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CakeSafe vs. Cake Stacker System which is better? - Page 4

post #46 of 85
gscout 73 you are mistaken.
post #47 of 85
gscout73: The cakestacker has the pillars that are screwed into the metal plates that goes into the bottom layer as well as the layer above it AND a center support that is attached to the base and each support plate giving it a skeleton of sorts. It adjusts to any size so you don't have to make your cake a certain height. It is so secure that you can turn it on it's side or upside down (with top plate on of course) and it will not go anywhere. That is why we purchased it. It wasn't just push in pillars that you set another layer on. It's really different from everything else that we looked at.
post #48 of 85
May I ask cakestacker owners how much you each charge for your deposit and is there a lot of push back from you clients? I mean you are talking maybe $200+ in materials being loaned out at any given time.
post #49 of 85
may222: The way we do it is when we do a consult and find out what size of cake we need and then we "build" the cake skeleton. Then we look at what it would cost per piece to replace it. Replacing each component is more expensive that buying a set. That is how we set the price. Then we ask for a check for the deposit that we do not cash. We provide a box with our name and address on it and ask that each section be placed in the box (dirty). You don't want your customers taking it apart because there is no need to. Then, when it is brought back, we count the pieces that we used. If it is all there, the check in handed back. If not, we would hold it until the replacement parts are in. We had one deposit for $150 and one for $135. We have not used it on small party cakes (unless it is our party) only weddings. Nobody was upset about it. They were very happy with the fact that we cared enough about their wedding to be extra cautious. Everybody was nervous about delivery because of the bad roads.
post #50 of 85
I agree with aprilismaius (on p. 3 of this thread) -- I use SPS with the centers of the plates drilled out to a 2 inch diameter and then the whole thing goes in the CakeSafe. The combination is super-reliable. SPS supports the cake and CakeSafe gets it to the venue clean and in one piece. Yes, you have to drill out the plastic SPS plates for the center post of the CakeSafe, but we do a bunch of them at one time and keep them on hand. Because the SPS stuff is pretty cheap, I don't worry about getting it back, so no deposit/return necessary. I don't find a big problem with getting the SPS out of the cake. Remove the cake tier on its cardboard base, then lift the plastic plate straight up bringing out the plate and the supports in one smooth movement. The lower tier has 4 holes in it, but they don't interfere with the cutting or mess up the look of the servings. The CakeSafe is wonderful and takes all the anxiety out of transport -- even protects from humidity and sunlight because the new ones have UV protection. Cardboard shipping boxes won't prevent condensation when a cold cake hits humid air, but the CakeSafe does. It gives you great peace of mind.
post #51 of 85
Do you calculate shipping costs associated with replacement parts into your deposit as well?
post #52 of 85
mayo2222: yes, we try to get as close as we can. Now, if we had to order a single piece such as a spacer, we would order it and when it would come in we would deduct the entire amount from the deposit before we refunded the difference. We go over all of that when we talk to the customer and we have it in writing on our contract. We also provide links to the "how to" video cakestackers website as well as a diagram and cutting diagram. We also provide a box. We try to make it simple so people do not have to take it apart and risk loosing the pieces. HTH
post #53 of 85
On Deposits -
I agree with inspiredbymom I handle it much the same way. The deposits I take on it run between 150.00 and 200.00 as I have done some HUGE towering cakes on it - over 4 feet tall. At the consultation before I talk about the deposit I pull out either pictures of the cakestacker system or the cakesatcker partially set up itself and explain how it works and that it guarantees the cake is going to be straight, centered, stong, level, will not lean, will not fall. It gives the customer a lot of confidence and peace of mind and they understand the deposit - or with me they have the option of hiring my cake cutter and then the cake cutter is responsible for the system including return of it.

A few things I should have mentioned in my first "review" of the 3 systems (cakestacker, cakethings, stress free supports):

I did receive an email letting me know the cakethings have been used by other bakeries to do up to 7 tier wedding cakes it is very strong so is not just for little cakes. Personally I like using metal systems for huge cakes as I feel more at ease and I do not have to cut crazy amount of dowel legs (a task I hate). I Don't mind cutting dowels for smaller party cakes, but in the crunch of working on a HUGE wedding cake I'd rather not have to cut dowels. But it is a strong and a good system if you do not mind the cutting dowel business, the other thing that would irk me on a large cake is the dowels like to fall out of the hex as your trying to slide it down the center post and place it in the cake, no biggy on a small cake, would irritate me on a large cake. But if you need an affordable system it is strong and reliable even for large cakes. Still need to take deposits - I took a deposit on this one last week (enough to cover replacing it) and still have not received it back, so in the future I will take LARGER deposits on it. I think people are more likely to assume it is disposable.

Stress Free:
The stress free support system has more positives than I mentioned the first time and if you are using the cake safe then the stress free system would make the most sense to use with it.

you do not have to do any drilling to use the stress free system with the cake safe. If I had the cake safe I would use the stress free system with it. You cannot stab that center rod of the cake safe into the center rod of the cake stacker so to those who asked - no you cannot use that together.

Stress free (out of these 3) is the only one you can use a center rod with AND place in each tier separately and then quickly stack on site Because it is a ring with a large center area if you get it slightly off center it's still ok, with the cakethings the center hole is exactly the diameter of the center column so you need to place the bottom tier over the center rod then slide the hex piece down over rod into cake and repeat for each tier in order to have alignment right. Which for me is a draw back.

The cake cutters love the stress free system as it is very easy to remove from the cake and easy to keep track of all pieces. I love the stress free system for large cakes I have to move in separate sections. Also great that you can stack 2 or 3 tiers on the stress free and then place together on site. For example in November I am doing a wedding cake which is like the lace cake (against the red background in my pics) It is way too big for me to move assembled. I plan to use the stress free system and of the 6 tiers I will stack 2, 2, 2 so that I can do my ribbons and bows on each stack and then on site set on top of each other to build the 6 tier cake.

