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Price Shock!!!

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone! Just wanted to vent a problem I continually get... I live in Ohio and run a "cottage" bakery. I have been doing cakes for almost a year now.. I know the economy is bad and all, especially here, but I continually get people who say my prices are "ridiculous" or "that's just too high".... I actually lose buisness because of this.

I charge $2.50 per seving for buttercream cakes, $3.00 - $3.50 for fondant cakes and carved/3D cakes start at $4.50. I think my prices are completely reasonable and are comparable to other "cakers" in my city..

I've thrown every clever retort back at these people like, "go to a restaurant and try serving 30 people a slice of cake for $1 each and see how far you get"... and "Walmart has NOTHING on my cakes".. and "if you want custom made, quality cake you pay custom made, quality prices"...

also, I never claimed that a cake from me was cheap... in fact, I realize that it's expensive and not for everyone. But I refuse to work for less than minimum wage...

and now i'm just ranting.. but I'm wondering about other experiences that some of you have had.... Do you ever feel like you're overpricing?

I lose orders because of this and it makes me think that I should renegotiate the price.. so far I haven't and have stood firm on my price... but then I think.. hmm, I really could have used that money.
post #2 of 68
stand firm.... what we do is an artform.. and very hard work.... would you want to stand on your feet all day working for less than min wage at walmart...
Be Kind Anyway
Be Kind Anyway
post #3 of 68
I also use

"nothing good is ever cheap
and nothing cheap is ever good"


"if you want a beamer, go to a BMW dealer, if you want a ford check the trading post"

I tihnk people enjoy saying things like "oh you are so expensive" it makes them feel better about themselves. You just need to remember that... Its not about you, its their insecurities and nastiness.

And never discount your work just because they make you feel bad about earning some money from your career. We abolished slavery long ago, lets not go back to it.
post #4 of 68
I agree - stand firm on your prices.

The reason people say *thats ridiculous* etc etc etc is because they have no idea or clue as to how to make a cake like you make - let alone construct it into something 3D.

And i occassionally use that line of *what restaurant would you be served a dessert for under $6.00 per serving.....or even $9.00 for that matter*
Not one around the area i live in - thats for sure.

Now that you have posted this thread, someone will walk in your door and surprise you with - *Please make me a cake - and yes, thats an excellant price for what i am getting* thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

Keep your chin up - people who appreciate works of art will soon appear at your door.

Bluehue. icon_smile.gificon_smile.gif
post #5 of 68
I've read many times about depressed prices in Ohio and how difficult it can be, even with comparatively low prices to get people to pay your price there. I wish I had some great advice for you, except to stick to your guns and keep looking for folks willing to pay for what they get.

I did, however, want to mention something about the restaurant cake analogy. As a consumer, that particular explanation wouldn't work for me. When I go out to eat, part of the way that I always justify the expense is knowing that the price of my food is based on much more than the actual food itself. On top of the labor to produce the food, there are other salaries to pay (low as they may be), there is the lovely table and table ware, the dishwasher has wash not only the food prep materials but also my eating utensils, there are utilities to pay not only in the kitchen but the dining room, the dining room decor has a price, the extra large parking lot has a price, etc. This is why I pay more for their dessert in the restaurant. It does cost more to provide a pleasant place to eat my food than to take it home to eat it.

I say all that realizing that I would pay the same for take out (sans tip). Maybe no one else would think that way, but I do. I always think about that in wedding cake pricing threads, since the bride is probably paying separately for the place for people to eat, for the dishes they eat the cake on, for someone to wash those dishes, etc.

Not to take anything away from your original point or the many, many great justifications for your prices and the prices of others. Just the way my mind works and maybe some customers you might run across.
"To laugh often and to love much..., to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give one's self..., this is to have succeeded."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"To laugh often and to love much..., to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give one's self..., this is to have succeeded."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
post #6 of 68
If everyone could afford you, you'd be priced too low. You know you're priced right in the market when some people can afford you and others can't.

Good Luck!
Sharon's Cakes:
Sharon's Cake Shop:
Sharon's Cakes:
Sharon's Cake Shop:
post #7 of 68
I think that's something that everyone goes through. At least, there is a lot of it posted on here. And really, you don't want to take a cake and break even or make hardly anything.
post #8 of 68
I don't make excuses....just smile and thank them for thinking of me. A lot of times they will come back because I am just so darn nice. hehehehehe
post #9 of 68
There's always going to be those that can't or won't buy your cakes.

Heck, I go into Nordstrom's and get "sticker shock" when I pick up a scarf and it costs $450! but....there's a market for everything.

Just be patient, once your name gets known in the cake world and more people start eating your cakes, the business will come. It takes time.

Your prices sound great I wouldn't budge them at all. Your competition is not WalMart or BJ's, you are a custom cake designer.
post #10 of 68
I agree, stick to your guns. You don't want to be the best bargain in town. Plus, compared to a "real bakery", you are putting in a lot more individual hours. You are the baker, icing maker, decorator, dishwasher, clean up crew, scheduler, delivery driver, etc. etc. Not to mention that people with home based cake businesses also have higher utility bills. All of these things add up!
post #11 of 68
It would be easier to relate if we could gauge your work -- got any pictures???
one baker's 'never ever do' is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
one baker's 'never ever do' is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
post #12 of 68
Nope. I have never ever felt like I underprice. I'm on the high end of pricing, but also produce a very elegant product. Usually, like this last weekend, I realized the next time I do a similar design, it will be charged out much more than this one was.

It's really ok to not make a cake for everyone who asks. I land about every 3rd or 4th request. And that's the way I like it. icon_smile.gif
post #13 of 68
Well, i get alot of the your to expensive. So i tell them right off the bat that i'm not cheap right at the first request. I do everything i can to keep prices reasonable, but most of the people i know can't or wont pay me enough that i could ever make a living at this.
post #14 of 68
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

It would be easier to relate if we could gauge your work -- got any pictures???

Yes---this. I would love to see some spectacular work and say you should be even it when that happens!
post #15 of 68
Ah come on it's just flour, sugar and eggs right?

J/J don't throttle me, I agree with everyone else, stick to your guns, or your
The way I figure it is they don't want to pay my price then they are'nt the kind of customer I wanted in the first place.
Some people understand that quality cost more and those are the ones you want.
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