She probably learned how to make cakes by watching Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee. I've seen her stack 3 tiers with no support and she goes on and on about how easy and what a money-saver it is. I wanted to punch her in the nose.
I don't know if you're going to find them that cheap, but I wonder if Sam's Club sells their cupcake stands wholesale. They use styrofoam ones, so they may be cheaper than some of the other ones you can buy online.