200 Cupcakes For Saturday (Long Rant)

Decorating By 2508s42 Updated 24 Jul 2007 , 1:24pm by tiptop57

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2508s42 Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 2:25pm
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Apparently, they are choosing to have a dummy cake for the show piece with only a small top for cutting pictures. Then they are going to have 200 cupcakes, some vanilla, some chocolate, some with cream cheese icing, and some with chocolate icing. They want a letter s on each cupcake with a small daisy.

ALSO, the bride has some scrapbook paper that she LOVES and wants it cut to size and wrapped in strips around each cupcake. The dummy cake should match the scrapbook paper, since she has patterened all of her decorations around this paper.

ALSO, the wedding is SATURDAY the 27. You know, a week away.

So I told her that I could do it, but that the price would be $350. Keeping in mind that the cost of sytrofome (sp) is so high and you still have to decorate the cake like it is a real cake. Plus, that is a lot of cupcakes, alot of daisies.

She told me that she could get the cupcakes done at a local grocery store for $5 a dozen, and that she didn't think that they could pay as much as I was charging. She wanted to know if I had a book that the bride could pick a wedding cake from, and I told her no, that each cake is designed especially for each couple or for the occasion or whatever. She was like, oh I understand. She kept trying to get me to lower the price to $150, and I told her that if she could get someone to do it for $5 a dozen, she should jump on it. then she asked me if she baked all the cupcakes herself, would I decorate them? I was like, um, no.

I don't know this lady AT ALL. She called me out of the blue because she got my name from a friend of a friend. It is very short notice for me, since I have a daycare in the day, and do the cakes at night when they leave. I also have 4 boys going in all different directions. If she would have called sooner, I would have made all the royal daisies last sunday, but this week I have 2 huge and important cake orders.

What would you have done? Do you think that I was out of line? I was very polite to her and just explained that I was not a huge bakery. I am not able to have an employee work on them for 8 hours straight, but that what I offered was quality and cakes made with love and care, since each piece gets my full attention. I did call the grocery store in question, and they offer cupcakes for 48 cents each, but that they don't do dummy cakes and wont let you design your own. Um, okay. So that is $99 for 200 cupcakes, without the wedding cake dummy.

I told her to think about it and call me back by Friday if she wants me to go ahead with it. I also told her that I require the complete payment 1 week in advance, or I don't even bake. She said okay, and that they would bring the $$ when they brought the paper. So now I am confused...did they hire me or was it a blow off??

50 replies
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WendyB Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 2:31pm
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I don't think you're charging enough!

Since it sounds confusing on what she's doing I would clairify with her. You don't really have the time/desire to do this job do you? Just let here know that with under a week's notice you can't fit it into your schedule.

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mbelgard Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 2:36pm
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You aren't charging enough unless that's your price for JUST the cupcakes and the dummy is extra. You're still a little low at $1.50 a cupcake for decorated and wrapped with strips of paper.

I doubt she can get the grocery store to wrap paper around each cupcake unless she pays extra for that too. icon_lol.gif

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Doug Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 2:43pm
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you have SOOOO underpriced yourself

200 cupcakes would be the $350 alone if not more (like $400!)

she's getting the dummy cake for free! -- wrong!

that dummy best come back to YOU and not be kept by her or thrown in trash!

I'd tack on a refundable return deposit fee on the dummy of at least $100 just to be sure to get it back

and if she doesn't show up on Friday (by her wording sound's like you're sort of hired) -- the deal is OFF -- no extensions.

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Luxe42 Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 2:53pm
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hearing something like this makes me glad that I'm not in the actual cake business. Just doing cakes for friends and family is stressful. I can't imagine cheap brides!

Hey if you already have two big orders, then don't worry about cheap-o bride. She can go get her cupcakes made by Sam's. Since you don't know her, I'm sure you won't feel bad about not taking her business. I agree with Doug, if she doesn't show up Friday - then she's fired. If and when she shows up Friday, she had better have the checkbook and be ready to party!

Time is valuable!! Get paid for yours!!! If she doesn't want to pay, let her NOT pay somebody else!!

