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Discounts and cheaper quotes.

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
So I emailed a quote and I get a reply saying they really want to use me but they have had a much cheaper quote from someone else who is much closer to them and can I do anything?

No I can't, go with the cheaper quote is what I said. (not quite as to the point as that of course, I did try to explain my pricing)

I'm pleased that I've stuck to my guns, in the past I've given in and have always undercharged. I hadn't over charged with my quote and if someone else wants to make a cake for no profit that's their lookout.

It is irritating when this happens though as there are so many variables with cake making and prices can vary hugely, no 2 cake makers are the same.
post #2 of 25
I totally agree and am tired of this as well. I had a similar experience a few days ago with a woman that called me about doing a cake in the shape of the #80. She started of the conversation saying that she just called another lady that said it would be $65 to feed 30 people and asking me if that was too much and if I would do it cheaper since she knows that most bakeries charge $1 per serving. I gave her my price which was more then this price and I told her my price per serving for 3-D cakes which is actually a lot lower then most but apparently more expensive then the other bakery. She actually said that this wasn't a 3-D cake which I told her that it was since I had to shape the cake into the numbers and not use a pan. Of course she went with the cheaper bakery which is about a hour away from her but oh well, I am tried of doing cakes and not getting any money for them.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Me too! I'm now at the point that I'd rather not do the work at all than not get paid for it. There are still people out there who understand and are willing to pay but with so many cake business popping up I think we'll all get under cut more and more often.

What can you do? Just believe in what you do and keep on doing it I guess, and feel bad for the people who are undercharging.

Your experience is the same as mine, this was a carved cake and I don't use shaped pans. She was really sweet about it so I'm not annoyed with her, but I can't explain why someone else is cheaper, I don't know how they work.
post #4 of 25
thats when you say to your self...
Next please...

I have a bride coming this wednesday evening and i have a feeling that the mother is going to be a tad hard work.
But as with all my consultations - i direct my questions to the Bride - and listen to what she wants.
If i am able to produce what she wants and MY price is suitable then fine.
If not - there is always another caker and another customer around the corner.

Like me - the Mothers of the Bride have had their wedding day and cake - sometimes they need to remember that and step aside for the daughters day.


Bluehue
post #5 of 25
When this happens I typically suggest a cake with a simpler design that would cost less to make. The customer can then agree to the simpler design for a lower price, go with their original design for the original price, or find another vendor.
post #6 of 25
I can totally relate!
Last month a friend of mine asked me to make a cake for her twin daughters for August 11. She asked me to make The Little Mermaid theme cake that serves 60 and had to be 2 tiers.
She said she didn't have any pics so I found her a few & she loved one from here (cc). I told her I was available for August 11th and I emailed her a quote. She emailed me back & said it was too much and asked how much for a small cake & cupcakes would cost instead ? I emailed her another quote & she said she had to discuss with her hubby.
I did ask what her budget was & that I was willing to work with her. She never addressed this with me.
5 days later she emails me back to tell me thank you very much however she found someone who will make cupcakes for her. I assume this person will charge her way less or do this for free.. she also told me she's never paid so much for "cake" before.
I can't afford to sell cakes & not break even anymore.
It really makes me mad that this person is quoting so little or offering to make these cupcakes for free!
Oh yes also my friend's sister is getting married this October & this person that is making my friend's cupcakes for the twin girls is also making a small square cake & cupcakes for her sister's wedding!
My husband said it didn't matter if I offered a discount because this person could be doing this for free.
I'm so mad because I'm missing out on 2 jobs.
Both my friends live about 40 miles away & yes I charged a delivery fee.
Ingredients, supplies & gas, labor are all factored in the quote. I just can't believe this person is not charging! If she is I'd love to know how much? Sigh!
So yes I can totally relate.
Love making cakes!
REC
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Love making cakes!
REC
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post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well what do you know, she went with me anyway icon_biggrin.gif now I feel a bit guilty. Better make sure I do an amazing job icon_wink.gif
post #8 of 25
I had 2 ladies come to me this past week wanting "cheap" cakes. Both are for Quinceanera's. One wanted the exact cake she ordered from me in March. Exact down to the color. A simple 3 tierred cake, covered in fondant with fondant ribbon and bow as the boarder of each tier. To serve 125 ppl and get this... She did not want to spend $200.00 I charged her full price the 1st time, I don't understand why she thinks I would do it for less this time. I said NO! I don't work for free.


