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Frustrated with the unlicensed! - Page 6

post #76 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwtCanuck View Post
 

Just need a place to vent. I own a licensed custom bakery. Put alot of hard work and money into making my dream a reality. I charge in the upper middle of the road for my creations. Probably could charge a bit more but I don't have huge overhead costs.

So I am getting frustrated when I hear brides asking for quotes then come back with "A lady told me she can do it for less than $2 per slice" I know people need to start somewhere and charge accordingly but come on! Ugg! How are you making money at that price point??

I am not trying to compete with Costco. I make a great tasting cake and am very busy with the orders I get. I'm just getting frustrated with all these "home based non-licensed bakeries". In BC you must be licensed by the city and inspected by the health unit and you are not allowed to advertise until the paper work is filled out. It just frustrates me.

Thanks for letting me get it off my chest :cake:

 

I understand you are just venting but unfortunately the free market is exactly that. The only forces that can stop those decorators are 1) the risks of doing something illegal and 2) the demand. Re 1) From what I've seen in my market, the risk of operating illegally are not that high, since I think its unlikely you'll get shut down - at least I've never heard of anyone getting shut down anyway. As someone else said, there's no reason why you couldn't report them.

 

So that leaves you to consider what competitive advantages you have over someone that is unlicensed that would increase (or maintain) the demand for your product ... and then exploit the hell out of that - you're safe, reliable, not fly-by-night, professional, etc, etc

post #77 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatrinaBroughton View Post
 

 

I understand you are just venting but unfortunately the free market is exactly that. The only forces that can stop those decorators are 1) the risks of doing something illegal and 2) the demand. Re 1) From what I've seen in my market, the risk of operating illegally are not that high, since I think its unlikely you'll get shut down - at least I've never heard of anyone getting shut down anyway. As someone else said, there's no reason why you couldn't report them.

 

So that leaves you to consider what competitive advantages you have over someone that is unlicensed that would increase (or maintain) the demand for your product ... and then exploit the hell out of that - you're safe, reliable, not fly-by-night, professional, etc, etc

It's not so simple and what's happening is nothing like a "free market". At least in the US, there is a thing called unfair competition. There are federal statutes and most states also have unfair competition laws.

 

Referring to the federal law - "...some courts have attempted to simplify the law by defining unfair competition as any trade practice whose harm outweighs its benefits. The U.S. legal system is a cornerstone of the free enterprise system. But the freedom to compete does not imply the right to engage in predatory, monopolistic, fraudulent, deceptive, misleading, or unfair competition. On balance, competition becomes unfair when its effects on trade, consumers, and society as a whole are more detrimental than beneficial."

 

While it may not cover people who who are undercharging as in a spouse subsidized cake program, I would think a person selling cakes illegally and in any way implying they are a legitimate, legal business could be successfully sued based on these laws. The mere act of selling a cake implies this unless you disclose you are acting illegally.

 

This is probably stretching the laws too far to say you could sue legal underchargers,  but it seems to me that these folks are creating a situation, especially in small towns, where people can't find freestanding bakeries to make a nice wedding cake because home bakers, legal or not, have put them out of business. Some people would rather buy a cake from a bakery inspected by a health department and not one that came from somebody's home kitchen. That could be seen as harmful.

 

 

 

post #78 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatrinaBroughton View Post

Just to clarify, its not strictly true that professionals (i.e. MDs and lawyers) who are less experienced don't charge less. I can't speak for doctors, but in the engineering/planning/law consulting business, rates ARE based on your level. So a junior, intermediate, senior and expert professional will charge different rates to reflect their experience level. It also reflects how much you get paid (i.e. 3x your salary for example).

Thanks for that clarification, Katrina. I'm well aware that experience and skill, in any field, is a factor. I suppose it was the particular post I was referring to or a bad reference in general.

The point I was simply trying to make was that I understood her frustration. Basically, I think starting out you should still factor your time and expenses properly in order to turn a profit and not 'undercut' another business.
post #79 of 79
My two cents. The thing to do is not "charge less". When you're new, only take on designs that you feel confident enough to do well
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