Have a good week icon_biggrin.gif

*oh and PS.... if you do business cheaply, that is the word that will be spread around. Then EVERYBODY will want you to do beautiful work for peanuts and who needs that aggravation icon_mad.gif

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southerncake Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 2:57pm
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Originally Posted by Doug

you have SOOOO underpriced yourself

200 cupcakes would be the $350 alone if not more (like $400!)

she's getting the dummy cake for free! -- wrong!

that dummy best come back to YOU and not be kept by her or thrown in trash!

I'd tack on a refundable return deposit fee on the dummy of at least $100 just to be sure to get it back

and if she doesn't show up on Friday (by her wording sound's like you're sort of hired) -- the deal is OFF -- no extensions.

I agree completely Doug! Is the grocery store going to do the flowers and letters on the cupcakes?? I doubt it for $5/dozen! If you meant $350 for everything that is a complete bargain!!!!

For my dummies I charge a deposit of whatever it would cost me to replace them. They have to return them by Wednesday of the following week to get their deposit back.

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Gale Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 3:01pm
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You are definitely not charging enough. I would tell her (politely of course) that you are already scheduled and just can't take on another order at this late notice. This is alot of work and the cake is almost as much work for a dummy cake as a real cake. The only thing you don't have to do is bake it. Whatever you decide, don't let her pressure you into lowering you price. Good luck

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luv2cake Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 3:04pm
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I bet she thinks that by having a dummy cake she's going to get a cheaper price. Like someone else said, it's just as much work to decorate a dummy cake as it is a real cake. Styrofoam is expensive. She might as well go ahead and have her cake be real cake and forget the labor intensive cupcakes if she's on a budget.

I too think that you have undercharged.

Also, I always have the same question when I hear stories like this...."why do they wait until the last minute to order their cake and then expect it for a steal of a deal?"

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cambo Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 3:04pm
post #9 of 51

I agree with Doug also! I would have charged at least $400 for the cupcakes alone....then tacked on at least another $100 for the custom wrappers...then the dummy cake on top of that! Let's hope she goes elsewhere because you'll end up kicking yourself if she agrees on the $350!

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Joanie4464 Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 3:07pm
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I think you should have required a deposit from her and gotten the whole arrangement in writing.....then she is sure what's she is paying for and you are sure of the product to be supplied. I have done LOTS of supcakes for weddings and find that they are VERY labor intensive, yet they have certain aspects that I prefer to a large cake. They are portable, you can work off your feet! whew! ggg they don't require special arrangements for cutting.....the list goes on. I know some think that "our" cakes are under charged for, but as I enjoy making them, you have to stay competitive with the other bakers in your area or you won't get orders at all. I charge about 1.25 to 1.50 depending on the type of cupcake, filling, and the amount of decoration. I usually give my girls samples and actually had one do a taste test and call me back immediately saying she wanted NO WALMART cupcakes after tasting mine. Mine are nice high cakes, no skimpy cupcakes like in the grocery. You will be suprised at just how long it will take to make 200 initials and to cut and wrap each one...(perhaps they would like to do that) I do think you could charge more, you're at the low end. What are they displaying them on? Your stand? With the price of gas there is delivery also, and the packaging involved. Give me an IM if you want more info.......Good luck and let us know how it turns out!

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mom2spunkynbug Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 3:09pm
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Oh my gosh!!

First off...I think you're undercharging. So you're doing mixed cupcakes, with bc, a royal daisie on each, and an initial on each, all individually wrapped with strips of paper - I, personally, would charge at least $500 for all of that...

Now do YOU really want to do this order? Will you have time? You said you had other big & important orders to do. Will it be worth it to you? If you do...I'd call the lady back & clarify everything - I wouldn't wait 'til Friday - that's just giving you less time for yourself to do everything!

Good luck

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Totally-Frosted Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 3:11pm
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I agree with everyone that you aren't charging enough. I would also charge extra for her coming to you at the last minute and you having to fit her into your schedule.

That is a lot of work and individual work with the cupcakes. I don't have a business as of yet but that would definitely be an order well worth over $600 or more including the dummy cake with a deposit of $100 to return it. You still have to decorate the dummy cake as if it was a real cake and that still takes time too. Or since you undercharged yourself on the order maybe you could make the return deposit higher like $300 since you are decorating it as a real cake.


