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Did This Happen To Any Of You???

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
icon_mad.gificon_mad.gif I am kinda real upset at the moment. I have this neighbor who lives down the street. She came to me and wanted me to do some mothers day cakes for her and her friends. So I did and only charged them $25.00. Because the cakes were small.

Then she came to me with her cousin who is getting married here soon. And she wanted to cut my price, as she said,"work with her". So against my better judgement I cut her wedding cake price in 1/2. And I didn't charge her the $25.00 for the fresh flowers "I" have to buy for this cake. Dummy me I was thinking of getting more referrals for cake orders.

So, just the other day, she comes back down to my house with her neighbor from across the street and while she was looking at my photo album, because she had a bridal shower coming up soon, my neighbor tells her, "oh don't worry about the price, she will "work" with you in fact she will cut her price for you". Now, this lady wanted a LARGE 11x15 OVAL cake. Of which I normally charge $70.00. It was going to feed approx 40-60.
When I spoke up and told her that unfortunately I cannot drop my price because that price includes my time to not only bake the cake, decorate it but to also make the buttercream roses by hand., she got mad and told me"well, I'm your neighbor and I thought you would do this for me". I told her "I'm sorry, but I cannot drop my prices", "this is my artist and my time doing these cakes". Well, she got mad and said, well lets go find someone else who WILL drop their prices and work with us. By this time, I was fuming and asked her,"What?? You want me to do your cakes for your friends for FREE"??? So, then I told her good luck and I hope she finds someone who will work with them.

I figured how much $$ I lost on this wedding cake, I lost about $250.00.
So I figured, live and learn in this business.

When I told my hubby about what just happened, he told me that if she comes back with me wanting to do another cake order for her, just tell her I can't do it. And if she asks why, then tell her that I am not in business to do cakes for free and it wouldn't be fair to others who DO order cakes from me.

She made me feel so upset, that I am seriously thinking of just not doing cake orders anymore..

So I just wanted to find out if anyone else out there ran into this same problem I just did. OH, one other thing, she mentioned to me that SHE was going to make sure that if any other neighbors asked her for my phone for a cake order that she was not going to give them mine. I told her, "yeah, ok, whatever" and then asked her to leave my house.
So now also I am afraid that after I get this wedding cake done for her cousin, that she will be the front person to get her cousin to "nit pick" about the wedding cake and try to get her money back. It has turned into a nightmare, I'm even having nightmares about this now...of all things.....
Turning Your Dreams Into Cakes...
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Turning Your Dreams Into Cakes...
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post #2 of 57
Ok I have kind of been in the same situation. It's hard especially when it is neighbors and they are doing the spills of but we are neighbors. WELL HELLO if she was a beautican does that mean that she is supposed to give your free haircuts? NO IT DOES NOT. Being Neighbors means nothing short of being curtious and friendly in passing and if Friendships become of it then GREAT...BUT when it comes to business they always want to play that friend/neighbor/family card. Now as far as the wedding cake...if they make one bad comment to you or ANYONE else you should say well Honey you get what you pay for...We are military and at our last base I had a neighbor that was like I'll buy you the supplies and you can do it. So I said sure...SHE gave me a cake mix and that was it! After that I have refused to do that. When we arrived at this base I have been like ok if you want my cakes you have to pay and pretty much everyone knows it. I have given away a few freebies but that was of my own choosing, wanting and not being asked. I have been suckered in 2 times by this one lady but after I returned from a vacation I became a total different business person. You only get free if I want you to get free no half off/discounts, etc...and I'm more at ease. As a matter of fact my business has quadruopled and my prices are about to be raised. So Good luck to you and you totally did the right thing!
Tammy Crema
CremaCakes!
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Tammy Crema
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post #3 of 57
hi crashdummy

I am sorry to hear what your going through.
I agree with what your husband said.
I am glad that you stood up for yourself
Unfornatelety in this bussiness or any other there people out there who take advantage of you if let them.
I think i said this in another post .One of my neighbor wanted me to do her daughters wedding cake. She basicly wanted me to give her a good price. The world doesn't work like that. They don't have a clue how long it takes us to put a cake together . You don't need a customer or a neighbor like her....so chidish!!
I am a cosmetologist and cut a friend hair 1 time. She said you are lucky you get to cut my hair. And i am thinking i am lucky.???....first of all i took 1500 hours of classes to get my license and xx amount of money...second i am not charging you at alll.....what is up with this??
Just do your job and try to put this behind
And please do not quit making cakes cause you wouldn't do this if you didn't love it...we alll wouldn't
Good luck with everything

Ashiana
Baking is a skill that can be taught....One catch...you have to love it!!


Be yourself! Everyone else is taken!
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Baking is a skill that can be taught....One catch...you have to love it!!


Be yourself! Everyone else is taken!
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post #4 of 57
Oh my goodness! Ok I put in about the beautician and cutting hair because that is what my Mom and Sister do for a living and have had so many people take advantage of them. And like you said, "i took 1500 hours of classes to get my license and xx amount of money...second i am not charging you at alll.....what is up with this??" I think that we 2 professions are the most taken advantage of!
Tammy Crema
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Tammy Crema
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post #5 of 57
Thread Starter 
icon_wink.gif Thank you so much for the reply..What military are you? My family came from a military base too.

