I made a cake for my friend and she didn't pay me. She asked me how much and I jokingly told her $1,000. When she picked up the cake the next day she said "Thanks" put the cake in her car and drove off. Was I wrong in joking with her? She is a really close friend not someone I don't really know.
It was a 12 inch heart shaped cake with MMF and cornelli lace. It's in the Naughty galleries but I don't consider it naughty because it's fully clothed. It looks like a pretty bra. Now, I'm just starting but I feel it was a pretty good job for being my first time doing this type of cake AND I spent 6 hours putting it together on a work night. Was I wrong for joking?
Well I think she should not assume it is free. If she is a really close friend you can tell her what it really should cost or just write it off as a onetime freebie. If she is as close as you say she will understand if you tell her a price to pay. Good luck this is never easy.
I agree with amycake, but I also think (hindsight is 20/20) that you might have said something like, "We'll discuss the cost when you pick it up so I can account for labor." That way she would have known for certain that there would be a charge.
That would be a tricky situation, I would probably call her later and ask her how her $1,000 cake turned out. Then after she raves about how good it was, then maybe say, well, since you're my best bud, I'll only charge you $_____.
I don't know, HTH
I had a hard time with this too when I first started decorating...the best advice I can give you to always be up front with pricing when the order is placed, and do not allow people pay you days after the order is picked up or delivered. They couldn't do that in a bakery, why should YOU let them?? In fact, I have a few of my co-workers pay their orders in full beforehand because I got tired of hounding them for payment in the past.
Thank You all for your advise. It's going to help me in the long run. I just thought that with her being a friend, she wouldn't try and pull the wool over my eyes. I will call her this weekend.
sounds like you're a joshing person like me and all that I have to say is that alot of times people don't see the humor or sarcasim in things. (as in this situation) I'd just be up front with all your clients from now on, friend or not. That'd way you don't ever have to go through this again. It would help you out a bunch not having such a load on your back. best of luck.
She might have thought that joke meant she didn't owe you anything, which is how I might have taken it (had I not known all the hard work and effort it takes to make a pretty cake). It could be an honest mistake....you could call her and tell her that maybe she didn't get the joke, but the cake actually only costs ______. Good luck!
With ANYONE that orders a cake from me, I require a 50% non-refundable deposit before I even mix the batter and , this is exactly why. Most times, family & friends are the hardest to collect from. But when the person come to you to order, that's when you discuss $$. and collect if there's a deposit.
No, you're not a sucker. You made a joke that she took as an out. Not cool on her part, but what can you do?
I know I'm a sucker and probably won't accept any money for a cake I'm making for a friend, but I know she'll insist to pay. And there lies the problem...I HATE IT WHEN PEOPLE DON'T EVEN INSIST ON PAYING. Sorry. It's a pet peeve of mine. Not a big fan of such tactless people.
Really not much you can do about it in regards to getting paid now, especially if you didn't decide on a price beforehand, but definitely find a delicate way of informing her that your cakes are not free.
I would have probably taken it as - your my friend, you don't have to pay. That's what I tell my friends/family that I don't charge. I agree with cherrymerry - it probably was an honest mistake. I'm sure if you just mention the price, it will be fine. Real friends would understand.
if you didn't agree to a price prior to doing the cake, I think you're running a real risk of causing a rift in the friendship by asking for payment now. Just let it go, and next time be clear (and not jokey!) about what the cost would be upfront, even if you only ask for her to cover materials.
The fact that she asked meant she was willing to pay. Your joke said... "don't worry about it" since you never clarified. Be clear...don't joke if you want to be taken seriously. If you aren't sure what to charge, just say so and estimate how much time you will have to spend. I don't think you should say anything on this cake. Next time, have your prices ready.
I have to agree with jmt. When I don't want friends/family to pay I tell them things like the $1,000 price. She probably honestly thought that meant you didn't want her to pay and you did it as a favor to her. Because you didn't discuss it ahead of time, I wouldn't ask for payment now but the next time she asks for a cake, discuss cost when you are planning the cake.
What is your intent for making cakes? Pleasure, for a few friends and family or are you trying to make some money on the side, or trying to start up a business.
My point is this, if it is for the love of baking, don't ask her for the money now. Because you probably weren't sure how much to charge and you might hurt your relationship. But if it is for a side business or extra money, you must be perfectly clear what you charge! Don't rip yourself off. Life is too short to be stressing about something like this.
If you are doing it for money, next time you will have to say you want this much $$ money for this size cake and 1/2 now before you mix the batter.
You can't make a profit by being wishy-washy or even joking because in the long run people love a deal and if it is free it is even better.
And you might want to check into some negotation books to help you.
If you start looking back at all the threads you will see money is usually the big issue. We women as a group need to get better selling our products and talents.
i'm so sorry you are stressed about this. i see it both ways where she would think that you didnt want her to pay but as a friend she should have said she at least wanted to pay for the materials. honestly people that dont make cakes dont know how much is put into it. i didnt know before i started and now i see why cakes cost so much. if she's a really good friend i would let it go this time but if she is just a hi/hello friend i would ask.
I'm just starting so I was just basically going to do it as side job. I'm not going to stress out about it any longer. I see it both ways as well. I will do my homework for next time. Thank You all again for your support and good advise.
TipTop: "Happy Birthday"
Letting it go sounds like the best choice. A friendship is worth more than a cake. She honestly could have taken your joke to mean you wouldn't dream of charging her. I probably would have done the same thing. You've learned to be up front with people from now on about cost and that's a good thing that came out of this!
Good luck to you!
I had the same problem with friends and family because at first I wasn't comfortable charging people for my efforts, which were amateurish. Now that I've gotten better, I'm comfortable asking for money. When people call for cakes now, the first question I ask is, "What's your price range?" and we work from there. Sometimes, I can't make what they want for what they want to pay.
People balked at first because I'd let them have freebies before. So THAT's when I made the jokes, "Yeah, the first sample's free, but then you gotta pay. I follow the drug dealer business model." A few people stopped asking me to do cakes, and that's ok. People who come to me now do it because they want a tasty, pretty, homemade cake.
I would let this one go for now, unless you think it's really going to affect your friendship. consider it a learning experience.
I agree with goodcake fairy. I too had the same problem because I was not sure of my prices. Sit down now and set you up a price list and next time it would just roll of the top of your tongue the price of your cake. I look at your cake and the cake was great very detailed. I would just let that one ride and on the next one have your price set and let her know the first one is free and after that you have to pay. Your product does not come free.