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jlh Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 3:12pm
post #13 of 51

Very great bargain. Here in California, I've had friends that have paid almost that must for shower cakes. I have three boys and I work. I'd walk away. You'll be so stressed out. They sound like they don't plan on paying your "so-called" high price anyway. HA What a joke. Let them get their local cheap-o cupcakes. No one will customize like that for her. By the way, I've never heard of wrapping cupcakes in strips of paper. Will that be easy? Have you tried it? You might be headed for a late-night problem. Worth thinking about. Good luck.

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indydebi Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 3:18pm
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I actually DID tell a bride to go to walmart. I DO NOT like fu**ing with cupcakes. If they want me to make them, especially with all the extras she's wanting, they are $5.00 apiece.

The styrofoam is not a freebie nor is it something like a $25 job. They are not paying for "just cake"..... they are paying for me to take "just cake" and create it into a wedding centerpiece for their grand reception. They are paying for my skill. So don't EVEN try to give me some phony baloney argument about how much I'm "saving" by not baking the cake. The cake isn't the work. The cake isn't the cost. The cake isn't the talent. The cake isn't the skill.

If they want styrofoams with some icing slapped on it, then they can have it cheap.

But they want my talent and skill. They are paying for it.

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darandon Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 3:20pm
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I was just at my local Kroger this morning and saw the price on their cupcakes as I walked passed - for 12 cupcakes with just a squirt of icing they were charging 7.99 - that makes it .67 per cupcake for a bland undecorated cupcake. These weren't made there, there were the ones that are trucked in from who knows where, how ever long ago.

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NVP Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 3:23pm
post #16 of 51

Yeah i so agree. who customizes like that? customizing= money. Money that she is not willing to spend. If she is going to hire you, then good. but do not subject to what she thinks is a good price, because people who even consider having cupcakes from a grocery store for a wedding do NOT KNOW QUALITY! i dont want to sound mean, but thats the truth. for example.... i work for a very luxurious hotel company. We have guest all the time asking for discounts. Our product shouldnt be presented as "discounted", and that should be the same for any product you stand 100% by. i'm not being snooty but thats the truth. And just like jlh said.... here in L.A. thats the price of a norm cake. good luck to you! =)

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jlh Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 3:27pm
post #17 of 51

Here is California, a dozen cupcakes at the grocery store bakery is $7.99. That's for the star tip, squirt of icing, a quick sprinkle of the circle confetti, then shoved into a clam shell. A dozen cupcakes decorated as a "cupcake cake" are 18.99.

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pidge Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 3:44pm
post #18 of 51

okay ... so now know you know you undercharged icon_cry.gif But you did tell her you would do it, and you are only going to have so much leeway to "add on costs". I hope you have a reciept with deposits and delivery, etc. (and if you don't make one by Friday!!)
I personally would have her cut the papers herself! And put them on ... you make cake not paper mache' icon_confused.gif
And if she agrees to all of it ... 200 cupcakes will take forever ... better invite a few friends over for an "all-night-cup-cake-party" ... you make 250 and everyone takes one home as a door prize! icon_biggrin.gif (And charge dues like girl scouts! icon_lol.gif )
best wishes!!!

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karensjustdessert Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 3:50pm
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It is not our responsibility to meet a customer's budget expectations/demands. It is a customer's responsibility to find a vendor/solution suited to their budget.

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OhMyGoodies Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 3:54pm
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I have to agree you way under charged but you already know that. So I will say try to increase where you can such as delivery and set up and also if she asks that you affix the paper rings to the cupcakes before display... (sounds like that's what she wants if she's bringing the paper over to you friday) I'd tell her that's an additional handling charge and that it will be .50 cents per cupcake icon_wink.gif that'll up you $100.~ lol Also delivery is going to be $25.~ for the first 15-20 miles anything over that is 2.00 per mile lol... (these may be stretching it a bit but it gets her to the price she should've been paying to begin with). Also I'd inform her that the dummy cake COMES BACK to you no later then 3 days after the reception, if it's returned in the same condition as it was left she will get her $100.~ deposit on the dummy back icon_wink.gif (make sure you charge her the 100 bucks deposit on the dummy or you've just done this for free lol) and if it's not returned or not in the same condition she'll get back what's due minus damages icon_smile.gif

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indydebi Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 3:57pm
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Originally Posted by karensjustdessert

It is not our responsibility to meet a customer's budget expectations/demands. It is a customer's responsibility to find a vendor/solution suited to their budget.

Gotta luv this one!

