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Unsold Cake

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I just recently started up a home-based cake business. I have been trying to make cakes to build up my holiday portfolio to let prospective clients know what I can do. I have my regular pricing listed but I offer these "prototype" cakes at a discounted rate. Everyone comments on how lovely, pretty, stunning...etc but nobody is interested in purchasing. My question is, How do I deal with an unsold cake? Should I lower the price again (which will de-value my work but at least pay for ingredients/supplies) or should I quietly give the cake away as a gift (at my own expense)?

post #2 of 13
Use a cake dummy or donate the cake to fire department, police station, senior center, etc.
post #3 of 13
I would have made a lot more cakes if it weren't for this problem. I can't legally sell any yet (so I don't) but my family and friends can only eat so much cake even if it is free (for them). Not to mention it gets expensive (for me)! Can you donate to an organization? School, church, or some other non profit perhaps? I can't just make a bunch of random cakes due to this dilemma (wish I could) but any time I am invited somewhere like a potluck or an evening get together, picnic, etc, I try to bring a cake. Since I have started doing this I have been approached about making cakes for church functions (baby showers, etc) I am just going to do that as a donation, at least for now, since I can't charge. I figured it will give me experience, and advertisement for when I am a able to start charging and a way for me to serve in my church. Likewise with my son's school. I haven't been asked to make cakes for the school, but I do it anyway sometimes. Like for the holiday party next week. Someone else can bring the chips. I'm bringing the cake!
post #4 of 13

The problem is that unless someone has a special event that suits the theme of your decorating within the next day or two, a beautifully decorated cake is useless. No-one is going to want to pay premium price just to eat it at home, and if they do have a special event, they have likely already ordered a beautifully decorated cake if they want one.

 

Practising techniques and building a portfolio is one of the startup costs of running a business, I think.

 

Either use dummies to practise, or find occasions and offer to bring cakes, letting people know that these cakes are practise ones, and that you're planning to be selling them from now on.

post #5 of 13
I agree with mc, it's part of the business. I think it's great you aren't practicing on customers orders.

My family ate a lot of cake when I started out! Now if I want to practice a technique or add to my portfolio I work on cake dummy's. You can take the fondant/BC off and redo, someone mentioned decorating each side differently which I do now too. I use these at Bridal Shows and for customers.

When I was ready for business I donated cakes & gift certificates to raffles.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by KTCake2000 View Post
 

I just recently started up a home-based cake business. I have been trying to make cakes to build up my holiday portfolio to let prospective clients know what I can do. I have my regular pricing listed but I offer these "prototype" cakes at a discounted rate. Everyone comments on how lovely, pretty, stunning...etc but nobody is interested in purchasing. My question is, How do I deal with an unsold cake? Should I lower the price again (which will de-value my work but at least pay for ingredients/supplies) or should I quietly give the cake away as a gift (at my own expense)?

This is actually a very good example for the people who have friends and family telling them that "you should open a shop." A good example of how those people won't be willing to pay you, that is.

 

Work on dummies, it's a lot more cost-effective. Or if you're practicing recipes, take them to your neighbors or send them to work for the people there to eat in exchange for feedback on the flavor of the cake so that you can improve from the critiques. It's better to not sell things at a highly discounted rate, because that just trains people to expect lower prices than you actually charge.

post #7 of 13
Dummies, dummies, dummies!! Im telling you . I have about 4 in every size and I use those to build up my portfolio. When I have the picture I pry the fondant off and start over
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Well, that's settled then! I guess it's time to invest in some dummies. The cakes I advertise bring in a lot of new clients but I just don't have demand for ready-made cake. Thank you all for your helpful responses. So, now I have one more question...Are all dummies created equal?

post #9 of 13
Dallas Foam has all shapes and sizes, the prices are inexpensive.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you, Smckinney07! I will check them out today.

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by KTCake2000 View Post

Well, that's settled then! I guess it's time to invest in some dummies. The cakes I advertise bring in a lot of new clients but I just don't have demand for ready-made cake. Thank you all for your helpful responses. So, now I have one more question...Are all dummies created equal?

Not some of the dummies that I have met. : ) Sorry couldn't resist, but it was funny to me. Yes, Dallas Foam is a good place.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post

This is actually a very good example for the people who have friends and family telling them that "you should open a shop." A good example of how those people won't be willing to pay you, that is.

Work on dummies, it's a lot more cost-effective. Or if you're practicing recipes, take them to your neighbors or send them to work for the people there to eat in exchange for feedback on the flavor of the cake so that you can improve from the critiques. It's better to not sell things at a highly discounted rate, because that just trains people to expect lower prices than you actually charge.
Don't you wonder what's going to happen when you statt selling those designs at regular price? If no one's interested in your introductory prices, what says they'll want them at full price?
*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
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*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture View Post


Don't you wonder what's going to happen when you statt selling those designs at regular price? If no one's interested in your introductory prices, what says they'll want them at full price?

Sad, very sad! I get it......that's the reality of the market I'm in too. No one wants to pay more than Costco prices on any cake....no matter how good looking or great tasting it is.

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