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Bullying tactics being used by another baker - Page 2

post #16 of 43

Have your thought of joining forces with bigger bakeries or other companies in the baking industry to expand your reach?

 

I have had lots of times when competitors (often larger than us) have tried to intimidate and threaten. Ultimately they see you as a threat which is a good thing but price cutting doesn't help unless you have deep pockets to whether the ongoing storm.

 

You need to set your prices based upon the value you see for your products and then offer service, service, and more service. Look for new ways to innovate and expect them to copy, keep innovating. Customers are smart and they can see what is going on and ultimately it will be the quality of the product and the service you provide that will keep them coming back. Also be careful not to be too open with your pricing..the more open you are the easier for someone to undercut.

 

Look for new ways to expand, just because your in a rural area doesn't mean you have to think rural unless you choose to.

post #17 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet View Post
 

Wow, you are charging so little that to undercut you, she has to charge $1.50 a serving? This is the kind of situation so many keep ignoring.  No one thinks his/her little cake business effects the market prices...  It sounds to me like you may possibly be guilty of some serious undercutting yourself. Who knows?? Maybe she had to lower her prices because you and others charge so little. Maybe this woman is so desperate to make a reasonable amount, she's snapped and is trying to squash the under chargers in any way she can. I'm not saying that's what's happening, but I don't know that it's not.

 

I'm not sure that would be legal for her to do that, but the trade laws were made to protect the little guy and with the assumption that sellers would act in their own best interests (and not under charge). The law was to keep a giant company from coming in and charging less to put the little guy out of business and then raising their prices back up to where they have to be to make a profit. This lady IS the little guy.

 

$1.50 for a small, plain cake fits my demographic and is in line with what other home-based bakers are charging.  My prices range from $1.50 to $3.00, sometimes up to $4.00 per serving depending on complexity, not including delivery and equipment fees.

 

For what it's worth, I too am a "little guy".

post #18 of 43
Are you turning a profit at $1.50 a serving? I find that hard to believe
post #19 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by morganchampagne View Post

Are you turning a profit at $1.50 a serving? I find that hard to believe

A small profit, but yes.  $1.50/serving orders are rare.  My point wasn't my profit margins, but the fact that she's willing to not only threaten me, but undercharge so severely.  One of the cakes in question I designed and quoted at $2.50 per serving, making the cake approximately $70.  My understanding (based on what she told me) was that she took that client by pricing lower and using my design.  I was hoping to find advice from those who have dealt with people who have similar morals as this woman and could offer guidance.

post #20 of 43

op's profit margin and pricing matrix are not the gist of the thread although they were mentioned in passing--her proving to anyone here that she is operating her business according to standards other than her own is not her point nor our business imo--

 

i get to travel through mississippi and arkansas with regularity and as i pass though a lot of these areas there is no question that cakers who are charging $1.50 a serving would be loosing clients, would not be successful would not be able to build a business--

 
op's being bullied by a competitor and i would hope we could offer support rather than more suspicion, doubt and criticism with so much reading between the lines we've started a novella--where the bully became the poor beleaguered victim upthread--
 
how about we offer her some support--
one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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post #21 of 43

Seems relative to me - sorry if you don't see it. And what people will pay for cake in depressed areas - does that mean everybody is entitled to custom cake?  Because of what exactly?  They sound like custom cakes to me as it was mentioned that her "designs" were being copied.

 

And here's the thing "$1.50 for a small, plain cake fits my demographic and is in line with what other home-based bakers are charging." Using what other home bakers are charging is the last criteria I'd be wanting to base my pricing on. I hope I don't have to explain why.

 

And I would hope that no one else has experienced this kind of thing. It's not like we can all come on and share how we handled it.

post #22 of 43
Thread Starter 

Thank you!

post #23 of 43

OP, I can tell you that if someone was threatening me, if I didn't absolutely depend on this income, I'd consider shutting down. Not because it's fair but because the safety of yourself and loved ones is more important. I know I rant on this all the time, but if prices are so low in your area you can barely make any money, maybe it's not worth it. If you figure out what you're really making per hour compared to what you might if you got a part time job, the part time job might come out on top.

 

I didn't mean to negate your plight - this is really scary when people threaten like this. I don't know if this will help at all, but part of the reason the police can't do anything is because these are almost always empty threats (and freedom of speech). Of course you can't operate that way. If your community is really small, I'd be wanting almost everyone to know about this and if you can get a relationship with the police, it will help to have that in place if she actually does something she can be arrested for. Can you get a restraining order? Where I live, you don't need a lawyer to get one, you just go apply.

 

Good luck.

post #24 of 43
Thread Starter 

Thank you!  I prefer to stay at home with my young children, one who is special needs, and my husband's income supplimented by my caking allows me to do that.  While I'm by no means rolling in cash, it does allow me to cover our grocery costs and some incidentals so that it doesn't all fall on my husband's shoulders.  And I love it.  I'm not going to allow someone to bully me away from something I love.  I truly believe she's full of hot air, but she's full of a lot of it and continues to bully other bakers.  One thing I'm taking away from her behavior is that I need to offer better service and a better product at a fair price.

post #25 of 43
I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you. I just thought that was low. I hope that you find a way to cope with the situation
post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by fbrumback View Post
 

Thank you!  I prefer to stay at home with my young children, one who is special needs, and my husband's income supplimented by my caking allows me to do that.  While I'm by no means rolling in cash, it does allow me to cover our grocery costs and some incidentals so that it doesn't all fall on my husband's shoulders.  And I love it.  I'm not going to allow someone to bully me away from something I love.  I truly believe she's full of hot air, but she's full of a lot of it and continues to bully other bakers.  One thing I'm taking away from her behavior is that I need to offer better service and a better product at a fair price.

It's good she's probably full of hot air. If you outdo her (and everyone) on the cakes, you can raise your prices.

 

The way I got into this business was taking care of my mom who was completely bedridden and literally couldn't do one thing for herself. It was something I could do from home, so I understand needing to stay home to care for others.  I undercharged for a handful of cakes in the beginning, but the wear and the stress of caring for my mother - someone who had to be turned every couple of hours (among other things) - all by myself,  was such that I was not inclined to do any other work for little, if that makes sense. When I saw how hard I had worked for the first cakes - I almost literally shook my fist at the sky swearing to never charge less than I was worth again (Like Scarlet Ohara - I hope you've seen Gone With the Wind - haha)

post #27 of 43
I am also being bullied by this person and while I don't think she means physical violence I do not like the idea of violence against my business either. I am a young baker just starting out and this is very disheartening. The thought that she would publicly slander my business for no reason except that she feels threatened makes me want to stop baking.
post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by baker145 View Post

I am also being bullied by this person and while I don't think she means physical violence I do not like the idea of violence against my business either. I am a young baker just starting out and this is very disheartening. The thought that she would publicly slander my business for no reason except that she feels threatened makes me want to stop baking.


This may be about as rude an awakening as a person could get in starting out, but the business world is tough. There are a lot of people willing to do anything to get ahead. All you have to do is study a little history and see what people have done for power and money in the past. Human nature hasn't changed.  The sayng, it's a jungle out there, is a cliche for a reason.

post #29 of 43
You need to literally rise above it - get out of this budget market that she has decided is hers and market to the more discerning consumer in your area, sure there are fewer of them but you only need one or two orders in place of six or eight to make the same amount of money, and you don't have to work as much.
elsewhere.
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elsewhere.
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post #30 of 43

That's good advice in my opinion ^^^

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