So this isn't a question, just a vent sort of thing.
Since we closed our storefront and are doing cakes out of our home now (under cottage food law, don't have a cow ), tastings have become a little more of a production. Of course I don't have a bunch of baking from a shop to pull from, and I also don't have a shop to meet in, so I have to bake for each tasting and meet at a Starbucks. Also, because I work another full time job now, my time is very precious to me! And I don't want to waste my time baking/prepping/meeting with clients/working up quotes only to have them turn around and say "You're too expensive."
I've tried to give them as much pricing info as possible ahead of time when they initially contact us, I even do the math for them, give them a quote for basic, and then say "If this sounds like it would work in your budget, we can go ahead and set up a time to meet for a tasting!" In other words, if you're going to be cheap, PLEASE don't waste my time! They go ahead and schedule a tasting, and then I send them the quote that is usually only a little bit more than the ballpark I gave them, sometimes it's the EXACT same as the ballpark, and I get "We found another vendor who will do it for cheaper."
So, I'm done giving away cupcakes and my time. In the past we have charged $25 for the "bride's choice" tasting, but that's going to be the fee for all tastings now. If they book with us, I will apply the fee to the cost of their cake, because I'm nice like that.
Since we have scaled our business back anyway, it's just not worth it to me to do this stuff for free anymore.