The 2nd lady is a neighbor, brings me a picture, and ask for a cake base I will have to rent. So when I quoted her she says... my budget is $300.00. To which I responded, let me show you want I can do for that budget. I showed her cakes to feed up to 75 ppl. She admitted she had shopped around and knew cakes were expensive but was hoping because I was a neighbor. Sheesh. I don't even know the guest of honor.. I don't feel compelled to give anyone a discount.

My grandmother and other family members who had businesses had this motto. "Discounts don't pay the rent, Cash pay the rent"
Virginia 323.253.8213
www.urbanainez.com
He is the man of my dreams, my prince; He gives me the desires of my heart, He completes me. His name is Jesus
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Virginia 323.253.8213
www.urbanainez.com
He is the man of my dreams, my prince; He gives me the desires of my heart, He completes me. His name is Jesus
Reply
post #9 of 25
OP You called her bluff and now she is back!
Also I'd rather make a little less profit and get the business then not get anything at all! Word of mouth is the biggest advertising!
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying work for free! Still make sure you get your money but knocking off a few bucks - sometimes only $10, definately makes them feel better! As long as it Is still justifiable to do the cake!
Remember everyone is entitled to their opinion!
post #10 of 25
I totally think that some of those are BLUFFS also.

I had someone tell me that they wanted a certain cake and that they had a much cheaper quote than what I was offering. I decided to match the quote since I was not booked for that date and boy were they quick to book with me and get me a cash deposit.

I thought afterwards I should have offered something in between. I get a lot of calls for last minute cakes and one can charge more for those and booking these cheapies doesn't allow me to remain open for that!


The other thing too regarding these cheaper quotes, who knows the quality of the design, the work, the ingredients or the baking. Now, I also try to explain to those people that a cheap price is not a better deal, show them lots of pictures of my work and try to share customer testimonials about the taste.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Addictive_desserts

Also I'd rather make a little less profit and get the business then not get anything at all! Word of mouth is the biggest advertising!


You need to be very careful about lowering your price to gain business. Ideally you would want to compete on quality instead of price, since if word gets around that you offer rock-bottom prices everyone else will want the same discount.
post #12 of 25
If you lower your price just to have something to do, the word of mouth will be, "they work cheap!" I want to work smart, pay my bills and have something to show for my effort. Anyone can claim that they have a cheaper price from someone else just to see if I will compete. Not me. Name your price and stand your ground.
Making life sweet!

Lindas Just Desserts

Inspected and licensed commercial kitchen
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Making life sweet!

Lindas Just Desserts

Inspected and licensed commercial kitchen
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post #13 of 25
I agree to not lowering too much but I'm talking about a few bucks that gives them that little bit of pleasure. Of course not allowing quality to diminish!

It's a personal choice. I am merely giving you another angle rather than gettIng all frustrated!
post #14 of 25
Hmm true what Jason said there. I did a "cheap" fondant cake for a lady and she took 5 of my cards and told everyone I was the best cake maker with cheap prices! Was most embarrassing. Learned a hard lesson there. Makes it really hard to charge good prices and pay my worker with that brand impression. Never again. If I were to knock off even $10 that would be $10 less to pay my kitchen worker. Where am I getting that now to pay her back? From my personal funds it would seem.

I am a bit jaded by all the "free wedding cakes" and "at break-even prices". Wish it weren't so but it forces a lot of us to look at our brand carefully and more focused advertising. But I do believe eventually those cheap prices catches up to them when they want to expand and replace major equipment and invest in more tools for their business or hobby. They will quickly realize they have no money in the business to support growth. Give them three years max especially if they don't use an accounting software or some excel sheet of all their revenue vs costs.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Addictive_desserts

I agree to not lowering too much but I'm talking about a few bucks that gives them that little bit of pleasure. Of course not allowing quality to diminish!


It sounds innocent enough but deviating from your existing price structure (which is hopefully the result of a carefully researched business plan) can be a slippery slope. No matter how low you go, there will always be customers with budgets just a little below that who will try to bargain you down further from the lower prices they heard you gave others.

If you want to please customers, provide a superior product. Your ideal target customer would be happier with a better product or above-and-beyond service than a lower price anyway.
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