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The unrealistic client

post #1 of 157
Thread Starter 

I had a potential client come in with her daughter for a Quince cake quote on Saturday with no appointment.  The girl shows me a picture of a 4 tiered cake, slightly topsy turvy with the bottom tier looking as if a big slice had already been taken out and tons of handmade gumpaste candy and lollipops the top 2 tiers were sculpted to look like a popcorn bucket and a bowl, again all with tons of hand made candy spilling out and all over the cake.  Bare minimum this cake was at least $1500 with all the fondant and gumpaste details (my price for this cake would be much higher).  So I ask the 2 most important questions:

1.  How many guests are we wanting to feed? Answer: 250-300

2. What is your budget? $300 icon_eek.gif

 

I then again asked "...and you want this exact cake?"  Yes

 

It was all I could do to not laugh in their faces.  But I was good,icon_biggrin.gif and started to educate them on the reality of it all.  I told them that even if I did a very basic buttercream cake and they purchased separately actual candy for me to decorate the cake with, that the least expensive I could do was $2.25 a serving which was still way over their budget. (and that was me being generous because they still wanted the 3d look of the bottom tier and the top 2 tiers carved to look the same as in the photo, with the slight topsy turvy build.) 

 

I did a taste sampling for them anyway, and encouraged them to shop around to see if they could get that cake for their budget, but if they wanted that exact cake from me my price was $9.75 per serving.

 

I doubt they will book with me.

 

This does happen to me all the time in this area.  And I had a similar experience that I posted about a year or two ago.  It just seems now that the cake shows are so popular that it has become an epidemic!

post #2 of 157

Cake central needs to have a section for their bakers where they post a "Photo of the Day" and we all clock in with how much we would charge for that cake.  That would hopefully educate SOMEONE!  Maybe I'll start a blog!

post #3 of 157
Oooo! I like that idea Sparklekat!

I do love tha one of the TLC shows shows pice

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
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www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply
post #4 of 157
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparklekat6 View Post

Cake central needs to have a section for their bakers where they post a "Photo of the Day" and we all clock in with how much we would charge for that cake.  That would hopefully educate SOMEONE!  Maybe I'll start a blog!

Great idea!  But not all potential clients find their way to Cake Central.

post #5 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparklekat6 View Post

Cake central needs to have a section for their bakers where they post a "Photo of the Day" and we all clock in with how much we would charge for that cake.  That would hopefully educate SOMEONE!  Maybe I'll start a blog!

You should start a blog, with reader submitted photos, like CakeWrecks. And we will all submit our pics and tell the story, and you can have a panel of screened bakers that provide feedback on how much they would charge for it at their licensed bakery. (That way some poor newbie won't be able to chime in and say that they'd do it for $50, when it is clearly a $1500 cake.)
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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post #6 of 157

Yes, most people don't know how much these things really cost. However, we are part of the blame too. I understand that every cake is different and priced differently but we all have minimum prices on our websites. I am really about to redo my website to show some example of cakes and how much they really cost. Most clients are truly and utterly disappointed when they find out, so I want to give folks a better experience and more reasonable expectations. It will probably reduce the number of calls I get, but I'm sure the number of orders I get will remain about the same.  When people are shocked by the price, my favorite line is, "I'm just like taking your car to the mechanic, you pay $10.00 for the part and $400 for labor". Most seem to get that analogy, I never have any hard feelings when they walk away, it's just part of the process when you are in the custom business of anything. 

post #7 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes View Post




You should start a blog, with reader submitted photos, like CakeWrecks. And we will all submit our pics and tell the story, and you can have a panel of screened bakers that provide feedback on how much they would charge for it at their licensed bakery. (That way some poor newbie won't be able to chime in and say that they'd do it for $50, when it is clearly a $1500 cake.)

 

Yeah but the flip side to that is then I'd have to find bakers who would be willing to sit on said panel.  I was thinking if it was done through cake central that people could log in through their account and put a number into the program and it would generate the average throughout the day as people logged in with their price.  That way people could only post a price once and it would be really a PITA to try and bring down the price of the cake by continually logging in under a fake alias.

post #8 of 157

Sparklekat, that is an awesome idea.

