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post #16 of 29

Don't get discouraged. I'm sure you did your best and you know what they say about "you live you learn". I bet your trying so hard to "fix" the issue will earn you more customers. A huge tip from me would be to join and read the cake boss site. (Not the Cake Boss Buddy). They have so many FAQ&As and it will really help you in your private business.  They even have software that will help you keep track of everything and calculate how much you should be charging. I'm not sure how, but they are somehow affiliated with Cake Central and you get a discount in purchasing the software if you are a member here. And even if you don't purchase it they have great information that will save you a lot of time and money. Check it out.

post #17 of 29

She got a beautiful tiered cake instead of a sheet cake?  And she's upset?  I would have thrown my offset spatula at her.

 

I'm only a hobbyist, but I always supply cutting directions and disposable gloves with my cakes if I won't be at the party.  People always relax when they have written directions to follow.

Optimism produces the very success it desires and expects.
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Optimism produces the very success it desires and expects.
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post #18 of 29

"The grocery store does a sheet that serves 80 for $48 and change.  I can't compete with that!"

 

You are providing a custom product and service  . . .  you aren't supposed to compete with the grocery store.  If you and your other custom competitor keep prices low because that is what the other one is doing, neither of you will make any money.  Being in business is about more than what other people charge - if you don't see the value in your time and skills, no one else can see it, either.  Best of luck on your future orders!

 

Liz

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Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

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post #19 of 29
If the local market size is small and underpricing has been going on for a while, the well may already be poisoned and a standalone custom cake business may no longer be viable.
post #20 of 29

I know that I can fit 1/2 sheet pans into my oven, but I don't like to make sheet cakes AT ALL,  So I just use sheet cakes not fitting in my oven as a standard excuse.  Once people know I only make round cakes, they are good with it, unless they can't afford it, which is also fine by me.  I don't want to charge less for those who can't afford my cakes  I'd rather turn down the business.  I don't bake a ton of cakes yet, though.  

post #21 of 29
Sorry to hear that. And it sounds like you made an amazing cake as well. I find some people will complain just for the sake of complaining. We had a customer who when ordering her cake said she wanted pink and girly with handbags/purses for decorations. Everything else was left to us within her budget. When she collected the cake she criticised everything about it. We'd used a light baby pink fondant and she said it was too dark and she wasn't happy with the position of the decorations. Yet when we offered her a discount she refused and payed the full amount, which in a way made me feel even worse. It's a horrible feeling but unfortunately you will always find people like this.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

If the local market size is small and underpricing has been going on for a while, the well may already be poisoned and a standalone custom cake business may no longer be viable.
No kidding. But really, how can you make money.at that? There's no way, there isn't even pocket change left after that. Oh my word.
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*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
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post #23 of 29

I'm not a fan of sheet cakes either, but you don't need a huge pan to make a sheet cake. When we made a huge 8x3 foot cake in school, we sure didn't use an 8 foot cake pan! :D Could have used your regular square pan and laid the cakes out side by side on a large board, masked together.

post #24 of 29
Are you sure you are making any money? My least expensive cake I make is more per serving than you charged. Even if you made a little (and it would be very little) you are make about $0.10/hour. Nothing is worth that. It doesn't matter that the other baker in town charges the same as you. You need to up your prices. And grocery stores are not your competition, so don't compare your prices with theirs.
"who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?"
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"who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?"
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post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cake Shoppe View Post
 

 

 

Just curious, but how can you can even cover costs for a 3 tier cake with your prices? Are you making any profit at all?

Sorry- I just can't figure this out. Are you making cakes from a mix? (I"m assuming that they are less expensive?) 

post #26 of 29
I'm new to cakes and am clueless on pricing. Is there a guide somewhere to help? I did an 11"x15" sheet cake for a group my husband belongs to and was immediately asked for prices. It was embarrassing to be caught flat-footed like that. I simply have no clue.
post #27 of 29
You need to calculate all your expenses. cake mix ingredients, fondant, frosting, plus gas water and electricty. Even small things like the 10cents of food coloring you used or the 10-20 cents of dish detergent. once you've calculated all that you need to decide what your time is worth. and pay yourself an hourly wage. ring around bakeries and other registared home bakers and check their pricing. don't undercut them. you don't want to be known as the "cheap" cake lady. also dont compare prices to any supermarket ir walmart. Their prices are much lower, but they don't nessasaraly make custom cakes. The cakes are frozen and some random guy has spent 30 minutes tops decorating. anyone who want a beautiful peice of art will pay for it. HTH if i have any information on here that's incorrect feel free to cirrect me
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrannySkywalker View Post

I'm new to cakes and am clueless on pricing. Is there a guide somewhere to help? I did an 11"x15" sheet cake for a group my husband belongs to and was immediately asked for prices. It was embarrassing to be caught flat-footed like that. I simply have no clue.
post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

If the local market size is small and underpricing has been going on for a while, the well may already be poisoned and a standalone custom cake business may no longer be viable.

Thank you for this Jason!  I agree that the well is indeed poisoned.  I started into the cakes because it was a wonderful creative outlet for me, but with the incredibly small profit margin-- it has become tedious at best.  With the advice from you awesome cake central members, I have upped my prices substantially.  If I lose business because of it, then so be it.  My TIME  and skill is more valuable than that.  I think I felt I was in competition with the other caker and had to keep in-line with her....but one of the members had a tag that said, "When your prices are cheap, you will always be busy" or something to that effect.  So I will gladly let the other caker have it!  I will be content to do a few high-end cakes for some bank- rather than work myself into the ground making pennies!

Thank you all very much for helping me to realize this!  :D   

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