I guess I just have to hold my ground if I am going to continue with my cakes. And if I mad some people mad, oh well.

That's why I am not too chummy with my neighbors because I always remembered what Ricky Ricardo told the Mertzes,,"Never do business with friends or relatives". My father use to tell me that too. And it's something I've stuck too, except I guess in this case, as I said, I cut my own throat.

But thank you anyway for that boost..I really needed it..

thumbs_up.gifusaribbon.gif

Ashiana,,thank you for the support also...I agree, I do love doing this, it for me seems to sorta relaxing when I am decorating it.
But, I'm going to really think long and hard about doing neighbors any favors......
Turning Your Dreams Into Cakes...
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Turning Your Dreams Into Cakes...
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post #6 of 57
We are Air Force and Stationed in England...maybe Germany or Italy for our next place...we hope! What about your family?
Tammy Crema
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Tammy Crema
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post #7 of 57
Do you have a contract and gotten any "up front" money for this wedding cake? If you haven't, it seems to me that you can and should ask for payment in advance and if they don't want to pay you, let them go somewhere else to get their cake made. The way this is going I'd be concerned about them finding a way not to pay you.

The neighbor is evidently going to trash you whether you bake the wedding cake or not.
I definitely think it is time for you to "cut your losses" with this neighbor and any of her friends who expect you to work for half price or less, that is just not reasonable! veejay
post #8 of 57
I'm with veejaytx. Make sure you get the $$$ up front for the wedding cake or don't do it. If you do you'll likely never see the $$$.

Luckily I haven't had that problem because I started charging for family and friends cakes right off - if they asked me to make it. I volunteer cakes sometimes but I don't expect payment for them if I volunteered them. They know going into it that it's not free. I made my niece's 7th birthday cake for her party last night - I was going to charge $25 for it and she gave me a check for $30 because that's what the previous two cakes cost that I made for her. I just said "Thank you" and accepted it! They love my cakes. I know they could go elsewhere and get a cake for less but they like what they're getting from me and are willing to pay for it.

You don't need customers like your neighbors. You need people that appreciate all of the hard work you put into the cake and enjoy the cake - not the cheap price.

Good Luck!
Debbie
Hope your day is a piece of cake!
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Hope your day is a piece of cake!
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post #9 of 57
crashdummy2- I am so sorry to hear about your neighbor, but if she is going to be mean to you about something so little, then she can go make the cakes herself. icon_mad.gif
Ok, now that I got that off my chest....I'm sure things will go much better for you, and you know, if she starts to gossip about it badly it might make people more curious about what you really do and order a cake from you just to see how "bad" you really are icon_wink.gif
Things will be fine thumbs_up.gif
"To solve any problem, here are three questions to ask yourself: First, what could I do? Second, what could I read? And third, who could I ask? ~ John Rohn"
"Action is the foundational key to all success. ~ Pablo Picasso"
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"To solve any problem, here are three questions to ask yourself: First, what could I do? Second, what could I read? And third, who could I ask? ~ John Rohn"
"Action is the foundational key to all success. ~ Pablo Picasso"
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post #10 of 57
I haven't had anyone get rude with me; however, I've had my SIL order cakes from me for her grandchildren.. I made the mistake in giving the first cake for the first born grandchild's birthday .. then they thought that all of the others would be free; for the 4 year old, the 2 year old too... when she called me and asked for another cake, I said sure, but this one isn't free.. I'm sorry but I have to get paid for my cakes because I have to buy the ingredients.. she got rather quiet and I think somewhat offended... so I told her that if she went into WalMart to buy a cake, would she pay for one or would they give it to her free? She said, well I'd have to pay for it.. I told her, well then, I have to get paid too .. it may be a side hobby/business for me, but I still have a LOT (and I mean a LOT) of money invested in supplies ... she's ordered other cakes from me ... so crashdummy, if your neighber won't come to you for business, what did you lose?? you were losing money by doing her cakes for free anyway.. so really, you've lost nothing .. and if she trashes you, people you do cakes for will get the word around how good your cakes are ... she was WRONG to assume she'd get anything for free or you'd "work" with people on the prices .. How dare she do that!!! Shame on her!! Don't quit doing something you love because of this ... I have another miserable SIL who trashes my cakes to other family members .. has it stopped me making cakes, nope! has it hurt my hobby/business... nope!! so don't let it hurt yours either!! Chin up! this will pass icon_smile.gif
Cheryl a/k/a ntertayneme (n-ter-tayne-me)
www.legateaux.com
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Cheryl a/k/a ntertayneme (n-ter-tayne-me)
www.legateaux.com
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post #11 of 57
The neighbor reminds me of the customers I deal with at work. People are your friends until you tell them no. I can't begin to tell you how many people call us up wanting free parts. I thell them no, they get mad start ranting and raving and saying they are gonna take their business elsewhere. I hang up and usually about 10 to 15 minutes later they call back in hopes of getting someone else. They will keep trying to find someone who will say yes. BUT! I find those that say I will never buy your product again, they come back. (hopefully she won't)

Also, I find that if someone is a #$%^& to you, then he/she is a #$%^& to everyone else and they don't listen to him/her that much.