 

If that doesn't work, I would totally volunteer for ya panel.

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply
post #9 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparklekat6 View Post

 

Yeah but the flip side to that is then I'd have to find bakers who would be willing to sit on said panel.  I was thinking if it was done through cake central that people could log in through their account and put a number into the program and it would generate the average throughout the day as people logged in with their price.  That way people could only post a price once and it would be really a PITA to try and bring down the price of the cake by continually logging in under a fake alias.

I think having the opinions of bakers from all locations would be very helpful. If only to understand that some work is so specialized that you might not even be able to find a baker in your area, who can make that amazing creation.

post #10 of 157
Ha.. I'm in!
*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
Birthday Cakes
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Birthday Cakes
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*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
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post #11 of 157

I am FULLLL of opinions! I can be your "up in the northwoods" pricer!

life is short, get a cakesafe.
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life is short, get a cakesafe.
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post #12 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparklekat6 View Post

 

Yeah but the flip side to that is then I'd have to find bakers who would be willing to sit on said panel.  I was thinking if it was done through cake central that people could log in through their account and put a number into the program and it would generate the average throughout the day as people logged in with their price.  That way people could only post a price once and it would be really a PITA to try and bring down the price of the cake by continually logging in under a fake alias.

I think that is a really great idea!

I worry about non-professionals being able to post their pricing, I still see some ridiculous pricing happening from newbies. Ideally there would be regional pricing included. Perhaps it would be even more helpful for people to see our ingredient costs, overhead burdens and the time factor separated out of the whole quote. That's how people could really understand some of the realities.

 

Doing something like this helps our entire industry!!! It certainly wouldn't require a new cake to price everyday..........you wouldn't want to overwhelm the viewer. You could feature famous cakes and get that decorator to elaborate on their costs. You could get professionals to volunteer their cake photos (for advertising) and contribute their info.. If it was done right, it would highlight the decorators, so everyone would be interested in disclosing those facts to the public.

 

I'm in, however I can help.

post #13 of 157

A friend thought I should sell cakes for .75 cents a serving! I use Swiss buttercream, or couverture ganache. I bake all cakes from scratch, and I decorate my cakes well because I'm such a perfectionist. .75 cents a serving! I live in an area where prices aren't as high as others, but the market isn't at .75 cents.

post #14 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibeeflower View Post

A friend thought I should sell cakes for .75 cents a serving! I use Swiss buttercream, or couverture ganache. I bake all cakes from scratch, and I decorate my cakes well because I'm such a perfectionist. .75 cents a serving! I live in an area where prices aren't as high as others, but the market isn't at .75 cents.

Next time she raises this issue, ask her what your local minimum wage is.  Then ask her how long it takes her at home to make a dozen cupcakes.

 

These people who think that you can put up mud and charge for cake never even think about minimum wage.  That's a good place to teach, because most people accept the concept of baing paid at least minimum wage.

 

And one of the wedding wesbites  has a portfolio of wedding cakes with prices from all over the USA.  They range from $4 to $20 per serving for a comparable amount of work...there is no way to account for the ego.


Edited by BakingIrene - 1/30/13 at 10:57am
post #15 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene View Post

Next time she raises this issue, ask her what your local minimum wage is.  Then ask her how long it takes her at home to make a dozen cupcakes.

 

These people who think that you can put up mud and charge for cake never even think about minimum wage.  That's a good place to teach, because most people accept the concept of baing paid at least minimum wage.

 

And one of the wedding wesbites  has a portfolio of wedding cakes with prices from all over the USA.  They range from $ to $20 per serving for a comparable amount of work...there is no way to account for the ego.

I found her comment surprising because she is getting her master's degree in business! I know she isn't trying to exploit me, but I at least thought that she would consider that I should make more than 9.00 for a dozen cupcakes. or 18 dollars for a 9 inch cake. I explained to her what pricing was in the area and she thought it was insane.

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