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Am I charging to little? - Page 4

post #46 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by maisie73 View Post

"How much they should be charging" now that's what I don't understand. Who's to say how much I "should" be charging?
So surely the individual is best placed to decide how much his/her cake is worth?

Sure they need to decide what their cake is worth, that's what I just said: "they never do the math to figure out their materials cost, overhead, labor costs, and profit," as in, they SHOULD be doing the math for themselves and figuring out how much they are actually spending on ingredients, materials, etc., not just say "Oh, I probably spent about $5 for these ingredients, so I'll charge the customer $20 and make $15 profit, cha-ching!"

 

And you should figure out for yourself how much of an hourly wage you want to get paid, most would recommend at least paying yourself minimum wage, but for the love of cake, PLEASE pay yourself more than minimum wage.

 

I'm not in any way implying that you or any other baker should just take what I charge for cakes and match it, quite the opposite, actually. The only prices you can't dictate are how much you are paying the grocery store for your ingredients, the specialty shop or website for your cake tools, the electric company for the electricity that runs your oven...catch my drift?? Because they have determined how much they need to charge you, the customer, to make money from that transaction, and you can take it or leave it. Just as your customer can take it or leave it when you quote a price for a cake.

Now, I can't speak to skill level, that's another thing you have to determine for yourself- if you have the skill to make this a business or not. I'm not saying you don't, I have no idea what your cakes are like.

Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
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Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
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post #47 of 55
I have done the maths, I have figured out how much it costs me to make my cakes, right down to a tsp of baking powder and a candle if I supply it. I don't have customers per se, just people I make cakes for, i don't charge except the cost of ingredients sometimes, depending who I'm making it for. My cakes are not great, they taste delicious but I'm a very amateur decorator. I've no intention of trying to go into business or making any money from it. I think that's got a bit lost since I asked my original question.
post #48 of 55
Practice, and attract the customers that can afford that one off you speak of. I am not my customer. My customer is the mom who wants to show off with a five hundred dollar cake to all her friends, and the bride who considers a beautiful and delicious cake just as important as the dress. That's about it in a nutshell.
*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
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post #49 of 55
Whoever said investing in your business is absolutely right. You have to spend money to earn money. And for every dummy you decorate, make a real one. If you can't rock a real cake just as flawlessly as a dummy, that's misrepresentation.

For the record, I never offered any kind of discounts to anyone for any reason since I started selling, and I started selling high right out of the gate, because I spent a long time honing my skills before I decided they were satisfactory for the public, and by that time, I'd learned all about pricing from places like this, and decided I wasn't going to bother with piddly little cakes, or anything I couldn't make good money at.
*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
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*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
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post #50 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by maisie73 View Post

I have done the maths, I have figured out how much it costs me to make my cakes, right down to a tsp of baking powder and a candle if I supply it. I don't have customers per se, just people I make cakes for, i don't charge except the cost of ingredients sometimes, depending who I'm making it for. My cakes are not great, they taste delicious but I'm a very amateur decorator. I've no intention of trying to go into business or making any money from it. I think that's got a bit lost since I asked my original question.

You asked whether professionals start out charging just ingredients and practice before they start charging professional prices, and you asked why professionals "look down on" home bakers who don't charge enough. Everyone else answered the questions about practicing and how you should start out, I answered the question about why, IMO, we don't like when home bakers (or any baker for that matter) doesn't charge what a cake is worth. 

I'm glad you have done the math and figured out your ingredients cost, and glad you are able to invest money and time into cakes as a gift to your friends and family. Since you don't consider yourself a business and just do the occasional cake for friends and family, you're not part of the problem. :smile: 

The ones that are part of the problem are those who consider themselves a business and market themselves as such, actively seek customers outside of their circle of friends, and have no concept of what they should be charging to actually make money doing this. They are the ones who compromise the value of the custom cake market, because they teach customers that cakes should be cheap. 

Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
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Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
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post #51 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture View Post

 and decided I wasn't going to bother with piddly little cakes, or anything I couldn't make good money at.

Yes, absolutely! It has taken some time for me to get to this point, but I no longer feel compelled to take any and every job that comes along. Now we only take jobs that we want to take, and we charge enough to make it worth our while! 

Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
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Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
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post #52 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture View Post

Practice, and attract the customers that can afford that one off you speak of. I am not my customer. My customer is the mom who wants to show off with a five hundred dollar cake to all her friends, and the bride who considers a beautiful and delicious cake just as important as the dress. That's about it in a nutshell.

That was me saying invest...and I completely agree with the dummy cake thing. I personally don't think dummy cakes are really that great for practicing. They already come level and sharp edged. With a cake you have to create it yourself.


Ive made two tiered real cakes that I have thrown away. And you know, I've never had an unlevel cake, never had a cake fall, never had a cake lean. This is a serious craft, and it takes work to get good! Im not playing here, this is my business. I'm not saying everyone has to have my approach, but all the timidness has to stop. If you cant being yourself to charge accordingly. .step aside.

This is not directed to anyone in this thread by the way, just my thoughts
post #53 of 55
Ok, thankyou Lovemesomecake, I think I get it now. icon_smile.gif i just didn't want to be on here upsetting anyone, I love baking and I love CC.
Also, I'm not being pedantic but I never actually said "look down on", I said "down on", they don't mean the same in the UK, maybe they do in America, maybe it's got a bit lost in translation.icon_smile.gif
post #54 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeniseNH View Post
 

We ALL started out as Home Bakers.  And have been kicking ourselves for not charging enough in the beginning because we didn't think we were good enough or deserving enough of higher prices.  So it's great that you had the guts to ask us how much to charge and if you under or over charged.  We applaud you for that.  We're very honest here but it's because we've been there, done that and REALLY want to help you out.  Your family and friends will tell you what you want to hear, we tell you what you need to hear to improve.  It may hurt a bit but the sting goes away   -  after you do your next cake that's even smoother, and smoother - while uttering under your breath "I'll show them!!!".  You'll come back here and show us how proud you are of your future cakes and thank us for being brutally honest.  It's done with sisterly love......I promise.

ok, I'm ready for some brutal honesty! (and would like some sisterly love please :)

This is my 2nd two tiered cake made for my grandsons birthday last week. First time I've made fondant figures and wasn't happy with the wafers being a bit higgeldy piggeldy on the bottom left but overall I was happy. And, the baby and his parents were delighted. (My family always are, they think every cake I make is a work of art!)

post #55 of 55

with all due respect and in conversational tone of voice here--i think where we might run into communication issues is where we have decided that our model of operation is the only way for whatever reasons from maybe just being unaware all the way to showing disdain sometimes--as a matter of fact-- my first pro cake was made in approved circumstances in a bakery--not from home--

 

and lots of people start out by making a great cake, surprising themselves most of all, and other peeps start seeking them out--so they start getting/taking orders--colette peters started out making cakes for co-workers--although she was leaps and bounds ahead of the pack with her art degree and job in new york and her being colette and all --sometimes it's purely a momentum thing--

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

and my opinion on the 'brutal' aspect of 'brutally honest' -- just say no -- again there are many other ways of expressing a great straight shooting value packed critique without bludgeoning someone

 

best to all y'all

the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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