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Janette Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 3:58pm
post #22 of 51


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SweetResults Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 3:59pm
post #23 of 51

whoo good luck on this one! I agree with everyone else, would like to hear how it turns out!

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MamaBerry Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 4:02pm
post #24 of 51

I've got the perfect thing for you to say to this bride and to all cheap sons of guns. Are you ready?

"I'm sorry. Slavery ended over 200 years ago, so the work that I do will be charged accordingly. Thank you. Please call again."


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valora387 Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 4:03pm
post #25 of 51

Sorry, this is going to be a tangent... bear with me!
I HATE when people want you to give them a deal because they are on a budget. I work in a hair salon, and I see this ALL THE TIME. Women come in with fried hair, color treated on the ends, black roots, and want to be honey blond. When I quote a price of $90, they look at me like I have two heads. That's for color, toner, cut, treatment, and style. I won't do the color without the treatment or the cut, because they are not walking away from my chair and then telling people that I jacked their hair up. Someone just last night told me that my price was ridiculous, and she could get it elsewhere cheaper... I told her to go right ahead, it's not my problem.
You stick to your guns, don't lower your price (obviously, by the responses here, you're too low already, lol) and if she doesn't want your expertise, tell her to feel free to go to Walmart and try to get all of the extras she's asking for for $350.
You don't need that kind of business.
Ok, tangent over. icon_razz.gif

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luv2cake Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 4:03pm
post #26 of 51

I think the reason that a lot of us feel so strongly about this topic is because we've all been there with that bride on a budget who wants a cake (or cakes) way beyond her means. Then they have a way of making you feel bad when they don't want to pay what you are asking.

Like somone said above, we don't want to become known as discount cake decorators!!

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adawndria Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 4:22pm
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I'm shocked that she's just now thinking about the wedding cake. When I was planning our wedding, the cake was one of the first things we confirmed! This was before I even started taking classes/baking. We were concerned about availability and having the best cake! I think we got a steal on our cake since I've been on this site. We paid less than $2 a serving for a bride's cake (3 tiers, french vanilla cake with parisian cream filling) and a grooms cake (12" with edible image, red velvet with cream cheese filling), both in buttercream. And they do a free anniversary cake.

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adawndria Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 4:28pm
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Also, here's a link to a pic from the gallery with the paper strips on a cupcake tree. It's really cute on a small amount of cupcakes!


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2508s42 Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 4:40pm
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Hey guys. I feel a lot better after all of you heard this. I didn't think that I was overcharging, but people have that effect on me sometimes.

I love the slavery comment, but I don't think that I am brave enough to use it. :0)

Also, thanks for the link to the paper strips on cupcakes. I am thinking that is what they have in mind, but she said she would supply the picture when she brought the $$ and paper.

Also, they didn't put off the cake until the last minute. She said they had someone lined up to do it, and at the last minute that person bailed.

I can't believe that she asked me to decorate cupcakes that she baked. I wouldn't put my name on a product that someone else made. What if they were nasty???

Also, I gave her until Friday because I am too busy until Saturday to even start or really think about it until then. I just can't believe it! I will not budge on the price I gave her. I don't usually do cupcakes, but then the LOWEST price for cake I have is $2 a serving, so isn't a cupcake a serving? That was my reasoning, but then it seemed a bit high to me, so I reduced it down to $300, then she asked for the SMALL dummy cake. I know that I am way way under...yet she was able to successfully manipulate me into thinking that I was not.

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indigojods Posted 18 Jul 2007 , 4:42pm
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I made those cupcakes with the scrapbook papers that adawndria posted the link to and it is REALLY time consuming. I had done it before for a baby shower but only put them on maybe half of the 24 cupcakes so I didn't realize just how tedious it is. I suggested the cute papers for the 50 lemon cupcakes and I probably should not have! I like the way it looks, but it is not easy to get them to stay in place and get them to the right size to fight the cupcakes. For the price you are talking about I would not agree do this this, or at least not on all 200. Maybe suggest that you accent every 3rd or 4th one with the papers so as not to overdue it. To give you some perspective I got paid $115 for the 50 lemon daisy cupcakes (only one trees worth is in that pic). They were all the same flavor, no filling and daisies on about half, the customer also supplied all the ribbon, papers and even muffin liners for this and she was a pleasure to work with. I do not think I got overpaid for the amount of work that it was. For the 200 cupcakes alone I would charge at least $500.

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