May 2016 , 8:32pm by johnson6ofus

pineapplesky407 Posted 25 May 2016 , 5:21pm
post #1 of 15

I have been asked to make a 2 tier fondant cake for my boyfriend's cousin. They offered to pay me for it, but I don't think they realize how price these cakes can get. I was considering just charging for materials and a low hourly rate for time (I am a new baker and am not that experienced). I REALLY don't want to offend anybody with my price. Any tips?

14 replies
jselle Posted 25 May 2016 , 5:28pm
post #2 of 15

I used to be reluctant to charge family and friends, but I found myself doing a lot of free cakes that way. I now treat all customers the same but will give a 10% "family and friends" discount to relatives or close friends. I still get paid and they are happy. 

peony123 Posted 25 May 2016 , 5:50pm
post #3 of 15

Just be upfront with them - you're absolutely right that people don't realize the cost of making these cakes. This week I tried my hand at making some IMB and SMB and used up a a carton and a half of eggs and 2 boxes of butter. I didn't even factor in the ingredients to make the cake itself. So yes it is very pricey, and I think you should charge them the materials and what you think is fair in labor. If they don't like your price oh well. 

gfbaby Posted 25 May 2016 , 7:25pm
post #4 of 15


Quote by @peony123 on 1 hour ago

Just be upfront with them - you're absolutely right that people don't realize the cost of making these cakes. 

I was making so many freebies for family and friends that I didn't have time to do anything else. When I eventually decided (recently) to just do a discount cos I simply couldn't afford to provide the service anymore- you'd have thought I was stealing their children! The turning point was when I produced a very fancy Spongebob two tier birthday cake for my lovely neighbours grandaughter (who was three) and suggested she gave me a contribution toward the ingredients. She handed me a tenner like it was such a favour... The boards cost more than that. I was dumbstruck.

Anyway. I now tell them exactly what the market cost would be and how much discount they can expect from you up front as peony said; if they aren't willing to pay that then I will make cake for someone who is. I'm not being hard- I'm just not a bottomless pit and they are taking advantage. Its a difficult area and if its someone who does loads of stuff free for you- then thats another matter...thats trading skills.

Start as you mean to go on then you wont have to dig your way out of the freebie hole- is my advice. And good luck.



hippiecac Posted 25 May 2016 , 8:11pm
post #5 of 15

If i'm attending the party where a gift is usually given  (birthday, wedding, etc.) and I'm asked to make the cake I give it as a gift.

If I'm asked to make something for an event that I'm not invited to, I price out the cake as I would for a regular customer and then discount it, anywhere from 10-30% depending on how close we are (i.e. how much I like the person HAHA!)

 

gfbaby Posted 25 May 2016 , 8:14pm
post #6 of 15


Quote by @hippiecac on 14 seconds ago

If i'm attending the party where a gift is usually given  (birthday, wedding, etc.) and I'm asked to make the cake I give it as a gift.

If I'm asked to make something for an event that I'm not invited to, I price out the cake as I would for a regular customer and then discount it, anywhere from 10-30% depending on how close we are (i.e. how much I like the person HAHA!)

 

Ha. If I wasn't invited...NO Cake..!

But sounds bang on. :-)

Pastrybaglady Posted 25 May 2016 , 8:49pm
post #7 of 15

My husband's cousin had asked me to make a cake for her. She insisted on paying me what I would ordinarily charge. I reluctantly said okay and she hasn't ordered anything since! It's a really big family but I think the word spread I'm not cheap so they don't ask, but they are very appreciative when I bring something. I have volunteered to bring certain things to family events, but it's my choice what it looks like, the flavors and anything else. Charging family tends not to work out so well.

johnson6ofus Posted 26 May 2016 , 2:19am
post #8 of 15

Remember, most people only SEE the price of cake in the case at the big box store. WalMart, Costco, BJs. They don't understand the true COST of all the stuff that goes in it. The "cost of materials" plus a small amount for labor will STILL SHOCK THEM if they have no idea what this stuff costs. Face it, some don't care either! Some people don't taste the difference between a Costco cake or a dark chocolate, real butter, real cream and Madagascar vanilla decadent creation. Someone asked me why my cakes were so good and I said because I use "real" stuff--- chocolate, butter, and cream which adds $$$$$ to the cost. They were shocked! So when they slip you a "tenner" for a cake mix box, a couple eggs, and a tub of canned frosting--- in their mind, they covered you.

How many threads have you read explaining to a newbie to factor in the cost of the cake boards, foil, parchment, electricity and even soap when calculating costs? But you expect a family member to understand and "get it"?

