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Sooo, undercutting doesn't hurt the industry, huh?  

post #1 of 110
Thread Starter 

I know this is a controversial topic on here, but I just think it's important to see the result of undercutting and how it really does affect your local cake market and the industry as a whole.

I got an FB message from someone yesterday asking about a graduation cake for her son. She wanted a shaped cake.

Our shaped cakes are expensive. I'm not even going to try to pretend they're not. They are a pain in the butt, and very time consuming, so they are priced accordingly. They start at about $7-$8 per serving. (That's really not that high compared to other areas, but it's on par with the other custom cake shops in our area) We also will not make a shaped cake smaller than about 40-50 servings. It's just not worth it to us to make a teeny cake in the shape of a dog just because the customer only needs 10 servings.

So, back to the message. We worked up the quote and sent it to her. The quote was $550. She thought I meant $50. When I reiterated $550, she says that she doesn't understand how a cake can be that much, and that all of the other quotes she had gotten had been between $50-$70. (FYI, our plain ol' regular round cakes start at $60, so there's that)

Ok, so since she has gotten all of these other quotes for $50, $70 at most, she now thinks we are just greedy and ridiculously priced. Which is fine for her to think that on one hand, it just means she is not our customer. But on the other hand, all of these other bakers have put this idea in her head (and many others) that a custom 3D shaped cake should not cost more than $70.

Need I say more??

Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
post #2 of 110
Oh hunny you are preaching to the choir!
post #3 of 110
Hallelujah!!!
post #4 of 110
I get attitude about my prices too. You can always get it cheaper somewhere else...
It sucks.
post #5 of 110
Thread Starter 

IAmPamCakes, it sure does! I don't even care that she can't afford it, that's fine! It's the attitude and rudeness I can't stand!

 

And just to make the point clear, (since this has been a point of contention when discussing this topic in the past) I am not slamming home bakers under cottage food law, 'cause guess what?

 

I am one! :D

 

But just because we work under cottage food law out of our home doesn't mean I am going to work for a pittance since "I'm not a big bakery and I don't have overhead." (which by the way, is a load of crap, if you'll pardon my french)

 

What we do as custom cakers is a specialty, and I'm not going to spend hours on something perfecting every detail and then charge $70 for it. Nope, not worth it.

Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
post #6 of 110
Of course one can get a cake cheaper somewhere elsr, but it'll end up on Cakewrecks.
post #7 of 110

Crazy, for that price they can't even get a dog shaped cake from a Wilton pan with the star tip. Bark off!

post #8 of 110
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdovewings View Post
 

Crazy, for that price they can't even get a dog shaped cake from a Wilton pan with the star tip. Bark off!

Hahaha, bark off, I like that! :lol:

 

I know, right?! What are these people smokin' who are going to charge $50 for a shaped cake???

Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
post #9 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Godot View Post

Of course one can get a cake cheaper somewhere elsr, but it'll end up on Cakewrecks.


This, exactly.  And I don't like being uncut mind you, but if she gets a $50 sculpted dog cake, do you think she'll go back to that baker for future orders?  Probably not.

post #10 of 110
Oh I'm sick to death of the attitude that there is plenty of work to go around. No, not really. Great post.
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post #11 of 110
What raises my hackles is the brand new customer who has never ordered a custom cake before and gets bad advice and recommendations for a decorator. Doesn't know to check past work, is excited about the low pricing, and expects a nice cake. They get a hack of a cake, didn't pay much for it, and decides it's not worth raising a fuss over.

But that is the last time they ever order a custom cake again. They could have been a great repeat customer for someone who was running a good business.
*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
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post #12 of 110

I get attitude about it too. People just already inherently don’t seem to understand how much cake should cost. Couple that with other people severely undercutting prices and some potential customers think I'm crazy/greedy when I tell them my prices.

 

I had one girl post a picture of a baby shower sheet cake to my facebook page and ask if I could do a similar cake and how much it would cost. She kept insisting that she needed a “full sheet” based on the fact that she had purchased a “full sheet” cake from the grocery store last year and it served 50 people. I told her rather than going by terms of “full”, “half”etc, to just go by how many she needs to feed and we’ll go from there.

 

When I told her what size cake would work for her preferred serving amount and the price, she responded with “Seriously? Thanks but no thanks.” And then proceeded to comment on the picture she posted to MY facebook page and say, “Does anyone know someone who makes cakes for a decent price. I need a full sheet.” I could have screamed.

post #13 of 110
I hope you deleted that and banned her!
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post #14 of 110
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture View Post

Oh I'm sick to death of the attitude that there is plenty of work to go around. No, not really. Great post.

Exactly! There's NOT enough to work to go around! Any market can only bear so much competition before it's oversaturated. And when the competition is oversaturating the market AND charging ridiculously low prices just to get business, it devalues the market as a whole.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture View Post

What raises my hackles is the brand new customer who has never ordered a custom cake before and gets bad advice and recommendations for a decorator. Doesn't know to check past work, is excited about the low pricing, and expects a nice cake. They get a hack of a cake, didn't pay much for it, and decides it's not worth raising a fuss over.

But that is the last time they ever order a custom cake again. They could have been a great repeat customer for someone who was running a good business.

Yes to this too!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pinchofsweetener View Post
 

I get attitude about it too. People just already inherently don’t seem to understand how much cake should cost. Couple that with other people severely undercutting prices and some potential customers think I'm crazy/greedy when I tell them my prices.

 

I had one girl post a picture of a baby shower sheet cake to my facebook page and ask if I could do a similar cake and how much it would cost. She kept insisting that she needed a “full sheet” based on the fact that she had purchased a “full sheet” cake from the grocery store last year and it served 50 people. I told her rather than going by terms of “full”, “half”etc, to just go by how many she needs to feed and we’ll go from there.

 

When I told her what size cake would work for her preferred serving amount and the price, she responded with “Seriously? Thanks but no thanks.” And then proceeded to comment on the picture she posted to MY facebook page and say, “Does anyone know someone who makes cakes for a decent price. I need a full sheet.” I could have screamed.

Ohhhhh no, I think I would have lost it! :x I hope you deleted that and blocked her!

Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
post #15 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture View Post

I hope you deleted that and banned her!


That's exactly what I did. Try to find a cheap baker on someone else’s page? Not on my facebook crazy lady! Honestly when stuff like that happens I don’t feel a loss in the slightest. More like I just dodged a bullet. Good riddance!   

 

Still,  it just lends more credence to the fact that people don’t understand what custom cakes should cost. And that does irritate me.

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Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating Business › Sooo, undercutting doesn't hurt the industry, huh?