This weekend I am doing a cake for 356 ppl. I will use the brawny board w/hole and reusable thin boards with hole from cake things paired with my stress free system. Why? because I like having a center column and strong boards, I like having the stress free rings already in the cake when I leave and when I get there to stack I will simply slide each tier onto the center dowel and it will quickly and easily be perfectly aligned. If I were going to move the cake already stacked using the stress free system I would definitely pair it with the boards from cake things and center dowel.

Think I've already covered all the things I like about cake stackers.... Limitless creativity and HUGE peace of mind transporting already stacked.

Obviously every cake decorator on these boards has "their system" they LOVE and they can get pretty passionate about it. I'm just the crazy one who has 3 different systems for 3 different reasons and I use all of them all the time. But it works for me. I can send a bday cake out on cakethings with the client, a stacked cake on cake stackers delivered by someone else than me and not sweat it and I can go in a different direction to deliver and set up a big cake on the stress free system and it all works. The trick is to find what works for you.
post #54 of 85
Shipping boxes do a fine job of keeping humidity off of a cake. Just saying.

I tape the sides back up so there is no open seam. It's cheap and lightweight and does the job. I wouldn't spend $300+ on a plastic box. Sorry... I know they work great, and people love them, and if you have the money great, but I prefer to not spend that much since I have multiple cakes going out any given weekend day I'd need 3 of them. There's no way I could justify spending $1000+ on three boxes. That and you need 2 people to carry the damn thing. I deliver most cakes alone.

On the SPS... I had to take apart a cake once after I assembled it with the SPS and I had to pry that thing out of the cake. I literally lifted a 9" cake up off the table by the SPS plate. I could only imagine venues cursing trying to get them out.

I contemplated the stress free system for a while, but honestly just don't want to have to chase brides down to get it back.
post #55 of 85
Oh, I must have missed something when I was looking at the picks in the one like that I followed. I only saw push-in. But I think the one I was looking at was the stress free, not cake stacker. I'm sorry for the mix up.
post #56 of 85
Originally Posted by Katiebelle74

gscout 73 you are mistaken.

Ok! Wow that cake stacker is a great Idea! And simple!. Buuut I don't get how the top tier does not come off when the cake is slipped upside down. I watched a few cake stacker videos and, while all the other tiers are secure top and bottom, the top set with with posts coming up through the bottom. How does it not slide off when tipped upside down?? It defies the law of gravity... but I never studied law. icon_surprised.gif

I really like this. thumbs_up.gif
post #57 of 85
Because in the demo video, they have a plate on the top that they frosted over. It's why she didn't cut into the top tier to demonstrate it was actually cake. In real life that wouldn't work so well as people would NOT like to have to get their hands dirty to cut into the top tier. I can see it working for a cake with a large floral arrangement on top, but not for a bare topped cake.

What I don't understand is why the hell do you need something that you can hold a cake upside down any way? I get that it's just for shock value, but really... the friggin' thing makes taking the cake apart so much more complicated than necessary. I have talked with caterers who say that they hate it so much. Yes it's great that they can be so sturdy, but in all honesty... it's extreme overkill.
post #58 of 85
lilmissbakesalot: You do not use the top plate unless you are doing a chandelier cake that has to be upside down or an upside down cake. They really look awesome!

However, I'm wondering if the caterers are taking it apart correctly if they find it complicated? When you are taking the cake apart, all you do is unscrew one piece and then you take the plate and pillars out in one section like any other pillar/plate system. Unless they are washing it? That is not fun and takes some time but as far as just taking the cake apart, it is simple.

The reason we wanted a sturdy cake structure is because we live in the "county" not the city. The closest city to me has only 700 people (if that). The roads to ANY venue around here has gravel, potholes, narrow, tight curves, and tons of hills. When you get to the next biggest city, you have all of the crazies who run lights, cut you off, blah blah blah..... On top of that, I deliver the tiered cakes finished because I can not do it at the venue. I work at night when everyone is closed.

The stacker has been a blessing for me. I don't use it for my small cakes because then I would agree, it is too much for a small (2 tier) cake. I am really thinking hard about other systems that are disposable. (The small cakes I do not deliver and use things that I don't have to retrieve) I do more small cakes that the large ones, but the piece of mind for those is a blessing! My husband (who is my driver, stacker, and all around great guy!) is a lot less nervous about deliveries with the stacker as well. Those cakes just don't move! Thus neither does my blood pressure! icon_smile.gif

Anyway, I just wanted to share how it works for us because I was surprised to read that caterers you know have such a hard time taking it apart. Even though the stacker looks menacing, it really is very easy to take apart. Perhaps nobody has shown them the proper way? We always go over the video AND leave a diagram of it. We ask them NOT to take the sections apart and just put it in the box that I provide. I take it apart myself and clean it.
post #59 of 85
@lilmissbakesalot, I know you are totally against the CakeSafe, but from my experience using both methods, the CakeSafe helps to regulate temperature far better than a simple cardboard box. I deliver all of my cakes assembled alone in the CakeSafe. I use a folding cart when it is is 4 or more tiers, because then it's too heavy to carry by myself. I drove a cake 12 hours in my CakeSafe in July and it was still cool when I got it to the destination. I also agree with @luddroth that I have never had any problems getting SPS out of a cake. If you put dessicated coconut or something similar down before pressing the plate in, it lifts right out. Everyone will find what works for them. From experience with other methods, I just find the CakeSafe and SPS to be the right solution for my business.
post #60 of 85
I'm another SPS and Cakesafe user! thumbs_up.gif Love it!
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