Charging Family And Friends??

Decorating By Kate714 Updated 20 Oct 2006 , 2:12pm by praetorian2000

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Kate714 Posted 18 Oct 2006 , 10:46pm
post #1 of 16

Hi all,

I am new to cake decorating but have been busy making cakes, cupcakes and cake truffles for family and friends. Some of them request cakes that need to feed a lot of people. They always say, "of course, I'll pay you..." but I don't really know how to bring the subject up again. I don't plan on really turning this into a big business...just selling some cake truffles for the holidays and stuff. BUT, I would like to at least be compensated for my costs.

For those of you in my situation, what do you do? Suck it up, or ask for a little bit of money just to help cover the cost of materials??

15 replies
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mbelgard Posted 18 Oct 2006 , 10:58pm
post #2 of 16

My general policy about anyone with cakes is that if I offer it's free, if you ask I'm going to charge you.
If you aren't looking to make a profit it's fine to tell them to pick up materials or give them a dollar amount. I made my sister's wedding cake for the cost but I included every bit of equipment I didn't have that I needed and I got to keep it.

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ladyonzlake Posted 18 Oct 2006 , 11:04pm
post #3 of 16

I agree. If I offer it's free and if they ask charge. What I do for family and close friends is offer them a "discount" on my regular prices...say 15percent off what I normally charge.
Jacqui

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aligotmatt Posted 18 Oct 2006 , 11:04pm
post #4 of 16

I agree about charging for new equipment you have to buy too. I try to tell my family that I'm "hooking up" the cost of ingredients ahead of time, that way they are prepared when they recieve their cake. Don't forget to include the price of the board and box if you're not getting them back.

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jtb94 Posted 18 Oct 2006 , 11:23pm
post #5 of 16

If it is a close relative, I charge them cost plus maybe $5.

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TexasSugar Posted 18 Oct 2006 , 11:30pm
post #6 of 16

My family knows if you ask me to do a cake then you are paying me for it. If I offer to do a cake for you, then its free.

Your family and friends should be your biggest supporters. Do not let them take advantage of you. If you are doing a cake for them that is time a way from your family, kids and friends and it is not fair to give up your time without getting something back in return.

Sit down and figure out how much it costs you to make a cake. Once you know how much you are putting into it then you can have an idea of how much you can charge for it.

If you want to do them a favor then charge them twice how much you put into the cake. That way not only are your supplies covered but you are making money as well. You can always up that to 2.5 times your costs and when you really. The general rule is 3 times your costs, but in some areas that's a bit expensive.

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Kate714 Posted 18 Oct 2006 , 11:59pm
post #7 of 16

thanks for all of your opinions. I believe I said to my stepsister several weeks back, whom I'm not very close to, that I'm getting into cake decorating and said I could do a cake if she had a party for her new baby, or her son's birthday. I don't know if it was so much as an offer...I think I meant..."keep me in mind." !! When she asked me today to make her son's birthday cake, she said "I don't know what you charge, but..." and I said something like, "I'll let you know after I figure out what I can do." It probably would be a quarter-sheet cake. So, I guess I'll figure out costs and go from there.

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TexasSugar Posted 19 Oct 2006 , 12:07am
post #8 of 16

I never give a price until I know exactly what they want. Simple ideas often grow really fast into something more complicated. icon_smile.gif

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Kate714 Posted 19 Oct 2006 , 12:24am
post #9 of 16

Would you charge them for equipment that you had to buy but could use again? For example, I had to order some candy molds from ebay for a friend, and was thinking of adding that in to my costs, but technically, I could them again...if I ever have the need to make candy crosses again. that's pretty unlikely...

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mbelgard Posted 19 Oct 2006 , 1:36am
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kate714

Would you charge them for equipment that you had to buy but could use again? For example, I had to order some candy molds from ebay for a friend, and was thinking of adding that in to my costs, but technically, I could them again...if I ever have the need to make candy crosses again. that's pretty unlikely...




If you are getting it for their cake and are only getting paid the price of supplies then yes you should make them buy you special stuff. Even if it's something that you can see yourself using several times you are still getting it specifically for their cake. It wouldn't be fair to ask them to buy a candy mold for your child's birthday cake would it?

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TexasSugar Posted 19 Oct 2006 , 1:43am
post #11 of 16

I say for something like candy molds that could be a one time use I would. But if you do it you need to add it on before you give them a price and not after you have already agreed to the price.

I wouldn't charge for a pan I had to buy because most of them you use over and over.

This is one of those things that would depend on what the item is.

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ladyonzlake Posted 19 Oct 2006 , 3:06am
post #12 of 16

I don't charge for equipment unless it will go with the cake. If it's something I keep, reguardless if I use it again or not I do not charge.
Jacqui

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springlakecake Posted 19 Oct 2006 , 12:57pm
post #13 of 16

I was in a similar situation. I just started doing this in February and at first I was dying to make cakes to practice and I would have just given them away for free just to do them. My neighbor started buying them from me for $15, at first that was okay with me. Now 6 cakes later at the same price I am starting to feel resentful! I am not dying to make them for free or nearly free anymore. I feel I have enough experience now to charge a more proper rate. Now it is going to be hard to tell her that I will expect more. If you do it for free or cost tell make sure you tell them how much of a discount they might be getting or that next time it will cost x amount etc.

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ladyonzlake Posted 19 Oct 2006 , 2:28pm
post #14 of 16

I agree with Merissa. If you want to start selling cakes you really need to sit down and calculate your cost and figure out how much you "really" want to sell your cakes for. If you start selling them for cheap then the word spreads and pretty soon everyone wants it for that price. I know it takes a little time to come up with some figures but it's well worth it in the end. I also did some research to find out how much the grocery store bakeries as well as other bakeries in my area were charging and I've priced my cakes with the grocery stores although I add on to my price for fondant (which they don't do) and other decorations as well. You can go to the bakery section and they'll give you a price sheet for their wedding cakes. Then by gving your family and close friends a discount on your prices and letting them know that this is your "family/friend" discount it lets them feel special and they also know it doesn't apply to everyone.
Jacqui

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indydebi Posted 20 Oct 2006 , 10:45am
post #15 of 16

I use my family events as opportuntities to try something different. They are my guinea pigs. Or I donate my time......they buy the stuff, I'll make the cake. For example, my nephew was having a Harley Davidson wedding. He paid for all of the ingredients and supplies, and I was able to experiment with a motorcycle themed wedding cake. I did 2 tiers in basketweave with small motorcycles surrounded by flowers, plus the sheet cake with a motorcycle cake on top (thank god for ebay!). There's a photo on my website (tried to add it here, but too many pixels.... whatever THOSE things are! ... and when I tried to adjust the size, it cut off half the pic!). icon_confused.gif http://cateritsimple.com/_wsn/page5.html

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praetorian2000 Posted 20 Oct 2006 , 2:12pm
post #16 of 16

I like what Duff said on Ace of Cakes. He said for friends and family it's free but he decides the type of cake. When they decide the type of cake, then he charges them. for me, that makes a lot of sense because then i get to do what i want and maybe try something new. When people want a specific cake, many times what they want is something that is not necessarily easy, convenient, or inexpensive. And usually it's because they dont' know everything that goes into making a cake--not even all the ingedients.

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