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unique pricing situation- Please HELP!

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
Hey all!

First a little background (please bare with me!):
I'm a college student. I don't really have a "buisines" specifically, not licensed or anything but I have put up a few craigslist adds (I know, I know, I shouldn't advertize, but oh well, I haven't gotten many responses anyway).
Anyway, I saw someone ELSE'S add on craigslist (at a time when I didn't have an add up) looking for bakers to do low cost wedding cakes. I contacted this lady and found out she wants several (3 or 4) cake decoraters who are looking to build up their portfolios and get experince to do a bunch of mini wedding cakes for centerpieces at her wedding reception. Spicifically she wants mini 3 teir cakes (about 6"4"2"). 35 of them total. We had a meeting to discus details and she explained that she wanted to do this for cost (plus a tip, and free advertizing to ~350 people at the wedding; buisiness cards out, etc.)
SO.... my question is this: How much do you think is a reasonable cost estimation? I don't have all the supplies (pans, etc.) but I have most of it. I think I could handel doing 10 of these mini cakes, and I'm estimating the ingredients cost at around $80 or so. Plus a few small cake pans (I have 4" so I need 2-6" and a mufin pan for the 2"), cake boards, dowels, boxes for transport, and I still don't have a turetable. So I'm wondering what y'all think is a reasonable estimated quote? She said the baker she talked to before me had quoted a little higher that she wanted, but she didn't tell me the price.
For the few wedding cakes I've done, I've charged $3-$6 per slice (I live in a big city and this is quite cheep). She wants each mini cake to feed about 10 people (but still be the sizes she requested), and she also wants some of the cake to be fondant. Sorry this is so long, but I'd really appreciate any imput! Thanks!
~Kelsie
*In the process of slooowly updating my photos (3 year backlog). More coming soon!*
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~Kelsie
*In the process of slooowly updating my photos (3 year backlog). More coming soon!*
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post #2 of 44
You can use this pricing matrix to help you calculate your actual costs. It's a pretty cool tool and you can change the numbers to match prices in your area:

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-5711-pricing.html+matrix

As for your turntable, I bought a $10 on at Wal-mart and had it for five years and it was still fine. You can't really factor the price of the pans into this but everything else is fair game-boards, dowels, fondant, etc.

I have heard of more people doing their weddings like this, thru "sponsorship" kind of like Star Jones just did.
Cake's a powerful food. Cake can actually bring people together. You know... "It's Bill's birthday" "Yeah, I hate that guy." "There's cake in the conference room." "Well, I should say hello."-Jim Gaffigan
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Cake's a powerful food. Cake can actually bring people together. You know... "It's Bill's birthday" "Yeah, I hate that guy." "There's cake in the conference room." "Well, I should say hello."-Jim Gaffigan
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post #3 of 44
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I'll check out that pricing matrix thing!
Anyone else?
~Kelsie
*In the process of slooowly updating my photos (3 year backlog). More coming soon!*
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~Kelsie
*In the process of slooowly updating my photos (3 year backlog). More coming soon!*
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post #4 of 44
I would be very careful... you aren't licensed but you are going to do a sponsored wedding, which is all about creating a free or as close to free as possible wedding in exchange for ADVERTISING...I think you are opening yourself up to a lot of unwanted attention from 350+ people you (presumably) don't know.

Also, be sure to check the rules of the bride's venue before you start. A lot of places (especially in Metro areas) have strict rules concernig who may bring food onto their premises. Many that do allow outside vendors, require that they be licensed and provide a copy to file.

I don't know how strict the laws are in your area, but it seems that the laws on the coasts are a lot tougher than the laws elsewhere, from what I've gathered reading these boards.

Sorry I can't help you with the pricing, I just wanted to suggest that maybe you rethink doing the wedding, or at least inform yourself of the possible consequences of doing it (maybe you already have, I don't know. I'm just trying to help.)
Good luck, I hope your situation works ot well.