A formula for hurt feelings, IMHO.

My BEST friend asked me once what her ( a new years celebration cake) cake cost to make (a gift). I said $60 in ingredients and $300 in labor. ... and then I broke it all down for her. She was "helping" me by selling my cake to her friends for $50. ;)  ROFL!



gfbaby Posted 26 May 2016 , 5:27am
post #9 of 15

Um..Just to make it absolutely clear...The 'tenner' was for a decadent scratch gf chocolate fudge cake made with top quality ingredients sync ganache etc and I put in more than twenty hours work. It was worth ten times (and more) what she reluctantly handed me... I never use cake mixes; I do exclusive gf cakage and prefer REAL cake.

But I take your point and am just being defensive....sorry!  

costumeczar Posted 26 May 2016 , 11:32am
post #10 of 15


Quote by @gfbaby on 6 hours ago

Um..Just to make it absolutely clear...The 'tenner' was for a decadent scratch gf chocolate fudge cake made with top quality ingredients sync ganache etc and I put in more than twenty hours work. It was worth ten times (and more) what she reluctantly handed me... I never use cake mixes; I do exclusive gf cakage and prefer REAL cake.

But I take your point and am just being defensive....sorry!  


costumeczar Posted 26 May 2016 , 11:37am
post #11 of 15

Oops, I meant to quote that but it posted before I clicked anything! I didn't see you being defensive, I think you're 100% right to not give things away, and it sounds like you have a big group of leeches hanging around waiting to take advantage of you. Forget that!

The only people I would do a free or discounted cake for are my children (free) and...who else...Nobody. If I felt like it I'd make someone a cake for fun, but if there's an event and someone asks me to make it, they're placing an order and they get to pay full price. After doing cakes for 20 years I don't do them for fun anymore, and I wouldn't ask someone to work for free for me, so why should I work for free for them?

I might do a cake for my husband but that would depend on my mood that day and how much he snored and kept me awake all night the night before ;) But they generally get nothing and like it. I made sourdough bread a couple of days ago and my daughter's friend was over. She said "how often do you all have cake and bread and stuff here?" My daughter and I both said "never."

johnson6ofus Posted 26 May 2016 , 12:49pm
post #12 of 15


Quote by @pineapplesky407 on 19 hours ago

 I was considering just charging for materials and a low hourly rate for time (I am a new baker and am not that experienced). I REALLY don't want to offend anybody with my price.

This is where/ why I was horrified. I can see the writing on the walls. Muggles, or non-cake people have NO CLUE how much $$$$ and how much time it takes to make some cakes. It ain't a frozen slab of sheet cake from the warehouse freezer, ya know?

Quote by @gfbaby on 7 hours ago

But I take your point and am just being defensive....sorry!  

No, no, no....please.... maybe I miswrote it, or you misread it. I 100% get it, it's the "customer" or cake recipient who doesn't get it. They think they are "doing you a favor" by paying ($10---sheesh!) for what they believeis a cake mix and a can of frosting. Just like my own misinformed best friend who was "selling" my cake for $50---- and "doing me a favor". stuck_out_tongue.png

We were both in the same boat. My cake was a three tier specialty theme Iranian New Years cake. Same thing..... $60 in materials and $300 labor--- probably in the same ballpark as your Sponge Bob. And sounds like they were both premium cakes too boot.


I was considering just charging for materials and a low hourly rate for time
Read more at http://www.cakecentral.com/forum/t/831257/family-discounts-on-cakes#FXAyFioaIGd0Qw2x.99


I was considering just charging for materials and a low hourly rate for time
Read more at http://www.cakecentral.com/forum/t/831257/family-discounts-on-cakes#FXAyFioaIGd0Qw2x.99



johnson6ofus Posted 26 May 2016 , 12:53pm
post #13 of 15


Quote by @johnson6ofus on 10 hours ago

in their mind, they covered you.

In "their" mind, they covered. In the real cake world, it is a slap in the face and pocketbook.

gfbaby Posted 26 May 2016 , 1:50pm
post #14 of 15

Johnson6ofus... I should have a word with that 'best friend'... try explaining the facts of life. I mean- CAKE.

johnson6ofus Posted 26 May 2016 , 8:32pm
post #15 of 15

yeah-- but don't we ALL have that horror story where "the average joe" just doesn't understand the cost of "real" ingredients, or the time in hand made custom cakes?

Until I really "got into it", I didn't get it either.....


Some want the education and appreciate and believe what you explain to them, others just think you are making up excuses to rip them off. The poor OP here, if "loving family" turns on here for doing them a favor....<sigh>

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