Originally Posted by sarzoemom
I have been decorating cakes for sometime and now have my own business here in Australia. It has taken me a while to come up with my prices but am getting more comfortable with them. What I am still struggling with and would just like to see how everyone else feels about these shoppers.
I am a cake broker for a local cake de orating store and am always having people sending me photos of other people's cakes and wedding cakes and wanting to get a "ballpark price on X cake" this is insulting to me for a few reasons.
Are you asking here as a decorator or as a broker?
1. When I go to a doctor I have to pay to get his advice yet people think I should just volunteer a price
2. There are too many variables that cango into a wedding cake or any cake as we all know such as size, cake type, icing type, etc,
3. The few times I did volunteer a price their reaponse was " Oh wow, ABC cakes said it would cost X$."
Now when I bought my wedding cake I had to pay for my consultation with the cake artist that we went with and I had no problem with this. This was her job. I have made a letter that I email to people saying I will gladly give them my advice and a quote but they need to make an appointment with me and it cost $X. Needless to say that sends most of these people else where. So I feel I am losing business because of this.
How does everyone else handle this?
When one begins the contact with a potential customer by asking questions such as "date of event", "location", "size of party", "dietary requirements" then one places the contact onto some sort of rational basis. The customer should then be told of the minimum $$$ of orders and deposit policy. If this is OK with the customer, then one takes the time to then ask "do you have a picture or a cake in mind?"
Some people do not need a cake designer. They have a clear image of a cake in mind and they need a price range. So you give them "price for base cake", "price for decorations", "price for gumpaste flowers", clearly stating the totals for their different options for their servings or requested size.
You should have a fixed "price for base cake" that depends only on the size for a fixed type of cake and icing. Customers do not consider that the chocolate cake you bake today should sell at a different price than the identical chocolate cake you bake tomorrow. Does your business price a plain sheet cake at $3.00 per 50-gram serving and a plain round cake at $5.00 per 50-gram serving? Then there is something about the price structure that does not make economical sense.
It is the price for decorations that sometimes has to be explained.
If you wish to ONLY accept orders with a paid consultation, say so up front. You will then not waste time on people with other budgets in mind.