(I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just trying to help. I don't want this post to be taken the wrong way thumbs_up.gif )
post #5 of 44
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your concern! I really do appreciate it, though, I'm really not too woried about this situation... still you brought up a few good points I hadn't thought about...
~Kelsie
*In the process of slooowly updating my photos (3 year backlog). More coming soon!*
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~Kelsie
*In the process of slooowly updating my photos (3 year backlog). More coming soon!*
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post #6 of 44
Personally, I would not accept this "job" offer. I think these sponsored weddings are beyond tacky, and I don't think you'd drum up more business--unless it's another tacky bride having another tacky sponsored wedding, wanting you to do cakes at cost. If I were a guest at this wedding, I would NEVER hire anyone involved with this mass marketing approach. I would be insulted, that as an INVITED GUEST that I would be subject to advertising. I'm sorry, it's how I feel--I don't care how many people are doing it nowadays. No class whatsoever. Oy!
"I just hate health food"--Julia Child
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"I just hate health food"--Julia Child
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post #7 of 44
Thanks, lotoftots-i thought I was the only one who just didn't like the sponsored wedding thing. It's along the same lines as a cash bar at a reception. We couldn't afford an open bar at our reception so we were just weren't going to have anything but beer and wine-what we could afford! I understand wanting a big to-do-I would have loved to had that but since my dh was in school and I was the only one working that just wasn't goona happen!! icon_lol.gif
cande does bring up some good points. I'm more of a fly under the radar person so I don't think I would want to open myself up either!
Cake's a powerful food. Cake can actually bring people together. You know... "It's Bill's birthday" "Yeah, I hate that guy." "There's cake in the conference room." "Well, I should say hello."-Jim Gaffigan
Reply
Cake's a powerful food. Cake can actually bring people together. You know... "It's Bill's birthday" "Yeah, I hate that guy." "There's cake in the conference room." "Well, I should say hello."-Jim Gaffigan
Reply
post #8 of 44
Thread Starter 
Just to clarify... I really hate the "sponsored wedding" thing too, and the advertizing isn't why I am interested in this... She is giving almost full discresion of decorating and disigning to me and I need/want the esperince and portfolio pics... Maybe thats a bad reason to do it, but I don't get many chances to make cakes; especially really utique ones that I love.
~Kelsie
*In the process of slooowly updating my photos (3 year backlog). More coming soon!*
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~Kelsie
*In the process of slooowly updating my photos (3 year backlog). More coming soon!*
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post #9 of 44
Oh, we weren't down on you!!! You'll notice these topics sometimes take at twist and it's not directed at the person who started it necessarily!! It all comes down to if you are feeling comfortable with the situation and feel like it will benefit you. That's the important thing! Can't wait to see the pictures!!!
Cake's a powerful food. Cake can actually bring people together. You know... "It's Bill's birthday" "Yeah, I hate that guy." "There's cake in the conference room." "Well, I should say hello."-Jim Gaffigan
Reply
Cake's a powerful food. Cake can actually bring people together. You know... "It's Bill's birthday" "Yeah, I hate that guy." "There's cake in the conference room." "Well, I should say hello."-Jim Gaffigan
Reply
post #10 of 44
Thread Starter 
Oh, don't worry! I wasn't taking it personaly or anything... acctually agreeing with you (or trying to, lol, didn't really come out that way. Too tired I gues!).
~Kelsie
*In the process of slooowly updating my photos (3 year backlog). More coming soon!*
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~Kelsie
*In the process of slooowly updating my photos (3 year backlog). More coming soon!*
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post #11 of 44
how about a compromise:

do the cakes (get experience, build portfolio)

but

don't advertise at wedding (no biz cards, etc.)

makes your cakes so special there's a "buzz" about them

and then let word of mouth ...force that bride to give "props" where they're due to you just like at a normal (non-tacky) wedding.
Keep on cakin'!
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Keep on cakin'!
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post #12 of 44
Thread Starter 
Huh! That's an idea! I never really liked the advertizing part anyway becaue I'll be moving out of the area a few months later anyway. Plus the face I don't acctually HAVE any business cards right now, lol.
I really don't know if she'll even WANT me to do her cakes though... the cost thing is really bugging me. It wouldn't be much of a problem if I wasn't so poor..l. College is killing me, lol! It would be easier if I already had all the equipment, but... idk, the idea of being able to do so many unique and fun cakes is just entrancing to me!
~Kelsie
*In the process of slooowly updating my photos (3 year backlog). More coming soon!*
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~Kelsie
*In the process of slooowly updating my photos (3 year backlog). More coming soon!*
Reply
post #13 of 44
I can't help you on most of your questions, but as an alternative to spending a lot of money on small cake pans, you could buy one of each size you need and then make foil pans to use in baking.

I did this once when I needed to bake three 6 inch cakes at once and only had two pans. Take a couple of layers of heavy duty foil, mold them over the outside of your pan, then take a strip of foil to wrap around the edge (the side of the pan) and fold the corners of the foil back down to make the edge of the pan nice and stiff. Just sit them on a cookie sheet when you bake.

You can make as many as you need for the cost of one of each size and a roll of foil, much cheaper than buying lots of pans (and you don't have to store them afterwards and move them when you move!)

Also, if you have a thrift store or goodwill nearby, check there for turntables. I found a Wilton one for 45 cents a few years ago, but there are almost always a couple of turntables of some sort for a dollar or so when I'm there.

hth!
Laura.
post #14 of 44
I think Doug's idea is great.

And Laura- I love your foil pans idea. Have you done any foil pans bigger than a 6"? I just wonder how large you could go with that.
Know your audience.
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Know your audience.
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post #15 of 44
Why on earth would you donate your time to someone you don't know?

If you want to have pics of sample cakes, make some MMF and make mini cakes with your 4" pan and a tunafish can. Photograph them. If a box of cake mix and a bag of marshmellows costs too much, offer to bake for ingredient cost for your friends' birthdays or parties. (In other words, donate like Greedy Bride wants, but to people who know you.)

Or else have your cost include the cost of your time and your equipment.

Being one of half a dozen suckers to donate work to this wedding isn't going to get you word of mouth.
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