I hope my babbling makes sense. Basically, if she was mean to you, then she is mean to other people and they more then likely don't listen to her.

Joe
post #12 of 57
Thread Starter 
icon_cool.gificon_cool.gificon_cool.gif Hey Hey HEy...everyone...Thank you so very much for helping me in making my decision to keep on doing my cakes. I'm not going to let her run me out...Heck, even my hubby told me that sooner or later I was going to run into people who either want something for free or half price and when you tell them "no" of course, out comes the threats and the nasties...But let me tell you it sure felt good telling her to leave my house after I flatly told her I wouldn't cut my prices. She even had the audasity(did I spell that right)? to tell me that "she" could get me lots of cake orders. And I told her I didn't want them if she was going to be telling those orders that I would "cut my prices".

Tammy, dummy me I just noticed the RAF under your name,,we are USMC,we retired out of Camp Pendleton, CA.
Veejay and Debbie for this wedding cake yes I have a contract with her and also got the $$$ upfront when she signed the contract and her cake deposit.
Thats one thing I did learn that when dealing with a wedding cake order, get a contract, a signature, a initials, date and most of all the $$$$$. Because I have heard about too many ugly stories how other cake decorators (this was when I was in those Wilton classes) how they made wedding cakes and never saw the $$$. They said, the bride complained and so on and so on and gave ever excuse for not paying. So they took them to court and the decorator lost due to no contract etc..It broke my heart to hear stories like that.

But I thank you all so very very much for the support and I won't quit doing what I love doing!!!! As far as my neighbor, she can go fly a kite and find someone else for cakes..

THanks again....
Kathy(crashdummy)
Turning Your Dreams Into Cakes...
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Turning Your Dreams Into Cakes...
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post #13 of 57
i am glad your still going to do cakes and take orders.....i was thinking that if the lady is nasty, the other neighbors probably seen that too. i would ignore her. your business will grow without her!
good luck!
melody
post #14 of 57
I totally agree with how you handled this and what everyone else had to say.
You know for the most part, we decorators undercharge compared to what a bakery would charge for the custom work we do.
You learned a very good lesson and a good one to pass on to others. Once you cut your price once or undercharge from what you feel would be a fair price, even if you are doing this to start out and get customers, it will come back to haunt you. So if you take $10 off the price of your cake, the word gets around and everyone expects that price cut. So as soon as you try to charge what you will feel is a fair price, people will protest the price increase.
The best way to go is with a good fair price right from the start and let everyone you know, know that there are no special price cuts available for anyone. That way, should you decide to do a freebie, it is a freebie, should you decide to charge your going rate, nobody will argue.
And like what was said already, the freebies should be your choice, not something someone else feels they can dictate.
Last year I did two cakes for a relative of a friend and she gave me a sob story about not having much money. Anyway, I did them for cost, but I gave her an invoice that showed a breakdown of my costs and then a breakdown of the labour time involved in planning and designing, baking, decorating, the little extras I made for the cake, everything. I did this so she would understand that she was getting the cakes for cost. She will need these cakes on an ongoing basis for an organization. Anyway she said that the next time I would also be paid for my time. So she just placed another order only this time, she and the other leader of the organization submitted two drawings, simple drawings of what they want. I suspect she thinks that if they keep the design simple, they can pay me less because my work time will be less. So again I will submit my costs along with my labour time which really should be substantially less and we will see what they feel my time is worth.
I don't normally do business this way, but because of the connection, I am. I did another cake for her this year and again, the sob story and again, got paid cost only. So this is a test, I want to see what they think is a fair price for my time. I suspect it will not be anywhere near fair and if that is the case, I will be extremely busy any time she needs another cake.
I often do cakes for cost, but this is my choice. To be put into a position where the person thinks that they are doing me a favour by giving me their business and that they don't have to pay my going rates, well that is presumptious of them.
You will laugh, but really what made me upset about this is that I do not like the design of the cakes. To think that I will be spending my time doing cakes that I don't like, likely for cost and cleaning up afterwards, well the thought makes me a bit annoyed. I would not be annoyed if I was being paid fairly.
My daughter has a friend who cuts hair. Even before he became licensed to do so, I paid him a good price for cutting and highlighting my hair and I increase it every six months. I would never think to expect to receive this service free or for the cost of the product he uses.
Bakeries never have sales on special order cakes, so why should we?
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
post #15 of 57
yeah my family is good for that .......we are really close.....not so much my mom and brothers and sisters but aunts cousins they always want the job for free ........im a photographer and let me tell you those 15th birthdays are coming up.....I even had some aunts tell me they were gonna hire someone else with hopes that i would say no just let me do it for free......I havent yet and so far they have paid up 1000.00 for this......(wierd how they dont feel cheated when they pay a stranger) but either way i feel they will learn .
I didn't choose cake decorating.......cake decorating chose me!
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I didn't choose cake decorating.......cake decorating chose me!
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