I have a request to price two different wedding cakes. Both include a fountain and multiple satelite cakes attached by bridges - none of which I have. I can get a price on what fountain, bridges and pillers I will need but how do YOU charge for these in your price? I wouldn't be buying them if I weren't making this particular cake so I don't want to absorb the cost but that added cost might scare away the potential order.
How do you handle the purchase/rental of these items?
Well, we have places that rent out these items, so I pretty much rent them or, if I buy them, I charge the same fees that the rental places charge. I also take a deposit fee to make up the balance of what these cost me to purchase or if I am renting them, I add on the deposit fee charged to me - to the customer and refund that when the items are returned undamaged.
As an example, the Garden Stand cost me $100 to rent and another $100 deposit fee. At that time the cost was $200 to purchase. So I passed this on to the customer, kept the deposit fee in a separate envelope and refunded it when the item was returned to me.
Here, most of the stands are available for a $50 - $100 dollar rental fee plus deposit, so this is what I go buy.
The odds of something getting marked up, scratched or damaged, I find to be somewhere around the third time they are used. So many people charge a rental fee of 1/3 of the new purchase price along with the balance in a refundable deposit fee.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
Thank you SquirrellyCakes!
You are welcome kiddo.
Wow, SquirrellyCakes, you are so smart! I'm adding that helpful bit of advice to my cake decorating binder--now I'll be prepared when the need arises!
Haha, not really smart, I got a good lesson on this with a lady that I did a wedding cake for cost for. I charged her a $20 deposit fee and she dropped off everything in a grand rush. After she left I noted one separator plate was cracked and one was missing. Another time I rented out the candlelight stand, it was brand new and was returned with the finish off in places, looked like they had glued something to it and it removed the finish. I thought going with a rental fee of 1/5 would be reasonable, but the way people handle things, 1/3 is a better deal for the cake decorator. It accounts for depreciation.
Since you're needing so many different things, rental is probably the way to go.
When I buy something that I'm going to keep and use again (stands, etc.) I charge the customer a rental fee, but I absorb the rest of the cost.
For example, if you look in my cake pictures, I used the Tall Tier stand for wedding cupcakes. I paid around $55 (if I remember correctly) for the stand, and I charged the customer $25 for the rental, which they didn't think twice about. I didn't make much on this wedding, but now I have the stand!